Description

    [Civil War]. John L. Lauterman Civil War Letter Archive comprised of eleven letters spanning the years 1861 through 1865. John Lauterman enlisted as a private in Co. "I," 25th Wisconsin Infantry, on August 11, 1862. The regiment initially served in Minnesota during the Sioux uprising before heading south through Kentucky, eventually participating in the Siege of Vicksburg. In his letters home, he discusses everything from camp life to Indian troubles, guerilla actions in Kentucky to the Battle of Cape Girardeau, and the fall of Vicksburg. Lauterman served in the ambulance corps, but did not survive the war, dying of disease in Tennessee on October 31, 1863. Letters of note include:

    John L. Lauterman Autograph Letter Signed. Four integral pages, 7.75" x 12", New Ulm [Minnesota], October 23, 1862. To his parents, in part: "Do not weep for me for I am fighting in a good cause to protect the old stars and stripes and I trust it will not last long." Regarding the recent uprising by the Sioux: "Last Saturday morning the rumors came in that thee was 1500 Indians coming but that did not alarm us any but the citizens I thought would [illegible] up for there being so many killed before . . . we have not had an attact yet and no likelyhood of any this winter." With a secondary Jasper N. Cabanis ALS on the fourth page. Cabanis was Lauterman's cousin who served with him in the 25th Wisconsin. He too makes mention of trouble with the Indians and muses on the prospect of combat: "We live in hopes that this wicked war will be ended before many generations roll away if it does not we may have to fight some and that I do not like . . . for them fellows down south there handle guns mighty careless and when they shoot point it right square at a fellow." [and:] John L. Lauterman Autograph Letter. Four integral pages, 4.75" x 7.75", Columbus [Kentucky], April 16, 1863. To his parents, as written: "I do not think this war can last much longer for the south is getting weaker every day they caught 26 guerrillias about a week ago and they look a good deal like hard times . . . they attacked one of our boats as it was comeing up the river and there happened to be one Co. of Cavelry in the neighborhood and the got wind of it and so they surrounded them and drove them right on to the boat and brought them in to our prison . . . they say that if they ever get out of the prison that they will kill every yanke they lay hands upon." [and:] [Battle of Cape Girardeau]. John L. Lauterman Autograph Letter. Four integral pages, 4.75" x 7.75", Columbus [Kentucky], April 26, 1863 - from Fort Halleck, partial letter as written: "Very good news this morning three of our transports run the blockade at Vicksburg with out Injury and they have blockaded the mouth of red river from which source the Rebels get all of There meat and General Grant not grant but Michel made (600) Six hundred of the Rebels take the oath of Tennesse at Nashville . . . we was ordered to start to Reinforce General Mcniel [John McNeil] at cape girardeau in Mo they made an attact on the place and there was only about 2,000 of our men there they fought three days with out any loss on our side of any importance they fought hard all day before we got there we got there about sundown we or the union forces took 300 prisoners." [and:] [Siege and Surrender of Vicksburg]. John L. Lauterman Autograph Letter Signed. Two pages, 8" x 10", Snyder's Bluff [Mississippi], July 14, 1863. To his parents, as written: "Vic[ksburg] surrendered on the 4th of July that holy day of Independence which made the Rebs feel very bad to think their leaders would wait until that day before he gave up well we got prisoners to the amount of 30,564, and was double the amount of arms I have been there myself to see the place it is a hard looking place the town was not tore up very bad not so much as one would think the amount of shell the threw in there I suppose though that Gen Grant had an Idea that he would get the place with out doing much damage to it he said all along that he would take it . . . without much the sacrifice to his own army in the way he did take it by starving them out they had been living on mule meat for nine day and quarter rations at that before they surrendered I have talked with a great many of them . . . and all they want now is to get home and they never will never soldier any more in this war."


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    April, 2014
    3rd Thursday
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