Camp of 2nd Regt. Minn. By the town of Atlanta in Georgia, September 21, 1864
Our camp is in a woods, leaves are starting to fall off.
Our troops are camping in Brigades and Divisions around the town so every good spot is covered with tents.
Atlanta has been a large city but is now in ruins. The railroad depot has been a beautiful building but nearly all the iron posts that the roof rests on are shot off by our cannons, also other parts of the building are shot to pieces so the building is almost falling over. Many other houses are in just as bad shape. People have worked themselves underground to save themselves from the bombardment which was going on for several weeks the last month and this month.
We came back from Jonesboro to Atlanta the 8th of September and by a station called Rof and Redi our picket line was set up.
A flag of truce was raised which waved in the breeze a week for the purpose to give the farmers a chance, according to their wish to go to the Southern or to the Northern. We got a pass to go across the line.
Most of the farmers here have left and many of them have gone south.
I have heard that General Thomas and Sherman have decided to go over to Rebel General Hood that has command of the Rebel army and have a talk with him. If they have already done so I don’t know. I think that they would find out what General Hood has in mind, if he is soon ready to bow down.
Thomas and Sherman, I believe after what I have heard, work for Lincoln, for him to hold his job for four years more, and they can do much among the soldiers in case we get the chance to vote.
The soldiers of Indiana, Illinois and New York are not allowed to vote for President while in the field, and less chance to get home, so in that case they have nothing to say. The Rebels in their own State by law take that opportunity away from them. They know that the soldiers want Lincoln.
The soldiers daily wish that the day of freedom will come, and the hope to get our wish fulfilled is to use power to smash the Rebels which now are on the verge of falling.
If the Rebels had anything to say they would choose a democrat and not Lincoln. To suit them we could choose McClean, but as long as we are in the army, it is against nature to help the enemy to ours and the country’s ruin.
The five hundred thousand draft, and Lincoln as President again will be the Rebels&8217; fall, because then there will be no more hope left for the South.
Therefore our acquaintances in the North must do all they can, for now is the time.
Read McClellan or the so-called Chicago platform, it shows it very plainly, a person could believe that Jeff Davis had written it himself.
It is not necessary in these days to stick tight to any party, democrat or republican, but each one must do that which is for the best for ourselves, and our country, that is my platform.
To day it is the 22nd of September, today I have been to the city of Atlanta for the first time. I bought a plug of tobacco and fifteen envelopes for two dollars and fifty cents. I found the city to be just as I have heard it was, that is my description of my trip to Atlanta.
We have not had any regiment flag this summer but we ahve had an old company flag that has lost its color so it is almost white, but today we got two outstanding nice flags, a state flag (state of Minnesota). In large letters printed on it was “2nd Regt. Minn. Veteran Volunteer, June the 26th, 1861”.
The other U.S. or regiment flag, written in large letters was &8220;Melspring, Parivelle, Tollehoma, Chicamoga, Mission Ridge, Kenasaa Mountain and Riseka.”
There are probably also other places where we have been in battle marked on it, I only saw it at a distance, it just came in.
Mr. Rod, who is the leader of our brass band or our music, has now left for Cincinnati to buy silver instruments which the regiment will pay for. I believe it will cost about eight or ten hundred dollars. Each veteran soldier paid from one to ten dollars in advance.
Thomas Scott of Co. E is now captain. General Jaff Davis commands our 14th corps.
News are few but good here in the South. A large victory in Virginia.
Yesterday many prisoners were brought in who have long been in the Rebels’ hands. They are our soldiers. They looked poorly, the Rebels brought them across the line under a flag of truce.
It is said that the governor of the state of Georgia sent two of their learned men across the line to go to Washington, most likely with a motion for peace, or to get the state of Georgia in the United States again.
The hate between the enemy and the United States is not as great as before.
Soldiers here live in the belief that our skirmishes in these states will not mean much hereafter, but if we change our thoughts to the Rebels in the North, then the soldiers talk about their pisols, to be prepared for the trip home.
If a copper-head gets to be President, and the great case falls against us, “Woe to the wise men whose names are written in the soldiers’ day-book, there will be shedding of blood in the North as their has been in the South.”
When we draw our pay we have to take the whole amount we have coming or none. Therefore, I will take my pay now and not anymore before my discharge. I will not send you more than you urgently need because it is too big a risk to send money. I have to save some so if I get out of service I might make a trip to Norway to see my parents, sisters and brothers. I am thinking of going if the gold can be bought, one dollar for one dollar and twenty-five cents in paper money, but over that amount I will not change the paper money into gold.