30 January 1865: “Resolutions adopted by Bratton’s Brigade”

Item Description: These are the resolutions adopted by Bratton’s Brigade on January 30th, 1865, where they renew their loyalty to the Confederacy.

 

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Item Citation: “Resolutions adopted by Bratton’s Brigade.” Confederate States of America. Army. Bratton’s Brigade. [Richmond, Va.]: The House, 1865. 535 Conf. Rare Book Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

 

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29 January 1865: “All the iron clads have gone down there and I am expecting every day to hear that Charleston is taken”

Item Description: Letter from James Gifford to his parents in New Bedford, MA.  He discusses the movements of Union naval ships towards Wilmington, NC and Charleston, SC.  He also discusses purchasing shoes in Beaufort, NC and exchanging photographs with other soldiers and sailors.  James Gifford was United States Navy paymaster steward serving on the USS Release.

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Item Citation: Folder 4, in the James E. Gifford Papers, #4493-z, Southern Historical Society, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Item Transcription:

US. Ship Release

Beaufort N.C

Jany 29th 1865

Dear Parents

I write you these few lines to inform you that I am well &c. I find it very hard work to get news enough together to make a decent letter. I received a letter from Sue yesterday. I sent a letter I think last Monday. I am waiting anxiously for another letter to know when you sent my box of clothes. If they left N. Bedford on the 23d or 24th they must be in the steamer that came in to-day. The steamer left N York on the 27th of the month and she brought papers of that date. Beaufort is getting to be a very dull place. I understand that they are making slow progress up the Cape Fear river towards the city of Wilmington. The gunboats have got about as far as they can get owing to obstructions in the river such as spiles being driven down the whole width of the river. I think they dont care so much about the city but they are endeavoring to keep the troops around Wilmington while the attack is being made on Charleston by Sherman + the iron clads. All the iron clads have gone down there and I am expecting every day to hear that Charleston is taken.  Gen. US. Grant and Fox Asst Secretary of the Navy were here to day, having been off Wilmington on a visit. We sent our quarterly in yesterday. I was telling you how cheap we sold our provisions but the price has been double on some things. This arrangement takes effect from the first day of January 1865. Our mess stores can be bought a great deal cheaper now ashore than they can be bought aboard the ship.

The Paymaster and our executive officer went to Newbern to day with a draft of 60 men brought down by Sir Newbern. I went ashore to day after the mail but there was no letter for this ship. For the last month it has cost me $14. for shoes the first pair I paid $8 dollars for and they did not last more than two weeks. I bought another pair day before yesterday and paid Six dollars for them. They were the only ones in town that would fit my feet. Our office is finished now and painted inside and it looks very nice. You can imagine how handy the office is to the ship as all I have to do when I am on board the ship is to walk ashore on a plank and go about as far as country road from the water house. You can imagine how steep the banks are along side of us as we lay so that a plank reaches from the ship into the beach and then we have three fathoms of water where we lay. I want you to get some more my pictures and send me 1/2 a dozen as I want to exchange with other persons. The doctor has sent home for some an he says he will exchange with me. Where is Josiah How is the small pox getting along in the next house.

I cant think of any more to news to write about and I will close.

Jim

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28 January 1865: “It commenced when I was thirteen, and I am now seventeen and no prospect yet of its ending.”

Item Description: Entry, dated 28 January 1865, from the diary of Emma Florence LeConte, the daughter of scientist Joseph LeConte of Columbia, S.C.

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Item Citation: From Folder 1, in the Emma LeConte Diary, #420-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Jan. 28th.

Grandpa leaves for Macon the day after tomorrow – Monday. Mother wanted to send me with him but we came to the conclusion we had best not leave home or separate till father comes. ***** Mr. Memminger was here this evening to bid us goodbye. He places no confidence in rumors of foreign aid. He left early and a few minutes after Dr. Nat Pratt dropped in and talked more cheerfully. He seems quite confident we will hear tomorrow that an armistice of 60 days has been declared, having learned that Gen. Hampton has received a telegram to that effect. Gen. Lee has been made Generalissimo, and Hood has taken leave of his army. His farewell address is very manly. He shoulders the whole responsibility of his campaign. Says he did his best and failed.

