31 March 1865: “There would probably be no difficulty is getting the men to volunteer into this service but the difficulty is to procure the horses”

Item Description: Letter from Major General Cash to South Carolina Governor A. G. Magrath. He writes that he’s raised the men for a division from the eastern counties of South Carolina but does not have the weapons, ammunition, rations, or horses to fight the enemy. He writes to Magrath asking him for orders.

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Item Citation: Folder 2, in the A. G. Magrath Papers, #467-z, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Item Transcription:

Society Nice March 31 1865

Governor:

In accordance with your orders I proceeded to organize the troops of this Division. I formed seven companies and put three into a Battalion- there was no report from Georgetown, Williamsburg and Horry and only a partial report from Marion- I found upon enquiry of the Cols. that the arms deposited at the respective Court Houses by the state authorities hand been loaded out to ? people and were not to be had- Col. Cook of Marlboro had retained the arms placed in his care and I understand those deposited at Horry were in possession of the Col. of that District- there being no arms and no ammunition and having no provisions and no money with which to purchase and having no authority to impress I felt at a loss how to execute the orders I had received from you and consulted with your aid Col. Mullins who did not hesitate to direct me to order the men to their homes until further orders- this I proceeded to do and sent Col. Wm H. Evans to consult with you. He failed to reach Columbia the R. Road having been cut by the enemy a few hours before he reached Kingsville. I should have made an effort to communicate with you since the enemy left us but I did not know where to send and the means of communication are extremely rare between this section of the state and every other part- There being no R. Road facilities and the country having been stripped of horses. I came to this place today to send a Staff Officer to you but avail myself of the services of Mr. Frost who will pass through Columbia and Newberry. I have your communications one from Spartanburg and one from Newberry- also the orders of the Adjt. Genl. It is all important and absolutely necessary that I should have a mounted force of at least one hundred men to act as scouts and to annoy the enemy. There would probably be no difficulty is getting the men to volunteer into this service but the difficulty is to procure the horses- the Districts of Chesterfield, Marlboro and much of Darlington are almost without horses and I fear not much is to be expected from the people in the lower Districts who have heretofore manifested very little interest in the preparation for the defence of the state. Will it be in your power to  authorize me to impress such as may be necessary? The question of rations must be settled by you- there is an abundant supply of corn in the country and bacon can be procured in those Districts not overrun by the enemy. I think private arms can be had in sufficient numbers to arm the force to be called out but the supply of ammunition will be very limited. There may be some ammunition at Marion and probably some at Horry as soon as it is possible I will ascertain the amt. to be had at those points & report to you. I have been informed that all the arms and ammunition at Florence was destroyed by our own troops & under Genl. Hardee’s order. I will request the bearer of this communication to learn the facts on that point and report verbally to you.  Allow me Governor to assure you that I am fully awake to our situation and will do everything in my power to arouse the people and get them up to their duty- as soon as I can get a small force mounted I will proceed to meet the enemy whence they may be found in the state and will have Col. Evans who commands the Battalion recently formed, to call out that force and make the best use of it- with a small force well mounted I can face the enemy to advance only in large bodies through the country. I wish very much it was in my power to give more definite information in regard to affairs in this section but we have been cut off from the surrounding country and know very little of the actual state of affairs. This portion of the state has suffered severely in the loss horses bacon and other property but thanks to the brutality of the enemy, there is a spirit of resistance and undying hostility engendered that time can never overcome. We expect the R. Road to to be repaired to a point near Cheraw by the first of the ensuing week when it will be safe for me to entrust my communications to you by mail and I will report all my movements to you.

I am sir with the highest respect your obt. servt

(sgd) Eyb C. Cash

Maj. Genl. 4th Divs. S.C.

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30 March 1865: “Oh Darling my heart yearns after you by day and night and if U could only look into it and see how it is filled with love”

Item Description: Letter from Edward Porter Alexander to his wife.  He writes about how much he misses her and the children.

