Charles McCracken, 12th C.V.I., June 27, 1864


Charles McCracken, 12th C.V.I., June 27, 1864


United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
United States. Army. Connecticut Infantry Regiment, 12th (1861-1865)
Operations rations (Military supplies)


Charles McCracken writes to his brother James of an aborted attempt to transport north toward Vicksburg, complains about corruption and blockade running among Union contractors and soldiers, and discusses matters in Connecticut.


J 27th
Camp near Carrollton La
My dear Brother.
I received your very
excellent letter of 14th inst. yesterday
on board steer Ohio Belle
on which we had embarked
bound up the river for some point
in Rebeldom unknown to us but
supposed to be Vicksburg Miss. but
mans plans are often frustrated
& so these ones for we had not gone
more than fifteen miles up the river
before the Machinery gave out.
a Shaft was broken & cilinder [sic] head
stove & one man in his Excitement
jumped through a window &
severely cut his arm. two horses
were so much injured that we
had to shoot them to get them
out of the bay & the boat was put

[Page 2]
about & we steamed to our old
camp again where we now are.
& all seem to be engaged in visiting
of their friends. & no doubt some-
thing of any trip. how long we shall
remain here is unknown to me
as all movements are until we
are called upon to pack up which
has been often of late. for we have
been going & never seeming to get
anywhere this being the second
time we have started for Up the River
the weather is awful hot & we
landed this morning & just
got our tents up to shelter us from
the blazing hot sun & are enjoying
the best of a Soldier’s life. Camp-life.
& should feel better if Uncle Sam
would give us little better rations.
Something instead of Stinking
Salt Beef & hard bread but he is
not so much to blame after all
for its [sic] these miserable contractors

[Page 3] who are robing [sic] us & making there [sic]
pile off the army. I tell you Brother
this war is a big thing & blockade
running is a big business. Some
are driving fast [sic] hordes off the
profits of such business. Even
our Friend Reynolds has been
accused perhaps wrongfully of
helping to run the blockade over
to the lake while there. Well
that is the way. Some help to
put down the rebellion &
instead of doing their duty
aid the enemy. But I will not
enlarge on this point for truth is
mighty & will prevail. Sometime
or other. & perhaps such using is
their reward. I am glad that
you are all well & are prospering
for we need all of us prosperity. I have
no doubt Shall have it if we do our
duty I am very glad to hear from
you & always shall be & hope you will

[Page 4]
continue this corespondence [sic] so
well begun. Shall write as often
as I can & thus relieve the monotony
of the camp. I send my love to
you all. & here let me say that I
have my kind regards for Father
notwithstanding his obstinacy.
for I think it would be better for
him & us if he would hear us
but never mind. he no doubt
will go on in the old path. it
is barely possible that he is right.
I was in hopes he would arrange
with you to improve his land, but
it seems he has not. Dear Brother I
must close hoping for your health
& happiness & in the meantime
we will both do our duty to our
country. Sometimes I trust in God
to keep our powder dry relying on
Him for protection & a safe return
to home & friends.
I Remain
Your Affectionate Brother
Chas. S. McCracken




“Charles McCracken, 12th C.V.I., June 27, 1864,” Linda Lear Center Digital Collections and Exhibitions, accessed April 25, 2024,