12 April 1864:”About Sundown tonight we expect to pass in sight of the City of Charleston and Fort Sumpter, those two celebrated objects which have been familiar to us since the war broke out.”

Item Description:  Continuation of a multi-day letter that started on 11 April 1864.  In this letter, dated 12 April 1864, Jonathan L. Whitaker writes to his wife, Julia A. Wells Whitaker, while travelling down the coast of South Carolina.  As he passes by Fort Sumpter, Jonathan notes that he sincerely hopes that “before this short summer is over, the stars and stripes may proudly wave above them [Fort Sumpter and the city of Charleston, S.C.], and peace and plenty reign…”.  Jonathan L. Whitaker, from Orange County, N.Y., was a physician serving as a United States Army surgeon at a hospital at Chester, Pa., and with the 26th United States Colored Troops near Beaufort, S.C.  11April1864212April1864112April18642Item Citation:  Letter dated 12 April 1864, found in Folder 2 of  the Jonathan Lewis Whitaker Papers, #3674-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Off the coast of South Carolina, April 12th, 1864, 2, P.M.

I am happy to say that I feel first rate today, as well as the rest of the officers. We cleared off the dinner table today in a hurry, 16 of us, & nearly all had not eat a comfortable mea for 3 days. The sea is quite smooth today which accounts for our feeling better. We are still out of sight of land, & have seen nothing of the other ships since we saw the “Sailor” night before last. We had quite a scare last night or rather 3 o’clock this morning, those of us who happened to be awake. We were fired upon by a strange vessel three times & ordered to lay too. We stopped of course while the other vessel did the same & sent a boat on board of us. After finding out who & what we were we were allowed to go on without being disturbed. It was one of the blockading vessels on the watch for rebel ships, & not being able to tell us in the night, it was their duty to do as they did. For a short time of course we did not know but she might be a rebel ship in which case we would have been in a bad fix, as our vessel is not armed. There is no danger however from rebel ships in these waters, I should suppose. We got below North Carolina before daylight this morning and are now going down the coast of South Carolina. We are still about 90 miles from Hilton Head our destination, Where we expect to get early tomorrow morning. About Sundown tonight we expect to pass in sight of the City of Charleston and Fort Sumpter, those two celebrated objects which have been familiar to us ever since the war broke out. It will be a great satisfaction to me to look upon these places even though they are still crowned by the flag of treason and Rebellion. I sincerely hope however that before this short summer is over, the stars and stripes may proudly wave above them, and peace and plenty reign throughout our great country, and those who are now necessarily absent from home and friends, may have the privileged opportunity of returning to them, no more to be separated on account of war. Time passes rather slowly on the ship, nothing to do so we read, play chess, cards, (not me the latter you know) etc. We have had a great change in the weather the last 24 hours. It is very warm. I have pulled off my jacket, which I have worn steadily since I left Rikers Island, but I could not stand it on here. We have had no fires yesterday or today. If it is so warm here on the waters it must be much more so on the land. I am now farther, much farther, from home that I ever was before 900 miles, am getting you see to be quite a traveler, & the only drawback to my enjoyment is the impossibility of having you with me, not for my comfort altogether, but for your satisfaction. For otherwise than the seasickness I know full well how you would be pleased with the trip. And then you would be able to pick oranges for yourself off the trees which I know you like better that paying for them. I am thinking though we shall have a hard time with the heat, not being used to it. But it is all in the distance as yet and we can guess nothing about it until we come to it. Tomorrow I will write more.

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11 April 1864: “Sea sickness must be felt to be described, so different from everything else, so harmless, and yet making one feel so intensely wretched.”

