Camp 1st Confederate Ga Regt. Mobile Ala. Apr 6, 63.
My Dear Wife
We have mooved again, back into the Same Brigade we were put in first, we have stoped this time in half a mile of our old camp, a mile south of town. Mooving is a necessary part of the inconveniencis, of a soldiers life. our old camp Beulah is four miles west of town. I hated to leave it because I was so comfortably fixed, a nice tent with a brick chimney to it. We will move again soon, I reckon I will get used to it after a while + then I wont mind it. The confusion + bustle of moving here prevented me from answering your letters before this. Your letters of the 5th 10th + 13th of Mch came all together a few days ago. My old luck a fast or a feast, I have read them all over + will now answer all together, I am sory to hear of Bristows continued bad health + am at a loss to know how to prescribe for him. Cant you get him off to some springs? You say Norwood has moved down, has he bought the Rodgers place? I am glad you are pleased with his wife. I know you have a dull time when you go visiting. I wish there were a few more like sister Poag near you. GoD bless her for all her kindness to you. You ask if you may buy the Floris place. by all means sell where you are + buy it. I would rather have it than any place in that whole country. The land is very fine + the place is about big enough for us + there it would be so convenient for you + Sister Poag to just step across the bayou + discourse one another any time. Mollie W has been in trouble several times since I left, has she not? I think you wrote me she had had a miss or two. P+W dont drink as much as ever surely?
When Mundy + the rest of them tease you about my sweet hearts, do you just
remember one thing. My children
are the only rivals you have or are likely ever to have in my affections.
Is this letter you speak of the dear brats. always put in something about them, a thousand little things that you are used to in them would interest me. When Mundy + the rest of them tease you about my sweet hearts, do you just remember one thing. My children are the only rivals you have or are likely ever to have in my affections. If you + they were put in the ballance of my hearts, shall I say it? I hardly know which side would go up, A good looking woman can be found easily enough, but it would be hard for me to get three more such brats any where, are you jealous now; speaking of women + wives, my darling let me set your mind at ease on that question, as to my falling in love with any of these pretty Mobileans, or instituting inviduous comparisons between them + you the thing is simply ridiculous, + as far falling as you hint there is a possibility of, I am sure there is, but one chance, + that is for some good one to commit a rape on me,1 + I assure you that chance is a poor one. As for the regular whores I avoid them from habit as well as on principle. I see enough of the fruits of associating with them every day to scare off any prudent man. I was never in a whore house + dont think my curiosity will ever lead me into one. I never want to see women as degraded as they must necessarily be. I love my wife mother sisters + little daugther too well to be willing to see any thing that would lower the sex in my own estimation. I know you are all virtuous + good + I want to think as many of your sex so as possible. So my dear girl make yourself entirely comfortable on the wine + women question. I give you my word of honour I neither drink or whore it.
— This morning one year ago the battle of Shiloh commenced. What a strange exciting day it was to your old boy you can imagine. the night before Capt Jack, Uncle Peter + I lay down, on the fine blanket you gave me when I left you, together when we got up I threw it into the ambulance + never saw it again. When I think of that day it seems a great while ago, but that night + the next one I will never forget. I hope I may never pass two more such, well it is past now + I am still thankful that I was not one of the 10000 killed wounded + missing in that terrible battle. Spring is coming on fast + it is now time for active operations. Where will the next big fight come off? + when? + who of us will be killed?
If I had my way I would reinforce Braggs army with every man we could spare from other points.
I look troublingly toward Tennessee. Rosecrans is an able General + has with him the best fighting material the yanks have.2 If I had my way I would reinforce Braggs army with every man we could spare from other points. We must whip that fight, a severe defeat there would, I think, prolong the war indefinitely, whilst a complete victory would open the way to peace at once. I try to trust the matter to Providence but still I cant help a little uneasiness about the matter.
You did right to let Con have Blossom, try to have his horse fat by the time I come, I have given out all hopes of a furlough, but think I will try soon to get a transfer to the trans-Mississippi Department + call to see you on my way to head Quarters. The Medical Directors dislike to give up a sober attentive reliable man. I have not asked Ross3 about it yet. I think it is doubtful whether he will part with me. I can only try. There is as much drinking + other disipation among the Surgeons as any other class of Officers. I blush to say it but it is true. And poor old Smithson is gone at last. What a strange wandering aimless life his was. an illustration of the old proverb “a jack of all trades + master of none.” I must say this for him he was one of the most benevolent + accomodating men I ever knew. As our world goes “good to every body but himself” His great sin was he did “not get all he could + keep all he got.” I have wondered many a time if this judgement of our wooden world would not be reversed at the Big Court? Did you ever think of it. You did not know the old man well enough to like him. But I’ll stop moralizing. So Thompson takes after her Ma with her tongue. GoD bless the child! How I would like to hear the music of her little tongue that I used to tell her was tied in the middle + loose at both ends. I think I could listen to it now for a while any how. Dont grieve darling for the dear lost loved one but love + cherish the one that is left. Our Father knows best. Let us be silent + thankful
Apl 7. I was interrupted last night as usual but will try to finish this in time for todays mail. Dont be uneasy about any more of my debts but save your money to pay taxes with. Bill Orrs salary will keep him very well till the war is over + then I can pay him. And my boy Jim studys grammar. Tell him to go ahead. I want him to be a scholar + Ross too, he ought not to let Jim be so far ahead of him. I am glad you got the pan [?]. I think I sent you some water melon seed too, did you get them? I am sure I intended to acknowledge the receipt of the fifty dollars you sent me. It came safely to hand. By the way dear you may send me the celebrated recipe for making Ink, that you laughed at me so much about, just copy it out of my Recipe Book. Good ink is not to be had here,
Your letter of 18 Mch came to hand this morning I will write again soon, among my other troubles by the late move, my Hospital Steward got drunk + I dismissed him + I have not been able to replace him yet, so I have all my work to do. I will get another soon though + then have more time on my hands. I have had but the one letter from Joe. I reckon he dont have as much time to write as he used to. He was tired of doing nothing where he was + I expect it is or soon will be “vise versa” as the Clown says. He seemed delighted with the change though + that is a great thing, “to be satisfied.” Eh? I have old Jo with me yet. Pa wrote me to keep him until he wanted him, which will not be as long as I need him. There is no war news of importance. Some pretty lively skirmishing. I heard yesterday that the President had suspended the conscript law, but doubt if it be true, or if true I think it only a trick to catch the thousand of cowardly thieves who are lying out of reach of the Officers. If so I hope it will succeed entirely. When is Capt Terrells Co going? 4 I never see a La paper + dont know any thing about how matters go there You cant call this a half sheet. Love to Ma + Maj + all the friends + take good care of your dear self + children your own
Postscript inverted at top of page:
Tell Timmy he is wrong about me, not wanting to come home. It is not the will but the power that I want. I look to him for a crop tell him.
Click on images to enlarge.
Due to the Union blockade, paper was very scarce in the South. This envelope was made from a piece of folded ledger paper and is known as an “adversity cover.”
- That is, “abduct me” ↩
- Gen. William Starke Rosecrans commanded the Army of the Cumberland. At this time Union forces were occupying Murfreesboro, Tennessee while Gen. Bragg’s Confederate troops were in Tullahoma, Tennessee. ↩
- Surgeon Frank A. Ross. See note 5 here. ↩
- Perhaps Capt. W. H. Terrell of Louisiana. ↩