Letter from Hayes, John T.

Soldier: Hayes, John T.
Allegiance: Union
Unit/Service Branch: 23rd Infantry
Home State: Missouri
Date Written: Monday, May 4th, 1863
Location: Pacific Mo.
Correspondence Type: Letter
Subjects: Camp Life, Daily Life, Enemy, Family, Friends, Home, Newspapers, Prisoner, Rumors, Strategy, Wife/Girlfriend

John T Hayes (to) Elizabeth Hayes

Kind Affectionate Companion,

I write you a few lines to tell you that I have nothing of importance to write to you but I will try and fill this with something.

You always send me plenty of paper but you don't fill it like you could. I can read anything anything you can send in the shape of writing. I can read Mother's or any you have sent to me yet and I want you to get paper and learn to write to me if you only make marks and let some of them write and tell me what they stand for I can read them. If I do make a poor out writing myself, I can read any thing I get a hold of and so I want you to learn to read and to write so you can write to me yourself.

I got a letter from R. J. Triggs but I will enclose it and send it to you and you can read it for yourself. I got a letter from Will and Nerva Cassity. They are wellas you live so far apart I will tell you they are well.

I received your kind letter Friday. I thought it long time the twelfth to the last of the month before I heard from but I reckon you did neglect to write. You are I don't know how many letters behind now but I am going to write when I can. I want you not to let anyone read my letters. If you get a letter from me and you are not at home, keep it until you can get someone of the family to read it for you. I am going to tell you somethings I wouldn't if I thought you could not keep it and you to be careful. I don't want Rebels to learn anything from me. If there is anything the matter, I write in order to let you know. In such cases mark on the outside at the left hand corner of the envelope in fine writing my name but if you get one that ain't marked you may set it down that I am well.

In the first place I will tell you some news that is I think reliable. One night last week there was one old man sixty odd years of age and seven others stopped here and stayed all night. They was taken prisoner on the Boston Mountains, Arkansas. They belong to some Arkansas regiment. They was taken in March. They was taken to Little Rock, ARK and confined until they was parolled and sent to St. Louis and they was on their way back to their regiment. They give about the same discription of their treatment that all that have been in Southern dens and so I need not tell you anything about that. He thinks the South is about to go up and I think they will soon be tore all to xmas myself. He say there is nothing to hender our men from marching straight through Dixieland. He says there is seven regiments at Little Rock but there was or is a good many of them conscripts and they had over two hundred or some likethat of citizens in Prison and thirty agreed to do military duty and they took them out and the second night they went on duty all run off but three. He was aquainted with the people and the county and he had a nephew in the Confederate Service and he --- the officers not knowing it was permited to have a private talk with his uncle. He told him that there was Hundreds of the Southern Army would come to us soon as our army advanced and he told him that they was going to Missouri. They was going to attack Cape Girardeau and come right on to St. Louis. They have made to attack on two of the places but they have not succeeded in their plans. Prive himself was there in command. This old man knew him. He was there and we may expect to have trouble this summer in Missouri. They will soon try us again. I got a paper. If there was anything factual I would send it to you but the news is all good. Our army is gaining ground as fast as such a vast army could move to move with a certainty. Probably I will send you a paper this week. Tell me if you get the one I sent with Father's. And please write soon. If there is anything in this you don't understand, I will try (to) explain it. I enclose you can read it . I can but you may not as this leaves me well. I hope it will find you all well, My Pet Baby I want to see.

(John T. Hayes)