Item Description:  Multi-day letter dated 11 April 1864 from Jonathan L. Whitaker to his wife, Julia A. Wells Whitaker.  In this letter Jonathan writes to his wife from off the coast of North Carolina about travelling by ship to Beaufort, S.C.  Jonathan describes in great detail his voyage on the ship, sea sickness, meals, and travelling with a Colored Regiment.  Jonathan L. Whitaker, from Orange County, N.Y., was a physician serving as a United States Army surgeon at a hospital at Chester, Pa., and with the 26th United States Colored Troops near Beaufort, S.C. 11April1864111April18642Item Citation:  Letter dated 11 April 1864, found in Folder 2 of the Jonathan Lewis Whitaker Papers, #3674-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Off the Coast of North Carolina, April 11th 1864
on board ship “City of Richmond.”

My dear Wife

I find it hard to pass the weary hours away. So I will endeavor to put my thought on paper from day to day for your perusal. We are having, for me, a long sea voyage. We got on board (as I told you in my letter yesterday) Friday night, and will not get off they say before Wednesday morning, making 4 days & 5 nights on board ship and all the time sick at that. I did hope that I would not be sick this time, but I have been ever since I started, yet not so deathly sick as I was before, just sick enough to feel very uncomfortable. I did not vomit any until this morning, when after eating my breakfast I went out and threw it up immediately, and now though the vessel rocks so I can scarcely write it does not affect me as bad as it did before. Sea sickness must be felt to be described, so different from everything else, so harmless, and yet making one feel so intensely wretched. It takes three boats to carry our Regiment, & as there is another Colored Regiment with us there are six boats in all. I am on this boat with the sick & the Colonel & 4 companies, 3 companies with the Lieut Colonel and Dr. Uglow are on the “Virginia” while 3 companies with the Major are on the “Sailor.” The “Virginia” we have not seen or heard from since we started, The “Sailor” is sometimes in sight. We stopped at Fortress Monroe where I sent the letter from yesterday morning, & I got a chance to go on shore a few moments, I saw at once we were a good ways south. Grass was growing, flowers were blooming, bees were bidding, & everything looked like spring. I wonder how it will look when we get three times as far south? Pleasant enough no doubt, but not so pleasant my dear but a little choice company might make it far pleasanter. We are running down today entirely out of sight of land and the waves roll & the vessel rocks enough to scare one who was not used to it, but I begin to feel quite safe, though too sick to enjoy the ride. I saw by chance before I left Annapolis, our old friend Sister Tyler. She was much surprised to see me there & inquire about wifey & babies. I told her part, but not all of course. She was very sorry on your account I had to go to the field, & was very glad she left Chester before the Rebels came there. O! how glad I will be when this sickening ride is over. One has to pay for his meals & can’t eat them or if he does eat them he throws them overboard to the fishes, and all the time feeling as though as though your stomach was coming up out of your mouth. I can write no more today. Tomorrow I will try again.

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10 April 1864: “rebel indeed, proud invaders, when shall we teach you the bitterness of that word again!”

Item Description: Diary entry, 15 April 1864, by Sarah Lois Wadley, describing the Union occupation of Monroe. Wadley was the daughter of William Morrill Wadley (1812?-1882) and Rebecca Barnard Everingham Wadley (fl. 1840-1884) and lived with her family in homes near Amite in Tangipahoa Parish, Monroe and Oakland in Ouachita Parish, La., and near Macon, Ga.

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Item Citation: From folder 5 of the Sarah Lois Wadley Papers # 1258Southern Historical CollectionThe Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Sunday evening, April 10th 1864

