Denton Civil War Letter

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Civil War Letter

114 Reg. ILL. Vol.
April 3, 1863

To: Mrs. Sarah Killion

As we have got down pretty close to Vicksburg, I will write and let you know where we are and how we are getting along. We are encamped about twelve miles from Vicksburg by water and seven or eight miles by land. From our location you will learn that we now constitute a part of the great army besieging Vicksburg. We expect to take the place in a few days and then go home. Because we think when we route them from the place the rebellion will be about crushed out.

Our camp is at the head of the new canal now being out. The object of this canal is to connect the Mississippi River with a Cayon which empties into the river about fifteen miles below Vicksburg. If it should prove to be what our General expect it will effectually cut off a great source of abundant supplies. It will also enable us to surround the rebel army and capture it. I hope it will work. I want to see their supplies cut off, their army captured and the war brought to a close. They have five hundred negroes and three steam engines at work on the canal.

We have very good camp grounds. We get water out of the Mississippi River. The weather is fair and pleasant. The leaves are out on the trees. Everything has the appearance of May of June.

Because we are near Vicksburg you need not be uneasy. The 114th will not be apt to be in the actual engagement unless the battle lasts three or four days. There are thousands of our troops between us and where the battle will be fought. It is generally supposed the principal part of the fighting will be done with the gun boats and artillery. If this should be the case we will be no nearer the scene of action than the hearing of the heavy guns. Some think they will not fight us but will evacuate.

The health of our regiment is very good. The boys in Company K are generally will. Isaac T. Estill and Lew Moore are not well. I am well and in fine spirits. I can only hope when this reaches you, it will find you in good health. The Capt. is well. Foster is not well but able to go about. Write soon. Give my best regards to the rest of the family.

I remain Your Affectionate Son,

Joseph Denton

Note: Six weeks after the above letter was written, Joseph Denton was killed in battle. The Foster mention in the letter was Foster Estill, his mother's brother, who was only seven years older than Joseph Denton. Foster Estill died about three and half months later. The Capt. was his mother's brother, Samuel Estill. Isaac T. Estill mentioned while a relative of Joseph Denton, was not a descendant of James and Hannah Mappin.

Submitted by: Stephen Burke