Letter of George Sylvester, Fifty-First Illinois Infantry

Feb 8th [1863]
Nashville, Tenn

Dear Parents,
It is with much pleasure that I write you a few lines in answer to your much welcome letter which came to hand today for it is all the way that I can take much satisfaction is in receiving and answering letters and it does me so much good to get a letter from home. I received 5 letters today and they were the first I have received for about 3 weeks except one from Brother Cy. He wrote one on the 23rd. He is at Nashville in hospittle No 18 ward No 21 in care of Dr Hurst. He said that he would go to his regiment in about 2 weeks. When he goes to the regiment he will call and see me a short time. I would like to see him very much. Cy is a good soldier. I saw Wesly Phipps after the fight. He was not in it. He was sick at Nashville. He came out the day that I found Cy. One of the other boys was wounded. I think it was Thomas. He was shot in the ancle I believe. Well Father the cannon is heard every day. I expect we will have to give them another drubbing here before they will let us alone. They attack our forage trains every day. Our brigade was ordered out to reinforce our forage train but our boys had no trouble with them. Old Rosy sent out 3 or 4 divisions on a scout 4 or 5 days ago. They have not got back yet although they have sent in 4 or 5 hundred prisoners. The secesh appear to think that they will whip us out here but I think that is mixed [illegible] a considerable that is if burnsides and hooker does anything in the east our army has got a commander that will be six to their half a dozen. Every time old Rosy is as brave as a brick. I saw him ride along the line of battle when the dedly hale came whistling and whizzing in every direction. He was close by when our brigadier colonel was killed. His name was Roberts. He was a brave man. Our major was wounded. His name was Davis. Our present colonelís name is Bradley and our present majorís name is Raymond. He appears like a fine man. Well, I must tell you what I think of this war. I think if we have to fight it out I am elected for three years and that is rather more than I bargained for but it cannot be helped now. I believe the South can fight us 10 years and have plenty to live on at the outcome. I never saw better corn crops anywhere than grow in the state of Tennessee and as for clothing I have saw a good many rebels and they all appear to be very well clad. I suppose a great many people up North think that the South is about starved out but I think it is a mistake but I think this war never will be settled by fighting. There will have to be a compromise made in some way. I think there is too much abolition in old Abeís proclamation but I still think he will take that back. If not we will have to worry it out although it goes hard to fight to turn the black race free. The more I see them the worse I hate them. Well, I must close. Write soon.
From your son,
G. Sylvester