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We are without female correspondents – a deplorable situation. We wish some of your many fair readers would have compassion on us poor Rebels and send us weekly billets to relieve the monotony of camp, and cause us to dispel from our minds all thoughts of tomorrow. We prefer intelligent, pretty and lively correspondents who have not passed their twentieth summer. We prefer such ladies, because as a general thing when man and woman exchange friendly sentiments, they most certainly get to loving as hard as a mule can kick. We speak from experience. We are original members of the company, and all right on the Vance question. Tar-Heel is about 4 feet 10 inches high, dark auburn hair, hazel eyes, Grecian nose (not at all inclined to be redish) and one of the most delicate moustaches that ever decorated a rebel’s lip, wears a No. 8 boot when he can get it, and we he can’t he goes barefooted.

Old Sneak stands 6 feet in his shoes, wears a 7 ½ glove and got good teeth, but is not as good look as Tar-Heel, though is by no means the ugliest man in the company. Ladies, now is your opportune time to secure jewels – remember it is leap year and pitch in. Address separately

Tar-Heel and Old Sneak

Co. H, 20th NCT, Ramseur’s Brig.

Rodes’ Div ANV

 

Source Fayetteville Observer, April 21, 1864 as found on www.ncecho.org

 

Drawing of river battle between the CSS Albemarle and the USS Miami and USS Southfield.  Drawn by witness. Collections of the NC Museum of History, accession number 19xx.128.2

Drawing of river battle between the CSS Albemarle and the USS Miami and USS Southfield. Drawn by witness. Collections of the NC Museum of History, accession number 19xx.128.2

Drawing of battle between the CSS Albemarle and the USS Southfield  and USS Miami  drawn by S.M. Yates, a Federal officer who witnessed the exchange between the ironclad and the steamships.  The Albemarle sunk the Southfield in the exchange and drove the Miami from the Plymouth waterfront.  Fire from the Albemarle was responsible for the death of the Miami’s commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Charles W. Flusser.  In a combined land and riverine attack, Confederate forces were able to regain control of Plymouth on April 19, 1864.  Artifacts excavated from the Southfield are on exhibit at the Port O’ Plymouth Museum. Spoiler alert, the Albemarle was later sunk at the Plymouth docks in October 1864.

 

Source: North Carolina Museum of History, Accession number 19xx.128.2

 

Gov Vance spoke here Friday morning April 22d. He arrived Thursday evening about 8 o’clock having traveled through the country in his buggy. The Mayor and committee of Arrangements met him near the limits of the town & escorted him to the Fayetteville Hotel where a large crowd had gathered who welcomed him with cheers. The Mayor made a little speech welcoming him to our town in the name of the citizens to which he responded briefly and excused himself on the plea of fatigue having spoken that day two or three hours in Harnett.

Friday was a holiday in our town reminding us a little of the good old times before the war. All business was suspended and crowds of ladies & gentlemen from our own & the neighboring counties thronged the streets. At 11 ½ the Governor appeared upon the stand & was introduced to about 3000 people by the Hon TC Fuller. The ladies stood in the windows and balconies of the neighboring houses or were provided with seats in the street. The masculine, Mr. Hale says, stood without weariness during the three following hours of intellectual entertainment. The lion of the day was a much younger man than I had expected to see: he appeared to be about six feet high; his hair was black & long brushed behind his ears, his eyes were dark grey sparkling with humor. He could not be called handsome & yet there was something very attractive about his face. The speech I shall not pretend to report. Without the Gov’s inevitable manner it would be spared of much of its beauty and point. He presented his competitor Mr. Holden in a most ridiculous light. I hardly think any of those who heard the speech will vote for Mr. Holden. His speech was here & there & everywhere interspersed with anecdote always exactly applicable. There were many very witty & some very eloquent things in the speech but of course like every political speech it was made to suit the crowd & consequently there were some very coarse things & he was rather inclined to be irreverent. The close of the speech was glorious. The day dawn will soon be followed by the full sun of blessed peace if the people at home would only be true to the army as the army was true to the country. He was grateful for the unammity with which the people had elected him to office & if he met with their approval next election he would endeavor to do his duty but if not he would return to the army from which he was called. In the afternoon the Gov went up to the Arsenal to review the troops. Cousin Albert, Sally & I went up. I don’t there has been such a crowd in the grounds since the day it was surrended to our forces by the Yankees. There were only five companies of Infantry and of Cavalry at the Arsenal. It must have been a pitiful sight to the Gov who had just returned from a visit to Lee’s great Army. Though to us it was quite an imposing sight, altogether I enjoyed the day finely. That evening a great deal of ladies and gentlemen called upon the Gov to pay their respected. Saturday he went up on the cars to address the people at Egypt. He returned to F that night pretty well worn out & was confined to his room all day Sunday. He started to Raleigh Monday.

