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Descriptive Summary
Roberts, Charles
Charles Roberts Collection.
Inclusive Dates:
Materials in:
Collection contains transcriptions of correspondence related to the life of Charles Roberts written 1862-1865.
1 box.
Repository :
The University of Mississippi
J.D. Williams Library
Department of Archives and Special Collections
P.O. Box 1848, University, MS 38677-1848, USA
Phone: 662.915.7408
Fax: 662.915.5734
Cite as:
Charles Roberts Collection (MUM00391). The Department of Archives and Special Collections, J.D. Williams Library, The University of Mississippi.

Scope and Contents Note
Collection contains transcriptions of correspondence related to the life of Charles Roberts written 1862-1865.

Access Restrictions
Use Restriction
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Container List
Charles Roberts Letters

Date of Letter Addressee Location # of pages postmark

#1: Letter (4 pages). June 8, 1862. To Mrs. Roberts. Written in camp near Saltillo, Miss.

#2: Letter (4 pages). June 17, 1862. Written in camp near Tupelo, Miss.

#3: Letter (2 pages). August 16, 1862. Written in camp near Chattanooga, TN. Postmarked Chattanooga, TN.

#4: Letter (4 pages). January 7, 1863. Written in camp near Shelbyville, TN Illegible postmark

#5: Letter (5 pages). January 30, 1863. Written in camp near Shelbyville, TN Postmarked Milledgeville, GA.

#6: Letter (4 pages). February 12, 1863. Written in camp near Shelbyville, TN

#7: Letter (4 pages). March 9, 1863. Written on picket at Cumberland Pres. Church

#8: Letter (4 pages). May 3, 1863. Written on outpost duty near Shelbyville, TN

#9: Letter (4 pages). May 28, 1863. Written on outpost duty near Shelbyville, TN Postmarked Chattanooga, TN

#10: Letter (4 pages). August 28, 1863. Written near Chattanooga, TN.

#11: Letter (4 pages). Oct. 3, 1863. Written near Chattanooga, TN.

#12: Letter (4 pages). Oct. 14, 1863. Written near Chickamauga, TN. Postmarked Chickamauga, TN.

#13: Letter (4 pages). Dec. 11, 1863. Written near Dalton, GA.

#14: Letter (4 pages). Jan. 24, 1864. Written in Dalton, GA

#15: Letter (4 pages). Jan. 26, 1864. Written in Dalton, GA.

#16: Letter (4 pages). Feb. 13, 1864. Written in Dalton, GA.

#17: Letter (4 pages). March 7, 1864. Written in Dalton, GA.

#18: Letter (6 pages). April 2, 1864. Written in Dalton, GA.

#19: Letter (2 pages). May 25, 1864. Written in camp, 7 miles north of Atlanta, GA.

#20: Letter (2 pages). May 30, 1864. Written in camp near Atlanta, GA. Illegible postmark

#21: Letter (4 pages). June 15, 1864.

#22: Letter (4 pages). June 20, 1864.

#23: Letter (6 pages). June 23, 1864.

#24: Letter (4 pages). July 18, 1864. Written near Atlanta, GA. Postmarked Atlanta, GA.

#25: Letter (2 pages). July 24, 1864. Written in camp near Fayetteville, GA.

#26: Letter (4 pages). August 6, 1864. Written near Atlanta, GA.

#27: Letter (4 pages). August 12, 1864.

#28: Letter (4 pages). August 25, 1864.

#29: Letter Sept. 6, 1864.

#30: Letter (4 pages). Sept. 20, 1864.

#31: Letter (4 pages). Dec. 24, 1864. Written in training near Columbus, MS

#32: Letter (4 pages). Jan. 1, 1865. Written in camp near Aberdeen, MS Postmarked Columbus, MS.

#33: Letter (4 pages). Jan. 7, 1865. Written in camp near Aberdeen, MS. Postmarked Columbus, MS.

#34: Letter (4 pages). Jan. 14, 1865. Illegible postmark

#35: Letter (4 pages). Jan. 14, 1865. Written in Columbus, MS. Postmarked Columbus, MS.

#36: Letter (2 pages). Feb. 12, 1865. Written in Macon, GA.

#37: Letter (2 pages). March 1, 1865. Written in camp near Milledgeville, GA.

#38: Letter (4 pages). March 6, 1865. Written in camp near Sparta, GA. Postmarked Dalton, GA.

#39: Letter (4 pages). March 15, 1865. Written in camp near Edgefield, S.C. Postmarked Augusta, GA.

#40: Letter (2 pages). August 21, 1865. Written in Oxford, MS.

#41: Letter (4 pages). undated.

#42 Letter (4 pages). undated.


Charles Roberts Letters
Letter 1

Camp near Saltillo, Miss
Sunday evening
June 8, 1862

My Dearest Maggie

We left Baldwin yesterday
evening and arrived here about noon today.
We are encamped in an old orchard close
to a neat little farm house on the main road.
I am inclined to think we shall not remain
for any length of time; not longer than [is]
necessary for the main body of the army to
take position farther back and to remove
Company stores. Of course this is only sur-
mise, but from appearances it looks probable.
We are about ten or twelve miles South of
Baldwin and in a very pretty country.
The water is better than we have had
since we left Corinth. We get it from
a spring about a quarter of a mile from
Camp in a beautiful little valley _ it gushes
out from the feet of a bluff in a stream
as thick as my wrist _ it is quite a romantic

spot and just the place for a pleasant picnic.
Since my last letter to you we have had no
tents and scarcely any cooking utensils un-
til today _ We were ordered to pack every
thing for a start ready at a moments notice
and our baggage wagons were sent to the
rear consequently we have been living
on flour and water baked in a skillet
and a little fat side toasted on a stick
It tasted good however if we could only
have had enough of it _ and the sleeping in
the open air does not appear to have any
unfavorable effect upon me. To day I
succeeded in buying some onions and
we eat some raw for breakfast and had
a fine mess fried for dinner -- one of our
mess succeeded in buying a chicken for
a dollar and since she (or as one would
say he) has been in Camp she has layed
an egg and it is now a question of
discussion whether we shall kill and
eat the chicken or keep her to supply

us with eggs _ the majority are in favor
of a chicken pot pie _ so if you should
happen to call on us to-morrow you
you would have a fancy dinner _ although
we are going through a Country that
has seen little of nothing of the army
it is impossible almost for the soldier
to buy anything, for the generals and
their staffs engaged everything at the [houses] _
Genl Polk's headquarters is at the house
close by us and of course monopolises all
they have _ There is one satisfaction however
he cannot eat with any better appetite
than we do, although our fare is [plainer]
I think we must be now pretty nearly
in a line with Oxford _ I don't exactly
Know but you can tell by looking at
a map of Miss There is a pocket map
of the state at the store which will
give you a correct idea of our route _
We are all the time tolerably near the
Mobile and Ohio Road _

Have received no letters from you as yet
am very anxious to hear _ Always direct
your letters to the place from which I
date mine and if we move the letters
will be forwarded _
I suppose your pa must have come up
by this time _ I should much like to
hear what the prospects are in Yazoo
in regard to the Cotton [?] _ I saw a
lot of Cotton burnt last night _ all the
way from Corinth the Cotton has been
[Consumed] as soon as our army vacated
the Country _ I was talking to one of the
[farmers of] Tishomingo Co, a place very
close to our Camp at Baldwin and he
said all the citizens of that Co, wished
to see it burnt as soon as we left _ He
only had fifteen bales which was piled
up ready for the sacrifice as soon as
we vacated _ I saw Bob [E--ny] a few
days since _ he was looking very well
I did not have much opportunity to

speak with him _ He enquired for you and
all your family _
I am in perfect ignorance has to
when or where we are going to meet the
enemy and what the result of our evacuating
Corinth will be _ In fact I dont Know
whether the Yankees are following us in
force or not _ Our orders are to be ready
at a moments notice for action but
whether it is to keep us vigilant or
from any actual expectation of a fight
cant say _ I do know one thing if we
had remained much longer in Corinth
there would have been on Confederate
army there fit for service for disease
was thinning the ranks mighty fast _
You have no idea how dirty and impure
everything was _ the atmosphere was actually
[tainted] and it was offensive to walk
about the Camps after a warm day _
Genl Bragg has issued orders in
regard to the Sanitary Conditions of

the Camps which will be a preventative
in future if we have any thing like
a situation to camp [on] _
Well Maggie dear how are you doing?
I hope you are enjoying good health
I wish I could be with you and my
little darling today _ How much I wish
to see you both _ I was on guard night
before last and there are times when
I give myself up to thoughts of the
dear ones at home _ There is nothing
to disturb me and my imagination
pictures our little family circle with
great distinctness _ I hope the time is
not far distant when we shall be
once more united _ I am anxious to
be with you and yet when I see
how our army is diminished by sickness
and dessertion I feel that it is the
place of every man that can carry
arms to be here _ We have not
enough men and this is one reason

why we left Corinth _ Our Brigade of
three regiments has only 1140 men _ this
is not more than one regiment should
be and this is the way throughout the
whole of the army which was situated
at Corinth
The desertions are principally from
Tennessee Regiments _ on our march from
Corinth there was one Tenn. Reg _ lost
one hundred men by desertion out of
the small number of two hundred
and thirty _ In our State there are
many that have gone home on sick
furloughs that have not returned _
of course they intend to but at the
same time they ought to be in camp
as soon as they are capable of duty _
We are greatly outnumbered all the
time and to remedy that and enable
us to make a successful forward
movement every one that can ought
come _ this will be the only way

to close the war speedily and successfully _
How is my sweet Sister Mannie?
Give her my love _ hope to hear from
her soon _ Love to [Belle] _
Does my darling Ada recollect her
Pa _ Kiss her many times for me _
Write me soon my dear wife _
You are constantly in my thoughts
and the thought that it is for the
protection of you and our dear child
I am here makes many unpleasant
duties easy to perform _
"Howdy" to [Kittie] and [Lev] _ I hope
they [----------------------------------]
With sincere [wishes] for the [happiness]
of my dear wife and child and
love to all
I remain
Your affectionate husband
Chas Roberts

Letter 2

Camp near Tupelo _ Miss
June 17th, 1862

My darling wife,

Mr Manse returns tomorrow morning
and I shall avail myself of the opportunity to send you a
few lines _ it appears to me, my dear, that I write more fre-
quently than I receive letters _ Your last was directed to
Baldwin - I presume however it is the fault of the mail,
and I certainly am not disposed to find any fault with
you darling, for I know you will not neglect writing me
every opportunity _ When I wrote sister Mamie we felt con-
fident that our [army] would not move any further
South, since then I have been informed they are fortifying
Columbus which is about seventy five miles below here
and I should not be surprised if after a while we
fall back to that point ~ Of course, I only give you
this as I hear it and whatever I write on such
matters is not official and you must only rely on it
as camp rumors sometimes right and frequently wrong ~
Within the last day or two we have succeeded in finding
a very good spring which will give sufficient water
for all our company, it is cool and clean and we Keep
a guard over it all the time to keep others from using
it ~ Many have Succeeded in getting plenty of good

water ~ On the whole I think we have a good camping ground
and the army generally appears to be greatly improved in
health _ My great anxiety now is that Oxford will be
left for awhile in the hands of the enemy _ I trust it
may not be so, but if such a calamity does happen, do
be unnecessarily alarmed _ I fully concur with you
that is useless leaving our home and whilst it will
be a subject of great uneasiness to have communication
broken off between [us] I do not think they will in any way
molest you _ I would that I could be with you dear but
you know that cannot and ought not to be in the present
state of our Country _ We have rumors in camp that [there]
is now negociations on foot; conducted by the English
and French ministers at Washington for a settlement of our
difficulties _ I don't know how far it is true but do hope
it may be so, for war is a dreadful thing under the
most favorable circumstances and more Especially when
so near our homes _ Don't get discouraged dear Maggie,
hope for good times and they will come before long and
the anticipation of once more being at home with my
family makes even the present look bright _ Do not
despond although the clouds that now overshadow us
are heavy and dark, the sun is behind and we
shall soon be enjoying his warm and joyous rays -
Remember, dear wife, in your present situation it is
very important you should trouble yourself as little as possible
with unpleasant thoughts - All our anxiety and trouble off
mind cannot alter the present state of affairs it is therefore
our best policy to be cheerful and hoping all the time
that what is, is for the best - and I have full faith it
will prove so, for I do not doubt in the least that this
struggle will eventually gain us our independence and
the time is not far distant when we shall realise it -
You do not say anything in reference to your health
write me a long letter dear and give me all particulars
and also let me know how our garden is doing. You know
I put some work in your garden and what to know
the result of it. I often think when I see the sun
dropping behind the trees that if I was at home - how
much I should enjoy a walk in the garden with you
and Ada - To be sure our garden never was of very much
account but you know I possess that happy
state of mind which always considers whatever is
mine is better than any one elses - especially in regard
to my wife and child -
Whilst I think of it let me say - when you have
an opportunity I want you to send me a few small
pieces of the [Jeans], the same as my suit is made of -
my clothes are not worn in holes yet - but sitting
about on the ground is rather hard upon pants
and I don't care about adopting the Confederate uniform just
now, which is two holes in the seat of the pants - It is
very picturesque but I don't much admire it -
Don't send much because I could not take care of it -
[Wm] Manse will take home for me one blanket which he
will have left at the store - You had better have it taken
to the house and if it requires it have it washed - If
I am out next winter I shall require it again - Mr.
Manse brought up a champagne basket full of good things
besides some Irish potatoes we have consequently had
a feast for the past few days -
How is my sweet little darling Ada - tell me all about
the little pet and Kiss her many times for her papa -
Give my love to sister Mannie - I wrote to her a day or two
[ago and tell her she must answer promptly] -
Have you heard from your pa lately - I am very anxious
to learn what he is doing - under existing circumstances
I scarcely expect he will come to Oxford - although
for the sake of health it would be very desirable -
I fear if he remain down at [homes] all summer he
will suffer for it next fall -
Remember me to the Doctor - I [hope] he is enjoying
better health -
Much love for you my dear wife - may be soon [time]
when we again meet - many Kisses for you dear from
Your loving husband
Charles Roberts

Letter 3

Letter posted in a homemade envelope postmarked Chattanooga, Tenn. Aug 16, 1862 to:
Mrs. Chas. Roberts
John McKee Esq
Yazoo County
via Vaughan's Station
Chas Roberts
Stafford's Battery
envelope has the names Emily, Julia, and John written in various places

Chattanooga, Aug 15th 1862

My dearest Wife,
I arrived here last night on the cars
from Rome - our horse will be here tomorrow and then
I presume we shall move over the river on the
Nashville road The journey has been long and fatiguing
and I have got so dirty and ragged that I scarcely
expect to look decent and clean whilst in the army -
We are now within twenty eight miles of the enemy
and I presume as soon as the army is reorganized
that we shall advance upon them - I look for nothing
but active service from now until winter and I am
in hopes with good result to the Confederate cause -
We brought our guns and ammunition from Rome on platform
cars and we had to crowd in amongst the guns as best
we could. We are now at the Depot waiting orders to
unload and it is anything but a desirable place
for there are guards everywhere and we can scarcely
move from our cars without being stopped by them -
Water is very scarce and we can barely get enough to
drink and washing is out of the question. When we get
to our camping ground however we shall have plenty
and I am then going to make an effort to get clean -
I have not had an opportunity of [sending] to the P O
as yet but will try and do so during the day and
I hope to find a letter from you my dear Maggie -
It is so long since I heard from you that I am very
anxious t learn how you and my little darling are
doing. My thoughts are constantly going back to [home]
and those dear ones I have left behind - I would give
much to be with you my dear wife, if only for a short
time and I think if the war be of long continuation that
I will have to [employ] some of my friends at home to
get me an appointment at some of the Hospitals or Quartermaster's Dept - One
of our Co_ was appointed clerk of the Hospital at
Grenada last week - He is not discharged from
the company, but is detailed which can be done with
the Captains permission - If I could have brought a little
influence to bear I presume I may have got a position
with Dr Smith when he went to Jackson, Miss as surgeon
of the post -- I don't know whether your pa has any in-
fluence in Jackson but if he should and opportunity
offer, I wish he would use it -- I did not [learn] of
Dr. Smith's intention of going to Jackson until after he was
gone and I don't know but what I may yet be able to
do something in that quarter if I could be at home to
push the matter but that is out of the question --
[Now] I don't mention this because I am any less satisfied
with the army -- my only object is that should an op-
portunity occur that I should like for your pa to secure
it for me as it would give me an opportunity to be
at home at least for a while and would be of considerable
advantage to me in many ways --
I hope my little daughter keeps her health -- I have felt
very uneasy in reference to [remaining] at Locust Grove during
the summer and yet I saw no way of helping it -- I [presume]
you will return to Oxford this fall and I think if not
already done you had better get the Doctor to contract
for 15 or 20 cords of wood from Dr. Burney or any one that
is owing the store --
I know my darling [the] time is close at hand
[when] I would much like to be with you to encourage
and support you in the hour of trial -- you must have
some one write me as soon as it is over and direct
your letters to Chattanooga until you hear to the
contrary - Always direct your letters to Stanford's Battery
Stewart's Brigade, Chatham's Division
Kiss my little pet and many kisses and much
love for you my own sweet wife --
from your loving husband
Chas Roberts
Love to all the family --
I wrote you [last] from Blue Mountain this [terminus] of the RR near
Jacksonville, Ala --

Letter 4

Envelope addressed to:
Mrs. Chas. Roberts,
Lafayette Co. Miss.
Illegible postmark over two Confederate States 5 cents stamps.

Camp near Shelbyville, Tenn
[Jany] 7th 1863.

My own darling wife,
I have written you several letters since
I left home and sent some by mail and some by persons going
near Oxford, but fear very much that you have not recd all,
if any -- I recd one letter form you dated Nov 30th just at the time
our officials were evacuating Oxford and since then have heard
nothing definite form home -- I have spent many anxious hours
in thinking of the trouble and anxiety you have suffered since
I last saw you -- I hope my fears have made it worse than
it has been in reality but I know at the best it must have
been a terrible trial for you to undergo, situated so near the
two contending armies -- My prayers have been earnest and constant
for your preservation and safety and for His protection of our little
ones, and I trust God in his mercy has seen fit to answer thus --
Since I last wrote you my dear wife, I have taken part in
a long and severe battle and have been mercifully spared
although I thought at times it was impossible for any of the
Company to come out alive -- I arrived at Murfreesboro on the
[17th] Dec and remained in camp until Monday Dec [24th] when
we left early in the morning and formed line of battle about
a mile the other side (North) of town -- on Stone River -- we remained
here until Tuesday evening exposed to occasional shelling from
the enemies artillery -- On Tuesday evening the skirmishing on our
left became very heavy and two guns from our battery were
sent to assist a battery already in the engagement -- The piece I
am attached to did not go, which probably was fortunate for me
for we lost our Lieut (Lieut Harden) and had two [cannoncey]
wounded -- Lieut H was killed by a solid shot that cut off
both of his arms and passed through his body -- On the following
morning early our battery took a more advanced position
and before the sun was far up in the heavens we were in the
thick of the fight = It was a terrible encounter and many of our
brave men fell in charging the enemy -- we gradually advanced
upon them and the [guns] back to a still stronger position but
when completely driven from their position of the morning and
we were left in possession of the battle field -- In the engagement
our Co. lost two men killed and two wounded and six horses
killed and one gun [timber] destroyed beside nearly losing
one of our guns -- On the following morning we took our position
where the Yankees had fought the day before -- I walked over a
portion of the battle field and it was a terrible sight -- A great
many on both sides had been killed by the artillery which had
been used heavily in the engagement all day -- they were in
many cases litterally torn to pieces and the dead and dieing
[were] to be found at the foot of every tree -- we captured some
forty pieces of artillery, any quantity of small arms and from
six to eight thousand prisoners -- On Thursday we did not do
much fighting. On Friday there was a [severe] artillery fight in
which we had two men wounded and on Saturday night
we fell back from the field and on Sunday marched to this
place, twenty five miles from Murfreesboro -- I think it probable
we shall eventually fall back to Chattanooga for it will
be impossible for us to remain here after the Tennessee river
rises, without danger of our being flanked by the enemy --
You have no idea of what the army suffered from [exposure]
during this weeks fighting -- We had no tents or blankets and
a portion of the time was exposed to a cold, chilling rain --
The night before the fighting I suffered much from Cholera [Morbus]
or something similar and took three good doses of morphine whilst
on the field of battle -- On Thursday I managed to keep on the
field but on Friday was obliged to go back to the wagon
train -- I have been taking medicine since and now feel pretty
near right again but I can assure you this cold weather is
more severe than the hottest weather in summer to me --
[Doyle], Kindel, & the Reynolds are all safe -- Ben [Hill] & Hustace
were sick in camp -- In fact all the Oxford boy in our Co came
through safely --
Write me my dear wife as soon as you receive this [&] direct
to Chattanooga -- Let me have a long letter and let me
know whether [Avent] sent off that application before [he] left
Oxford -- When we get to Chattanooga I shall make an
effort to get transferred and if the Doctor sees any chance
to help the matter along, I hope he will do so.
Give my love to Mannie also to the Doctor -- I want to
hear from him first opportunity.
Many kisses and much love for you my darling Maggie
and for sweet Ada & Charley
Your loving husband
Chas Roberts

Letter 5

Envelope postmarked Milledgeville, Ga, Mar 3
Addressed to:
Mrs. Chas Roberts
Care of Mr. [Jos.] Moseley
Madison County, Miss.

