5 October 1864: “not one tear of affection shed at her grave”

Item Description: Letter dated 5 October 1864 written by Eliza Jane Lord DeRosset to her son, Louis Henry.

18641005_0118641005_0218641005_03 18641005_04

Item Citation: From folder 62 in the DeRosset Family Papers (#00214), Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Item Transcription:

Wilmington Oct 5th/64

My precious Son

I wrote you some steamer the day after Marie left in the Lynx but as I fear you have never received a line from me I will endeavor to write by every Steamer hoping an occasional one may arrive at its destination.

No doubt you are one this made glad by the arrival of your little wife and precious little daughter who learned to love us in the two days she spent at home of your childhood. She is a little treasure God grant that you may train her properly and strive if ? and to you to make her meet for for the kingdom of Heaven– You have much more than most men of your age to be thankful for– the merciful restoration of yourself to health once more, and the preservation of your Wife and little one from the dangers of the deep — you have heard who in this from Marie’s life– may your heart be lifted in gratitude to our Heavenly Father for all his mercies to you and yours.

The body of Mr. Greenhow being brought up to me to attend to made me feel as if my heart would burst with gratitude for this preservation of your family– if Marie had been brought in the same way what agony if would have caused you, thank God always– Our ? (or rather many Ladies took charge of the poor women she was carried to the Hospital Chapel and arraged for the grace by kind hands the Ladies never left her, attended the funeral and buried her in a preserved lot near ours- Miss Buie said she was a Roman Catholic- the Priest here buried her and Mrs Hurtley and ? placed the crucifix, and burnt candles around her. I cut off her hair and will keep it for her daughter in case we ever hear from them, she was an elegant woman and not at all changed by death- it was a sad sad sight not one tear of affection shed at her grave what a different termination of all her ambitious schemes-

We have ? and Charlie with us still, they cannot get the house until next Monday– Willie is still here he has taken James McRee’s house, but the Cunningham’s have not moved yet fortunately Lizzie has not come yet and of course he will regret taking that house but he would not listen to advice, there are no gas fixtures in it disappointment No 1 — We will be terribly lonely when they leave, for I do not know when ? will return, she and Alice are very quietly seated at Chapel Hill, say they will remain until they can get some reliable person to take charge of the house, I want to go up but I hate to leave Pa he works so hard and is so tired and poorly when gets home in the evening he wants me by him and then it is such a pleasure to me to be near him, if Mr Brown ever returns I will try and persuade him to go up for a little while– his pulse troubles him to much, it is a terrible feeling this irregularity. I have felt a little of it. I had a letter from Johnnie at ?? he and his family are quite ? and very happy expect to make his ? a perfect model– Uncle Fred has gone up to bring down his family- Mother intends spending some time

[line obscured by tape]

is looking very wretched. I hope this change may benefit her.

We heard a day or two ago of Willie London being badly wounded though the chest just escaping the lung, came out his back shattering his shoulder blade- John R went for him and I hope he is at home on this we have not heard of any other of our boys- hope they are all safe.

Our town is very ? and every body there about out fight in the rally- the report here yesterday was that Petersburg had been evacuated but so far that is not here, we are hoping great things from Georgia Beauregard has taken command out there– I saw ? ? today just from S.C. says the fever is very bad in Charleston he did not venture in the City– Pa invited a McBloom, I think one of ? clerks, to stay with us while here he says there is very little fever in the City, there have been a good many cases at Smith? most of them fatal. We hear Mr Brown is looking remarkably well and enjoying himself hunting ? while Pa’ and Brother are doing all the work– I trust that won’t last long– Please don’t let that precious little baby forget us but talk to her often of Bonnie, God bless you my son. Mother.

Posted in Southern Historical Collection | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

4 October 1864: “Useless to send further orders to cross the troops”

Item Description: A copy of a telegram dated October 4th, from Lt. General R. Taylor to General Braxton Bragg regarding the order of a pardon for deserters by General E. Kirby Smith. The reverse side records the results of the telegram. 18641004_01 18641004_02 Item Citation: From Folder 45, in the Edmund Kirby-Smith Papers, #404, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Item Transcription:

Copy of Telegram

Selma October 4, 1864

General B. Bragg, 

I have just ascertained that General E. Kirby Smith issued an order pardoning the men who deserted from his army when ordered across the river. This after I had captured most of the deserters. Under these circumstances it seems to me to be useless to send further orders to cross the troops. 

