Diarist Sarah Morgan witnessed fighting for Port Hudson in Louisiana. The block is called "Shooting Stars."
The pink fabric shows very bright in my photo - it is more subtle in reality.
The 52nd made expeditions to Covington, Durhamsville and Fort Randolph from September 28 - October 5, 1863. On the 6th of October, Shep reported he had been having a kind of ache for a week or two but he was feeling "first rate" at the time of his writing. He commented on the battle his brother Billy had no doubt just been in, saying, "I suppose that Old Rose (as he is called) got rather the worst of the bargain in his last fight. I expect Bragg thinks he has done wonders. Well, he has, but it took the biggest part of the southern Confederacy to help him. Henry, what is the reason that our men can't reinforce as quick as the Rebels can? I don't know how it is, but I am afraid they will pitch into Rosecran[s] and whip him again before he gets sufficient reinforcements to stand ground. If such should be the case, it would be a bad blow on our Army and a great advantage to them. But then, what is the use of fretting... we should do what we think to be our duty and trust the rest to Him who rules the universe. For the rest, for I think, that in His own good time, He will work out all things for the best. ... I think the South has too large an Army and too much territory to be whipped in a very short time. But I have full faith that we will conquer them after a while." He wanted to hear from his brother Billy in the 82nd because reading over the wounded list he knew they were in the fighting. He'd recently received a letter but Billy wrote it prior to the battle.
Meanwhile, the 82nd was in Chattanooga under new commanders doing picket duty. They were still in the first brigade, under Brigadier General A. Baird, in Brigadier General Turchin's division. The Union's food rations ran low because the Confederates had the supply routes cut off. Thousands of horses and mules starved to death and the men were on reduced rations. On the night of October 26th, the 82nd was in the contingent that marched and traveled in 50 boats to Brown's Ferry to build a bridge, creating a new supply line. Some of the 82nd were wounded by Rebel picket fire but the bridge was completed. You can find a detailed account of the opening of the "cracker line" at this link: http://www.aboutnorthgeorgia.com/ang/Cracker_Line
There is an undated letter from Billy to his sister that must date to the time right after the Brown's Ferry expedition, saying he is camped on the top of a high knob, but Billy arrived after the bridge was built. "Our Regt. came over here while I was gone and drove the Rebel army. The Rebels still hold Lookout Mountain but I don't think they will hold it much longer. The steamboats have commenced running here now, think we will have more rations soon. We have been on half rations for some time but any way to put down this cursed rebellion." Later he wrote that he was sorry to hear that Mother "will worry about us as she does. Tell her that she must not do so, if she knew how unconcerned we are, she would feel better. ... We have got very good winter quarters built in town if we get to stay in them."
The Confederates continued to shell the Union camps, believing they had the city surrounded and that the Union Army would surrender. General Grant had food brought in first, then ammunition to prepare for the next battle, as the Army had only enough for about a single day of fighting when he arrived in Chattanooga.