Chas Roberts
2711 Dept.,
[Pettiis] Brigade
10 is stamped on the upper right hand corner

Camp near Shelbyville Tenn Jany 30th 1863

My darling wife,
I wrote you day before yesterday by Mr Doyle, but
this morning having received a letter from you through the politeness
of Mr. Cox, I cannot withstand the desire of answering it and although
I have no news to write, shall endeavor to make out a letter
I am rejoiced and thankful to learn you all continue in good
health -- it is indeed a great blessing, more especially in the present
troublesome times, when friends and relatives are so far apart
and no possibility of meeting each other in case of sickness --
I am sorry the Yankees took off our Cow & calf, not so much for
her value in money, as the inconvenience to you in housekeeping
and then I know my little daughter was so fond of milk, that it
will be a great loss to her -- You must tell her that her Pa
will buy her another cow when he gets home -- Did Mrs. [Lees]
manage to save any of her cows? -- if she did, you may be able
to obtain some milk from her --
You don't say a word as to how you manage without a servant
Let your next letter give me all particulars as to your plans, present
and future -- I should like to take a look at home this morning
and see how domestic arrangements progress under the new regime --
I knew you would be very anxious to hear the result of the
battle of Murfreesboro and wrote immediately after we arrived at
Shelbyville and am indeed sorry my dear wife that you were
kept so long in suspense -- I do hope we shall soon have mail
communication with Oxford, for your letters are my only pleasure
and I am really miserable unless I receive them -- Write often
dear and let your letters be very long --
I understand Genl Johnston is at [Tullahoma] and there is
[rumor] that there is an important movement on hand -- We are
in entire ignorance of what it may be and in fact, the nearer
you are to the army the less chance of knowing anything -- Of course
we can tell a day or two before a battle, [that] there is going to
be one, but until active movements are made for the attack we
are kept in entire ignorance -- Everything has been very quiet so far
and we don't even hear the usual music of picquet firing -- I
am more inclined to think, than I have, heretofore, that we shall
remain in Middle Tenn this winter, even if we have to make another
fight to stay here --
Tom Lee's letter speaks encouragingly of the prospects of a
successful resistance of any attack by the Yankees at Vicksburg
and the Yazoo river -- He sent twelve of his negroes to Dr. Harper --
the balance of the negroes from the lower place are at Locust Grove
Old River is for the present abandoned -- I am in hopes your
pa will succeed in keeping the balance of his servants and
then their increased value after this war is successfully closed
will to some extent [reinstate] him for his losses -- I believe we
are now in as good position as we have been at any time
during the war and now capable of working out our own
salvation -- Foreign inteference will not come until they see the
North ready to accept it and I believe that state of feeling
is gradually gaining ground -- It will take time and more
hard fighting, but it is certain to come -- The Southern Con-
fedarcy is a fixed fact --
I have been engaged during the past week in reading ["Parton's]
Life of Aaron Burr" It is very interesting book -- well written and the
biography of a man that we cannot but admire for his accomplish-
ments, although we [blame] his actions -- The warm affection existing between
himself and his [daughter] Theodosia through prosperity and adversity
pleased me much and their correspondence are well worth reading.
I have promised myself the pleasure of reading you this book
when I get home. There is of necessity some political history mixed
in the work, which would not much interest you, but the
majority of it is so full of exciting incidents that you would be
fully [reposed] for reading the political extracts which are really
necessary in order to fully understand his [missing]
I well remember how much we enjoyed reading "Irving's Life
of Goldsmith" -- I long dear Maggie for [these] quiet peaceful
times again when we may enjoy the pleasure of home --
Whilst writing, cannon have commenced firing on the
Murfreesboro pike -- whether the enemy is advancing or only a skirmish
with the picquets I don't know -- It is astonishing how soon the
dull monoty of camp can be changed to all [stir] and excitement
in a few moments -- All will be quiet and the men strolling
about camp some smoking, some playing cards, and a few reading,
when all at once you hear the distant roar of artillery and
in a short time you will see an "orderly" coming at a gallop
bringing orders -- then all is excitement and [bustle] and in less
than an hour tents will be struck, baggage packed and the
[Battery] in motion --
You must write more about my little treasures -- I want to
know everything about them -- I hope Ada is a good little girl
and helps her mama all she can -- Has Charley improved
in temper -- I hope he is not as troublesome to you as
he was at first -- I think he will eventually show a good
disposition, for I know he could not inherit bad temper from
me and I am sure you are as well satisfied that he does
not take it from his mother's side -- Kiss them both for
their papa --
Why dos not Sister Mannie write to me -- She has no husband
to write to and may as well occupy her time in writing
to Brother Charley -- I am [sure] I should appreciate her
[several words missing] she could write to and will
certainly answer promptly -- I am anxious to hear how
Sister Mannie is progressing in love affairs -- I can keep
a secret from everyone except my wife, so she need not fear
telling me --
Hope the Doc is well -- like to hear from him -- Tell him to [write]
My love to you my own sweet, very dear wife -- many many
Kisses -- from your ever devoted and loving husband
Chas Roberts

Feby 18th Mr. Doyle came up from Kingston yesterday and
spent last night with me -- he returns this evening and will
probably leave for Oxford on Saturday morning -- I have
requested him to call on you frequently, whilst at home,
for I want him to bring me a full account of how you
are looking and how the children are doing -- and last
and not least, a long letter from my own dear Maggie.
I don't suppose you will have any opportunity of sending
any package by him for he will have to ride through
horseback -- Take good care of the books until some
future time.
I have sent a ring for Ada, which a friend of
mine made for me, out of a piece of [gutta pucha] -- I have
nothing to send you dear but my love and many, many
Kisses -- There is nothing I could buy in the neighborhood
if I had the money to buy it with -- Wait till we get
in Kentucky, next Summer, and then I will buy a
nice present for my darling wife --
I have sent by Mr. Doyle an order [McChilton]
drawn by John Watkins for One hundred Dollars,
which I told him to pay to the Doctor -- He will
also pay the Doctor One hundred Doll which O
loaned Mr. D -- Tell the Doctor to place it to my
credit, as this is part of the money I drew from
him when I left home --
If I do not succeed in getting home this spring
I shall make an effort to see you sometime during
the summer -- I do want to see you so much, my love
and I know I should enjoy a visit greatly --
The news from Mississippi is anything but encouraging,
at least, what little news we get and that comes in
no reliable shape -- I hope Oxford is not going to be
again visited by the Yankees -- I have not much fear
of their making a permanent stay [In] our town, but
they may pop through and commit many depradations.
We are making every preparation for an active spring
Campaign and as soon as the weather gets settled, there
will be plenty of marching and abundance of fighting.
Write me a long letter dearest and tell me all about
yourself and the children -- Kiss the little darlings for papa.
My devoted love to you my own sweet wife and [abundance]
of Kisses -- My earnest and constant prayer if for the
safety and welfare of you and our children -- I hope
Ere long I may again be united to my family --
[Your] loving and affectionate husband
My kind regards to the Doctor --
Love to Sister [Mannie] -- Remember
Me Kindly to Prof [Tumch] and lady
and Dr. [Hilgard] and lady

Letter 6

Envelope addressed to Mrs. Chas. Roberts
Oxford, Miss
Favored by
Mr. Wm Reynolds
(no stamp or postmark)

Camp near Shelbyville, Tenn.
Feby 12th 1863

My own Sweet wife,
I have been on picquet the past [two] days
and no opportunity of writing you. Yesterday I was ordered
to camp to assist in making out the pay roll for the
Company and I have appreciated a little time to write
a few lines to my darling Maggie. Our Battery is stationed
nine miles North of Shelbyville on the Murfreesboro
pike and when the Yankees make any demonstration
we advance a mile or two farther and take position on
the pike. There are Cavalry in front of us and in case
of their falling back we have to keep the position. Since
we have been out the enemy have made two or three for-
ward movements and the Cavalry with two pieces of
artillery belonging to Roberts' Battery have had some
right sharp skirmishes. We have taken no part in any
of the engagements as yet although we have been in
unpleasantly close proximity. The road from Murfreesboro to
Shelbyville is perfectly straight with the exception of a
slight bend about three miles from the former place and
when they shoot solid shot from their rifle battery they dance
along on the hard pike as though they never would stop.
We camp at night at a log meeting house at which in times
of peace I expect there has been many a good sermon preached.
Many of the Company go to the houses in the neighborhood
and get their meals, for my own part I would rather go
without than ask them to supply me, for as a general
thing they have sold all they can afford to sell and
although they will in many cases furnish the soldiers
with a meal, you can see it is done reluctantly and
I do not blame them for I know I would not wish my
family to feed the soldiers with what they probably
will need for themselves -- At the same time there is some
Excuse for soldiers on picquet for we have no cooking
utensils and have to satisfy our hunger with cold corn
bread, made from coarse yellow corn meal, without
sifting and a small slice of fat bacon. Flour we have had
very little of since we left Knoxville and now it is reduced
to corn meal & meat -- We occasionally succeed in buying
a few chickens [?] out in the Country at large prices but
it helps wonderfully especially when we can get a
little flour, for corn bread affects me the same as it
always did and I am glad for health's sake to change
when I have an opportunity.
Present indications lead me to think that our next
fight will be at Tullahoma which is some 18 miles
south of here. A portion of the enemy (Hardee's Corps)
is at that place and should the enemy advance we
will no doubt fall back to that point and give them
battle. There is plenty fighting to be done this Spring
and if we can succeed in holding our own I am
of opinion that the war will soon draw to a close.
Success of arms is the only way we can expect a speedy
termination of the war. No one will rejoice more heartily
than myself for I long for the time to come when I
may be again with the dear ones at home.
My last letter from you was dated Jany 18th, this is
nearly a month ago. I was in hopes that mail com-
munication would be open with Oxford [bre] this. It does
appear to long to wait to hear from those I love and
whose happiness is dearer to me than life itself. It
certainly not be too long before they make some
arrangements to supply Oxford with mail [matter] --
I heard from your Pa a few days since; his letter was
dated Jany 26th . Your Pa's health was only tolerable --
Your ma had been quite sick from an attack of acute rheu-
matism = His overseer had been ordered to Brookhaven
and consequently he was without any one to assist him.
Mr. Tilman Johnson is dead -- Dr. Smith has resigned his position
in the army and is at present at Benton.
I wish when Mr. Doyle returns you would send
me a couple of pocket handkerchiefs -- If you have a piece
of dress silk from old dress it would be the very thing
otherwise a piece of calico or anything you may have.
I am without any at present, having unfortunately
lost my white silk one and cannot buy one at any
price -- Also send me a fork of some kind -- On my return
I found my knife, fork cup &c all broken -- I have a table
knife but no fork -- If you have a tin plate or otherwise
a small [????]ware -- send it to me for I greatly need it.
and above all my dear, sweet wife send me a long, very
long letter -- Tell me all about my pets Ada & Charley -- I long
to hear about them --
I have heard through several sources that Slate,
Tom Wendel & Bob cook bought cotton for the Yankees whilst
they were at Oxford. I can scarcely think it possible of
Wendel & Slate.
Ask the Doctor if Avent settled for the Articles supplied
to him as Quartermaster, before he left Oxford. I should
like to hear from him first opportunity of sending a letter.
My love and a Kiss to [Mannie] -- Have not recd the letter
she was going to write me.
I hope before this you have recd the many letters I
have written you -- If you have not by sending [an]
order by any one going to Grenada I [presume] you
would succeed in getting them for I [presume] they were
delivered at that point until the mail Communication
was open with Oxford.
My love and many Kisses to you my own sweet
treasure -- Many Kisses for our little pets
Your loving & devoted husband
Chas Roberts

Letter 7

On picket, Cumberland Presb. Church --
Mch 9th 1863

My very dear wife,
It must be somewhat over a week
since I last wrote you. A combination of circumstances is
the cause of my tardiness. In the first place for four or
days I was seriously indisposed with an attack of flux
which I was afraid was going to give me considerable
trouble, but a few strong doses of medicine and a change
of diet succeeded in checking it and last Friday I
was again fit for duty -- You would be astonished at the
price I paid for a few luxuries, or so considered by a
soldier, in order to have something different from this
abominable yellow corn meal and [mess] beef. Five doll
for a pound of sugar, one dollar for half a dozen eggs and
other things in proportion. I don't know when this spirit
of extortion is going to stop; it is not confined to any
particular class or locality -- the farmer wants an exorbitant
price for what he has to sell and the soldier that
is fortunate to [procure] anything that is [in] demand
wants double what he paid for it. As for the [suttlers]
and store keepers that follow an army, they have no
conscience at all.
On Friday, a wet and dismal day, we were aroused
from the usual dull nature of camp by heavy can-
nonading along the whole of our advance lines. Toward
evening we advanced with our two pieces to the front
with the expectation of a sharp skirmish. The enemy
were advancing in force the whole length of our lines and
on the right and left they were having a right sharp fight
of it. We had country in front of us and as soon as they
were driven in, we had orders to commence. They advanced
some two or three miles before night but did not come
near enough for us to part in the fight -- At dark we
returned to the church, with orders to be in position the
next morning at day break and hold our position at
all hazard and that night a brigade was sent forward
from Shelbyville to be within supporting distance. The
next day we remained in position until evening, but
the Yankees changed their minds and during the
day fell back to their original position. There is no doubt
their original intention was to advance their lines and it
is generally supposed their change of programm was
in consequence of a [dash] mad by Van Dorn last Wed-
nesday near Franklin and capturing a whole Brigade
amounting to twenty three hundred men -- This in all
probability made them fall back for fear he may get
in the rear of their advance and occasion some trouble --
There will be no general engagement [here] because the main
portion of our army has fallen back to Tullahoma, but
we are going to have a sharp fight when the Yankees
advance and the rear guard, which is our Brigade, will
probably skirmish with the enemy all the way to
Tullahoma -- We may possibly fall back in the night
which would be very acceptable, for it would save us
the annoyance of a running fight, whish is anything but
pleasant and exceedingly fatiguing.
On the 1st March I was made Corporal of [Caisson]
The principle advantage arising form it, is that it exempts
me from detail work and standing guard. I have to [mount]
and relieve the guard about once a week which keeps me
up all night but I am not necessarily exposed to the
weather the same as if I was standing guard -- I also have
to keep the ammunition for our piece in good order and
serve it out during action --
Mr. Doyle has not yet returned and I am out of
patience waiting for him -- It is now over a month
since the date of your last letter and I am becoming
very anxious to hear from him -- Can't you manage some
way my dear to let me hear from you a little oftener --
It appears almost an age between [your] letters and if
you have a weekly mail from Oxford you may
certainly let me hear from you oftener. It does me
so much good to hear from you and makes me feel
better satisfied with my duties -- whereas when I don't
hear from you for so long a time I become uneasy
and anxious and everything looks dark and gloomy --
Do my darling write every opportunity, If only a
few lines for I can assure you it will be fully
appreciated --
If this was a Roman Catholic Church I think they would
have to sprinkle holy water over and about the building
several times before it would be considered purified --
The other night whilst reposing on my blankets, for I
felt like a non-combatant, I was amused at the scene
before me -- To my right sat Sergt [Penn] gnawing
a [beef] bone and occasionally varying the [amusements]
by taking a bite from a quarter section of corn bread.
In front of me a party of four playing [Euchro]; to the
right three playing poker and then two or three smoking
and talking -- Over the way a small crowd attracted by
the fiddler who is scraping some real backwoods tune.
and in a comer near the pulpit one of the Company
disposing of some [pipes] by auction -- You may judge
what a sweet combination of sounds it made --
I am going to send this letter by Mr. Grandberry who
has procured a substitute and is going home to Jackson --
Kiss my little darlings for papa and love to Sister [Mannie]
Much love for you and many Kisses my own
sweet darling wife
from your devoted husband
Chas Roberts
Give my kind regards to
the Doctor

Letter 8

Outpost duty, near Shelbyville, Tenn.
May 3rd 1863.

My darling wife,
I have no letter to answer, which I presume
is owing to the raid made by the Yankee Cavalry on the Mobile
& Ohio R.R., yet I cannot let the opportunity pass that I have of
sending a letter by hand to Grenada, for I know you will be anxious
to hear from me, more especially whilst the mails are so irregular.
The army is still going through its usual
dull routine of drilling, drawing rations and consuming them.
I understand, at Tullahoma and Shelbyville the infantry
are engaged in throwing up breast works whither for the purpose
of holding the position or misleading the enemy I cannot say.
At Tullahoma the line of entrenchment was drawn through
the burial ground set apart for the soldiers and the pick and
shovel disturbed many a dead body in its progress in forming
the fortifications. They were removed to a more secluded spot
but it seemed a pity that they could not be left undisturbed in
their last resting place; but such is war. At Shelbyville one
of our lines of entrenchment ran through a beautiful garden
destroying shrubs and plants and entirely destroying the
grounds. I hate to see a quiet home robbed of all its beauty,
but I suppose it is necessary and everything now concedes to
to that comprehensive little sentence "military necessity".
There has been a change in the [organization]
of the artillery arm of the service. We are now an entirely dis-
tinct command from the infantry and the cavalry and have
a general in command of all the artillery in the army of Tenn.;
with a full compliment of Colns. Majors. The artillery is all
camped together and subject to more stringent camp regulations.
Whilst we are on picket we are exempt from many duties that
we are subject to when in camp, so whilst it places us in closer
proximity to the Yankees, it has its advantages and I would
rather on the whole remain where I am. We also have an oppor-
tunity of occasionally procuring a little butter and milk,
which I can assure you is esteemed a great luxury amongst us.
There are revival meetings being held in our brigade, con-
ducted by the chaplains of the different regiments. They have
been in progress for the past week and met with very encouraging
success. They have service every night and it is uniformly well
attended, and from fifteen to twenty five [mourners] of a night.
I have not attended any of the night meetings, for I have always
had a repugnance to this mode of conversion, from no [sec-
tarian feeling, but a natural aversion to violent demonstrations
of religious feelings. I have no doubt however it will be condusive
of much good and I am very glad to see it, for there is great need of
something to improve the moral tone of our army. Too many forget
their self respect, because they away from home and [from] of
public opinion. A man should keep from doing wrong because it is
sinful, but if he has not that higher motive, it is a blessing if
love for his family or relations deter him from excesses.
I hope they will get the R.R. in Mississippi quickly repaired
for I am very anxious to hear from home again. April 9th
is my latest letter. You are in my thoughts often times through
the day and after supper when I take my seat under one
particular cedar tree, quietly smoking my pipe, than my thoughts
are all of home. Sometimes I am joined by Doyle, Watkins,
Hill or Hustace but still the subject of conversation refers to
home. I realise more and more how dear my wife and family are to me
and feel the beneficial influence of their love. And our children,
my sweet wife, are a great blessing to us, for they are ties that
bind our hearts forever together in mutual love. I think there
can be nothing more pure or disinterested than parents love
for their children and I believe that love is rewarded by
making them happier and better and more like [unto] children.
I long for the time to come when it will be my privilege to
assist you in educating and training our precious charges.
You must write me all particulars about our little darlings
for it will be of much interest to me. I have no great schemes
of ambition for our children, my dear wife. I want them to grow
up as useful members of society. To be good & happy; the latter
will naturally follow the former.
I fear my letter will be prosy, for out here on picket there
is little chance of seeing old acquaintances or picking up many
items of news, yet I keep writing on, for I am vain enough to
think that my loving wife would rather read a dull letter from
her husband than none at all.
I wrote you sometime ago in reference to a brooch which you
said you wanted. Mr. Hustace requested you to select one. Did
you do it? I also mentioned that I never received the socks
sent by Bob Smith[n]. Did you make enquiries what became
of them? I don't want them this summer, for I prefer cotton
socks during the warm weather, but they will be valuable
next winter. I can manage to make out for clothing this
summer. I have drawn a pair of pants from the Quarmaster's
Department , which with a little alteration can be made to
fit me very well. I am going to send them out in the country
tomorrow to be fixed up, for you know I have no genius
for tailoring. If I had not married so early in life I should
have acquired some skill in sewing on buttons and patching
clothes, but I am reconciled to the loss, when I recollect the
amount of happiness I have gained.
How is sister Mannie? I am very desirous to receive a
letter from her, posting me on her progress in affairs of the heart.
I am anxious to her of some of her late conquests and want
to know whither she has yet seen the man she could "love,
honor and obey".
I wrote the Doctor last week. I hope to hear from him
shortly. Give him my kind regards.
How are you pleased with your neighbor [Mrs. Trigg]?
I hope you will not become too intimate for I don't think
her a desirable friend, may do as an acquaintance
but there are many things in that family that I don't like and
believe would not be benificial to you or Sister Mannie.
Let me hear your opinion on the subject.
My kind regards to Prof Quinche and lady --
Love and many Kisses to you sweet wife, and our darling
children. Write me soon for I am always happier after receiving
a letter form you.
Your Ever true & devoted husband,
Chas. Roberts
I send you a good steel pen,
which I had given me --
I hope it will pen me many
sweet words of love and af-
fection -- Your Charley.

Letter 9

Outpost duty near Shelbyville, Tenn.
May 28th 1863
My own Sweet darling wife,
Your letter written on the 4th inst is
the last I have received from you and I am exceedingly sorry
there has been any interruption in the mails, for I Know you
are as anxious to hear from me as I am from you. I had
I had several letters on the road at the time the Yankees took possession
of Jackson, which I fear you will never receive and I have
my doubts about this getting to Oxford, but I feel as though
I wanted to write you and I shall keep writing until I
know definitely that there is no mail communication.
Times look to me rather gloomy in Mississippi, yet I hope
Genl Johnson will get reinforcements sufficient to drive Grant
back to his gunboats. It looks to me as though the fate of
the Confederacy depended on our holding our position at
Vicksburgh. One thing is certain, if they get possession of that
point, it is going to prolong this war and to great disadvantage
on our side. I eagerly watch for the news in every paper and
am satisfied that Johnson is being reinforced and trust we
shall yet be able to gain a complete victory over them.
I fear the Yankee army must have been in close
proximity to your pa's place and am afraid he has suffered
from their depredations. It is astonishing what little time
it takes them to remain in a place, to do an immense
amount of damage -- Jackson and Yazoo City for example --
I am in hopes they will not disturb Oxford again; at
the sametime I am very anxious to hear from you, for it
is not impossible that they may make a Cavalry raid
down the Miss. Central whilst our army is engaged below --
I notice in your letter you say [D. Audum's] has removed
to Alabama. Ask the Doctor if he settled his a/c before he left.
I hope the Doctor will write me as soon as an opportunity offers
I should like to hear from him in regard to business matters
Tell him when he writes, to inform me what arrangements
he made in regard to the rent of the store.
I am glad to hear your garden is doing so well and
only wish I could be at home to assist you in cultivating
it and enjoying its products. I am afraid the orchard will be
among the things of the past, unless we have a fence around it.
It is fortunate you have succeeded in getting a cow and
it will pay you to feed her well and especially be careful
that she is milked regularly. With good attention, one cow
will give better and milk enough for the family -- Be sure and
have her salted regularly and always supplied with water --
[Mr. Manty] arrived at [Newnan]m Ga since last I wrote
you. Ben Hill sent his boy Handy down to see him and
he brought back a nice box of provisions which was duly
appreciated by the mess. The Southern Confederacy is getting
rather poor in regard to rations, but there is one consolation,
it is getting warm weather and we don't require so much
to eat. If we had known the army was going to remain
here as long as it has, we may have had a good
garden by this time. Our mess talked about making one once
but about that time appearances indicated and early advance
of the Yankees and we gave up the project.
We were enlivened the other morning by the Yankees
making a dash in upon a cavalry regiment in front of
us just about daybreak. They captured some fifty of our
man and about a hundred horses and came very near taking
off a piece of artillery which was [on] the pike. It was a com-
plete surprise and before we had time to get [our] troops
under arms they were gone -- We Killed some few of them and
Captured six prisoners belonging to the 1st Regular U.S. Cavalry --
I am in hopes it will make Cavalry a little more watchful
in future. It is astonishing how men become accustomed
to an exposed position. Now when first we came out here
we were expecting and all the time thinking of an attack
from the enemy, but now there is the same careless indifference
as though the enemy were one hundred miles away and
yet there is only a few Cavalry between them and our
On Monday we built an arbor for the mess. we have
Consequently vacated the church and eat and sleep
in our new abode - Doyle and myself have succeeded
in making a very comfortable bedstead which although
not elegant is very useful and we sleep very pleasantly
in it.
Lieut McCall and [Mr. Coe] his brother in law, have their
wifes here on a visit. They arrived here last Monday
and are staying at Mr. [Rawsom's] residence, close by our
camp - For their sake I hope the Yankees wont advance
for awhile, for after coming so far (Grenada) they ought
to be allowed the privilege a staying a little time
with their husbands - For my own whilst I would
give much to see you, I would prefer meeting you at
home and will endeavor to wait patiently until the time
comes when I can enjoy that pleasure.
By the way, I have written several suggestions about [parties]
I wished the Doctor to see in reference to my getting transferred
to Miss [Jc]. and with the uncertainty of mail arrangements
I know not if you ever received any of my communications
in regard to this matter. In one of my letters I mentioned the
idea of getting a letter from Judge [Conny] to Genl Whitfield
of Van Dorn's Cavalry. Since writing he has gone to Miss
with his command which for the present would make the
letter of no importance. I have been thinking however that if
you were to speak to [Mr Quinche] and get him to write
Mr Harrison stating my Case, he may be able to do
something for me. I think Mr Quinche would take
a pleasure in doing me a service for I consider
him a friend and I know Prof Harrison would
follow [out] his wishes - I want a position that
will pay me better than the one I [now] have and
would prefer it in Miss - Prof Quinche knows my
capacity and can appreciate my reasons for desiring
to make something for the support of my family -
(Letter ends here)

Letter 10

Envelope addressed to Mrs Chas Roberts
Lafayette Co., Miss.
from Chas Roberts
Stanfords Battery
Postmarked Chattanooga, Tenn. Jul 8 1863
and stamped DUE 10

Camp of Artillery Corps
near Chattanooga, Tenn., Aug 28th 1863

My darling Maggie,
I am again a soldier and fast settling
down to the routine of Camp life. I arrived here on Wednesday
evening about 6 o'clock and tramped over the country in
the neighborhood of Chattanooga until near midnight before
I succeeded in finding the battery. They had removed
their camp a short time previous to my arrival and no
one could give me positive information as to where I
may find them. I ultimately discovered them about
four miles from town near the Look Out mountain. The
boys were all well and gave me a hearty welcome back.
The dull monotony of camp is somewhat changed
from what it was when I left. [Rosecranz] and his army
is on the opposite side of the river and has made one
attempt to cross over. They commenced shelling the town
last Friday rather unexpectedly and during divine service
for it was fast day. Some few persons were killed and
I am sorry to say amongst the number was a woman
and a little child. I think it is perfect barbarism to
shell a town without giving sufficient time for non-
combatants to leave. Yesterday they resumed the bombard
ment for two or three hours but without any damage except
to the buildings. The citizens have all left and even the
[suttlers] allowed the love of life to overcome their love of
gain and hurried off without waiting to remove their goods.
Of course there will be no general engagement until they
succeed in crossing the river and I think by that time
we will be in condition to give them a good fight -- for
we have re-inforcements on the road.
My journey this way was not as pleasant as
on my way home. I was delayed on the road and had not
recovered from the pang of parting from those that are
so dear to me. I would that I could always be with you
darling, but this at present is the post of duty and I know
you could not love me as you do, if I failed to bravely
perform my duty to my Country. My recollections of my visit
are very pleasant and will comfort me during the many
hardships and depravations I may have to undergo.
You were so good to me darling that I could not but
enjoy myself and I constantly think of you with love and
tenderness. You are an affectionate and loving wife and hereafter
when you do anything to displease me, I shall attribute
it to a misunderstanding of my wishes and no error of the
heart. I am glad for many reasons that I have been at
home; principally that I have had the pleasure of enjoying
the society of my wife and children and also that I have
been able to fix my business in a little more satisfactory
shape. You have some idea now my dear what [I] you have
to depend on and for your own sake and the sake of our
dear children, use all practicable economy and good
management. I do not speak with any selfish interest,
for you know all I have and all I expect to have, will
only be valuable as far as it contributes to the Comfort
and enjoyment of my wife and children. If I am [mercifully]
spared to see the end of this war, I am not afraid but
what I can keep you comfortably provided with necessities
and some luxuries, at least I have self conceit enough to
think so; any great anxiety is in case you should be left to
your own resources.
I have not yet had any opportunity of writing to
Mr [Garrison] for we are busily engaged in making
preparations to "turn over" over our present battery and
receive new 12 pound Napoleon guns and an entirely
new outfit. Capt Stanford is now at Atlanta and will
not be back for a few days. When he returns I shall
make an attempt at doing something toward a transfer
How are the dear children doing; I felt so
sorry for Ada when she realised that I was going
away. I hope I may see her again before I pass from
her memory. I feel a little uneasy about Charley -- I
fear he is not very robust in health, but possibly
he may regain his strength and flash as the cool
weather advances and he gets through the trying ordeal
of teething. Bear in mind also my dear wife to watch
See and such negroes as Ada and Charley associate with,
that there is nothing done or said that may in any
way corrupt their minds. See is getting of an age when
she will bear being carefully looked after and I hope
you will be vigilent with her.
My tobacco bag had to be examined by the boys in camp
yesterday and was pronounced "Excelsior". There were many
compliments paid to the good taste of the maker.
I hope Sister Mannie is well and faithfully
following the good advice I gave her. I love Mannie as
my own sister and take the liberties of a brother in expressing
myself to her. Her welfare and happiness will always be a
matter of interest to me.
I trust you will all live in harmony for your
own sakes and mine, for you don't know my darling
how unhappy it makes me to hear of quarrels and
difficulty at home. At the sametime I don't want you
to omit telling me Everything in your letters, for between
us there should be no secrets.
Kiss my little darlings for papa and tell Ada
to be a good girl and when the war is over, pa will
buy her the large doll with blue eyes.
My love to you darling, be of good cheer and
endeavor to well perform the many duties that now
devolve on you. Pray for me as I earnestly pray for
the health and happiness of you and our little ones.
Many, many Kisses my own sweet Maggie
from your devoted husband
Chas Roberts
My kind regards to the Dr.
I will write him shortly.