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Item Citation: Folder 22a, in the Edward Porter Alexander Papers, #7, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Item Transcription:

Camp Same Place March 30th 1865

Thursday P.M.

I wrote U last my Darling wife night before last about the letter in yesterday to Hill, and I would have written again last night but I did not get home until very late and having to get up at daylight this morning to ride across the river to Rice’s Turnout on the Railroad to meet Gen Pendleton. I was afraid of oversleeping myself if I sat up to write to you. This morning I got up at day and rode over without breakfast in a pouring rain to meet Gen. P. He did not come himself owing to affairs at Petersburg where there is considerable stir but sent one of his staff with whom I had a three hour talk on business matters and then came back and have just finished my breakfast. I wish so much Darling that U could have taken breakfast with me for I know U wd have enjoyed it mightily. Gibbes gave me a shad yesterday- a fine fat fellow and I had a piece of him and plenty of splendid cornbread and being hungry I appreciated it highly. I did want to help my Darling Little Woman, tho, to a piece of shad very, very much and wouldnt have begrudged her the whole breakfast. Oh Darling my heart yearns after you by day and night and if U could only look into it and see how it is filled with love of my own Benie I know you could but feel happy in it. I love to think too my Dearest that your heart is equally devoted to me for U have showing it not only in words but in many an hour of suffering for my sake. It is not thrown away upon an ungrateful heart Darling Wife for altho I may not be the best of husbands, I certainly love as warmly as ever one did. Oh if I could only see U and be with you to watch and comfort U in your suffering and on your sick bed I know it would be a relief to you- even if I could do no more than to hold your poor little hand. When I think of your trial I long so to be with U just to do that. I know it would link our souls to each other more closely than ever. I can love U however, Darling, as devotedly when away from from you and when with U, so take comfort from that thought wh. greatly comforts me. I long to see the children too very very much and I often try to imagine what they are doing and how they are looking. There will be a great change in them all before I see them again. You don’t know the love I bear your sweet little namesake, our eldest born, whom you brought to me at Gainesville that cold night all wrapped up in a bundle and in whom our earliest and fondest parental affections are centred. Her place in my heart is second to but one and that one is the place held by the Dear Woman whose hand I took one night long ago in a far country and told my dearest “secret” to. Oh Darling what happy hour have resulted from that night and tho. our present status seems a hard one yest when we think we can only be grateful for our lot- I took dinner- yesterday with Jennie who has returned from Petersburg. She sent U a great deal of love and sympathy. Augustin is moving Mary to Fredbg, Richd being too expensive.  Mrs. Jeff Davis and various high official ladies have gone south and I expect Lou and Sallie will start today also. I heard from Dudley yesterday or day before all right. I would have gone in to see them this afternoon but for the hard rain wh. has been falling all day. It will probably stop the operations commenced on the night. It is rumored that Sheridan has started on another raid. Last night there was a heavy cannonade at Petersburg and we could see from my tent the shells bursting in the air and the sky constantly lit by the flashes of the guns. Kiss all the dear little ones for me and give my love to all. May God ever bless and keep U all Dear wife and children and soon restore us to each other ever prays. Your loving husband.

I wrote to Aunt Susan yesterday by Nummie.

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29 March 1865: “I would respectfully request that you direct one or two gunboats to lay in the Appomattox…”

Item Description: Letter from Lieutenant-General Ulysses S. Grant, U.S. Army, to Rear-Admiral David D. Porter, U.S. Navy, asking that gunboats be positioned in both the Appomattox and James Rivers.

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Item Citation: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. Series 1, Volume 12.  Washington : Government Printing Office, 1901. C970.75 U58no Ser.I, vol.12, p.88, North Carolina Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Headquarters Armies of the United States,

City Point, Va., March 29, 1865.

ADMIRAL: In view of the possibility of the enemy attempting to come to City Point, or by crossing the Appomattox at Broadway Landing, getting to Bermuda Hundred during the absence of the greater part of the army, I would respectfully request that you direct one or two gunboats to lay in the Appomattox, near the pontoon bridge, and two in the James River, near the mouth of Bailey’s Creek, the first stream below City Point emptying into the James.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

U.S. Grant, Lieutenant-General.

