17 September 1864: “I hope this dreadful war will soon be over”

Item Description: A letter from William Dudley Gale to his sister Anna regarding his wife, and troop movements between divisions.

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Citation: From Folder 5, in the Gale and Polk Family Papers #266, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Transcription:

H. General Stewart’s Corps
September 17th, 1864

Dear Anna,

Your letter as well as one from Kate and one from May have all been received within a day or two . They were very  welcome, as they were the first for just over a month, no 3 weeks. I knew they were on the way. Our retreat from Atlanta caused everything to get into confusion. Your letter was very acceptable indeed as you spoke more of the children. How I would to see you and to share a moment with the dear little fellows.  It seems I have been unfortunate when I have been with you, being sick. It give me intense pleasure to hear you speak of dear Kate in the manner you do. I am not surprised that you should love her as you do for it seems to me that she is “altogether lovely.” I have always known any one in my life who possesses so many charms as she does. I thank God every day of my life for giving such a fun minded, loving devoted wife, what can I ever do to repay her for what she done for me and mine? I feel sure that if it had not been for her loving heart, I should have been in my grave, years ago, instead of a strong useful man. You cannot tell how much I love her, and how much I lean upon her. I hope this dreadful war will soon be over and then I will by the tenderest devotion of my life endeavor to repay her for all she has suffered and done for me and mine. It is a source of great pride to me to feel that her influence has not been confined to me, but every member of the family have experienced pleasing and derived some good from her affections. Oh sister, loving devoted wife, tender unflinching , patient, conscientious noble mother, respectful and devoted daughter,  how can it that she will not profit(?) in life, and her dear devout labor, God help and protect them I pray. 

Joe spent two days with me a few days since. He was quite well and although a little mortified at the condition(?) of his Division [smugded] will please God. Edward Johnston now commands the Division, a fine soldier and grandmaster, Battalion(?) Brigadier has now about 400 men. General Watthall is doing his but to have him and his men transferred to this Corp. I hope he will succeed. Joe got the bundle from Mary which he seemed delighted with, I am very much pleased to know she sent him the things. I must now stop. 

Love to all and kisses to the dear little brats. Your loving brother, 

W. D. Gale

 

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16th September 1864: “They report the Lincoln officers in the army as very uneasy.”

Item Description: An article under “War News” from the Weekly Standard in Raleigh, NC describes news of the presidential election in the north, as well as troop movement.

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Citation: Weekly standard. (Raleigh, N.C.), 16 Nov. 1864. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045706/1864-11-16/ed-1/seq-1/> A copy is in the North Carolina Collection.

 

Transcription:

From Richmond and Petersburg.
There has been no change in the two armies since our last.

A telegram from Petersburg of the 9th says that
the Yankee videttes report that on Tuesday last
Warren’s 5th corps voted for McClellan for Presi-
dent overwhelmingly, and that the army of the Po-
tomac has done the same thing throughout They
say New York City gave him 40,000 majority, and
Kentucky has gone for him by an immense vote.
They report the Lincoln officers in the army as
very uneasy.
The Yankee pickets in front of Richmond states
that a telegram has been received at their head-
quarters, announcing the capture of the Privateer,
Florida, off the coast of San Salvador.
Nothing additional from Wilmington or Georgia,
except the statement in the Macon Telegraph that
the federal garrison at Atlanta has been largely re-
inforced recently, and the trains are running through
from Chattanooga. It is rumored that Gen. Thom-
as, with 40,000 men is confronting Gen. Hood, and
that Sherman has four corps in Atlanta.
 

 

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15 September 1864: “The attention of Engineer Officers is called”

Item Description: An order from the Confederate War department to engineering officers.

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Item Citation: From Folder 13,  in the Clayton Family Papers #4792, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Circular

Confederate States of America

War Department, Engineer Bureau

Richmond, Va., September 15, 1864

 The attention of Engineer Officers is called to Army Regulations, Art. 45, p. 1,375, requiring the following returns to the forwarded monthly to this Bureau, viz: 

REPORT OF OPERATIONS,

RETURN OF OFFICERS AND HIRED MEN, and

MONEY STATEMENT

 Appropriate forms for these Returns are laid down in the said Article 45. All Engineer Officers in charge of works or disbursing funds for other purposes, will hereafter forward these returns promptly for each month. 

