Letter From the "Preston Blues."
November 25, 1861.
To the Editor of Jonesboro Gazette:
Thinking perhaps it might not be uninteresting to some of your readers to hear from the Union county boys located here, I venture this brief letter for your paper. To follow the company through the various changes, marches, and expeditions with which it has been identified would be tedious and unimportant. Suffice it to say that the Thirteenth Missouri, of which we form a part, is now fully organized, armed and equipped, ready for the field, and is universally regarded as one of the finest appearing, best drilled and disciplined regiments in the Western Division — a reputation won through the energy of our commanding officer, Col. Wright of Cincinnati; a true gentleman and a thorough military man — a graduate of West Point and a classmate with Jeff Davis. J. F. St. James, of Ste. Genevieve, Mo., is our Lieut. Colonel, and a braver young man never grasped his blade in his country's defense; indeed, the same brave spirit characterizes the entire Staff.
Immediately upon the organization of the regiment, we were presented with a rich and dazzling suit of regimental colors, through the generosity of the ladies of Cincinnati, who have proved themselves not unmindful of the many privations known only to the soldier on the bloody field. As if not enough, we were yesterday agreeably surprised by the arrival, from the same source, of another of those beautiful banners, which evince the patriotic taste of the fair donors. The regiment was called one in full dress parade, and the colors presented with all the ceremony usual upon such occasions, after which Frank Blair favored us in person with a brief and appropriate speech; he was followed by Brig. General Strong, commander of the post.
The health of the troops here is generally good, though several companies have suffered to some extent with the measles, and among them the Union boys have had their full share, although we have been called to mourn the loss of only two of our members — Jasper Miller, who died on the 2d October last, and John Rose, whose death occurred on the 10th inst. Our company, rank and file, now numbers ninety-eight effective men, who will tell for themselves if called into action. Capt. Lemley has shown himself a superior officer, in every way worthy of the honorable position he holds. P. W. Frogge, First Lieutenant, has proved himself an excellent officer, and the writer, having been favorably noticed by the military authorities, and promoted from the ranks to a Second Lieutenancy, is adding his mite to the military efficiency of the company. B. S. Province has been assigned the position of First Sergeant, and fills the office much to his own credit and the satisfaction of the men.
The capture of Slidell and Mason is the leading topic of conversation here, and various are the predictions as to what will be the course of the English government in the matter. Large bodies of troops continue to arrive at this post daily, and the prospect of a speedy movement of the grand army southward is hailed by all with great enthusiasm. Gen. Halleck, since his arrival here, has been very reserved as to future movements, but from the concentration of such large bodies of men at St. Louis it is highly probable that the long-contemplated descent of the Mississippi is about to be realized. T. J. R.