Fox, Perrin V. – October 23, 1862

Michigan Civil War Collection Letters

Click here for this soldier’s biography:

Regiment: 1st Michigan Engineers

Battles Mentioned: Perryville, Kentucky; Cumberland Gap, Tennessee

Historical Figures: Alexander M. McCook, Braxton Bragg, Don C. Buell

[twocolumns]In the Field, Rolling Fork Ky.
Oct. 23rd 1862
Dear Ida
No letter from you since I
wrote, but I gladly embrace every opportunity that
presents, to inform you of the changes which
we are making. Last monday morning we
left camp two miles east of Crab Orchard,
arrived here last evening a distance of 62 miles the
route we came, (shich was five miles fur-
ther than the direct pike.) What the next move-
ment will be we cannot tell. The failure to
capture Bragg’s Army has had a disheatening in-
fluence on our officers as well as men, and
is quite common to hear the strongest d[   ?   ]
ciatious against Buell. Many charge him with
complicity with Bragg to allow him to make a
raid into KY., + our army had been held back
at [  ?  ] city to allow him to go into the central part
of the state-pursuing them at a distance, + when
they took to the right, Buell went to the left, via of
West Point, to Louisville, when we were greeted with
such expressious as these. Why did you come
here? There are troops enough in Louisville to hold
it against any force the rebels can bring.
Then cause a reorganization + after four days the
[  ?  ] away “marched light” in three “corps. de arme”

assured that that it was not in the power of
the enemy to escape. After making forced marching
sleeping out, without tents, + insufficient clothing
skirmishing with detachments sent out to impede
our progress-Bragg finally with his main force
attacked two Divisions of McCooks Corps, near Peny-
ville, the full particulars of which you have han
through the public priests. The enemy left the
field in the night. Our army, instead of pursu-
ing them closely, following up their advantage- pro-
ceeded very cautiously, allowing the whole rebel
force to get away handsomely-pressing hundreds
of teams all through the country to take away this
weak + wounded, + a large [  ?  ] of supplies. We have
been told that Lew Wallace with a heavy force was
on his way to Cumberland Gap + would get there
first, but we have had nothing confirmatory. I under-
stand that the pursuit continued but a few miles
beyond that orchard. McCook’s Corps was ordered back
(our reg. In the advance) + here we are, where there
is plenty of good water- are article hard to find-
while clouds of dust are almost suffocating.
The 2nd + 4th Mich. Cav. Have their head quarters here
makes a dash at some unsuspecting point, doing
more or less damage. A few nights since fifty loaded
thirty empty wagons were burned by guerillas
near Barnstown. We often hear the question “What
have we accomplished”? While I am disap-

pointed at the result of the fall campaign I
some hope that the termination of the war
is not far distant. I should feel much more
hopeful if politicians would cause their strife
and all you to make common cause against
against all enemies of our government where-
ever found. I am satisfied that many prom-
iment men, that we have a right to expect
all their energies to be devoted to the vigorous
prosecution of the war, are laboring to postpone
it. I am half inclined at times to be dis-
gusted with the movements, but a second
thought convinces me that there is but one way
that is to remain firm- hope for the best, +
do the best we can. Some talk about going
into winter quarters- some about closing the
campaign when the rains set in +c, +c,
I sincerely hope that we shall see the end
before the 1st of January.
I have just seen St. Col. Dickinson of the 4th Cav.
who says he had quite a talk with you.-
that you were looking quite well + cheerful.
Mr. Porter Sutter of the 2nd says he saw you pe-
quently, + never saw you look better.- All of
which I was glad to hear. But it troubles me
to know what you will do to meet necessary ex-
pr[   ?   ] + I can only fall back upon my old
moto- “some way will be provided.” Do not get
discouraged some way will surely come.

I may get leave of absence, if I can- and
can get my pay, will make you their happy.
If I cannot remember “not a sparrow falls” +c.
I hope little Eddie has recovered from his fall
that you are all well.
I have heard nothing from Will Tryon’s commission
yet, why does it not come? I hope it may come
soon for it has not been in my power to do for
him what his folks desired. He is subject to the
headache-dislikes very much to march in the [  ?  ]
says he cannot do it. I have favored him all I could
consistently, + let him go as wagon guard when I
could. There is a feeling in the company that I
have been rather partial to him + yet I hear
his friends are much mortified that he has not
been promoted. I shall feel relieved where he gets
his papers.

On reading what I have written I am half in-
clined not to send it, as I think it better
to say nothing than to paint a gloomy picture,
I fear you will hardly recognize this as from
me. However, by way of variety I guess I will let
it hap.  May be I will feel in a happier mood
when I write again.
With much love
I am ever
Your Perrin

[On Envelope:]

Mrs. P.V. Fox
Grand Rapids