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The diarrhea makes me feel weak.

Regimental Colors of the 114th OVI width=
Regimental Colors of the 114th O.V.I.
Courtesy Ohio History Connection - State Archives 4605 AV

“You must all cherish Old Glory; And its teachings pass along.
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

scanner Andrew's Scanned Handwritten Letters 19 through 20.

Scanned Letter 19 ― 07 Apr 1863
Scanned Letter 20 ― 13 Apr 1863
Andrew Jackson Nickell
Andrew Jackson

Letters #19 - #20:  In his final two letters #19 and #20 of April 7 and April 13, 1863, Andrew and his 114th are marching southward through Louisiana swamps along the west side of the river. On April 5, 1863, McClernand's XIII Corps began their seventy mile southward March, that would result in the Union army crossing the Mississippi at Bruinsburg on April 30. Moving rapidly through enemy country, Grant's army captured the Mississippi capital of Jackson on May 14, and by May 18 had successfully fought their way westward to begin the siege of Vicksburg.

Writing from "a plase called richmond in louisana", and suffering from diarrhea that was probably dysentery, Andrew modestly tells Bell, "the diaree...makes me feall a litel weak at presant". The army is obviously on the move, as he goes on to say, "I think that we will not stay hear very long by the move ments of things". Andrew's health was greatly compromised by the physical demands of the exhausting and rapid march.

Although justly concerned about his health, Andrew's primary concern in these last two letters seems to be that Bell receive whatever money he has been paid. As he did before, Andrew has sent money to the Adams Express Office in McArthur, this time expressing the money through a John (or Joseph) Shank in Company F. Hopefully, Bell or her step-father eventually received that money.

When we last hear from Andrew on April 13, 1863, it is unclear when he was separated from his unit, or whether he actually crossed the Mississippi at Bruinsburg. We do not know whether he participated with the 114th in the historic engagements at Thompson's Hill (May 1); Champion Hill (May 16); and Big Black Bridge (May 17). We do know that due to his deteriorating health, he was separated from his unit. He was moved to the hospital steamer D. A. January where he died on June 16, 1863 during the month long Siege of Vicksburg.

In his final comments to Bell, Andrew closed his journal and legacy with the words used to name this narrative, "To his beloved Wife and children".

114th OVI
114th O.V.I.
Letter #19: Original Text (exactly as written by Andrew Jackson Nickell)

April the 7 1863

My dear beloved wife I have taken my pen in han to in forme you that I in reas nabel heal the at presant ant I have the diaree and have had it for some time and it makes me feall a litel weak at presant we have mooved a bout twelve miles to a plase called richmond in louisana but I think that we will not stay hear very long by the move ments of things for that is all that we can Jug by for we never no when we ar a going untill we ar orderd to take down our tents and pack up our things up anand move out and go to some new place

it was prety hard on me to march for I was rather weak by having the diaree for some time but I weared threw but it wered me very much I received your kind leter since I commenced to rite this leter and was glad to hear from you and that you ar in as good health as you said you ar at this time now frank I want you to take good care of your self and if you get that money that I sent to you you said that you would like to have some money to pay some dets that you ode and if after you pade what you ode I want you to keep the rest and you can get what you want for the youse of the family and then you nead not go in det for what ever you want for the family eather to eat or to ware for I don't want you to sufer for anything to eat nor ware while I am gon and if I drawn any more I will send you some more and if I dew I want you to keeps it your self and use it when ever you nead it an not sufer for any thing for your self and famley to eat or to ware nor drink for I want you to have anuf to dew on for the yuse of the family tell fother if that money is not at Mcarthur to go down to the depo to the adams express office and see if it is their for I think that it ot to go safe because Co eff sent a bout twenty two hundred dollars by the same man but they have not heard from it yet if they did not hear this morning I have not seen any of them this morning so I dont no wheather they go any any word this male or not I sade I a leter some time ago if you went to monro to go in time to make gar den but I did not mean for you to work two har for I want you to take good care of your heal th still rite soon

So no more at pres ant but remainds your frend till death

Andrew J. Nickel

Letter #20: Original Text (exactly as written by Andrew Jackson Nickell)

April the 13 1863

My dear beloved Companion I have taken my pen in to let you no how I am at this time I am as well as common in and threw the mercy of god and I hope that theas few lines may find you in Joying the same blessing I want you to rite and tell me if you got that money that I sent you I have sent fif teen dolars more with the vinton co corpl to John Shank and I directed it to fother So that you cood get him to go and get it for you for I thaught that you cood not go after it and I want you to rite as soon as you get the money and let me no if it come all rite have fother to go as soon as he can after you get this leter for if he dont it will be advertised in the paper and that will cost some thing I have pade for the expressing of it I sent it to day So no more at this time but remainds your af fectionnet husbant till we meat a gane rite soon

Andrew J. Nickel

To his beloved Wife and children

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|   I. Andrew Becomes a Soldier...  |   II. Headed South...  |   III. The First Fights...  |
|   IV. Laying In Camp...  |   V. Milliken's Bend  |   VI. Last Letters...  |   VII. Captain Abraham...  |
|   VIII. From An Unknown Writer...  |   IX. Epilogue...  |   X. Honoring Other Civil War Ancestors...  |

|   OLIVER BELDEN CULVER ― Illinois Abolitionist, Pioneer Farmer and Lincoln Neighbor  |
|   Lees Had Ties To The Land of Lincoln ― Squire Lee of Blount Township and General Lee Were 3rd Cousins  |
|   ABEL WILDER ESTABROOK ― Lovejoy Abolitionist, Pioneer Educator and Lincoln Teacher  |

|   "You must tell the world the story; When the boys in Blue are gone."   |

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