Estimates for funds for the succeeding month should accompany the monthly Money Statement, so that requisitions to meet the estimates may be forwarded from this Bureau as early in the month as practicable. 

By order of Maj. Gen. Gilmer, Ch Eng’r Bureau
J.H. Alexander
Major and A. A. G. 

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14 September 1864: “Genl Stannard’s 1st Division”

Item Description: Illustration dated 14 September 1864, by Herbert E. Valentine. He was a private in Company F of the 23rd Massachusetts Volunteers. Valentine made birds eye view sketches of the towns in which he was stationed, as well as sketches of their principal buildings such as hospitals, churches, warehouses, and private residences that served as military command headquarters and as officers’ quarters.

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Item Citation: From volume 1: folder 78b-79a in the Herbert E. Valentine Papers (#04397), Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Genl Stannard’s 1st Division 18 A.C.

Bermuda 100 1864 (Sept 14)

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13 September 1864: “There is nothing like getting used to a thing.”

Item Description: Letter dated 13 September 1864. He writes extensively about dodging shells in the trenches. James Augustus Graham was a resident of Hillsborough, N.C., and an officer in Company G (Orange Guards), 27th North Carolina Infantry Regiment, Confederate States of America.

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James Augustus Graham was a resident of Hillsborough, N.C., and an officer in Company G (Orange Guards), 27th North Carolina Infantry Regiment, Confederate States of America. – See more at: http://blogs.lib.unc.edu/civilwar/index.php/2014/05/09/9-may-1864/#sthash.elA57Fbz.dpuf
James Augustus Graham was a resident of Hillsborough, N.C., and an officer in Company G (Orange Guards), 27th North Carolina Infantry Regiment, Confederate States of America. – See more at: http://blogs.lib.unc.edu/civilwar/index.php/2014/05/09/9-may-1864/#sthash.elA57Fbz.dpuf

Item Citation: Letter found in folder 3 of the James Augustus Graham Papers, #283, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

In the trenches near Petersburg

Sept. 13th 1864

My dear Mother

I reached this place Sunday night having been delayed 24 hours on the road by the train running off the track between Greensboro + Danville. I had to stay all day Saturday at Danville and Sunday at Burkesville Junction. I met cousin Sophie Alexander at Greensboro and brought her on as far as Danville where she met Mr. McGeehee and went to Milton with him. I did not come into the trenches until yesterday (Monday) evening and have not yet gotten accustomed to the whistling of the bullets + shells and and dodge a good deal, much to the amusement of all the men who become accustomed to them. I think however that after a few days I will not dodge so much. There is nothing like getting used to a thing.

Robert came up to our Regt to see me yesterday but it was before I came in and I did not see him. He and Johnny were both well. Their brigade is about 500 yards to our left, Elliotts SC Brigade being between theirs + ours.

I expect to go down to see them in a day or two.

I am acting Inspector for Genl Cooke but expect to return to the Co in a short time, as soon as my leg gets so that I can march a little better than I can now for Capt. Dickson has made application to be put on the “retired list” and our company is without any officer now. Dickson is looking quite badly and I am afraid never will be fit for anything again unless he is retired and can rest a while.

Gen Cooke asked me to return his thanks to you for the gloves, also to Father for the bottle of brandy.

We have sharpshooting along the lines continually but there is very little danger if the men will not expose themselves unnecessarily. Very few men of our Brigade have been hurt lately and I don’t think there has been more than one struck in our Regt since we came in the trenches this time– about two weeks — and he exposed himself needlessly. We have some artillery firing also and now while I am writing the enemy are shelling the batteries to the right of our Brigade– about half a mile from me– pretty furiously. 

I need not tell you that I dodge pretty often when the guns fire, for you can see that very plainly by the blots in this letter. Just count each blot a dodge and add on a few, for I don’t dodge for every shot, and you can tell how we are getting on. I don’t find the trenches now as disagreeable as I anticipated, still I hope that we will be relieved before long and allowed to rest awhile, but if there is any fighting to be done outside I would prefer staying in the trenches. 

