E. John Ellis.
Edited by Steve G. Ellis.
Letter to his father, April 27, 1862.
Dear Pa — Our forces are being rapidly increased at this point. Troops are now coming in from South Carolina & Georgia which have heretofore sent no troops here. In the meantime I hear the enemy is being reinforced on the river and the probability is that between this point and the river in a few weeks will be fought one of the most terrible battles that has decimated Earth for a century past. In that battle we will meet the hardy yeoman of the west, the men from Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, Missouri and Kentucky. These were the men that we whipped a few weeks ago and these men we will again whip when we meet them. All we ask is to get them off from the river and then good-by Yankees! But I have felt very gloomy ever since yesterday for on yesterday rumor reported New Orleans in the hands of the enemy. I cannot believe it-and yet-I fear that it is so.
The imbecility of the administration alone is to blame. Experience has shown them that fists can not stand against iron clad gun boats and 13 inch shells & why did they not enter at once into the construction of gun boats which could have met those of the enemy? I am as confident of the result of this struggle as I ever was in those hours when victory after victory was won by us. I know that we will at last be free, although we may be over run. But Oh! how disappointed I am to know that instead of going home in a few months to live in peace and hang up the sword for-ever, I will probably be a soldier for two or three years and then with a desolated country commence life at twenty four when I should have begun it at twenty one, the best years of my life wasted, never more to return. But thank God, my country though it remains to me only a heap of ruins will be free and the time accounted as wasted time, will have been spent in aiding that freedom.
If New Orleans does fall of course the Manchac Bridge will be burned and a force stationed at Manchac and also at Mandeville or along the lake coast to protect that part of the country. But it is useless to be alarmed yet. Of course you would remain quietly at home and if the enemy should get near you they will not harm anything, nor will they commence their system of pillage until they think that the spirit of resistance is crushed.
Affectionately your son,
Ellis, E. John. "Letter to his father, April 27, 1862." Ed. Steve G. Ellis.