I enclose this letter to Cap Dashiele at Okolona -- He promised
to forward any letters. I recd the bundle of shirts at
Montgomery -- they were left with [Mr Henlon] at the Express
Office. I am very much pleased with them. [Your ever]

Letter 11

HdQuarters QrMaster Dept [Stahls'] Brigade
Near Chattanooga Tenn Oct 3rd 1863.

My darling Wife,
I have an opportunity of sending a letter by
[Mr Humphreys'] who is going direct to Oxford and I am
anxious to send a few lines by him, for I have not yet
heard whither you have received any of the letters I have
written you since my return to the army. I wrote you
the early part of the week, stating that I had safely passed
through the fiery ordeal of the battle of Chickamauga
and that since the fight I have detailed as clerk to
Maj. McSwenie, Brigade Quartermaster. I am now busily en-
gaged in making up Monthly and Quarterly returns and
in addition to this have to attend to considerable outside
work; fot Maj [McFirine] is sick and gone to Marietta and
consequently I have to perform his duties as well as my own.
I am very well pleased with my position, for whilst it is
a much pleasanter position than I have occupied heretofore,
I feel that I can every day accomplish a days work for
the government.
Everything is quiet in front -- The Yankees are still
busy in strengthening their fortifications and we are daily bringing
more artillery to the front. From preparations that were making
a short time since it looked very much as we were getting
ready for a long march, but the probability of such a
movement has died away for the present and we have
no idea what is to be the programme and I don't suppose
anyone Except Genl Bragg himself knows what our
next move is to be. I was out at the Battery day before
yesterday, the boys were all well. I could plainly see
the Yankees walking on their fortifications -- It looks [singular]
to see two large armies so close together and yet every
thing as quiet as if you were on a plantation. You can
very distinctly hear their band play and when "Yankee
Doodle" is played they raise a shout which is more
than equaled by the shout which rents the air
when our band strike up "Dixie."
(Sunday Morning) I was not able to finish my letter to you
yesterday but will endeavor to do so today although
what at home would be a day of leisure is with me
a busy day for I am receiving and issuing clothing
to the Brigade. Mr Doyle received a letter to day from
home, which is the second he has received since my
last from you. I carefully look over the bundle of letters
which is brought to me every morning for the Brigade
but have not yet been cheered by recognising your hand
writing. I know it is not your fault dearest but I can
assure you I feel disappointed when I find a letter for
anyone from Oxford and none for me. I hope however
mine will be along soon for I am very impatient to hear
from the "dear ones" at home. When I do not hear from you [regularly]
I am always afraid something is amiss and am all anxiety until
a letter arrives. My darling wife, I pray earnestly that you and
the dear children may be spared to me in health for you are
so closely [entwined] around my heart, that I feel as if life would
be robbed of all its pleasures if anything was to happen to you.
Take good care of yourself my dear during the coming cold and
wet weather and use every precaution with the little ones against
catching cold.
When you write me give me all particulars as to what you
are doing for your winter supplies and any other particulars as
to your domestic arrangements. I am constantly pondering over
in my mind what you will do for different articles which
appear to be absolutely necessary. Be sure my dear and get a
supply of wood before wet weather comes and watch what kind
of loads they bring you for these times although many say
Confederate money is not worth anything they are mighty
anxious to obtain all they can for as little "value received" as
possible. Take good care of what little sugar you have for
it will be almost impossible for you to obtain any more and
if you or the children should be sick you will find it so
of great use to you.
I have just been conversing with an officer that has
lately visited the battlefield of Chickamauga. He says our
dead have been all buried but the Yankees still remain unburied.
They are lying about in all directions, black, putrifying and swollen
Their are arrangements being made to cover them with dirt -- they
are too much decomposed to remove. For miles around you
can occasionally find them where they have dragged themselves
off out of range of the missles and died. Many of our own men
and of the enemy's were burned to death after they were wounded
by the undergrowth and leaves catching fire from the explosion of
Considering the exposure and hardships our army has undergone,
they are in excellent condition and their is a cool, quiet spirit
of determination in the army which Rosencranz with all his
boasted reinforcements will find difficult to overcome. I think
we shall go into Middle Tennessee this fall, without a fight
if Rosy falls back and with a fight if he does not for it looks
to me that it will be absolutely necessary for us to do so in order
to forage and feed our army.
I see Mr Doyle's letter was mailed from Oxford so I will sent
mine direct by mail for I have not been able to get it ready for
Mr Humphrey's.
Kiss my darling children for papa. My love to Sister Mannie and
Kind regards to the Doctor.
My love to you my own sweet darling wife. I love you with
my whole heart dearest and long for the time when our country
can once more allow her soldiers to return to their homes and
then my dear Maggie I will devote myself to making you
comfortable and happy.
God bless you all
Yours devotedly
Chas Roberts

Letter 12

Envelope addressed to Mrs. Chas. Roberts
Lafayette Co Miss
from Chickamauga
[Oct 17]
with a hand-cancelled 10 cents Confederate States of America stamp.

I rode out to the front on Sunday and saw Mr Doyle. He is well and
will write Mrs. D. in a few days --

HdQuarters [Q M Dept Stahl's Brig]
Chickamauga Tenn Oct 14th 1863.

My own sweet darling wife,
I received your letter to-day dated
Oxford Sept 20th [and] Okolona Oct 2nd It has been a long time
coming, but was exceedingly welcome, for your last was dated
Sept 6th and I was becoming very impatient to hear from
home. I am so annoyed, dear, to think up to the time of
writing your letter, you had not heard from me and
I have written so regularly. When I was in Okolona I
made arrangements with Capt Dashiell to forward my
letters to him by mail and he was to send them [?] first
opportunity to Oxford; now I know of no reason why they
should not have gone through promptly to Okolona and
it looks to me that the neglect must rest with Cap Dashiell.
If you have not received them when this comes to hand
enquire from [Mrs] Dashiell if the Capt is still at Okolona and
endeavor to procure the letters. I have written you regularly
my dearest Maggie and intend to continue doing so;
If my letters do not reach you it will be the fault of
the mail communication.
I am so glad you occasionally hear from pa for
I know it must be a great comfort to you. I think before
long communication will be open to Yazoo City and then
you may make some arrangements to hear from home.
I wish you would send me Tom [Ilers] address. I have
forgotten the regiment and brigade, and I will take an
early opportunity to go and see him. His division did
some hard fighting at Chickamauga and I should
like to learn whither he came out uninjured.
Major Mc[Swine] has not yet returned and consequently
I have not much time that I can be absent from
camp but as soon as he does come back I want to
do a little visiting. I have not yet been able to see
Maj Driver and deliver the tobacco bag intrusted to
my care and there are some other acquaintances I want
to see. I have mastered most of the difficulties of the
Quartermaster Dept and my work now comes pretty
If they establish a permanent hospital at Oxford
and the surgeon in charge should be either Isom
or Smith, I would make an effort to be transferred..
Keep me informed is you learn the locality of
these two men for on account of being an assistance
to you I would make an effort to be nearer home.
In regard to going to Memphis I wrote you in
previous letter that I would prefer your sending by
some reliable person -- I don't mean by a [specialaty]
but some acquaintances who may have occasion
to go on their own a/c. I know you must need
some articles very much and am desirous you
should have them but I don't like the idea of
your making the trip in person.
It is a great source of comfort to me to know the
children are well and that [over] all are blessed with
health. Tell Ada that papa has got a horse to ride home
on and I hope to see her again before very long. She
must be a very good little girl and do all mama
tells her and be kind to brother Charley. I am glad
Charley has commenced walking, bless his little heart.
Take great care of them dearest for they are invaluable
treasures to us.
I notice my dear, that your letter was written on
Sunday the 20th September -- Whilst you were writing
it I was probably in the midst of the danger of battle
and I feel grateful to our Heavenly Father that he
graciously spared me to read your comforting letter.
I was in hopes that the result of that fight would
have been more decisive but from present appearances
it cannot be long before we again have to encounter
the enemy for they are so heavily re-inforced that if
they do not advance on us, they will meet us as soon
as we move and move we must before long, for
it is absolutely necessary that we get into
Middle Tenn or Kentucky this winter, in order to
feed our army. From present appearances I think
all available forces on both sides will be brought
to this point and their will be a tremendous struggle
for the possession of Tenn. President Davis is here and
it is rumored that Bragg is to be deposed and either
Longstreet or Johnston take Command. Genl Pemberton
is also here and [report] says he is to have Command
of a Corps. Genl Bragg does not appear to get along
well with his generals and I think probably for the
Country's Sake, it would be well to remove him.
I am sorry my dear that you cannot purchase a
cow -- I know it must be a great inconvenience to
you and the children. I must fix it somehow to get
to Mississippi before long and look after things myself.
The prices that are asked for every necessary is such
that it takes almost a fortune [barely] to live -- If the
war last much longer I don't know what it will all
[end in]. They are charging in Atlanta $150.# for a pair
of boots and all other clothing in proportion.
Write me often darling for your letters are my greatest
luxury -- Every spare moment is devoted to thinking of
home and whilst my thoughts are frequently mixed
with anxiety they are always to a great extent pleasant.
My earnest prayer is that we all be spared to be
re-united and enjoy the quiet pleasure of our little
Love to Sister Mannie -- Kisses to my little darlings
and many, many Kisses for my much loved Mannie
Yours devotedly
Chas Roberts

Letter 13

Head Quarters QM Department, Stahls Brig
near Dalton, Ga Dec 11th 1863.

My darling wife,
My last letter received from home was dated
November the sixth and since than I have been daily looking
for a letter from but so far have been disappointed -- I rode over to
the Battery yesterday to see whether I could hear some news from
home -- I saw Mr Doyle and he had just received a letter from
his wife written in December and mentioned you had just
returned from Memphis -- I was very glad to hear even indirectly
from home although I can assure you my dear wife I don't much
like the notion of [your] travelling about during these unsettled times, I have
no doubt however you [went] in company with [some] lady friend, yet
when you can avoid such trips I would prefer your doing so, for
times are so unsettles and both our soldiers and those of the
Yankee army are becoming so reckless that I do not feel it is
safe for a lady to travel, especially into the enemies [lines]. I hope
to hear from you in a few days and then I shall then learn all particulars
of your journey - I hope you succeeded in procuring all the necessaries
our little ones and yourself required - Do write me often dear, you
don't know how uneasy I get when I do not hear from home.
I was talking about home and my darlings last night
and the Major said he thought he could fix it so that I may
be sent off on some business early in the Spring and then have
a chance of visiting you again - If everything works right
I think you will see me about the usual time, unless my good
fortune forsakes me - It appears a long time to look forward to
yet it makes me partially contented in looking forward to some
definite time when I may again see your sweet face and enjoy
the happiness of being surrounded by my family - Separation does
not lessen my love dear and I can assure you my thoughts are
constantly going back to home and I long to be with you to
be in reality your partner and helpmate - Many think that the
Spring will see the war at an end, I cannot see for myself
any ground for thinking so but do believe this will be our last
winter for the fighting material on both sides are [now on] the
field and as they become weakened in numbers the armies
will be gradually concentrated until there is but two contending
armies and then the question will soon be decided - If our men
all stand up to the cause as they should I do not fear the
result but at present I am anxiously watching to see what
Congress is going to do in regard to the reorganization of the
army - Early in the spring there will be a large proportion
of men in this army and in Virginia whose time has expired
and I fear many of the will consider themselves justified
in going home regardless of any acts of Congress and especially
if Congress is not very careful in framing a law which will retain
them in the service and at the same time give them an opportunity
of seeing home - This will be very difficult to do yet I do hope
that this will modify things as much as possible for there is a good deal
of discontent amongst the men and unless some concessions
are made there will be a great many desertions - I don't
consider anything an excuse for desertion but a great many men in
our army look at it in a different light and will act accordingly
Lt. Genl. [Carder] is now in command of the army and appears to
give [general] satisfaction but we can tell better about his [merits]
after the next fight. Genl Longstreet is falling back from Knoxville
not having succeeded in capturing Burnside - He is reported [as]
within a few days march of this army. I think it very probable
that we will fall back as far as Kingston, the junction of the
road from Rome. I would much prefer remaining where we
are for we are now pretty comfortably fixed for cold weather -
We are camped about two and a half miles form town, near the
Brigade, in a valley where there is plenty wood and water -
We have a [chimney] built and have really warm and com-
fortable quarters for the army - Below I give you a rough sketch
of our winter residence
(Sketch on left has a chimney and is labeled "office" and "bedroom". Sketch on right is labeled "kitchen".)
First we have a tent and fly stretched and then a fly in front of the
tent which is walled up with poles and a chimney of wood [daubed]
with mud in front, occupying one half the open space the remaining
space is the doorway - I have had a [mantle] piece put up to day
and my pipe and tobacco is kept on it - The rear tent is [for]
the negroes to cook and sleep in - You must show this to Ada
for I know she would like to see what kind of house her papa is
living in - I wish you could step in yourself this evening and
inspect our residence - The Major is on one side of the table and I
am on the other both busily engaged writing home - The furniture in
the office consists of two tables, three chairs and two camp [stands] -
a sack of crackers, bag of sugar and jug of molasses is stored away
in one corner with our saddles and bridles. A cedar bucket contains
the principal beverage we indulge in "pure sparkling cold water" -
A few books of miscellaneous reading matter are scattered around for
you know I am bound to have something to read in my leisure [moments]
You can form some little idea of our accommodations from this but the
worst of it is that in less than twenty four hours orders may come
to move and thus all our labor is gone and we have to go
to work and fix all over again in our next camping place
again probably to get orders to move as soon as we are fixed
comfortably -- This is the second chimney we have built this winter
yet it repays us for the labor if we only have the use of it
for a week for an ordinary camp fire burns you on one side
whilst you are freezing on the other and smokes you on every
side --
I am kept pretty busy through the day and sometimes have
to write until late in the evening or night -- this however is no
objection and in fact I always feel better when busily employed
than when I have nothing to do - When unoccupied I think too
much and the [times] dont admit of thinking for it [invariably]
makes me feel very blue and desponding.
(Letter ends here.)

Letter 14

Handmade envelope from Louisiana State Bank stationary addressed to
Mrs. Chas. Roberts,
care John McKee Esq [Satartia]
Yazoo County Miss
via {Vaughn's} Station
Chas. Roberts
Stanford's Battery
postmarked Chattanooga Tenn
[Oct 10 1863]
no stamp; letter stamped [10]

Hd Qu QM Dept., [Strahls] Brig
Dalton, Ga. Jany 24th 1864

My own sweet wife,
This is my third letter
since I received one from you, but feeling
assured it is no fault of yours, I see no
reason why I should delay writing. I have
return from the Generals Quarters where I
heard Dr. Quintard preach a very excellent
sermon. He was formerly the Episcopal
minister at Chattanooga and is very eloquent
man. It has been a delightful day more
like Indian Summer than winter and I
have been imagining all day how much
I should enjoy it if I was at home. I
must rest satisfied however for the present
until others have been at home and then
I do not despair but what my turn will
come -- The Major and his brother Robert
I expect will leave during the present
week on a visit to Grenada and when
they return I shall make an effort for to
obtain a leave of absence.
One day last week Major [Driver] payed
me a visit and took dinner with me --
He has recovered from his wound at
Chickamauga, at least as much as he
ever will -- He lost his left eye entirely
but is has not otherwise disfigured his face --
I gave him the tobacco pouch which Miss
Sue made for him -- He appear to appreciate
the gift very highly and spoke in the
most complimentary terms of the donor -- quite
enthusiastic. He has been offered the position

of Captain of Marines of a privateer and
expect to be ready for his first trip in about
two months. I think he will probably
visit Oxford before he goes to sea.
I received a note from Cousin Tom [Iles]
a day or two ago. He said he had make
one attempt to find my quarters but had
not succeeded and asked for my address
again and I expect to receive a visit
from him in a day or so --
The Battery is gone down below Kingston
about sixty miles from here to recruit its
stock -- I am sorry they have gone for I used
to ride over there when I had any spare
time and spend a few pleasant hours --
I am very anxious to hear from you
my darling, for I am always afraid there
is something wrong when I do not receive
your letters regularly -- I hope you are all
well and I expect by this time Sister Mannie
is with you -- which I know you will much
appreciate -- Every preparation is being made for
an active Spring Campaign and they are
putting every man into the ranks that
they possibly -- can -- I am inclined to think
our fighting will be done in East Tennessee
during the next campaign -- Of course there
will some force left here, but the Yankees
from present indications will advance a
column into Va. by the way of East Tenn.
if possible and we shall of necessity have
to re-inforce Longstreet -- It is well for us
to prepare for a long war, yet I am still
of opinion that we are in the last year
of it -- I sincerely hope it may be so for
I am getting very impatient to be with the
"dear ones" at home.
Kiss the little darlings for papa and give
my love to Sister Mannie if she is with you --
My love to you my darling, my own dear
wife -- I anticipate with so much pleasure
the time when I shall be permitted [meet]
you again -- Many Kisses and good night
Your devoted & loving husband,
I will write again in
a few days -- if the Maj. goes
home -- Another Kiss dear and good bye.

Letter 15

Letter addressed to Mrs. Chas. Roberts, Oxford, Lafayette Co., Miss.

Hd. Qu QM Dept Strahls Brig
Dalton, Ga Jany 26th 1864

My sweet darling,
I am glad that I never allowed myself to
think that you had neglected writing me regularly, for
if I had, I should have wronged you. Today when I
came into dinner, the Major told me to look on my desk
where I discovered [three] letters all in your hand writing.
One of teh 4th one of the 11th and one of the 17th -- How
joy full it made me feel and when I read them and
found you were all well and that they expressed so much
love and devotion I would have given almost anything
if I could have thrown my arms around you and
given you a thousand Kisses -- I have read and reread
them and have come to the conclusion that I have a very
dear and devoted wife and have made fresh resolutions
to do everything in my power to make your life pleasant
and happy when I am permitted again to be at home.
I am perfectly satisfied with your Memphis trip, with the
explanation of the manner in which you went, although
I never received the letter you refer to. I hope you got
all you needed whilst you were in Memphis -- In regard
to the boots I have already written that I want you to keep
them until you have a safe opportunity of sending them
or until I visit home. If they do not suit me I can
sell them for over a hundred dollars.
I am glad you have secured Vina for the present year
and I think the owner of the negro ought to be satisfied
with the price for there will be some action taken by Congress
this session to make Confederate money more valuable [than]
at present -- I intended writing you on this subject but
forgot it, which is of no consequence now as you have
arranged the contract satisfactorily. I hope your pa will
succeed in getting the negro woman you speak of for
I think you would get along better with a servant woman you
know -- I have not yet seen Cousin Tom since I visited
him, although I look for him Every day -- I have no
socks that I can spare for I had but four pair and
I gave Mr [Horn] [our] Major Master one pair of these -- Those
I have want some repair and I miss my little wife who
if at home would be sure to have them fixed so nicely
for me -- If you send Cousin Tom any, they had better
be a little larger than mine --
I was much disappointed myself that Mr Doyle
did not succeed in getting his furlough -- I hope he
will be lucky enough to draw one -- I saw him a short
tiem previous to his going to Kingston -- He spoke of
having his wife come up and see him if he could obtain a
comfortable boarding house. I cannot say I much approve
of this, at least not on my own account for whilst I am
as anxious as any one can be to see my wife, I could
not give my consent to your visiting we whilst [in] the
army -- There are so many objections to it that it will
not bear consideration --
I am glad you hear from Sister Ada occasionally
and it is very king of your friends in La. to make
you so liberal an offer -- when peace again smiles on our
land, I will try and arrange for you to visit them, but
it would be asking too much for them to expect you
would go there now; for I should be entirely cut off
from all communication [you] and the children and
I cannot consent to give up those kind and loving letters
which have always been my greatest and sometimes, my
only comfort here in the army.
I am astonished at what you [wrote] the Yankees
are endeavoring to do with Old River place and hope
your pa arrived at Vicksburg in time to [prevent]
such outrageous proceedings being carried out. What
can we expect from such a people, it looks to me that
every man in the South ought to become indignant
at the barbarities and [outrages] they are continually
heaping upon us; - but alas, I am afraid that those that
have not yet taken the field will suffer any indignity
rather than fight and those that in the service have not
the enthusiasm that they should possess, fighting in
such a cause -- There is one great error that has been com-
mitted by those in authority; when our troops first came
out the were full of enthusiasm which was more than equal
to the lack of discipline and drill, whilst the Yankee
army also lacked drill and had no enthusiasm; but
gradually our army [had] been losing it enthusiasm
and not improving in drill or discipline, whilst the
Yankees have been constantly keeping a severe drill and
strict discipline and thus their army is improving in
effectiveness all the time -- Enthusiasm is a mighty
good thing to fight on but unfortunately it is not
permanent and now it has died out one have no thing
to put in its place --
Well my dear, I am glad there is no foundation to [those]
reports that were started in town about certain young ladies --
The women of our country should be very particular
in regard to their conduct for unless our women are virtuous
and [modest] what will our independence be worth after
we have obtained -- On the women rest the important
responsibility of forming the Character of future generations
As regards Ms L. I always expected she would get herself
in trouble talking about some one and I am very
glad you have not been on intimate terms with her.
There is no good derived from the Society of such
persons and very frequently much harm.
I intend sending this letter by the Major and will
also send you some paper and envelopes which I have
told him to send from Granada [his] first opportunity
It very much vexed me to think the Doctor should
be so negligent as to leave you no envelopes - but I
will say nothing about it for he [certainly] cannot -
do such things intentionally - I should hope not at least, for
I have a better opinion of him and human nature generally.
It is possible that the Major may have occasion to
visit Oxford - if he does and he calls on you, which I know
he would, I want you to do your best to entertain him
well, for I consider him a friend of mine and a
high toned gentleman. I will give him over to the especially
attention of Sister Mannie also if she is in Oxford -
He will return about the first of March and then
if I have good fortune enough to obtain a furlough
I shall speed away home myself, but do not place
too much dependence on that for such thing are very
uncertain and I shall not feel as if I was going home
until I actually start, but if it can be done, I shall do
it, for I am very anxious to see my own sweet darling
wife and dear children - It seems to me so long since I
have seen you that I [am] almost afraid that I shall be forgotten
if I do not see you soon - I can but stay a short time
but that short time will be worth a year of existence
here in the army - I also want to see our children again
before I am lost to their recollection and then I want to
have some quiet chats [with] my good and loving little
wife and advise and consult with you - In fact, I want
to be at home, if only for a week to
(bottom of page is missing, but continues on reverse.)
Tell my little daughter that papa will be very glad to
receive another letter from her and I hope she is a very
good little girl and helps mama take care of Charley.
You did not tell me how Charley burnt his hand. I
hope the dear little fellow has recovered from it -- I am
pleased to know dear that you do not leave them, even to go
to church unless you feel assured they will be properly
cared for -- Guard them carefully my sweet wife for they
are very dear to us both and I hope and pray the time
is not far distant when I shall be permitted to be
again with my family and assist [releave] you of part
of your responsibilities.
Write me often dear for your letters are much prized
and contribute much to my happiness -- Confide in me
all your trials and difficulties and although I can do
very little to assist you, I can have the privilege of
sympathising with you --
My kindest regards to your Pa and all the family -- when
you write -- Tell Sister [Addie] I shall have an account to
settle with her for trying to seduce my wife and children
away from [home] whilst I am in the army -- but if the Doctor
or Sister Addie will write me a letter and tell me something
about that army of Kirby Smiths' and plenty of news about
[missing] I will compromise the matter and try
(Remainder of page/letter is missing.)