Signed R. Taylor Leuit. Genl.

R. Taylor Leuit. Genl. 

Selma Oct. 4 1864

Has ascertained that Genl. E. K. Smith issued an order pardoning all the men who deserted from his Army when ordered to cross the river etc. 

Hd. Qrs. A.C.S. 

Richmond October 5 1864

Respectfully submitted to the Sec. of War. This unfortunate order renders and further attempt to cross the troops useless. 

(Signed) Braxton Bragg Genl. 

Rec’d A+J.G. office. Oct. 12th 1864

Reply submitted to the President for his consideration and for instructions. 

Signed, J. A. Seddon Sec. of War

Sec. of War

Require General Smith to explain his conduct. As set forth it is a it is a premium to desertion for the purpose of evading an order to cross the river in pursuit of the enemy, and sustained the idea of defending a section of the confederacy at the expense of the cause for which the States are associated.  (Signed) Jef. Davis  Oct. 7, 1864

Adjt. Genl. 

Address to Genl. Smith the inquires suggested by the President’s endorsement. 

(Signed) J. A. Seddon Sec. of War October 10, 1864

Reply referred to Genl E. K. Smith for report under the endorsement of the President By order of A+J. Genl (Signed) John W. Riely A.A. Genl A+J Genl. October 13th 1864

Hd. Qrs Trans Miss Sept.  Shrievefront Dec. 6th 1864

Respectfully returned. The within is a misrepresentation. There was no order published either by myself or any subordinate commander pardoning all or any of the men who deserted when the troops were ordered across the river: prompt me as assures were taken to arrest and punish the deserters. The ring leaders were tried, convicted, and shot.  In acting on any communication personal to myself from Genl. Taylor, I bet the President to remember that Genl. Taylor’s systematic misrepresentations of my motives and acts exhibit a violence and prejudice restrained neither by respect for himself nor for his superiors.  (Signed) E. Kirby Smith Genl. 

Posted in Southern Historical Collection | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

3 October 1864: “The following transfers are hereby ordered”

Item Description: Orders issued by order of Lieutenant General Buckner for the transfers of Privates Gerod and Pool.


Item Citation: Folder 34 from the George William Logan Papers, #1560, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Item Transcription:

Headquarters District Western Louisiana

Alexandria October 3d, 1864

Special Orders No. 304

The following transfers are hereby ordered, they will take effect from date of this order and in accordance with Par. 141 of the Army regulations and must be made free of expense to the Government. Viz.

Private T. Gerod, Co “C,” 2nd La. Batt., H. Artillery to Co. “C,” 3rd Regt. La Cavalry

Private W. C. Pool, Co “C” 3rd Rgt. La Cavalry to Co “C,” 2nd La. Batt., H Artillery

By command of Lieut. Gen. Buckner

John Callihan Asst. Adjt. Gen.

Co Officer Commanding

2nd La 13th Heavy Artillery

Posted in Southern Historical Collection | Tagged , , | Comments Off

2 October 1864: “disappointed in seeing Gen. Chalmers tonight”

Item Description: Diary entry dated 2 October 1864 from Belle Edmondson. According to family legend, which appears to be supported by the diary accounts, Miss Edmondson was a Confederate spy.


Item Citation: Belle Edmondson Diary (1707-z), Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

October                                             Sunday 2                           1864

Awakened very late, after a feverish, restless night. Emma and I started out to get a conveyance- Mr. Allexander of Henderson’s Scouts proved my friends, borrowed a buggy, and Mr. Johnson, one of their Company, Brother in law of Maj. Ingraham’s, on Cheatham’s Staff, brot me safely to Panola- arrived here about 7 o’clock. Mrs. Moore sick in bed, but glad to see me, so Mr. Johnson and I ate a hearty supper, and I am fixing for a hot toddy- think my cold will be relieved and save me from a spell- Got in too late, disappointed in seeing Gen. Chalmers tonight-

Posted in Southern Historical Collection | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

1 October 1864: “I can serve the country as well or better in my present position than in any other.”

Item Description: Letter dated 1 October 1864 written by W. H. Joyner. Joyner’s Uncle Sid was in prison at this time on Johnson Island.