Love to all. ??

I remain 

Your affectionate Son, 

James A. Graham

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12 September 1864: “A whole population driven from their homes”

Item Description: Letter from Charles Olmstead to his wife dated Sept. 12, 1864 regarding the battle of Atlanta. Olmstead was a confederate army officer in the 1st Georgia Infantry Regiment.

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Item Citation:

Item Citation: From Folder 5, in the Charles H. Olmstead Papers, #1856, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Jonesboro, Sept. 12th 1864

My Dear Wife,

I wrote you a good long letter yesterday but as an opportunity offers today I cannot resist the temptation to send you a few lines.

The long expected mail came last night, and, to my, great disappointment, I received but one letter, dated August 17th, in which you advised me of having shipped the box that Charlie May could not take with him. However this is still a chance for me as I learn that the post office at Griffin is still crowded with mail matter that has only been partially distributed.

The truce between the two armies commences today- as many wagons as can be spared have been sent forward to receive the refugees from Atlanta. Poor creatures, their’s is a hard case – a whole population driven from their homes upon the cold charity of the world. This one act places Sherman alongside of such men as Butler, O’Neil, & ?? . it completely obscures the military renown he has won in this campaign.

I heard a very good Sermon from Bishop Lay yesterday at Gen. Hardee’s Hd. Quarters. Quite a number were present, including nearly every Brigadier and Major General in the camps. After Service I rode with Gen. A. R. Jackson to his Hd. Qrs., and had quite a long talk with him. He seems to think that all fighting is over here for the present, unless our army should take the initiative, which it is not very apt to do unless its condition improves very rapidly. He believes that the Yankees will be contented with the success they have accheived and not run the risk of meeting reverses until after the Presidential election – but I can hardly think that they will allow so long a time to pass without active operation. All of my thoughts now are bent upon getting a furlough though i fear that the chances will be small until we go regularly into winter quarters. Gen. Hardee himself made application a few days since for forty-eight hours leave and was refused. When the furlough system does commence though I shall hand in my name first of all, as I am the only Colonel  in the Brigade who has not been away from the command this summer. Col. Barkalow did not join us until we were at Kennesaw Mountain. Col. May has only recently returned to duty and Col. Gordon is still absent.

We are having delightful weather now, the  days are not unpleasantly warm and the nights cool enough to make a blanket desirable. The health of the command must improve if it continues.

Love to all at home, and a heart full for my darling. Kiss the babies for me.

Affectionately,

Charlie

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11 September 1864: “exchange of cotton goods for cotton card”

Item Description: Letter dated 11 September 1864 addressed to Andrew Baxter Springs from the Quarter Master General Department in South Carolina.

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Item Citation: From Folder 140 in Springs Family Papers #4121, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In the Springs Family Papers #4121, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. – See more at: http://blogs.lib.unc.edu/civilwar/index.php/2012/10/07/7-october-1862/#sthash.cYVmd6lW.dpuf

Item Transcription:

Quarter Master General Department SC

Columbia Sept. 11 1864

A.B. Springs Esq.

Fort Mills, SC

My Dear Sir,

I have received yours of the 8th instance in reference to an exchange of cotton goods for cotton card, and have to say in reply that Col Richard Caldwell ? ? General of SC is charged with the distribution and sale of the Cotton Cards made by ? at the State Card Factory. The price fixed for the Card is $12.00 for fair. I will hand your letter to Col. Caldwell and he will probably write to you about it himself-.

I am very truly

Yours,

James Sens

QM Genl SC

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10th September 1864: “His loss to the ‘Confederacy’ at this time, is a public calamity.”

Item Description: Two letters received by Mattie Ready on the same sheet of paper after her husband’s death. Her husband, named John Hunt Morgan, was a cavalry raider and brigadier general. Her family describes the fall of Atlanta and conditions in Georgia.