The weather is intensely, fearfully cold. Walter is getting on very well but is breaking out in boils now. ** How dreadfully sick I am of this war. Trully we girls whose lot it is to grow up in these times are unfortunate! It commenced when I was thirteen, and I am now seventeen and no prospect yet of its ending. No pleasure, no enjoyment – nothing but rigid economy and hard work – nothing but the stern realities of life. Those which should come later are made familiar to us at an age when only gladness should surround us. We have only the saddest anticipations and the dread of hardships and cares when bright dreams of the future ought to shine on us. I have seen little of the light-heartedness and exuberant joy that people talk about as the natural heritage of youth. It is a hard school to be bred up in and I often wonder if I will ever have my share of fun and happiness. If it had not been for my books it would indeed have been hard to bear. But in them I have lived and found my chief source of pleasure. I would take refuge in them from the sadness all around if it were not for other work to be done. I do all my own sewing now besides helping mother some. Now that everything is lost perhaps we will all have to work for a living before long. I would far rather do that and bear much more than submit to the Yankees.

 

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27 January 1865: “Sometimes I wish I would just get sick enough to get a furlough but it may be wicked for me to wish that”

Item Description: Letter dated 27 January 1865 from Lewis Warlick to Laura Cornelia McGimsey. Warlick was a Second Lieutenant in Company B, 11th Regiment N.C. Troops.

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Item Citation: Folder 4, Cornelia McGimsey Papers, #02680-z, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Item Transcription:

Near Petersburg
Jan 27th 1865

My dear Corrie,

Knowing you are always anxious to hear from me I have concluded to pen you a few lines today although it is remarkably cold and has been for several days, it seems that we are not to have any more pleasant weather soon. I have been jamed close up in the chimney corner for 3 or 4 days and calculate to hold my position as long as I can until detailed to go on picket again or some other duty.

Galloway hasn’t made his appearance yet and from what I hear from the crowded state of the roads, I give him till the first of next week to arrive – hope how soon he may come as I think all probability he will bring me something good to eat. I went to Capt. Kerr Comdg. Regt. Last Monday and asked him if he would forward a furlough for me, he replied, no as Genl. MacRae had ordered him not to forward any more until those who were absent should report. I fear it will be some time before I will be able to get a furlough as nearly every officer in the regiment are waiting for the absentees to return so they can send up furloughs. I fear they will get in ahead of me, but I have studied out another plan, it is this. I’m going to Genl. MacRae and tell him I have some unsettled business at home that requires my immediate attention and I wish to have a furlough forwarded. It may be that he will forward mine instead of some others, if he should believe my statement. I do hope and trust that I will get home soon for I’m as anxious to see you. My health is improved but little since I last wrote – not sick enough for the surgeon to recommend me to the board for furlough and barely able to do duty.

Sometimes I wish I would just get sick enough to get a furlough but it may be wicked for me to wish that.

Everything is quiet – no news afloat except camp rumors of every kind. Write often to your devoted

Lewis

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26 January 1865: “the very general indifference everywhere out of the army, to what I conceive to be the most momentous earthly crisis which men were ever allied upon to meet”

Item Description: A letter, most like to Lt. General Stephen D. Lee, from his friend and army official, Patton Anderson, regarding both of their health as well as the locations and conditions of their Division. He mentions some frustration with the attitude of the others who have been wounded, but have not yet returned to duty.

