The 113th Illinois Infantry participated in the "Western Theater" of the war, principally Tennessee, Louisiana, Arkansas
and Mississippi--the mounting drama in Edward's letters heightened further by the specifics in his diaries.
Edward penned moving accounts of:
* June 2, 1864 (hisfinal diary entry, when exiting Memphis) the second day of the second march to occupy/detain Forrest.
didn't write again for ten months, his next communication a letter dated April 1, 1865, Direct: U.S. Hospital,
Grafton, West Virginia (738 miles northeast of Memphis, TN.) Edward had endured and survived the unthinkable:
* the Battle of Brice's Crossroads.
three Confederate prison confinements.
* severe malnutrition, 58-
pound weight loss, near-death condition.
* the perils of escape.
* sea transport from Wilmington, NC, to Annapolis, MD.
Edward had to shift to survival mode, nightmares
and sleep-startling imagery invading
Captain Henry Wirz.
War's corrosive experiences--the odious, horrific memories--compelled Edward to
stop writing about the war. Others could tell the story, if they chose to do so. Fortunately, several of his
contemporaries did just that.
Sgt. James H. Dennison
, Company "K" 113th Illinois, kept diaries
, published by the Kankakee Historical Society and edited
by Jack Klasey, chronicles the conditions, soldiers, and timelines at Andersonville and other Confederate prisons.