This letter was written by Oliver C. Moran (1845-1863), the son of Richard Lyons Moran, Jr. (1815-1903) and Sybil Cummings (1829-1917) of Fulton county, Illinois. Oliver enlisted in Co. G, 103rd Illinois on 2 October 1862. He died of “remittent fever” at a hospital in Baton Rouge on 22 May 1863—just a month after this letter was written. According to the Illinois Veterans Index, Oliver stood 5 foot 6 inches tall, and he had brown hair and blue eyes. He was barely 18 years old when he died.
As if the Oliver’s parents had not suffered enough losing their oldest son during the war, they lost another son—Albert (b. 1850—less than three months later when he was struck by lightning while sitting by a window of their large stone home in Illinois.
[See also—1862: Member of 103rd Illinois Infantry to his Parents on Spared & Shared 9.]
Camp Lagrange, Tennessee
April 21, 1863
I now take the present opportunity to let you know that I am still alive but not altogether well. But I hope when these few lines comes to hand they will find you all enjoying good health at the present. I received your letter which was wrote the 9th of this month and was glad to hear from you. I also received that newspaper that you sent but I never received that paper yet that you sent with them postage stamps in and that writing paper.
The weather is quite warm and pleasant here and everything looks grown.
Part of the regiment has gone out in a scout and they have been gone out three days and I don’t know how long they will be gone. Matney’s boys is out with them and so is Henry Bagley but Theodore Bayley ¹ is here. I myself [and] Theodore was out on picket when they went. He is well. I started with them and went about 50 miles and then I was sent back with the train of cars.²
I got a letter from Aunt Maryella the same day I got yours and she was well the 12of of this month. The last time I seen any of the 47th [Illinois], they was all well. Uncle Joe and the rest of the Boys is out on the scout.
I am a going to send my overcoat home and what things I don’t need here. We have not drawed any money lately yet but I think we will draw when the regiment comes back. And when we do draw, I will send some of it home to you. There is a good deal of corn planted down here now—and cotton.
I will have to bring my letter to a close for Jimmy Weaver ³ is about ready to start and I can’t think of anything more. Write as soon as this comes to hand and let me know when you heard from Uncle Jim last for I hain’t heard from there since I been down here.
So no more at present but remain your son, — Oliver C. Moran
This is Letter No. Two.
¹ Pvt. Theodore Baylor of Co. C, 103rd Illinois was from Buckheart Township. He did not survive the war. He was killed on 27 June 1864 at Kenesaw Mountain, Georgia.
² According to the regimental history, the regiment (except Cos. A, F, C, and I) went on the scout under the command of Gen. Sooy Smith and “marched to Holly Springs and Waterford, turning to the right until we reached Colliersville. We were gone nine days and only took three days’ rations.”
² James W. Weaver was a recruit in Co. E, 103rd Illinois Infantry. He was transferred later to the 40th Illinois Infantry. Henry Bagley was also in Co. E.