Admiral D.D. Porter, Commanding North Atlantic Blockading Squadron.

 

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28 March 1865: “I am once more a free man, Thank God!”

Item Description: Stephen Tippet Andrews served in the 85th New York Infantry Regiment during the War. In Spring 1864 he was captured by the confederates and imprisoned in Columbia. This letter was written upon his release. He describes his escape from prison in Charlotte and his recapture in Fayetteville. He finally was returned to the Union Army in Annapolis, MD. He expresses joy at his freedom, and longing to return home after four years service in the war.

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Item Citation: From Folder 5, in the Stephen Tippet Andrews Letters #5324, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription: 

“American Hour” Annapolas Md.
March 28, 1865

Dearest Maggie,

I am once more a free man, Thank God! I can look around me and not discover a rebel guard standing sentry over me ready to shoot me if I do not keep just in the right place. (If anything in the world is irksome it is to be a prisoner even under the most favorable circumstances) On the 14th of Feb. we were removed from Columbia to Charlott N.C.  and on the night of the 16th in company with three other officers of my regiment I made my escape, and after a tramp of one hundred and seventy miles which ocupied fourteen days (or nights rather) we were recaptured in Fayetteville; when we learned that all the officers whom we left in camp had been paroled and sent into our lines. Then I thought of your advice not to attempt to escape-but it was then to late to mend the matter; so we bore it like martyrs. We were kept at Fayetteville eight days and then marched to Raleigh a distance of sixty miles where we took cars to Richmond. While at Fayettville we were treated with the utmost kindness-more like friends than enemys we had a good room, with beds, fire place and gas light – had plenty to eat and the privilege of walking around in the grounds of the ARsnel where we were kept. The truth of the matter was this it is a union town and our guards were nearly all union men. On our arrival at Richmond we were confined in the notorious “Libby Prison” and kept until the 26th mch ( Sunday) when we were sent down the James river on the flag of river boat and delivered over to our commisioner of Exchange. Then – well  it is no use I can not tell you how I felt – suffise to say the sight of the old flag was the most beautiful sight I ever saw. I arrived here last night and shall be home as soon as I can get my pay and be mustered out of the service (they muster the 85th officers out) when I shall once more be a citizen – after nearly four years of hardship I can take rest I hope without asking someones permission. How I love to see you, to once more press you to my heart and to once more feel your lips to mine; and to hear your own dear voice once more. It is needless for me to try to tell you what my feeling shave been since my capture. I must wait until I see you – in fact I am in no frame of mind to write now. I have nearly forgotten how to write or what to write but I trust I shall son get into the way of doing things. In the mean time write me a good long letter so that I may know that you are still alive and that you just the same to me that you were a year ago direct your letter as usual to “Annapolis, Md” now do not delay an hour after you receive this for fear you may miss a mail. You cannot imagine how I long to hear from you. I may be detained here ten days and perhaps two weeks bu I think not longer. But I must close for I fear I shall be to late for the mail.

As ever your affectionate,

Steve

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27 March 1865: “I guess all the girls is going to get married but the ones that I would be glad to hear of their finding some fellow that would suit better than I do.”

Item Description: Letter dated 27 March 1865 from Charles Milton Hopper to his family back home. Hopper served in the 70th Ohio Regiment of the United States Army.

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Item Citation: Folder 1, Charles Milton Hopper Papers, #3584, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Goldsboro, N.C.

