Greenville, Alabama – October 23, 1862

Greenville, Ala.  Oct 23, 1862

My dear wife

Your letter dated Sept 7.  I reckon you made a mistake in the month as the letter was post marked Oct 11, was handed me this morning + I leave you to imagine my feelings.  The brightest + Sweetest of my little birds has withered away, another of my earthly idols Shattered.  May GoD who gave us the dear little angel + took her away, comfort you my dear stricken wife, my heart is too full, the blow is so sudden + I have no words.  I dont know how you feel, but it is hard very hard for me to think that I will never behold her dear features + hear her winning voice again.1  I join heartily in your prayer that GoD may enable us proffit by this severe despensation of his providence.

We are all hurry + bustle in camp this morning preparing to join our Regt.  We take the [camp?] this evening at 8 o’clock.  What is our destination I cannot even guess.  You need not write me at this place until further advice.  I have no news yet from Richmond, + no idea when I will be at home.  I am satisfied that I am entitled to a discharge under the late exemption act, but think it almost impossible to get the necessary papers through in the present confused state of our affairs.2  perhaps the quickest way would be for major to send a petition directly to the Secty of War,3 signed by the neighbors, setting forth my age, profession, length of time I enlisted for, the necessity for my presence at home +c +c.  In this case he might send me a discharge directly from head quarters.  I will make applications myself when I get to the Regt if I find there is any probability of success – My health is good with the exception of a severe cold which I hope will be better in a few days. Joe is in his usual good health.  There is no news that would interest you.  I have not time to write more at present, but will write every opportunity.  

Love to all + believe me
your affectionate husband

The Letter:

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  1. Morgan has received notice of the death of his infant daughter, Fan.
  2. The Confederacy passed three conscription acts. An Exemption Act was passed in October of 1862.
  3. Major was Fanny’s step-father.  The Confederate States Secretary of War at this time was Thomas Jefferson’s grandson, George Wythe Randolph.  Randolph was appointed on March 18, 1862. He helped reform the war department, improving procurement and writing a conscription law similar to one he had created for Virginia. He was best known for strengthening the Confederacy’s western and southern defenses.

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