This has not been at all like Sunday; fatigued by the excitement and exertion of the past weeks, I slept until much later than usual this morning. Lieut. Pugh and his brother came to breakfast, which was quite late, his brother tolerably tall, with fair complexion and blue eyes and a pleasant modesty, open countenance, quite different from Lieut. Pugh who is quite small, black hair and eyes and a rather swarthy complexion, which however, does not give him a manly air, his manners are quite pert and somewhat affectedly careless, soon after breakfast Father had Prince make the ambulance ready to drive him in to Trenton with the gentleman who stayed here last night; his name is J. A. Roberts, he is going to Virginia where his friends are, had been living for a good many years in Arizona, but took refuge in Texas soon after the war commenced, his health is very bad, and he shows it. He had such a large, heavy blanket, woven by the Narvahoe indians, it is as thick as an ingrain carpet, and very prettily striped with white, black and blue, it was large enough for two blankets, being sewn in the middle, he said it was too heavy for him and gave half of it to Father, it is quite an acquisition, so good in travelling. The whole blanket before it was ripped weighed forty five pounds. Father asked the gentleman to write to Uncle David after he got into Mississippi or Georgia and tell him that we were well, he said he was not willing to take any letters, in case of being searched by the Yankees; wanted to try and get them to take him dawn in one of their transports.

We grew very impatient as the hours passed on to one o’clock, it was nearly two when Father came, accompanied by a strange man, and with his hands quite bloody, we were all excitement until he could sit down and tell us the story. He said he had gone on very quietly until he nearly reached Trenton, there Mr. Craig, who was very close behind, called out that he heard the Yankees were coming up to Trenton, and he turned round and came back home. Father however, thought he might as well go on and did so, when he arrived opposite Mrs. Seale’s he saw a party of Yankees, thirteen in number, with some uncommissioned officer at their head, they were talking to a knot of ladies, among whom were Mrs. Seale and Lucy. Father stopped then too, and the officer began to ask him if he had seen a Confederate officer mounted on a white horse pass up the road. Father told him he had not seen a white horse since he left home. It appears that a Captain Brigham, said to be a bravo sort of a man, had been “cavorting” round below Trenton in sight of the gunboats, had been seen from them, and was the cause of this party having come on shore. After speaking to the yankee a little while Father asked Mrs. Seale if she would not like to take a ride down to the Monroe ferry, she took her bonnet and went with him. Father did not go over to Monroe, left Mr. Roberts at the ferry and returned up to Trenton. When he got up into the town he found that this party of Yankees were going into the stores and houses, notprivate dwellings, searching for this Captain Brigham and for arms, they found some old muskets and some rusty swords and two kegs of powder, went into the post office and took out all the letters except those addressed to ladies, (a rare act of courtesy indeed).

Father stopped up in Trenton, sat there in the ambulance to see what was going to happen, them was a Mr. Turner in the post office who had come down to Trenton that morning with his buggy, they took his buggy to carry their arms and powder down to their gunboats with, Mr. Turner asked them to send it back, they said they would not, but if he chose he might ride down to the boat and bring it back himself, so he got in beside the young yankee who was driving. In the mean time one or two Yankees had gone up the road a little way, and as they returned Prince (who was walking up the street) overheard them say to the commander that there were some Confederates up the road, he said they would go down and gather some horses and then go after them. Prince also overheard one say to the officer, “Why don’t you take that ambulance to carry the arms down,” he replied that that gentleman was using it, and he would not trouble him. Well, having taken two horses from citizens who were there, they all went down towards Monroe, and Father and Prince faced slowly back towards home. They had advanced only a few yards when a loud report which they mistook for a gun from the boat arrested their progress, they waited for further developments, pretty soon the two horses the Yankees had taken came running back. Father thought they had been frightened and thrown their Yankee riders, pretty soon they heard another report, a real gun this time, and in a few moments here came one or two of our soldiers saying they had had a skirmish. At first Father did not believe it but Lieut. Pugh soon overtook him, and he found that it was really so. It happened thus, as the Yankees went on down with the buggy in front, our men, some dozen or so on horseback, dashed round the corner and the parties met, unexpectedly I reckon to both, perhaps our men might have taken the Yankees prisoners as the latter were on foot and taken by surprise, but the buggy with the citizen in it arrested their fire, in the words of Mr. Turner “The horse turned right round towards the river, the young Yankee either jumped or fell out of the buggy. Young Pugh called out ‘charge’, some of the men discharged their guns, the keg of powder exploded between my legs where it was sitting, the horse plunged and I jumped out. I thought I would light on my feet but came flat down on my face, and when I picked myself up and looked round I expected to see at least two or three lying dead on the ground, but not one either Yankee or Confederate was to be seen. I don’t know where the Yankees went to, some of them might have jumped over the bluff, but I didn’t think to look and see, and had I thought I wouldn’t have looked for fear they would shoot up at me!” how the powder came to explode no one knows, or how the horse got his leg broken, it appears that none of the Yankees were hurt. One of our men was severely wounded, he was supported on his horse out to a house about three miles from Trenton. Father laid him on a bed and examined his wound, it was just above the hip. We heard yesterday evening that Dr. Whyte said it, the ball, had passed through the liver and that his recovery was doubtful; it is sad to think of a life thus lost for worse than nothing. The only effect upon the Yankees after their fright was over was to exhasperate them, they threatened to shell the town but afterwards replied to the entreaties of some of the citizens that on reconsideration they would not do so unless our forces returned, that “if they saw a rebel soldier there again they would certainly shell the place,” rebel indeed, proud invaders, when shall we teach you the bitterness of that word again!

