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.
It has been so long since I have written to you that I presume you are getting quite anxious to know something about me. Such being the case I have concluded to pen you a short note and try and send it off with a Refugee train that leaves for Wilmington early tomorrow morning. This is the Forty Forth day that we have been marching and Gen. Sherman says that we have not reached our true base yet so I suppose we have more marching before us yet. We crossed the Cape Fear river last night at Fayetteville and are now encamped about three miles from the river. We expect to move tomorrow morning in the direction of Goldsboro. May have a fight there. We have had a pretty hard Campaign.A good of skirmishing . No hard fighting. The weather was as a general thing very fine. Several boats have been up from Wilmington. They brought up some papers,no letters. I have been well all the time and have enjoyed the trip very much. I was up all night last night crossing the river and feel a little sleepy tonight. I have not time to write more . Remember me to any enquiring friend,
I remain Your brother,