Fayetteville, North Carolina, 4 A.C., Div., 2nd Brigade Head Quarters, March 12, 1865
I will have to let you know that I am still alive, and so are the others that you know.
We came here yesterday, and I believe we will be here a few days.
The steam-ships come up here.
We left Savannah the 22nd of January. We went in the direction towards Augusta, Georgia, until we came within twelve miles of Augusta, then towards Columbia, South Carolina, Winsboro, Chesterfield, Cheraw, and into North Carolina.
South Carolina was burning for twenty-seven days, very few houses were spared. I saw old people hardly able to leave their houses while it was burning.
The soldiers went into the houses and took all they wanted, such as food and clothes, silver and gold, and often put the house on fire. No commands were given, the soldiers did as they pleased.
South Carolina got what was coming. I often thought it was entirely too hard, and I felt sorry for the women and children.
Our army took a strip about eighty-five miles through the state. The Rebel army was around us all the time but could not do anything. They had to leave Augusta, Charleston and other places because we burned the railroad.
Our soldiers often went far away from the main army for food and other things without orders, and often were taken by the Rebel cavalry. Daily we found soldiers of ours dead in the woods, their throats cut, but none from company E.
Yesterday we waited for a battle in this town. The Rebels had a large army, but a few shots sent them on their way.
I am now Provost Guard by the Brigade Head Quarters, and have little time to write.
The women came here in big flocks and demand to have a guard to protect their houses, so then I have to go and set a guard.
I am waiting to get a letter from you tomorrow. Address my letters as before. I will write again in a few days if I stay here. Evend is well. I have enough food, drinks, tobacco, money and so forth. All I need is stockings, a hat, and freedom.
This letter was written by Andrias Larson.
Skandia Grove, April 2, 1865.
Mr. Bernt Olmanson,
Today it is Sunday. An hour ago I received your letter, written in North Carolina in the town of Fayetteville and dated the 12th of March.
I was very glad to see your handwriting again, and it makes us glad to see and hear that you are well, and have been well all the time on your long journey in the army.
You can be compared with the well known warrior, Napoleon, when he went through Russia with his army and conquered Moskow, and so I think it will also be with you, that you will have destroyed both Moskow and Richmond before you quit for good.
I have sent many letters, both to you, F. Olson, and E. Knudson for which I am waiting an answer, they were addressed to Savannah.
Most of the month of March we had a hard winter, snow and frost, but now awhile we have had nice weather a little rain once in a while and some warm days so the frost is almost gone. I will soon start plowing if the weather stays nice.
I will also tell you that our share in the windmill will come to one hundred and fifty dollars. When the builder came we were told it would cost more than we at first thought, so each share will be one hundred and fifty dollars.
So now I wish to hear yours and Fred Olson’s opinions as soon as possible.
I will also tell you another thing, as you know we owe Andrias Myra some money. He has been here lately and reminded me about it. The amount is forty-two dollars and seventy-five cents, and the interest for seven or eight years will be quite high.
I have a few bushels of wheat that I want to sell but it will not bring enough to pay that account in full.
The top price of wheat in St. Peter is fifty cents a bushel.
I do not wish to borrow any money, so if it was possible I wish you would send me some money, which I am sure you will when you have an opportunity to do so.
Here is no news, everything is old except that we are glad over the likelihood that the war will soon end.
We are all well. Greet Even Knudson and Fred Olson from us.
A friendly greeting to you from me and family,