[PDF Download] To Battle for God and the Right: The Civil War Letterbooks of Emerson Opdycke
By the time of the Atlanta Campaign, Opdycke and his men had distinguished themselves at Chickamauga and Chattanooga as veteran soldiers. In the letter below, written years ago today, January 7, , Opdycke expressed a desire to return home to Ohio to his wife. He worried over smallpox according to various sources, there was no widespread outbreak in Ohio at that time , as well as the cold weather a particularly fitting observation for today, as bitter cold grips much of the country.
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He also wrote of veteran soldiers going home for furloughs as a condition of their reenlistment. Altogether, it is a very interesting letter, and a nice introduction to a man we will learn much more about, Emerson Opdycke. A mail arrived on the 5 th but to my great astonishment and disappointment I received nothing from home and I am uneasy about you all I am informed that the small pox is raging in Cleveland that the stores are closed and business generally suspended in consequence of it. I think Tine had better be vaccinated again as I fear the pest may reach Warren.
We are having a little winter now, some snow and well frozen roads Clinch and House mountains appear white in the distance and the clouds look wintery. I presume you can hardly appreciate how comfortable we all are even without tents and houses except such as we may construct with an ax out of the raw material as it stands in the charming woods of East Tennessee.
But we are quite well off so much so that the men never were so healthy.
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The purity of the atmosphere and the rudeness of our habits obliging us to breathe it night and day must be the cause. I have not been so heavy for years. The Doctor is even happy in praising the salubrity of the climate he is as much improved as any of us and he appreciates it highly. When I wrote you on the 4 th we were under orders to move on Longstreet since then a change has been made and the proposed winter campaign has been abandoned. Grant has gone and we expect to move back to such localities as will furnish us forage; this is an absolute necessity and we will probably not get to Chattanooga until some time in February.
Moore has not joined us yet but he will as soon as he can get the train along he was at London on the 1 st I am very anxious to see him among us.
The 41 st and 19 th have left form home as they expected to, a happy set of heroes I assure you. Oscar was here last evening, and is as hearty as a man in love well can be! Products of this store will be shipped directly from Japan to your country. Products of this store will be shipped directly from Hong Kong to your country.
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