Posts Tagged ‘furlough’

Atlanta Ga

Aug 18th/64

My Dear Wife

Yours of the 25th came to hand the 11th and found me well & in the ditches with the boys. I was on a visit to see them and I found them generally well, but a good deal of grumbling & dissatisfaction – rations rather short and so much duty to do that they are worn out. The yanks breast works are in plain view here & a constant shelling which keeps the boys close to their breast works. The pickets fight all the time. Its one continual roar of small arms in plain view of both breast works.

Our regt has escaped remarkably well lately. None killed since I wrote you last, 3 or 4 have been wounded. Collins (Eli’s son) & Nichols (David’s son) of Co I. Collin’s middle finger left hand was amputated. Nichols right side by a piece of shell and some others who you are not acquainted with. I started out yesterday morning to see the boys and the shelling was so heavy that I came back. I think there was 40 or 50 struck within 100 yards of me & I thought some came near hiting me and learning the regt was going out on picket last night I came back to the cooking train where I stay badly scared as for war news. I have but little. Wheeler is certainly gone to the rear of Sherman & reports say tore up 20 miles of R Road. If so, Sherman will have to fight or retreat. If he charges our works he is whipped. He must do something soon for his supplies for he cant get them from the country. Both armies are well fortified here. The Yankees shell Atlanta both day and night. They bomb a house nearly evry day or night & occasionally kill some they have killed several women & children. Still that don’t make them leave town. I feel sorry for them I think they ought to take their children & git out of harms way & the reach of the shells.

Well I have an apology to make you. This is the first letter I have written since I left Griffin over 2 weeks ago. The cause of my not writing you last week was the yanks had cut the R Road & stoped communications for a few days & then I thought I would wait until I visited the Regt. The day I rec’d your letter I wrote out my resignation which was excepted by the Col. I asked for leave of absence which was not granted, so I waited until I could hear from the later paper hoping that I could git to go home but Coleman disapproved it & so did all the others. I suppose it will be 30 days before I hear from my resignation which has to go to Richmond. I tendered it unconditionally and immediately. I said nothing to my boys about it as they told me they heard I was going to resign & if I did they swore they would go too. I told Lt. Anderson about it & he hated it very much but said he could not blaime me. The boys all know it now & I fear as soon as they git their pay which I learn will be in a few days, many will go home. Woodberry Owens left for home a few nights ago 12 or 14 of the Jackson Co has gone home. If this seage last much longer I fear half of our armey will leave but I have hope that Sherman will have to retreat soon & we may yet drive them back. Capt Dyche and Lt. Whitaker have tendered their resignation & asked for a leave of abasence. Their resignations were excepted but they have not heard whether leave is granted or not. Capt Hughes & others say they are going to resign. John Reid tis trying for a furlough but has not heard from anyone yet. I got a letter from Joe a few days ago dated July 18th. He was well their & near Petersburg. I also got one from Samey dated July 29th. He was in Richmond in the quarter masters dept & said he heard that Joe was about to loose one of his eyes. I have not received your letter giving me the particulars of Anns death in that this is the only one I have red lately except the one Anderson brought me & I supposed what you said was that Ann died on your birth day. Will Woodfin also told me of her death.

I will go out to the regt in a day or two or I may strike out to git off soon. The yanks are shelling bery heavy this evening. It is a continual fire a general engagement could not be much heavier. I hope to be with my two wives soon to receive the good things presents they have in store for me. The clothing I don’t need at present so bad but the sleeping with my wife I am very needy. I hope the time is close when I can git both clothing & the sweet kisses & pleasant bed mate.

Kiss my sweet babes often for me. My love to all. I ever remain your devoted husband. Write often.




Source: Christopher Watford, ed. The Civil War in North Carolina: Soldiers’ and Civilians’ Letters and Diaries, 1861-1865, Volume 2. (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2003). Diary of Major William W. Stringfield. Original in the Alfred Bell papers, Duke University Library Specila Collections.

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Thursday 11th [August 1864]

We finished the bonnets today before dinner. Very warm today. The hands cutting hay at Starnes. Fannie is cooking. I don’t like her at all as a cook. She is so contrary but Mary is not at all well & she stays in to attend her.  Anon Jones here tonight. He leaves for the army on Sunday. Tom is still here. He got the furlough lengthened for fifteen days.

Source: Diary of Cornelia Henry in Fear in North Carolina: The Civil War Journal and Letters of the Henry Family. Clinard, Karen L. and Russell, Richard, eds. (Asheville, NC: Reminiscing Books, 2008).


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August 10th 1864

I have been to Person and spent several days very pleasantly with the children of my departed Sister Cornelia Thaxton. I feel that the Lord has blessed them for the sake of their angel Mother, the Lord will provide for them. I believe, I pray that they make shining lights in the church of Christ, they are all sprightly, promising children. I feel like their Mother is in Heaven. I met with several of my old acquaintances in Person, I spoke a word for Christ, I told them what the Lord has done for my soul. I done it in order to stir them up to walk in the way to Heaven, my soul was happy.


Willie Robertson died last night at 10 o’clock. Brother Gannon will preach his funeral at Union tomorrow. I hope this affliction will be sanctified to the good of his parents. We all have to be corrected and chastened to make us humble. The Lord is judging his people, he turneth man to destruction and sayeth return ye children of men, it is intended for the good of us all. I feel more faith in God, I have so many answers to prayer. The Lord is the strength of my heart and my portion forever, it is my meat and drink to do the will of God. I delight in his service. I do enjoy reading the scriptures, and communion with God, who is my best friend, he hears and answers my prayers. My soul is happy, I will praise him with joyful lips, Hallelujah!!!!