Monday, March 27th

Dear folks at home, – I will try once more in my way to write you a short letter. Yesterday was Sunday and I received a letter from home which had left you all well and in good spirits, which I was very glad to hear as I had not heard from you since in January. but since that time I have had the best of health that I ever enjoyed. I have enjoyed the hardships of the last campaign for we have lived on the best that the South could afford. Our meat was mostly ham. Our bread stuff was flour & meal that we have had all the time. Also plenty of chickens & turkeys, geese and ducks, for our extra who would not be a soldier and put down this cruel war. We have had plenty to eat but otherwise we have had hard fighting & hard marching, — through rain & mud and swamps to beat all. Well I have passed through all this safe and feel better than ever I have felt since I have been in the service. Today we draw full rations of Northern grub, crackers, beans, coffee, sugar, salt, rice & meats. Coffee has run very scarce with us. I have been making coffee out of burnt meal. A poor substitute. Now I am going to have a cup of good coffee. Something else now. The letters I got was mailed at Gerves on the 14th & 27th of Feb. I suppose you have written before & since them dates. On the 12th of this month I sent you a few lines written with a lead pencil as we had a chance as there was a boat come up the river to Fayetteville where we crossed the river. We only laid there 2 days and since we have been marching. You appear to think that I have not written as often as I could as ? had gotten more letters than you had from me. I have written as often as I had any opportunity to do so. We have had no chance to write since we left Beaufort until the note I spoke of at Fayetteville and the present time. I shall try to write you often for I am anxious to hear the news. You wrote as if you had plenty to tell me. Be sure and post one for it has been a long time since I have heard the latest news. Tell Pa he can surely take time to write me one letter while I am laying in camp. This time I think we shall rest and recruit up,- one month any how and then we will start for Richmond and end the war. Mother I guess all the girls is going to get married but the ones that I would be glad to hear of their finding some fellow that would suit better than I do. That would be a great relief to me. Perhaps they may get before I get home. Mother you must tell me what a good time you had at the goose supper. I suppose Geroe will be posted as his folks East are not slow on the talk. I guess he will not hear all. Hope not. You said something about a letter. You must give me more about it. So Pa is just making it pay nicely. Is he glad to hear it? Well I suppose you are thinking about farming by this time. I should like to hear something in regard to who is doing your work and who is going to work for Pa. I suppose Tom is living with you yet What has become of Len & his family? Is he putting on York style yet or has his money failed him? Who is working for Geroe? Young Aaron? Uncle Morris? Where is Sime & Kit? Tell Kate she must surely write me a letter. I cannot think of half that I want to write for it has been so long since I have wrote any. I am going to eat dinner and clean the parade ground and then I will try to write some more. Had dinner & cleaned off the grounds, so I thought I would write a little more. But I have to go on picket. So you will have to excuse me. Hoping to hear from you soon I will close. I hope this will find you well and in good health. You can direct to Goldsboro, N.C. I am ever

C.M. Hopper

To all- Father- Mother & Sister, – Good Bye.

Answer soon

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26 March 1865: “We had a small fight at Petersburg yesterday”

Item Description: In this letter, E.P. Alexander describes the atmosphere around Richmond after the Attack on Fort Stedman in Petersburg, VA. He also discusses what the the scene was like following that battle. In particular, he mentions a large crater where the fighting occurred, and the number of dead Union soldiers burned in it afterwards. As of the time he wrote this letter, he had not heard whether Johnston had succeeded against Sherman in North Carolina. Alexander also anticipates a confrontation near Richmond in the immediate future, and discusses an attempt to steal two commanding officers horses.

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Item Citation: 

From Folder 22a, in the Edward Porter Alexander Papers, #7, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

 Item Transcription: 

