Head Quarters, 1st Brig., 1st Div., 11th A.C.
In the Field March 5th 1864
My Dear Wife
We left Tantalon at one o’clock this afternoon. We are now in camp about 5 miles south of Tantalon and 4 miles north of Anderson. We expect to reach Stevenson, Alabama, to-morrow. The [wagon] train just got up as we Started.1 All right. We are still among the mountains. Our Head Qurs. to-night are upon a little island, about 50 feet wide & perhaps two hundred long. It is “a sweet little nook by the babbling brook.” The moss is growing all around us, & we found some very beautiful flowers, one which contains the colors beautifully blended, red, white and blue.
My health never was better. We have not lost a man crossing the mountains. The valley [of Big Crow Creek] through which we are passing is very narrow. The troops marched all the way upon the Rail Road track. We will break camp at 6 o’clock to-morrow morning. Reveille sounds at 4-1/2 o’clock. It is 14 miles to Stevenson.
I hope you are well and happy. I expect a letter to-morrow night. The roads to-day have been quite good. Give my love to all. May God bless you. Accept much love from
Your Affect. Husband
J. F. Culver
- On the 4th the 129th Illinois had been detailed to guard the wagon train as it climbed up over the Cumberland Plateau. It was hard pulling for the horses and mules, and soldiers were detailed to help the teams get the wagons up the steeper grades. Darkness overtook the train before it reached Tantalon, where the brigade camped and the wagons were corralled. Grunert, History of the 129th Illinois, pp. 46-47. [↩]