He had now to endure two months of camp life in Dacotah Territory. His next letter is dated it was useless attempting to journey, till the weather and roads became settled.
Council Bluffs, Iowa, April, 1863.Our journey since we left Iowa City has been a mere pleasure-trip. We reached this place last night; to-morrow we start for Sioux City. I was never better or stronger in my life, and well content, only I should like to see more active service.
This was his last letter home. In September a letter receivedcamp above Fort Randall, July, 1863.I don't know how I can tell you where we are, for really I don't know myself, except that we are about one hundred miles from Fort Randall and fifty from Fort Pierre, on the banks of the “Big muddy,” as the Missouri is fairly called. We are certainly as much isolated from the world as it is possible to be, in a wild, barren region, where want of rain and no lack of sun have dried and baked everything brown and bare. . . . It seems as if our expedition had been peculiarly unfortunate. The intense heat has so dried up the grass, that unless we come to better grazing our horses must starve. The river has fallen so low that the steamboats have come to a stand still. And worse than all, it is feared that our whole stock of meal is spoiled. The Indians are burning the country north of us, to prevent our progress. Already we have surmounted difficulties which would have conquered many; but General Sully is an old soldier, and if mortal man can be pushed through, we shall go.
above Fort Pierre, July, 1863.Think of this letter travelling over a wilderness of two hundred miles to Fort Randall, in the keeping of a dusky Indian, wrapped in a red blanket and fringed buckskin. If it comes safely to you, you may know he is a good Indian. When we reached Fort Pierre, Major Ten Broeck's battalion received us with open arms, and Company B rushed out with most enthusiastic cheers to receive their Second Lieutenant. To-day we have received news confirming the capture of Port Hudson and reporting that Charleston is burned. Did ever one hear such glorious news? The mail leaves this noon, and I have but time to assure you of my continued well-being. I am now the wonder of the regiment for health and strength.