Oct 20th A. D. 1864
My Dear Daughter
I embrace the insant opertunity to write you a few lines to let you know that I am still alive and well.
I will give you a short account of my experience for the last ten or twelve days. We started a week ago last Tuesday from Olathe and camped two days on the Blue north of Aubriy. Friday morning at 2 o-clock we left Camp and marched in to Mo to Hickmans Mill a distance of 17 miles where we camped until Saturday morning we then drew 4 days rations of hardtack, salt, coffee & sugar and started for Warrensbourge by the way of Pleasant Hill a distance of 50 miles. Marched all day and all night and arrived at Warrensbourgh at 8 oclock next morning. (Sunday) Stayed at Warrensbourge until 5 in the afternoon and having heard of (unreadable) rebels in that region we returned to Pleasant Hill a distance of 32 miles which we made by 12 o clock midnight where we were joined by Gen Blunts command, Monday morning we took up our line of march again in the direction of Warrensbourge and arrived at the village of Haolden distant from Pleasant Hill 20 miles and went into camp at 4 o clock cooked our supper and fed our horses here Blunt learned that the rebels had gon in the direction of Lexington a distance of 35 miles north east from holden we started again at 10 p m and marched until 3 a m Tuesday morning and then camped and fed our horses again. Took a little sleep and resumed our march at 7 o clock from Lexington where we arrived about 3 in the afternoon. Camped at Lexington Tuesday night and Wednesday noon the rebels made their appearance south east of town. We mounted and went out south of town one mile and the Eleventh formed in line of battle Co D on the right of the left wing of the army which brought us in the center next to the battery. We skirmished with them a while and learning that the rebs were trying to go around us on the south side of us we changed our position and engaged the main column of the enemies advance here we done our first firing and here my horse was shot under me and I had to leave the field. My horse was shot through the thigh our forses finding the enemy to to strong for us fell back in good order and made a retreating of 4 hours over a distance of 5 miles. The rebs advancing we retreating but making a stand every two or three hundred yeards until after dark when the rebs withdrew and we continued our retreat until we arrived on the big blue 30 miles this side of Lexington. Our forces are camped on the blue awaiting the enemy at that place. We learn that Gen Rosecrance is not very far in miles near we hope to hold him in check until Rosecrance can come up with him when general engagement will take place.
Our loss in killed will not exceed 12 in the (unreadable) and I have not heard of any being killed in any of the other of our regiments engaged in the fight. Co D lost one man killed his name was James Long from near Rising Sun. He was shot through the body and died soon after he was shot. Wm McCall was left in town when we went out to fight he had left camp and gon to town and we had not time to look for him. He is in all probability killed or a prisoner we had none wounded I came up here this morning with my wounded horse and shall return to camp tomorrow. The 4 RKIM is here. I took dinner with our Oskaloosa boys in their camp today they are all well.
You can form some idea of a soldiers duty in active service when you learn that we have traveled over two hundred and twenty miles in five days traveling day and night and winding up with a fight and a retreat of 30 miles without halting. As my time for writing is short I must bring my letter to a close by saying that you must do the best you can to keep yourselves comfortable and do not be alarmed on account of old Price for he will never march into Kansas he will either be captured or make his escape in to the south soon give my love to all the children write soon direct to Co D 11. K. V. via Olathe
Kiss from your father