V. MILLIKEN'S BEND:
THE CIVIL WAR JOURNAL OF
You must tell the world the story; When the boys in Blue are gone.”
―John Hendricks, Last Surviving Veteran of the 89th Indiana Volunteer Infantry
Andrew's Scanned Handwritten Letters 15 through 18.
• Scanned Letter 16 ― 22 Mar 1863
• Scanned Letter 17 ― 26 Mar 1863
• Scanned Letter 18 ― 01 Apr 1863
While there were skirmishes and military encounters from Confederate batteries and Federal gunboats along the River, the army was primarily busied with continuing to dig canals. Andrew mentions that they had, "... batalion drill twist a day and then dress parade and that will keep us in good exersise." He also tells Bell, "It is as warm hear now as it is June in Ohio". His morale certainly seems to have improved. During this time, Andrew also dialogues with Bell regarding where she will be living. It seems that to support the family, Bell requires additional financial assistance, and is debating whether to accept an offer from McCafferty to move to Monroe. In his letter of March 22, Andrew assures Bell that he has been paid, and that he is sending $25.00 to the Adams Express Office in McArthur, Vinton County, and will send more later.
This appears to have been Andrew's last period of comfort and peace. On March 29, 1863, Grant launched what would become the successful phase of the Vicksburg campaign. McClernand's XIII Army Corps, including the 114th Ohio, marched on April 5, 1863 to open a road for the Army from Milliken's Bend to New Carthage below Vicksburg.
March the 19 1863
My dear beloved Wife I have taken my new pen in hand that you sent me to let you no that I am as well as coman we have mooved up the river a bout 12 miles to a place called miligen bend it is not so wet as it was at youngs point I received your leter this morning and was glad to hear from you and that you was all well I received twelve sheats of paper six of this size and six small ones this is one of the sheets that you sent to me and you said that you had sent me some posteg stamps but I never got any stamps I was glad to get the envelops for I had non nor cood not get any now for we have not ben pade off yet nor our old sutler has nothing on hand now and I had wanted to rite a leter but I had n envelop to put on one and I hated to try to borow for I did not no when I cood pay them back but thank the lord I have got some from my dearest loved one that I would like to see but we must dew the best that we can you said in your leter that I got this morning that you would go back to monrow if I was willing for you had tried boath places I want you to dew what ever you think best for your self if that place had good water or had things fixed up it would dew very well I want to no if you have the litel cow yet or not if you have let hur go that is the worst thing you have dun since I have left you had beter hold on to hur as long as you can for I think that you can not dew any beter in a cow so if you think that you can dew beter to go back to monrow I have nothing to say but you must let me no when you moove for I did not hear from you for a long time after you went to vinton So fare well for a while
Andrew J. Nickel to his beloved Wife
March the 22 1863
My dear beloved I have taken my pen in hand to let you no that I am well at the presant and hope that theas few lines may find you in the same heal the you said in your last leter or rather talked like you thaught that you coo dew beter in monrow on bily Mackes farm and if you want to go I have nothing to say whare you shal live you have tried bothe places but if you go you must let me no before you go we have ben pade som money and I will send you 25 dolars now for I expect that it will come handy to you now and I have a chance to send it by hand to cin cin nati and then have it exprest to Mcarthur to adams exprest office
March the 26 1863
My dear beloved I have taken my pen in hand to let you no how I am at presant I am as well as coman in and threw the mercy of god and hoping that theas few lines may find you in joying the same blessing if you want to go out to monro if you can you had beter go in time to make som garden and if you think that you can do beter in monro per hapse you had as well go out their but if you dont want to go I dew not want to in sist on you goin but dew as you think best for your self and if Macaferty will pay for mooveing out that will make it that much beter for you and if he will fix up the house and fix the well up good and nice if he thinks that he aught to be pade I will pay him when I come home in work we ar still a laing in camp but we have batalion drill twist a day and then dress parade and that will keep us in good exersise the heal the of the reg ment is im proving since we have got in to camp of ove the boats for their was so many men a horses and moouls that it was all most a nuff to kill all the men that was on the boat they say that there will be a chance for fur lows after while to thoes that is on every drill and dont miss no role call So that will make a man keeps cloce to his quarters or he will not get a furlow but I cant go home from hear for I have not money to pay my way home for they ondly give a furlow for thirty days and it takes twenty or more days than that to go their and back and so I would have but a short time to stay and it will cost some twenty or thirty dolares to go home so I will come as soon as I can make the arang ments to go for I want to see you all and I will as soon as I can get their but I lack money but dont you try to send me any for I did not get them postage stamps that you sent to me and money would be as likely to be lost as the stamps I got a leter from Martha M. Nickel and one from Margret harden and I have answerd them boath but have got no answer and I riten a nother one to M. M. Nickel you sade something a bout what harret told mother you may tell hur that she has give you goss and now I want hur to talk to me once a bout those things that we had a bused the girls but I no that when they say that we a bused them they ly and she must tell me that we a bused them you must excuse my bad riten for my hand trimbels So no more at presant but remainds your af fectionnate hus bant till we meete a gane
Andrew J. Nickel
To his beloved wife Isabella F. Nickel
April 1, 1863
My dear be loved I have taken my pen in hand to let you no that I am as well as common in and threw the mercy of god and hope that theas few lines may find you in Joying the same blessing I have not had a leter for some time and I have riten three or fore to you and have got no answer I would like if you would rite me a leter soon for I would like to hear from you once a weak if I cood it ma be that yours ma be mis lad on the road for I think that is often the case and that is the reasen that our leters ar so on reglar but still keep a riten and we will get some Bili Mac has not sent me that leter yet that he told you that he was a going to rite to me but he may rite it yet but that dont if he dont we ar still a laing in camp at Milikens bend it is as warm hear now as it is June in ohio we would like to be mooved up the river but I am a frade that we will not get to go son for we ar a laing hear to sheege vixburgh I dont no wheather they in tend to fite any or not for they have ben hear for two months and have not had any infantry fiten yet that I no of their has ben some gun boat fiten but their has ben non of that for two weaks tell father that I have not for got them for I thaught that they cood hear from me by your leters but I will rite them one soon direct your leters still in the care of Capton Abreham 114 regment So fare well for a while write soon
Andrew J. Nickel
To Miss Isabella F. Nickel hur friend and hus band
I. Andrew Becomes a Soldier... |
II. Headed South... |
III. The First Fights... |
"THE CIVIL WAR JOURNAL OF ANDREW JACKSON NICKELL"
"Battle Hymn of the Republic" -- U.S. Army Band -- Public Domain mp3