Inisghts into Memphis Tennessee in January 1863 – Union soldier

Memphis Tennessee Jan 8th 1863

Dear Sister Fannie,

I _____ you will begin to think I have forgotten you by this time you by this time.  You have written me three times without an answer but if you had known how busy I have been you would excuse me.  We are not very busy at present have not done anything since we came here the first time for the last two months that I have not been on duty.  I think we will stay here some time and not have much to do but look around the city Memphis is a fine city. Business seems just about as lively as it is in peaceable times it seems so to me.  They say here that everything is dull not much going on there is plenty of fun going on here such as theatres and the Niger dances.

I can hardly realize war times here don’t see the effects of it so much as we do in the country.  Do you hear from Alfred?   I expect they are having a hard fight at Viesburg .  We can’t get any news direct from there.  I believe Gen. Sherman forbids anything being published or known till after the fight is over I am very anxious to hear from there.  I hear they are having dreadful slaughter report say the 8th M. made a charge in one of the Batteries and lost all but 12 men.  I hear that other reg… are cut up in the same way. I suppose Banks have come to reinforce Gen. Sherman.  I do hope we will get Viesburg this time. It is thought here that the war will not continue many months I hope it will be through in a short time.

I am anxious to get home.  It seems like an age since I left home. Oh! Don’t I wish it was possible for me To get home any time should wish but no I must stay and think of home but cant possibly get there.  I am very thankful for the letters you have sent me hope you will write often I think I shall be able to answer all my letters now.  I have not rec… a letter since we were cut off at Holly Springs.  Brother Charlie has been discharged and has been gone 4 weeks so I cant get to see him after all I saw his likeness hung up in several show cases through town.  Trains are running regular every day to Grand Junction and to Holly springs.  The R.R. is covered with soldiers all the time night and day can see from one camp to another all the way through but the Guerillein say we shunt run the road.  The trains have not been disturbed yet but know knowing how soon they will make an attack.  The weather is very fine and warm almost like our September not any colder.  I am having quite an easy time now not anything to do but lay around no money to spend.  I run around the city once in awhile to see what is going on ___ Memphis is a fast city full of fast people the streets are full of fancy women every afternoon it is a dreadful wicked place full of vice and everything degrading.  I am glad that I am not led any by such wickedness.  I see Colonels and all kinds of officers walking around with Southern ladies.  I think if they would attend to their business and let the southern ladies alone we would get through fighting a great deal sooner then would be less surprises and less sympathizing with the south.  What a wicked world this is.  I feel just like leaving and going to some foreign country to love.  I see so much wickedness and treachery that lately that I am heartily sick of it not only sick of it but disgusted at it is.  I guess you will think this a poor excuse for a letter but it will have to answer.  Good bye Fanny. My love to all.

Your Brother,

Porter

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