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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Harrison, George M. 'George M. Harrison to William H. Herndon' in 'Herndon's Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements About Abraham Lincoln' . Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998. [format: book], [genre: letter]. Permission: University of Illinois Press
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=herndon327.html


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222. George M. Harrison to William H. Herndon.

[late summer 1866? [1]]

Dear sir,

It would afford me much pleasure to be specific without spoiling the sayings of Lincoln

Mr Lincoln went into the Black hawk war many months before I did. He went, I think, in command of a company; I went a private. During the war many companies went to the army and voluntarily offered their services, but were rejected because they were not needed: they bore their own expenses to and from, but were well supplied while there with Uncle Sam's bread and meat. The company I went with found the army at Dixon's; remained there about a week, disbanded and returned home. But I had found a considerable number of my old acquaintance, who were just disbanded by their own request, having been out from the commencement of the war, members of Cap. Elijah Iles'company, — who were just then, or, as many of them as were not quite ready to return home, by permission of the commanding general — Atkinson — forming a new company, by taking to themselves such as they chose from the multitude of the disappointed. The new company thus formed was called the Independent spy company; not being under the control of any regiment or brigade, but receiving orders directly from the commander-in-chief; and always, when with the army, camping within the lines, and having many other privileges, such as, never having camp duties to perform, drawing rations as often and as much as we pleased &c. &c. — Dr. Early dec'd, of Springfield was elected Capt. Five members constituted a tent, or "messed" together, our mess consisted of Mr. Lincoln, Johnson, — a half brother of his, — Fanchier, Wyatt, and myself. The independent spy company was used chiefly to carry messages, to send an express, to spy the enemy, and to ascertain facts. I suppose the nearest we were to doing battle was at Gratiot's grove, near Galena. The spy company of Posey's brigade was many miles in advance of the brigade when it stoped, in this grove, at noon for refreshment. Some of the men had turned loose their horses, and others still had theirs in hand, when five or six Sack & fox indians came near to them. Many of the white men broke after them, some on horseback, some

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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Harrison, George M. 'George M. Harrison to William H. Herndon' in 'Herndon's Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements About Abraham Lincoln' . Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998. [format: book], [genre: letter]. Permission: University of Illinois Press
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=herndon327.html
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