20 September 1864: “The bloodiest battle I have ever witnessed”

Item Description: A detailed letter from John Paris to his wife describing The Third Battle of Winchester.

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Citation: From Folder 5, in the John Paris Papers #575, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Transcription: 

Strasburg, VA. Tuesday September 20, 1864

My Dear Wife, The bloodiest battle I have ever witnessed according to number, was fought by us yesterday at Winchester. Our men fought like they intended to die rather than yield. The Yanks attacked us at daylight with overwhelming odds Commanding and Sharp Shooting continued until half past ten. when the Yanks  advanced their line of battle. The most furious artillery fight ever looked upon raged until half past eleven, when the action became general. Both parties fought without any breakthroughs, the enemy being the awaiting party. I looked upon the scene with sorrow and joy. About 12 our line gave way, fell back about ten hundred yards, and assessed the line; the Yanks advanced but the steady aim of our line was such that the ground was totally covered with Yankee dead, at length the enemy gave way. They fled in disorder and our line advanced and occupied the enemies position. 

I though the victory complete, and engaged in assisting in carrying our wounded into the city. About half past 2 O’clock the Yankee Cavalry made a demonstration on our left; and Imboden’s Brigade of (Buttermilk rangers) Cavalry, without any cause gave way without fighting, and came shouting wildly through the streets crying out the Yankees are coming. This started waggons, ambulances, carts, niggers, boys, skulkers and many others to flying in a push of perfect confusion, without sense or reason and and taking off like a storm, and our dear fought victory was lost. General Early had to fall back to this place, giving up the town. I reached here last night as our One Oclock with the baggage trains. The troops marching at liesure will be here by noon. Our life is truly dreary. Major Gen. Rodes, and Brig. Gen. Godwin are both killed. Col. Ellis of the 34th has his arm shortened a few inches of the bone taken out. Lieut. G. W. Wills, son of Rev W. H. W. is killed. Lieut. T. R. Hanett of Alamance, nephew of Aunt Millie, I left mortally wounded in the town. Our loss in killed, wounded and missing will sum up  I fear to 3,000. The Yanks lost no doubt 5000 men. We brought of about 500 prisoners. The only dead we brought off the field was the two generals. We lost two pieces of artillery and no baggage. The prisoners state that General Grant commanded, and that that ?? was killed.

My health is very good. We will stay here in the fortified towns, I presume to see if the Yanks will attempt to attack us. The position is one of great strength, and I think we will hardly be disturbed. I remain your affectionately, 

John Paris

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19 September 1846: “He desires your immediate attention”

Item Description: A dispatch to General Logan asking him to comply with general orders.

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

Transcription:

#244B.                                                                                                                                 Head Quarter Dist. Wn. La.
Alexandria, Sept. 19th 1864

Lieut. Col. Logan

Sir

I am instructed by the Major Genl. Commanding to call your attention to the fact that the requirement of General Orders No. 91 current series from these Hd. Qr. have not as yet been complied with. He desires that you will give this your immediate attention both for the present and the future.

I am Colonel
Very Respectfully
Your able Srvt

H.S. Foote Jr.

A.W. and L. Genl.

To Lieut Col. Logan
Windy Battn. 2nd La. Hy Arty.

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18 September 1864: “I believe a great many have left our Country for the North lately. I heard forty left Goldsboro last week.”

Item description: Letter, dated 18 September 1864, from Kate Chapman to Mary Ferrand Henderson of Salisbury, N.C.

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Item citation: From folder 36 in the John Steele Henderson Papers, #327, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

Mrs. A. Henderson
Salisbury, N.C.

Alamance Sept. 18th ’64

My dear Cousin,

I should written you long ago, but I know you have so many correspondents and my letters are so uninteresting that I do not like to tax any one to read or answer them. I have felt and truly sympathized with you in your deep affliction and would do any thing in my power to give you one moments comfort, but this I can not do. Mamma has gone down to Raleigh. We had a very sick negro there and thought she ought to go see him attended to. Miss Rowena Hines has been on a visit to us and she returned with her. Mamma wished me to write you that as soon as she returned, she would go up and make you a short visit. We have had a handfull of company all summer. Mary and I are alone now, and I can tell you a little quiet is very pleasant. I have not been at all well this summer, but hope now cold weather is coming. I shall feel better.

