Tullahoma Tenn Jany 10 63
My Dear Mother
I am sorry not to have been able to have written to you sooner, especially as Augustus arrived on yesterday & told me how anxious you had been about not hearing from me. I wrote you a short note from Murfeesboro on December 31, saying that I as Qr Master would not be allowed to be on the field of battle and consequently would be in safety up to last Saturday morning. We were all certain that our troops had gained a great & decided victory when to our great surprise, we received orders to start with our wagons in retreat and had to travel through the entire night and reached Manchester about 10 o’clock Sunday morning and we have been hauled about backwards & forwards every day since until yesterday when we arrived here & encamped. Our retreat is certainly a most shameful proceeding and I think it ought to kill Bragg.
The Yankies commenced their retreat two hours before our troops commenced falling back, so that both forces were whipped. Our loss in the retreat must have been considerable. The road for thirty miles was lined with broken wagons & tents & cooking vessels thrown out. Our loss in the battle is estimated at about 5000 killed, wounded, & missing, while the Feds must have lost four times as many. Our Regt lost 2 killed 70 wounded & 10 missing. One of the killed was Stanhope Erwin (Captain Hardy’s brother in law). He was shot through the head on Friday. His body could not be recovered. No man in the regiment would have been more missed than he. Guss reached here in safety, but could not get our boxes through so I fear my apples will be lost. All of Mr. Andrew Erwin’s family have left home & except himself & wife. Annie Robinson, I hear has gone to Buncombe. I cannot form and idea how long we will remain here but do not expect to stay long. You had best direct to me here until you hear further from me. I have not received a letter from any where since Christmas.
Your4 Affect Sion
Sources: 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). Original in Patton Family Papers, Southern Historical Collections, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.