20 October 1864: “They put the men in the army and the women & children off in little huts to punish & freeze.”

Item Description: A letter, 20 October 1864, from Francis Hunt at Hunts Station, Tex. (or Tenn.), mentioning the poor condition of freedmen. She also mentioned family and personal matters.

18641020_01 18641020_02Item Citation: From Folder 5, in the Lipscomb Family Papers #429, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription: 

Hunts Station, Te Oct. 20th 1864

Dear Brother John: 

I will write to you to let you know that we are all well at this time. A great many of the darkies of this country are with the Yankees, they went and were taken off when they first come in here. Over half are now dead. None are going to them now. They have learned that it don’t pay. They put the men in the army and the women & children off in little huts to punish & freeze. Andrew and all the men at home now have to run every time they come in Sight. A good many of your acquaintances have married Since you left. I want to see you very bad, but we See hard times in this country. Stay there and do the best you can. You are doing better than you could here. The Yankees have taken most everything out of this country. I hope the war will close before long so you can come home and that we can have a good time like we used to. 

I don’t think I will marry till the war winds up. If I was to the old yanks would take my old man off and put him in front to Save themselves from being killed. 

Tell Uncle Tom howdy for me. Tell him to be a good boy. Do you have a time with the Alabama girls. Enjoy yourselves there as well as you can, until you come home. 

from your Sister, 
Frances Hunt


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19 October 1864: “What we suffered in Libby Prison and Belle Isle I will not attempt to describe”

Item Description: Letter dated 19 October 1864 written by Julius Frederic Ramsdell. He briefly mentions some of the harsh conditions of his life while in prison at Libby and Belle Isle.


Item Citation: Folder 2, Julius Frederic Ramsdell Papers, #4403, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Item Transcription:

Annapolis General Hospital

Maryland Oct 19th 1864

Dear Uncle,

I received your letter of the 14th yesterday, and was very glad to hear that you and all the family are well. I was afraid that after being cut off your communication home for two months I should have to hear of some changes, which to me might be bad news.

I shall make an application today for a furlough of thirty days and send it to the Surgeon in charge of the hospital. But I shall have to take my chance, with the rest for out of all the applications sent in their are but few who get their furloughs. I may get one in a week, or month or perhaps not at all. I shall do all I can to get one, for I want to go home fall very much.

I found Leigh my man here. He has lost the use of his right arm and is expecting his discharge or some light duty. He lent all from our company five dollars as soon as we reached the hospital. When I received your letter with the money $25 enclosed I immediately paid him five dollars and have plenty now (20.00) to buy what necessaries I need and can get here. While we were in the enemies hands we were searched five different times. Everything was taken from us, blankets, clothing, money, and every kind of trinket which we happened to have in our pockets. All that was left us was our shirts, pants, blouse, dipper and spoon. The dipper we had to eat soup in This soup was one of our principle articles of food It was made of black beans boiled in liver water.

With some difficulty I succeeded in carrying my pocket diary and Testament through And those were the only things I had with me when we landed with from the boat. What we suffered in Libby Prison and Belle Isle I will not attempt to describe. You have heard enough about both those places to know what our treatment was.

From the boat load in which I came of about 350 or 400 men 8 died upon the passage. And 14 more the day after reaching the hospital. One of our Company is not expected to live from day to day. His wife and brother are with him now. Where with the company he was the strongest and healthiest man among us. Thomas Moran is his name. He is suffering with chronic Diarrhea.

I am gaining strength fast. During the past week I have been to work helping take care of the sick sweep their worns make their bed ? I have just enough to do to give me a good appetite and make me feel well.

I hear Mr. Gage is going to send us a box of clothing shirts drawers etc. We shall look for it every day- Write whenever you can. My love to all- Your Affect. Neph


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18 October 1864: “to get me into some place that will be better than serving in the ranks”

Item Description: Letter from A. F. Pendleton to his uncle Brigadier General William Nelson Pendleton asking him to use his reputation to get him a position outside of the military ranks.