Mrs. Temple and Miss Anna Moore came over in the afternoon; about four o’clock we were surprised by seeing Major Waddill ride up, he had come to Monroe on business not expecting to meet the Yankees. I suppose his business is of a somewhat important and difficult sort, I don’t know what. Mother and Father invited him to spend the night, he went to meet an appointment but returned about dark. Is a very elegant and agreeable gentleman, my short acquaintance with him disposed me to like him very much, he is very fond of his family, and is a great money maker, looks quite jaded, probably from fatigue and anxiety combined.

We are preparing for quite a battle an Red River now, probably it has taken place before this, I scarcely dare to hope much. Oh, if we could but gain it, it would so reanimate the sinking spirits and revive the hope that is almost dead, I mean always on this side the river, from what we hear we have no right to distrust our troops on the other side. We hear that Forrest and Morgan are again doing brilliant things, Forrest has lately taken and destroyed Paducah, Columbus, Ken. and Union City.

It was nearly dark this evening when Lucy Seale and Mrs. Norriss rode up on horseback, I was alarmed, thought they were coming here for refuge from some impending evil. Lucy looked the picture of troubled alarm, wanted to know if Father had an ox wagon, or any kind of wagon here that he could send for their trunks, they were afraid that our men might go back there and that the town would be shelled. Father had nothing but a cart, and promised to send it in tomorrow morning. Mrs. Norris had been in to Monroe, that morning, said that the gunboats were not going to stay but a very few days, the river is falling so fast as to render a longer delay dangerous.

Capt. Frank Garrett and a Lieut. Hardy were taken prisoners, were about town in citizen’s dress and someone, I suppose, informed of them, it is a disgraceful thing they ought to be heartily ashamed, but Mrs. Norriss says they took it very pleasantly, probably they did not reflect that if the Yankees chose they might consider them as spies and hang them instead of parolling them an they promised, and as they very probably expected when they put themselves in the way. Father brought me a very cordial, sweet note from Miss Sallie Brantley in answer to one I wrote her inviting her to visit us, she was on the eve of starting for Minden on a visit of three months, said she would with pleasure accept the invitation when she returned home in July.

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9 April 1864: “My friends and every one intrusted in my election must work for me, & play “the agreeable”…

Item description: Letter, dated 9 April 1864, from Leonidas Polk to his wife, informing her that he has been nominated for election to the North Carolina state legislature.

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Item citation: From the Leonidas Polk Papers, #2965, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

Camp 43d N.C.T.