We have been haveing very good weather for the season, fires have been very comfortable. General Beauregard passed the Shops Friday on an extra train “En route” to Petersburg by Danville. I was so sorry to hear the Yankees had taken the Advance – she has been such a fortunate vessel, but I hope we will soon have a better one in her place. I believe a great many have left our Country for the North lately. I heard forty left Goldsboro last week. I am suprised that Mrs. Waters should wish to go, she was such a strong Southern woman. I do not think Sam is any more negligent now than he has always been. I have heard of his being very much so long before she left Washington. I do not believe he will break his heart about her going. I am very sorry to hear Mrs. Henderson’s health is not good. I hope it may soon improve. I do hope John will stop and make us a visit. We have not many inducements to offer him but I will do all in our power for his enjoyment. Sunday is always such a dull day. No Church to go to. That is one of the most disagreeable things we have to contend with up here. We have had several letters from New Berne lately, they all write as if they were having miserable times there. I do not not think there is much else but miserable times every where now. Give my love to Mr. Henderson, and his Mary and Dick for me – tell them they must not forget me.

Your affect. cousin,

Kate Chapman

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17 September 1864: “I hope this dreadful war will soon be over”

Item Description: A letter from William Dudley Gale to his sister Anna regarding his wife, and troop movements between divisions.

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Citation: From Folder 5, in the Gale and Polk Family Papers #266, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Transcription:

H. General Stewart’s Corps
September 17th, 1864

Dear Anna,

Your letter as well as one from Kate and one from May have all been received within a day or two . They were very  welcome, as they were the first for just over a month, no 3 weeks. I knew they were on the way. Our retreat from Atlanta caused everything to get into confusion. Your letter was very acceptable indeed as you spoke more of the children. How I would to see you and to share a moment with the dear little fellows.  It seems I have been unfortunate when I have been with you, being sick. It give me intense pleasure to hear you speak of dear Kate in the manner you do. I am not surprised that you should love her as you do for it seems to me that she is “altogether lovely.” I have always known any one in my life who possesses so many charms as she does. I thank God every day of my life for giving such a fun minded, loving devoted wife, what can I ever do to repay her for what she done for me and mine? I feel sure that if it had not been for her loving heart, I should have been in my grave, years ago, instead of a strong useful man. You cannot tell how much I love her, and how much I lean upon her. I hope this dreadful war will soon be over and then I will by the tenderest devotion of my life endeavor to repay her for all she has suffered and done for me and mine. It is a source of great pride to me to feel that her influence has not been confined to me, but every member of the family have experienced pleasing and derived some good from her affections. Oh sister, loving devoted wife, tender unflinching , patient, conscientious noble mother, respectful and devoted daughter,  how can it that she will not profit(?) in life, and her dear devout labor, God help and protect them I pray. 

Joe spent two days with me a few days since. He was quite well and although a little mortified at the condition(?) of his Division [smugded] will please God. Edward Johnston now commands the Division, a fine soldier and grandmaster, Battalion(?) Brigadier has now about 400 men. General Watthall is doing his but to have him and his men transferred to this Corp. I hope he will succeed. Joe got the bundle from Mary which he seemed delighted with, I am very much pleased to know she sent him the things. I must now stop. 

Love to all and kisses to the dear little brats. Your loving brother, 

W. D. Gale

 

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16th September 1864: “They report the Lincoln officers in the army as very uneasy.”

Item Description: An article under “War News” from the Weekly Standard in Raleigh, NC describes news of the presidential election in the north, as well as troop movement.

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Citation: Weekly standard. (Raleigh, N.C.), 16 Nov. 1864. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045706/1864-11-16/ed-1/seq-1/> A copy is in the North Carolina Collection.

 

Transcription:

From Richmond and Petersburg.
There has been no change in the two armies since our last.

A telegram from Petersburg of the 9th says that
the Yankee videttes report that on Tuesday last
Warren’s 5th corps voted for McClellan for Presi-
dent overwhelmingly, and that the army of the Po-
tomac has done the same thing throughout They
say New York City gave him 40,000 majority, and
Kentucky has gone for him by an immense vote.
They report the Lincoln officers in the army as
very uneasy.
The Yankee pickets in front of Richmond states
that a telegram has been received at their head-
quarters, announcing the capture of the Privateer,
Florida, off the coast of San Salvador.
Nothing additional from Wilmington or Georgia,
except the statement in the Macon Telegraph that
the federal garrison at Atlanta has been largely re-
inforced recently, and the trains are running through
from Chattanooga. It is rumored that Gen. Thom-
as, with 40,000 men is confronting Gen. Hood, and
that Sherman has four corps in Atlanta.
 