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Item Citation: From Folder 3, in the Stephen D. Lee Papers #2440, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Transcription: 

Monticello, Fla. Jany. 26the 1865

My dear General,

I should have written to you immediately upon hearing that the Army of Tenn. had returned from Middle Tennessee but for the hope and expectation I entertained of being able to report to you in proper person before this. I thought I was ready for the field and accordingly was on the eve of starting to the front when the vague news- through Yankee channels- reached us of the repulse from before Nashville. I waited a day or two to hear more definitely that my comds. might be shaped more intelligently, and in the meantime an abscess made its appearance in the jaw, which required nursing. In the course of a week however, the fragment of bone which was the cause of the trouble made its escape and left me once more in a condition to think of duty in the field. Then came rumors, apparently well founded, that the army of Tenn. was ordered to S. Carolina then the freshets, tornadoes and what not! to prevent such a consummation. All the while I am laying in wait, keeping scouts at Macon to inform me of the movements should it take place. I am all this time, the subject of surveillance by the Surgeons, who advise delay &c till the weather becomes less rigorous &c. But I am tired, tired to death of looking out of my door daily near almost every hour of the day, and seeing Tom who is “pretty well” well enough in fact to be with his regiment if he ” could only get the food there, suitable to his stomack” or Dick whose wound is “healed” but “too tender to withstand the winter of Va or Ten.” or Harry who “really would go” but he does not know how he can possible reach his command when all the Rail Roads are cut either by Yankees or freshets!!!! &c &c. Such spectacles as these, superadded to the croaking here the dissatisfaction there, and the very general indifference everywhere out of the army, to what I conceive to be the most momentous earthly crisis which men were ever allied upon to meet, embitter even the sweets of home to me, while my comrades are in the ‘field’. Today a friend in Macon reports that my old Division was to have passage through that city last Saturday on its way to S. C. but that on account of the breaks in the Ala. road it would probably not be along for several weeks. Whether or not he whole Corps. is coming he does not inform me; and this gives me considerable concern. I am anxious to remain with the army of Tenn: and when with that army to be with your corps and when with your corps to have my old Division. Should the Corps be sent to S. C. I suppose it would be proper for me to report to its commander there but should the Division only be sent I take it, I would have to report to my old Corps Commander in the Army of Tenn. wherever that army might be, and then, in order to get my old Division would have to get special orders from the War Dept. transferring me to the S.C. Department? Please englighten me on this point when you write. I will start the moment I hear from you if not before, whether the Surgeons say so or not.

And now General let me say that I deeply sympathise with you in the suffering which you have been called on to endure. I sincerely hope that long ere this, your worms has ceased to be painful and that in due time you will be restored to that command which under your lead + by your guidance, has won all the laurels that the Tenn. campaign seems to have afforded. I deeply regret that others did not do so well, but I rejoice that you and your corps did all that skill endurance and courage could do and that the country demanded. The enemy themselves admit as much. Then I may be pardoned the vanity in saying that I am proud to belong to that corps. I know you are well-cared for in Columbus. In time gone by, I had some valued friends and acquaintances in that refined and hospitable city. Among them, the Barry, the Sykes, Col. Young, James T. Harrison + his father-in-law, May. Blueth &c. Should you jostle against any with your crutch, present my kind remembrances to them.

Remember me also to your staff, and to my friends generally in the corps, particularly to Brantly, Sharp, Dan, and others of the old Division who may inquire.

I am General,
Very truly,
Yr. friend

Patton Anderson

Lt. Genl. S.C. Sec.
Columbus, Miss.

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25 January 1865: “the only noble, honourable one a young man can now be engaged in, that is in active service for his country”

Item Description: Diary entry dated 25 January 1865 by Sarah Lois Wadley.

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Item Citation: Folder 5, Sarah Lois Wadley Papers, #01258, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Item Transcription:

Wednesday, Jan. 25th. 1865.