Camp Lance Place, Mch 26th 65
Sunday night

I have just returned from Rich’d. where I went into Church today my Darling Little sick Wife! + having this evening with nothing else to do will send another letter to comfort all in my power the sick bed on which I expect this will find you. I expected that Sallie + Lou would both leave Rd. tomorrow, but they have deferred it for at least another day hoping to hear confirmation of the report that Johnston has brought Sherman to grief. wh. is prevalent in the City. If it is confirmed Lou will not leave at all I think, Sallie, not for some time yet. The telegraph will have informed U of it truth or falsity long before U get this so, I won’t discuss it. We had a small fight at Petersburg yesterday in wh. we got a number of prisoners – (600) + had part of their lines for a while, + everything now indicates a severe fight over there very soon. possibly tomorrow. The weather + roads have been good now for several days, + unless Grant intends leaving everything for Sherman to do he will probably be “pegging away” pretty soon. This army appears to be in good spirits + its numbers are sufficiently respectable to make me feel very hopeful of the result. We have certainly nothing to fear on our side of the river. We had a little excitement in our camp last night over an attempt to steal the horses of Majors Middleton + Franklin My L.M. and C.S. Franklin heard some moving + went out + found both horses gone. We waked Middleton + they got other  horses + started out on different roads to pursue. Middleton overtook the thieves on the two horses + pursued them + fired on them + and compelled them to jump off + take to the woods leaving the horses wh. we caught. We are only sorry that he fired before he got close enough to clap the pistol to the fellows head. I went to see Lucy Webb today to ask her to get U one of the merinos wh. Hilly wrote. Sally about but she says they are English merinos + very poor + the would not advise getting one + she did not think a good french one could be gotten for less than  $1,000 even if one could be found in town. I had intended to have sold the gold I gave Sallie for U + got one but for this advice. I gave Sallie to take to U a painting of the crater at Petersburg several days after the Battle in it. It is not very good as it does not indicate the depth wh. was over thirty, but even after it was partly filled up by burning 200 dead Yankees + negroes in it, nor does it sufficiently indicate the character of the earth thrown up, wh. was in enormous boulders e+ – some of them 20 feet high. In the picture it looks more like dirt thrown up by a spade. The foreground of the picture is the gap we cut thru the earth thrown out inside of our lines + opposite it is shown the new parapet made in that towards the enemy + our sharp shooter on it. I went to see Jennie yesterday but she had gone over to Petersburg to see Mrs Cameron. I expect she got a good scare over there from the fight yesterday. I have been trying to recollect + manage to sing “Just as I am” + after a good many attempts have at last learnt to sing it very well indeed. I have been trying to learn ” I’m a Pilgrim” + “Oh could I speak the matchless worth-” but cant get them quite right. I think that I sing the “second” + it Keeps me from getting the airs. It is certainly something very like the airs but not the airs themselves. My latest letter from U was the 15th. I have had none between Feb 23rd + March 12th. I wrote to U daily last week. Give my warmest love to all. Keep a good heart My Darling One for God is still + always good to us, + we have the greatest of all blessings in each others affection.  My heart is with U in all your troubles + I feel more closely drawn to You in love + trust daily by the very thought them. May God ever bless & keep U all my Darlings ever prays Your Devoted Husband.  

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25 March 1865: “This is my first and I hope will be my very last fight, as it is anything but agreeable to see men fall all around you killed or wounded.”

Item Description: Letter written by Henry Armand London to his father.  He describes the events of the Battle of Fort Stedman, a failed attempt by the Confederate Army to break the siege on Petersburg.  He mentions wounded and captured members of his regiment.  He served as a courier in Company I of the 32nd North Carolina Infantry Regiment and participated in one of the last actions of the Civil War in carrying the message to General William R. Cox to cease firing because Robert E. Lee had just surrendered.

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Item Citation: Folder 1, Henry Armand London Papers, #868-z, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Item Transcription:

Hd Qr Grimes Division Mar 25th 1865

My Dear Pa:

