Jonas H. Roe
January 27, 1863
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    January 27th 1863
My Dear Wife.   Helena Ark
                     Through the goodness of god I can inform you that my health is good. I received yesterday your Letter written on the 20th of Jan. You stated that the last letter that you had received from me was dated Dec. 19th 1862 I have written many Letters to you since that one + I think it is very strange indeed that you do not get more regular. I think that I get nearly if not all the Letters that you have sent me. The last letter that I sent you was enclosed in the same Envelope with John Allens dated Jan. 10th I stated in that that we were under marching orders to start the next morning + we thought that we were going to see Vicksburg. The next morning we went down to the River to go aboard of the Boats + they were all full so we received orders to go by land. We then took up our line of march for Clarington on White River in Randolph Co we travelled about 20 miles to Big Creek which was bank full + the Bridge had been burnt by the Secess. We staid on the East bank of the stream all night the next morning at day light swam the horses across the stream + carried the saddles + other horse equipment over on a Raft 3 of our men while standing guard was surrounded by the Rebels 2 was taken prisoners + one was shot dead they belonged the 4th Iowa Reg. 25 men of the 2nd Wisconsin Reg. was sent back from Big Creek to carry a message to Helena as they were crossing a Slough on the road the Rebels attacked them both before + behind numbering 135 They killed one of our men + mortally wounded an other + took 14 of them prisoner, the other or remaining nine including a Luet. the commander made good their Escape + carried safely through the Message nothing more worthy of notice transpired on our journey to Clarington excepting talking a few prisoners horses + mules it was very cold + rainy + snowy the snow fell about 12 inches deep on the level a large expedition to act with us went by water part went up the Arkansas River + part went up the White River the Expedition up the Ark - to the Arkansas Post + nearly five thousand prisoners 40 Cannons ten thousand stand of small arms + a large amount of other munitions of war. The White River Expedition took at Charles + Duvalls Bluff 3 Cannon 50 prisoners + a large amount of other munitions of war. It was so cold the journey proved very tedious we have again returned to our old quarters we came back on the 23rd An attack was made on Vicksburg on the 22 or 23 of Dec but we were not strong enough we are sending a large force there now upwards of one hundred thousand I think that Vicksburg it is the strongest fortified place in the south. We have not received any pay yet + when I get it I will send you some give my love to our children + all of our friends + accept my love + best wishes yourself write every week
Celina Roe                                         J.H. Roe

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