Letter 16

Hd. Qr. QM. Dept., Stahl's Brig.,
near Dalton, Ga., Feby., 13th 1864.

My darling wife,
I have written you since receipt of your
last letter but expect to have an opportunity of sending a letter
direct to Oxford by Mr Doyle and cannot let so good an opportunity
pass -- I was at Major Falconer's quarters day before yesterday and
did not omit to speak a good word for Mr. D. -- and Major
Falconer [promised] he would send him a furlough for thirty
days -- I hope sincerely he will do it for I know he is very anxious
to get home and I shall be pleased if I have assisted in any way
to accomplish the [object] -- I felt no hesitation in urging the case
for another but could not have done it for myself although
I do not despair of seeing home sometime this Spring -- My
prospects are not as bright as it would have been if Maj Mc
Swin had remained here for everything is now to Maj Baylor
and in addition to what work I have here to do, he has brought
his papers that accumulated whilst he was stationed at West Point,
Geo., for me to fix up --
Since I last wrote you we have been transferred to
Cheatham's Division -- He has been authorised by the War Dept
to reorganized his old Division -- The troops are well pleased
with the change and he is delighted -- He visited our camps
yesterday evening and you never saw such enthusiasm -- He
is the most popular General in this Army
Yesterday whilst passing Jackson's Brigade I noticed
three men with their head and hands in the stocks -- I really felt
sorry to think that such a disgraceful punishment was necessary
and our Brigade took great offence at such a mode of treatement
and last night some three or four hundred of them went
over to Jackson's quarters and tore the stocks down and broke
into the guard house and destroyed several barrel shirts
which are used as a mode of punishment -- In the melee, four
of our men were captured and placed under guard and to
day they heard in the Brigade that as soon as they had
new stocks erected they were going to put them in -- The regiment
in which the men belonged resolved to rescue their comrades
and commenced forming in line and loading their muskets
with the intention of taking the men out of the guard house
by force -- The officers hearing of it had the drill call sounded
and whilst the men were drilling had the offenders who were
captured the night previous brought to our guard house and
this satisfied the men - To night the brigade is making a good
deal of noise and there is some talk of their going over to
Jackson's Brigade, just out of pure mischief and love of Ex
citement -- They have heard that [tho] [Coln] commanding
Jackson's Brigade has his men under arms and they
want to make just demonstration enough to keep them expectant
of an attack all night -- I know the boys dont mean any harm
but tired of the dull monotony of camp are willing to undertake
anything that will give variety.
I am so sorry to hear that the Yankees are again in
possession of Jackson, Miss. I fear this time they will make
a permanent stay there. The account we receive here are
very meagre and contradictory, but from all I can learn I
expect that Genl Polk will make a stand at Morton and
I hope will succeed in driving them back and inflicting a
severe punishment on them.
I hardly know how I am to get letters from you dear
unless they establish a mail between Oxford and Okolona,
which I hope they will do, for I feel as though it would be
impossible for one to remain here without receiving your kind
and loving letters -- Whilst I have every confidence in your
love and constancy, yet it is very pleasant to hear these
[vows] oft [renewed] and then the satisfaction of knowing how
you all are and how the dear children are doing, all these
things tend to contribute to what little portion of happiness I
enjoy in the Army.
I am at present like [Job], troubled with sores and
boils -- They commenced on my hands, which are now nearly well,
but have extended to my limbs and I have some four or five
of them and yesterday I had to do considerable riding and
come night I could scarcely sit down or stand up -- my blood
I think is somewhat out of order and I believe I shall take
a little medicine first time I meet with one of the Brigade
Surgeons -- If I was at home I think I would play sick and
have my sweet wife to pet and nurse me -- Under such
circumstances sickness would be almost a luxury --
I have seen nothing of Cousin Tom since I last
visited him at his camp -- I almost feel as though he did
not want to make my acquaintance for I have been twice
to see him and he has not yet called on me -- I expect
however he has some good reason for his abscence and
I will not judge hastily --
I fear is Sister Mannie has not already arrived at
Oxford, she will have a poor opportunity of getting there and
it looks at present as if your pa will be permanently
inside the Yankee [Lines], for if they hold Jackson and
Yazoo City, he will be entirely surrounded by them --
I am very sorry for your pa, for I know he cannot be in
the midst of them, without suffering occasionally from their
depredations -- I almost wish for the Spring Campaign to
open, that we may see whether we cannot check their [further]
advance into our country -- I am of opinion that the coming
spring and summer will bring this war pretty near
a close -- I earnestly pray it may be so and that it will
not only bring us peace, but in addition to this, independence
I hope you and the children are well dear -- I think
of you almost every hour of the day and when I have a
little leisure time and am sitting by the fire taking a
smoke -- I think how pleasant it would be if I was by our
own fireside and your sweet face comforting me and our
children amusing us with their prattle -- For your sake as
well as my own, I want to be at home dear, for I know
you must pass many dull and lonely hours, that I think
I could do much to enliven -- the time I am spending
in camp appears like a blank in my life and nothing
but the cause involved could make me sacrifice what I
am -- Even in camp, I am inclined to be domestic and
have very little inclination to visit -- What company I see
is generally at my own quarters -- I can scarcely imagine myself
the same person I was eight or nine years ago --
(Letter abruptly ends here.)

Letter 17

Head Qu QM Dept [Strahl's] Brigade
Dalton, Geo Mch [7]th 1864

My own darling wife,
I was agreeably surprised yesterday by
having a letter handed me from you, written on Feby 13th.
It was more especially welcome from the fact that I had
given up all hopes of hearing from you until Mr Doyle's return.
I am sorry to hear Charley has the whooping cough although
I suppose if he escaped it now it would be only postponing
it for a short time and I trust he will not have it severely.
I shall anxiously look for your next letter hoping to hear that
he his getting along well -- Whenever I hear you or the children are
sick, I want to be at home, for I know at such times I could
especially be a comfort and assistance to you. I hope Ada has [recovered]
from the boil on her hand ere this. Kiss the darlings many times for
papa and tell them I wish I could be at home to [pet] and
nurse them when they are sick and contribute to their little enjoy-
ments when well.
I rode over to the Battery to-day with Maj McSwin
and spent the day -- They are camped about five miles from
us -- I found that [Wm] Reynolds started yesterday for Oxford
but is going to wait somewhere down on the road for some boys
that leave for Grenada early in the morning, so I concluded
that I would write this evening and send it to town early
in the morning before the train leaves and have them give it
to him when they [meet] -- I hope you will succeed in receiving it for
judging from my own feelings it will be appreciated --
Just after Mr Doyle left there was an advance made
by the enemy and every preparation made for a general
engagement. The wagon trains were all ordered to Calhoun,
[21] miles south of Dalton and every[thing] was ready to receive
them -- Our line of battle was about two miles north and east
of Dalton -- On the first day after they got in sight of our lines
there was right smart skirmishing and a severe attack made on
Stuarts Division who were holding an important pass -- The
enemy were repulsed with considerable loss and Clayton's Brig
which has been in rather bad repute for their conduct at the
battle of Missionary Ridge, acted most gallantly -- The second
day the enemy obtained possession of a pass on our left but were
driven from it by Breckinridges Division at the point of the bayonet --
[Cleburne's] and Cheatham's Divisions were at Montgomery having started
the day after Mr Doyle was up to see me -- They got as far as Demopolis
[when] they were ordered back and if the engagement had been [general]
would have been here just in time to reinforce the army. The Yankees
did not like the reception we gave them and hurried back to
Chattanooga to wait a more favorable opportunity -- They imagined
that we had sent all our men to Genl Polk to reinforce him and
that if they advanced we would fall back to Atlanta, or so some
of the prisoners [reported]. They found however that Genl Johnson
was better prepared and more eager for a fight than they at all
imagined -- Our troops were in fine spirits and if they had given
us battle I think they would have been beautifully [whipt] --
We [lost] about 125 killed and wounded, the enemy lost three times
as many besides our capturing about 150 prisoners -- Everything is
again quiet our majors have returned and by the way, I think
I suffered more from the cold coming up from Calhoun than I
have for the winter. It rained all day, a cold wind blowing and as
I was in charge of the train I had to ride along slowly and take
the weather -- I felt quite sick the next day but surprisingly did
not catch any cold from it although I was in the rain for eight
or nine hours --
Major [McSwine] returned from [home] last week -- He was
not able to remain in Grenada [over] three days, - consequently
his furlough scarcely paid for the trouble of going and coming --
From what I learn dear, I am in hopes the Yankees did
not reach Oxford -- I saw one account stating that [Logan's] Command
passed through our town but have not seen it confirmed --
I feel so anxious at such times, knowing how uneasy you must
be when the enemy are so near -- I hope [however that] will never
again set their feet in Oxford -- for at the best they are bound to
commit some depredations and impoverish the country.
I am glad to be able to write you dear that there is a
great improvement in the tone of the army -- The men appear to
have every confidence in the discretion and ability of Genl Johnston --
and I think with some few exceptions our army will renew their term
of service without much complaint and that one great difficulty
is overcome -- I feel encouraged and look forward to a successful
campaign, which is more especially important to us now, for during
the coming summer the Yankees will be busy in selecting a new
President and our successes will do much in strengthening the peace
party -- I yet think that this year will close the fighting that has
to be done and another spring bring a settlement of our troubles -- I
pray that it may be so.
I enclose in this letter the currency, tax and military [bill] for the Doctor --
He has probably [seen] it before this but in case he has not, it will
be useful -- If he has any currency in hand in denomination over
five dollars -- he must be sure to get it exchanged for bonds before
the 1st April -- If he has not done it he will have to act promptly
to get it in before the time specified --
I am very busily engaged in getting up Maj [McSwin's (illegible)]
now -- He expects to return to the Battery in about a week form now --
On the 1st April I have my regular quarterly reports to make up
which will take me about 15 days and then if the army is not
in motion I am going to make an effort to get home to see my darling
wife and children -- I hope I may succeed for I am anxious
to make you a visit -- I want to talk to you on many things dear and
Kiss and pet you and tell how much I love my darling wife -- Be of
good cheer dearest and I hope before long we shall soon be again united --
Kiss the children for papa and many Kisses for yourself my sweet wife and all
my love - Your devoted husband,
My kind regards to the Doctor - Charley -

Letter 18

Head Qu QM Department
Strahl's Brigade
Dalton Geo, April 2nd 1864

My darling wife,
I received your letter of Mch 12th which
you forwarded by Robert Carter, a few days ago and was
delighted to hear from home, for it is so difficult to get letters
now, that when they do come, they not only afford me a great
deal of pleasure but also releive me of a great amount of
anxiety. I am glad Charley is recovering from the whooping cough
and hope Ada is also well rid of those troublesome risings --
Kiss the little darlings many times for papa -- I feel so much
sympathy for them when I hear they have been suffering
from sickness or any other cause. Such times I feel that I want
to be at home, to assist in taking care of them, for I know it
must be a great tax on your time and patience to have sole
charge of them when they are sick --
Mr Doyle has not yet returned, or I have not heard
of it, and they promised to let me know as soon as he came
back -- I am anxiously looking for him, so as to get that long
letter which he is to bring through and also to have a talk
with him about the dear ones at home. Since he left I have been
very busy and still in the midst of work -- I have got
Maj McSwine's papers up and am now engaged on Maj
Baylor's -- I hope in another week to get matters closed up, so
that I may have a little rest.
You ask me how I am pleased with Maj Baylor -- I cannot
say that I exactly like him, can scarcely say why, yet I feel
that we are not congenial spirits and I have some serious
notion of "changing my base". I have been offered another position
and have another still in view but have not yet decided and
shall not probably for some few days. I do not like making
changes and this is the cause of my hesitation, yet as I before
said I am not exactly satisfied where I am -- If I make any
change I will let you know as early as possible.
I received the package a few days since which you sent
by Capt Beauland -- The handkerchiefs were just the thing I needed
and I am much obliged to you dear for being so thoughtful --
I saw Cousin Tom and gave him the socks -- He sends you many
thanks for the same -- His company is now mounted but attached
to no particular command and he is very anxious to get accross
the river to his old regiment -- He has heard that he has been elected
lieutenant of his old Company but cannot get any official infor-
mation regarding it and consequently they will not give him
permission to go over the river -- He talks somewhat of joining the
artillery service, if he does not get satisfactory information in
regard to his election -- I call and see him every time I go to
town, for his company is camped in Dalton -- He is rather diffident
about visiting, but is always pleased to see me and promises
to call on me whenever I ask him -- I think he is a young man
of good habits and principles and what little I see of him
I am much pleased with -- I shall cultivate his acquaintance as
much as opportunity will allow

I cannot give you any decided information in regard to my chances
of visiting Oxford this Spring -- If I remain where I am I shall
make the attempt to get a furlough in the course of a week
or ten days, if I make a change it will probably render it
necessary for me to delay it until later in the Spring - I am very
anxious to visit home again and see those that are so dear to
me -- yet there are so many difficulties in the way that I sometimes
despair almost of getting away, but do not be discouraged dear,
I shall make every effort and when I set to work on a thing
of that kind I dont often fail --
Maj Baylor has been absent for about sixteen days -- he
returned yesterday -- Whilst he was gone I had to act in
his place although that did not give me much more to do, for
he comes as near doing nothing as any man I ever saw -- You
see plenty such cases, however, throughout the Confederacy -- One
man holds the office and takes the pay and some subordinate
does the work -- I will say anything more about it however
otherwise you will think I am turned to "grumbling" -- but I
do detest to see so many drones in the Army when it is a
time that every man should exert himself to do his utmost
for the cause --
I shall write you every opportunity and I know you will
do the same dear for your letters are my greatest solace -- My
next shall be longer, I have had to write this in a hurry to
send to town before the [Cars leaves] -- I only heard a short time
ago that one of the boys at the Battery was going to Grenada this
I shall try to get home darling in time to help you in the
garden -- I often think of the happy hours I have spent in strolling
over our garden -- To be sure, it was not [much] of a garden, but
that did not depreciate the interest I took in it. My wife also
enjoyed the garden and that made it a double pleasure to me.
If I ever do live to accumulate a competence, I am going to
appropriate a considerable sum toward having a good garden.
In my journeys with the army I have seen some very nice
vineyards and the south side of our garden (the orchard that was)
would be the very place for a small one -- and then my pet
you should have as many grapes as you desired ----------
Before I build any more castles in the air I expect I had
better wait until this war is disposed of -- I am getting so tired
of it -- yet it must continue until we obtain the object we com-
menced the struggle for -- Independence. The general impression
here is that the present year will see the close of the fighting
and I earnestly pray that it may be so for I want to be
at home and doing something to contribute to the comfort and
support of my family --
My love, my whole love my darling to you and many
many Kisses -- Kisses to the children [fm] papa and with my
prayers for your welfare and happiness
I remain Your devoted husband,
My Kind regards to the Doctor.

Letter 19

Camp [6] miles north of Atlanta, Geo
May 25th 1864

My darling,
I have been writing to the Doctor this morning and will
enclose a few lines for you. I wrote you day before yesterday but
do not expect this will be any the less welcome. We arrived at our
present camp yesterday evening, after a very dusty and unpleasant march.
The troops are somewhere about Dallas, some twenty miles from
here. No decisive engagement has yet taken place.
We had quite a heavy thunder storm last night and quite a
heavy rain for a time, enough to keep the dust down for a day or two.
I have been thinking this morning how nice the garden would
look, if you have had the same rain in Oxford; and if I was
at home, together we would have visited the garden this morning
and closely inspected its condition. After this war is over, if
I am spared, I [must] certainly have a good garden, for we both
derive so much pleasure from it. On the garden question our tastes
certainly agree and when I come to reflect, I dont think there is
many things but what we do agree on. I should much like to be with
you darling this morning and enjoy an hour or two in pleasant chat.
Going home spoils me for camp life and I feel more homesick now
than I will three months hence, I believe. The recollections of my
visit are now so fresh on my mind that my thoughts are constantly
returning to it and whilst past pleasures are pleasant to think of,
yet it is with some regret that I am seperated from them
Have you seen Mr Turnbull since I left -- If you have not I
think it would be well to find out what conclusion he has come to.
He would certainly be the best person I can think of to take charge of
the house. Possibly Dr Hilgard would like to take it -- Mrs H.
appeared very anxious to go housekeeping and this would be a
good opportunity. I much dislike the idea of [your] giving up
housekeeping for however humble and whatever the inconveniences
may be, yet it is home, and I yet hope something may transpire
to prevent the necessity of breaking up housekeeping, especially for
your sake, dearest, for it distresses me to advocate a step which I know
you so much regret the necessity of.
I am very anxious to hear something from down in [Gagor] County,
for I am afraid the Yankees have taken off all the cotton down
at home, if they have not done worse. I have not seen a paper
since I got back to the army and only know that it was reported
that the raiding party had gone back to Vicksburg -- could learn
nothing as to what extent of damage thay had done to the citizens
I suppose Sister Mannie has gone to Winona, ere this,
to visit her friends -- I hope she will have a pleasant time -- [You
will] feel very lonely whilst she is away and you must prevail
on her not to stay away too long.
How is Ada doing? I hope she is a good girl and helps
her mama all she can -- Give her a Kiss for papa -- Charley I
suppose is as sweet as ever -- give him also a Kiss on my account.
My love to sister [Belle] -- I am almost afraid to send her
a Kiss, for she is so shy, it would almost frighten her sense of
To you my own sweet wife I send many Kisses and
only wish I could give them to you in reality -- you are the darling
of all my thoughts and every time I return to the army from a visit
at home I more fully realise that I have the sweetest and
best wife in the Confederacy. When this cruel war is over I hope
there are many years of happiness in store for us, for I feel assured
whatever may be [our] condition in worldly wealth, there will always
be a [sence] of happiness in our mutual love for each other.
With love and affection
Your devoted husband
You need not address
your letters to any particular place --
say Strahls Brig., [Cheatham's] Division
Johnson's Army.

Letter 20

Letter addressed to:
Mrs. Chas. Roberts
Lafayette Co., Miss
with a 10 cent Confederate stamp

Camp near Atlanta, Ga. May 30th 1864.
My own sweet wife,
No letters from home as yet, but I cannot refrain
from again writing you a few lines this evening. I have been busy
most of the day moving our quarters. We are still camped about
five miles from Atlanta but our camp was crowded and so near
the road that I concluded to move our tent to a more [retired]
and shaded spot. I am now encamped in a grove of small oaks
and pines and feel repaid for the trouble of moving. I have
just return from bathing and feel considerably refreshed.
There has been no decisive battle as yet, but more or less
fighting almost every day. In an engagement on the 20th the
Battery suffered severely; they lost seventeen men killed and
wounded -- Mr Doyle was slightly wounded in the arm and
Ben Hill was also slightly wounded. I have not been able to
see any of them, for it is impossible for me to leave for any length
of time. Mr McSwine went to the front to day and I shall probably
learn particulars from him before I send away this letter.
Evening May 31st 1864 -- This is the first opportunity I have
had since yesterday [morning] of continuing my letter. Mr McSwine
has returned from the Battery and Mr Doyle and Mr Hill are on duty;
there wounds were very slight. The position of affairs about the same,
the Yankees have made frequent attacks on our lines at night but have
been invariably repulsed with heavy loss. When the great fight will
come of I dont know and I scarcely think Genl Johnson knows himself.
The army has every confidence in their commanding General and
believe that he will lead them to victory when the right time arrives
I have just received your letter of the 22nd and you cannot
imagine how thankful and yet how indignant I feel. I cannot
think what could have possessed the little black imp to give
Charley laudanum. I feel so outraged that if I had been at
home I should have almost killed the trifling negro and
if you think for one moment that it was done with any intention to
do harm to the child, place her anywhere so that she is out of
reach of the child and cannot do it any further harm -- On consideration
I can scarcely imagine that she wished to kill the little darling, it
must have been pure devilment and love of mischeif. I hope you
had her severely punished and in future when you find any
negro about your place unruly, just call in Mr Turnbull and
he will not hesitate to correct them for you -- They must be
kept in proper subjection or otherwise they will become a curse to
us -- I am thankful to Almighty God that he spared us our little
darling for I more especially realise, now he was so nearly taken
from us, how closely he is entwined around my heart. Watch
them carefully my dear for they are both so precious to us.
I have been pretty close in camp since my return and
have been no where except to Church in Atlanta last Sunday. I went
with Maj Baylor and of course mounted my best suit; not forgetting
white vest and shirt making as I thought a very credible appearance
for a soldier in the army. I heard Dr [Quintard] (Episcopal) preach
and it was an excellent sermon. After the service I was introduced
to Mrs & Miss Baylor and went to their boarding house and dined
with them. I found them very agreeable company and was pleased
with their dinner and their society.
In reference to the house and furniture if you can arrange for
[Mrs Cannon's] brother to take it, I expect it would be well to do so.
You do not say whether they have any children. I presume however if
they have, they are pretty well grown. I should leave every thing
in their charge except the sheets and pillow cases -- these are articles that
are soon worn out and you may need before they can be replaced.
I should also have it understood that they keep the place in as good
repair as it is at present and if anything is lost or broken that it
replaced or paid for at a fair valuation -- They are to give you
one months notice before leaving the place and you to give them the
same if you require possession -- they having the use of the house
and furniture in consideration of taking care of the property
You do not say whether you had heard from your ma, after I left --
I am anxious to know whether she was disturbed any by that last
raid. Be sure and send my love to them all when you write, also
let me know if there is any mail communication and how you forward
your letters down home.
I am in hopes yet my darling wife that the two great battles that
will ere be fought here and in Va will result so favor-
ably to us, that it will cause a speedy close of the war and that
you will yet be able to remain in your little house and if you
have to leave it that it will be for a short time only -- I feel
as if I have advised rightly in the matter of breaking up house-
keeping although it has been repugnant to my feelings.
Knowing how much attached you are to home and the objection you
have to living anywhere except your own house. I appreciate my
dearest wife your ready acquiescence to my wishes and I can assure
you I would not have advised such a [course] unless absolutely
necessary. For sister Mannies I also regret it but as soon as we [resume]
housekeeping again I shall [claim] her as part of my little family and
not be willing to relinquish my charge until I transfer her to the
care of a "very affectionate" husband -- Give her my love and a Kiss
from brother Charley.
I am glad my darling that you appreciated my visit, for my own part
I enjoyed a delightful time and left home more in love with my
wife than ever -- I know you did all in your power to make my
visit pleasant and you certainly succeeded and I feel as though
I could not stay away so long as heretofore without again visiting
you -- You and the children are constantly in my thoughts and I
feel that after this war is over it will be the great [motive power] to
all my exertions for accumulating sufficient to surround you in comport.
Kiss the little darlings many times for papa and abundance of Kisses for
you my own sweet wife -- You have my undivided and unchangeable
love and I feel assured you know it, yet there is a pleasure I
experience in telling you of my love and consequently, I oft repeat my
vows to you darling, but I trust without [wearying] you -- Another Kiss
Maggie dear and Adieu
Your devoted husband

I wrote the Doctor four or
five days ago and also [enclosed]
a letter for you -- give him my
Kindest regards -- Charley

