Note: This is the last of Bates’ letters from the Eastern Theater, and the last for the month of February 1863. It appears that young master Bates will be a bit busy for the next week or so with the move, given his new position.
Port Tobacco Md
I was just thinking of the remarkable and interesting Widow Bedett and her “Kant Kalkulate” stanzas, this morning’s sun rose on as here at home and with no thought of leaving for the summer, but to-morrow’s will find us on our way to Tennessee to join the army of General Rosecrans. I have only a few minutes to spare in writing but it is quite sufficient to give you all the news in it amounts to this.
1st an order from General Halleck came in this morning directing us to go to Genl Hookers Headquarters and turn our horses and equipments over to the Quartermaster there, and then proceed with as little delay as possible to the Army of the West there to join the rest of the regiment now serving with Genl Rosecrans, we start from here at six oclock tomorrow. And if nothing but good luck overtakes us we shall be in the field with the remainder of our boys in a week.
We caught Captain Harris, the man who burnt up the Island belle of our navy and then deserted to join the secesh; he had a sort of curiosity to see his old home I suppose, and came over from the land of cotton to make a visit. Upon his person was found a pass signed by a General in the Southern army at Richmond, giving his rank as private in the rebels, he was arrested by a Sergeant of ours today.
I am acting as Commissary Sergeant today and probably shall remain in office while we are on our trip to Tenn.
My time is run out so good bye, my love to all.
Charles E. Bates
Don,Thank you for this continuing series. I’m especially looking forward to any letters he wrote about the Maryland Campaign in September 1862. Some of his observations could be valuable for my paper.Larry F.
Larry,Surprisingly, Bates either had nothing to say about the Antietam campaign, or the letter was lost. When we catch back up to him next month, he’ll be in Cincinnati, still en route to rejoin the rest of the regiment with the “Army of the West.”