 

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15 September 1864: “The attention of Engineer Officers is called”

Item Description: An order from the Confederate War department to engineering officers.

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Item Citation: From Folder 13,  in the Clayton Family Papers #4792, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Circular

Confederate States of America

War Department, Engineer Bureau

Richmond, Va., September 15, 1864

 The attention of Engineer Officers is called to Army Regulations, Art. 45, p. 1,375, requiring the following returns to the forwarded monthly to this Bureau, viz: 

REPORT OF OPERATIONS,

RETURN OF OFFICERS AND HIRED MEN, and

MONEY STATEMENT

 Appropriate forms for these Returns are laid down in the said Article 45. All Engineer Officers in charge of works or disbursing funds for other purposes, will hereafter forward these returns promptly for each month. 

Estimates for funds for the succeeding month should accompany the monthly Money Statement, so that requisitions to meet the estimates may be forwarded from this Bureau as early in the month as practicable. 

By order of Maj. Gen. Gilmer, Ch Eng’r Bureau
J.H. Alexander
Major and A. A. G. 

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14 September 1864: “Genl Stannard’s 1st Division”

Item Description: Illustration dated 14 September 1864, by Herbert E. Valentine. He was a private in Company F of the 23rd Massachusetts Volunteers. Valentine made birds eye view sketches of the towns in which he was stationed, as well as sketches of their principal buildings such as hospitals, churches, warehouses, and private residences that served as military command headquarters and as officers’ quarters.

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Item Citation: From volume 1: folder 78b-79a in the Herbert E. Valentine Papers (#04397), Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Genl Stannard’s 1st Division 18 A.C.

Bermuda 100 1864 (Sept 14)

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13 September 1864: “There is nothing like getting used to a thing.”

Item Description: Letter dated 13 September 1864. He writes extensively about dodging shells in the trenches. James Augustus Graham was a resident of Hillsborough, N.C., and an officer in Company G (Orange Guards), 27th North Carolina Infantry Regiment, Confederate States of America.

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James Augustus Graham was a resident of Hillsborough, N.C., and an officer in Company G (Orange Guards), 27th North Carolina Infantry Regiment, Confederate States of America. – See more at: http://blogs.lib.unc.edu/civilwar/index.php/2014/05/09/9-may-1864/#sthash.elA57Fbz.dpuf
James Augustus Graham was a resident of Hillsborough, N.C., and an officer in Company G (Orange Guards), 27th North Carolina Infantry Regiment, Confederate States of America. – See more at: http://blogs.lib.unc.edu/civilwar/index.php/2014/05/09/9-may-1864/#sthash.elA57Fbz.dpuf

Item Citation: Letter found in folder 3 of the James Augustus Graham Papers, #283, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

In the trenches near Petersburg

Sept. 13th 1864

My dear Mother

I reached this place Sunday night having been delayed 24 hours on the road by the train running off the track between Greensboro + Danville. I had to stay all day Saturday at Danville and Sunday at Burkesville Junction. I met cousin Sophie Alexander at Greensboro and brought her on as far as Danville where she met Mr. McGeehee and went to Milton with him. I did not come into the trenches until yesterday (Monday) evening and have not yet gotten accustomed to the whistling of the bullets + shells and and dodge a good deal, much to the amusement of all the men who become accustomed to them. I think however that after a few days I will not dodge so much. There is nothing like getting used to a thing.

Robert came up to our Regt to see me yesterday but it was before I came in and I did not see him. He and Johnny were both well. Their brigade is about 500 yards to our left, Elliotts SC Brigade being between theirs + ours.

I expect to go down to see them in a day or two.

I am acting Inspector for Genl Cooke but expect to return to the Co in a short time, as soon as my leg gets so that I can march a little better than I can now for Capt. Dickson has made application to be put on the “retired list” and our company is without any officer now. Dickson is looking quite badly and I am afraid never will be fit for anything again unless he is retired and can rest a while.

Gen Cooke asked me to return his thanks to you for the gloves, also to Father for the bottle of brandy.