Letter 21

Head Qu QM Dept., Strahl's Brig
June 15th 1864

My own darling wife,
Your letter of June 1st I received night before
last. It came from the front, with some orders from the General and
having to get up (for it was about 1 o'clock in the morning) to read
the orders, I could not go to sleep again without reading your welcome
epistle and the pretty little letter from my darling daughter. Tell
Ada papa is much pleased with her letter and will answer it
You complain of dry weather, dear; I wish I could transfer
some of the wet weather we are having to North Mississippi. It has
rained every day for the past two weeks, excepting yesterday and
judging from the appearance of the clouds this morning, it may
continue for two weeks to come. I intended going to church on Sunday
bit it rained so inveterately all day, I had to forego that
I heard from the Battery a few days ago -- all well -- Mr Doyle
I believe is displeased that I have not been to see him, but the fact
is, I have not been able to go to the front on pleasure, for my
services are required all the time in camp -- Maj Baylor's family are
in Atlanta and he spends most of his time there, consequently the
charge of the [train] devolves on me and whilst there is not a great
amount to do, there is no knowing when you may be required and
when orders come they have to be executed promptly or otherwise there
is a "fuss in the family". I shall go out to the Battery the first opportunity
that occurs.
I was in town on business yesterday. I saw Capt [Timberlake]
General Dardee's Property QM and he urged me very strongly
to come with him. I told him if he would get an order from
General Johnston I would consent but not otherwise, for there is
some talk of recalling all the detailed men to the Battery and
nothing short of an order from Genl. Johnston will be any protection.
Maj Baylor has applied to be releived from duty in this Brigade
and is very anxious for me to go with him, but it is uncertain
what service he may be placed [in] and should he be ordered
to a post, it would be out of the question for me to accompany
him -- for they will not spare men from the field for duty at Posts.
He has treated me with all the courtesy I could expect and yet
somehow I dont feel as though I cared about remaining with
him. I can scarcely give a reason for it yet I do not become in any way
attached to him, for their is something that I dont like about him and
I cannot exactly define what it is. I know he will strongly oppose
my leaving him but of course, I am at liberty to make my own
selection. The fact is a [Quartermaster] that has a clerk that understands
this business and is willing to attend to it, has nothing to do but draw
his pay and have the reputation of being a proficient officer -- There
are many holding responsible positions as Q.Ms. in this army that
I would not employ to sell goods in a retail store, for they are
ignorant of the first principle of business. Capt Timberlake is by
no means a smart man, but he is willing and will [bear urging]
I shall know in the course of a week [whether] I make any change
and will let you be advised if I do "change my base" -- In the
meantime direct your letters as usual.
You will regret to hear that Lieut. Genl Polk was killed yesterday
morning -- His body was brought to Atlanta last night. It appears
that Genl Johnston, Genl Polk and some of the staff were only
inspecting the lines -- when a cannon ball struck Genl Polk
cutting off both arms and partially passing through the body -- This
is the way it was reported in town yesterday evening, but I have
seen no printed account of it, although that he was killed, there
is no doubt. Many thought he had not the ability to make a
good General but all agreed that he was a brave man and
devoted to the cause. I understand he leaves a family entirely un-
provided for.
It appears to me that our Generals expose themselves too much. [Illegible]
General Johnston is always poking about [out] on the front lines
and I fear sometime he will get shot and it would be an impossible
loss to this army and the Confederacy -- Of course it is important that
they should know what is going on in front yet I think they ought
to send their aids in place of going themselves, for efficient Generals are
too valuable to our cause to be exposed unnecessarily.
No general engagement as yet but I am inclined to think
that it will come off before many days -- The Yankees have the re-inforce-
ments they have been looking for and we have fallen back as far as
we [well] can without giving up Atlanta and I have not much
idea that we will do that. I can hear cannonading every day and
this morning it has been pretty continuous but not sufficient to justify
the opinion that there is a general engagement -- I wish the fight
would come off speedily, so that the army could go into camps for
a little while -- This last spell of bad weather is mighty severe on the
troops and will no doubt make many sick --
I should have been much pleased to have been one of the "egg nog" party,
not that I am partial to the beverage, but I enjoy these social gatherings
The only stimulant I indulge in now, is coffee -- have no milk or sugar
but I find it a great addition to corn bread and bacon just as
it is -- They ask such an enormous price for vegetables that it is almost
out of the question to think of buying any -- Twenty dollars a bushel for
potatoes and a dollar for a little bunch of [chalottes] that I can eat
myself at one meal --
Have you heard from your ma, since I left home -- I am very
anxious to hear from down there and if you have any way of sending
letters, inform me and I will write. I see Genl Slocum of [Vicksburg]
has issued an order that no one, under and circumstances can
purchase supplies their unless they take the oath. A Miss Klein and a Miss
Naylor living near Vicksburgh have been arrested and imprisoned for
attempting to carry out contraband articles. Miss Klein was searched and
they found cloth sufficient for a Confederate uniform, which she wore as a skirt --
I am awaiting very anxiously the results of the campaigns in Va.
and here, for I feel our success will do much to a speedy close of the
war and then I shall be able to return home to remain and always
be with you darling and I feel that in the enjoyment of your love,
I can be happy -- I am willing to undergo deprivations and use any
amount of exertion, but gave me the joy and the pleasure of having those
I love around me and I can be content. Kiss the children for papa
and my love to Sister Mannie. Kind regards to the Doctor
Many Kisses to you my darling and my devoted love -- I long for the
time to come when I may again enfold you in my arms and be your
companion and protector -- The anticipation of that time make many hardships
light that would otherwise be unbearable --
be hopeful and cheerful, my
own, my darling wife -- I am ever loving husband,

Letter 22

Head Qu QM Dept Strahl's Brig
June 20th 1864
My own darling wife,
Your last letter was dated June 1st which I
answered. I am now anxiously looking for one from you daily
and I expect my wishes will be gratified shortly, judging from
your promptness in writing heretofore -- I have been waiting for
a pleasant day to commence my letter to you for the weather has
so much to do with my feelings -- I always am more bouyant and
hopeful when the sun shines brightly than I am of a wet, cloudy
day. From present appearances there is no prospect of enjoying
sunshine for several days to come, so I determined to write re-
gardless of the weather. The continuous rains we are having is
very severe on the boys in front and more especially for their sakes
I would like to see it clear off.
There is no important changes as yet -- Both armies keep
maneuvering, then to the right and then to left, with heavy skirmishing
almost every day. I think Genl Johnston will yet fall back
nearer to Atlanta unless Sherman will attack him where he
has choice of position -- The morale of our army is good and no
lack of confidence in their Commander -- So much is at stake both
here and Virginia on the result of the present campaign that
we cannot but appreciate the caution of our generals. Success
to us will certainly bring a speedy termination to the war
and whilst a defeat will not wreck our cause, it will
prolong the struggle with more adverse circumstances.
I cannot bear to think of a continuation of the war for several
years longer, for my heart yearns toward home and its endear-
ments -- I feel my dear that your society is so necessary to
my happiness and then our children are coming of an age when
a father's influence is beneficial -- I know my darling you will do your
duty toward them, yet, in union there is strength, and in fact with
the present unsettled condition of our country it is difficult to
have the domestic circle as complete and beneficial to our little
ones as I wish to have it in times of peace --
You and the children were in my dreams last night and I
thought we were at a kind of picnic -- The children were dressed
mighty pretty and looked so sweet -- Your Sister [Addie] was also there
but after a while the [scence] changed and I have no recollection
what I was dreaming of -- I frequently, after retiring, let my thoughts
dwell on the dear ones at home, hoping that it may influence my
dreams but somehow it does not succeed as frequently as I could
wish -- One thing is certain my darling, if you do not always [form]
a part of my dreams at night, you occupy a large proportion of
thoughts in the day time -- In [those] demoralized times, for the times
are certainly demoralized, it is pleasant to reflect that there is one
pure loving heart that is devoted to me, true and unwavering
and the thought of this will make my heart beat quicker and
my step lighter under the most adverse circumstances -- My
heart overflows with love for you dearest and I feel that a lifetime
will be too short to demonstrate how much I love you --
You may think this is talking more like an enthusiastic lover
than quiet sober husband, who has been married over five years,
but you must it excuse it darling, for it si as I really feel
and I claim the privilege of expressing my thoughts to you without
reserve -- I have no outside ties of relatives or friends to divide
my attention and consequently all my love is centered on my
wife and children.
How is my Sister Mannie passing the time -- Any new beaus
on the [boards] and if so why are they. I wish she would select
one that she knew she could be happy with, not that I am
anxious for you to lose her pleasant face from the family circle,
for on the contrary, I wish she could be always with us; yet it
is the duty of a woman to get married sometime during her
life and marriage is after all to some extent a lottery and
it would be a satisfaction for me to know that as far as human
foresight could judge she had selected a partner who would
make her a good husband -- I know my little sister thinks this [is]
a matter that concerns herself alone, yet she must excuse the
brotherly interest I take in the matter. Give her my love and
a Kiss from brother Charley.
How does Belle manage to get her music lessons now you have
no piano and there is Ada, will have no opportunity to [develope]
her taste for music -- I can scarcely calculate when it will be
in my power to buy a piano especially should this war last much
longer --
I am very anxious to hear some news from Locust Grove -- I
hope you will write me all particulars when you hear from your
ma -- I sympathise deeply with her in the trying position in
which she is placed and for the sake of herself and family
hope this war will speedily close -- I want to write to your ma
and John when I can find any means of sending a letter.
I heard yesterday that [Coln Greure] was killed in one of the [late]
engagements in Virginia -- this is very sad news -- He was a
man so [universally] respected -- I don't remember whether his wife
is living or not, the last I recollect respecting her was that she
was in very delicate health.
Major [McSwine] is again back to the army, [but] I have yet seen
him -- He is not sufficiently recovered from his complaint (ashtma) to take
command of the Battery --
What is the Doctor doing these times -- I expect to hear from him
shortly -- I have written him twice since my return to the army --
Write me often dearest for your letters are my greatest
pleasure -- they cannot come too frequently or be too long -- Every
item of news connected with home is read with pleasure and
is sure to interest me -- Tell me all about yourself and the
children and how you spend your time -- Dont forget to report the
conditions of the garden and you know that is a subject I never
tire of -- How much I wish I could be walking there now accompanied
by you dear and as a matter of course, Ada and Charley would
not be far off.
Well darling I must close before quite finishing the sheet, for
I have to issue rations to the [teamsters] -- Kiss the children for papa and
my love and many Kisses for you my sweet, my darling wife
Your devoted husband,

Letter 23

Envelope addressed to:
Mrs Chas Roberts
Lafayette County
Miss. with a 10-cent Confederate postage stamp with an illegible postmark

Head Qu QM Dept Strahl's Brig
June 23rd 1864

My own Sweet wife,
Your letters of the 9th and 13th both came to
hand yesterday. Letters coming from Oxford by mail, dont generally
take over seven or eight days coming to Atlanta -- they are then
sent to the front and I have to await an opportunity of some one
coming from the General's Head Qu to obtain my letters -- this will
explain my receiving two at the sametime. I can't account for
my letters being so long on the road, over twenty days, it is outrageous --
Both your letters coming at the sametime (as it happened)
was rather fortunate than otherwise, for your first, informed me
of Ada's being sick with fever and I should have been uneasy [&]
anxious all the time until your second letter arrived, which says
she has entirely recovered.
I regret exceedingly the destruction of the well -- it was
such good water and never exhausted. It appears to me that
it may be cleaned out and a new curbing put in -- It would
not take a great many nails, which I except you may be
able to purchase from some person about Oxford - Probably [those]
that have had so much benefit from it, would be suf-
ficiently interested to have it fixed or at least to furnish
a few nails if they have them. If possible, I should like to
have it fixed, for if you do not, I fear it will be a great
detriment in getting some one to occupy the house and in addition
to this, it is a matter of no small consideration for your own com-
fort this summer - and furthermore I hate to see the place
go to ruin. Get it fixed if you can dear, if it cost a hun-
dred dollars to do it - I will pay it from my own [means]
here in the army for I do not want the place to become
entirely worthless.
I hope you will get the party you wrote about ([Mr.] A's
brother) to occupy the house - make the best arrangement you
can, but be sure to have it understood that any thing
that is lost or broken must be paid for or replaced - I do
not approve of the idea of selling anything - Matters are
so uncertain these times that you do not know when it
may be necessary for you to return to your own home, even
before the close of the war and I would much rather you
retain everything you have - The house and furniture I expect
will be about all that is left after the war closes and I am desirous
of keeping it for if it you sell, it will not realise much and
you will have nothing tangible to show for it in a very short
time - I am decidedly in favor of Keeping the house and the fur-
niture intact, under all circumstances - I hope my dear
you will look at it in the same light -
What advantages you can show, such as the benefit of the
cow and such things, let whoever takes charge of the place enjoy
because it will [be] your interest to show them as much advantage
as possible in order to encourage them to reciprocate in
taking proper care of the place --
You did not say whether there was any young children
in the family that think of taking it -- If I could get Mr. T.
or his daughter to take charge if it, I would as soon trust
them as any one for it would be well cared for and would
not have any negroes breaking up half the things and abusing
the furniture -- I feel like you sometimes about the negroes, they
are more of a curse than a blessing about one but then
when we take into consideration the question what would be the
condition of society here [in] the south with negro labor abolished,
we have to acknowledge that it is a necessary evil, so incorporated
with the social system of the South, that without it neither you or
I would want to make the Confederacy our [home] --
I must admit for cleanliness and comfort about a house -- one
good Irish or German girl is worth two negro women, but then
you would have to relinquish [these] little petty attentions which
you are accustomed to call upon a negro to do -- If you want
a glass of water you must get up and help yourself and if you require
some little item from the adjoining room you have to do likewise --
a white servant knows what her work is and goes right ahead
and does it, [but] if you call her off to this little petty waiting
on and that little trifling errand, you would have to hunt a
new servant --
It has [oftened] amused me to see a lady or gentleman, patiently
waiting for a little negro to do some trifling thing that they may
have done themselves whilst they were [telling] what they wanted --
It is not laziness, merely habit which of a person had white
servants to do with, they would find necessary to overcome --
Well darling I find from your letter that you are having
as much rain in Mississippi as we are in Georgia -- Yesterday was
the second dry day for the month of June -- today it looks very plea-
sant but almost too many clouds flying I fear for it to continue
for any length of time dry -- I have not heard much complaint
as yet of it injuring the crops, but in low land it must cer-
tainly have done considerable damage -- Fortunately for your ma
most of her crop is planted on the hills and will I think fare
better than if it had been planted in the bottom -- I was very sorry
to hear that Turk had left -- he was a mighty good servant and about
the only hand that understood blacksmiths' work -- Humphrey I
recollect was spoken of as a good worker but him and Uncle [Secy]
did not get along well together -- It was but yesterday I saw an
article taken from some Mississippi paper speaking of the destruction
and devastation which marked the course of the raiding party
that came out from Vicksburghe and I made up my mind to
hear bad news from your ma when she did write -- I suppose
the cotton was not disturbed from your not saying
anything in reference to it -- it is horrible to be situated [were]
you are at the mercy of such a people and subject to be
disturbed at any time by their raiding parties --
I am sorry to hear you give the account you do about
[Adaline] -- You must keep a sharp look out for articles of clothing
are too scarce and difficult to obtain to allow servants to purloin
them -- For your sake and theres my dear I wish I was at home for
they certainly want someone to look after them -- They appeared
to be doing so well when I was at home that I did not see sufficient
cause to correct them but I now regret that I did not for
I believe a good whipping would help them both -- As you are at
present situated you had better get along as easy as you can
without giving too much liberty and when you get down [home]
I think you will find [Hannah] (I think that was [his] name) who
I expect will make you a better servant --
Capt Timberlake's application for me to report to him at
Corps Hd Qu was referred to Genl. Strahl and disapproved by
him -- He stated that my services were necessary in his Brigade
and that he could not spare me -- He made a long [endorsement]
giving his reasons, which at least [were] complimentary to me
although opposed to my wishes --
I shall let the matter rest at present until I see what Maj
Baylor is going to do -- I expect he will be [releaved] from
duty in the Brigade very shortly -- [then] if I want to make a
change and go with Capt Timberlake (provided he is not [Luited])
I think I can talk the General into giving his approval --
I understand [Luit McCall] made application for all the detailed
men from the Battery to be immediately recalled -- The application
was sent to Genl Johnston but was disapproved for the reason that
other men would have to fill their places and thus weaken some other
arm of the service and the Depts be filled with inexperienced men --
This will leave the matter quiet for awhile, but McCall is
so ambitious to have an efficient Battery, that it would not sur-
prise me if he make another effort shortly -- I have never said
anything to him in regard to it and don't intend to -- I just
[keep] along quietly and attend to my duties and let things take
their course -- I know if I should be ordered back that their would
be a strong effort made by parties interested to retain me -- At
least it is bad policy to meet trouble half way -- so I shall give
no thought on the matter
Give my love to Ada and Charley and Kisses from papa --
My love to Sister Mannie and my kind regards to the Doctor --
Love and Kisses are all I can send you my darling but that
I send you without limit -- It appears a long time since I saw your
pleasant face and Kissed those sweet lips, but I suppose I will have
to wait several weary months before I can again [clasp to in my arm - ]
I shall live on the rich memories of the past and bright anticipations
of the future -- Another Kiss dear and Adieu
Yours ever devoted, Charley

Letter 24
Envelope addressed to:
Mrs Chas Roberts
Lafayette Co., Miss.
with a 10-cent Confederate postage stamp cancelled "Atlanta Ga. JUL 18"

Hd Qrs QM Dept., Strahl's Brigade
near Atlanta, Geo July 18th 1864

My own Sweet darling,
Yesterday (Sunday) I determined to go out to the
Battery and see if any one had received letters from Oxford, of later date
than mine, (June 13th) for I was very anxious to hear from home. I
rode to the camp of the Artillery, about three miles from here, but
was disappointed in seeing any members of the battery, for
they went to the river on picket the day before. On my return to
camps I found two letters for me from my darling wife and
you may be assured that they were welcome messengers -- one [was]
dated June 19th and the other the 26th, also one enclosed from
Dr. Harper. Many thanks darling for your kind and loving letters --
I began to think I was almost forgotten at home, for you know
love is jealous, but your letters dear fully satisfy me that my
treasured wife is ever mindful of her absent husband. I hope
dear you are receiving my letters regularly, although I fear not, for the
mails are very uncertain but you may feel confident my sweet one
that I shall write you at least once every week whither I receive
your letters promptly or not -- I don't know what I will do when you
go to Locust Grove, for your letters have been so much comfort to me
that it will be very hard for me to reconcile myself to the
deprivation, yet I have not doubt there will be less difficulty
in your sending them than you will have in receiving mine.
I hope my dear you will succeed in getting some one to
take charge of the house, for I do not like the idea of your leaving
it unoccupied; for I fear some soldiers will get possession of
it and then there will not be much house left -- By the bye,
have you been able to do anything in regard to the well -- I wish
it could be repaired -- I suppose you will not think of moving
before the middle of October, or at least, until we have some killing
frost and if it is possible I will try and get leave of absence
and assist you in moving -- Of course, there are many contingencies
which may prevent my doing so, but I shall certainly try
to be with you for I know you will especially want my assistance
at such a time and I feel confident will repay my labors with
many a sweet kiss and smile of approval --
I am so glad to hear that you are living in peace and
harmony -- and pleased to learn that the Doctor is so fond of my
little Charley but you must not have my little daughter neglected; and
you dear I am sure will make up in love and tenderness for any
lack of attention she may receive elsewhere -- Children are very
sensitive on such matters and I would not have the little darling
feel for a moment that one was deader than the other. Kiss them
both for papa and tell them I hope to come and see them again soon --
I have been very busy getting up my quarterly accounts and
in a few days will have them completed -- It has been more troublesome
than usual for the troops have been so scattered that I have
had to ride for several days to get my papers signed and
have yet a day or two of riding to do before I can finish my
work --
I have made another application to be transferred to
Capt Timberlake and have seen the General and he promised
to approve my application -- I am going to give myself more work
if I succeed in making the change, but at the sametime, I think
I will have more privileges and I am better satisfied when
I have plenty to do than when at leisure -- One other advantage
is that I can obtain leave of absence with less difficulty than where
I now am.
I am glad Cousin Tom arrived home safely and was so
fortunate in meeting assistance on the journey. He certainly deserved
all the good fortune that fell to his share on the trip home.
I shall write Dr. Harper first opportunity I have -- I think
probably I can get a letter sent through from Genl Johnston's
Hd Qu -- I will go and see Maj Falconer respecting it in a day or
two -- You must give my love to them all if you have an opportunity
of writing.
How do you send your letters to Locust Grove? I should like to
write to your ma and brother John -- I especially want to write to
John to urge him to take an interest in matters and realise that
he has a part to perform in this world of more importance than
the mere amusement and gratification of self -- I do not think John
has any [viscous] habits and if he could only throw off these childish
ways and employments he could make himself of inestimable value
to your ma.
I am glad my darling that you went to the exhibition at Prof [Quinche's]
- I see no objection in that and I have not the slightest objections to your
enjoying yourself in society, when it can be done with consistency
and propriety -- it is my delight to see and hear of your happiness --
I only ask that you select the right company for your social enjoyment.
I am so jealous my own sweet wife of you good name that
that I could not bare to have a [whisper] of anything said
detrimental to [your] propriety -- It is my confidence in your purity
and virtue and devotedness that makes me love you so dearly
and makes me feel that you are more precious to me than any
other woman could be in the whole world. Since united to you
dearest, I have experienced that quiet, calm happiness in your
society which I never felt before and you must not blame me
darling, if I am over watchful of the one that is so essential to
my peace of mind. Our married life has certainly [being checquered]
with unforseen trials and deprivations, but whilst we remain
devoted to each other there will always be happiness in store
for us, arising from that mutual love.
You do not say how Sister Mannie is spending her time --
she must certainly have some new love plot on hand
to be so quiet and contented -- Give her my most distinguished
regard and several Kisses from brother Charley --
Everything quiet in front -- our pickets on one side of the
river and the Yankees on the other -- There has been considerable
trading between the Yankee Pickets and ours for the past week --
Our boys trade tobacco for coffee [j c] -- The officers have tried to
break up the friendly commercial intercourse but the boys fre-
quently swim accross to the Yankee side and vice versa and make a
trade. I have no idea when the great fight will come off -- but
feel confident that Johnston will and can hold Atlanta --
Genl Bragg came here afew days ago to consult I presume with
Genl Johnston -- The troops show no enthusiasm toward him -- whilst
they have a blind and childlike Confidence in whatever Genl.
Johnston says or does --
Kiss my darlings Ada [&] Charley -- and many Kisses for you my loved
one, my darling wife -- I shall write you again in a few days dearest,
if nothing prevent, for having received two letters from you at
the [same time], I feel that each is entitled to reply -- My devoted and
undived love my own darling and one more Kiss
My Kind regards to the Doctor. Yours devotedly Charley

Letter 25
No envelope

In camp near Fayetteville, Geo.
July 24th 1864
Sunday Morning
My darling,
We left our camps near Atlanta on the 21st and camped
that night near Jonesboro on the Macon RR some twenty miles
below Atlanta -- I selected a beautiful camping ground and had
just finished "setting my house in order" when orders came to [move]
to Fayetteville, still farther South. We are now encamped about
two miles and a half below Fayetteville and about thirty miles from
Atlanta. All of the wagons, except Ordnance, Medical and Commissary
wagons, are in the neighborhood -- We are sent here for two reasons;
one to keep out of the way of the army and the other to lessen the
[work] for the R.R. by foraging for ourselves -- We are away
from all direct communication with the outer world,
the Macon RR is eight miles on one side and the West [Point]
road about the same distance on the other -- It is rather a
poor country, but I think we can obtain plenty of corn here
as long as we remain, for I presume as soon as Hood gets
a decisive fight out of the Yankees we shall be again on the
move. I have a very pleasant camping place near White Water
Creek, a clear and placid stream, in which I have a refreshing
bath every morning -- Since we have been down here I have
also had a bountiful supply of Irish potatoes, onions and Collards
and yesterday had a chicken and scrabbled eggs for dinner --
There has been considerable fighting at the front during
the past few days and it is reported with great success on
our side, but as I have only heard flying reports from the
front I cannot write much in regard to the result, as I expect
you will hear the news by telegraph before I do -- I was over
at the Battery the day before leaving Atlanta and saw Mr Doyle
Mr [Hustace] and Mr Wm Reynolds -- They were all well, although
Mr Hustace looks thin to what he was before he went to the
hospital -- I am very anxious to hear whether the Battery has
been engaged and if any casualties --
I wrote you in my last letter that I had sent up and
application to be transferred, to report for duty to Capt Timber-
lake -- Since then I understand Capt T. has been releaved
so I presume I may as well for the present rest satisfied
were I am -- I don't know the reason for his being releaved
but suspect it was in consequence of remissness in attending
to the business of his department -- I don't care so much about
it on my own account as I did on a/c of Mr Doyle - ,
for if I [gone] there, I should have had an opportunity of
at least offering him a position, it he could have procured
the permission of the Commanding officer of the Battery to his
being detailed -- my old mess is scattered to the four winds, there
is no two of them together and I do not know who is to blame
for it, but I am sorry to see the boys so divided -- The fact
is I am constitutionally opposed to all contention, excepting
once in a while with "my little wife", because it is said women
cannot enjoy good health unless they are occasionally opposed.
Is that the case darling or is it a slander on the dear creature?
I am going to ride into the village after dinner and try
and pick up some news and attend church if there is any service
Sunday is a day, I more especially feel a desire to be at home
and be enjoying the society of my darling wife and the [innocent]
prattle of our dear little son and daughter -- When will that time
come, when I can again settle down to the quiet [routine] of
civil life and be constantly refreshed and stimulated by the
pleasant smile of my own sweet wife -- I am [almost] weary of
waiting, but although I occasionally despond, I usually feel
that the time is not far distant when peace will again reign
in this land and I shall again return to my home and
loved ones -- The seperation has been very bitter, but the joy of
the re-union will amply repay for deprivations past --
I sent a sergeant to the front to day and told him before he returned
to be sure and see if there were any letters there for me -- I am in
hopes he will bring one from you darling, for it does me so much
good to hear from you -- Write often dearest and direct your
letters to the command, without naming any place and I am
very likely to get them after awhile; and you may rely that I
shall not neglect writing you darling, very frequently --
Give my love to Sister Mannie -- and Sister Belle -- By the
bye -- how is Belle getting on with her studies and is she recon-
ciled to being away from home --
Many Kisses for my sweet daughter and little Son --
I hope Ada is a good girl and attends to everything her
ma tells her and is good to her little brother --
My love to you my own prescious wife and abun-
dance of Kisses - May God protect and preserve you
and I pray that we may both be spared to travel life's
journey together -- cheering and comforting each other on the
way and directing by example and [precept] our dear
children the way they should go
Yours ever devotedly
My kind regards to the Doctor
Tell him -- I shall have to
write him again if he does not
write to me -

