Bridgeport, Alabama – June 19, 1863

Bridgeport Ala. June 19, 1863.

My dear Wife

Your letter of May 8th came to hand yesterday containing a post script of the 14, + I leave you to imagine how glad I was to get it.  I heard of the yankee advance on Alexandria + thought of you.1  oh how much but I was at my post here + could not leave it without deserting + then I dont think I could have gotten to you, but the scare is over now + I hope the last you will have.  If all the able bodied men who are lying about home had been in the field, where they ought to be, there would have been no necessity for the fright.  We will know how to treat the “pic nic party” fellows when the war is over.  Why dont you women drive them out. there are thousands of contemptible cowards all over the Confederacy who have done nothing yet, + are the laws Congress can make cant catch them.  The only chance I see is for the women to combine against them + make them come.  But it is now + has always been the case that some must do the work while others play. 

Our Brigade (Jacksons) is strung out on the RRoad from Tullahoma to Chattanooga to keep the Yankees from burning the bridges.

Our Brigade (Jacksons) is strung out on the RRoad from Tullahoma to Chattanooga to keep the Yankees from burning the bridges.  Keeping Braggs communications open with the rear.  The Yanks + bushwhackers2 would soon destroy the whole country.  Our position is not a very honourable one, not much glory to be won but we are useful.  + Some body has to stay here.  Braggs army seems to be lying still waiting the result of matters at Vicksburg.  All eyes are turned to that point now.3   If we succeed there I think the war will soon close, but our failure there may prolong the struggle indefinitely pray then for victory there. we have glorious news from Va.  Stonewall Jacksons old Corps is sustaining it reputation under his favorit Genl Ewell.  They stormed Winchester a few days ago + took Genl Millroys whole division some 9 or 10,000 men.4  I have no late news from any of the kin.  Joes Regt is with Johnston in Miss.  I got a letter from him a few days after he got there.  He was out of money + I sent him fifty dollars.  Enoch is in the 51 Ala Regt with Wheeler.  Spoon is at Pollard yet.  Isaiah is with his Regt in Va seeing more of the big war than any of us.  I cant say when to look for me home, just now it would be folly to think of a furlough, have patience my dear wife, the end of our separation may be close by.  Do the best you can + trust to Providence.  I had a letter from Pa lately + he said he heard from you occasionally + was proud of you for being so brave + patriotic.  I have strong hopes that a few more months will wind up the war.  The Yanks are getting as tired of the war as we are. I will come home just as soon as I possibly can, if I can stay only a few days.  I have not written to you for the last two weeks because I did not think you would get my letter.  There is no mail communication now that I know of.  we should write regularly though.  my health is fine + we are living very well.  I am getting a little short of clothes + there are none here to buy.  I reckon I will make out though.  They dont dress very fine here + I dont go among the ladies much.  This is a “plentiful” country to live in as the old lady said, all sorts of grain + Stock not much cotton raised.  it is too cold in the winter to suit me though.  I will write again soon + Give my love to all the kin + take good care of your dear self + children + believe me as ever yours
Affect Alex

The Letter:

  1. On May 4, 1863, Union troops under Gen. Nathaniel Banks occupied Alexandria, Louisiana. The town was strategically located on the Red River.  Note that Morgan’s previous letter was postmarked Alexandria.
  2. Bushwhackers were irregular military forces on both sides that carried out guerrilla warfare.
  3. Vicksburg was under siege at this time. By June 14, Lt. Gen. Pemberton’s Confederate troops were surrounded by 77,000 Union troops under the command of Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant.
  4. The Second Battle of Winchester was fought June 13 – 15, 1863. Confederate troops under Lt. Gen. Richard S. Ewell defeated those commanded by Union Gen. Robert H. Milroy.

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