This letter was written by Miles T. Jones (1842-1897), the son of Zenas Hutchinson Jones (1810-1884) and Eliza M. Woodcock (1814-1887) of Wellsville, Allegany county, New York. He wrote the letter to his younger brother, Hugh H. Jones (1844-1893).
Miles enlisted at Auburn to serve three years in Co. H, 160th New York Vols. He was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in October 1862 but discharged on 31 December 1863 after 14 months service.
The regiment left the state on Dec. 4, 1862, and proceeded to the Department of the Gulf, where it was assigned to the 2nd brigade, Augur’s division, 19th corps. Its first loss was met in the action with the gunboat Cotton in Jan., 1863, where I man was killed and 4 wounded; at Pattersonville in March, where Co. F, Capt. Josiah P. Jewett, was on board the gunboat Diana during the action with the Confederate batteries, it lost 6 killed and 16 wounded, Capt. Jewett being mortally wounded. At Fort Bisland its loss was 7 killed and wounded. It was later engaged at Jeanerette and Plain Store, after which it participated with credit in the long siege of Port Hudson, taking part in the general assaults of May 27 and June 14. Its loss in killed and wounded during the siege was 41.
July 23rd 1863
Dear Brother Hugh,
Having a few leisure moments to spare, I thought that I would write a few lines to you. I have not forgotten you if you have me. I am well at present and so is the most of the boys. There is no news here at present that would interest you. I hope that you are having a nice time this summer at home.
This paper is getting all wet for it rains here quite hard and that that keeps it off is a sheet of cotton cloth and it leaks through. Hugh, you may think that soldiering is a nice thing in a rain storm but I don’t if you do. It has rained every day for the last week.
High, did you go to church last Sunday? Oh how I wish that I could go to church once more in a house. I spent my Sunday on picket guard so you see that there hain’t any rest for a soldier. Hugh, I should think that you might write to me once in awhile. I will try and answer all that you will write to me. Ira finds time to write and I don’t see why you don’t. I am sure that you can find time after all of the rest has gone to bed if you can’t any other time.
Hugh, I do wish that I could think of something to write but there is no news here at present and we can’t get any for we are clear out of the world. And if a New York paper comes there, they ask four hundred dollars apiece for them and we hain’t got money enough to buy one. Hugh, you must be a good boy and stay at home and mind Pa and Ma and do all that you can to please them in their old age for you don’t know how to treasure a Father, Mother, Brothers or Sister’s love. Oh, if I could only be in my younger days, I should know how to respect them.
I must close for this time. I have not wrote any news this time but will endeavor to next time. Believe me to be yours ever true brother, — Lieut. M. T. Jones
To my brother, Hugh Jones
(N. B.) Please write soon.