Letter from Lexington

Lexington Lafayette County Mo Sept the 28 1861 

Father & Mother & Brothers & Sisters 

I now endeavor to write you a few lines to let you know how we are a getting a long we are now encamped about a half a mile from town well now I will try & tell you something about this grate battle I expect that you have heard a awful tale  

the mane fight commenced on Wednesday morning we never got here until that night a bout two o’clock we had them surrounded in there fort the firing continued until Friday evening about 4 o’clock: then they hoisted the white flag it is said that the fortifications can’t be beat on this continent we never could have wiped them out with out a grate loss if it had not been that we had them surrounded so that they could not get water them nor there stock had not any water for four days  

there loss is about 600 killed, several hundred wounded our loss was thirty killed seventy five wounded there was no any of our company killed nor wounded general (Harris’) men suffered the most for (they) were in the hottest part of the fight it was managed the best of any battle hat has ever yet been  

our men kep there distance from fortifications except on one side when they made the charge but you can bet they did not go (up) there without something to protect them on the charge our men had brestworks formed out of bails of hemp & rope which war about a quarter of a mile in length you bet when they saw this brestwork rolling up on them they thought that was the devil him self coming on to them you know that our men was behind that hemp they would roll & shoot right smart along  

we got 4800 hundred peas of small arms: six pieces of canon & two mortars for throwing bombs the size of the canons was a twelve pounder & a six & four six pounder and a grate quantity of aminition: we also got 400 head of horses & mules & a grate quantity of wagons & awl of there baggage in fact we got everything they had in there possessions  

there is the (unfortunate) sight on the battle ground that I ever laid my eyes upon there is about two hundred of there horses lying dead on the field: we kept them prisoner only one night then made them all take the oath & started them back to their homes except the officers we have awl of them on hand yet what will be done with them I can’t say for us high privates don’t know mutch more what is and (?) here than you do at home: we also got a number of beef cattle I don’t know for our mess has been using them ever since the second day of the fight:  
well I liked to forgot to tell you how many men were engaged in this fight it is said that we had some where about 25000 thousand men her but there was never more than one (fourth) of them in the fight they had some where a bout five thousand with the home guard that belonged to this place:  

what we are a going to next I can’t: we are gust lying around here in camp eating and sleeping but all the officers are at work but what they are doing we don’t know but the general calculations is that this army will be divided: we will get to come over on our own side of the river and then (- illegible -) & maybe head quarter at Macon City but I am afraid that will not be the case: our side is (recruiting) every day yesterday there were five thousand more came in to camp - - got here yesterday we are all well except (?) the diahhrea (?) tolerably (?) bad caused from eating so mutch fresh beef but have a plenty old bacon yet: we live very well so fare we have a plenty sugar & coffee molasses(?) flour & all other little notions that is required to work up sutch stuff now I will tell you something about my horse he looks better than he did when he left home: he is the second(?) best horse in the company now I will quit(?) this stuff for the boy are sipping a a round so that I cannot think of the particulars(?)  

Mr. Dunaway & George Wawler (Waller?) will start home in the morning: they will bring this to you they can tell you mor than I can think of now awl I have to say is to tel (unread to read…) for if I live I will be back after while. 

W.C. Boulware 

(Note: William Columbus Boulware of Middle Grove, Monroe County, died of “brain fever” nine months later at Priceville, Mississippi on June 29, 1862.