The letter is from Napoleon Weis:
I seat myself by a little oak fire in the dark to write you a few lines. I can hardly see so you must do the best you can about reading it ... We are all around this same little fire in good health and enjoying ourselves as well as could be expected for soldiers.
We have had a little battle among all the little fights . . . We lost 37 men killed, 60 wounded, 15 prisoners. The Yankees lost 355 killed, and wounded I have no idea. We exchanged wounded prisoners with them and had 60 more than they had and we took a receipt for them. We also took 1,240 [muskets, perhaps -- meaning not clear]. Cousin David and Peter was (sic) in the fight and came out safe . . . The battleground is about 4 miles long. We also captured two pieces of artillery and a good many small arms. Some of the boys got . . . clothing and a good many horses . . .
I think they are leaving us as fast as they can. They have ruined this country from Opelousas down -- about 100 miles of very rich country . . . destroyed all fences, burned and torn down a great many houses and took away all the sugar and cotton in their reach. They also used up a great deal of corne
potatoes and beefe (sic) . . . they paid very dearly for it . . .
I almost forgot how you all look -- and I have not had a scratch of a pen from a Soule since I have been over here . . . take care of yourselves and do the best you can . . .
Your affectionate son, Napoleon.