Tag Archives: body servants

4 December 1862: “Dear Pa, It has become my painful duty to inform you of Preston’s death.”

Item description: Letter, 4 December 1862, from Ruffin Thomson, 18th Mississippi Infantry Regiment, to his “Pa” (William H. Thomson). In the letter, Thomson informs his father of the death of his slave, Preston (“Press”). More about Ruffin Thomson: Ruffin Thomson was … Continue reading

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1 December 1862: “dried fruit, red pepper, sugar, a jug of molasses, jelly, some preserves, a pone of lightbread, some sweet cakes, a bottle or two of ketchup, pepper sauce, etc.”

Item description: Letter, 1 December 1862, from Ruffin Thomson, 18th Mississippi Infantry Regiment, to his mother Hannah Lavinia Thomson. He comments extensively on food, clothing and supplies, including the provisions being used by his body servant “Press.” More about Ruffin Thomson: Ruffin Thomson … Continue reading

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6 November 1862: “Press is a faithful servant to me considering the chances he has. I am satisfied with him.”

Item description: Letter, 6 November 1862, from Ruffin Thomson, 18th Mississippi Infantry Regiment, to his “Pa” (William H. Thomson). Thomson reports on the status of his regiment following the Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg). He also mentions his satisfaction with his body … Continue reading

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9 August 1862: “No telling what [McClellan] is about, but no doubt reorganizing and strengthening his army and probably awaiting the 300,000 recruits from Yankee Land.”

Item description: Letter, 9 August 1862, from Harry Lewis, 16th Mississippi Infantry Regiment, to his mother, Mrs. John S. Lewis, of Woodville, Miss. Item citation: From the Harry Lewis Letters, #1222-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North … Continue reading

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27 June 1862: “he says he fears a famine for the country. isn’t it a fearful prospect?”

Item description: Letter, 27 June 1862, from Jane Caroline North Pettigrew (wife of Charles Lockhart Pettigrew) to her brother-in-law, William S. Pettigrew. The letter illustrates how dispersed the Pettigrew family has become at this point in the war. The writer, … Continue reading

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19 June 1862: “your acquaintance with the hire of servants in the camp renders you much more competent than myself to decide as to what would be just both to yourself & to his owner.”

Item description: Letter, 19 June 1862, from William S. Pettigrew to Lieutenant Louis Gourdin Young, aid-de-camp to William’s brother, General James Johnston Pettigrew, concerning the fate of the General’s body servant Peter. Peter had been sent in October 1861 to … Continue reading

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7 June 1862: “That Genl. Pettigrew was a prisoner; and although severly wounded yet his wounds are not dangerous & he is doing well.”

Item description: Letter, 7 June 1862, from William S. Pettigrew to his brother Charles L. Pettigrew. William gives an update on the fate of his brother, General James Johnston Pettigrew, who was thought to have been slain at the Battle … Continue reading

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2 June 1862: “Peter shall be as well cared for as if the General were alive. His grief at the loss of the General is most touching & draws out the sympathies of all of us.”

Item description: Letter, dated 2 June 1862, from Louis Gourdin Young, aide-de-camp to Brigadier General James Johnston Pettigrew (CSA). The letter appears to be addressed to the General’s brother, William S. Pettigrew. In his message, Young delivers a report on … Continue reading

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22 October 1861: “What an unhappy scamp is Peter – but pray dont be too hard on poor Laura – she was young & a fool”

Item description: Letter, 22 October 1861, from Jane Petigru North, Badwell Plantation, Abbeville, South Carolina, to her daughter, Jane Caroline “Carey” North Pettigrew, Bonarva Plantation, Tyrrell County, N.C. The letter briefly mentions Peter, quite possibly the slave who had fathered a … Continue reading

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8 October 1861: “Please say to your brother that I sent servant boy Peter in charge of Mr. Houghton from Edenton. Ask him to let me know if he went safe.”

Item description: Letter, 8 October 1861, from D.G. Cowand to William S. Pettigrew. Cowand’s detailed letter gives his opinions on the defense of eastern North Carolina, especially in the wake of the Battle of Hatteras Inlet. Near the close of … Continue reading

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