This letter was written by Jerome Bonaparte Renne (1841-1884), the son of Justin Renne (1812-1901) and Maria Hinchman (1809-1874). Born in Cairo. Greene Co., New York on 12 November 1841, Jerome came to Illinois in early childhood with his parents, who settled in Grundy Co., near Morris.
Jerome enlisted in the 53d Illinois Volunteers, Company A, in 1861 and mustered out Aug. 25, 1865, receiving a commission as Second Lieutenant of Co. A in December 1864. He was in the battles at Shiloh, siege of Corinth, Hatchie River, siege of Vicksburg, Jackson, Miss., Grand Gulf, Port Gibson, Natchez, siege of Kenesaw Mountain, Atlanta, and other battles participated in by Sherman’s army on their march to the sea.
In his letter, Jerome mentions his brother George Cortez Renne (1840-1927) who served as a musician in Co. D, 72nd Illinois Volunteers from August 1862 to August 1865. He also mentions his sister Isabella (“Bell”) Renne (1844-1923).
Camp near Vicksburg, Mississippi
June 24th 1863
I have sent you & Mother a specimen of some of my work by the way of a discharged soldier & you will find them by going down to Jennings in LaSalle county. I will not tell you what they are so you will be more anxious to get them. You must take care of them until I get home & then I will finish them. We are down in a country where I cannot finish them now. I have been offered $10 for yours two or three times & five for the other one. The papers that is around them is the ones that I got when I met the Secesh halfway [between the picket lines] & had a talk with them.
Matters here stand the same as it was when I wrote to Bell. I suppose you seen her letter.
We are all well here but Shubal [Lockwood]. He is aliny a little. I heard from George today. He is on the mend. Tell Fisel I would like to hear from him and more. If I live to get home I will give you a full history of those things I have sent you & Mother.
I have nothing to write. So you will accept a short epistle this time. This is a hard old place down here, sure. The weather is moderate now. I will be happy to hear from you all as often as convenient. No more.
From your son, if all reports be true, — J. B. Renne