The following letter was written by John C. Lilley (1842-1890) of Shelby county, Ohio. He enlisted as a corporal in September 1861 in Co. D, 46th Ohio Volunteer Infantry (OVI) but later transferred to F&S as Quartermaster Sergeant of the regiment. He mustered out of the service on 22 July 1865.
John wrote the letter to his uncle, Mitchell Campbell Lilley (1819-1897) of Columbus, Ohio, who served as a Captain of Co. H, 46th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
After the war, John became a medical doctor and practiced medicine in Quincy, Logan county, Ohio.
Quartermaster Office 46th Ohio V. V. I.
January 11, 1864 [should be 1865]
I have not received a letter from the North (that is, since we occupied Savannah). I must write anyhow. We are on the move once more. We will stop here only long enough to get boats to take us someplace above on the coast. Beaufort is thought our destination. The 17th Army Corps has already gone. This place is about 4 miles by land from Savannah on the river. It is said that Hon. E. M. Stanton is here this evening. We have heard of Butler’s safe return to Ft. Monroe—a fine thing—something that the 15th don’t do. Our chaplain arrived today. He is from Van Wert—Rev. George [Alexander] Exline. I think that he is a very good man.
I did not have a very fine Christmas but New Years we had all the oysters we could eat—raw, friend, soup, &c. I think they are best to lay them on the fire till they are just warm enough to open easily. They had been selling at $2 per bushel until the Provost Marshal regulated the prices. They they could be had for $1.
Just wait till the Army of the Tennessee commences operations. We will show these Easterns how to do it up. Gen. John A. Logan has returned and taken command of the 15th again. The opinion of the Army is, that with Sherman, Howard, and Logan, we can go any place.
I was thinking over matters in general today and came to the conclusion that a certain young man in our regiment had been misused or had a personal enemy in the regiment of considerable import. He was Sergt. Major from January 13, 1863 till January 1, 1864 when he re-enlisted and was appointed Q. M. S. and I know that if he is capable to fill that position (as he seems to be), think he is capable of more, and I think if Gov. Brough does, as it is said, he should have been promoted long ago. I only wish for justice. Will you please examine the Regimental records at the State House and call the attention of the Adjutant General to it? I hardly think he will treat the matter with indifference. I will not, if I stay in the service 5 years more, ask the Regimental Commander to recommend me for promotion for I know that I am entitled to it. The Sergt. Major and Commissary Sergt. have both been promoted within the last six months. I have for the last four months made all the necessary papers for this office. What is more, 7 duty sergeants and corporals have fared the same—that is, have been promoted.
I must close by sending my love to all. Write soon. Your affectionate nephew, — John C. Lilley