This letter written by
James B. King
27th Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry, Company E,
was transcribed and submitted by Barbara King.
Camp near Little Rock
Arkansas 7th November 1863
Dear Cousin Beck,
Your letter of October 6 was received today. I was glad to hear from you but sorry to hear that you were not well.
Your letter found me in excellent health and I hope that you will be well when this reaches you.
I haven't any important news to write to you except a rumor that we will be ordered back to Memphis [Tennessee] soon. It is only a rumor and likely it is a mistake but I don't think it is impossible. If we should go to Memphis I think likely we will go the Cumberland Army. We are well fixed here--good quarters built and things fixed comfortably for Winter quarters and I don't care much about leaving them but if we have to go East at all I want to go to Rosencran's army rather than go to guarding Railroad Bridges again.
The Boys from our neighborhood are all tolerably well I believe except Sherman [Isaac S.] Hanna-he is not very well but he is able to do light duty. Sergeant [William M.] Allyn is nearly well. Silas Angier and the Ashline [Edward, Hiram, Lewis, and William] and Brooker (George and John] boys are well. We would like to see George Ashline back with us again if he was well again. You never mention him in your letters. How is he getting along?
Captain Drips is not back here yet. Some of our regiment who left Memphis with him got to the regiment last night. They left Capt. Drips at Helena sick. I don't know how bad he was--not very sick I guess. He has the Ague.
Lieut [Garner C.] Williams and Sergeant [John] Everall are ordered to Iowa on recruiting service. Everall has been sick with Chronic Diarrhea for six months. I'm glad that he is getting a chance to go home.
Your letter had a few lines at the end of it requesting me to write, "to my friend Sophia." I have several friends of that name and as the letter gave me no clue to know which one it is. If you or she will send me her address I will be happy to write to her and to "come and see" her after the war is over. Please don't forget this. I gave the message to Phil [Phillip] Schaller. Phillip is sick and has been for several days. I think he is improving. The weather for two or three weeks was very cold--severe frosts at night and cold raw winds--but for a few days it has been pleasant. Indian Summer weather.
I send love to you and family--to My Sister [Mary Elizabeth) and my friend Sophia.
Truly your affectionate Cousin,
James B. King
Next Letter dated January 26, 1864