Jonas H. Roe
December 19, 1862

  John Allen is well  

My Dear Wife. Helena  Phillips Co. Ark. Dec. 19th 1862
                    I received your Letter yesterday dated Dec. 9th and I do assure you that that I was well pleased I came in at night off from a scout very much fatigued having travelled very hard for two days but after supper the Letter was handed to me + by perusing it I soon learned that you + my dear children were well I returned to my couch contented + comparitively happy I will now give you a short history of the scout We left our camp at 3 oclock A.M. on the morning of the 17th parts of 8th companies of our Reg and part of the 1st Indiana Reg amounting altogether to about 7 or 8 hundred men with 3 small cannon We struck north up towards the mouth of Sant Francis River Col. Wood of the 1st Indiana was the first in command Our Col. Wilson has been promoted to a Brigadier Gen Our Reg. was under Major Farnham we marched as follows 3 men whent a head about two or three hundred yards about the same distance behind them were six more + the same distance behind them came the advance of the main column the cannon was in the center of the main column The orders given to the three advance Pickets was to keep a good look out and if they saw any to run and fall back if there were over two or three enemy if there were not more than that number rush on them + kill or take them prisoners. The order given to the next six Pickets (I was the Commander) if the advance fired to rush to their rescue as soon as possible to fire upon the enemy and fall back upon the main Column or to rush upon the enemy as I thought best from the numbers About 10 miles on our scout our advance gard (Pritchard Geo. Jordon + Frank Burton) came on a Rebel on Picket guard he was sitting on a Log + did not notice our men until they were right on him they ordered him to surrender + he done so without firing his gun he had a good Double Barrel shot Gun he was given up to the Col. and we commenced to march again we had not marched over a mile when we came on a lot more of them from fifteen to twenty they just had been eating dinner they sprang upon their horses fired at our advance + turned to run when Geo. Jorden + Prichard returned their shot Frank Burtons Gun did not go off. The enemy ran over the hill and was out of sight in a minute the six under me (John Allen was among them) ran to their assistance when we arrived on the ground we found that the Rebels missed our boys but Jorden + Prichard had both hit a horse the one that Jorden hit sprang + throwed himself back + fell in a gully on his side + hurt him a considerable another Rebel was thrown from his horse + we took the two prisoners And set off after the retreating Rebels as fast as our horse could run. we ran them several miles and shot at them 50 or 100 times they occasionally would turn + shoot at us I saw none of the Rebels dead but I saw blood all along the Road for 6 or 8 miles + occasionally overhall a Rebels horse + equipments that was limping along the road badly shot the Rider perhaps was either killed or badly wounded in this running fight we took altogether 11 prisoners and about the same number of horses We had none killed and but 2 wounded Col. Walker and a Capt Wood I do not know how bad they were wounded We were chasing the Rebels all day + part of the night Yesterday on our return we chased some of the Rebels several miles but our horses was so tired out that we could not overtake them.

We are under marching orders we are going down in Mississippi Perhaps to Vicksburg a very large Army is going from fifty to one hundred thousand Vicksburg is very strongly Fortified place The strongest perhaps in America But we will take it I have no doubt But many of us I think will leave our bones there as sacrifices upon our countries alter Celina if it should be my fortune to be killed try + ???? yourself + do the best for our poor children + realize that I died in a good + glorious cause striving to perpetrate human freedoms. I am well for which blessing I am very thankful to God I am very glad that the time is close at hand as I believe when we will have an opportunity to meet the Rebels in mortal combat I believe that the God of heaven will bless us + crown our effort with success I hope to be able to see you all again but if not I want you to realize that I died in a good cause + hope to meet you + my dear children in heaven.
                    Give my love + best respects to all inquiring friends
          I am ever your true + affectionate husband
Celina Roe                                                          J.H. Roe

               write every week  Direct your Letters to Helena Ark to be forwarded
                          to 5th Ill Cav. Reg.
          We have not Recd any more pay yet
          I will write as often as I can

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