Father went to them yesterday, he brought me a letter from Willie, he is still in Tensas, we were very glad indeed to hear from him, his letters always give me so much pleasure. He is perfectly well, and faring quite well too, but says he is very tired of being without a change of clothes, he expected to get some from home before this, how unfortunate it is that we could not send Prince. Willie says he has a yankee rifle of the newest patent, which shoots eight hundred yards, he has also a colt’s army pistol. Mother used often to laugh and tell Willie he must not dare to come home without Yankee arms; she little thought he would really get them so soon. Though I feel a great deal of sympathy for the hardships Willie must endure, and anxiety about his welfare, yet I cannot help being very much gratified that he is now in a position which I conceive to be the only noble, honourable one a young man can now be engaged in, that is in active service for his country. I am sorry though, that the culpability or ignorance of the high officers rendered his command much less useful then it ought to be. I do not love Willie any more, my tenderness for him could scarcely have admitted increase, but this feeling is now joined with a sort of proud satisfaction that he is now doing his clear and manifest duty; and I am so deeply thankful that this course has resulted in an improvement of his health; may God graciously preserve him unto the end.

Father brought me word yesterday that Mary Stevens and Mrs. Kenison were coming out to spend the night the night with us; Mrs. Kenison was going on the stage to Shreveport, thence by boat to Alexandria to see her husband who is sick. We expected them of course, but the carriage did not drive up until twilight, meeting Mrs. Kenison first after greeting her I turned to Mary, as I supposed, how great was my surprise to see a figure a foot shorter, it was Mrs. Lemmy, who had come with Mrs. Kenison as Mary found she could not leave home, I was so much disappointed, and was not at all consoled by her short note which only said “it is impossible” without any reason for the impossibility; however she promised to come soon, and though that is very indefinite, still it affords some ground for expectation.

I received a delightful letter from Miss Mary Saturday, answered it yesterday, she writes with all the unaffected freedom which is so pleasant in her manners; her letter was ten days on the way. She was very homesick, this I hope has worn off now that she has commenced school and become engrossed in her studies. I shall hope for a letter from Eva next Saturday, shall not hear as often as I expected since the mail leaves Homer but once a week.

It is very cold indeed today, Mrs. Kenison was obliged to rise very early this morning, and from some misunderstanding about the hour the stage started, she was ready three hours or more before the time. She rose at two o’clock, of course we were all awake, I slept no more at all, but lay talking to her until dawn, my usual time for rising. Our room was very warm, and we had a cup of hot coffee at about three, so she was quite comfortable. Her escort as far as Shreveport is Lieut. Henry Holmes, who called for her this morning. I am afraid all her wrappings and hot bricks will hardly prevent suffering from the cold today; it was so clear yesterday evening that we hoped the weather would moderate, but it is even colder today than yesterday, the sun has shone, but water has been freezing all day long, we have a very warm fire in the dining room which has been kept up all day, but though I am only three or four feet from it my right hand is quite numb. Mother has taken a walk to Mrs. Craig’s to warm her, the three little boys are gone with her, and Father and I are here alone, he is quite engrossed in O’Meara’s “Napoleon at St. Helena,” and this, together with a very severe cold, keeps him confined to the fireside. I spent the first part of my afternoon very delightfully in a careful perusal of two of Blair’s lectures on Rhetoric, I think it is such an admirable and agreeable book; I am so fond of the study of Rhetoric and language in every form, and this book is so clear and easy that it is perfectly intelligible and enjoyable even to such a tyro as I am; while it seems to me that its gracefulness and accuracy must be agreeable to the most polished taste.

I forgot to say above that Mrs. Lemmy left about ten o’clock this morning, she is a kind hearted, credulous, talkative little woman, and though full of simplicity, is not free either from affectation or a sort of childlike conceit. There now, I have multiplied adjectives and descriptive nouns enough for the most marvellous heroine of the most commonplace novel; the general resource of those who feel the feebleness of their descriptive powers.