Item Citation: From folder 18, Joyner Family Papers (#04428), Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Item Transcription:

Columbia SC

Oct 1st 1864

My dear Mother

I received your letter four days ago and was glad to hear from home. I didn’t think that I was forgotten; knowing that you was no great writer, and have so many things to occupy your mind I don’t expect you to write very often.

I didn’t think there is any probability of the clerks in the Dept. being called out so you need have no uneasiness about me. I certainly will not leave here if I can help it for I think I can serve the country as well or better in my present position than in any other.

I hope they will not call out the 11 year old boys in N.C. I don’t know how you could manage without Tom and I think it would be very hard to take him from home, tho’ I don’t think you need be uneasy about as I don’t suppose there is any probability– that they will be needed in N.C. and they can’t be sent out of the State.

I have written to Dr Blacknall att Mr Jackson and hoped to hear from him soon. I will keep a look out for their box and think I can safely promise you that the contents will be well attended to. I have just enjoyed a nice treat from Richmond. My room-mate received some delicacies from his mother in R_  and a letter telling him he must be sure and give me some of it.

I left a brown coat at home which I may want this winter, but you need not trouble yourself about sending it now. One of the young men from our office will go to Raleigh soon and will bring it to me. I will let you know when he goes and you can parcel it to stow

I left twenty ($211) dollars with Mr Ellis to give to Belle for Aunt Martha, also one dollar and fifty cents that he owed in   which I asked him to send to you. Let me know if it has been received, as he may have forgotten it.

Miss Maria Allen is at home in furlough, so I am free now for a while. I have just received a letter from Sid. He was well and wishes me to try and find an officer of his rank here who has influential friends in the North and try by that means to get a special exchange for him. I don’t know that it will do any good but I will make the attempt. My love to all at home regard Mrs. Kearney + all my friends.

Your affectionate son,

W.H. Joyner

Posted in Southern Historical Collection | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

30 September 1864: “We checked the Yankees at Port Republic.”

Item Description: Hastily written letter from Stephen D. Ramseur to his wife.  Mentions a Confederate victory at Port Republic and hopes that they will drive the Union forces from the Shenandoah Valley within a few days.


Item Citation: Folder 10 in the Stephen Dodson Ramseur Papers, #1567Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Item Transcription: 

Camp Near Waynesboro, VA

September 30, 1864

My Darling Wife,

I have time for a line to you. Caleb and I are well. We checked the Yankees at Port Republic. We are recruiting here and I hope in a few days will be able to drive the Yanks out of the Valley. Received your letters of the 17th and 18th. Just continue to write. Keep warm and cheerful and hopeful.

I sent you $800 in a letter, care of Mr. Collum. Have you received it? Excuse great haste. Love to all. Accept my heart full of love.


Your Devoted Husband

Posted in Southern Historical Collection | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

29 September 1864: “our men whipped the Yanks”

Item Description: Letter dated 29 September 1864 written by Wat W. Barrow who was at Chimborazo Hospital in Richmond. He writes to Louisa Watkins, describing his injuries, expressing his worries about brother Orren, and giving news of Hairston Watkins at Point Lookout.


Item Citation: Folder 8 in the George Hairston Papers, #4477Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Chimborazo Hospital 3 divison Ward. H

Richmond, Va. Sept. 29th/64

My dear Aunt

As I have just seen Mr. SS Sheffield from Pointlookout + knowing your anxiety about Cousin to Hairston. I will write. Mr. Sheffield says that Cousin Hairston is in first rate health + ? than he ever saw him + says that he has become himself resigned to the confinement in prison + says that he gets clothes + funds from some of Uncle Peter’s acquaintances north . I am glad to hear that he is so fortunate. Mr Sheffield says that Cousin Peter Shelton is in good health + fine spirits. There is some excitement in town today. There has been some fighting down in the direction of Chaffin’s farm today. I could hear the guns very distinctly But have not heard the result.