Letter 26

Handmade envelope made from wallpaper.
Addressed to:
Mrs Chas Roberts
Chas Roberts
Stanfords Battery

Head Qu QM Dept Strahls Brigade
nr Atlanta, Geo., Augt 6th 1864
My darling wife,
Yesterday Evening I rejoiced at receiving two
letters from you of the 10th and 17th ulto. Since my last letter to you
I have been on a perpetual move and am at present any
thing but settled, for we are now camped close to Atlanta and
within shelling distance of the enemy's guns. Some bright morn-
ing I expect they will disturb our peaceful slumbers by throwing
a few shells into our camp. Just after writing my last letter
to you from Fayetteville, we received orders to take all our
baggage wagons and proceed to Griffin Geo (on the Macon
RR, 40 miles from Atlanta) and store any baggage and
send the wagons to West Point, Geo to haul at the break
in the RR -- We left part of our wagons, which had no baggage
in them, and our tents [j c] at our camps and immediately
started for Griffin, where I remained to take charge of the
baggage of the Brigade. Maj Baylor returned to the camp at
Fayetteville and I sent my horse with his boy -- he reached
camp that night at about 12o Clock and the next morning just
before day the Yankee Cavalry mad a raid on our camps and
Maj Baylor lost his and my horse, also all his clothing -- They captured
quite a number of [mules] and destroyed some fifty or sixty wagons
fortunately our camps were somewhat off the road and Strahls
Brig only lost a couple of mules and some clothing and [papers] --
Maj Baylor lost most of his clothing -- I lost nothing but my horse
saddle and bridle which were goverment property and only
put me to the inconvenience of being dismounted for the present.
The following day the raid struck the RR above Griffin
and [was] expected at Griffin by night -- I packed my most
valuable papers in my carpet sack and [then] fortified myself
with a good dinner at the Hotel and calmly waited "coming
events", intending to leave for the bushes at the first appearance
of any Yankees -- It was amusing to see the excitement and confusion
both of citizens and refuges -- Every one proposing some plan but
no co-operation and consequently no prospect of any resistance
being made should the Yankees attack the place -- I awaited
to [learn] the report of the Cavalry scouts and about twelve o'clock
at night they arrived reporting that our Cavalry had engaged
the enemy about eight miles form town, completely routing the Yanks --
I immediately retired and slept in peace.
On the first of the month I was ordered to [our Qu] at Atlanta
to make up my monthly reports and have been here ever since --
I expect to get Orders to go to Griffin again in about a week
to settle Capt Timberlake's papers -- It is a difficult job but
if I can spare the time I will see what I can do for him
as he is a clever fellow and at the samertime I can make
something by it -- I told him I should charge him One hundred
dollars and would not do it for any one else for twice that
amount -- Whilst in Griffin I saw Mr Cling (a Dutchman I think)
from [Yazoo Cy] -- He is with Maj. [Strockey] QM being unfit for
Field service.
Maj. Baylor yesterday received orders from the War Dept to
report to Genl [Pettus'] Brigade, Stevenson's Division -- and I think
probably I shall go with him for the present -- This Brigade is in the
same Corps as the Battery and I dont know who will take charge
of the Brigade I am now in -- Pettus Commands Ala. troops and if
I recollect aright Miss Sallie Borden's brother in law is in his Brigade --
I received a very kind letter from [Coln] Harrison a few
days ago -- I wrote him in reference to the new staff bill -- wishing
to be enlightened in regard to some clauses in it -- thinking it
possible that someday I may have a chance of applying for
some appointment myself -- At present the bill is not acted on
and they are making no appointments whatever, but he offers
to assist my application through at Richmond should any
of my friends offer me a position, when the bill comes in force --
I read the letter from Uncle Robert with much pleasure and am
glad to hear they are all doing so well -- Of course any such thing
as our going North, we cannot and would not
consider if it were possible -- We have sacrificed our property
and endured many deprivations, yet I feel that we have
done it in the path of duty and have no regrets, even if
it should not be the winning side. And as for any of your
family going North, I know it would not be the choice of your
father had he been living and I am sure his children will
be anxious to carry out respect his [views on] such matters.
After the war is over I shall greatly enjoy a visit to or from
our friends North, but at present I am in favor of non-intercourse
- I shall write when I have an opportunity
I much fear that Louise has made an unfortunate selection
and I much regret it for Louise was a good hearted girl -- If he
is not attentive and kind to his wife now and I dont see how he
can if he follows the habits that he indulged in before marriage, there
is a gloomy prospect for after years --
I am so sorry to hear that our little Charley has been suffering so
from boils -- I hope he has got rid of them by this time -- Kiss him for
papa -- How is Ada doing? I hope she is a good little girl and
tries to do all she can to help her ma -- Papa send her his love and
a Kiss --
I am glad that you have the opportunity of having the roof of
the house repaired -- By the bye, you do not say whether you have
made any arrangements to obtain a reliable person to take charge
of the house -- I trust you will succeed in obtaining some one
and sometime in October, I will try to be on Oxford to take you
down home --
The campaign still lingers along and I dont think we are any
nearer a decisive engagement than we were a month ago --
The Yankees [planted] a battery of heavy gund a few days since
in a position Commanding the city and shelled the city all
the following night -- whenever I awoke my ears were saluted
by the report of one of the siege guns and then I would hear
the peculiar screech of the shell through the air, followed by
the noise of the explosion -- I cannot say with Prof Richardson
that I find the music of exploding shells Conducive to sleep,
but at the sametime, trusting in Providence that they will not
[throw] the missles where I am reposing, I succeed in obtaining
my usual amount of sleep. Some portions of the city has been
seriously damaged by the shelling and several persons have lost
their lives amongst then two ladies and a child --
There are many families yet living in the city -- some because
they have not the means to go elsewhere and others because they
do not want to abandon their property --
I will remember your request in [regard] to Charley [Howry]
and if I have an opportunity will procure him a place
in the QM Dept -- It will be a pleasure for me to do any thing
to oblige Judge [Howry], especially when the request comes through
my own precious darling --
I am going to keep myself very busy dearest from not until
October for I want to make a hundred or two dollars to pay
expenses of a visit to Oxford -- The anticipation of the pleasure
of seeing you and clasping you to my heart, stimulates me to
figure over Abstracts and other QM's paper in the hot days of
August, with a [goal] and diligence which nothing else could
induce me to do -- I shall be fully repaid when I again see your
sweet smiling face and again have my little family around me --
How much and how often I think of the dear ones at home and how
I wish and wish for the time to come when I may devote my time
to contributing to your comfort and happiness -- Be of good cheer dearest,
it cannot last much longer and then I shall again be with you
and try to smooth and brighten your path through life -- Many, many
Kisses for you my own sweet darling and Kiss our children for
papa --
My love to Sister Mannie -- I hope she is enjoying these warm
summer days -- What are her matrimonial prospects at present? are
they any more favorable than when I was at home --
My Kind regards to the Doctor -- I hope he is in the enjoyment
of good health --
Again darling, my love -- undivided and unchangeable and
one more Kiss for my own pet wife Ever yours

Letter 27
Envelope addressed to:
Mrs. Chas. Roberts,
Lafayette Co Miss.
Two steel pens

Hd Qu Dept Pettus' Brig
Augt 12th 1864

My darling wife,
Your letters of the 24th and 31st
[of] July have just come to hand and I am
grieved to think you have been so long
without receiving any letters from me. I can
assure you dearest, that the fault is not mine,
for I have written you regularly, at least once
every week and cannot account for your not receiving
any letters, especially when others have received their
letters without any unusual delay -- You have
been very attentive, my darling, in writing and
if for no other motive, I should feel in duty
bound to reply to your much treasured epistles --
I hope by this time you have received three or
four of my letters altogether.
You will perceive by the heading of
my letter that O am now in Pettus' Brigade
- moved over here this morning and have
just got through with receiving the QM stores
of the Brigade -- You are probably surprised to
think that I should go with Maj Baylor out
of Strahls Brigade after [wishing] to leave him
whilst in the Brigade -- I will explain myself
and let you judge for yourself as to whether I
have acted discreetly or not -- You will recollect
that I applied to be transferred to Capt Timberlake
but whilst the paper was in transit, he was
relieved -- consequently nothing was done in regard
to it -- Capt Scott his successor sent me a note
about a week since stating that he was
desirous of obtaining my services and would
with my consent, obtain an order from Genl Hood
for my transfer -- I declined, for the reason that
Capt Scott was dropped from the Rolls once for
drunkenness and is still, although re-instated
much inclined that way with its accompanying
vices and whilst I do not think it would
influence me, yet I do not like the association
and besides it is best to keep from temptation.
Capt Campbell who takes charge of the Brigade
temporarily is a sharp going Yankee, and for certain
reasons, I dont think I should have got along
to my satisfaction with him, although I could
have remained if I had desired - Maj Baylor
urged me to accompany him and although not
the man I admire in all things -- is a gentleman
in manners, education and association and I
concluded to accompany him -- He has sent an
application to head Quarters of the Army for my
transfer to the Brigade from Strahl's -- and Maj
Falconer promised it should be approved
What acquaintance I have made in this Brig.,
I am well pleased with and understand that
Capt Burr and Dr Borland are both in this
Brigade -- I shall make their acquaintance first
I am sorry to hear that Mrs. Avent is so sick
and hope it may not prove fatal, both for her sake
and the sake of her young children -- It is
indeed a terrible calamity for children so young
to lose a mother -- if fact to children the loss of
their mother is more severe than the loss of their
father; and I can assure you dearest that I
earnestly pray that you may be spared to
our treasures for no one can fill the place of a
mother --
I am glad to hear that Charley is recovering
from these tedious boils and hope he will soon
be well -- I expect by this time he can talk about
as well as Ada -- Kiss him for papa --
My love to my daughter Ada -- Tell her I
much appreciate her love for her papa -- and
hope to be home soon to see her -- give her a Kiss for
me --
I am glad Mannie has another conquest to boast of
She will certainly find the right one after having
so many to select from -- Ask her in what engage-
ment he received that "wound in the heart" --
I have heard of soldiers [been] wounded in all
parts of the body but this is the first one that
I have heard of being wounded in the heart
and living to tell the tale -- I should want to
see the wound before I could believe any such
tale as that --
You must not be in too much of a hurry dear
about going to Locust Grove -- I do not think it
would be safe to go before October at least not
before you have had killing frost. I am so
anxious about yours and the childrens health dear
that I cannot bear to think of your risking any-
thing by going into the Yazoo Bottom too early in
the Season.
I had an opportunity of sending a letter to
Uncle Robert a few days ago and availed my self of
it --
Will write you again in a few days -- Many Many
Kisses My own sweet darling and all my love --
Yours devotedly
Kind regards to the Doctor.

Letter 28

Hd Qu QM Dept, Pettus' Brigade
Stevenson's Division Augt 25th 1864

My darling wife,
I am almost discouraged at the
idea of writing a letter, for I receive none from
home and I presume you do not receive mine.
Yet I will write you dearest, for I know you
are anxious at all times to hear from me and
certainly, some of the many letters I have written
you, will come to hand -- I am very uneasy to learn
what the Yankees did when they visited Oxford and
whither they disturbed you any -- I can learn nothing
from the papers and in fact it is not very often
we get papers now, for the Yankees are constantly
making raids on the R. Roads in our rear -- We invariably
drive them back and soon get the road in order
again, but it accumulates the letters at the P. offices above
and below and there is no telling what becomes of
them -- In writing in future my dear address your
letters to Pettus Brigade care Maj Baylor --
I visited the Battery on Sunday and found
the boys all well -- I had a long talk with Mr Doyle,
[Ben] Hill, Hustace and Kendell -- they are pretty com-
fortably fixed, considering the situation, and are on
a part of the lines where there has been scarcely
any shelling -- The principal shelling is in the
left and centre -- the Batteries on the Centre of
the line command the city and every night they
commence firing and sometimes keep it up all
night long -- Some portions of the City is badly damaged
and on Marietta and McDonough Street the roads
are completely ploughed up with shot and shell --
The women and children, and there are quite
a number in the city, do not escape -- Every day
almost I hear of some lady or little child being
killed or wounded -- It is really dreadful to think
of the brutality of the Enemy and yet they have the
impudence to say they are not shelling the city, but
firing at our lines -- I am camped on the outskirts
of Atlanta and now when I am writing I can
hear the shells whistling through the air and I
am fully a mile from the line of battle -- They only
have to turn their guns a little more to the right
and I should have to strike tent and fall
back -- What they expect to accomplish by shelling
defenceless women and children I don't for my
life fathom -- they may shell the city forty years
and whilst any men hold the ditches, it would
not bring them one inch nearer to Atlanta.
Wheeler is in their rear doing good service and
if he can only stay there long enough I think he
will make them fight or fall back -- There troops
I heard reported were massing last night on
our centre and it was thought they intended
attacking a portion of our lines but there is no
indication of it as yet --
The army appears in good spirits and thinks
their is a good prospect of this being the last Cam-
paign; and I pray God that it may be so, for I am
heartily tired of a soldier's life and more especially
when I hear that the lawless scoundrels are near
my home, depredating and possibly subjecting
those that are dearer to me than life, to insult and
suffering -- then it is, that I feel the restrictions which
prevent my hastening to their assistance -- I hope
the Yankees will not be allowed to remain long in
Oxford; and if the report is true, that Forrest has
been in Memphis, I think it will hasten their departure.
I have been very busy of late and yesterday
completed Quarterly Returns for Capt Hughes of
[Maney's] Brigade, for which I am to receive one
hundred dollars -- to day I commenced Capt Tim-
berlake's papers (of [Hardee's] Corps) and have had a
hard days work on them for they are in terrible

*Note added at top of last page:
Darling; - If you have an opportunity you may send me a few collars
and a pair or two of cotton socks -- would not be [amiss] -
[Mannies] had better send the Major a pair -- the Yankees
captured all of his clothes -- [Yours - ] Charley.

condition and it will take all my spare time
for three weeks or a month to get them in any thing
like shape -- I shall get from one hundred and
fifty to two hundred dollars for this job and this

with the other amount I am going to reserve to pay
expense of a trip home, when an opportunity offers --
aside from the gain, it keeps me busy and I am
always better satisfied when I am doing something
than when at leisure --
I hope I shall get a letter from you soon my
darling, for I am very anxious to hear from my loved
ones at home; and I know my dear wife, you must
have had very trying times of late, and you can scarcely
realise, how I wish to be near you when I think you
may be in trouble or need my assistance --
Kiss the little darlings for me and tell them papa
wants to see them "so much" -- My love to Sister Mannie
and Kind regards to the Doctor
My love and many, many [Kisses] for you my sweet,
devoted wife -- I hope the time is near when this
dreadful war will [close] and under the pleasant
auspices of peace we shall be again united; and then
my darling I will endeavor to repay [you], in my
untiring attentions to your comfort and happiness, for
the past years of trial and [deprivation].
Yours devotedly, Charley.

Letter 29

Hd Qu QM Dept [Pettus] Brig
Sept 6th 1864
My darling wife,
Since the first of last week we
have been on the move -- We made our start from Atlanta
on the 30th Augt, went to Jonesboro by a circuitous
route, making a day's march of not less than thirty
five miles -- the next day we were ordered back
to Atlanta and got close in neighborhood of
the city, when we were halted, with directions to
camp and be prepared to move toward Griffin by
two o'clock the following morning, as Atlanta was
to be Evacuated. The next night we camped at Mc
Donough and the following day reached Double
Cabins, six miles east of Griffin -- From this point we
were ordered to advance to Lovejoy's station and
got some four or five miles on our journey when
a courier met us, stating there was a Yankee
raid out for the purpose of destroying the wagon
trains and we must turn back and reach
Griffin that night -- We remained in the town
that night and the next morning camped three
miles west of town and this morning advanced
to Bear Creek, nine miles north of Griffin, on the
Macon and Atlanta R R -- We are now within a
few miles of the troops and unless they move may
remain here for a while.
It was very unexpected the fall of Atlanta
and has killed Hood as a general, unless he [makes]
some brilliant and successful move upon the [enemy]
before the campaign is considered closed, which
I think very improbable - We destroyed considerable
quantities of government stores in Atlanta -- Especially
Ammunition, which is an article we have no surplus
of -- What is more to be regreted is the loss of
many brave men at the fight at Jonesboro and
that without accomplishing anything. The Battery was
not engaged and the boys are all well -- I saw [Leut]
Wilkins day before yesterday and he told me [Sherd]
Butler was shot through the lungs and knee -- and
is was very doubtful his recovery -- His leg would have
to be amputated -- [Tees] was shot in the ancle and will
lose his foot -- Mr McCutchin's son was also badly
wounded -- Maj Driver was killed --
The army is now in position at Lovejoy Station but
I am under the opinion that we will fall farther
back before we make a permanent stand -- The troops
are very desirous that Genl Johnston be sent back
to Command this Army but I fear their is little
prospect of it for the President is very form or I
may more justly say obstinate in his opinions and
prejudices -- I think it possible that Johnson may have
been obliged to relinquish Atlanta, but it would cer-
tainly been done with less loss of men [than] has
been the case with the present Commander. This running
men against strong fortifications is nothing more nor
less than slaughtering of them, and will never give
victory to the attacking party -- Our giving up Atlanta
doen not make me despond of ultimate success, but it
certainly tends to prolong the struggle.
I [read] your letter mailed on the 16th Augt just
before leaving Atlanta and replied to it -- I am yet very
anxious to hear from you dearest, for I see that in their
raid they burnt a large portion of the town -- I
would give almost anything to know that you had
not been driven from your home and left without a
shelter -- I can bear the losses I have sustained during
this war without a murmur, but I do feel impatient
and outraged when they make my wife and children
subject to the alarm and inconvenience which you described
in your last letter -- I feel embittered against all of
them, both those that have been in and are in the
army and those that remain at home and without
a word of objection or [remonstrance] allow their govern-
met to prosecute the war in a manner that
would disgrace a heathen nation -- The doubt and
anxiety I am kept in has made me almost sick
and I have no way of hearing from you except by
letter and that at present is very uncertain -- I
understand their was a large quantity of mail
matter, both of [mails] to be forwarded and received
burnt at Atlanta the night of the Evacuation -- I
shall anxiously look for a letter from and will try
and hope for the best, but [these] Yankee scoundrels are
so base and mean that I can scarcely think that
they left you unmolested.
I have not written to your ma as yet for
I have had no opportunity -- I do not think that
the [State] service [Exempts] under the fifteen negro
law and if [John] has to go into the service he had
better go into the State service, as [he] will only be
called out in case of emergency and it is as
safe a service as he could go into -- The General
is provided with an orderly but should any thing
offer that I think would be suitable for
him -- he could Easily be transferred to the Con-
federate Service, whereas if he first joint the C.
S. Army he is in for the war. I hope he will not
have to go into the service at all, for it will be a
great trial to your ma to have him go into the
army and be left entirely alone --
Circumstances may have made it necessary
for you to go down home Earlier than at first arranged
but if you are still at Oxford and the house and
furniture is still [there], I hope you will succeed
in getting some one to occupy the house, for if
left unoccupied it will certainly be destroyed
should the Yankees ever visit the place again --
I hope the children are well and for their
sake hope it will be convenient for you to remain in
Oxford until after the frost, for I cannot but feel some
anxiety about them going to Locust Grove in warm
weather when I recollect what a narrow Escape
Ada made the Summer she spent in Yazoo.
Give my love to Sister Mannie and I hope she
will not be disturbed by Yankee raids at home
as she has been at Oxford.
If I had the money dear I would remove you
to some place where is was not probable for Yankee's
to annoy and disturb you, but it takes a fortune
for a refugee to support life and I have not got it.
It is terrible for me to think of, that my family [must]
live in a section of country where at any time they
are subject to the insult and depredation of an
ungoverned band of marauding soldiers, for
such only can be called the men composing [these]
raiding parties -- It is hard indeed for you to bear
dearest and it is as painful to me to know
that you are subject to be [plundered] and insulted
without [been] able to protect or even remove you
to a place of safety. I hope and pray that it
may not last much longer.
Give many Kisses to Ada and Charley for papa and
my love and Kisses to you darling wife -- Be of good
courage and let us pray earnestly that our [cause
be] speedily [crowned] with success and we again enjoy
the inestimable blessing of peace -- Yours ever devotedly

Letter 30

Letter folded and addressed on back to:
Mrs Chas. Roberts,
Lafayette Co Miss.
Letter also has letters and drawings in pencil

Hd Qu QM Dept [Pettus] Brig
Sept 20th 1864
My own darling,
Since writing, a short time ago, the army has
changed the base and we are now about a mile and a half above
Palmetto, Geo., a small village situated on the Atlanta and
West Point road, about twelve miles above Newnan and
about twenty eight miles South of Atlanta -- We received orders
to move last Sunday morning and went in [camp] this
[morning] or rather about noon -- From the Macon road to
this place on the West Point R R is forty miles and it
may appear to you dear, rather slow travelling to occupy
two days and a half in doing it, yet we were on the
road from daylight until night each day -- The troops
of each corps march in advance of the Artillery and
wagon trains and consequently we could not march
faster than the men and then with so long a string
of wagons, there are frequent detentions; if one wagon stall,
it detains Everything in rear of it, unless the road
is wide Enough for the balance of the train to pass --
I went in advance of our wagons to [purchase] forage
and succeeded in buying some Sweet and Irish
Potatoes and Sorghum -- The Potatoes were very fine and
I made a grand dinner off of them to day, with field
peas and bacon and corn bread and molasses for side
dishes -- There is abundance of syrup made in this portion
of country and I Expect all through Georgia, but they
dont forget to make a soldier pay for it and [when] only
the day previous to the army coming they charged
five dollars for gallon, the now charge five dollars for a
[canteen] full, containing three pints -- The town of Palmetto
can afford us nothing, for the Yankee Cavalry have
left but a few private residences -- When I rode through
the town this morning it made me think of Oxford and
imagine how dreary and forsaken the town must look;
but then I thought of one modest little dwelling [home],
which to me would be moe pleasing to look on than
any [marble] palace and then I pictured to myself the
pleasure of meeting my darling wife and sweet children and
concluded by wishing this terrible struggle would draw
to a close and allow me to enjoy the domestic happiness
with which I am so bountifully blessed --
We have now commenced a fresh campaign and I hope
and pray that it may close with more favorable results
[than] our last. Our lines now Extend from the right of the
West Point R R to the [Chattahoocha] river, some ten or
twelve miles -- The Yankees are not as yet in any
force in our front and I presume we shall await
the development of their [movements] before we make
any further move.
I saw Maj Falconer a few days ago to endeavor
to get a furlough for [Louis Kendel], but nothing could
be done at present, they will not even allow an ap-
plication to be sent up. I fear I shall not be able
to get home before you leave Oxford, which I exceed-
ingly regret, for I know my dearest wife you will
need assistance at such time and I regret the ne-
cessity of throwing all the responsibility on you, but
you know my darling, if I could be with you it
would be my [heart's] desire -- As soon as I can
get away I will make for Locust Grove and I can
be of some assistance to both you and your ma.
You must be sure and write every opportunity
when you get to Yazoo; try and write once a week
at least and I will write regularly dear, so that
if you do not get my letters promptly, you will
Know that they are on the way and will come after
awhile --
How are our precious pet getting along -- I so
much want to see them and it appears twelvemonths
since I was at home -- Kiss them for papa and tell
them I love them very much and hope they remember
their papa, Especially in their prayers Every night --
The army is a rough place and it takes careful
watching to avoid those habits and associations which
are dangerous to good morals -- Every day, that spirit
of reckless indifference to all moral restraint appears
to develope itself more and more [amongst our]
soldiers -- I pray that I may be Kept from [evil]
and have strength [given] me to resist the many
temptations and inducements which occur in the army --
I feel [assured] I have your Earnest [prayers] my wife
and the thought gives me strength and Encouragement
to persevere in trying to do right
Give my love to Sister Mannie -- What does she
think about going to the Trans-Mississippi Dept --
When I was at home Mannie talked as if she [preferred]
going to Greenwood this winter -- I was in hopes some
"very affectionate" young man would come along and
induce her to remain on this side of the river, for I
should be very sorry for you to lose Sister Mannie's
company -- and on my own account I should regret
losing the pleasure of meeting my charming sister on my oc-
casional visits home.
I am going to send this letter to Macon by hand
as there is no mail communication between here and West Point
at present -- My love dear and many Kisses for you
my own darling -- and with my Earnest prayers for your
welfare and happiness I remain
Your devoted husband