Item Citation: Folder 41 in William Nelson Pendleton Papers, #1466, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Richmond  Oct 18, 1864

Dear Uncle,

I hope you will pardon me for my apparent presumption: I hardly know what to say or how to express myself in the request I am about to make.  You are aware that I was discharged from the army in the fall of 1861.  When the Conscript law was was passed I was detailed by the government since which time I have been in the government employ.  Very recently, there has been an order issued from the War Department revoking all details, mine among the rest.  My object in writing you this letter is to request you, either directly, or by your influence to get me into some place that will be better than serving in the ranks, I do not care how dangerous it may be for to serve regularly in the ranks, and cary a musket, I believe would kill me in a very little while.  Please let me hear from you at an early a day as possible.  Again asking your pardon for my presumption, I remain as ever your affect nephew.

A. F. Pendleton

Brig. Genl Wm N. Pendleton

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17 October 1864: “that appointment will hereafter be made by the war Dept. exclusively”

Item Description: A letter from the War department regarding who has the authority to appoint troops.

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Item Citation:Folder 18 in the T. L. Clingman Papers, #157, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Confederate States of America
War Department
Aajutant and Inspector Gnls. Office
Richmond, Va. Oct 17, 1864

You have doubtless been advised by endorsements from this office that the question at issue between the War Department and the Executive of North Carolina in reference to the right of appointment to office in certain Rgmts. of North Carolina Troops has been determined; and that appointment will hereafter be made by the war Dept. exclusively. There can be no objection of course to issue of commissions by the executive of North Carolina to such office as may be entitled to position by the laws of the Confederate States. Except that it may lend to prevent or delay the requisite transaction of business between their Regiments and this office. This objection however may readily be removed. It is impossible to give to this decision a retroactive effect instant at once disengaging every Regiment as to which the Executive of North Carolina has claimed the right to make appointments.

The War Department is therefore forced to ? the existing organization by recognizing the officers who have here to for received appointments, so far as to permit them to continue in position, draw pay + C.

The Secretary of War desires that you will take such measures as will into the exception here in made guarantee to such of those Regiments as may be in general(?) Command an organziation strictly conformable to confederate laws.

Very respectfully,
Your able Svt.
(Signed) S. Cooper
Aajt. + Insp. Genl.

W. H. Taylor

IL Cross

Col. McKethan
Cmdg Clingman’s ?


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16 October 1864: “we shell them every day and the rebs comes over to us every day”

Item Description: Letter from Joseph H. Young to his wife Ann Eliza Young.  He writes about the shelling of Confederate positions and surrender of Confederate soldiers.  Young was from Mifflin County, Pa. and served in the 184th Pennsylvania Regiment.

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Item Citation: Joseph H. Young Papers, #3695-z, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Item Transcription:


Camp near Fort Rice

Oct 16th 1864

My Dear and affectionate wife,

I reseved your kind letter this morning and I was very glad to hear from you and my little pet and all the rest of the folks about Reedsville.  You may tell lib that I will try and keep out of the rode of the bulets as well as I can.  Thay fly around here perty thick sometims but I luck out for them as well as I can.  Sam Kinley has just come in my bum pruf and he seen Dick yesterday he is well and all the rest of the boys is well in the 205 Reg.

I think we will move out of this in a few days and it may be we will go back to Washington. Thare is some talk of it I hope it may be the case we can see in to Petersburgh and we shell them every day and the rebs comes over to us every day.  Thare was 4 come over last night and 60 the night before and thay say thay can’t stand it aney longer.

Well my Dear the next time you send me post stamps don’t stick them on the letter for I could not get them off and you said you sent one dollar in that letter but I did not get it.  I think you did not put it in the letter.

Mr. Harman is well and hardy and so is David Cunningham.  This is our mess.  I wish you would send me som money for I would like to have some and if you do send me som get green backs for nothing will do out here.