 

Source: Malinda Ray Diary, Anna Sutton Sherman Papers, North Carolina State Archives.  See also David A. Ray Papers, Southern Historical Collection, UNC-Chapel Hill

April 22nd 1864 (cont’d)

Mr Edmondston has just come in & brought us news of a gallant & glorious success of our arms here in our own borders. On Sat our Gunboat the Albemarle under command of Capt Cooke steamed down the River to Plymouth whilst Hoke’s & Ransoms brigades under command of Hoke advanced by land. The boat passed one Battery in the night & attacked the other altho four Gunboats lay there. Running her sharp prow into one she became entangled. When the Yankee Commodore Flusser called to him to surrender he refused, and drawing his pistol responded to a shot! Dividing his men into two squads, one to load the other to fire, he assembled them on the upper deck & kept up so steady & raking a fire that the Yankees could not board her until the action of the Engine & the current freed his vessel. His opponent sunk instantly, when Flusser steamed up, cut his hauser, & retreated followed by a parting shot from Capt Cooke. He sunk another boat & the fourth followed in Flusser’s wake. On shore Hoke was not idle. He stormed the battery after having refused the terms proposed by Weitzel who was in command in response to his demand for a surrender & took the whole of the force, 2500 men prisoners, officers & men. We lost from 2 to 500 killed & wounded. The enemy’s loss was smaller, being protected by their fort. Amongs the killed & prisoners were numbers of negroes who had run off from their masters living here in this community. Some of the young men which brother lost last winter were among the number. Many of Mr. Ed Hill’s were killed. The steamer with our dead and wounded passed here on Tuesday. Little did I know when I heard her laboured puff of what her freight was composed! We captured one million lbs of Bacon, large quantities of Beef & of Beef Cattle, ten Batteries, sunk two boats, which can be raised & made available, it is thought, 2500 prisoners many of them officers, quantities of dry goods & groceries, amunition, small arms, & all the et ceteras of a garrison, & what is better, with the aid of the Gunboat we can hold the post. This is supposed to be the cause of the sudden abandonment of Suffolk, as it gives the ability to flank any force there or in the N E counties. The prisoners are en route to Richmond, negroes & all. How thankful we should be to God for this signal triumph! Plymouth has been a thorn in our side & the garrison there a perpetual uneasiness to us. Its loss may compel a change in Grant’s programme, especialy if the Gunboats in the Neuse succeed in joining the Albemarle, as we may then attack Hatteras & flank Norfolk & open the most magnificent trade in Blockade Running yet seen.

Source: Edmondston, Catherine Ann Devereux, 1823-1875, Journal of a Secesh Lady: The Diary of Catherine Ann Devereux Edmondston 1860-1866. Crabtree, Beth G and Patton, James W., (Raleigh, NC: North Carolina Division of Archives and History, 1979).http://nc-historical-publications.stores.yahoo.net/478.html

 

April 22, 1864

Went on the 20th to fathers & found my neice Miss Jones there on her way to our house. She came home with me in the afternoon and was much amused when we reached the Flume and were forced to adopt the, to her, novel mode of locomotion in a Canoe! Stirring news from the West. Forrest has “attacked Fort Pillow on the 12th with part of Bell’s & McCulloch’s Brigades under Gen Chalmers. After a short fight we drove the enemy, 700 strong, into the fort under cover of their Gunboats & demanded a surrender which was denied by Maj L W Booth Comdg U S Forces. I stormed the Fort & after a contest of thirty minutes, captured the entire garrison killing five hudnred & taking one hundred horses & a large amount of qr master’s stores. The officers in the Fort were all killed, including Maj Booth. I sustained a loss of twenty killed & sixty wounded. Among the latter is the gallant Lieut Col Wm M Reid whilst leading the 5th Miss. Over one hundred citizens who had fled to the Fort from conscription ran into the river & were drowned. The Confederate Flag now floats over the Fort.” signed A. B Forest Maj Gen.

The Northern papers confirm the above in every particular & add that soon after the attack Forest sent in a Flag of Truce, demanding a surrender which was refused & the fighting was resumed. Soon after a second flag came in which was also refused, when the rebels came in swarms compelling a surrender. “… The incarnate fiends commenced an indiscriminate butchery of whites & blacks… The coloured soldiers becoming demoralized rushed to the rear, their white officers having thrown down their arms, both whites & blacks were then bayonetted, shot, or sabred. Out of a garrison of six hundred, two hundred alone were left.” Very likely it is all true & I hope it is. If they will steal our slaves & lead them on to murder & rapine, they must take the consequences!