April 9th 1864

My dear Wife,

As James Bullard starts home tomorrow morning I believe I will write you a note by him.  I wrote Father to-day and sent it by mail.  I sent you a message by him, & told him that a meeting would be held to nominate some one for the Legislature.  Well the meeting was held & your “old man” was almost unanimously nominated. I am now almost like “Major Louis” was in New York  when the woman gave him a baby to hold. I expect this will surprise many in Anson. Every one of the boys from my neighborhood stood up to me. Capt Beverly name was brought in but received such a small vote it was withdrawn. Also Major Jas. [Baggay?] & Col. Smith of the college but they were voted down immediately. I was sent for & made a speech. The boys are all for me here & if my friends at home will only work for me all will be well.  Of course what I tell you is confidential. You will see the proceedings in the Argus & Observer next week I hope. Tell S. Gillmon of it. My friends and every one intrusted in my election must work for me, & play “the agreeable” Hope to hear from you before long. Kiss our children for me, & God grant that I may be allowed to come back to you all.  I am in good health.Write Soon & often to your devoted husband


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8 April 1864: “A different spirit seems to be pervading our troops from what I have ever seen and I feel that this is the last year of the war and hope that by this time next year we will be blessed with peace and will be an independent nation.”

Item Description: Letter, 8 April 1864, from James Augustus Graham to his mother. In it, Graham describes a fasting day in the camp, along with the spiritual climate, detailing the church service schedule along with the creation of a Soldiers Christian Association in the camp. Graham also says he hopes peace will come soon and worries that he might not make it through the summer’s campaign. Graham would survive the war to return home to Hillsborough, NC.

18640408001 18640408002Item Citation: Folder 3, James A. Graham Papers #00283, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Camp 27th NoCa Infy

Near Orange C.H. Va April 8th 1864

My dear Mother

As Lieut Strayhorn starts home to morrow morning and I can send a letter by him I will write to you tonight. Lieut Strayhorn as a 30 days sick furlough.

This is the day set apart by Congress for fasting and prayer and I don’t think I ever saw a day more strictly observed than this has been in our Brigade. All drills and duties of every sort have been suspended all day and Camp has been more quiet than I ever saw it before. Everybody seemed to be impressed with the solemnity of the occasion and you could hear none of the noise about Camp that you hear on every other day even on Sundays. The camp seemed almost deserted, for most of the men stayed in their tents and kept very quiet. I think there at least two thirds of our Reg’t fasted and I believe all of the Regts in our Brigade did equally as well.

We had preaching this morning and also tonight by Mr. Dodson Chaplain of the 4th Regt.

A different spirit seems to be pervading our troops from what I have ever seen and I feel that this is the last year of the war and hope that by this time next year we will be blessed with peace and will be an independent nation.

We have had preaching in the Chapel every night, for the past two or three weeks, when the weather would permit and the house is almost always full. We have prayer meeting also every day at half past 12 o ‘clock which is very well attended. We have but one chaplain present with our Brigade now, but he is assisted by Capt Landons of our Regt who is a Baptist preacher. 

We have organised a “Soldiers Christian Association” in our Brigade which now numbers over 100 members, though it was only started this week. Several persons who are not members of the church have joined our association, among them Capt Dickson of our Co. I hope that it may be the means of doing much good.

It will not be long before the campaign will open and active operations commence for the winds and sun will soon dry up the roads. I hope that I may escape as well in this campaign as I have done heretofore, but many a one will be lain low before the summer is over. I feel confident that our armies will be successful in this summer’s campaign and hope that it may convince the Yankees that it is useless continuing any longer.

I think our transportation will be down this summer and will therefore send my uniform coat and the pants home by the first opportunity for I don’t want any uniform coat for summer wear.

Walter Thompson has not arrived yet with his boxes, but I expect will be here tomorrow or Monday. 

I must close as it is about 11 o ‘clock. Good night. Love to all. Write soon to

Your affectionate son

James A. Graham

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7 April 1864: “It may be a belief entertained and justly founded, but I am persuaded expression would be severely criticised.”

