Letter written by Private John D. Compton of Company G, 105th OH Volunteer Infantry, to his siblings, from a camp near Murfreesboro. Compton describes how he was taken prisoner while foraging . He is back in camp after being paroled and describes his experience as a prisoner of the Confederates for three days. Compton says they were mistreated by provost guards. He attempted to leave the parole camp to visit his comrades in the 105th, but the guards found out. Compton writes disparagingly of the Union officers he was captured with. He suggests that his brother stay out of the army. Despite the tone of his letter Compton insists he is not homesick, and does not want his parents to worry about him.
Camp Near murphysbrough
Feb 19 1863
Dear brother and sister as I have some Time I will rite a few lines to you to let you no that I am well at presant and hope these few lines will find you the same Well Jim I thought I would rite and give you a decription of how I was taken I had ben with the Reg 9 1/2 days they sent us out ot forage some stuff for the need to eat on the 21 of Jan got a bout 6 1/2 miles from camp when the Reb began to fire in our front We got one of our wagons and loded our guns and some of the boys fired into them the oficers was taken captin Canfield and lieutenant Torgee 3 otherSeth Perker and my Self Was all that Was taken before that you new but [???] Renginan Was taken We are all here in camp the oficers I supose will put us in the ranks but if they do for the [???] is broken they say but that is nothing to do with us they must be careful how they get in a fight with me for I think I am very good shot with the gun they give me Some of the boys has got home and When We get Paid off I Will leve too I think I have my PP [Provisional Parole] in my pocket Well Jim I will tell you how we lived while the Reb had us We stayed in a cart House We lived on corn
bread and bisket with some sow bekon [bacon] the bread no salt in it but they had none neither so I could stand it they kept us 3 days then give us our P.P. and took us out of their lines and set us out for our selves We Went to Munfordsville Ky got on the cars and started for Lusville Went thus 3 days in [???] then Went to Nashville Tenn Kep 2 1/2 days then went to murphysborough stoped 2 days I ran away and went to see the boys and back every night they found out that We Were found to [???] they said that We might go out to camp so rather than to lay in fall we went the gard said that they was glad to get red of us they said dam the 105 all Hell could not Keep some of them and I was one of them you can [reckon] but Jim I said I would tell you What i had to eat we had flour from the time they Paroled us till we got out of their lines we mixed it up on a Plate and backed it on a ford with out any salt or shortning it Was flour and water that we got from a inn by the side of the rode they treeted us as well as they used their own men but we did not get enough of that When we got a mong the Dam northern sholder straps Jim if I live till the War is over their will be some of the Straps Ketch Hell I think one has got his just do Torgee is a mong the Reb and god noes I hope he will stay their till the War is over
Jim you no what he rote Home a bout me When Was taken before he rote Home that I and Seth Parker was Drunk I hope they Will Keep him till he can learn to tell the truth and I guess they Will Jim I am a single man and can stand it but it is Well for you did not inlist When I did and I will give you some good advice you ar out and do you keep out the boys has gone out expecting a fight before they get back I should have had to go if it had not have ben that they did not no whether they had a rite to ask us or not I expect every day When they Will if they do old Hall will get the first charge from my gun if he goes in front dont tell or sho this to every one for it might get out you no and it might go hard with me but I Will do as I say if I get a good chance for I should have ben home now if it had not ben for him and I [always] Pay my Debts I gess he will get his Pay for the Boys all owes the same debt I gess some of them will Pay the debt Well Jim you may think that I am Home sick for the Way I rite but I am not but it makes me mad to think how they Will beg a fellow to get Him Draft once is a nough I think tell our fokes not to fret for I will come out all rite tell Pa to send
get my clothes at Columbus if he sent them When I last herd from Home Pa Was Sick I hope he may get well tell him not to fret a bout me for I am well and tuff rite to John D. Compton Co G 105 2 Brigade 5 Division Murphysburough Tenn
Care of Captin Crowell
tell Pa to send me some stamps so I can by some Paper
John D. Compton was the son of farmers Rueben and Margaret Cary Compton. He was born in New York in 1842. Sometime between 1850 and 1860 the family moved west and settled in Kingsville, Ashtabula County in Ohio. He was killed on July 22, 1864 during the battle of Atlanta from a gun shot wound to the abdomen.