We have not had aney very hard fighting sence we have bean here but we have 4 or 5 little fights with the rebs.

You must kiss my little pet for me and tell her papa is well.  I rote a letter to you yesterday and told you all the news

This all at presant.

From you affecate Husband,

Jos. H. Young

Good by my Dear

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15 October 1864: “it is in the latest style which I do not admire”

Item Description: Letter dated 15 October 1864 written by Anna Cochran to her cousin. She mainly writes about clothing.


Item Citation: Folder 36, John S. Henderson Papers, #00327, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Manchester Oct 15 1864

My dear Cousin

I have at last succeeded in getting your things prepared for you. I had your dress made by one of the most fashionable dress makers in Richmond, and hope it will suit you it has been very much a admired by every one that has seen it; your bonnet I had made by my milliner it is in the latest style which I do not admire it is too close on the sides I have got you dresses from dyes. I think they are alone very nicely, your gloves & ribbons are in Richmond not sold yet- it is almost too early in the season for people to begin to buy their winter trimmings yet but I think they will sell very well if you want any silk, gloves, or any other little things let me know and I can send them to you by letter or father will be going ? again in about a month and can take them to you. The weather is dreadfully cold. I am sitting by a large fire now I suppose we feel the change more as it was so sudden I forgot to say your shawl was not finished yet.- I am learning the art of making gloves and have cut out some for myself & Mother. I am going to take the liberty of asking a favor of you Mother has plaited me a hat and feathers are very much worn this fall I am very much in want of some and if you have any old ones and will give them to me I will be a thousand times obliged almost any color will answer and will make you a pair of gloves and send you in return. I almost forgot to tell you that it only look eight yards to make your dress and half a yard for the bonnet so send you back the yard and half over also some pieces of crape which will no doubt be useful for collars. Do you have any more orders for me to fill send me word and it will afford me the greatest pleasure to attend to them for you. I can now get very nice black silk 24 inches wide for $50 a yard you get more news through the papers than I can tell you as I will bring this badly written letter to a close.

your affectionate cousin

A.G. Cochran

P.S. I enclose a list of articles and ? I did not think it necessary to take bills of every thing. I can get white thread for you for $35 a dozen it is very good for I have used a great deal of it black thread is much higher place ? ? and coats five dollars a spool. my love to the children Mother and ? send love to all


Anna [Cochran]

I send a sleeve pattern I shrink it very ? it is intended to be trimmed up the back seams and the seam on top the arms if a calico dress a ruffle is used but for any kind of ? quilling is more used than any thing else I send one half the sleeve this other half is exactly like it- if I can find find any more pretty patterns I will send them to you.

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14 October 1864: “He will never be fit for service again, he is so wrecked.”

Item Description: A letter from Seraphina Brooks Flowers to Miss Bell regarding her trip to visit her sick son in prison. He was imprisoned in Rock Island, Illinois. She also discusses other family news, and her plans to travel back south.

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Item Citation: From Folder 1, in the Edmiston, Kelley and Flowers Family Papers #5230, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Rock Island, Illinois
October 14, 1864

Dear Miss Bell,

Your letter was received last night. I was glad, very glad to hear from home, and then I was greatly pained at the news. So much sickness, and Oliver’s arrest. Oh! it makes me sick at heart. Still, I will trust in God that all are better, and that Oliver is at home again. It does indeed seem that “My cup is full.”

Before I write more, I wish to return my sincere thanks to yourself & Dr. Fox. I am under the greatest obligations to you both. Thank the Dr. for me when you see him, & tell him please do all he can for you all, while I am gone.

I hope you are not suffering yet for food. If you get out, you will have to beg ’till I get back.

I have written a number of times to Oliver. I have just written to Lt. Lockwood, and requested him to send the letters out, if they have never been sent.