Item Description: In this letter, dated 7 April 1864, William Brown at Richmond wrote to Robert Lewis Dabney regarding edits to the manuscript biography of Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson written by Dabney. Brown suggested that Dabney rewrite potentially controversial references to “uncultivated” Baptist and “itinerant” Methodist preachers Jackson would have heard and the comparison of crimes against the Confederacy to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.





Item Citation: From folder 61 in the Charles William Dabney Papers #1412, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Richmond Ap. 7. 1864

Dear Brother:

Your telegram, and also one from Prof Schule De. Vere, announcing the safety of your MS. in his hands, were recd in due time. Meanwhile I have had two visits to Col. Bayue. The gentleman who is to take charge of the “life of Gen Jackson” will not start for Wilmington before Sunday. The whole will be deposited in his hands, carefully fixed up for the voyage, and properly directed. Dr Hoge will send a letter.

I have taken the liberty of giving the MS. a hurried reading. I greatly wish you could  have given it a careful one after it was copied. I suppose your hurry prevented. I have written plainly in pencil in a few places, (on the blank page of the MS) some proper names where the Copyist failed to write them plainly, and where it would be almost impossible to avoid mistakes unless the proof reader should happen to be a Virginian.

I candidly think you have written the work very ably, and hope it may be very successful. I will take the liberty of calling your attention to two passages which I think ought to be changed.

p. 4, Speaking of Gen. Jacksons Early religious advantage, and of the kind of preachers he heard, you say they were the “most uncultivated members of the Baptist Communion, or of the itinerant fraternity of the Methodist” I would have it worded in such a way as to leave out Baptist & Methodist by name: for though it is true, yet offense will be taken.

p.262 “Reciting all these aggravations, the people of the Confederate State believe that no blacker natinial crime has challenged the lighting of heavens wrath, since the crucifixion of Jesus Christ” I would certainly alter that. It may be a belief entertained and justly founded, but I am persuaded expression would be severely criticised. There is an unwillingness to allow any other crime to brought either into Comparison with, or proximity to the crucifixion of our Savr. Seward did the former, by comparing his sufferings on account of the rebellion to those of our Savior in the garden. Your statement, though far removed from his, will still not escape something of the same objective. The English journals lashed him unsparingly.

I mark the pages, & make these quotations, so that if you judge it proper to make any alterations, you can do it, when you send your “preface.”

We are as well as usual, and write in love to all.

Yours affectionately

William Brown

P.S. It probably did not occur to you that Rev Mr Chalmers would not be willing to join you in the publication, on account of teh discussion on slavery. I suggested the difficulty to Dr Hoge: he says he is sure he wd not, and that he wd have told you so, if he had been aware of that subject being introduced. he suggests the mae of James Sutter, formerly of Sufolk.


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6 April 1864: “Since we entered the Tenn R. I can honestly say I never saw so handsome a river.”

Item Description: Letter dated 6 April 1864 written by Edward W. Allen to his parents, James and Emily Allen. Edward served in Company H of the 16th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry Volunteers and in this letter was moving from Vicksburg, MS (where he was stationed in March 1864) to Huntsville, AL, and it would seem ultimately to Pulaski, TN, where he was stationed in May 1864. He compares the Tennessee River to the “Chip” which is probably the Chipewa River in Wisconsin. Edward also discusses the beauty of the journey, his captain falling ill, and writing too many letters for his “pecuniary benefit.”


