Mother and Father,
I hope this letter finds you, David, Jacob, Nathanial, Mortimer, William, Zachary, Natalie, Priscilla, Sarah, little Mabel and Constance well?
I am doing as best as can be expected.
We marched from the hilly cemetery northward to the village of Multnomah for supplies and then northeast to a place called Beaverton to dig in for camp. Curiously, we have encountered no beaver.
The days are quite long, but the spirits of the men are holding strong, mother and father. Oh what a sight it is! All of us, dressed in our Union Blues, marching 4 rows abreast, in a quick step, through fields of deep lush green! The locals seem so impressed. Cheering us on, occasionally running toward us, but always careful to not break ranks, with baskets of fresh buttermilk and biscuits! I think they expect the same excellent results we expect and anticipate of ourselves! The honor!
As we dug in for the night last, the men began with such urgent merriment. Jeb Smith, you might recall me writing of him in a letter or two past, came out of his tent with his banjo, and along with Jonathon and Jonah Davidson, well suffice it to say we all ended up having one grand singalong with plenty of hooting, hollering and knee slapping! At one point Jeb became so frenzied with the music and moment he stepped into the fire and set his trouser leg ablaze! We all laughed and announced that Major Zerkil wouldn't be all too pleased to see the fine deep blue of the Union in such a charred state!! We all laughed heartily after that I can tell you!
Yes, the days are long but before long we hope to find ourselves in the mighty town of Portland. The march is many days, and the hills are long as well as steep, but we are sure of foot and correct in stance. I look back to my days of milking cows and running after the rogue hen as good and proper training.
This enclave of Beaverton has the strangest of customs! There are places for the purchasing of accessories for horse and beast alike called Starbucks, but I nary see any saddle nor harness, feed nor plow parts. General mercantiles named Plaid Pantry, Safeway and Fred Meyer that have the most odd and curious things for trade indoors of them: boxed foodstuffs, beers and alcohols with names that seem whimsical and perhaps in need of church approval. Not to mention more than two stores offering Hot Chicks! But I see no chicks nor eggs anywhere in sight!
There are people out here called Commuters too. They all seem to work in buildings that are higher and more fancy than anything I've seen in all of Minnesota. They partake in this ritual where they stay inside all day, and then sure as the clock is always good-n-right, flock to metal boxes on four wheels that are neither beast nor foot powered, and crowd the roads and lanes! They favor calling it, Rush Hour! Oh, my!! These eyes have never seen such a sight I must declare!
You and father would laugh deeply too, as they have a condition out this way called, Blue Tooth! Some people, it seems the busier more important types, have -what looks to me as- something from a metalsmith attached to their very ear (never both, just one) and they just carry on and on and on. Yes, I speak only the truth beloved parents!! They place this metal object into their ear and start talking! I swear it!! A few of my regiment, as well as I, well we think it has something to do with the Rebs and some sort of evilcraft they have wrought onto these poor beings. But again, let the Union Blue in... and we'll clear that kind of blight from their souls!
So, as the rains near where I write this from, my heart and soul takes me back to fields of pumpkins, snow, high winds and leaves blowing to and fro. How does this dear son's letter find my family? Why just the other day Corporal Ezechiel Howard asked me, ME, what it is that I hear from the heartland of Minnesota! He remembered, such an important and wise man recalled where it is that I hail from! Oh, the honor! I would kill tenfold the Southern bastard in his honor and name alone! Are the chickens giving of their eggs in quantity? Has father's leg healed from the fall in the turkey pen? How is it that my 11 brothers and sisters are doing? I can feel that they, you and father, miss me not nearly half a stone as much as I miss you all! Corporal Howard feels, and tells us quite regularly, that with any luck and the skill that we all possess in our mighty hands, this war shall end quite soon and we may, even perhaps, be on our own sacred parcels of land by this very Christmas! Quite the news!!
I am held to a certain amount of secrecy but I am sure of no dishonor to say, we plan to march on Portland in the soonest future and with some sort of luck, those bastard Rebs will have known some sort of common sense and run away as they see us, 25 thousand strong, quick-stepping down cemetery ridge! And just like that, Portland will be ours!
Oh the men, my dearest mother and father, what a glorious sight we make! Bearded, clean shaven, short, of length with tallness, husky, but all firm-n-fit... marching as one, for one cause!!
I am staying strong for my return to the farm and crops, be sure to tell father of that? And thank you and Auntie Gundersson for the wonderful dried berries and jerky (too much military food perhaps, but would that jerky be Squirrel or Woodchuck, I can't quite discern).
I bet the snow's of mid-fall have come, and thinking of them, I couldn't be more homesick if I tried. My heart is laden, yes it's true, but my shorts are clean (just like you always taught me, mother) and my rifle is heavy with the preponderance of death and killin' Southern crackerjacks!
Well it is minutes from lights out here in our camp, the rains are coming... think of them as tears of your eldest son. And know this, we will take Portland sooner or later and blood may spill but when the end comes...
The True Blue of the Union stands forever and eternal!
Your Loving Son,
Yerkel Frederick Xenes Ollaferssonn, Pvt. 2nd Class, 3rd Battalion, 155th Reg, Union Army
Keep Ridin'... Always