 

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24 January 1865: “…for the unsurpassed gallantry and skill exhibited by them in the attack upon Fort Fisher”

Item Description: Public resolution from the United States Senate and the House of Representatives, commending Brevet Major General Alfred H. Terry and his forces for their bravery in the Union victory at Fort Fisher, the last major Confederate port on the Atlantic seacoast. Issued by the Secretary of War on January 24, 1865.

Item Transcription:

General Orders No. 10 War Department, Adjutant General’s Office, Washington, January 26, 1865

The following resolution of the Senate and House of Representatives is published for the information of all concerned:

[Public Resolution, No. 6.]

A Resolution to present the thanks of Congress to Brevet Major General Alfred H. Terry, and the officers and men under his command.

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the thanks of Congress are hereby presented to Brevet Major General Alfred H. Terry, and to the officers and men under his command, for the unsurpassed gallantry and skill exhibited by them in the attack upon Fort Fisher, and the brilliant and decisive victory by which that important work has been captured from the rebel forces and placed in the possession and under the authority of the United States; and for their long and faithful services and unwavering devotion to the cause of the country in the midst of the greatest difficulties and dangers.
Sec. 2. And be it further resolved, That the President of the United States be, and he hereby is, requested to communicate this resolution to General Terry, and through him to the officers and soldiers under his command.

Approved January 24 1865.

By the order of the Secretary of War.
E.D. Townsend
Assistant Adjutant General
Official
Assistant Adjutant General

Item Citation: U.S. Congress. A resolution to present the thanks of Congress to Brevet Major General Alfred H. Terry. Cb970.75 U58c. From the North Carolina Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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23 January 1865: “We hear so many rumors of the movements of the Yankees and of our own troops”

Item Description: A diary entry by Emma LaConte from Columbia describing their conditions as they prepare for the arrival of Yankee and confederate troops. She describes the quality of her clothes as as well as the price of food.

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Item Citation: From Folder 1, in the Emma LeConte Diary, #420-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Jan. 23rd
No more news from father. I begin to think he has stayed to get the negroes out. We hear so many rumors of the movements of the Yankees and of our own troops, but they are not worth noting. ******* Mother has packed up the clothing and bed-linen that we may save those at least. All the books are packed too. I have not been in the library since they were taken down. It would make me too sad to look at the empty shelves. *** It may be of interest some day to recall the poor style in which we lived during the war, so I shall make a few notes. My underclothing is of coarse unbleached homespun, such as we gave the negroes formerly only much coarser. My stockings I knit myself, and my shoes are of heavy calfskin. My dresses are two calicoes, (the last one bought cost sixteen dollars a yard) a homespun of black and white plaid, and an old delaine of pre-war times that hangs on in a dilapidated condition, a reminiscence of better days. We have a couple of old silks, carefully preserved for great occasions and which do not look shabby for the simple reason that all the other old silks that still survive the war are in the same state of decay. The homespun cost about eight or ten dollars a yard, – calico is 20 to 30 dollars a yard now, and going higher from week to week. My shoes are 150 dollars a pair. In two or three months these prices will be doubled. We live tolerably poorly. Two meals a day. Two plates of bread for breakfast, one of wheat flour as five bags of flour were recently made a present to us else we would only have corn bread. Corn itself is forty dollars a bushel. Dinner consists of a very small piece of meat, generally beef, a few potatoes and a dish of hominy and a pone of corn bread. We have no reason to complain, so many families are so much worse off. Many have not tasted meat for months, and we too having a cow are able to have butter. Wood is hard to get at one hundred dollars a load. We keep but one fire in the dining room where we sit. We have been fortunate in having gas thus far, (at eighty dollars a thousand) but since the freshet the supply of rosin has been deficient and now and then it is cut off and we burn tallow candles at two dollars apiece. We never have sweet things now, and even molasses candy is a rarity seldom to be thought of.

 

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22 January 1865: “Tis a melancholy truth, that there is not corn enough in the county for its inhabitants to subsist on, and yet it is being made up into whiskey.”

