Axtell, Julian H. – March 22, 1865

Michigan Civil War Collection Rare and Notable

Click here for this soldier’s biography:

Regiment: 1st Michigan Infantry

Battles Mentioned: Hatcher’s Run, Virginia

Historical Figures: Abraham Lincoln

[twocolumns]Camp 1st Mich. V.V.I.
Near Hatchers Run Va
March 22nd 1865
Dear Nephew
Yours of the 14th came to h[  ?  ]
by this nights mail. I was expecting one in
reply to me I mailed you on the 12th of Feb.
but from your [     ?     ] I infere you never
received it and your folks said a few days
ago that you had not recd. a letter from me
since I came back from Mich. am
sorry I wrote that letter with a lead pencil
while lying flat on my belly in a shelter
but it was directed with a pencil and that
is the reason perhaps it was lost. In it
I gave an account of our battle of Feb. 6th
at Hatchers Run. On the 14th of Feb. we came
into this camp but expect to move at
short notice some of these fine days or
more likely nights
I found every thing gay and
lovely in Michigan. I could see some changes
especially on the canal but the ground was cov-
ered with snow and I could not get as good
a view of the country as I would have liked
but the sleighing was fine which made up amp-
ly for all that. I had one of the best horses
and cutters at my disposal no at my com-
mand for I did not propose to dispose of
it. I rushed around a good deal.

I raided extensively made a descent on the
school at Macomb breaking it up entirely
capturing the entire garrison about 20
in number of of all arms. Mostly small arms
no resistance was made as I took them
completely by surprise. No terms were asked
none were given the surrender was uncon-
ditional. But the victor can afford to be mag-
nanemous. So I paroled all the prisoners but
one (the leader) and allowed them to take
their side arms. I retained the leader of
the gang of desperadoes as a hostage. No
resistance was offered and I carried off
my captive in triumph but no sooner
had I withdrawn my forces from the state
than things settled back into the old way
I know the North could never be conquered
as long as the public schools were permit-
ted. My wife need, a letter from you
while I was there dont know whether she
has answered it or not. My health is
first rate am in command of the Co
just now Cap. Being home on a furlough
I endorse your views on cheerful-
ness. I have always made it a rule never
to whine at what is set before us on this
worlds table. We cant always expect to eat
the white of this worlds egg I have had
a goodly share of it though so far. Her
haps my good resolution may fail me

when I come to suffer such grief as
some are called to bear. But there is one
who has said “my grace is sufficient for thee”
“Theus not a cloud but has a silver lining”
said one and its even so, but we must
mount on the wings of faith above the
cloud in order to see this silver side
we must mount above the pretty mists
and fogs of trancient troubles as the Eagle
is said to do in times of storm and tun-
pest. He soars away above the war of the
eliments and beholds with eye undazzled the
king of day shining in all his glory so
we must lean to soar away on the
wings of faith. Surmounting the trials
and temptations of this life and look
with with the undazzled eye of faith to
the king of kings. Seeking protection in
the Rock that is higher than we ever the
“Rock of ages.”
I signed the pledge nearly a
year ago. There is nothing doing here on
the subject theres but little drunkeness
here oweing to the scarcity of the article
The Hd. Qts. of the Christian Commission
for this Corps is near here they have
a lent capable of seating 2 or 300. called
“Quinipack Tabermicle.” where services are
held every evening. There has been a
great many conversions and I trust

many have come to a saving knowl-
edge of the Lord. I will finish tomor-
row. Good night.
Next morning. No doubt you have plenty
to do now from what little experiance I have
had a actg. Sgt. Maj. I know what you have
to do.    You account of the “phe mile” Gueril-
las I consider very remarkable I should
like to see them. If you have seen
them please give a little more detailed
account of their actions and personal
appearance. I suppose they always
fought behind breast works or is cotton
so scarce there that some of them
had to take the open field? When
the charged they could [    ?    ] their
works night along with them. Perhaps
some of them have small bodies of infantry
concieled about their persons I would advise
a search. I must tell old Abes. last, even if it
is a little rough I guess a soldier can stand it
I called “Old Abe, scope of thought.” He sat at the breakfast table
one morning holding an egg between his thumb and finger he held it up
and looked at I attentively for five or ten minutes when his wife
said “why Abraham: what are you thinking about why dont you eat that
egg.” he replied with a grave continauce Arabella did you know
what a great scope of thought there is in that simple egg? She
said no indeed nor do I care. Well he replies I will
tell you “but day before yesterday that eggs was in a roosters belly
yesterday it was in the hens belly. Today it will be
in my belly and tomorrow—-he paused what of to-
morrow said his wife tomorrow he continued it will
be in your belly. If any one doubts that story send them
to me. Or show them the papers for it. My best
respects to Joseph Immeu when you see him.
My compliments to Adj’t. Davis also.
Yours &c J.H. Axtell[/twocolumns]