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.
30th Illinois Infantry
HdQrs 1st Brig 3rd Div 17th A.C.
Jan. 29th, 1865
Yours of the 15th inst. is received . You will doubtless be somewhat surprised when I tell you that instead of being ready to start home I am ready to start on another campaign. It appears as though our Regiment would never get anymore officers . It is now over forty days since the last commissions were sent for and nothing heard from them yet. When, after numerous delays they finally make their appearance. So many of the officers who are now present will be absent in some way that there will not be enough then. If I get through the present campaign all right I am going to make application to Corps and Department Head Quarters to be mustered out . We are expecting to march tomorrow morning . In what direction is not known. I presume however that we will start toward Charleston even should it be Gen. Sherman’s intention to move on Branchville. Some of Gen. Fosters troops marched in today to take our place. The rebs are strongly fortified three miles and a half from here . So we will not have to go far for a fight unless they prove to be of such a progressive nature that they get out of our way. Gen. Sherman’s HeadQuarters are within a few rods of ours . We see the old gentleman quite frequently. Gen. Force made me a present a few days since of a very nice pair of Staff Shoulder Straps . The weather is delightful. Hope we may have a good time and be successful . I have not time to write anymore . Our last mail has gone. I send this by courier.
Give my respects to any enquiring friend,