Uriah has been placed upon the list of sick and wounded, who are to be sent South for exchange in two or three days. I expect to leave at the same time, and shall accompany him if allowed to do so. May go with him to the point of exchange which is thought will be Savannah, Ga. to try to obtain a furlough for him & then his final discharge, as he never will be fit for service again, he is so wrecked. I am told that his lungs are diseased, and scrofula has made its appearance upon him.

I can have no idea, of what time I shall reach him. Give my love to your Mother, and tell her to do the best she can.

I am glad to hear Emily has returned.

Goldsborough came to see me at the first of the week he said he was going south soon. Flora had declined going for the present. Tell Mrs. Kelley, they are doing well. G. has improved in health very much.

Tell good old Martha, God bless her, I will reward her all I can. tell Ben, not to let you suffer wood, and tell Bill the same. Tell Lucy I have got a heart full for her, with Liucolar’s [sic.] likeness upon it. I know she will value it. Give my love to all the children, and just kiss dear little Gray for his mother. I guess Eddie would not let you kiss him. Tell him I am sorry he is a naughty boy. Well good bye your friend,

L. Flowers

Tell Eddie he must not eat the Chinkapins [sic.], to be a good boy, and I will try to bring him and Gray a pair of boots.



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13 October 1864: “I gave him a short piece of my mind.”

Item Description: A letter from W.F. Beasley to a member of the Pettigrew family. He describes the difficulty he has had in receiving letters, and the possible movement of his battalion. He expresses his dislike for his current location.

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Item Citation: From Folder 270, in the Pettigrew Family Papers #592, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription

Camp Anderson’s Pan. S.C. Rest.
Near Weldon S.C. Oct. 13th 1864

My Dear Friend,

Your short letter of the 8th just reached me on the 10th and in compliance with the request therein contained I mounted my horse and rode for the P.O. in Weldon to search again for you letter. I found the P.M. shortly after my arrival and gave him a short piece of my mind, (I couldn’t share much) after which he went to work in search of the letters and soon found them. They were among a number of letters that had been received for the Sr. Res. but never delivered, I sent them to you on the 11th and would have written you on that day but my business prevented my doing so, I think you have formed a very correct opinion of W. Daniel the P.M. I hope you were able to read my last letter. I really feel ashamed of myself for sending you such a miserable servant, but I was so busy that day that it could not have been easily prevented. We had a meeting of our Battalion the other day and unanimously tendered our services to the Sec. of War to go to Petersburg during the present emergencies. I am under the impression he will accept the tender, and I hope so from the bottom of my heart for we can accomplish a great deal more at Petersburg than at this miserable hole. I was very sorry indeed to hear that you were sick, and sincerely hope when this letter reaches you it will find you well again. You must give my best over ?? and my respect to Mr. C. and others friends. To news – action at this time if there is it has been borne by the wind to some other parish leaving Weldon behind in disgust. I will always be pleased to hear from you My Friend, and would be glad for to advise me how to act in your letters. It is getting late and I must close as the sun will go out and have me in the dark. With my best wishes.

I am Your Friend,

W. F. Beasley

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12 October 1864: “We are drawing light rashions here.”

Item Description: A letter written by Christopher Wren Bunker to his family from prison. It describes some of the conditions at prison, as well as some illness he has suffered. He served in the Confederate Army in eastern Tennessee and western Virginia. He was captured on August 7, 1864 and imprisoned at Camp Chase, Ohio.

18641012_01Item Citation: From Folder 1, in the Christopher Wren Bunker Letters #4822-z, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Camp Chase, O., Oct. the 12th 1864

Dear Father, Mother, Brothers, and Sisters,

It is with pleasure I take the present opportunity to drop you a few lines to let you know how I am getting along. I was captured the 7th of last August and brought to this place. I have no news of interest to write to you are none allowed to come in prison. You must write to me as soon as you get this and let me know how you are getting along. I would like to hear from you all as it has been a long time since I heard from you, but I hope it will not be long before I will hear from you and see you too, all though I see no chance for an exchange.

