Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

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Reminiscences of the Civil War by William and Adelia Lyon.

August 1, 2015

Reminiscences of the Civil War, William and Adelia Lyon

Colonel Lyon’s Letters.

Aug. 1, 1865.—Yesterday we received a mail and in it two letters from you of the 9th and 13th of July, the first I have had from you since I left home. It makes me feel as though it had broken up the feeling of isolation that prevails here. The country seems to be pretty healthy and the men seem to improve—I think perhaps because we all live short. I think no army since the war began has been so miserably supplied as is this army. The coarsest and plainest food is all we can get, and even that is frequently scant and of poor quality. There is one advantage in this, and that is that we can not spend much money.

General Stanley and Corps headquarters arrived here last evening. I do not think we shall go to Austin. The understanding now is that one division goes to San Antonio de Bexar and the other two remain at Victoria, 20 miles from here. Which division goes up the country we do not know. There will probably be no movement for two weeks yet. We all, officers and men, feel wronged and outraged that we are kept in service. The law under which we volunteered declares that we shall be discharged as soon as the war is over. The war is over. Throughout the whole broad land there is not an organized force of rebels in arms. The people of the South have all returned to their allegiance and in good faith are endeavoring to restore civil government. There is no earthly use for an army here, and yet the Government is paying 150,000 men.

I do not mean by this that there is so large a force in Texas. Probably there are not 75,000 soldiers here, but the organizations to which they belong contain that number of men. Only a little over half of the 13th is here and none of the absentees return, yet all have to be paid. I am astonished that the people at home do not insist on having the army mustered out on the ground of economy. I myself was opposed to doing it too hastily; but the time has now come when the regular army and the colored troops are ample for all the purposes that an army is required for.

Of course it makes no difference to me whether this corps is mustered out or not, for I can get out of the service any time. I have already written to you that I have concluded to remain until September 25th, when I am entitled to be mustered out. Then there is a bare hope that the regiment will be mustered out by that time.

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