Levi Pennington's Last Letter

Levi Pennington was a Lieutenant under Sherman, who later received a field promotion to Captain. The promotion was confirmed by act of Congress but Pennington died at Chickasaw Bluffs, Vicksburg Mississippi, before the paper work was processed.

Camp Wolf River
Near Memphis, Tennessee
December 9, 1862

My Dear Wife, Children, Father, Mother

I once more take the opportunity of writing you a few lines to let you know that I am well and have been in good health since I left you.

The boys are all well as common except J.C. Tumer who has been very sick, but is now recovering

We have traveled 1,000 miles on steamboat. I have been in several states since I left you. We first went from Kentucky to the Ohio River. Crossed the river and went through Ohio, thence, 64 miles up the Kanawa River into Virginia. We stayed there 12 days, then march back to the Ohio River, then got on a boat and went down the river. We passed the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas and are now camped in the State of Tennessee. I have seen a great deal of good land since I left home, but I have become satisfied if I live to be discharged and get back home to spend the balance of my days in Jackson County, Kentucky.

I will proceed to give the reason for being satisfied to live in as poor county as Jackson County. In passing through the State of Ohio, I saw the happiest people I ever saw anywhere living on poorer land than there is in Jackson County. They had their farms fenced off in four or five acre lots sown in grass, clover, wheat, rye, etc. and were living good. They had well painted framed houses, with stables for their stock. They done their own work and each spoke well of each other.

The health of our country is another reason why. Prefer there the great reason, I think it is not right for people to crave riches in this world. For if a man passed the world, it would do him on good in the world to come. We had better try to lay up treasures in Heaven. Where moss nor rust doth corrupt. Where war, sin nor pain dwell but all one in Christ. I want you all to see the Lord and obtain a pardon for you sins and be prepared to meet me in Heaven where we will part nor more. I have a good hope when I leave this world I will meat my two children who have departed this life in Heaven if I could only know that my wife and the rest of my children and my friend were prepared to meet me there. I would be much happier than I am. Children, above all things obey your Mother for she will give you good counsel. Rachel, do all you can to get you children to do right.

Levi Pennington

p.s. I will say to you that there are a good many of our troops here it is reported that the rebels are retreating before our men who left before we come here and it is believed the fighting is about done as there are several propositions of peace. I am in command of the company and will soon be commissioned. Captain Col. Garrard is our general and Col. Regee is commander of our Regiment. I have receive but one letter from you since I left home.


Source:Courtesy of Paulette Delano Dias