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John Truex Civil War Letters
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Manuscript & Rare Books Division
Indiana State Library
Finding Aid by: Nikki Stoddard Schofield, January 2012
John Truex served in Company D, under Captain Browning, in the 82nd Indiana Volunteer Regiment. He enlisted on August 30, 1862 and mustered out on April 27, 1863 at Murfreesboro, TN. The date of his mustering out is 25 days after the letter to his friend R. E. Plummer from Siman Garrison reporting on John Truex's death. The exact date of his death is not given.
John's residence at the time he joined the Army was New Belleville, Indiana. His wife was Catharine Truex, and his son was Thomas, to whom he wrote one letter. John makes reference to the little girls and the children, but their names are not given. Other people who wrote letters in the collection are: R. E. Plummer to his wife Drusilla, Siman Garrison telling of John's death, Rebecca J. Fleming to Mary Truex, Jesse Ault to John Truex and family.
John reports on the well-being of men from Salt Creek (Brown County). In November 1862, he is in Kentucky and then Tennessee. His January 9, 1863 letter, from camp near Murfreesboro, tells about their army's first attack on the enemy. His final letter, dated March 18, 1863, tells about being in the Murfreesboro General Field Hospital.
Letters are typed copies, beginning on November 20, 1861 and ending April 19, 1863. The letters are to and from John Truex, written to his wife, and his son (Dec. 22, 1862). On September 16, 1862, he wrote: “We've the best war news we have had in a long time. Have had great victory at Munfordville Our loss was 8 killed and 30 wounded.”
January 23, 1863, John wrote: “the negro question being the cause of this war is all a humbug. They make it a pretense but I am satisfied that it is only through pretense. The rebels want a government to themselves and a monarchal one at that.” This same letter tells about his strange dream about being captured by a host of rebels.
His January 27, 1863 letter states: “Our officers has got up a petition to have our regiment sent back to Indiana for the purpose of recruiting for 60 days but I do not know whether it will be done or not.”
January 30, 1863, John wrote: “we've been in one battle, the battle of Murfreesboro, it lasted 7 or 8 days. The balls whistled pretty thick round us. I felt the wind of one burn pass my left ear. It felt tolerable warm.”
February 5, 1863, his letter states: “we can only muster about one hundred and fifty able for duty now out of nine hundred that started from Madison.”
February 19, 1863's letter says: “oh the wickedness that is carried on in the army is enough to singe the world.” Then, he explains how a foraging party destroyed and stole property from a woman with one child, leaving them nothing.
March 7, 1863, when John tells Catherine that his health is worse, he explains: “I believe if our Captain was any account I could have a discharge. The Colonel advised him to apply for me a discharge but he has as yet done nothing and I do not know that he will soon.”
The letter reporting John's death is dated April 2, 1863, in which Siman Garrison tells R. E. Plummer: “Mr. John Truex has at last departed this world of trouble. He is dead and gone to rest where more of us will soon have to go.”
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Folder 1. One brown-covered binder.
1861 November 20 – two letters with the same date
1862 August 27 through December 27
1863 January 9 through April 2