Our quarterly meeting was held at Union on Sat. before the fourth Sunday in August, Peter Doub was presiding elder. My daughter joined the Methodist church on that day and was baptized by brother Gannon. I was very glad and thankful to our Heavenly Father.


My dear Willie arrived home safe last Monday from the army, he is in fine health, has a furlough for 30 days. Oh how thankful I feel. I have felt that I have been sanctified. I have the blessing of perfect love, I hope, my faith in God is strong, he comforts my soul and refreshes me by his holy Spirit, he answers my prayers. I feel that God loves me and owns for his child pardoning voice I hear I can no longer fear, I will praise him, as long as I live. Glory and honor to Jesus, he is my precious Saviour.


Source: Mary Jeffreys Bethell Diary, 1853-1873.  #1737-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. http://docsouth.unc.edu/imls/bethell/menu.html

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Near Petersburg

Aug 8th 1864


My dearest Corrie

Yours last I have not answered which outght have been done last week, but being sick was the cause of my silence so long. I have had diarrhea for a week with but little improvement.  I’m going to the field hospital today where I can be more quiet. I think in a few days I will be able for duty again. If I should not get better pretty soon after I get to the hospital I think there will be some chance for me to be furloughed. Our present position is not very safe, well I don’t that it is anything like dangerous but then a fellow can be frightened so and so… all by one mortar shell.

We are lying in reserve say a mile from the Yanks (our advance being close up) rather gone into camps, but when the mortar and picket firing gets warm we lie low. The mine explosion of Grants was a terrible affair. It was set for us but caught more blue birds than gray. I will write in a few days again – will quit and try and eat some breakfast.

Give my love to all

Devotedly yours



** Lewis is discussing the battle at Petersburg in which Federal troops dug a tunnel under Confederate positions and then filled the tunnel with explosives, which created a larger crater.  Federal troops then poured into the crater area, only to be fired down upon by Confederates who lined the top of the mound.  Killed and wounded totals equal about 4,000 Federals and 1,500 Confederates.


Sources: Mike and Carol Lawing, eds., My Dearest Friend: The Civil War Correspondence of Cornelia McGimsey and Lewis Warlick (Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2000). Original collections of the papers are in the Southern Historical Collection, UNC Chapel Hill.

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Tuesday 26th [July 1864]

I have been quite unwell all day, a dull headache. Mr. Henry went to town since dinner.l We had eat supper when he got home. He got a furlough for ten days. I am so sorry he has to go out again. I do hope no ill will befall him. I have done nothing but knit today. Matt finished a shirt for Sam today, began it yesterday.

Source: Diary of Cornelia Henry in Fear in North Carolina: The Civil War Journal and Letters of the Henry Family. Clinard, Karen L. and Russell, Richard, eds. (Asheville, NC: Reminiscing Books, 2008).

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Sunday July 24th 1864

Very cool this morning. I had the pines taken out the fire places & fire this morning. Mr. Henry has gone to see Capt. Jones to try & stay at home to save his oats. Mary Tutt is here. Her & Matt go to church this evening at the Academy at 2 o’clock. Dr. Cummins preaches. Dinner will soon be in. We have our first cucumbers today. We have had apple dumplings several times. I sent Lonzo to Sister Jane’s yesterday with a basket of apples. They are getting ripe (the June apples). Mr. Henry did not get home till nearly sundown. He will go to town in a day or two to get his leave of absence. We did not go to walk this evening as Mr. Henry was tired.

Source: Diary of Cornelia Henry in Fear in North Carolina: The Civil War Journal and Letters of the Henry Family. Clinard, Karen L. and Russell, Richard, eds. (Asheville, NC: Reminiscing Books, 2008).

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Camp near Orange CH Va

April 16, 1864

My dearest Corrie:

After along time your first came to hand last evening, which was gladly received and read as in days past. I can assure you it gave me more of a contented mind, the name at the end if no name on paper always looks charming to the one of your choice. Through a note from Capt. Parks at Richmond gave us the pleasing intelligence that Father had to a great extent recovered from his illness; we first heard through a letter to Logan he was very sick, which caused great uneasiness as I very much fear at some time on of those sudden attacks will take him away, for the last few months he has had several as you are aware. I staid with Mat the night after I left home, arrived at Richmond Saturday morning, went to the Hospital where brother died and found on the books his death recorded 28th Dec., I inquired where his remains rested, was told at Oakwood Cemetery 2 ½ miles distant as I had business to attend I did not go out. I was told that he was neatly buried in a raised lid coffin and that the grave was marked. I asked if his remains could be easily removed which was replied to in the affirmative, said if I could see him I would recognize him as the body by that time had not decayed any. I wrote to father to send someone after them, I don’t know what he concluded to do as I haven’t had an answer.

I tried to get brother’s effects but could not as the proper heir has to make oath before a magistrate that he is such then have the County Court clerk’s signature and seal before anything can be obtained; after he fills the blank I sent him, and gives me a power of attorney, with both I can get his effects and money due, otherwise I cannot.

Have you subscribed for the Confederate? If you have not let me know and I will send it to you. Do you get the Presbyterian? I subscribed for it. Do you and Puss want either of the Richmond literary papers? Our regiment is in good health and spirits. There is no possible chance for me to get a furlough this spring as Walker has been trying to get off ever since I came back. Genl. Lee’s order is “there will be no more furloughs as the exigencies of the times will not admit of it.”  Tom, Bill, Pinck, Log and all of our boys are in good health. Give my love to all.

Write soon and often to

Your devoted



Sources: Mike and Carol Lawing, eds., My Dearest Friend: The Civil War Correspondence of Cornelia McGimsey and Lewis Warlick (Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2000). Original collections of the papers are in the Southern Historical Collection, UNC Chapel Hill.

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