MOVING INTO REBEL TERRITORY
We got order to move south. We left Chicago on the Illinois Central for Cairo, Illinois. What a jolly crowd. We were such a yelling one. Never heard how many started out on that trip south. Knew of the danger we were going in. We left Cairo on a old boat, the Tecumseh. We left Cairo and were now on the so called confedercy or (unidentified word) grounds. We just got started and got below Columbus on across on the Mosurie side where the first battel was fought. We were now on forbidden soil and had to look out for the enemy.
We got off the boat. Marched up thru the city and out some three miles to camp. The first camp we had. What a time! We had to put up our tents. We had the old Zibly (Sibley) tent and no one knew how to put them up. But we got them up and 24 men to a tent. This was the end of our first camp.
Here the only man that ever deserted out of our company deserted. Don Krire, a man no one ever expected would desert. He got a ziticen (citizen) suit of clothes. Got on a boat up the river and made his way to Canada. What a feeling went up when we learned that Don Krire had deserted. We never heard of him. We heard his wife who lived in Cedarville left there went to meet him. Some of our boys took sick and was sent to St. Loius.
Our first march was from Memphis towards Holly Springs (Misissippi). Our company guarded a train of wagons part of the way. While on this way I seen a persimon tree in a field. I jumped off the wagon. Over the fence I went. Gave the tree a thump with my foot. The ground was covered with persimons. I packed my hat full. Then run to catch the wagon again. I had a hat ful of just the best fruit I most ever ate. They are only good after a hard freeze. After we left the wagons we were ordered to our regiment.