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"Since we left camp Erickson [near Jacinto, Mississippi], we have marched 200 miles at forced marches -- and it has put the boys right through. We have marched about 20 miles a day -- but they have stood it well, and are healthier to day than when they left."

 --Colonel Hans C. Heg of Field & Staff
September 5, 1862, letter from Nashville, Tennessee
about halfway through the retreat

"We are still cut off and have lived on half rations since we were in Murfreesboro and have marched all day and often most of the night. We came here yesterday afternoon, completely exhausted from marching and shall probably march from here this afternoon."

 --Corporal Rollin Olson of Company E
September 16, 1862, letter from Bowling Green, Kentucky
nearing the end of the grueling 400 mile retreat

"We marched through the city to day, as dusty and ragged as any one could be -- but the cheers and hurrahs they gave us showed that we were not thought any less of for being dirty. The girls came out and distributed water, cakes and other articles to the boys all along the streets. My Regiment went through, singing Norwegian Songs, and attracted more attention than any other Regt. that passed...I am as fine as a fiddle, but very tired."


--Colonel Hans C. Heg of Field & Staff
September 26, 1862, letter from Louisville, Kentucky
about their arrival at the end of the retreat

"On top of a hill we formed in line. From here I could see the whole Battle field at a time when it was raging the hardest. It was a sight I shall never forget. During the time we were waiting there, the enemy were having the advantage, and were gaining ground on our men. The smoke and dust filed the air a great deal -- and a constant rattle of cannon and muskets, and now and then came a ball whistling by me so near that I would sometimes bow my head down without hardly knowing it..."

 --Colonel Hans C. Heg of Field & Staff
October 13, 1862, letter from Danville, Kentucky
about the Battle of Perryville, Kentucky

"Here we heard the rattle of musketry directly in front of us. We now advanced in line of Battle down the hill and emerged from the woods into a cornfield where we saw the flying columns of a retreating foe. We then charged in a run over hills and fields. They tried to stand on a hill near Perryville but when we commenced to cheer and shout they again broak and run through town..."

--1st Lieutenant Andrew A. Brown of Company H
October 17, 1862, letter from Crab Orchard, Kentucky
About the Battle of Perryville, Kentucky

"...when we first went into the field the rebles was redy for us in line of battle. we fearlesly started towards them but at the first site of us they started on the retreat we followd them and chased them more than a mile and took from them a lot of wagons and some prisoners...the next morning the rebles had left leaving the field to us but the sight that met my gase next morning when going through the field was tremendious. the shatterd legs and arms and thickly strued bodys of the falen soldiers made the sight terrible."


--Private George Branstad (Brunsted) of Company A
November 3, 1862, letter from Bowling Green, Kentucky
to his sister in Canada, about the Battle of Perryville

"There are many Rebel wounded and dead. Today, October 10, our men are burying the Rebel dead. Many are lying in the nearby woods and it is a gruesome sight to see. We have not heard exactly how many are dead and wounded on our side, but they say many have fallen on both sides. Our regiment escaped unscathed. We must thank God whose hand was over us and protected us from the bullets. It is terrible to see so many dead and wounded."


--Private Lars O. Dokken of Company H
letter written 2 days after the Battle of Perryville

"...it is difficult to see how they [the Confederates] can get out of the state without being utterly routed, if not utterly destroyed.  Lincoln's emancipation proclamation makes them utterly desperate and if crushed now will never rise again here."

--Surgeon Stephen O. Himoe of Field & Staff
October 10, 1862, letter to his wife
about the Battle of Perryville, Kentucky

"It seems to be a common opinion that the war will come to an end and I heartily wish to God that it will."


--Corporal Rollin Olson of Company E
October 10, 1862, letter from near Perryville

"I do wish I could be home, if only for a short while. Now it is beginning to get colder and colder at night, and to lie under the open sky can be pretty rough. We have had no tents to sleep in since we left Iuka [2 months earlier], and we have had a lot of rain and cold weather on our marches. Neither do we have any more clothing than that we are wearing and one wool blanket, which we carry with us. Our other clothes and knapsacks were to be sent to Louisville, but we don't know when they will reach us."

 --Private Lars O. Dokken of Company H
October 19, 1862, letter from Crab Orchard, Kentucky


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