Author Archives: dcbh

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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6 May 1864: “Your mother writes me that John is noticed as conspicuous for gallantry in the action at Plymouth.”

Item description: Letter, dated 6 May 1864, from William Alexander Graham to his son, James Augustus Graham. In the letter, Graham discusses the failure of an attempt to transfer his son into General Cooke’s division, the death of his sister … Continue reading

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23 April 1864: “…it was heartrending to listen to their piteous appeals for mercy and soliciting interference on their behalf.”

Item description: Letter, dated 23 April 1864, from Bryan Grimes to his wife, Charlotte Emily Bryan.  Grimes describes challenges with the Confederate mail system and the necessity of the death penalty for deserters. [transcription available below images] Item citation: From … Continue reading

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20 April 1864: ” I am seated in an old field, surrounded by men flushed with hope & success & dividing out their captured spoils. I write to you on Yankee paper with a gold pen, & Yankee envelope with Yankee ink, smoking Yankee cigar, full of Yankee sugar coffee &c.”

Item description: Letter, dated 20 April 1864, from Leonidas LaFayette Polk to his wife Sarah Gaddy Polk regarding the Confederate victory at the Battle of Plymouth, N.C., and spoils taken from Union soldiers. More about Leonidas LaFayette Polk: L.L. (Leonidas LaFayette) … Continue reading

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18 April 1864: “We can buy peas and other things of that sort from the sutler and in that way make out very well.”

Item description: Letter, dated 18 April 1864, from James Augustus Graham to his mother.  He describes camp life around Orange Court House, Virginia, specifically the availability of food and the frequency of packages deliveries. [transcription available below images] Item citation: … Continue reading

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2 April 1864: “I cannot help but hope that this will be the last year of the war, they cant carry on the war successfully & a presidential election.”

Item description: This letter, dated 2 April 1864, was written by Confederate private J.T. Kern while he was stationed in Dalton, Georgia. Kern’s mother had written him about the trials of living under Union occupation in Mississippi and his anger … Continue reading

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31 March 1864: “…to frighten them he pointed the gun at them…”

Item description: Entry, dated 31 March 1864, from the diary of Samuel A. Agnew.  Agnew describes the accidental death of Franky, the son of two of his Aunt Rilla’s slaves, due to a gun misfiring. [transcription available below images] Item … Continue reading

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24 March 1864: “…as I mentioned yr name a flush spread over her and there was a momentary flash of the eye as if I was treading on forbidden ground.”

Item description: Letter, dated 24 (and 27) March 1864, from George S. Barnsley to Lancelot Minor “Lanty” Blackford.  Barnsley writes about his time as a surgeon in Richmond, and also discusses gossip regarding Blackford’s brother and a popular “Miss Jennie.” … Continue reading

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22 March 1864: “Negroes must not be connected with this in any manner whatsoever.”

Item Description:    Letter dated 22 March 1864, written by  George William Logan, about burying ammunition in secret stockpiles, with a note, “Negroes must not be connected with this in any manner whatsoever.”  George William Logan (1828-1896) served as a lieutenant … Continue reading

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