Jonas H. Roe
May 15, 1863
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No 6   1863
    May 15th          

My Dear Wife.   Helena Ark.      
                    I feel truly thankful to God for another opportunity of writing to you + am extremely glad to be able to inform you that my health is very good I recd last night a Letter from you dated May 5th I was very glad to hear from you + our dear Children + to hear that you were all well You complain much because you do not get more Letters I think you do not get all that I write when I am in or about Camp I write regularly every week But I am off scouting much of our time then I can have no opportunity of writing. it has been some two weeks since I last wrote to you + much has transpired here since then I stated then that we were looking for an attack from a Rebel Force daily the next day after I wrote the Letter 150 Union troops of the 3rd Iowa Cavalry while on a scout 15 miles North of this place in the vicinity of Lagrange was surrounded by six hundred Rebels who were secreted in ambush who rushed upon our men + demanded their surrender Our Commander told them that he should not surrender as long as he had a man left to fight + gave immediate orders to his men to Charge with his saber + they cut their way through + was surrounded the next time the Battle commenced at 10 A.M. and lasted until 2 oclock P.M. when they received reinforcements + the Rebels ran off our loses were 4 killed dead about ten wounded + 20 taken prisoner their loss was 10 killed and 25 wounded at least and 10 or 15 prisoners. a few days after a large scout was sent out with the intention of surrounding the Rebels The scout was composed of 4 Regs. of Cavalry + two of Infantry + 9 Cannon the scout was divided into 2 parts The 5th Cansas + 1st Ind and our Reg with 3 Cannon took the Road to Clarindon the 3rd Iowa Cav. + the 2 Regs of Infantry with 6 Cannon took the Road to Cotton Plant or Duvals Bluff on the White River whare we were to meet them We went on to Clarindon 60 miles killed one Rebel + took some prisoners + probably wounded some skirmishing was going on most of the time at Clarindon we found no armed force as was reported we then went up the white River to Cotton Plant + got there about 8 oclock A.M. + remained there all day waiting for the other forces to come up they came in towards night as we could not get any information of any Rebels in force The 3rd Iowa Cav. + the Infantry + six Can returned to Helena + the 5th Cansas 5th Ill + first Indiana with 3 small cannon started east on the memphis River after about 25 miles we struck a small muddy River called the Langry we left the first Ind. there with the cannon to guard the Bridge + the 5th Ill + 5th Cansas crossed over + went about 5 miles east to Taylorsville we camped all night the next morning we started south between the

Langry + Sanfrancis Rivers. we travelled about 15 miles skirmishing all of the time we stopped + got our dinners + fed our horses + when we got through feeding we fired all of the Buildings containing corn we burnt many thousand bushels of Corn then we took up our [line] of march we traveled some 3 miles when a Negro came to us + informed us that Gen Marmaduke's whole army amounting to sum six thousand were had got between us + the Bridge. We did not know weather to credit the report or not but as the Negro seemed to be much excited we returned after traveling some 8 or 10 miles we stopped to feed our horses again about 5 oclock P.M. so that the horses would be prepared for any Emergency the 5th Cansas Reg was a head as soon as their horses had eaten they started on + had not went over two miles before they met the Rebels drawn up in a line of Battle at least a thousand strong they then immediately commenced the deadly strife a braver or better Reg than the 5 Cansas can not be found as soon as the Battle commenced a currier came back to bring us word + I tell you we were soon in our saddles marching to the field of Battle as we rushed with our yells the Rebels retreated from the field we formed in line of Battle the sun was just setting a few men was sent a head it was in the thick woods to acertain the Rebels force they soon returned + brought the news that their force was very strong they had six Cannon + we had none + we acertained from their wounded on the field that they belonged to 5 different Regiments commanded by Gen Carter under Gen Marmaduke. We lost one man killed dead he was shot through the head and 10 wounded 2 very bad (a Black man who was present doing the the fight when one of the Kansas Boys fell Badly wounded took up his gun + through off his hat + took his position in the ranks + faught as brave as the bravest was known to have shot at least one of the Rebels. It was probably our black friend to brought us at the risk of his life the news of Gen Marmadukes plans that saved us of total annihilation the blacks are our only friends here.) After remaining in line of Battle until it was getting dark + learning their strength our Commander Col. Jenkins of the 5th Kansas thought it best to retreat + done so we traveled about 20 miles over the worst kind of Road + struck the Langry at another crossing we got to the River about 1 oclock in the night tore down a house built little rafts to float over the saddles + other equipment + swam over our horses early the next morning we were over the River + ready to march + do not know weather Marmaduke followed us or not but I think not. about the time he attacked us he also attacked the first indiana they had 3 cannon they helled their position as long as they wanted to they had a good position + more than slayed them as they attempted to cross a long bridge + crossway our Boys fired cannister and grape shot. The Rebels fired solled shot altogether + their cannon was larger + they had Oxen to hall them + consequently they could not do much execution with them. The first Indiana became satisfied that it was useless to attempt any longer to stop them from crossing as they were so numerous he was a fraid they might cross some whare else + surround him + we were effectively cut off from him + his remaining there would no longer do us any good he retreated leaving our dead + four wounded he thought that he killed + wounded several hundred of the Rebels he says the Bridge was covered with their dead. Col. Clayton Commanded the first Indiana coming into Camp the Indiana Boys had another running fight with the Rebels the rebels shot + then ran we took some 40 or 50 prisoners altogether + burnt up many thousand bushels of corn + brought off all the mules and Negros that we could find. We have got Vicksburg surrounded + have taken a large number of prisoners I hope you will be as contented as you can. I think we are making rappid headway + the time is fast approaching when we will have the Rebels subdued -
We are under marching orders to Memphis Tenn we will start within a few days
I want you to write every week + let me know if you have got the $36.50 that I sent you direct to Helena until I order you to direct them somewhare else John Allen + all of the Boys are well + contented we have plenty to eat + to wear. Kiss my dear children for me I would like to see you very much.
          I am your loving husband
Celina Roe                               J.H. Roe

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