Companies lost in proportion. Oh! what an army of Texas soldiers are lying at old camp Nelson.
Gen. King has informed me since the war, that there are buried there 3500 Texas soldiers. If we had been in battle during that time and lost that number, we would have thought it ruinous, but disease takes them one by one, and in the end kills more than the sword.
I could have stayed here, as nurse until Christmas, but seeing them fall around me of disease, I thought I would prefer the dangers of the army; so the first means of conveyance, I obtained leave of the hospital authorities and started for camp. On the way, we passed through Brownsville, Ark. The second day brought us to camp. I found my cousin, John Meek, in low health from which he never recovered. In a few days, we took up the line of march to Little Rock.
From the last camp, Bayon Meter [Bayou Meto], John Meek and Thomas Boice, were sent to hospital at Little Rock.
From this place, we marched up the river three miles above Little Rock. Our destination, so said, was Ft. Smith, but we were stopped by a tremendous rain; the whole land was so saturated, that the soldiers were compelled to make brush piles or pole scaffolds, to make their beds upon to be out of the water.
While here there occurred a vacancy for third Lieut., owing to the resignation of Lieut. Robertson. We had three candidates, to wit: Russell Adams, H. W. Collins and T. W. Stephens. The latter was elected by a large majority.
At this place, Joe Thomas, a member of our Company, was punished for some disobedience by having to dig up some stumps and trees. I do not now know what the offense was.
From here, we went back to Little Rock. Here was the first time, or place, I had ever seen a steam car, or steam boat.
Here, Gen. [John G.] Walker took command of the Division -- reviewed the troops one of the coldest days I most ever saw. The men, when allowed to break ranks, would pile up like logs to keep from freezing to death. But not withstanding the inclemency of the weather, Gen. Walker stopped in front of each Company, and received an introduction to the Capt., and delivered a short talk.
He was a small man, weight about 140 lbs., height about 5 ft., 10 in., auburn hair, very large blue eyes, long bunch of beard upon his chin, and a mustache; in all a handsome man. He was mounted upon a nice, iron gray horse, of which you will hear more anon.
While here, we heard of the death of Thomas Boice.