On June 12th, Billy wrote to his Parents, Brothers and Sisters from "Camp on Altoony Creek" (actually Allatoona), "After so long a silence, I am seated for the purpose of penning you a few lines to inform you that I am still alive and well, have stood up to this campaign of ours bully. I didn't think that I could stand so much although we have been having a very good time of it. our Brig[ade] has been back with and guarding supply trains ever since we left Kingstrom and I guess we are to still continue the same occupation. We are 1 and one half miles south of Acworth, but I don't know how far it is to Atlanta." He reports that "the Rebs have fell back from several strong positions lately. Our Army appears to be halted here for some purpose. I suppose to find the movements of the enemy and to get up supplies. We will say so anyhow, I am not commanding this Army at present, however, I am expecting every minute when I will." They received mail for the first time in three weeks last night. He reports they are all in fine spirits, expecting every day to hear of the fall of Richmond and Atlanta. He closes saying it is dinner time and his company has picket duty afterwards.
Acworth Georgia is about 3/4 of the way between Chattanooga and Atlanga. Three days after Billy wrote his letter, the 82nd finished their train guard duty and became involved in the fighting at Kennesaw Mountain. From the Regimental History,
... On the llth we again moved on the enemy, who was in a strong fortified position, some five miles from Kennesaw Mountain. They soon gave way and we continued to drive them from one position to another until the 18th, when they again occupied strong works. Here the Eighty-second fortified in a very exposed and dan- gerous position. But such was our extreme care that we had but one man wounded, to wit: Private John Linen weber, of Company G. When once fixed we made the rebel works so uncomfortable that they were compelled to abandon them under cover of the night. On the 19th we pressed them until they entered strong works previously pre- pared, at Kennesaw Mountain, where they again made a stubborn resistance. Here for twelve days we were exposed to a heavy fire from shell and musketry. We fortified with such care that we were protected from direct shots, and only suffered from stray shots as we passed from one point to another in rear of our works. Lieut. Joe Morris was on top the works during this time while the enemy was shelling us. He would say, " Look out, boys; here comes another darned scalp seeker." He kept this up until a twelve pound shell made straight for him, and as he threw him self forward to get out of its way he said, "Here I come." He was a little late, as it stripped his blouse clean from his back. The Lieutenant con- cluded after that if the boys wanted to know when to dodge they could find out for themselves. While here our loss was five in killed and wounded.
Eli Hause with the 52nd Indiana wrote to my grandfather Calvin back home on June 12th from the hospital in Memphis. He tells his cousin not to be scared, he is not bad off nor does he intend to be. He got there on the 10th but is feeling "tolerable well" when he writes. He was happy to have received a letter from Calvin which arrived when he was on the boat coming up from Vicksburg. He complains that not one of the boys have been in to see him in the hospital,"not even "Lieut Wm Hause" - his older brother, also with the 52nd.
Eli comments on some of his friends and acquaintences back home that Calvin has evidently updated him on, including one who has recently married, about which he says, "how much better a man is after his wife is dead. I would like to of seen Horace before he was married again and see if he looked any better, he may have looked better to her but I doubt whether I could have seen it or not but upon the whole I will wish them much joy and say no more about it untill I come home....Well the Babies come next I believe. America believes in raising soldiers..."
Eli finishes his letter displaying more of this humor, "I would like to be there to go to Mollies with you but I can't be there and here both and I am here So I am not there .... there is three of the boys from Co. K. here in the Hospital besides me so it is not like being in here alone among strangers, well I will stop and rest before I finish this up for dinner will soon be ready. Well dinner is over and as I have got a pass to go out on the street this afternoon I will close by asking you to write soon and give me all the news."
Calvin saved Eli's letters in the envelopes. He wrote on them the date he received and the date he answered them. These first two letters from Eli took 8 days to get from the 52nd to Calvin in southern Indiana. It's hard to tell how long it took Calvin's answer to get to Eli, as the regimental history says only that they moved from Yellow Bayou to Vicksburg and then to Memphis May 20-June 10.