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[306] next time. The fort, expecting a longer time of it, was reserving their heaviest fire for nearer quarters. Butler's ‘gallant troops’ came right under one side of the fort, but our grape and canister soon drove them off, and not Porter's shell, which did not happen to be falling that way at that time; they left their traces sufficiently next morning.

The ‘gallant fellow’ who stole the horse from the inside the fort, was doubtless so scared he didn't know much where he was. The true statement of the thing is, that an officer, unauthorized by Will or the general, sent a courier outside the fort with a message to some troops outside, and soon after he left the fort, was attacked and killed by a Yankee sharpshooter hidden under a bridge. The poor body fell and the horse was taken, and the flag spoken of, in the same way, was shot from the parapet and blew outside, when it was taken. When any of them see the inside of the fort they'll never live to tell the tale.

Ah, mother! you all, at home peacefully, do not know the misery of being driven from home by a miserable, cruel enemy! 'Tis a sad sight to see the sick and aged turned out in the cold to seek a shelter. I cannot speak feelingly because of any experience myself, as God is so good to us, and has so favored us with life, health and means, and my dear, good husband has provided me a comfortable home in the interior, where I can be safe.

Will has worried so much about you, dear mother, thinking you would be so anxious about us. He often exclaims, when reading some of the lying accounts: ‘How that will worry Ma!’

How is my darling Willie? We do so want to see our boy. I think Will will have to send for him in the spring. Kiss the dear one dozen of times for his father and mother.

Though it was a very unpleasant Christmas to me, still the little ones enjoyed theirs. Will had imported a crowd of toys for them and they are as happy as possible with them.

I have not heard from my dear home since last August, and you can imagine how very anxious I am to hear, particularly of dear sister Ria. Is she with George? Do write me of all the dear ones I love so much. How I would love to see you all, so much, and home!

I forgot to tell you of the casualties in the fight. Ours were only three killed; about sixty wounded; they were all.

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Butler, Bates County (Missouri, United States) (1)

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John L. Porter (1)
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