The following letter is a copy of the original letter written from Camp by J. C. Hurmans, a confederate soldier, to Dr. P. W. Duncan, as it was almost impossible to get a letter to his parents, Mr. & Mrs. Sylvanus Hurmans. The letter is owned at the present time by a neice of J. C. Hurmans, Miss Annie Brown of North Water St., Gallatin, TN.
Sangamon Co. Ill.
Dr. P. W. Duncan.
I attempt adressing you, though I guess it will be quite unexpected to you, yet as I suppose you would like to know where __ are and what has become of the Ft. Donelson Prisoners I can assure you we have well experienced the toils of war, as our forefathers, also the life of a prisoner of war, which of all is the most trying to the heart of man. Though a prisoner, amid the enemy we are regarded as human & as a people of feeling, both morally, intellectually & politically, we find them friendly and kind whither we go. No doubt but what we have been misled to some extent. I have been reading daily papers very close since I've been here, besides I have had various conversations with them, some very eloquent, well posted apparently our situation is quite a nice one, we have splendid barracks, 100 men to the Barrack, rather too many for health & the water does not agree with us, that with the brutely exposure before leaving, a great deal of pneumonia, fever, & diaphria. We lay behind the parapets in ditches amid the mud, snow & rain four days & nights in succession without proper raiment, eating nothing during the day, could cook only during the night, exposed to the snow & rain intolerable. All went off well until those horrible bumshells from six to sixty four, or eighty four balls, like six horse wagon bubs, those wave from the boat on the opposite side of us, on a hill was placed a small battery, throwing shot & shell where ever a man would step out the pits.
We were in the fight on the right wing Saturday, though lost no men out of our Company. Capt. BUNTIN lost one man & himself wounded in the thigh (flesh wound). Our Col. left us Saturday night. I would have been glad, but they have caught him while shabbing. He had been wanting to leave us from the time they commenced landing troops at Smithland. Our commissioned officers are all taken from, no I suppose they are at St. Louis. We are about five miles east of Springfield, Ill. And the Springfield & Chicago railroad.
We have lost no man yet, unless it be Ted PHENIX & Cris HUFFINES, they were missing Saturday, suppose they fled for home. We are all have bad colds & coughs, nothing more at present.
You will give my best wishes & respect to all. Please hand this to Pa after reading.
Remain as ever,
J. C. Hurmans
You will please write soon and let me know the state of affairs in Kentucky and Tennessee, and how the health of all my friends.
J. C. H.
I was as much surprised as pleased to receive this letter. Allow me to congratulate you upon his good health and fine spirits. May the time not be long before you may have the pleasure of embracing your darling boy.
G. W. Duncan.
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