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Item Citation: From Folder 13, in the John Hunt Morgan Papers, #2842, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription: 

Bellmont 10th Sept. 1864

Dear “Mattie”

Some two days since we heard of the death of your estimable Husband – it was doubted, and from the statements of the travelers the next day, not believed. Yesterdays intelligence however, confirms the sad reproof. Let me say to you we sympathise with you in your bereavement, most sincerely. Your affliction must be indescribable. but we trust will be able to bear up under it remembering that a bleeding country unites with you, in your grief, and sorrows. His loss to the “Confederacy” at this time, is a public calamity. 

The stat of Georgia is sorely invaded – “Atlanta” the Gate City, has fallen. The position of the “Enemy” now is all they could desire – so far as this part of the country is concerned –  they have not only the key, but the Rail Roads to almost every town, and I might say neighborhood in the state of Georgia. This being the case, it is needless to invite you to our house, for a home knowing that under the circumstances it would be declined – still if you can do no better, and  conclude to hazard it, we will be pleased to do for you, and “Alice”, all in our power. As before remarked, you can but try it, in the event that you are unable to do better. We will, as you know, be plased to see you, and will do all in our power to make your stay agreeable – a failure if any, will be chargeable to Yankee ???. Your Uncle “Rush” speaks of going to “Charlotte” North Carolina, with his funds. Owing to the sudden illness of “Minerva,”  your Aunt will not write for a day or so.

She joins me in Love 

T. W. Fleming

My Dear Mattie, 

Mr. Fleming has written you this morning and before he leaves for town I add a few short lines, what can I say my dear Mattie to you in your deep affliction. Words cannot express my feeling and sympathy, truly your cup of sorrow runneth over but I hope you will endeavor to be resigned and submissive to the will of an all wise providence who does not afflict willingly but does all things seemeth best to himself, it is how I know from sad experience to feel resigned to afflictions, have been afflicted like yourself, and know that no human sympathy can sooth or lessen you our sorrow, but there is a higher power who if we look to can and will give us comfort in this our day of sorrow. I had written Alice the day before we heard of the death of Gen. Morgan, and opened my letter added a few short and excited lines, hope she has received it, we had hoped to have heard from her by telegraph, hope very soon to get a better giving particulars,  we thought possibly the sermons(?) might have been brought here for internment. Afterwards concluded perhaps this would be (? ?) and still we are in doubt, know nothing positive. Do let us know where you are , even if you will not come to Georgia, our house you know will be a home for you so long as we have a house we are more than willing to share it with you, I hope and pray the Yankees will never get nearer to us than they now are, still things look more gloomy than they ever have before in this section of the country. Mark has not yet taken a leave, evidence he cannot get one, and he feels in doubt as to the [??]. We are all well, except Meriam who is very sick. She was confined last night, another still born child. I feel uneasy about her. I hope Alice will write very soon, and when you feel as if you could write dear Mattie do so. We will be pleased to hear from you, let us know if you will come to us, anything we can do for you shall be done. Very affectionately, your Auntie C.S. [Torn]

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9 September 1864: “Wagon Park 1st Brigade 2nd Div.”

Item Description: Illustration dated 9 September 1864, by Herbert E. Valentine. He was a private in Company F of the 23rd Massachusetts Volunteers. Valentine made birds eye view sketches of the towns in which he was stationed, as well as sketches of their principal buildings such as hospitals, churches, warehouses, and private residences that served as military command headquarters and as officers’ quarters.

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Item Citation: From volume 1: folder 77b-78a in the Herbert E. Valentine Papers (#04397), Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Wagon Park

1st Brigade 2nd Div. 18.A.C

 

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8 September 1864: “Vive la Sherman!”

Item description: Letter, dated 8 September 1864, from Robert Stuart Finley to his fiancee, Mary A. Cabeen. Finley was a member of the 30th Illinois Infantry, serving in Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and Georgia.

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Item citation: From the Robert Stuart Finley papers #3685-zSouthern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

East Point Ga. Sept 8th 1864

Miss M.A.C

Dear friend,

Your letter of Aug 18th was received yesterday morning and I assure you it was read with pleasure. We had been cut off from all mail facilities for two weeks & were glad to get back to where we could write and receive letters once more.

