Michigan in the Civil War

Morris, Wayne E., 1836-

Morris was from Ovid, Mich. Approximately 225 letters (1862-1865) written while he was serving in Company C, 23rd Michigan Infantry as corporal. They are essentially love letters to his wife, with many expressions of his religious convictions and reflections and much concern about financial matters. The earlier letters give accounts of his activities in camp in Bowling Green where the regiment was stationed on guard duty, and then on the march after General John Morgan. Later, in the East Tennessee campaign and finally with Sherman in North Carolina, he mentions skirmishes and scouting expeditions, the battle of Campbell's Station, the siege of Knoxville, the battle of Franklin, and the taking of Fort Anderson. Morris was in convalescent camps for several months and later, becoming company clerk, he did not see much active duty. Besides religion he comments on slavery, the southern people, the countryside he passes through, Copperheads and Democrats, the election of 1864, Lincoln's proclamation, officers in the regiment (especially Colonel Spaulding whom he admires), deserters, weather and mud, food, sutlers, sickness, etc. He describes his quarters, camp recreations, the Union Christian Association, fraternizing with the enemy pickets, mail time, a military funeral, the burning of a freight train by guerrillas, a pontoon bridge, and Salisbury prison.

A diary (Oct. 23, 1862-July 19, 1865) gives brief entries concerning movements of the regiment with a lively account of receiving the news of Lee's surrender.