We have Northern news of the immediate attack of Fort Halleck at Columbus Kentucky upon the capture of Fort Pillow — as yet we hear nothing of it, tho a Yankee steamer reports the U S Flag as “down” when it passed. We have again possession of Paducah & had summoned the Fort there to surrender. Fighting was going on on the 15th. This is Yankee news. The victory at Cane Creek near Shreveport is admitted by the enemy who say the expedition will have to be abandoned & that the Teche country & La Fourche will again fall into quiet possession of the rebels. As yet we have no particulars of the battle. We have captured one of Banks’ Courier from whose dispatches we learn that the Red River had suddenly fallen & that forty transports & gunboats were caught above the Rapids & that they could not get out until the river rises. Ere that I hope Gen Smith or Dick Taylor will have paid their respects to them. The advance on Suffolk seems to be a feint only, as all the troops have fallen back & from present indications intend an advance by the Peninsula. Burnside the Christian’s movements are still veiled in mystery. Grant is reported as falling back to Centreville, but the Northern press maintains an ominous silence as to his motions. The Gold market is furious in the North. On the 14th it rose to 189 but subsequently fell to 174. Sterling Exchange 205. They say, “Where are we to look for releif? Congress might help us, but Congress seems to be past all hope. We look then to Gen Grant & his gallant armies for a rescue. With his successes we shall have better times, but should the Washington Directory or the accidents of War entangle him so as to bring on him misfortune instead of success, why then we may look for the Deluge”!

Source: Edmondston, Catherine Ann Devereux, 1823-1875, Journal of a Secesh Lady: The Diary of Catherine Ann Devereux Edmondston 1860-1866. Crabtree, Beth G and Patton, James W., (Raleigh, NC: North Carolina Division of Archives and History, 1979).http://nc-historical-publications.stores.yahoo.net/478.html

Camp, Winter Quarters, April 21st 1864

My Dear Sister:

Once more in our same old quarters, though we little thought a week ago that we would ever live to see them again. We had a very quiet time on picket this week, at the same time the most pleasant we have had this winter. Only one day and night of rain, the rest of the time the most delightful kind of weather. The boys when not on duty amused themselves at various sports, some fishing, some digging ground hogs out of their holes (and animal that I never saw until I came to Virginia), while nearly the whole regiment amused themselves gathering wild onions. The doctors recommend them very highly on account of the preventing scurvy. Gen. Ransom had a kettle for each company brought down the line, for the purpose of cooking them. We had one man from our regiment Company D to desert while on his post. He left his gun and accoutrements and swam the river.

Last Tuesday the Yankees had a tremendous cannonading going on for upwards of two hours. Just across the river we could hear the balls flying through the air and also hear them explode. The most reasonable supposition f the cause was that they were practicing previous to their attacking us. We have a rumor today that they have fallen back towards Centerville, whether it be true or not, there were plenty of them on the river this morning when we left. Col. Grimes took our band down with us this time, and every night they would get on a high bluff on the banks of the river and give the Yankees a serenade, closing with Dixie and the Old North State. Sometimes one of their bands would strike up in answer. The week before we went down, there was a Yankee Sergeant deserted and came over to us, reporting that Grant was to have attacked us last Sunday morning. The whole picket force were under arms that morning two hours before day ready to receive him. I was on the outpost that night and just before day, could not help from wishing that they would come across and attack our breastworks. But Sunday came and passed and everything remained quiet on both sides.

The man who told you we were suffering for bread was mistaken. Our meat is very slim, though we make out very well. As for bread we get more than we can eat. There is not a man in our company who has not got him a bag of extra meal, gradually increased from his daily rations. We draw just as much sugar and coffee as we could wish for. Meat is the only thing we are stinted with. We have not drawn any beef or ham in a month or two. We have (that is General Lee has) just received an official telegram from North Carolina state that Gen. Hoke had captured sixteen hundred prisoners and twenty-five pieces of cannon at Plymouth, that’s cheering news indeed, particularly form North Carolina. I hope Washington and Newbern may fall likewise. My love to all.

Your devoted brother

Walter

 

Source: Laura Elizabeth Lee, Forget-Me-Nots of the Civil War: A Romance Containing Reminiscences and Original Letters of Two Confederate Soldiers (St. Louis, Missouri: A.R. Fleming Printing Co, 1909).  See also Joel Craig and Sharlene Baker, eds., As You May Never See Us Again: The Civil War Letters of George and Walter Battle, 4th North Carolina Infantry (Wake Forest, NC: The Scuppernong Press, 2010).

Spittoon, collections of North Carolina State Historic Sites, Accession Number 1964.68.1.

Spittoon, collections of North Carolina State Historic Sites, Accession Number 1964.68.1.

Spittoon

Round with mottled brown glaze. Decorative embossed designs throughout. Used at the North Carolina State Capitol building in Raleigh during the Civil War.  The Capitol was occupied by Federal forces at the end of the Civil War in April 1865.

 

Spittoon Side with drainage hole, collections of North Carolina State Historic Sites, Accession Number 1964.68.1.

Spittoon Side with drainage hole, collections of North Carolina State Historic Sites, Accession Number 1964.68.1.

Spittoon top, with sloping sides to center hole. Collections of North Carolina State Historic Sites, Accession Number 1964.68.1.

Spittoon top, with sloping sides to center hole. Collections of North Carolina State Historic Sites, Accession Number 1964.68.1.

Source: Collections of North Carolina State Historic Sites, Accession Number 1964.68.1.

 

For more on the NC State Capitol: http://www.nchistoricsites.org/capitol/ 

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