Camp of 2nd Regt. Minn. Vol., near Elk River, July 9, 1863
Evend has a good pocket watch that he bought in Louisville for eighteen dollars, but it has been much of the time at the watch-maker and now it runs as a person would say, on three legs.
Peder also has one, his cost eight dollars. He had it in his pocket when we swam across Elk river which climate it was not used to, so now it is sleeping.
The Corporal thinks that I look old enough to be father to them all.
We have one in our company that shaves us as often as necessary for twenty-five cents a month.
When at first we were here there were a few cattle so we were out hunting. Four in our company including myself went out one day, we found an ox, we shot it and brought it in to the company.
One man by the name of Morgan found some sheep. He shot them but could not carry all of them. Then he found a horse, then he tied the sheep-bodies together and hung as many on the horse as it could carry. The horse he sold for three dollars, and the sheep-meat was eaten in the company.
Sometimes we have found pigs, and sometimes corn that the Rebels have left.
The few farmers that are left here are so surprised over the fact that we are the same soldiers that have been marching by here before. They say that before you have gone by here as gentlemen, but now as thieves. We say that the reason for that is that we have to do it over again, and if we are forced by necessity to march thru here again then the Rebel farmers will find that there will not be a stone on stone left behind after us.
It is said that the Rebels gave up Viksborg to Grant on July 4th, and our Potomac army has taken twenty thousand prisoners and one hundred-twenty-five cannons from General Lee, that is encouraging news for us.