A Soldier’s Complaint

My great-great-great-grandmother, Mary Howard Affleck was not alone in criticizing the government over management of the Civil War army. The following excerpt is from a letter written to Sarah Forrer by Joan Murray (a close friend of Mary and her sister, Sarah F.) Joan’s son-in-law, Charlie, was a full Major in Company S of the Ohio 96th Infantry Regiment. Charlie was one of the lucky ones – he returned home to his wife and children.

“Our last news is of the 15th of Feb still at Young’s Point, with many sick and very destitute of provisions for them. Charlie is indignant at the neglect of sick and wounded soldiers in the army. Callie is now busy trying to get off a few boxes of onions, fruits, etc. Had a line from Gov. Todd promising a passport, and ½ fare for ticket for an agent to be sent with them. I see he has been refused by the legislature means to purchase a steamer for the use of Ohio troops – it is too bad. Charlie says they are murdering soldiers by their “red tape” issues.