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Finding-Aid for the Charles Roberts Collection (MUM00391)

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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
E-Mail: archive@olemiss.edu
URL: https://www.olemiss.edu/depts/general_library/archives/
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



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