They left Port Hudson by riverboat bound for Cairo, Illinois, and were to proceed by rail through Chicago to Concord. Gilbert and Joseph were sick by this time, although there is no correspondence discussing this prior to departure. Their neighbor from Orange, Elias Whittier, had died of disease on June 14 and was buried at Port Hudson. Thirty years later his nephew Andrew Whittier would marry Nelson Lovering’s daughter Hattie, who would keep these letters and other correspondence I have.
Along the way they made port, buried the newly dead and left many men too sick to continue the journey. On July 31 they left thirty such men in Memphis, including Gilbert Robie.
On the long train ride home the soldiers were cheered and feted by the citizens of town after town, finally arriving in Concord nearly two weeks later. A newspaper account:
Joseph Lovrien was one of those taken to…
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