Mobile, Alabama – February 16, 1863

Hd.Qrs. 1st Confederate Regt. Ga. Vol
Mobile, Ala.  Feby 16. 1863.

My dear wife,

I was made extremely rich a few days ago at a very small cost.  After I had made up my mind to wait till the war was over before I heard from you again, I received three letters by one mail, two from you + one from Capt Jack Fortson.1  His did not contain much of any thing, wise or otherwise, but yours, the one of the 16 Jany. particularly.  Such a long, well written, pleasant, cheerful letter. you have no idea how much good it did me.

Such a long, well written, pleasant,
cheerful letter. you have no idea
how much good
it did me.

I can very well afford to wait a month for such a letter.  You dont know how much it helps to reconcile me to all the hardships + privations of camp life, to be assured by yourself that you realise + appreciate the necessity of the course I am persuing, + that you are doing your part of the great work willingly + cheerfully like the sensible patriotic woman I know you to be.  I say go on my dear. I am proud of you.  I love you more to know that my wife would not have her husband lazing about home at such a time as this just for the pleasure of being with him or for what money he could make.  I wish you could get more of the “sisters” to think as you do + drive those able bodied lazy cowards out here to help us. I wonder if those fellows who have dodged all the hard work + fighting wont be ashamed to show their faces when the war is over?  We will see. 

You still ask me about the crop.  What arrangements to make +c.  I can only tell you as I have before my dear, judge, decide, + act for yourself, what you think will be for the best.  I have been very much “hope up” lately about an early peace, but even should it come as soon as I anticipate, It will be too late for me to arrange the crop.  Be sure you plant enough land in Corn.  you know we must eat whether we wear much or not.  Look well to your hogs.  Sell some of the horses or mules if you think best + can get a big price.  But what would you do for something to ride if you sell Blossom?  I am afraid Mag is not Safe enough for you.  Think + do what you think best dear, + be assured I will be satisfied. 

What in the world made you send me that $50?  I have been grieving because I would not be able to send you any money for some time, thinking may be you were hard run  + here comes $50 + an offer to send me 200 more!  I dont understand it.  You certainly would not strict your self + the dear children, just to gratify your womans vanity in having me dressed in a fine uniform.  Is this true Fanny dear?  Me flourishing round here every day in a $250 Suit + you + Pet in homespunWell!  That would be a good joke.  My wages as a private did not feed me + so when I was promoted + had to live in a different style I had to borrow near 300 to set me up.   This is a debt of honor you know dear + must be paid back as soon as possible.  After that I will think of a fine uniform + all that.  Now darling dont think of dividing your little store with me.  If I cant live on a sallary of $110. a month I think I had better go back to the ranks + let the Government feed + clothe me, rough though it be.  No dear save all your money.  You will want some for your trip next summer you know if I dont get home.

I would not mind soldiering so much if I could go home every night.  I dont mind it in the day time, that is all very well, but it is so lonesome at night.

(Inverted postscript, at top of the second and third pages)
Your letter is equal to a bundle of newspapers.  news, news, + from every where.  How do you manage to keep so well posted?  and Uncle Samps2 has gone into the salt business.3  Dont you hope he will make enough to save himself?  Where is his shadow Bill Crunk?  And you want to come soldering with me, well wait till the cold weather is over + I will try to get nearer home + then you can try it a while.  I dont think you will like it though, I would not mind soldiering so much if I could go home every night.  I dont mind it in the day time, that is all very well, but it is so lonesome at night.

Well I reckon it must have been Joe who told you of my little French widow Hall in Greenville.  The Scamp to blab + tell tales out of School.  She had agreed to teach me French, + I had just got ready to commence a taking lessons when I was ordered to Mobile. I reckon it was all right, for I might have got to taking Some other sort of lessons.  She is a very pretty Sociable, bouncing little widow.  The Pensacola refugees were treated rather badly by the Greensville people.4 When the Small pox broke out there I sympathised with them + took some little pains to have them all vaccinated free of charge, for which they were duly grateful. I was extremely popular with them all + they begged me to come to Pensacola to live when the war is over.  The widow + her Father particularly insisted on it.  As it is dear be assured I left Greenville with no act to regret. I have not seen a woman since I left home that could tempt me for a moment to forget the dear old girl of my heart.  The mother of my children. I am too old for such nonsense as that dearest be assured.  You fill all my thoughts + desires in the way of a woman.  And you think you will be a little shy + maidish when we meet eh?  We’ll see about that.  You must not be quite as hard to be kissed as you were before we were married, will you?

Well my paper is out + I am not half done talking to you.
wont we make up for lost time when we do meet, GoD bless my wife + baby
Alex

(Inverted postscript at top of first page) There is no war news of importance.  Some think there will be a fight soon near Vicksburg but it is all guess work.  No late word from Joe.  He was well at last account.  All well in Eutaw.

(Inverted postscript at top of fourth page)  Congress is doing very little, hammering at the “exemption bill” we are all looking anxiously to the action of the Convention that is to meet on the 18 at Frankfort, Ky.  The Legislatures of Ky, Ohio, Indiana + Illinois want the war stopped.  Can they do it?

The Letter:

Click on images to enlarge.

  1. See <a href="https://blogs.baylor.edu/believemeyourown/people-of-note/" target="_blank">People of Note</a>
  2. See <a title="People of note" href="https://blogs.baylor.edu/believemeyourown/people-of-note/" target="_blank">People of Note</a>
  3. <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salt_in_the_American_Civil_War" target="_blank">Salt</a> was important for preserving food and curing leather. Louisiana, Florida, and the salt marshes of Virginia were important suppliers of salt to the Confederacy.
  4. In May of 1862 Union Troops gained control of <a title="Nat'l Park Service: Teaching with Historic Places" href="http://www.nps.gov/nr/twhp/wwwlps/lessons/38pickens/38facts1.htm" target="_blank">Pensacola</a> and its inhabitants fled. Pensacola became a base of operations for raids into Florida and Alabama.

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