DeValls Bluff, Arkansas
March 2nd 1865
Yours of the 19th ult. has been received. I can say that I have the same longing desire to see you and be with you that [you] express toward me. I do not share with you in all your doubts of our future success although at times I have many dark hours as well as others. I do not mark out and entertain any course to pursue because it is certain of success by any means but as the best course to pursue under all circumstances. This as I understand it is the only true way to follow in this life. All roads are more or less hilly, and the traveler may be lost on most any of them at certain times, but one must be traveled and the only practical question is, which can be traveled with the most safety and is best adapted to the travelers means of travel.
Time drags slowly on here with me. As I have my mind made up to leave the service, it does not have that interest for me that it otherwise would, And this is a miserably dull place anyway. It is true we have boats arriving here every two or three days, but there is no society here and nothing going on but a little dry military duty that is incident to a military post of this kind. And then it is in Arkansas. If there is a state or country that I detest in the full acceptation of the term, it is Arkansas. It is worth nothing but as a human slaughter pen. It would be a fit place for traitors to “die in the last ditch” in. It would take but a short time for them to pick their last pick down here.
It is raining today and I have no good books to read and hardly know how to occupy my time profitably. I have been about as usual since writing you before. Have had some cough but two or three days. I had a very pleasant dream the other night of being with you. I thought we were in your room sitting down by the window together. We talked by moonlight for a long time. O what a pleasant dream. Mother called out, “Mary,” and I woke up and was perplexed that it was not reality. I very often take delight in thinking of my dear wife.
I presume the reason of Mother’s wondering that I was not coming sooner was that I wrote them some time ago and intimated that I might be home sooner. At that time we hoped to be paid before this. We don’t hear anything with reference to pay excepting a report a few days ago that we were to be paid by the 20th of this month but was to receive only four months pay. A good many of the troops of this department have been sent to New Orleans and there is no prospect of any move south from here this spring.
General Andrews and staff are down on the Gulf near Pensacola Bay. I received a letter from Lt. [Heman D.] Pettibone the other day giving me a history of what he had seen &c. He is promoted to be First Lieutenant in another company now. Col. [Hans] Mattson & Foster have been at me for some time to go over to the house some evening and have a game of whist and I was going tonight but as it rains very hard, I shan’t go. Lt. Col. Foster told me the other day that he had fine soldiering this winter. This is about our only pastime here.
Let me see, I believe you and I have played whist together. The honors don’t count at the nine hole. I wish you were here with me today or I with you there. I would give anything to see you. You are so precious to me.
Ever yours, — Isaac Taylor
Return to Isaac Taylor Letters