Will Fisher to his mother
Elk River RR bridge, Tennessee
February 24, 1864

My dear Mother,

I think it about time to write you again and in fact a little more than time, but in consideration of various exciting and absorbing events of the past week, I will have to claim your pardon this time.
The regt. returned the 19th after a very severe march of three days, marching 30 miles the second day. They had some very severe times part of the time, but lived on the fat of the land. They had all they could wish of the following articles, eggs, chickens, fresh pork, mutton and so on. They have broken some notorious dens of guerrillas, capturing quite a number, which, if justice is done, will certainly be hung.
Some that they caught are known to have murdered Union citizens and soldiers. Yes & even confess it & delivered up the money which they had taken from their murdered victims. I can conceive nothing severe enough for such unprincipled wretches as these. After this war is over, I think there will be some awful tragedies here in Tenn. Thousands who have been most inhumanly treated, on account of their Union sentiments, will just so sure as the sun will rise, have revenge on their persecutors without regard to consequences.
The boys on their scout took a large quantity of slaves, all kinds of stock, grain &, besides, destroying some estates. Such a going over as the people of the country got, I don’t think they will need to be repeated very often, do you?

Feb. 26th
I have been on duty yesterday, therefore I had to suspend my writing for the time but will resume it tonight, after reading your most welcome letter of the 17th today. I cannot thank you sufficiently for such a favor.
The paymaster paid us off today for the two months ending Dec. 31st, so you will see there is two more months pay due now at the expiration of this month (Feb.). You remember last pay day our extra clothing was taken out of our pay. Well, in our co. every man was allowed to make out and present a bill of what clothing he lost at the battle of Chancellorsville and be willing to be sworn as to the truth of his bill. Well every man in the company did so, but no other companies in the regt. did it. We all sent in bills of what we lost and it was deducted from the whole amount which made our bills so much lighter. We all thought it very good of Capt. Hall, as no other capts. done it, so it passed for the time. But since then Capt. Hall has been notified that the government would not allow it, so he put the amounts which he tried to have allowed to us on this payroll and we had to submit to it. Now Mother, I know this is a great disappointment to you, as well as me, but I certainly am not to blame and can do nothing to avoid it. Lem was no better than myself. He drew no more pay today than I, and has not sent any home since I have. He was charged with a gun (19.25) at Kelly’s Ford the same time I was. Last pay day at Bridgeport he, not having drawn so much clothing as I had, was not in debt to the government after having had his losses deducted mind you, and consequently drew his full amount at that time but used it all sending not a cent home, while I, because I had drawn more clothing, nearly $20.00 taken out of that two months, so I did not have any to send home either. At that time we supposed ourselves square with Uncle Sam, and you know I wrote so to you, but when this payday came, what was taken out for losses before had to be paid.
I drew today $7.60, L. about the same. The remaining $18.40 is what I claimed to have lost. Now it has seldom been my lot to be so sorely disappointed as in this case, but do not think you will censure me for it. You may ask why I drew more clothes than L. which question I will answer: first, L. is not so hard on clothes as I, second, he has worn no government shirts nor drawers nor shoes while I have (at the same time his clothes from home cost him as much in reality as the others would).
There is one other thing I will speak about. Leagus Skellie done Capt. Hall’s writing for him when he was in the co. & he made a great many mistakes in keeping the books. I will give you an instance. You remember when I was at Salina, I lost my old B. H. Guv overcoat? Well, I drew one, a new one, but after I joined the regt. in Washington I came across a fellow in Co. E with my old coat on so I took the coat and Peter Darrow, having just come onto the regt., wanted an overcoat so we went to Capt. Hall & made an agreement that Pete should take one of my coats & the charge scratched off my name & set down to him, which I supposed was done, till last summer one day I was looking over the books when I saw the overcoat on my name & none charged to him. Only $9.55 that’s all, but so it goes, or did go. But now Darrow is discharged & nothing can be done unless he would pay me now the price of it which I hate to ask him to do. Still I think him better able to pay it, justly, than for me to loose it unjustly. Oh how I miss Lieut. Shiland about some things.
Now as to the course the government ought to take in regard to lost clothing, I cannot say. There is no doubt but what if the government would allow lost clothing to be compensated for, there would be an immense sight which is thrown away would be saddled on to be paid for as lost. Now I can’t say what will be charged to us next pay day, no one knows of anything at present. I think I have explained this as well as I can. It sounds very financial.
I had a chance to make application for furlough but thought I could not afford it. L. has applied but guess he won’t get one, as there is several ahead of him and they have been stopped until the movement is over. I think I shall never try to come home on a furlough as long as I am well for there is a lot who look down on a soldier in the North, and I think I am in a better atmosphere here.
I wrote to Frederick Md. About my watch which I left to get repaired last summer. He writes that he will send it to Nashville for 1.50 but as I have no chance to get it there, I will send the money & have him send it to you & you may send it to me by the first person coming to the regt. The repairs were fifty ct. I think the man is honest, for he might have kept it if he liked.
I cannot imagine who sent that soda in Knopf’s box (pronounced Nof).
Lem has been examined but he was so unwell at the time that he would not pass for his health, so that is done with.
Tell Aunt Sarah I should like to eat the baked potatoes first rate, and I would smash hers up for her, but I must close. I will write soon, you do so too.

From your,