[Item transcription available below image]


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Item Citation: Folder 1, Edward W. Allen Papers #03737-z, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Item Transcription:

On board Str Mary E Forsyth

Bound up the Tenn April 6-64

Dear Parents

We are steaming pleasantly up the R in Company with 10 other strs and 3 gun boats. Since we entered the Tenn R. I can honestly say I never saw so handsome a river. The banks are rather high and slope to the edge of the water and covered with grass. It is very even narrowing gradually as we go up with here and there an island no shoals or sand bars like the Chip occasionally passing farm houses on the bank looking so contented and peaceful, reminding one of anything but grim relentless of which this part of the country has seen so much we are to land at Clifton a small place on the River 25 miles from Pittsburg Landing. Yesterday morning Capt N was taken sick, had a fever but this morning he is better and if nothing happens will be well in a few days Day before yesterday I wrote to Levi and Grandma yesterday I wrote to Ellen McGowan perhaps I write too much for my own pecuniary benefit but the days have been so long on the boat with so little to pass away time and I like to write too, but if you will keep me in stamps I will write. Send a few when you write for me an going when we may not be able to buy them, should we be so fortunate as to have anything to buy with At Cairo I laid in a stock of Stationary against a rainy day I said above that I wrote to Levi I did not it was a mistake come think it over. We have Landed at Clifton expect to march to Clifton Huntsville Ala in the morning.

Several of us have sent a box marked L. W. Pond West Eau Claire Wis

Care of J. S. Nelson

Reeds Landing


Take him to get it and and hold it for changes as the owner call for the things send a white blanket and a rest But Imust hurry and get the box off before the boat leaves.

Write to Huntsville 

Ala Your dutiful

Son Edward


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5 April 1864: “Capt. McCloskey reports the “Falls City” ready for sinking this afternoon…”

Item description: Report, dated 5 April 1864, sent by General Richard Taylor to his superior General Edmund Kirby Smith. The report details Confederate troop strength at this point in the Red River Campaign.

[Item transcription available below images.]


Item citation: From folder 38 of the Edmund Kirby-Smith Papers, #404, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

Hd Qrs Dist. Western La. 
In the field April 5th 1864


I have the honor to enclose the latest dispatch received from Genl. Liddell which will give you the best information from the east side of the river. Capt. McCloskey reports the “Falls City” ready for sinking this afternoon, she will be sunk if Genl. Liddell or the officer in command on this side the river give further information of the enemy’s advance. I am awaiting your reply to my dispatches of yesterday touching future movements.

I have the honor to report the following in regard to the troops from Texas. Green’s old Brigade, Col. Bagby comd’g, about 1100 strong some 200 not armed, is here, also Major’s Brigade 750 strong, DeBray’s and Buchel’s Regt’s about 500 each. Terrell’s Regt., 360 men for duty, will be here in the morning. Genl. Bee has arrived here in person but knows nothing of the whereabouts of his Brigade with the exception of Terrell’s Regt. Wood’s, Gould’s & Licken’s regiments have not been heard from since the reception of a dispatch from the Major of Licken’s Regt. dated 31st march stating that his Regt. had not left Hempstead, Texas. I have directed Genl. Green to order Genl. Bee to return to Logansport tomorrow to ascertain where the above named three Regts. are and hurrying them on.

Very Respectfully Yr. Obt. Servt.
(Signed) R. Taylor
Maj. Genl. Comd’g

Brig. Genl. W. R. Boggs
Chief of Staff

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4 April 1964: “I believe the pickle was appreciated the most.”

Item description: Letter, dated 4 April 1864, from Peter M. Grattan to Mary E, Grattan.  Peter writes from Orange Court House, Va. about picket duty and camp life in general.  He also thanks her for a box of provisions and asks about family news.

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Item citation: From Mary E. Grattan Papers #2975-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

United States Military Telegraph

By Telegraph from Orange C. H.

