15th Iowa soldier writes of “deathblow to secessionism” after Shiloh fight

Author of letter:  John A. Hines 15th Iowa Volunteers Pittsburgh Landing

Corinth Mississippi June 3rd 1862

Dear Cousin

I improve the present opportunity of writing you a few lines in reply to your Welcome Letter Received Sometime since it was written in Aprile, But was mislaid on the way I think as the mail arrangements have been very poor here But are a good deal better now.  Since I wrote you last I have seen some considerable of Dixie and must say I am not very favorably impressed with it our regiment arrived in time for the fight on the 6 & 7th of April at Pittsburgh Landing and suffered some considerable loss having 156 killed wounded and missing, the loss in our company was 13 in all 1 Killed dead Nine wounded and three missing some of our wounded have since died.  I received no injuries except having the Scabbard of my Sword damaged by a musket ball I can assure you it was pretty warm work for a while on Sunday.  On Sunday afternoon at one time I thought the day was lost and so it was if the Rebels had been aware of the fact.  We have seen some pretty hard times since we have been in Tenn & Miss Corinth has at last been evacuated.   I visited the town the morning after the Rebels left it was pleasantly situated and contains a number of fine buildings for this country it contained previous to the breaking out of this war about 12 to 1500 inhabitants now but 2 families remain or at least that was all I could see.  The rebels left a considerable amount of commissary stores here and destroyed a considerable quantity.  I think the Death Blow has been given to secessionism as I do not think they can ever concentrate so large a force together again.  At least I hope so we are now encamped about a mile from Corinth the country through here is very Heavily Timbered and But thinly populated but very small amount of grain is produced here or Cotton either the Staple Product is Niggers (over)

I have met with Uncle Peter’s oldest son John Varnest he is in the 15th Ind.  The last I heard from him he was dangerously sick the Surgeon intended to send him away that was about 2 weeks ago.  I have not heard since.  If you can hear anything from him please let me know it.  I like his appearance very much.  I have received a number of letters from Home lately they were all well the last one I got the mail facilities are very poor it takes laetters I send Home from 20 to 30 days to get through and some do not get through at all there has been new arrangements made and I hope hereafter there will not be so much trouble.  Well I must bring my letter to a close give my Respects to Uncle Aunt and all my Cousins and also your wife.  Hopeing to hear from you soon I remain as every you Affectionate cousing John A Hines.

Please write soon and let me know how Grandfather and Mother are getting along.

Direct Pittsburgh Landing Tenn Co E 16th Regiment Iowa vol

You must excuse the poor writing as I am in a good deal of a hurry this morning we are busily engaged in making out our Pay Rolls as the Pay Master is here with money to pay us I have been in the service 9 months and never received a cent.

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