Herman C. Hemenway Letter - June 18, 1864
27th Iowa Top Banner

History of Buchanan County, Iowa 1842 to 1881
Transcribed by Tommy Joe Fulton and Peggy Hoehne

page 205

FROM THE SAME, MEMPHIS, June 18, 1864.

MESSRS. EDITORS: - The regiment has now been eight days at this place, and is recruiting quite fairly, though under rather unfavorable circumstances. Our camp is just in the suburbs of the city, is only partially shaded, and is too small. The supply of shelter tents, or their substitute, rubber blankets, is also insufficient. The shelter tents are made of fine cloth, and of so small dimensions as to expose both - head and feet to every driving rain. However, it is generally voted a fine place in comparison with Red river. Orders to march, and to be prepared to march, have been frequent during the week; but, to our great satisfaction, have been seasonably countermanded. Forrest's operations are evidently watched from this point, and no one can predict when we may be after him. The defeat of General Sturgis at Guntown and Ripley is not as bad as at first reported; but it was a severe blow, not only in the loss of men, but in artillery, stores, and transportation. The two regiments of negro troops engaged are reported to have fought with great determination and bravery. A detachment of the Fifty-ninth, numbering two hundred and forty men, which had been reported as captured entire, came in on the night of the fourth day of the fight, bearing their colors. It is reported that the rebels put to death the colored soldiers captured. That course will hardly pay them; for the colored troops and their officers are not to be scared out of the fight by this added danger. On the contrary, they will go in and retaliate, to the full satisfaction of rebels.

Several regiments of hundred days' men have arrived, and passed down the river. The Forty-seventh Iowa were sent to Helena. While here the boys were visited by their acquaintances in our regiment. Captain Herrick and his company are doing well. The regiment seems to be made up too much of boys. It seems to me poor policy, unless the men are all gone out of Iowa.

There have been several changes in the commissioned officers of the Twenty-seventh. Lieutenant Sill has been promoted to captain, and First Sergeant Poor has been promoted to first lieutenant, in company C; Lieutenant Wilcox, company H, promoted to captain commissary of subsistence on the general staff; and Lieutenant Harrington, adjutant, is promoted in regiment of colored troops. There are, I think, about six hundred and twenty men and officers present with the regiment, and nearly two hundred absent, sick, and on detached service.

H. C. H..