This letter was written by Daniel W. Tuttle (1837-11913), the son of Owen Tuttle (1807-1864) and Permelia Cooper (1811-1897) of Galion, Crawford county, Illinois.
Daniel enlisted on 20 August 1861 to serve as a private in the 16th Ohio Light Artillery. He mustered out of the regiment on 5 September 1864 after three years service. Daniel’s brother enlisted with him in September but was discharged for disability in January 1862 and died in 1868.
David’s letter includes a discussion of the soldier voting in the Ohio Gubernatorial Election in the fall of 1863. He also mentions the manufacture of water barrels for the anticipated march into Texas.
New Orleans [Louisiana]
October 30th 1863
I find myself seated once more for the purpose of addressing a few lines to you. We have not had any mail for so long that I have pretty near quit writing too. I have not had any letters from you since the 17th of September but I suppose some of our mails have been burnt on some of the boats that met with the firey element.
There is no news here that would be of any interest to you that you do not hear. We have had the privilege of voting on the 13th. There was 61 votes polled in our company for [John] Brough but the poor traitor Val[andigham] could get nary a one. If I had known the names of the candidates for the county offices, I could have voted for them. We have not heard how the election went in the state. The news is ten days old when it arrives at this place but we know how the soldiers vote is cast and from that we an guess who is Chief of Ohio for the next two years.
I believe that our Division is still near Brashear City. General [Francis J.] Herron’s Division and the 3rd has been put together. Herron lost two of his regiments while on a scout up Red River—the 19th Iowa and the 26th Indiana. I suppose George Johnson is a prisoner but 20 of the regiment escaped. They also lost a section of one of their batteries. Their Division and ours has seven batteries and now as the think has been consolidated, there will not be use for more than four of them so that part of us will stay here this winter or be sent to some other command. The reason that we do not go to our Division is on account of getting fresh water for the horses. There has been several thousand barrels made here for the purpose of hauling water for to drink and cook with. There is quite a long march to make that is destitute of fresh water except in the cisterns and that would not go very far towards supplying even drinking [water]. I have not much of a desire to make a march where water has to be dealt out as a ration.
The weather here is quite war and pleasant with very little rain but the mosquitoes the like of them never was in other place except this. We can only get about four hours peace out of 24. It is almost out of the question to do this scribbling. I must close. Until we join our division, direct in this way: New Orleans, 16th Ohio Battery, Care of Capt. R[ussell[ P[eter] Twist 1
— D. T.
1 See also—1863: Russell Peter Twist to Nannie (Forman) Twist, published on S&S 7 in May 2014.