I have not seen many well days since I came to this place. I have had the Smallpox and have now got the diarieh, but I hope that I will be well in the course of a week; the Smallpox did not go very hard with me, it did not confine me to my bed but about three weeks. I would like to have some clothes as I have not got but one suit and it is very thin summer goods but it is impossible for you to send me any from home. We are drawing light rashions here. Just enough to keep breath and body together. I must bring this to a close and I hope it will find you well and doing well. Direct to Camp Chase Columbia Ohio and put it in another envelop and direct to Judge Ould Officer of exchange, Richmond, Va

I remain your son as well, C. W. Bunker


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11 October 1864: “I cannot imagine why it was he came home”

Item Description: Diary entry dated 11 October 1864, written by Sarah Lois Wadley.


Item Citation: From volume 4 (folder 5) in the Sarah Lois Wadley Papers, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription: 

Tuesday, Oct. 11th. 1864.

Two weeks since I wrote here, but I have been too busy to write, every hour has been fully employed. Last Tuesday evening Father and I rode in to Trenton to see Mrs. Seale, who had just returned from her journey to the swamp. We stopped at the post office to get the paper, and found a letter from Willie, he was sick, but fortunately had gotten into a private house, and was hospitably entertained by “one of the kindest ladies he ever saw.”

On our return we met a young man who had dined with us that day who would stop in Monroe that night on his way to Virginia, and who said he would take letters for us if we sent them in the next morning, so I wrote short letters to Aunt Mary and Grandma, and one to Valeria that seemed short to me, though really it was quite long.

Friday we were surprised by Willie’s arrival, he came home on a furlough of thirty days, just three weeks after he went away, though a surprise to us, it was by no means one to Father and Mother. I cannot imagine why it was he came home, and as Father chooses to keep it secret I do not think it my place to speculate upon it, it is certainly very strange. Willie looks quite badly, his hair and beard are both very long, which heightens the thinness of his face; he has gone down to Girard now, to get Mr. Baldwin to put a new stock to his gun, left yesterday, we expect him back tomorrow; he had not reached the brigade before he was sick, but improved steadily after he got into camp.

We all had a grand “chinquapen hunt” Saturday, went up to Mrs. Phillips’ place, took a basket of lunch and did not come back till afternoon. The day was delightful and we enjoyed ourselves very much, gathered a great many chinquapens. We are having such beautiful weather now, day after day the sun runs his bright course through a sky of cloudless blue, and sets amid clear hues at evening only to give place to the moon, and to charm us with soft brilliancy of Venus, which gleams like a jewel on the brow of evening; the hickory trees alone show the approach of autumn by the slight russet hue of their outermost boughs, the oaks are still brightly green though we have had one or two very slight frosts. For several days we have had fire morning and evening but today it is very warm; my windows are all open. We have not omitted school one day since we commenced, the children have never studied so well. Georgie commenced to learn to write today, how earnest he was, and how his little hand trembled, how hard it must be for children to learn to write!

I have finished the first volume of my “Girondins,” am all impatience to get the next, it closed just in such an interesting part, I must send to Mrs. Leighton for the other volume as soon as possible.

I was busy all yesterday evening in my little garden replanting my violets, they have grown together so that many have died; also set out a little heliotrope which I had rooted, I forgot and left it in the sun this morning and was afraid my negligence had been fatal to it’s delicate life, but by taking it and carefully watering it I have brought to hold it’s head up quite blithely. Was delighted yesterday evening by receiving a letter from Mrs. Morancy, the first in a long, long time. She had suffered dreadfully from sore eyes, was quite blind for a time and had been dreadfully oppressed by melancholy afterwards; my poor friend, her life is indeed a darkened one. How I wish she might find the anchor of an assured hope in Christ, this is the only balm for an aching heart like hers. I must write to her now, will spend no more time on this.



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