Issac Waddell Allen enlisted as a private in Co. D of the Reorganized Fourth Michigan Infantry on August 2, 1864, at Adrian, Michigan. He was mustered into Federal service on August 29, 1864. On May 26, 1866 Isaac was mustered out of service at Houston, Texas. This four page letter was written by Isaac to his sister, Martha Allen of Ann Arbor, Michigan.
I currently have no source to credit for this letter.
On board the Kate Robinson bound for New Orleans
About a hundred miles below Cairo at present
and going as fast as steam can carry us
June 21, 1865
Martha Allen & Arbury [?]
I wrote a few lines to you yesterday but the mail had gone so I thought I would write a few lines more and mail at Memphis if I could. We left Cairo last night about an hour before sundown and run all night. It is now about nine o’clock and we are perhaps about 125 miles from south of Cairo. I like to ride on a boat first rate but we have awful water to drink. The Mississippi is one of the biggest or longest mud holes that I ever saw. We will probably get to New Orleans about Saturday night.
I tell you, Martha, that there is a great deal to be seen by riding fifteen hundred or 2,000 miles on these big rivers.
Tell Pa to let Em have five or ten dollars of that money to pay her for what she sent me. I expect to be home about next Christmas and I guess we will go back by New York and then we will have seen quite a heap of this Southern country. The river is a mile wide here. We are on the hurricane deck and have a good chance to see a great deal but have to sleep in the open air. I can’t think of any more at present. My respects to all.
Write often. This from Isaac