Author Archives: dcbh

16 June 1864: “This is only about twenty miles from Atlanta, while it is rumored that Hooker has crossed the river to our right, and is probably trying to get between them and Atlanta with a large force.”

Item description: Letter, dated 16 June 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. [Item transcription available below images.] Item … Continue reading

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15 June 1864: “Slaves under eighteen and over fifty years of age are exempt from impressment. All male slaves between those ages are liable to be impressed, subject to the following exceptions.”

Item description: Circular, dated 15 June 1864, from the Confederate States Engineer Department, Office Enrollment Slaves concerning the impressment of slaves and freedmen into the Confederate States Army. Item citation: From the Ella Barrow Spalding Papers #1106, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, … Continue reading

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4 June 1864: “I apprehend from the quietude the enemy has preserved today that he is preparing to leave us tonight, and I fear will cross the Chickahominy.”

Item description: Dispatch, dated 4 June 1864, from Robert E. Lee to Richard H. Anderson, written during the Battle of Cold Harbor. Item Citation: From the Edward Porter Alexander Papers #00007, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Item transcription: … Continue reading

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23 May 1864: “We are guarded by negro troops, who are as mean as hell.”

Item Description: Diary entry, dated 23 May 1864, written by Louis Leon, a Confederate soldier in the North Carolina Infantry. At this point in the war, Leon has been imprisoned at Point Lookout, Maryland.  In this entry, he describes an incident … Continue reading

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20 May 1864: “If only the half of what we hear is true we have gained great and glorious victories.”

Item description: In this diary entry dated 20 May 1864, Samuel A. Agnew, a Presbyterian minister, teacher, farmer, and prominent local citizen in Tippah and Lee counties, Mississippi, noted confirmed victories at Spotsylvania and Drury’s Bluff and rumors of casualties and … Continue reading

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19 May 1864: “Today so far everything is quiet the skirmishers don’t even fire at each other but seem to be quite friendly, meet each other and exchange papers and have a talk over the times…”

Item description: This letter, dated 19 May 1864, was written by Confederate soldier Lewis Warlick to his wife. In his letter, Warlick comments on the heavy fighting at Spotsylvania, Virginia. He also notes that friendly contacts were still possible between … Continue reading

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16 May 1864: “Ball extracted from James’ leg today. Doing well.”

Very short telegraph from W.A. Graham to his wife Re: their son James James A. Graham Papers, SHC, #283

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12 May 1864: “The news is not very reliable but indicates that a great & bloody battle is being fought and that Grant is giving the rebels a bitter lesson.”

Item description: Letter, 12 May 1864, from Robert Finley to his fiancee, Mary A. Cabeen. Finley was a member of the 30th Illinois Infantry, serving in Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and Georgia. Item citation: From the Robert Stuart Finley papers #3685-z, Southern Historical Collection, … Continue reading

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10 May 1864: “I will do the best I can but we have a hard time down here.”

Item Description: Letter, dated 10 May 1864, from James Burwell, apparently one of George’s slaves, from a camp near Richmond, Va. The letter, probably dictated by James has two parts: the first part is addressed to “Mr. Master” and requests food and … Continue reading

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8 May 1864:”The great and impending battle so long expected is being fought. I have not heard the name of the battleground.”

Item description:  Entry, dated 8 May 1864, from the diary of Samuel Andrew Agnew.  Agnew describes reports received from the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse in Virginia, including heavy Confederate losses. [transcription available below images] Item citation: From the Samuel A. Agnew … Continue reading

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