Charleston, Cole's County, Ills April 18th. 1864. My dear Jewett It was on April 4th. last, when we separated at Chicago; I left that place on the next day, and arrived in Paris on the 6th. last 1 o'clock A. M. went to Patton's Hotel, where I was told to find Ltnts. Feeley and Brennan in a certain gambling-house, where of course I went to, and imagine my astonishment to find Feeley, he great temperance man, drinking beer and liquor, like a spunch. but we will not dwell upon that, the Company was satisfied, that I was back; however the pleasure was of short endurance, as I received orders on the 8th. to leave for his place here on the 9th., what I did and arrived here on the 9th, 3 o'clock. P. M. I took post in the Court-House, situated on a fenced square, with four gates; I posted a guard at each gate, have therefore 1 corporal and 12 men on guaard; no men, but those who have been on guard the previous day, are allowed to leave the Court-House, and as the discipline amongst the
men in a remarkably good one, the citizens of this town have made an application to Col. Oakes, to keep us here the whole summer. This does not agree with my wishes at all, for this is a dreadful loansome place and we all desire to go back to Rock Island. Several of these Western Regiments, who have been mustered out of the service, have reenlisted; the men have 30 days furlough, and this town as well as the County is crowded with these reenlisted boys; everyone of these fellows of course wears a revolver; target shooting is going on in every tavern, and you are not sure of your life in the streets. Amongst these furloughed men there are lieutenants, captains and Majors, and with but one exception (Captn. Clark 8. Ills.) they all fraternize with their soldiers like friends and brothers. My soldiers give the military salute to every officer they meet; but no soldier of the 8. 41. 54, &c. Ills. Regt. has ever honored me or my officers here with a salute. They consider the whole town to be their own, insult citizens in the street, and it is my firm opinion, that we never would have had here any troubles with the copperheads, if they had not been provoked by these soldier - boys, who have not an idea of discipline
Besides the State has given to all these reenlisted gentlemen or gentleman's sons, so we call them, a new suit of clothes, consisting in a dark blue jacket, sky-blue vest and pants, of such fine cloth, so only the finest officer can wear, a hat with golden tassels and feathers finished the whole; - briefly - if You were here, You would think the whole town to be crowded with officers; - You therefore can imagine, how enviable this position is here.
You of course have read the latest disasters of our arms in the papers; Forrest is near Cairo (190 miles from here) and has demanded the unconditional surrender of that place - so at least the Telegraph reports this morning - and the furloughed gentlemen - soldiers - here are target-shooting - America is really a great country. -
I enclose a letter to Senator Washburne, which please to deliver personally, You will find in him a very fine and pleasant gentleman; You find his direction in the "Morning Chronicle" and find him the most convenient at home at 8 o'clock A.M. or at 4 o'clock P.M. -
You Know perhaps, that I formerly have been in Fort Monroe, I hear from there, that Major Stickney, in command there, has been recalled; should there be a possibility, to go back there? Do not do the least
to compromise yourself, but please find out, what they intend to do with the Invalid forces there.
Give my kindest regards to Col. Wisewell, - if I knew, that from time to time a letter would be well received, I would deem it a pleasure sometimes to give a sign of life.
If you have an opportunity to see Captn. Jones, with one arm, remember me to him, he is a very fine fellow.
And now farewell, I hope you have good times in Washington, let me hear from you soon, and oblige
Your true friend
John Guttermann Captn. Comp D. 4. Regt. Vet.Res. Corps.
P. S. Should you be employed in Fry's Office, please look after my papers, - you will find certificates of Generals Carl Schurtz, Stahel, Cluseret, Steinwehr and Med. Director Dr. Hamlin; please send me Copies of them; I want them very stringently. — J. G. Should you have left Washington for some other point of destination, please send up the enclosed letter by mail, and it will reach him.