Fearing you would see an account of our fight this morning in the papers and would naturally be anxious to hear of me, I will drop you a line or two only to inform you that under the merciful protection of a good God I have escaped unscathed the many dangers by which I was surrounded and still live owing to His wonderful guidance. At 1 oclock we arose and marched out to the trenches to the left of our Division and in front of the cemetary, and the Sharpshooters pushing on rapidly we captured the works in our front without scarcely firing a gun so completely were they taken by surprise. We captured two Brig Gens (one commanding a Div) nearly a thousand men and turned half a doz or more of their own pieces upon them as they retreated. It was daylight by the time the body of the troops got into action and after an obstinate fight of three or four hours, the Yankees flanking us with overwhelming numbers, we were compelled to fall back to our original position, when the battle ceased. I have heard the shells shriek and the minnie balls whistle and I can assure you it is rather unpleasant. When the troops retired from the works they had taken, I did not know it and only escaped capture by running as hard as I could a quarter of a mile through an open field swept by their fire, expect every moment to be knocked over as the dead lay in a long line being killed attempting to get away as I did, and I can assure you I drew a long breath of relief when I jumped into our works, for it is was a miracle almost that I got through safe. Two of my Co were either captured or killed behind me as we left the works together and they have not been heard of since, but I think they went back and were captured as it seemed almost certain death to attempt to run the gauntlet. I could have gotten any amount of plunder, fine boots, valise, clothing &c, but I would not as it would set a bad example & the men, but I got some crackers and eat them as complacintly under an awful shelling as I would at breakfast table, so accustomed bad I become to the “fun.” I picked up a horse which I let Leint Barnes the Gen’s A.D.C., have, but I bought off some letters the only thing I did and thinking you might like a “souvenir” of the battle I enclose one. Leint Barnes was quite severly wounded in the hip which may cripple him for life and one of the couriers was slightly wounded. The Division lost about (official) 350. The 32nd lost its commanding officer Maj Rirson, a most gallant officer, and the srgt had his thigh broken. L M Brown of my Co son of Abner Brown lost his right arm poor fellow, it was the first time he had been wounded since the war began. Bro William came out with “flying colors” as usual, so that neither of your sons was injured. This is my first and I hope will be my very last fight, as it is anything but agreeable to see men fall all around you killed or wounded. The men did not plunder as much as usual, though there was plenty of everything to tempt them. I hope you received my letter by Capt Tyson, who promised if you sent me a box to put some meat in it and I want you to hold him up to it. When you send the “box” write and let me know so I can look out for it at the Depot. Sorgham and dried fruit would be the best to send, and also two prs cotton drawers and three prs socks which you will find in my trunk. Give my best love to Ma Kate and the children and write soon to your affect Son

H. A. London Jr.

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24 March 1865: “No matter if our country goes down tomorrow Lees name will stand first upon the pinnacle of fame, as the greatest of commanders living or dead.”

Item Description: Letter dated 24 March 1865 from William C. McClellan to his brother Robert A. McClellan.  He discusses hearing from family in Alabama and the declining health of their parents.  He also mentions about conditions at Petersburg and how he feels the end of the Confederate States is near.  He lastly writes about how he feels Robert E. Lee is the greatest military commander in the history of the world.

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Item Citation: Folder 14, Buchanan and McClellan Family Papers, #1850, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Item Transcription:

Camp Near Petersburg Va

March 24th 1865

Dear Bob

I was very agreeably surprised yesterday at the reception of your letter of the 18th inst. This is the first news I have had from you in five months or more your letter written at Gadsden ala I received a letter a day or two ago from Matilda dated Dec 28th giving me the news in North Ala up to that time. She generally gives me as much news as a couple of news paper tells me you had a gay time at a party at Esq. Robertsons; your efforts to raise a company haveing a position for me, & last but not least of the reported marriage of Miss M. Lipscomb to Hiram Faulks. My hopes have departed like the glory of the noonday sun. My heart has again been wrecked for the 20th time upon the matrimonial sea.

About two weeks ago we moved from the extreme right of our line South of Petersburg to this position between the Appomattocks and James river. Relieving the Picketts Division who have had a good time and no fighting for the last 10 months. The left of our Brigade rest on the James The right of the Divis on the Appomattocks; Our Division has been commended for a long time by Maj. Gen Wm Mahone fomerly of the 3d Brigade of the Divs. He was yesterday presented with a sword by the ladys of Petersburg. I will send you his remarks on the occasion also his report of the campaign of last year.

