NYC, NY, January 6, 1863
Dear Grandfather [Ralph Austin],
Your letter of December 18th came to hand in due time and I was very glad to hear from you, but sorry to hear that your health continues so poorly and hope this may find you enjoying better health. I have sent you a paper today by mail containing some very important news which I know you will read with a good deal of pleasure.
General Rosencrans has gained a great victory over the Rebels at Murfreesboro, Tenn. After fighting five days, the Rebels retreated in great disorder and our army is in pursuit of the fleeing enemy. The loss is said to be very heavy on both sides.
There has also been a great battle at Vicksburg and we have gained another glorious victory and the Stars and Stripes are now waving over Vicksburg, and Mississippi is cleared of the Rebels. But there is no need of my saying anything about the battles, as you can read it in the papers. We have not as yet received any particulars, but as we do I will send you another paper.
We are having very fine weather here at present, and so far we have had an exceedingly mild winter.
Business is quite dull at this time, but has been very fair until within a few weeks past. Uncle James is working in the store that he used to cart for and is as well as usual. Father’s business has been pretty good until lately.
Uncle Samuel was at our house Christmas and stayed two or three days. He has got his discharge from the army. He looks much better than he did when he was here before.
I received a letter from cousin William Austin last month stating that he was at Nashville and enjoying good health. Said that he had been to Memphis and seen his mother and brother Charles. I don’t think of anything more of importance to write about. All the folks are enjoying good health except mother who has been sick since Christmas but is getting better.
Give my love to all inquiring friends and reserve a share for yourself. I remain as ever your affectionate grandson, M.B. Austin