Letter 31

Reserve Train near Columbus Miss
December 24th 1864

My own darling wife,
I am once more in camps and I dont
think I can spend Christmas Eve any better way than by writing
a few lines to my much beloved wife. I wrote you from Meridian
and informed you that I was there patiently or rather impatiently
waiting for the train. I left that [benighted] and dismal hole
about [noon], too late to make connection with the train at
Artesia for Columbus and there being no chance of any shelter
for the night at the latter place, I remained on the cars
and went on to Okolona -- We arrived there about daylight
and left again about seven oClock -- I then had to remain in
Artesia until [7 ½ oClock in the Evening and arrived at Columbus
at 9 o'Clock -- At the hotel I found a man waiting for me with
my mule, which I can assure you was a welcome sight for
in consequence of high water, I had to go some distance up
the river making it fully twenty six miles to camps. By
some mistake in the day of the month, which I must have
made, I found I had one day to spare, consequently my
losing a day on the cars by missing connection brought
me to Columbus the day I appointed and saved me the
unpleasant necessity of walking to camps. I arrived just in
time to assist in making up a team of forty wagons to go to the
front -- They started this Evening and we have orders to send
the others as fast as we can get the mules exchanged. I think in
about two weeks the whole of the train will start for Tenn -- I may
go myself before this but I dont think I shall as I want to remain
until the [teams] and wagons are turned over to some Quartermaster
and I can get receipts for Maj Baylor's proportion and see the
baggage stored at Columbus or Aberdeen -- which will take at
least a week or more.
I saw a letter to day from the "front" dated December 10th -- It states
that the army was in most excellent spirits and living well --
they were then within two miles of the suburbs of the city but expected
to fall back some miles in consequence of wood being so scarce --
the Yankees still held possession of Murfreesboro which is import-
ant that we should get and the indications were that there
would be another engagement before this time -- The letter states
that the slaughter was terrible at the battle of Franklin -- our
troops fighting with perfect desperation. In a charge on the
enemy Strahl's Brigade was checked by a briar hedge whilst
under a most tremendous fire of the Yankee Artillery and infantry
but they coolly stood there until the [poineer] corps advanced
and removed the obstruction and then pressed on driving the
enemy from their works. In Strahl's Brig -- himself and staff were
all killed and every Field Officer was either killed or wounded.
A Captain is Commanding the Brigade -- Genl [Cleburne] was
killed on top of the Yankee works whilst braving leading his
men -- Our loss was very heavy, some estimate as high as [5,000] --
We are however recruiting quite briskly -- I understand Forrest
has organised four new regiments and there has also being
four regiments of infantry organised besides many who have
returned to their old companies --
Stevenson's and Clayton's Divisions were not in the main
fight, so I am in hopes the Battery got through without the loss
of any men -- as it is attached to Clayton's Division --
The men got the opportunity of purchasing right smart of
clothing and other articles from the stores in the different towns that
were evacuated by the enemy.
The weather has been very cold in Tenn and on the 10th
Dec there was two inches of snow on the ground -- I dread
the thoughts of the march I have to take to get with the Command
and especially the cold weather after I get there. If I had thought
of it I would have brought one of my scarfs to tie over my
ears when riding, but I expect I will find something that will
answer as a substitute.
I have heard nothing definite from Sherman's Army --
there was a rumour when I came up on the cars that he
had captured Savannah but it was not credited --
I went over to see Capt [Highy] QM in Cheatham's old
Division to day and took dinner with him. He paid the $100
he owed me for making out his accounts and I can assure you
I was glad to get it for I was anxious to pay off the money
I borrowed to visit home on and that amount with what I
had left, for my expenses were not heavy on the way back, enabled
me to return the borrowed money and still have some on hand
for current expenses -- There is no chance of drawing any until
I get with the army, so I must be economical, for I do detest
having to borrow.
I invited Capt Hughes to take dinner with me tomorrow,
Christmas day - We are going to church together in the morning
about a mile and a half from Camp and he is then to return
with me and dine -- My bill of fare will not be as sumptuous
as it was last Christmas, but I should be well satisfied if I
could only eat it at home with my "dear ones" around me -- below
I give it to you
Roast Chicken -- Fried Sausage (imported direct from [Hogan] Co)
Fried Pork Sweet Potatoes
Corn Bread (In great abundance)
Stewed Pumpkin in Butter
I am going to have the above if nothing prevent and by boy [Charles]
gets back from a frolic he has gone to to-night -- I have provided
no whiskey for the occasion for I cannot reconcile myself to
spend money on that article whilst I know may need it for
It would be the greatest pleasure imaginable if I could
be with you to-morrow, but you know you would not have
desired me to remain at home unless I could so honorably and
to me it would destroy the enjoyment if I was conscious of being
one of that legion "absent without leave" -- for your sake and for the
sake of the little ones I should like to be at home at such time
for I flatter myself that I could contribute to both yours and their
enjoyment and I am a firm believer and upholder of Keeping
Christmas Especially for the Sake of the children -- I fear their little
stocking will be empty this time and [Santa] Claus entirely pass
them by, but I hope better times are in store for us ere long and
that together we may have the pleasure of acting Santa Claus
for them before they are old enough to [reallity] of such things.
I wish you a merry Christmas darling with my heart -
My love is all the Christmas gift I can tender you dear but I
can assure that is yours undivided - Many Kisses for you Sweet
wife and Kiss our darlings for papa - My wish and prayer is
that before another Christmas roll around I may be re-united
to my family and peace be smiling on the our homes -
Sister Mannie and Miss Sue of Course are busily engaged
preparing for the important event that is soon to occur - I wish
could be present on that occasion but it is [out] of the question for
my duties require me here and otherwise I could not get leave
[if I was to apply for we] do not know at what moment [we] may
be ordered to the front - Give my Kind regards to Mr David Roach
and his brother Eugene - I hope Sister Mannie will attend to what
I told her
Give my love to your ma and all the family and a
Merry Christmas to them all -
My love to you my own precious darling and abundance
of Kisses
from your affectionate husband
I enclose $2# which belongs to Sister Mannie - please give to her -
Another Kiss and good night

Letter 32

Letter folded to form envelope and addressed to:
Mrs. Chas. Roberts,
Care of [Jos.] Moseley [Esq.],
Madison Co.,
Postmarked JAN 5 with a 10 cent Confederate stamp

In Camp near Aberdeen, Miss.
Jany 1st 1865

My own darling wife,
Another year is past and gone; commenced
and closed in war and bloodshed and its natural accompanyments
of ruin and desolation to many a happy hearth - We have had
much to mourn and yet very much to be thankful for; you
have lost a much loved parent and myself a warm friend,
we lost some little property and being obliged, for a while, to abandon
our quiet little house, but thank a Kind Providence, our lives have
been spared and our children have been blessed with health and
the war is one year nearer its close - Before another year has
passed over I hope this terrible struggle will be ended and
surrounded by those that are very dear to me I shall be
pleasantly employed in making Something for their comfort and
Since I last wrote you which was about a week ago
we have been disturbed from our comfortable camps and being
on the march - The Yankee raid which came out from Memphis,
struck the Mobile and Ohio RR at Verona (two stations above
Okolona) and moved down the road, destroying the track as
they went, as far as Prairie Station, which is eight miles from
Aberdeen. When they approached the latter place we moved
our train to a safe distance fearing they may hear of our whereabouts
and make us a visit. The trip was anything but pleasant to
me, for I am troubled with numerous blood boils which made
it purgatory to ride - We got back here yesterday and if I can help
it I shall not move out of camps until I am well rid of these
troublesome customers, which I hope will not be long, for I
am very anxious to get to the front, the very first opportunity.
Where [Hood's] army is at present, I cannot say. The army met
with disaster in Tenn. and when last heard from was at the
Tennessee river and the enemy was endeavoring to prevent
our crossing, with what success, I have not heard, although
I do not expect that the gunboats they have in the neighborhood
of Tuscumbia and Decatur will be a serious impediment to
our crossing. It is reported that the army will go into winter
quarters at Blue Mountain, Ala, but of course nothing definite
in known as to the future movements of Genl Hood and in fact
the account of our defeat is all from Yankee papers, yet there
must be some truth in it, otherwise our army would have certainly
wintered in Tennessee.
There is nothing reliable from Savannah, but report says,
Genl [Beauregarde] withdrew his forces to Charleston and that Sherman
is in possession of Savannah.
The prospect certainly does not look very bright, but
I hope when we hear the full truth of the matter it will be a
great deal better than what rumour makes it. It is no use being
discouraged, our prospect has been more unpromising before this
and it has been followed by successes which have fully reinstated
us -- We feel that our cause is just and this is sufficient stimulant
for us to persevere.
Well dear, I hope you spent a merry Christmas and [must]
wish I could have been with you to participate in the innocent
pleasures of the day. Mine was a decidedly dull one -- It rained
so as to prevent my going to church and Capt Hughes, who I had
invited to dinner, was prevented from coming owing to some
business which he had to attend to and I [ate] a solitary Christmas
dinner and felt considerably "blue".
I suppose by the time this letter reaches you Miss Sue will have
changed her name and have entered [on] the responsible duties of
married life. I wish so much I could be present at the wedding
for I think it would contribute to your enjoyment -- and I know I
appreciate the good time which is always to be had at weddings
The bride and bridegroom have my most earnest wishes of happiness
and any quantity of "little Roaches"
How is your school progressing dear, I am much interested in it
although you thought that I sometimes made fun of it. I can assure you
darling I am proud to see you show the energy and perseverance
in the matter that you do. Not from any selfish motive but the
satisfaction of seeing that you are equal to the emergencies of
the times and have a proper spirit of independence -- The more
I know of your character, the more I love you my own sweet
wife -- Your are indeed soul of my soul and life of my life and
I am impatient for the time to come when I can by my own
exertions furnish you with every comfort you require and with my
untiring devotion contribute to your happiness.
How are our little darlings getting along. I hope they are in
the enjoyment of good health -- Kiss them for their papa. I was much
pleased with their improvement and thought I saw good signs of
careful training -- Persevere my dear wife in watching carefully
the development of their dispositions and kindly and lovingly lead
them on in their duties, of loving God and honoring their parents.
You have many trials and much to contend with, but persevere
my dearest wife and your reward will follow. It is all important
to the future happiness of our children as well as our selves that
their minds should be early impresses with the importance of
truthfulness both by example and [precept]. Never dear promise them
anything but what you can fulfill and use all your powers
to instil into their minds a spirit of generosity -- There is
so much selfishness in this world that we have to [rub] against
in our daily intercourse, that I would if possible keep it only of
the family circle
Give my love to your ma, sister Mannie and all the family
My love to you my own sweet darling and many Kisses
and may God bless you is the Earnest
prayer of your devoted husband

Since writing my letter I have heard through an officer direct from
the Army, that Genl Hood crossed the Tennessee river at Bainbridge
and that he is now on his way to Corinth -- I have no great
liking for the place and hope if he comes as far as that, he will
continue his march a little farther down -- Tupelo would be a
better place than Corinth -- the latter place has neither wood nor
water and is very unhealthy.

The raid that came out to the Mobile Ohio RR was last heard
of in Choctaw Co -- gone there probably to destroy the factory at
that place and a Yankee prisoner reported that from [hence] they
would go west and meet a raid coming out of Vicksburgh
and combined, proceed to Meridian and destroy the R.R.
I hope it is not so for I know not what I shall do if com-
munication is cut off from home --
One Kiss [dearest &] Good night
Direct your letters
as heretofore without
giving the name of the
[town] --

Letter 33

Letter folded to form envelope and addressed to:
Mrs. Chas. Roberts,
Care of [Jos.] Moseley [Esq.],
Madison Co., Miss.
Postmarked COLUMBUS JAN [9] with a 10 cent Confederate stamp

In Camps near Aberdeen, Miss
Jany 7th 1865

My much loved wife,
The day after I wrote my last letter the
report of another Yankee raid put us on the march again. About
three o'clock in the morning orders came to prepare to move im-
mediately and we were in a very short space of time on the road
to Columbus, moving with all the [expedition] possible -- In crossing
the [Buttie] Hatchie at the Ford we lost two of our mules in consequence
of the depth and swiftness of the current and to prevent any further
the greater portion of the moved six miles up the river and
crossed at the ferry. We went in camp that night nine miles from
Columbus and remained there the next day and then returned
to our old camping ground. The raid we feared did not come
down as far as our camps but captured some two hundred
and odd of Genl Hood's supply and pontoon train between
this place and the Tennessee river.
The army when I last heard of it was at Tupelo and
it is reported that Lee's Corps is coming to Columbus, Miss -- if this
is the case I shall join them at that point.
The campaign is ended until Spring I presume and
with very little credit or profit to us. I do not know much about
the condition of the army, only from rumour and shall delay
saying anything about it until I get with the command and
can judge for myself. I am very anxious to learn how the Battery
has fared; there is no doubt we lost considerable Artillery but
I hope Stanford's Battery was not amongst the number.
Savannah is in the hands of the Yankees -- Genl Sher-
man allows the citizens fifteen days to make their settlements
with each other in Confederate currency and twenty days the
lines are to left open for any one to go in or out and after that
no intercourse outside of the Federal lines. It is my opinion
that there will be more go in than come out for there appears
to be an unusual desire amongst many citizens of the Confederate
States to get inside the Yankee lines.
The Yankees made a formidable attack on Wilmington
NC, but it proved a total failure. The exploded a torpedo
boat with three hundred [tuns] of powder, close under the fort
but with scarcely any effect -- In Virginia matters stand about
as usual.
It is rumoured that Genl A P Hill is to take command
of the army, [and] Genl Hood removed. That there should be
a change of Commander, I think is absolutely necessary, but
nothing short of Genl Johnston will satisfy the bulk of the
army. It is astonishing with what tenacity the retain implicit
faith in Genl Johnston and yet I never expect to see the wish
of the army granted on this point, for should President Davis
so overcome his prejudices as to tender Genl Johnston the Com-
mand, I very much doubt if he would accept it under the
I am anxious now to get up with the command for I have
abundance of back work which has been accumulating during
the Tenn Campaign, and I can't do anything to it until I get
with the Brigade. It is no advantage to me to have leisure time
for I am a [poor] hand to [run] about. I have not made
a single acquaintance amongst the citizens since I have
been here, except in the way of business -- I am afraid when I
again enjoy the pleasures of home permanently I will find
it difficult to leave for the short space of time that I [may]
find it necessary to in the transaction of business -- The fact
is I dont like strange faces and would rather have my circle
of acquaintances limited to a few friends than extended to include
many which are indifferent to me. How much a person's taste
changes in the course of a lifetime; I can recollect the time
when I was never happier than when in the midst of a crowd
of acquaintances and felt as if I could not have too much
society -- and it has often astonished me how great the change has been
in my disposition, for I dont know any one that enjoys the quiet
pleasures of the home circle more than I do now -- I expect the
credit is due to you darling; you have always made home
so pleasant and desirable a place that I could not but
learn to appreciate it --
When I get with the command I shall expect to find a
letter from you awaiting my arrival and I hope I may not be
disappointed -- I am anxious to hear from "the loved ones at home"
and I hope you will write me all particulars how you getting
along -- Kiss the darling children for papa and give them my
love --
Let ma know if your ma has taken any steps about
going to Vicksburgh, also what has been done in regard to the
accounts and anything in regard to the place that you may [think]
worthy of mention.
I wrote to the Doctor when at home to send the articles
that I requested to Judge Peterson's at Okolona. My hope now
that he has not had an opportunity of sending them for
I understand the Yankee raid burnt up that place, when they
passed through and if my goods were there at the time they were
in all probability captured or destroyed.
I am not able to ride horseback yet but think I am
mending some -- These boils or sores have worried me terribly --
I am going to try [the virtue] of [Sulphur] internally [and] externally
they say it is a Sure Cure.
Write me often my darling, for you know how highly
your letters are prized by me - Accept my [illegible] of undying
love and devotion and many Kisses
from yours ever truly

Letter 34

Letter folded to form envelope and addressed to:
Mrs. Chas. Roberts,
Care of [Jos.] Moseley [Esq.],
Madison Co., Miss.
with a 10 cent Confederate stamp but no postmark

Stevenson's Division, Reserve Train
Jany 14th 1865.

My own dear wife,
I am now camped six miles below Columbus
on the Pickensville (Ala) road. Expect to move again to night or
in the morning and go toward Memphis, Ala., on the Tombigbee
river. We moved from our old camp last Sunday(8th inst) and
have since then been moving from point to point, then on one side
of the river and then on the other. I hope however we have got through
with crossing the river for it is very tedious work crossing a long
train in a ferry boat and night before last I come
very near being thrown in the river. I had two of my wagons [&] teams
on the boat which was much crowded and one of the mules
got restless and got himself into the river. It was a wheel mule
and difficult to cut loose and before we succeeded in doing so
the other teams became restive and the boat swung around down
the stream and for awhile I expected every moment to see the
boat turn over or be pushed over myself by some of the mules
for they were crowding from one side of the boat to the other and
almost impossible to control. We eventually got the mule free
from the harness and got the boat to the landing and I can assure
you I was very glad to put my foot on terra firma again for
it was a bitter cold night and the river was wide [&] deep and
there [several words missing] for a man to have [missing]
himself if he had got in the river.
I have made application to return to my brigade but
in consequence of the Quartermaster who was in charge of the
Division train being ordered on other duty, I have to remain in
charge for the present.
The evening I left our old camp, the Artillery of [See's]
Corps came up with us, on their way to Columbus - The battery
(Stanford's) lost all their guns and [four] men killed and several
wounded. Mr Coe, [Lt] McCall's brother in law was amongst the
killed - The Oxford boys came through all safe - I saw Mr Watkins
Louis Kendall & Ben Hill - Mr Doyle went home from Corinth;
during the Tenn Campaign, he was with the Q.M. of the
The boys gave a terrible account of the number of our killed
and wounded during the campaign. Our losses have no doubt being
very heavy and the campaign has proved a very disastrous one.
We lost over seventy pieces of artillery, besides considerable transportation
I understand our army is at Tupelo and Okolona, whither they
will come farther down, I cannot say, but I think it highly
probable, for Thomas has landed 25,000 men at Eastport which
is seven miles from Corinth and I have no doubt he will press
forward so as to get possession of the prairie country in order to
subsist his army. There are rumours of our army going to Augusta
[Ga.], I dont know how much truth there is in it but hope it is
not so for I do not want to go into Geo again and besides I hate
to see this country left open to the ravages of the enemy.
I have just heard that the Reserve Train will leave for
Marion Ala tomorrow morning - That is about Sixty five miles
from here. I wish they would get some place and stop for it is
very unpleasant moving about so much in winter.
I expect there will be little chance of going into winter
quarters this season for the enemy are so active in their operations
[missing] doubt much if they [missing] it
at present - I have been always confident of our final Success, but
I can assure the present state of affairs look very gloomy. I
yet hope that something will "turn up", to make matters look
more promising.
I have not had a line from you Since my return
from home. Direct your letters care of Maj Baylor, Pettus Brigade
Lee's Corps and they will be forwarded to me from the [Command].
I am anxious to hear form you dear, and it appears a long
time since I was at home. I suppose the wedding is all over by
this time and Mrs. Roach is settled down to the quiet routine
of married life. L know Sister Mannie must miss her companion
greatly and should not be surprised to hear that she [enters] the
holy bonds of matrimony in self defense.
Did your ma succeed in getting the cotton [cards] as
yet? - and has she heard any thing from [Hornthall] in regard
to to the cotton [settlement. I understand the (missing) to Vicksburgh]
but don't know how far it is true.
I hope our little darlings are well - give them many Kisses
from papa
Give my love to all the family.
Keep in good heart dear I think the time is not distant
when this war will be closed. I do not think we shall get all
we started out for but we must be satisfies, I suppose, to [relinquish]
some of our claims in order to obtain the main point [Independence]
I certainly should be satisfied to see it closed on any other terms
Much love darling and many many Kisses from your
affectionate husband

You must excuse this letter closing so abruptly for I have to
go out and purchase forage.

