Second Lieutenant Peter W. Wikoff of the 86th Illinois Infantry

Head Quarts Detchmt
86th Ill Vol Inft.
Atlanta, Ga. Nov 6th 1864

Wikoff writes of his regiment’s successful attempt to suppress the daring raids of General Nathan Bedford Forrest on Union supplies along the Tennessee River:

…I wish you to know my sentiments & for whom I would vote and give my influence for, if I had the privilege of voteing. According to the views of the Democratic Legislature of our State, Ill. soldiers are not entitled to vote for a President. other State Legislatures that have a union majority say that their soldiers shall have a vote, this showes which party is the friend of the Soldier…It is the only party in the country, but what has furnished to the country all the copperheads and armed rebels that we have. They are all from the Democrat party…Our Div. has been on another chase. First by way of R.R. to Florence, Ala & back, & from there to Rome, Ga. Thence up to Kingston…”

Source: eBay, March 2011 auction

Peter W. Wikoff mustered into service on 27 August 1862. He was promoted to Second Lieutenant on 17 January 1863 and mustered out on 6 June 1865 at Washington, D.C. The 86th Illinois Infantry suffered significant losses at Kennesaw Mountain and participated in the Atlanta Campaign.