1863: John Teague to his Sister

I could not find an image of John but here is one of Henry Heath who served in Co. H, 6th Iowa Cavalry
(Iowa Civil War Images)

The following letter was written by 19 year old John Teague of Fayette County, Iowa—an emigrant from England. John enlisted in Co. C, 6th Iowa Cavalry on 22 September 1862 and mustered in on the same day. He was promoted to Eighth Corporal on 28 May 1865 and mustered out on 17 October 1865 at Sioux City, Iowa. 

The Sixth Regiment of Iowa Cavalry was organized under a special order of the War Department, dated September 9, 1862. The twelve companies of which the regiment was composed were ordered into quarters by the Governor, on dates ranging from about the 1st of November, 1862, to near the last of February, 1863. The rendezvous designated in the order was Camp Hendershott, near Davenport, Iowa, where the companies were-mustered into the service of the United States, by Captain H. B. Hendershott, of the Regular Army, on dates ranging from January 31 to March 5, 1863. Upon the muster in of the last company the regiment had an aggregate strength of 1,125, rank and file. 


Patriotic Letterhead of stationery

Camp Hendershott 1
[Davenport, Iowa]
February 12, [1863]

Dear Sister,

Your letter of the seventh came to hand today and very glad I was to receive it too. I was glad to hear that you are all well. I am well at present with the exception of a cold. It is rather lonesome here at present, there being only a few of us, about forty, being furloughed—Jesse and I being amongst the lot. I expected to come home when Jesse came but they could not spare me but I shall have a chance and if you wish me to come home, send down by Jesse and let me know and I will come home. But if you do not wish me to come home, I shall not come.

We had a fine fall of snow last night. it fell to the depth of four inches and you may bet the sleigh bells were jingling, it being the first time this winter down here. But I suppose you have plenty of snow up there.

The barracks tonight are almost as quiet as if no one [was] here. I am kept quite busy every day having to see to the feeding, cleaning, and the rest of the work around forty-eight horses, the Orderly having put me in as boss and therefore it keeps me busy.

I hope you have fine times up there as we do down here. We were mustered the last day of last month and received twenty-seven dollars. We are expecting thirteen dollars more every day and just as soon as I receive that, if you want me to come home, I will come. I sent six dollars home by Jesse, that being all I could spare this time. I lent Jesse six dollars and owed the sutler eight dollars so that I only had seven dollars left. We drawed our sabres and rifles the other day so that we are practicing the manual of arms everyday.

I have seen John [Sheldon] Stearns two or three times since we have been home and he has told me how dull the times is up there and all about the girls and the rest of the news. And I must come to a close. You must excuse my poor writing mistakes and all the rest of it for the reason that I am in an awkward place and a poor light. Give my respects to all enquiring friends. Write soon.

I received a letter from William and he said he was well. I remain your affectionate brother, — John Feuga

1 Camp Hendershott (1862 – 1863) was located between 13th, Locust, Ripley, and Scott Streets in Davenport, Iowa. It was named for Capt. Hendershott who was the Govt. Superintendent of State Recruiting in Iowa.

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