Item Description: Letter to Sarah (Sade) J. Lenoir from her niece. She writes about a series of raids involving armed women stealing corn.  She goes into great detail about a raid on Pinesville where the women were driven off by a drunk man wielding a brush.  She also describes social functions being thrown in honor of soldiers on furlough.

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Item Citation: Folder 156, in the Lenoir Family Papers, #426, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Item Transcription:

Jan 22nd 65

My dear Aunt Sade

I feel in the humor somehow to write you a few lines tonight, sunday as it is. It has been so long since we heard from any of you, that I have forgotten when it was. We dont write often, and when we do, scarcely ever get any answer. Mother wrote to you during Christmas week. Did you get it? We hear through Tick last letter that the Tories had been at Uncle Toms vc. Mother is very uneasy about him, he surely will leave that country. We lived in constant anxiety and suspense for several months, on account of the miserable deserters and robbers, it has been pretty quiet for some weeks past. I do hope that they will never be suffered to get the upper hand again. The highest move Ive heard lately was a raid made on Pinesville the other day. It consisted of a band of women, armed with axes, came down on the place, to press the tithe corn vc, brought wagons along to carry it off. There was only one man in the place, and he, (Leonidas like) stood in the door of the house and bid defiance to the crowd. You know women generally want to carry their point, and it was with great difficulty that our hero could withstand them. They were happily thrown into confusion, by an old drunk man coming up with a huge brush in his hand, striking their horses with it, causing them to run away with their wagon and some of them in it vc. They didnt get any of the corn. We hear that a similar attack was made on Hamptonsville a few days ago and with more success too. They took as much as they wanted without meeting with any resistance. They were doubtless instigated to this unbecoming behavior by men, who were afraid to undertake the scheme themselves. deserters perhaps or distillers. There are several distilleries in operation not very far from us. Tis a melancholy truth, that there is not corn enough in the county for its inhabitants to subsist on, and yet it is being made up into whiskey. The degeneracy of the times is truly alarming. My faith almost fails me sometimes that God will save us, for are we not sinning in the face of his uplifted rod? We do not deserve His blessings, when we will so lightly regard His chastisements. We have had a shower of misfortunes lately. The catastrophe at Wilmington the worst of all, if the many unfavorable rumors about it, are to be credited. These reverses too, instead of having the effect to unite our people, only make them more divided. We are sure to be free, if time to ourselves, but we are working our own destruction by this disaffection, and this contemptible party spirit, and selfish desire for popularity, which prevails among us in our legislature vc. But you are laughing at me I expect, and I had better “haul in my horns,” unless I knew what I was talking about. There seems to be some “Party” spirit among the young folks around here, have been several parties given in the neighborhood lately given to soldiers on furlough vc. I have attended only one so far, was invited out to Mr Edwards the other evening, but by some opportune interference I didnt get the note in time. It strikes me that such amusements are illtimed now and I dont enjoy it at all, especially when I have to be mixed up with all kind of folks.

 

 

 

 

 

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21 January 1865: “the feeling owing on people that negroes right to be considered, is gaining strength daily”

Item Description: A letter written to Walter Lenoir from his cousin W. Bingham regarding the opening of his school, and his hopes for creating the moral character of the boys there. Walter Lenoir was a lawyer during the Civil War, and much of his correspondence relates to the politics of the time. Bingham discusses the outcome of several skirmishes as well as the feelings on the issues that started the war in confederate congress. He feels that many people would be willing to compromise on key issues (i.e. slavery) as long as they can be granted independence at the end of the war.

Item Citation: Folder 156, in the Lenoir Family Papers #426, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Transcription (of handwritten portions):

Capt. W. W. Lenoir Forks of Pigeon N.C. 

