This letter was written by Isaac Newton Haldeman (1840-1922), the son of Isaac Haldeman (1812-1885) and Marie S. Miller (1823-1910) of West Liberty, Muscatine county, Iowa. Isaac enlisted in Co. F, 22nd Iowa Infantry as a corporal in September 1862. This letter was written in January 1864 when the regiment was mounted and comfortably situated in Indianola, Texas, where they encountered the enemy in small reconnoitering parties from time to time.
In his letter, Haldeman refers to a detachment of mounted infantry that encountered a full company of rebel cavalry belong to Wall’s Legion (formerly known as the “Texas Rangers”) that fought fifteen miles in the interior and captured six men—John Fleming, William Bechtel, Philip Huzer, Gabriel Huffman, Karl Bednar, and William Franklin.
After their winter in Texas, the 22nd Iowa was sent east and was one of only three regiments from Iowa to serve in Virginia. Isaac was with his regiment at Cedar Creek, Virginia, when he was taken prisoner in October 1864. He mustered out of the regiment on 12 July 1865.
The captain of Co. F, 22nd Iowa Infantry was Alfred B. Cree. I previously transcribed three of Capt. Cree’s letters on Spared & Shared 7 which can be found at 1864-65: Capt. Alfred B. Cree to Martha (Smith) Cree.
This letter is from the private collection of Michael Huston and is published on Spared & Shared by express consent.
Camp 22d Iowa Infantry
January 23, 1864
My dear sister,
I received your very kind letter dated December 27th a few days ago and this is Saturday I concluded to try & reply. Whether I shall succeed in making mine as interesting as yours, I shall leave you to judge. I will do as you did in answering mine which is answer yours first and then, as you said, “let the rest bring up the rear.” You had a turkey dinner, did you? Well I should like very much to have been there & shared a portion of it with you. I am pretty confident I could have done the turkey justice. You speak of your own individual self & “friend” attending the “Fireman’s Fair.” So you have a friend, have you? When you answer, just tell me who that friend is—whether a male or female, I expect some fellow will have you “gobbled” too before I return.
It seems to me those fellows back there are getting very impudent by taking the advantage of our absence. Well, all I have got to say is for them to go ahead if they think there is no hereafter. There is Ida, Amanda, & I expect the next thing will be Betsy will come up missing. Let them go I say for it don’ make a great deal of difference now as we about begin to think they will be of no consequence to us at all. You know we can get along without the “gals” while you girls would pine away & finally “go up the spout.” But as I will not swear what I have said to be a fact, I will quit.
Now as you are getting very inquisitive in regard to my love affairs, I shall insist on knowing who you are “making love to,” and I would very much like to see some of their letters. I will tell you what I will do. If you will send me one of “his” letters, I will send a letter to you to read that I got from a certain young lady. It is not [ ]. You must not think she is the only “gal” I correspond with. It is a first rate one, also good and long.
You ask me if I still receive any letters from [ ] or Betsy. I did receive one from her a couple of weeks ago, it being the first one I have received since leaving Rolla, Mo. She said the reason she remained silent so long was she did not know how to direct. That is not all. Don’t you believe she is going to send me a photograph of herself. She said that one she sent me was a poor one. In speaking of photographs, made me think of receiving Cousin Lida & Winne’s a few days ago. I think I will send them home for you to put in that nice album father got you.
You also ask me if I have formed an attachment for any of my companions. I can say that there is one that I think considerable of. His name is Hopwood. 1 He is not only a first-rate fellow, but he possess that particular feature so necessary to gain the good wishes of the ladies, “good looking.” He is slightly acquainted with Uncle Patton & lives not far from Millersburg. Was it not the McClean farm Uncle Levi bought & then sold just about the time he went into the oil business? It was his uncle that owned that farm. His grandfather also lives near Minerva. His name is Latell. He is well acquainted in Columbiana County & near Minerva. Now if you have formed anything of the kind yourself, just let me know.
Min, I was sorry to hear of mother Elmore’s ill health. I wish you all enjoyed as good health as I do at present. I never felt better.
We are now quartered in our tents & get plenty to eat and nothing to do but drill twice a day. Yesterday 36 men detailed from our division, went out on a scout yesterday, and came back with 7 men less than they went with. They went out too far and the rebs having so much the best horses they “gobbled” them.
Give my love to all. Affectionately your brother, — I. N. Haldeman, Co. F, 22nd Iowa
To Muss Minnie Haldeman
Mr. I. N. Haldeman
Co. F, 22nd Iowa Mounted Infantry
13th Army Corps
Dept. of the Gulf
1 There were two Hopwoods in Co. F, 22nd Iowa Infantry—James W. Hopwood and William D. Hopwood.