24 October 1864: “The arming of a portion of negroes and making a regular military organization of them. “

Item Description: William Porcher Miles consulted Robert E. Lee regarding the use of slaves as soldiers in the Confederate Army, as well as the organization of the army. He represented Charleston, S.C. in the Confederate congress.

18641024_01 18641024_02 18641024_03

Item Citation: From Folder 52, in the William Porcher Miles Papers #508, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription: 

Richmond. Oct. 24, 1864

Genl. Robert E. Lee, 

Dear Sir, 

Congress meets the 7th of next month and the increase of our army and the improvement of its organization, discipline and efficiency are questions which will immediately and largely occupy our time and attention. As Chairman of the Military Committee of the House. I would be very glad to have your opinion on various points. I am aware that any suggestions or recommendations which you might desire legislation upon would officially, be addressed to the War Department, but I have thought a free interchange of views and opinions on Army Matters (so far as they may depend upon or the affected by the action of Congress) and the eliciting of your opinioned teaching sundry mooted points, would be of the greatest service to my Committee. I state the simple truth when I say, as our experience on several occasions has abundantly proved, that in engaging any measure upon the House the strongest argument we can offer in its support is that “Gen. R. Lee thinks it very desirable.” 

I would like to have your opinion on the three following points particularly.

1st The arming of a portion of negroes and making a regular military organization of them. 

2nd The dispersing altogether with the principle of promotion by seniority for and during the war, and promoting to all ranks for merit and capacity alone. Seniority to decide only where other things are equal. 

3rd The reorganization of the Cavalry on the basis of the Government and not the privates owning the horses, and (a point hardly however requiring legislation) the supplying this important arm of the service with more efficient weapons. There are other matters such as, “Consolidation of Regiments.” Artillery organization de upon which there are very opposite views entertained and upon which it is not unlikely we may be called upon to act, but the three points above indicated will certainly be brought forward at an early day of the session.  Should you not feel disposed. Formally to express yourself upon all, or any of these matters. I should still be greatly obliged to you for any news which you might think proper to communicate to me, under such restrictions, (as to quoting you as authority in the premises), as might be most agreeable to yourself.

The time has come which we must all work together frankly, heartily and harmoniously to insure the success of the great- cause in which we are all engaged and in everything affecting the interests of the army all eyes naturally turn to you with anxious inquiry and earnest-confidence should you prefer communicating with me personally I shall be happy to wait upon you at any time that you will indicate. 

Very Respectfully, 

(signed) Wm. Porcher Miles

Posted in Southern Historical Collection | 1 Comment

23 October 1864: “my Dear I will tell you tru we will not have aney fighting to do this fall and by next spring the war will be over.”

Item description: Letter, 23 October 1864, from Joseph H. Young to his wife Anna Eliza Young. Young was from Mifflin County, Pa. and served in the 184th Pennsylvania Regiment.

18641023_01 18641023_02 18641023_03 18641023_04

Item citation: From the 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 Va. Oct. 23 ’64

My Dear Anna,

I seat myself this morning to drop you a few lines to let you know that I reseved your kind letter yesterday with the grates of pleasure to hear from you and my little Daughter. I am glad to hear that she can go to the post office for you and I hope she will be of more use to you in a short time I would like to see her now. well my Dear I must tell you about the war that commenced fighting this morning about 3 or 4 o’clock and kept it up rety well all morning. we can hear them very plain thay are about 7 or 8 miles to our right at Fort Darling old Butler has got into that canall and he is giving them hale columbia thay have bean very quiet in front of us for 2 or 3 days now but thay are very week on this line thare is nothing more than a good picket line of them so thay hafto keep down. we could take thare works from them now if we whanted to. this is all I can tell you about the war this time. well my Dear you would like to now how my fealings is and what I will halfto undergo well my Dear I will tell you tru we will not have aney fighting to do this fall and by next spring the war will be over. my Dear you must not fret yourself so much for me but I would like to be at home that is tru but I cant get home yet for som time but if I can get a ferlow this winter I will go home and I will try hard to get one about the hollow days. Well my Dear I must lay my letter away for a little while we are going to get our dinner and then I will fill it up for you. My Dear we have had our dinner now and I will tell you what we had for dinner. we had coffee sugar and beef fryed and butter crackers and hard tack to wind up with, this is about what we have every day. well my Dear I must tell you that I have got every thing that you have sent to me I got the hat this morning and it suits me very well but I have not got that picture yet but I hope I will get it before long for I would like so well to see it. George Harman is well and so is David Cunningham and my self allso. Harman would like if you will tell Mrs. Harman not to send that vest he rote for he dose not whant it now for the mager will not alow him to ware it all the boys had to lay of thare citcens vests. My Dear old Butler is going it yet the cannon is rowering very fast now he will have fort darling before tomorrow night and down comes Richmon sure I am glad to here you are getting you wood cut for the winter. I would like to now the prices of every thing we herd that muslin had com down very fast. well my Dear I wish you would tell Lil that I am very much oblige to her for them pulce wormers that she sent to me. that bed tick you are going to make fo rme will be very nice for the winter you nead not send it now I will lett you now when to send it. I got one dollar and 2 post stamps in your letter of the 18th. I must close for the present. this is from your affecate husband.

Jos. H. Young to Mrs. A.E. Young

give my love to Jim Car and Swope and McGloghkine and all the rest of my friands.

 

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

22 October 1864: Orders for Blockaders off the Eastern & Western Bars

Item Description: A broadside containing General Orders for the operation of blockaders off the Eastern and Western Bars in North Carolina. The orders explain how the blockade operated and communicated via light signals and whistles. They also outlined procedures for giving chase, being boarded, and running ashore.  Item Citation: “Orders for Blockaders off the Eastern and Western Bars” [Flag-ship “Malvern”: North Atlantic Squadron, 1864] Cb970.75 P84o. From the North Carolina Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

Item Transcription: 

Not to go out of the immediate possession of the county officer. 

 

 

 

Posted in North Carolina Collection | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

21 October 1864: “The following transfers are hereby ordered to take effect from this date”

Item Description: Orders for the transfers of two privates.

18641021_01

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

Item Transcription:

Headquarters District Western Louisiana

Special Order No 291

Alexandria October 21st 1864

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

Private A. Glasson Co. C 17th Regiment La. Infantry, to Co. F 2d La Battalion Heavy Artillery

Private J M Armstrong Co. F 2d La Battalion Heavy Artillery, to Co. C 17th Regiment La. Infantry

By command of Lieut Genl Buckner

Jn Callihan

A. A. Genl

To Officer Comdg La Battalion of Artillery

Posted in Southern Historical Collection | Tagged , | Comments Off

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

 

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

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.

18641019_0118641019_0218641019_0318641019_04

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

Julius

Posted in Southern Historical Collection | Comments Off

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.

18641018_01

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

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

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.

18641017_01 18641017_02

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

Genl.
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.

Official
W. H. Taylor
?

Official
IL Cross
?

Col. McKethan
Cmdg Clingman’s ?

 

Posted in Southern Historical Collection | Tagged , | Comments Off

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.

18641016_01 18641016_02 18641016_03

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

Item Transcription:

va

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

Posted in Southern Historical Collection | Tagged | Comments Off

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.

18641015_alt_0118641015_alt_02

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

yours

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.

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