Oaks, 21 Jan. 1865

Dear Cousin Wat, 

It is Sat. night, 10 Pm a hard weeks work just finished; but as harder ones are to come for the next Thurs. for a fear, + I am pregnant with a letter + must deliver myself, I will answer you of the 3rd. Glad you approve our plan of a military-classical school. I am doubtful from the experiment thus far made, of the advantage of military discipline hereafter. 

The less rules the better + military discipline creates so many “mala prohibita” which are not “mala in se” that boys’ ideas of right + wrong become confused, + military schools are generally young hells; though this is great measure due to negligence in the professors + the absence of timbers. What Burns says of drink may justs be sain of “birch”

“Leegr me on birch; it gies us man
than either school or college; (without it)
It gies us wit, it gies us lean, 
and pangs us for ‘o’ knowledge” 

We give boys demerit marks on their hides as well as their reports; this, with the help of religious precepts canst much impressed will, with God’s blessing keep our boys right. But I think I have said this before. But if you want to see beautiful order + discipline in a school, come down when we are fairly under way. Men think, apparently, that none but an army man can have enough military education to conduct such a school; but I shall show that this is false notion. I mean to have as good a military school, + as well , disciplined + instructed a corps of cadets as any in the land, as far as I go. 

The English Grammar progresses slowly. I wish it possible to use advanced sheets with the next class, if the Publishers can get them ready for me. I shall make the best look I can, but know far too little of English to make one satisfaction to myself. I am studying the history of the language, + trying to produce a work at once simple, philosophence, thorough, but it is a big job. 

The rascals! what a pity you couldn’t have whipped them off. If I could have taken them in the rear with some of my boys they would have paid dear for the cowardly assault. A house to make a fight in ought to have all entrances removed, + all trees armed it cut down; the doors + windows barricaded with boys, + loopholes made elsewhere. Three men well armed in such a house can hold it against 20; but without fences + trees for cover, there is nothing to do but surrender. Of course when the scoundrels are caught no army is troubled with them. And to think that such knaves are encouraged by men who call themselves legislators! The foolish, traitorous, + wicked attacks upon the Gov’t, which occupied much of the first of this session of the General Assembly, invited the attack on Wilmington, make the Yankees believe that they had what press vigorously other would find friends enough. I was in Raleigh Thursday, seeing bodies whipped. I verily believe that if Gen. Lee don’t clear out the legislators they will call a convention in less than 3 weeks, which, in less than a month its assembly will seel us. 

God made Judas for a good purpose + I suppose these traitors are made for a good purpose likewise. Could I get at the leaders of them, they would never be drowned. The Progress + Standard we braying openly for a convention to take the state back to Lincoln, or what amounts to the same thing. If Fisher fell through treachery + cowardice. Several assualts had been gallantly repulsed, + while the enemy were preparing of the final one, a Cap’t Brogman, with about 300 men of the 3rd reg’t, deserted to the enemy; we surrendered without orders, delivering up the sully-port; whereupon a S.C. reg’t of Hagood’s brig., seeing themselves outflanked, took to their heels. Whiting made a desperate  fight with the rest, several times tearing down the enemy’s flag; but was soon overpowered. Whether Wilmington will fall or not, is yet to be seen. Gen. Bragg says he will hold it at all hazards. 

But dark as the prospect is, I don’t despair, + see, or think I see, a ray of light. Foreign powers are getting alarmed lest the Yankees succeed in a grand military mischief-maker on this continent + summons of an early recognition are rife at the north. From Seward’s manifest + what has lately transpired in the Confederate Congress. I believe that a proposition has been made to abolish slavery on condition of an independence being acknowledged transports opened the assertions on the past Grant that the war is not for slavery, has always seemed to me significant, the feeling owing on people that negroes right to be considered, is gaining strength daily, that among slave holders Emancipation in any shape will be too with to the negro, but best for us, at last in the border states. All well send love. If namesaker’s the handsomest boy in the class. 

In haste, your aff’ cousin, 

W. Bingham

 

 

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