Item description: This letter, dated 2 April 1864, was written by Confederate private J.T. Kern while he was stationed in Dalton, Georgia. Kern’s mother had written him about the trials of living under Union occupation in Mississippi and his anger was clear. Writes Kern, “God surely will not suffer such inhuman monsters to torture us much longer, but will dash them to pieces in his wrath.”
[transcription available below images]
Camp 45th Miss. Regt. Dalton Ga.
Saturday April 2nd 1864.
Dear Mother, Yours of the 29th Feb. to Sis. Bee was received a few days ago, I am always glad to read one of your letters yet it always makes me sad, it brings your lonely & desolate con- dition so plainly to mind with all you have suffered since this cruel war commenced. Let us hope that this cruel strife will soon end in our independence and that we shall soon see each other again. It is so hard for me to think of your having to work so hard & having to submit to so much from the hated enemy. your every letter intensifies my hatred for them & I can well Genl Cleburne & say “I am fighting for our ven- gence”, we have good cause to fight for it, every paper we read tells some horrible tale of their inhuman treatment of our defenseless women & children; God surely will not suffer such inhuman monsters to torture us much longer, but will dash them to pieces in his wrath, I cannot help but hope that this will be the last year of the war, they cant carry on the war successfully & a presidential election. If all our armies are in the same spirits that our that animate this one we shall whip them badly at every encounter & soon make them glad to give up their wicked undertaking; this army is today in better health & spirits, and better clothed than ever before, I wish you could see the Grey Jackets out on the drill field in sham fight as I saw them a few days ago & hear their shouts, it would make your heart rejoice & you would say at once “such men are invincible”, & then if you could come with me to camp & see how uncomplainingly they eat their corn cake & hominy you couldn’t doubt the issue of this fearful struggle. I’m trying to get & exchange to Genl Lee’s, I tried for a transfer first. that was disapproved, now I have found a man in the 1st. Maryland to swap with me & I expect to be in Va by the 1st of May, I expect by the change to get to see my family oftener than I could hope to if I remained here & I may get to Old Rommy & see your dear face again. I am in hopes Josey has been exchanged, poor fellow he had had a hard time of it. Jimmie is well he heard from Mother & the children a few days ago, they were well; he is still Chief of Subsistence of our Div’n. & is con- sidered one of the best Commissaries in our army. I get two letters weekly from my Sallie & write two to her, so you see we keep up a pretty regular correspon- dence, I wish you could see our Ida, from her mothers accounts she is a paragon of beauty & vivacity. I would write you by flag of truce but I cant write anything worth sending in that way. Be of good cheer dear mother, peace will soon be ours. Remember me to all the friends. With love to all, God bless & protect your son! I am,
Your soldier son,
J.T. Kern Co. “K” 45th Miss Regt, Lowry’s Brig., Cleburne’s Div’n., Hardee’s Corps, Army of Tennessee.
Tell Miss Kitty not to let the Yanks scare her & whatever she does not to fall in love with any of the birds, I’ve got a grey Jacket picked out for her.