Dated April 4th 1864

To Dear Mary,

I would have written to you sooner but for being on picket four days last week had a very bad time only one clear day all the time rain & snow the balance of the time with very short rations returned yesterday & to my great joy found a box to pitch into. The puffs went up first because on top of the box these we eat while i read your & Lou’s letters the other boys seem-ed too bashful to get deeper in the box. after reading your letter I found the bottom of the box pretty soon. every thing was thought the belt &  although we eat at least an hour it has not been decided yet which of all the things were the best. I believe the pickle was appreciated the most. I have reserved my thanks to you all until now that they may be the more appreciated after the attack we made.  Tell Johnny that I saved his apples until this morning as a kind of afterclap to my breakfast. they were very nice.  Tell him I am very glad he thought of me as well as obliged for the apples. Tell him he must make haste & write to me and tell me how many [lambs?] he has & how they are doing. How is the plowing getting along? Have they made ready the oats land? it has been such bad weather that I expect they are getting along very poorly. I wrote to Charles this morning inviting him to dine with me to day or tomorrow.  Sent it down by John Gibbons (your devoted took it down for me). It has commenced raining again.  I am glad we are off picket this time all the boys are making rails for the fence they burnt.  [6 ? ferrys?] did not burn any so we do not have to make them Speaking of rails reminds me of Miss Lucy Stout, do you know any thing of her engagement one of company ‘I’ told me she was to be mar-ried to one of the Geor-gians. We have a visator named Hines a very old gen-tleman who keeps up such a chat that I can scarcely write. Tell Miss Molly I am very much obliged to her for the packing of the box I have not seen Jack since I got your letter. If he knew I was writing he would send his love for he always quarrels with me for not doing so when I take me letters up.  Jack has just come & sends his love to all the family, I could hardly make head or tail out of your part of the letter. Tell Lou her turn comes next. I will write to George tomorrow.  Give my love to Ma, Miss Mollie, Nellie, Lou, Johnny, and yourself

Yours etc. P. M. Grattan

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3 April 1864: “I am glad Dixie is learning to sing and I wish it was summer, so he could hear other birds sing.”

Item Description: Letter, 3 April 1864, from James Gifford to his parents, describing the burning of Cape Lookout lighthouse, the rations on his ship, his duties, and how to “take snuff” like a Southern lady. Gifford, a United States Navy paymaster steward, served on the United States Bark Release during the Civil War. Gifford’s parents lived in New Bedford, Mass.

[Item transcription available below images]

18640403_001 18640403_002

Item Citation: From folder 2 of the James Gifford Papers #4493-zSouthern Historical CollectionWilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

US Ship Release
Off Beaufort N.C.
April 3rd 1864

Dear Parents

I write you these few lines to let you know how I am getting along my health is good I was much pleased at receiving a letter from you to day bearing date of 29th ult. I see by it you have not received the news of its arrival. The best way to work it is to not send it in such a hurry again. On the box it said “through direct” and I find where they put them streight through it takes them long again to get here. We remain in same old position we did when we came out here. Every thing seems quiet around here. There is little trouble around here to day. Some mean rebel burnt Cape Lookout light house last night. The weather has been quite windy for some time back to night it rains some. Our living this month has come quite high for the Doctor the dam’d fool has stuck himself in decatur of the Mess and he has gone in quite strong for high living We have pigs feet, beef tongue, &c We have nice butter for 30 cents per pound and nice white sugar for 16 cents per pound and the doctor goes ashore and buys butter at 45 per lb and sugar at 25 per lb. I would go out of the mess if it was not for one thing the Masters mate has asked me to go into a mess by oursilves but I would rather pay a dollar a day than mess with him. It cost about 20 dollars for my living last month. You asked me what my business is aboard the ship. Week days I do what writing there is to do and when the rations are served out I have some one under me called (Jack of the dust) to do all the serving out while I stand with a pencil & book and set down what they have. Sundays at muster I have to call over the names of the men and read any notice that the Captain may give me All together it is work I like. I have not got up to Newbern yet for we are having a spell of bad weather lately and when we have some good weather again I shall go up. I have found a new way for mother to take snuff When I come home I will bring her a gum stick and show her the southern style of taking snuff. I guess father knows how it is done Will you please let me know whether Josiah is to work on to Nantucket or not Tell Tom Allen to write if he is not to busy. I am glad Dixie is learning to sing and I wish it was summer, so he could hear other birds sing. I cant think of any more to write at present and I will close


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