This letter written by
James B. King
27th Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry, Company E,
was transcribed and submitted by Barbara King.
Camp of 27 Iowa Vol
Moscow 16 Aug/63
Although I don't feel much like writing, I must not longer delay to write in answer to your letter which I received three days since.
I have as good health as could be expected considering what kind of weather we have. It is very hot most of the time, but we have occasional sudden changes to cool. The nights are sometimes suffocatingly hot and sometimes cold. Too hot and too changeable for good health.
The health of the boys is about the same as for two or three weeks past. There are several cases of Chill fever--most all the cases are bilious. George Ashline seems to be doing rather better than when I wrote last--but it will be long before he is well. Capt. Drips is trying to get a sick furlough for him. I hope he will get one--he ought to be at home--he would do a great deal better. Capt. Drips has applied for a leave of absence for himself--if he gets it I suppose George will go home with him.
I'm afraid it will be a long time before I can enjoy the feast of berries "with sugar and cream" which you promise me--I expect I shall have to eat many a meal of "Hard tack" first. But won't we soldiers know how to appreciate the blessings of home when we get there again! I should like to get a furlough and go to see you all--but I shouldn't like to have to come away again. When I get a furlough I want it to be "for three years or during the war"--but I don't know as I would refuse one for a shorter time in a few months.
We have been expecting the paymaster around here to pay us (we have had no pay since March 1st) but a steamboat was burned on the river just below Cairo last week with over 2 1/2 millions of dollars on her and I don't expect we can get any pay for several weeks now--not till they can send to Washington for more.
I believe most of the boys from our neighborhood are as well as usual. Site [Silas W.] Angier is fat as usual. Allyn [William M. Allyn] is still sick but I think he is improving in health a little. Sherman [Isaac S.] Hanna and Will [William] and Hiram Ashline are as well as usual. I send my love to you and all the family.
Truly Your Cousin
James B. King
Next letter dated November 7, 1863