We have sharpshooting along the lines continually but there is very little danger if the men will not expose themselves unnecessarily. Very few men of our Brigade have been hurt lately and I don’t think there has been more than one struck in our Regt since we came in the trenches this time– about two weeks — and he exposed himself needlessly. We have some artillery firing also and now while I am writing the enemy are shelling the batteries to the right of our Brigade– about half a mile from me– pretty furiously. 

I need not tell you that I dodge pretty often when the guns fire, for you can see that very plainly by the blots in this letter. Just count each blot a dodge and add on a few, for I don’t dodge for every shot, and you can tell how we are getting on. I don’t find the trenches now as disagreeable as I anticipated, still I hope that we will be relieved before long and allowed to rest awhile, but if there is any fighting to be done outside I would prefer staying in the trenches. 

Love to all. ??

I remain 

Your affectionate Son, 

James A. Graham

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12 September 1864: “A whole population driven from their homes”

Item Description: Letter from Charles Olmstead to his wife dated Sept. 12, 1864 regarding the battle of Atlanta. Olmstead was a confederate army officer in the 1st Georgia Infantry Regiment.

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Item Citation:

Item Citation: From Folder 5, in the Charles H. Olmstead Papers, #1856, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Jonesboro, Sept. 12th 1864

My Dear Wife,

I wrote you a good long letter yesterday but as an opportunity offers today I cannot resist the temptation to send you a few lines.

The long expected mail came last night, and, to my, great disappointment, I received but one letter, dated August 17th, in which you advised me of having shipped the box that Charlie May could not take with him. However this is still a chance for me as I learn that the post office at Griffin is still crowded with mail matter that has only been partially distributed.

The truce between the two armies commences today- as many wagons as can be spared have been sent forward to receive the refugees from Atlanta. Poor creatures, their’s is a hard case – a whole population driven from their homes upon the cold charity of the world. This one act places Sherman alongside of such men as Butler, O’Neil, & ?? . it completely obscures the military renown he has won in this campaign.

I heard a very good Sermon from Bishop Lay yesterday at Gen. Hardee’s Hd. Quarters. Quite a number were present, including nearly every Brigadier and Major General in the camps. After Service I rode with Gen. A. R. Jackson to his Hd. Qrs., and had quite a long talk with him. He seems to think that all fighting is over here for the present, unless our army should take the initiative, which it is not very apt to do unless its condition improves very rapidly. He believes that the Yankees will be contented with the success they have accheived and not run the risk of meeting reverses until after the Presidential election – but I can hardly think that they will allow so long a time to pass without active operation. All of my thoughts now are bent upon getting a furlough though i fear that the chances will be small until we go regularly into winter quarters. Gen. Hardee himself made application a few days since for forty-eight hours leave and was refused. When the furlough system does commence though I shall hand in my name first of all, as I am the only Colonel  in the Brigade who has not been away from the command this summer. Col. Barkalow did not join us until we were at Kennesaw Mountain. Col. May has only recently returned to duty and Col. Gordon is still absent.

We are having delightful weather now, the  days are not unpleasantly warm and the nights cool enough to make a blanket desirable. The health of the command must improve if it continues.

Love to all at home, and a heart full for my darling. Kiss the babies for me.

Affectionately,

Charlie

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11 September 1864: “exchange of cotton goods for cotton card”

Item Description: Letter dated 11 September 1864 addressed to Andrew Baxter Springs from the Quarter Master General Department in South Carolina.

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Item Citation: From Folder 140 in Springs Family Papers #4121, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In the Springs Family Papers #4121, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. – See more at: http://blogs.lib.unc.edu/civilwar/index.php/2012/10/07/7-october-1862/#sthash.cYVmd6lW.dpuf

Item Transcription:

Quarter Master General Department SC

Columbia Sept. 11 1864

A.B. Springs Esq.

Fort Mills, SC

My Dear Sir,

I have received yours of the 8th instance in reference to an exchange of cotton goods for cotton card, and have to say in reply that Col Richard Caldwell ? ? General of SC is charged with the distribution and sale of the Cotton Cards made by ? at the State Card Factory. The price fixed for the Card is $12.00 for fair. I will hand your letter to Col. Caldwell and he will probably write to you about it himself-.

I am very truly

Yours,

James Sens

QM Genl SC

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