Somehow or other I have been thinking a great deal resently about those at home, particularly about Father and Mother. They are getting old and feeble as Mathilda says and I have a longing to be with them to comfort suport and Protect them. ? you and I will fall this duty for this reason you must not expose yourself to unnecessary danger. As for me I am in no danger at presant as I now hold and have for a longtime a Boom proof position but I would gladly exchange for your Branch of services.

We all expect here to see before long the army of Tennessee joined to the right of the army of VA. Then will commence the last great strugle for Richmond. Grant is perfectly quiet he seems to be waiting for Sherman to win all the glory.

You will excuse me for saying that Grant has had to contend with the greatest Gen the world ever produced. Napoleon not ? the later was sometimes defeated with equal numbers, the former with overwhelming odds against him. No matter if our country goes down tomorrow Lees name will stand first upon the pinnacle of fame, as the greatest of commanders living or dead.

If your army was not on the move I would apply for a few days leave of absence to pay you a visit but under the existing circumstances would be doubtful about finding you. Bob I am low down I can see but little hope for these confederate states in these times. My kindest regards to all the boys. Write every opportuy possible.

Your Brother W. C. McClellan

 

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23 March 1865: “You will dispose your vessels about the sounds to capture all contraband of war going into the enemy’s lines”

Item Description: Order from Rear Admiral David D. Porter, of the U.S. Navy, to Commander W.H. Macomb regarding the seizure of contraband goods from captured Confederate ships.

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Item Citation: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. Series 1, Volume 12.  Washington : Government Printing Office, 1901. C970.75 U58no Ser. I, vol. 12. p.78-79North Carolina Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Order of Rear-Admiral Porter, U.S. Navy to Commander Macomb, U.S. Navy, regarding the restriction of trade in the sounds of North Carolina.

North Atlantic Squadron,

U.S. Flagship Malvern, Aiken’s Landing, James River, March 23, 1865.

SIR: It seems to be the policy now to break up all trade, especially that which may benefit the rebels, and you will dispose your vessels about the sounds to capture all contraband of war going into the enemy’s lines.  You will stop all supplies of clothing that can by any possibility benefit a soldier; seize all vessels afloat that carry provisions to any place not held by our troops and send them into court for adjudication.  Recognize no permits where there is a prospect of stores of any kind going into rebel hands.  I enclose you General Grant’s order on the subject.  For any capture, send in prize lists and make full reports.  You will see by the law (examine it carefully) that an officer is authorized to send all property “not abandoned” into court, especially property afloat.  I hope you succeeded in getting the Philadelphia again into your possession.  Send her to Washington if you do.

Respectfully, yours,

David D. Porter,

Rear-Admiral, Commanding North Atlantic Squadron.

Commander W.H. Macomb,

Commanding District of the Sounds, North Carolina.

 

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22 March 1865: “I have just returned safe & sound from an expedition to Bentonville against Sherman”

Item Description: A letter from Duncan G. Campbell to his wife about the Battle of Bentonville. He mentions capturing commanders, and losses suffered.

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Item Transcription: From Folder #6, in the Campbell Family Papers #135, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription: 

Smithfield March 22nd, 1865

My dear wife,

I have just returned safe & sound from an expedition to Bentonville against Sherman which has been satisfactory on the whole. We went down on Saturday and on Sunday afternoon attacked two corps of Sherman’s army. We killed some few cuups some few and brought off as trophies two comm. Night put on and to the contest. and we returned to our lines. On Monday the Yankees attacked us in the afternoon and after a sharp fight were forced to retire with small loss on both sides. Today we have been moving through the mud, and reached Smithfield at about 2oc. pm. I presume we shall continue to retreat on Raleigh tomorrow or next day. I hardly think it worth while for you to write by the mail for your Afters will probably never reach me, and I don’t like the idea of their falling into other hands. I write whenever I have an opportunity and will write at length as soon as we have day to rest. With much love to all + many kisses to the little ones believe me ever your own devoted

Duncan

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