I am very uneasy about ? as it was not very far from where our division was. I heard that this division was on this side of the River if so it was in the fight. If I could walk I would go down to hear from him Aunt. I am yet compelled to resort to the use of crutches. I went before the Board today for a furlough. The Dr told me that I did not need a furlough + that I must apply for retirement. I will soon but have very little confidence in success as I think my knee will be all right in less time than one could be retired for I must conclude by asking you to give my love to Uncle Peter + all the rest of it to James ? for ? afuel portions of the best love of your off nephew

WW Barrow

P.S. I would write more but have one or two other letters to write this eve + it is near 4 oclock . Therefore excuse ?

[at the first top of the page upside down]

3 cheers I have just heard that our men whipped the Yanks & took quite a number of prisoners. WWB



Posted in Southern Historical Collection | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

28 September, 1864: “He desires you to move to the North side of James River”

Item Description: Letter to General R. H. Anderson commanding him to move across the James River to take command of the line of defense and establish a line of communication between General Lee and Major Generals Field and Pickett.



Item Citation: Folder 21 of the Edward Porter Alexander Papers #0007, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Item Transcription:

Head Quarters Army of Northern Va.

28th September

Lieutenant General R. H. Anderson

Commanding Longstreet’s Corps



I am directed by General Lee to say that he desires you to move to the North side of James River and take command of the troops and line of defense about Chaffin’s Bluff, New Market etc. He wishes the construction of the line of works under the supervision of Col. W. Proctor Smith Engineers etc. pushed forward as vigorously as possible and everything done to make the entire defensive line secure against any attack of the enemy. You are requested to establish your headquarters at such point as may be most convenient to the lines and to report your location to the General Commanding and also to Major Generals Field and Pickett. These division commanders have been instructed to communicate through you in all matters of routine and internal administration and being nearer the General Commanding to report by Army Head Quarters direct in matters appertaining to military operations.

A copy of this letter has been furnished Lt. General Ewell commanding the Dept. of Richmond in whose department you will be operating.

I have the honor to be respectively tour obedient servant,

W. H. Taylor

A. A. General


Hd Qurs A. Nor. Va.

Sept. 28, 1864

W. H. Taylor

A A Genl.

to Genl. Anderson

Is directed to state by Genl. Lee that he desires you to move to the North side of the river and take Comd. of the line of defense around Chaffin’s Bluff New Market etc.

Posted in Southern Historical Collection | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

27 September 1864: “A ball passed three inches above my head”

Item Description: Excerpt of a letter from Mrs. Louis H.deRosset regarding a dangerous journey, as her ship was attacked by Union blockaders.

18640927_02 18640927_01

Citation: From Folder 62, in the DeRosset Family Papers #214, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Sept. 27, 1864

“Sunday we started, but, it being a very bright night we were seen by two blockaders. Immediately the sky was illuminated with rockets, broadside upon broadside, volley upon volley was poured upon us. The Captain put me in the wheelhouse for safety. I had scarcely taken my seat when a ball passed three inches above my head, wounding the man at the wheel next to me; a large piece of the wheelhouse knocked me violently in the head. I flew to the cabin, took baby in my arms, and immediately another ball passed through the cabin. We came so near one of the enemy’s boats that they fired a round of musketry, and demanded surrender. We passed them like lightning, and after passing through it all, leaving the enemy in the far distance, feeling perfectly safe, the vessel commenced sinking! Eight shots went through and through below the water line. I stayed in the cabin until I could not longer keep baby out of the water, when the Captain sent us to shore.”

Extract from Letter of Mrs. Louis H. deRosset.

Posted in Southern Historical Collection | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

26 September 1864: “Commanders are directed to forward to these Headquarters”

Item Description: From Colonel George Logan’s records. A circular from Major General Buckner requesting lists of blacksmiths and carpenters from commanding officers.


Citation: Folder 33, in the George William Logan Papers, #1560, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Head Quarters Dist. West. La.

Alexandria, Sept 26, 1864


Commanders are directed to forward to these Headquarters, as soon as practicable, a list of all the Blacksmiths and Carpenters in their respective commands.

By command of Maj. Genl. Buckner

John Callihan

A A Genl.

To Capt. C. C. Peck

Comdg 2nd Battn. La H Arty


Posted in Southern Historical Collection | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off