Robert A. Tilton's Last Letter Home, June 7, 1862

Army of the Mississippi
Camp near Corinth, June 7/62

Dear mother

Yours of the 18th & 19th came to hand while I was in the hospital and a cheering thing it was to me, I will assure you. Albert’s letter must have reached you by this time giving the particulars of my sickness which was “cute rheumatism” as the Surgeons styled it. I was in the hospital two weeks and a pretty hard time I had of it. Most of the time I had to be fed. I was utterly helpless. I am a good deal better now. I left the hospital last Monday. I had to use a cane for 4 or 5 days to hobble round with. I am quite stiff yet – the rheumatism is in my shoulders & hands yet – it troubles me to write a good deal as my fingers are very stiff. Albert tried to get me a furlough as the Surgeon said I would not be fit for duty for at least 3 or 4 weeks, but getting a furlough was among the impossibilities as there is no more sick furlough granted. So I will rough it through.

Mother, I will have to make a short letter of this as my fingers pain me some but I will make it up next time. Albert is out with the regiment, in command of the company as the captain is unwell. They are after the retreating rebels. They are about 30 or 40 miles out on the Memphis Mobile Rroad. I am in hopes to join them in a few days as soon as I can shoulder my musket. I heard from them last night by a teamster. Albert is well. He stands it first rate. He has not been sick since we have been in the service of any account. Inclosed you will find a Secesh note as postage stamps. Please give them to father. Has father got on a very large stock? Is business very good in Moscow now?

It is rumored here today that Gen Pope’s army is going to Memphis to garrison that place. I would like to send home a good many Secesh trophies but I have no way to send them.

The weather is almost suffocating here. It is so warm. Perhaps some of the boys at home think they have hard times, but let them try our marches of 20 or 30 miles a day through the hot sun with gun, knapsack, cartridge box, canteen & haversack with two or three day rations…

Tell Allie I will answer her letter soon. Give my love to all.

Your ever loving son,

Robert Antis Tilton to mother, Tilton Family Papers, MSS84497, Manuscripts Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.