Letter 35

Envelope made from a sheet of folder writing paper addressed to:
Mrs. Chas. Roberts,
Care of [Jos.] Moseley [Esq.],
Madison Co., Miss.
with stamp missing but postmarked JAN [21]

Columbus, Miss January 21st 1865

My own dear wife,
When I last wrote you I was camped six
miles from Columbus on the Pickensville road; this was a week
ago yesterday. On the day after I wrote you I reported at this
place to the Hospital in consequence of being afflicted so
severely with risings that I could neither ride or walk. I am
much better now and as soon as I can get a car to [ship]
the baggage of Stevenson's Division I shall accompany it, if
nothing prevent, to Augusta Geo - Lee's Corps is now moving
from Tupelo on the [Cars] to Augusta where I understand they
will be met by Longstreets Corps and probably proceed to
South Carolina - The balance of the army [Cheatham Stewarts]
Corps have no orders as yet that I know of - I presume
they will move to such point as they may be most required.
Genl Dick Taylor is now in command of this army and
Hood retired of his own accord. I have not heard much
expression as to how far this change meets the approbation
of the troops - There is no doubt they are satisfied as far
as concerns Genl Hood retiring but I do not think there
is much enthusiasm [in receiving] the new Commander -
The fact is the troops just now are depressed and worn out
after they have become rested and liberally furloughed I think
they will again regain their usual [bouyancy]. I can assure you
I am not at all pleased with the idea of going into Georgia
again, for I have had enough of that state and would much
preferred remaining in Mississippi this winter, but like everything
else in this army, a man cannot do as he wants to but must
do as he is ordered. I think it very probable that the troops
that go to Georgia will not have much rest for Sherman
is going to [crowd things] this winter and there will no doubt
be some severe fighting done.
Well my dearest have had my first experience at a
hospital and have come to the conclusion that whilst
a man can take care of himself he can get along very well
but if very sick he had better have some kind friend near
him otherwise he will stand a poor chance of coming out
alive. The ward I am in is an officers ward and kept clean
and as far as possible for a sick room [pure] - all the hospitals
in fact at this place have a very clean appearance and the
nurses do as well as rough inexperienced soldiers know
how - the surgeons take it very indifferently, at least I [can]
say so for the one in my ward. He just walks around
twice a day and scarcely stops to look at a man before
he prescribes; now it is possible he knows the merits of
each case without investigating but it certainly would be a
satisfaction to his patients to have him question them a little
and show as if he really felt some interest in their recovery.
The matron appears to be a very pleasant woman and has
been very kind to me - I gave her some coffee to supply [with]
the beverage for breakfast and supper and I can assure
you I enjoy it with milk and sugar. She also serves me
with an extra dish if there is anything in the kitchen. There
is a young man in the same ward from Stanfords' Battery
he was wounded at Nashville and although his wound
[his] doing very well he is kept [weak] by fever - His friends
are all in West Tennessee and he is without clothes or money
and I have felt it a duty as far as I was able to help
him a little - He is a good soldier and behaved very
gallantly at Franklin and Nashville and it would give me
pleasure to se him speedily recover but I fear unless he
get rid of the low fever which troubles him, he will be in
great danger of losing his life -
There was a young man from the 14th Miss who resided
at West Station below Grenada previous to the war that
particularly interested me; he was a tall well made young
man with a fine intelligent countenance. He had been
sick with pneumonia and about well when a week ago
he had a relapse and a day or two ago I felt in my own
mind that he would not get well - Yesterday the Doctor said
he would not last the night and in the evening he appeared
very low but almost free from pain he lived through the
night and this morning I was sitting close by his bed reading
the morning paper and occasionally watching him when a
[Lieut] to whom I was reading stopped me and said he believed
he was dead. I went to him and found he had just [breathed]
his last - without a groan or a struggle and not a relative
oor friend by to sppeak words of comfort to him as he passed
away - Iw was with sadness I looked upon his handsome face,
composed in the lasting sleep of death and thought of his
father and mother to whom he was no doubt very dear -
His father had been written to but the break in the road
prevented I presume their getting the latter and probably
they are not yet aware that he was sick
I do not wish to be the inmate of a hospital again
but I do not regret the insight I have had into the
arrangement and management of hospitals and it will
make me more desirous to hunt up and assist any
friend or acquaintance I may find at such place. It
is well to look at suffering occasionally in order to quicken
our sympathy and remind us of our duty to those in distress
I have not heard a word from you as yet my [dearest]
wife and getting very anxious to hear from home - You must
continue writing and direct your letters as heretofore with
the exception of Army of Tenn-(Brigade, Division and Corps will
be sufficient - I hope and pray that you are all well and
trust [that] I will get some letters from you shortly - I have
written to Brig Hd Qu to forward me any letters they may have
My dear, when you have an opportunity, I wish you would
purchase me a pocket knife - I lost mine the week after
my return and a knife is an indispensable article in the
army. I have not got my boots or heard from the Doctor and
very much doubt if I do - I wish I could get my boots
for I am in need of them; these I have on are [bursting]
out on the sides almost every day - I gave Louis [Kindal]
a pair of my socks Consequently have only two pair left.
Mrs Dashiel is keeping house here and Alice [Howry]
is staying with her. I have not called on them as yet for I
could not take a seat with sufficient grace and Ease to
go in the presence of ladies.
I saw Mr Steinbach at a funeral the other day but did
not have an opportunity of speaking to him -
Kiss my sweet little daughter Ada - I hope she recollects
her papa - Kiss Charley for papa and tell him to be a
good little boy and love his mama and Sister
My love to you darling wife - My thoughts have been
with you very much of late dearest, whilst lying on my
bed awake and restless, for part of the time my boils were
very painful, I felt what a luxury it would have been
to have had my loving wife ministering to me - Her gentle
hand and watchful care would have made me forget my
pain - Oh darling how much my heart yearned for you
for I [know] it would have been your pleasure to have waited
on me and in such a way as no other person could - God bless
you dear and many, many Kisses from your affectionate and
devoted husband
Give my love to all the family - and remember me kindly to
[Mr Ewing] and family -

Letter 36

Macon, Geo Feby 12th 1865

My darling wife,
I left Columbus, Miss last Sunday morning( to-
day week) and arrived here on Friday evening. John Watkins
accompanied me as far as Mobile, where the Battery is now stationed.
I also met with [Al] Andrews in the City; he was there making [pur-
chases] He says the Doctor is as well as usual and nothing new
in Oxford. The journey from Columbus to this place was
very fatigueing, the cars were crowded to overflowing and although
I succeeded in obtaining a seat in the ladies car all the way
through, it was very unpleasant travelling and exceedingly ex-
pensive. I was obliged to limit myself to one meal per day
for they charge from six to ten dollars [per] meal at the hotels.
At this place I found the baggage stored whish was forwarded
from Columbus Miss and it is my present intention to remain
here until the wagon train Comes up which I think will be
in a week or probably less time. I shall then have the [bag-
gage] loaded on the wagons and proceed with them to Augusta
and from that point to the Command, which I presume is
somewhere in the neighborhood of [Branchville] S.C.,
The news yesterday evening was that the Yankees had
Succeeded in cutting [the] road between Augusta and Branchville
and had possession of the latter place. If this is the case, our
communication [with] Richmond is [destroyed] and should they
succeed in holding the road they must eventually [capture]
Charleston. If [Sherman] succeeds in [overrunning] South Carolina
the people of that state will suffer fearfully, for he has [threatened]
to do worse than he has Ever done before, when he gets into the
"original Secession State" I am in hopes that we shall be able
to collect sufficient force to [give him] battle and drive him
back to Savannah with but the [remnant] of an army.
The [news] from Richmond is highly encouraging. A
telegram was received here last night that Grant had come
out of his works and attacked our forces and had been most
signally defeated. He was not only [repulsed] but we drove them
from their own [line] of works, [which] is now in our possession.
This is a ray of sunshine which is most grateful at the present
time and I hope will tend to drive that desponding feeling
which so generally prevails from our midst and stimulate the
people to renewed exertion. If every man would do his duty
at this present [time] we could put an army in the field
which would drive every Yankee from [our] Soil but I
fear they will not for the love of life and love of gain has taken
such strong hold of them that they will [passively] let the Yankees
exterminate our armies before they will make the necessary sacrifice
to assist us. Every town I have passed through of any size
could furnish from a regiment to a Brigade of able bodied
men and the towns would not be [illegible] by their absence.
I see Congress has passed a law allowing no details between
the age of Eighteen and forty five, but making [all] between this age
bear arms. This may probably put me again in the ranks but
I shall not object to it, provided all go. Something must be done
to [illegible] our armies and in my opinion it must be [strengthened]
by the white population for it is according to my notion folly
to attempt to make soldiers of the negroes in our army. Many
think otherwise but I am Convinced it would tend to demoral-
ise our army more than their [numbers] would do good.
When I wrote you last I was in great hopes that something
was going to be effected by the peace commissioner, in fact [I]
never felt so confident at any time previous, but alas the [following]
day [illegible news] which dashed all my hopes [to] the ground.
[Lincoln] would hear of nothing but unconditional Submission
first and then such terms as himself and the Yankee Congress
may impose. Now all we have to look to is foreign [powers] and
until they feel disposed to interfere we must keep fighting, but
I believe the time is not far distant when they will [acknowledge]
[our] independence and aid us by armed [intervention], provided
we [agree] to gradual emancipation. I should much regret the
necessity which compels us to relinquish slavery but of course
if there be no other alternative, we had better give up our
slaves than relinquish our own freedom and independence.
Yesterday Evening I had a complimentary ticket given
me to attend the theatre -- The "bill of fare" was "Richard the 3rd."
Remaining page(s) missing.

Letter 37

Envelope addressed to:
Mrs Chas. Roberts,
Lafayette Co Miss.

10 cent Confederate stamp with smudged postmark

In camps near Milledgeville, Geo
March 1st 1865

My darling wife,
I am at last "on the road" again and feel better satisfied
than when remaining in town. The wagon train arrived in Macon last
Friday, but in consequence of heavy rains, we could not get down
the pontoon bridge to cross the river until Sunday morning, when
we started for this place. We have been three days coming thirty
miles, the roads being in terrible condition and the rain which we
have had most of the way, making it still worse. We are now in
camps and will probably have to remain here a day or two until the
Oconee river falls sufficiently for us to put in our pontoons. The
country we have passed through, coming from Macon, shows
abundance of signs of Sherman's march from Atlanta to Savannah.
They not only robbed the people of almost Everything they possessed
but in many cases committed the worst of outrages upon the women.
I can scarcely credit that men living in a Christian Country
in the nineteenth century could be guilty of such fiendish conduct.
Sherman is still pushing on for Virginia; whether he will succeed
in getting there, time will only discover. I understand [however]
that there is extensive preparations making to check him is his
"mad career" and I am in hopes he will yet Come to trouble.
The recognition and intervention rumour is again on foot and
it is going the rounds of the paper that the French Consul at
Charleston informed the Mayor of that city, previous to his
leaving, that he had been officially advised by the French
government that the Emperor Napoleon would recognise the Con-
federate States of the fourth of March and if necessary [Sustain]
by armed intervention. I hope it may be so, but so not place
much confidence in the report.
It is difficult to say when we shall get with the Command,
for they are still moving and I should not be surprised if we
dont all "fetch up" in Virginia. I would have remained in
Mobile with Capt Ray QM for the Battalion of Artillery, but I
thought the probability of being captured was too great and I
have a great dread of a Yankee prison. I would rather be
wounded in battle than be taken prisoner.
I wish I could hear from you my dearest wife -- I [cannot]
but feel anxious to learn how you and our dear children are doing.
Every day I feel more and more what a waste of life this is -- separated
from all that is dear to me and with no possible chance of doing anything
for Even the support of my family. I know our Cause is just and this
is the only thing that at all reconciles me to the great sacrifice I
am making. The path of duty is indeed thorny and rough and it
requires all my patriotism to keep me sometimes from [murmuring] --
But I will persevere dearest and you will never see me at home
unless I can get there in a legitimate and honorable manner.
The sacrifice is not all on my part, for I feel as though you
had to suffer and bear more than I do and I feel proud of
my wife [in] knowing she has always done so without complaining
You are a dear, good wife, Maggie and it will be my pleasure to
devote myself, when I can again be with you, to your comfort
and happiness. It is my greatest solace amidst deprivation and
hardship to know there is one [true] heart that is mine, whither
rich or poor, in prosperity or adversity and under every circumstance
except dishonor, mine and mine only. I can assure you dear this
is a source of constant pleasure to me and when I think of you
as such, you are the handsomest and most charming of
women. No ones smile is as pleasant to my as yours and no
words of approval have so sweet a sound as [those] coming
from your own dear self.
Kiss our dear children for papa -- and give them my love -- I know Ada
[wont] forget papa and you must try and teach Charley to love him --
My love to your Ma, Sister Mannie and all the family -- and kind
regards to [Mr & Mrs] Roach and all friends.
I should like to know whither your ma has been able to get to
Vicksburgh and what success she met with --
My love to you my own sweet, darling wife and abundance
of Kisses from your ever devoted husband

Letter 38

Envelope addressed to:
Mrs Chas. Roberts,
Lafayette Co., Miss.

10 cent Confederate stamp with an illegible Ga. postmark

In camps near Sparta Geo
Mch 5th 1865

My darling,
It is Sunday night and although my opportunity
of writing you is anything but favorable, I cannot feel
satisfied without writing you a few lines. We have been
in camps about an hour and a half and I have had my
dinner or supper, as you may feel disposed to call it and
have taken a good wash and will now say a few words
to my beloved wife. We left [Midway] yesterday about
11 [o'Clock], passing through Milledgeville and crossing the
Oconee River and camped ten miles this side of the
river last night. Today we travelled about sixteen
passing through Sparta, which [is] quite a respectable
town, considering there is no railroad to connect
it with the outer world. The roads are in awful con-
dition and we can't make over fifteen miles per day.
There is about four hundred wagons along and although
we are all [harnessed] and ready to move by seven o'clock,
it is nearly nine o'[llock] before we all get [fairly] started.
The four days we were camped at Midway, it rained
almost incessantly and our camps were ankle deep
in mud and water. It was enough to make to man
hang himself and if it was not for the pleasant [recollections]
of those sweet loving faces at home, I don't know
what the consequence may have been for I was disgusted
with myself and Everything about me. I am now
sixty miles from Augusta and if nothing prevent [the
train] will get there about Thursday Evening. I understand
that we are to [continue] our March until we get with
the army, which is somewhere in the neighborhood of
Charlotte N.C. -- I don't know the Exact distance
but I think it is about two hundred miles from Augusta
I know we have to cross South Carolina in our route.
I have no definite information from the army and
it is useless to write down all the rumours I hear, for
there is no dependence to be placed in them. I can
tell you one think which I know is so, and am very
glad of it and that is that Genl Jos E Johnston is
again in Command of the Army. I believe the effect
will be very beneficial to our army, for whilst other
generals may do as well, the men have faith in Johnston
and confidence in Everything and anything he may do.
This Spring and Summer Campaign I think will
give us some definite idea of what and when the [final issue]
of what this war will be. I have full faith in our obtaining
our independence, but [full assured] that slavery is a dead
letter and this after all was the great question that we wished
to exercise our independence on. But I suppose if we cannot
get a whole loaf we must be satisfied with half a one.
Well my darling, I hope you have enjoyed a pleasant
Sabbath -- With me, I always feel as though I wanted to be
with you more on that day than any other in the week
and I hope the time is not far distant when I shall
again enjoy those pleasant Sundays with you that
I used to in our little house in Oxford, before the Com-
mencement of this war. I was happy and I believe Con-
tented then, but I do nto think I appreciated my home
or you dearest as much as I do now and shall,
if spared to again enjoy the blessing --
My love and Kisses to Ada [&] Charley from papa -- Give
my love to all the family and remember me Kindly to
all friends
My love, [yes] darling wife all my love to you and
Many many Kisses
from your devoted husband

Letter 39

Letter folded to form envelope and addressed to:
Mrs. Chas. Roberts,
Care of Mr Jos. Moseley,
Madison Co., Miss.
with a 10 cent Confederate stamp; postmark illegible

In camps [nr] Edgefield [illegible]., So.Ca.,
March 15th 1865
My dearest wife,
Yesterday we left our camp near [Hamburg] and travelled
about twelve miles and bivouaced for the night This morning at
daylight we expected again to be on the move but received orders
Early this morning to wait for Army [Hd Qu train] to pass us and
I do not think we shall move until tomorrow morning. It rained
very heavily last night but now (about noon) it is very pleasant
and the breeze is quite warm and [balmy]. I should not be sur-
prised if we have a thunder storm before night. They are becoming
quite frequent of late and the [Evening] we left Augusta it commenced
raining just as I commenced parking the train and before it
was completed, I was thoroughly wet, not a dry stitch of clothes
on me. The rain poured down in a perfect avalanche and the
wind made the [limbs] of some of the dead trees fall about
in a most reckless and unpleasant manner.
The country thus far in South Carolina is very poor;
nothing but pine and sand, occasionally varied by red clay hills.
I thought Georgia in regard to soil was poor enough but I am
inclined to think So. Ca. would take the premium unless it improves
and they tell me this is a good average. If it was land we
were fighting for and not principle, I should be willing to
let them take S.C. and Ga without a struggle. Take the soil throughout
the state of Miss. and I think the average will Exceed any state
in the Confederacy (on the East side of the Miss. River) for good land.
I see by yesterday's paper that there is a Yankee [force]
from Vicksburgh advanced as far as Jackson -- whither to go to Mobile
or [Selma] is not known. I hope they did not disturb you any as
the came [on]. It makes me feel very uncertain as to the probability
of your getting this letter, for I fear they have broken the road
between here and Jackson, but I feel that I must keep writing
to you darling and will continue to do so whilst there is the
possibility of my letters reaching you.
This morning I have been very busy making my self a couple of
[towls] and a couple of days ago I accomplished quite a triumph with my
needle and thread. I had a linen bosom shirt which was in a very
[delipidated] condition. I took of the collar and put a band in the
place of it repaired the yoke and bosom and now it is "done up"
it looks Superb. Having no soap on hand I was obliged to send [these]
pieces out to be washed and they only charged me a dollar a piece
for them.
I have had my old boots "foxed" and "resoled" and they will
be good for three months to come, if not longer, for they must
last me until I can get home again when I will get those that
are at Oxford. Repairing my boots took the last cent of money I
had and I now feel no uneasiness about any one stealing my
purse. I drew some money at Columbus, but my Expenses in coming
to Macon and then waiting there two weeks for the train reduced
what was not a large amount at first. When I get up with the
Command I expect I will be able to get some that is due me
and in the meantime I can do without. The money is of so
little "Count" that it is of little service unless you can get it by
thousands and whilst I can have enough to get me a little
tobacco and defray trifling Expenses, I am satisfied. Our [currency]
question has been so badly handled that it has become almost
I did not go to Augusta whilst camped near, for the
fact is, a man can't well go into a large town or city and
remain anytime without spending something; and whilst
I was in Augusta I saw so many drunken officers and men
that I was disgusted. Our train was detained three hours in
town in consequence of an officer getting drunk
and had to go into camps in a pouring rain when we may have
been comfortably camped when the rain came on if we had
not been delayed in town. I believe drunkenness is on the increase
in the army, for I see men of position get drunk and make
fools of themselves in public places without any signs of shame
when they become sober. The morals of our people are fast
degenerating and it is time for this war to stop if only to save
thousands of our men and women from becoming more degraded
than brutes. I expect there were just as many bad people
in the world before this war as there is now, but this war
has given them an opportunity to act what they before only thought.
We have no definite news from the army. It is rumoured
that there has been in a fight in which Sherman's right and
left was badly cut up, but it is difficult to say how much
truth there is in the report. There is I understand about
seven thousand men [here] belonging to the Army of Tenn and Army
of Va. There was a report this morning that they were going to
be sent to Selma, but I am [inclined] to think they will go
[through] with us to the main body of the army.
How is my little daughter progressing with her books? I [hope]
she will be able [to] read some when I again meet her -- Give
many Kisses to [missing] [darlings] Ada [&] Charley --
Give my love [to] all the family and "howdy" to uncle William and
[Aunty] Mary --
My love to you my own Sweet wife -- as Sweet and faithful
as Ever man had -- We are far apart dear, but the same sun shines
upon us, the same guardian care protects us and the same patient
and merciful Ear receives our prayers -- this thought brings you
as it were nearer to me and is a Source [of] Comfort --
How my heart burns with desire to see you darling and
my spirits often sink below zero at the thought of how long
it may be before I have that happiness
Many Kisses dearest wife
from your devoted husband

Letter 40

Oxford, Miss, Augt 21st 1865

My dearest wife,
I arrived here on Friday Evening and
am boarding with Mr Turner. John Watkins and
myself are at present rooming together.
[Coln Avent] is at work on his building and I have
engaged the room that was formerly occupied by his Bank.
I fear it will not be finished as Early as I could wish,
for I have no idea under the most favorable circumstances
he will finish it before the middle of October, but their
is no help for it, for the Doctor and Mr Doyle have rented
the other building (Reynold's) and if Avent had not Kept
to his promise, I should have been without a store.
I told the Doctor on Sunday what I thought of his
conduct and we had a long conversation on the matter
but without any satisfactory result to me and our
going into partnership is out of the question. I shall
take my own chances and you can tell John he can
make his arrangements for coming up with you and I
will try to make a merchant of him.
Yesterday I had a chill and feel right weak
today but, shall take some medicine tonight which I hope
will Keep the chill off to-morrow, with what quinine I
take in the morning.
Well my dear I spent twenty five dollars for
you and the children this Evening -- I invested it in a
Cow and calf -- [Mrs] Turner will take care of the Cow
until you come up.
I went down with Mr Joe Butler this morning
to Examine the well -- he thinks he will have to make
a new well but will come in a few days and go down
in the well and Examine -- I shall make definite arrange-
ments about having a well before I leave.
I am now in negociations for posts to build [fence]
but not made any contract as yet. I am also
trying to make a contract for some twenty cords of
wood to be delivered in October -- [Gant] proposes to do
it at $5# per Cord -- this is too much money.
It almost discourages me to see what I have to
Expend before I can make a start here but I see
no help for it and when I do get started I must
work the harder to get it back.
What do you think of Miss Stockard's terms for tuition -
$35 per month in gold. If Sister Mannie had followed my advice,
she would have stated the terms that your ma proposed
paying and if she had not agreed to it she would have
Come mighty near it. I will see her to-morrow and find
out what are her lowest terms.
Give my love to the children and many Kisses -- And
Much love and many Kisses to you my own sweet darling -- I
missed you yesterday especially but shall feel Satisfied if
you and the children only Keep in good health
My love to all -- You have my prayers for [your] health and happiness
Yours devotedly Charley
(Written upside down at the top of the opening page:)
Tell Mr Smith he had better Keep a look out for hands for the
coming year, for they are going to in great demand before
Christmas -- Every one talks of hiring --

Letter 41 -- Undated; extremely difficult to read, so the entire letter should be considered in brackets, as this is a rough transcription. Letter appears to be to Maggie Roberts from Bessie.

Miss Saturday Nov 14th
My darling Maggie
Received your most
welcome letter a short time since
but I cannot tell you how glad
to hear form you. Sorry
we cant go down to see you
this winter. But there is so much
danger all the time we felt that
it would be a hassard trip to
undertake. I suppose on this that
you are at the homestead. It
will be a sad visit to you. My
heart pains now when I think of it.
O what would I give to meet you
All that are mine: You didn't say
anything about Wanda when you
wrote last. did she go home before
you did. We are so anxious to hear
when Mrs. Roberts is. but all of you
I was so much in hopes last Spring
that this "evil war" would be over
by this time. But I see no prospect
for the present. I wish that Toby
could come here and go to school.
I am afraid that if he remains
there that the will conscript him --
and there will be no danger here
until he is twenty years old.
Does Addie still remain at Green
wood. I sincerely hope that Dr
Harper has been able to remain
at home. do write all about
what you know of them -- when
you write. Give a great deal of love
to Wanda tell her to write me. Uncle
Robert has written your Mother today.
Galuise folks are well -- and send
much love. Latin was here today and
took dinner with us -- Mae sends a
kiss to her little cousins. Blue Pat is
very fat child. They call him Ralph
I wrote you in my last letter (but
will repeat fearing you did not get
it.) that dear Isabelle -- Dews wife
was dead. She died last Tues
with consumption of the stomach
the same disease her sister Phene
died with. so you see they have
had 4 deaths in that family within
a few months. Aunt Libby the
Drs sister died in March. Phen
in December -- little Betty in February
Aunt Libby in March and dear
Isabelle in June. Her death has
cast a gloom own the family wh
ich they will never re cover especially
her Mother. Dew is talking of going
to California Bellow has so changed
that it is not much pleasure to go
there anymore. [Illegible] has seemed
like the same place since
Chapran died. That large house
once so cheerful is now quite and
gloomy -- Dr Woodard and family
have gone to Menzale to spend
the winter. Glorea is in New York
at school. Nellie's health is very
poor she is at the water cure in
Cleveland. Her baby is well -- she calls
it [illegible] so you see Mrs Chapman
is quite [illegible]. Gradys health is as usual
Mrs Chapman was here a week with
her little family this last summer.
We so often spoke of you all:
Friends [illegible] you with a
great deal of interest: I would love so
much to see your dear little children
and [illegible] little girls give them all
my love for me -- give love to sister
Eliza and write soon may god
bless you and yours is the sincere
prayer of your affectionate little Aunt[illegible]
Written upside down at the bottom of the letter:
Oran Bull (my [illegible]) was killed
in the battle of Atlanta such is the
fate of war:
Written sideways across the top of the letter:
Mrs Chapman send
love to all [illegible]
we wish she feel
so anxious about
you is Charlie
still in the
I will

Folder 42
This folder contains an envelope addressed to:
Mrs Chas Roberts
Lafayette Co., Miss.
and two letter fragments.

Fragment 1:
I feel as though this war may continue for
a longer period than at first anticipated
and in case of such event it will become
absolutely necessary that I should seek a
position that will enable me to contribute
to the support of my family. If Prof Harrison
Could not give me a place, he may be able
to assist me in getting transferred to Miss
in case I should have an opportunity
of a position there.
I sometimes feel as though Iwould
make no effort -- but just fight it out
right [here] and I would not , if it was
only myself in the question, for I hate
to ask favors of any one, but in the
present case I feel I have contributed
my purse and service to the cause freely
and am not asking too much when
I request a position that I can
competently fill and which will only
assist in [meeting] my daily expenses --
I can't do anything of myself up here.
for I have no chance to see any one
or even know where to write to them -- I
therefore have to leave it to those that
have more freedom of action -- I want you
to see Prof Quinche and state the case and
advise me as to what he does -- If he
should write you had better give him
my address to send to Prof Harrison, as
follows Corporal Chas. Roberts, Stanford's
Battery, Miss. Vol. Polk's Corps Army
of Tenn.
I shall write you again in a
few days and shall probably again
mention this subject for mails are so
uncertain that I have little confidence
of this reaching the destination.
Kiss my darlings Ada & Charley many
times for papa -- Love to Sister Mannie
and Kind regards to the Doctor
Much love to you my own sweet
devoted wife and many many Kisses
from you loving husband
Chas Roberts

Fragment 2:
The weather has been delightfull for the past two weeks,
although I have availed myself but very little to it
to do any visiting, for my duties are principally in the
office and I don't know what moment I may be wanted.
Night before last, whilst I was engaged in writing you,
a courier rode up from the General's Quarters and said
he wanted to see me immediately -- The Major was away
at the time, at a party, which was given by some citizens
in town -- I jumped up behind the courier and rode up
to the General's [where] I found there were orders from Head
Quarters to be ready to move at a moments notice, for the
enemy were advancing in force -- I gave the necessary direc-
tions to the Quartermasters and teamsters and waited further
orders, but fortunately they did not arrive -- for before morn-
ing the enemy again fell back -- I am afraid they will try
to drive us out of our winter quarters before the bad weather
is over. We have enough men deserting, all the time, to
Keep them posted on what is going on in our Camps -- and
they Know Exactly when the best and most favorable op-
portunity occurs for to come down on us.
Well my darling, I must close, otherwise I fear I shall
tire you with the length of my letter -- My love dearest and
many, many Kisses -- My thoughts, my wishes and all that
is dear in life is centered on you my own sweet wife
Yours ever devotedly