This month we have a pretty star that looks like a traditional quilt block design but is not -
Shep would still be at home on furlough for most of April, leaving Indiana to go back to the field on the 26th. Meanwhile, Eli Hause, a new recruit, showed up on the roster with a mustering-in date of April 21st. The new recruits and non-veterans numbered 127 and were temporarily assigned to the 89th Indiana, According to the official record they, "marched to the relief of Banks' army on the Red river, being
engaged at Fort De Russy, Pleasant Hill, Moore's plantation and Yellow bayou." Eli was a close friend of Calvin's, another of my great-grandfathers. I will quote portions of Eli's letters starting in May, the date of the first correspondence we have from Eli to Calvin.
Great Grandfather John and Great-Great Uncle Billy were with the 82nd in the Chattanooga area. Billy wrote to his family on April 7th from Ringgold Georgia. He had had the mumps and was not quite well yet, but could see the Division out on review about a mile from where he was. He wrote, "I wish you could see them, you would say it was the prettiest sight you ever saw." He complained he had had no letters from home, and was aware that Shep was at home on furlough while he is counting the remaining time he is to serve - not quite 17 months provided the war lasts.
Ten days later 17th, Billy wrote to his sisters, having received a letter at last. He was well and hearty, and grateful for the attentions of Lt. Brown while he had the mumps, taking him into his house - something he didn't believe every officer would do. He tried to console his sister Carrie whose beau Jesse was not at home with some of the others in his, Indiana's 26th regiment, "as he is not at Richmond, guess he will not get blown up." (It seems Jesse may be a prisoner). Billy also passes word from John, my great-grandfather, "John W. accepts your compliment with much pleasure and also returns the compliment by sending his love and best wishes to you. Now to settle the matter all up straight, I send my love and respects to Caroline [John's sister]."
Allen Brown wrote to his sister on the 23rd of April, describing some of the activities in camp, washing clothes and "taking some care of ourselves the same as though we was at home." Later he says, "I cannot see why I am spared for I have been where the bullets flew the thickest, in two very hard fought battles and several skermishes and have never been hit yet. But my companions have been shot down by my side ...." He reports that the ground there dries faster than at home, the roads are good and he assumes they will try to go to Atlanta. He predicts the "hardest fighting that has ever been done" is yet to come. They are facing thousands of Rebels in their front when they advance, and he believes the enemy will fight, notwithstanding the newspapers' reporters saying they will not.