I suppose that every one in the North is rejoicing over the glorious news that Atlanta has fallen into our hands and that the Rebs have received a sound & wholesome lesson in the shape of a signal defeat. Vive la Sherman! May his praises be on the lips of thousands and a grateful nation fail not to do him honor.

On the 26th of last month the army began the movement which placed the doomed city in our hands and ended this long and arduous campaign. Evacuating our works in front of the place during the night Sherman moved the army westward toward the Chattahoochee river, as if he intended to fall back across the river, and the movement was so admirably conducted that Genl Hood was completely deceived. We then made a forced march south & east and struck the R.R. to Montgomery almost entirely undefended. Destroying this for several miles we marched on to the Macon Road where they met us in force and a severe & bloody battle was fought in which the rebels were defeated and driven back and Our Army occupied the Rail Road at the station of Jonesboro. During the fight a part of the Army of the Cumberland gained the road between the Rebs and Atlanta thus compelling them to retreat toward Macon and leave Atlanta and their militia who were garrisoning it at our mercy.

In the battle of Jonesboro the enemy lost heavily in killed wounded and prisoners. Our loss was considerable but nothing compared with theirs. A large number of their wounded fell into our hands.

The 20th Corps were left at the River to guard the bridge & supplies and took possession of Atlanta as soon as it was evacuated by the Militia.

The 30th were very lucky on this march. When we reached the first RR the Regt was detailed as train guard for the Division and thus we did not have to go into the fight. Lieut Foster was struck by a shell on the 28th and his left arm was so shattered that it had to be amputated. There were no others wounded in the Regt.

On the morning of the 4th we started with the train for Atlanta and arrived there the next morning at 8 o’clock and stayed there until 4 o’clock P.M when we were ordered back to this place with the train.

Atlanta is quite a city and in time of peace was no doubt a nice place, but it now bears the marks and hard knocks of the seige. Several large buildings have been burst down and houses torn & shattered by yankee Shells.

This place is six miles south of Atlanta & is the Junction of the Macon & Montgomery Rail Roads. It is probably that the Army of the Tennessee will stop there and the Army of the Cumberland go into Atlanta. The troops are just beginning to come in this morning and selecting their camps. I don’t know how long we will be permitted to stay here but hope at least a month or two and until we are all paid off.

Adjr Poak started to Chattanooga on the 25th of last month with the non-veterans to have them mustered out. He has not returned yet. Col Rhoads started with him going home on leave of absence and a Capt is commanding the Regt. We heard from Col Shedd after he was captured and he was all right. Several of the prisoners escaped after they got to Macon and got back safe into our lines.

It is raining some today and is so cool that a fire would be very comfortable, but our house is very open and no fireplace. We just have a tent fly open at both ends, and you can imagine how comfortable it would be in a cool rainy day. We have had several heavy rains in the last week or ten days.

I am sorry to hear of my friend John Porter’s ill health. I inquired of the boys in his Regt & they said he had gone home but did not know how he was getting along. I hope he may recover and return to duty soon.

I hope that Sherman will let us go home this fall to vote for President. I would like to go and give our vote for Abe and Andy. I think it a shame and outrage that the US Soldiers cannot be allowed to vote in the field. If they give us the chance I am sure we would all go not only to vote buy to enjoy the hospitality of our kind friends for a little season. We could be then in time for the fairs, the fruits and all the good things of life.

There is a rumor that all the veterans of the 17th Corps are going to be mustered out of the service because their musterin Rolls were wrong and that they could not be paid the bounty money without new rolls.

I hope it is so but I have no faith in the rumor myself. We will probably find out more about it in a few days. I hope the girls will send all the boys that are fit for soldiers down here as recruits so that there will be some chance for us to go home.

I am a little interested in hearing how the draft succeeds in Illinois. I expect there will no doubt be some resistance made in some places.

I must close as I have no particular news to write and hope you will excuse this apology & when we get fixed up a little I hope to do better.

Give me all the news when you write about local matters & friends. Give my respects to all- write soon & believe me as ever,

Yours sincerely,

R.S. Finley

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