30th Illinois soldier writes from Jackson, Tenn., June 26th, 1862

Lt. David W. Poak of the 30th Illinois Volunteer Infantry was at Forts Henry and Donaldson, Corinth, Vicksburg, Atlanta Campaign ,March to the Sea, and the Carolina Campaign . He was awarded a 17th Corps Medal of Honor for the Battle of Atlanta when he was conspicuous in Rallying his men, advancing to the front, encouraging his men,firing muskets rapidly at the enemy, and by his service and gallant example materially assisting in bringing his regiment again into action.

Lt. D.W.Poak
30th Illinois Infantry

Jackson,Tenn.

June 26th /62

Dear Sister,

It has been sometime since I last wrote to you and during that time I have recd’ two letters from you . The last one was dated the 8th . I have no particular excuse to offer for my delay in writing as we have been in camp ever since I last wrote so you will have to attribute it to my lazyness .In your last letter you spoke about having recd’ a letter from Pa. I was extremely glad to hear from him for it had been so long since we had had any news from him for so long that I had almost given up hearing from him again .We are still at Jackson but since I have commenced writing we have recd orders to be ready to march at 7 oclk this morning and considering that it is now almost six I have not much time to write .I dont know anything about where we are going but I think we are going up the railroad toward Columbus.The weather is very warm and dry but I cant say it is as warm as I expected it would be at this season of the year.Fruit of all kinds is very plenty .Wild Plums grow in abundance and are ripe . They are most delicious .They are as large as our tame plums were at home and are very good either cooked or green .Blackberries are also getting ripe and are plenty. The citizens are still strong secesh but are getting considerable tamer than they used to be.They have chuch here every sabbath day but as a general thing the attendance of citizens is not very large considering the number about the place.For some reason or other you appear to be very suspicious about me telling you when I get sick . It was not me that went to the Hospital but the other Lieut. Elijah B. David. Our Capt’s name is Francis G. Burnet. You need have no fears about me for if I get sick I will tell you so in words that you cannot misunderstand. I had not heard of Col. Martin’s death till I recd your letter. I was very sorry to hear it for he was as good a soldier as ever shouldered a gun. And a great deal too brave a man to have to lay down his life on account of southern traitors but I must stop as it will soon be time to start, excuse this short letter as I have written it in great haste .

Write soon,

Your brother,

David W.Poak

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