This letter was written by Jesse Adams (1842-1862), the son of Jesse Adams (1796-1855) and Laura Edmunds (1802-1891) of Allen County. Jesse who mustered into Co. D, 30th Indiana Infantry as a corporal on 24 September 1861. The 30th Indiana became part of Major General Don Carlos Buell’s Army of the Ohio. They were led by Colonel Sion Bass—a Southerner by birth—who remained loyal to his country. Not long after reaching Nashville, General Halleck ordered Buell’s army to meet Grant’s army at Pittsburg Landing on the Tennessee river. They arrived there just in time to save Grant’s army that had been surprised by a Confederate attack on 6 April 1862 while encamped there.
The 30th Indiana made three charges into the Confederate lines around Shiloh church. The regiment suffered numerous casualties, including their colonel who was mortally wounded. Among the mortally wounded enlisted men was Jesse Adams who died on 21 April 1862—two weeks after the battle. He died at the City General Hospital in St. Louis and was buried at the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery (Grave 10537).
Addressed to Miss Ore. H. Graves, New Haven, Allen county, Indiana
Postmarked Louisville, Kentucky
[Bowling Green, Kentucky]
February 24th 1862
Kind and absent friend,
I take the opportunity to answer your letter that I received the day that we started for Bowling Green and I hadn’t time to write so I had to let it go until now. I had wrote Mary a letter and thought you wouldn’t mind for you did write a few lines in hers to me.
[I will tell you] something about our travels. We left Camp Wood the 14th and got in Bowling Green the 25th of February. This is a wonderful place now, I tell you. The Rebels was well fortified here. It is a beautiful place. There is a considerable of a town here. If you are studying geography, you can tell where we are encamped. We are encamped on the Big Barren River. We shan’t stop here long. We shall go on to Nashville soon as we can cross the river. We will cross the river this afternoon, so the colonel said.
You said something about my miniature in your letter. I think it looks a great deal better than I do for we look pretty raunchy here and we feel so too, I tell you. A soldier’s life is a dog’s life as near as you can come at it. You had better let soldier’s life alone as you spoke about. If you come down here once, you won’t want to leave [home] again very soon, I don’t think.
So I will bring my letter to a close. I believe I have told you all of the news. I believe I wrote all of the particulars in the letter that I sent in Mary’s letter. So no more at present. Write soon as convenient. Address your letters as before.
This from a friend as long as life remains, — Jesse L. Adams
To a Ore. H. Graves
Write all of the particulars when you write. Please write soon.