Office of the Jacksonville Journal,
Jacksonville, Ill., July 31st 1861
Gov. R. Yates
I am at home today after a visit of several days at LaSalle, and take the first opportunity to write you of a desire which I have for some time ardently cherished, but have not hinted because I have known there was no opening. My whole thought and heart is in the war, and I would like to go with a regiment as chaplain. I know that the Colonels have the appointment of these officials, but some of my friends suggest to me that your endorsement or
suggestion would go a great ways. If I know my own heart I am not prompted by any other motives than a desire to serve my country and make myself useful to the troops in a truly benevolent capacity. I do not thus trespass upon your attention unmindful of the delicate nature of the task. If you could do anything to further my desire, I should remember it gratefully and reciprocate the service in every way possible.
Wm H. Collins
P.S. I can furnish any testimonials which may be desired.
W. H. Collins
Application for Chaplain