From the Archives: Civil War Letter
Camp Lee near Pollard Ala April 8th 1864
My Dearest Julia,
Your highly interesting letter of the 29th March was received a few days since. I was so thankful to learn that you was all well. As usual it affords me a great pleasure to hear from you and that you are in enjoyment of good health. My health is vry good with the exception of pains in my left arm + shoulder. I received a long letter from Brother Sam a few days since. it was directed to Atlanta. His family + HHD was all pretty well with the exception of colds + c. they had a hard time running and dodging from the Yankees. All the friends are well. They all sent their love to you and Jane said she would write but had about as much as she could do to take care of the Babe. I havent news to write. We are still at this place but do not know how long we will remain. We are minute men subject to be called to any point Col Reynolds of the 1st Ark. has been appointed Brigadier and Col Coleman his superior by nearly 2 years. C has petitioned to be removed from the Brigade does not feel willing to serve in a Brigade with an officer so long his Junior.
Well Julia I suppose I will get the appointment of Adjt and will take charge of the office so soon as Harden returns. Col Coleman is going to send my appointment to the Secretary of War and have it confirmed. It is an office that keeps a man closely confined but it is a very nice position and I am entitled to a House. That is one thing I fear. I am affraid that it will be hard for me to get one unless some of my friends assist me. I have my Poney that I will have to turn over to Capt Harden but I am satisfied he will let me keep it until I can make some other arrangement. Col Coleman was very anxious for the Officers to make an application to be sent to Dalton to Genl AW Reynolds’ Brigade but the most of them was opposed to it and I am thinking it would have been best as this climate will be so hot in the Summer and if Mobile is besieged into the ditches we will go and there remain and stand another Vicksburg Affair and Stand a very good chance of going to Camp Chase of Johnsons Island. We have received letters from Lt Bristol + Lt Leatherwood. they write they are at Camp Chase all well + rooming with Genl Vance. They say the Genl is in good health and enjoys his cell better but I fear there will be many Battles to be fought before peace is proclaimed and many be slain before that blessed period arrives. And perhaps I may be among that unfortunate class. God forbid.
I am of the same oppinion of the Preacher that preached to you on that subject. I fear our Nation is so wicked that God will continue his chastineing rod untill a refformation takes place and I fear we are growing worse + worse every day. Oh how distressing the thought but the World has become like it was in the days of Noah. They still continue their wickedness + go hedlessly on not stoping] a moment to reflect.
Well Julia I was so proud of your renewed declaration of Love a devotion to your absent Husband. The language was so much like you and I Pray God I may allways reign supreme in your affections. it is true as you say I perhaps might have secured the hand of one greatly your superior in regard to this Worlds goods and one that could have made a greater show in society and one that would have secured more praise and admiration from the World but I doubt very much whether she would have been the kind loveing affectionate + devoted Julia. I am content to struggle along in poverty if God will only spare our lives and health. I am satisfied we can make a comfortable liveing and then what comfort and enjoyment for two loveing Hearts to work for each others comfort + the Education of them little pledges of love that God in his goodness has given us to unite our Hearts more closely together and that we look too for so much pleasure + comfort in our declineing Years but we know not how thy may do in after years. thy may cause us a great deal of pain + grief provided thy do not act right, but evry parent looks forward with better hopes. we can only do our part in trying to train them up the way they should go + give them proper consel. Joseph Pounders has an opportunity to send a letter home and has just come in to get me to write for him. he send his love to you and the children. Angie was well when he left. Mike Luther is newly gone with that cancer on his face. Jesse Luther Angies Husband is still at home belongs to the Malitia. We have a great deal of cold rainy weather. I went down to Mobile last Monday Morning got back Wednesday night and the weather was vry cool. I took dinner with Lt McLain from Tunnel Hill Ga. he has been stationed a long time near Mobile and married a vrynice Lady there. They treated me vry kindly as a matter of course. they took a great pride in showing me their little Rebel on 3 weeks old and the young Ladies plaid + sang for me. had quite a pleasant time. I also met with A. Millhousen a little fat Dutchman that clerked for Zodack and went down on the stage with you. he belongs to the 22 La. – Heavy Artilery. as soon as I get my appointment confirmed I will make an application for a furlough. my friends thinks I better not apply until the appointment is confirmed. I am working hard evry day to get my business all up by the time Capt H comes in. Well Julia I was glad to hear your old friend was still faithful and still shows a willingness to visit you in your lonely hours. please give her my best Respects. I am affraid to send my Love as she appears to think a great deal of me. you might become jealous sure enough but she has no cause for that for as you very truthfully remarked. I gave her no cause whatever, but imagined I was acting very rude in the company of such a timid Lady. I expect if I should meet with her now I would be more rude than ever as she seems to take all my spark so easy. at all events I am vry anxious to risk the consequences. are you not ha! ha! ha.
I hope you will not let such things distress you as much as some Ladies I have seen. I was sorry that Brother P. was so careless of your comforts. I often thought of you during that cold weather and wondered if you was supplied with wood. if I get off home I intend to stop a day in Greenville Ala and buy some Bacon. I must close as I have got to write a letter for Joe and a great deal of other writing to do. write soon and please accept of my most sincere thanks for your good + affectionate Letter and do so as often as you can get an opportunity. give my best Love to Ma + the children. tell all I often think of them. give my Love to Sister Virginia an Brother P. + Nettie and also to that new issue if he or it is on hands yet. Compliments to Miss Chattie Mrs Morrison + Fmaily + also to Mr + Mrs Mays. tell Mrs Mays that I hope she will not be so shy the next time I come. I must close.
Your devoted + affectionate Husband
Direct care Col Coleman
Does anyone else feel a draft?
Atlanta Crackers players (left to right) Country Brown (real name: Ralph Brown), Hank Eastman, Ebba St. Claire, and Eddie Mathews posed for this picture at Ponce de Leon Park in Atlanta, Georgia in 1950. They were told by the press that they would be posing for headshots so they didn’t wear pants.
Side Note: It looks like Taylor Lautner is a time traveler (see player at right).
This striking portrait shows Mrs. Willard Smith at the trial of her husband’s killer in 1929. Her husband, a store clerk in Atlanta, was murdered in 1928 by Richard “Dapper Dick” Gallogly and George R. Harsh. When asked about the murder, Harsh explained he was “just out drinking, stewed to the gills and looking for fun.” The murder fed the Jazz Age stories of the 1920s and headlines across the country coined the two the “Thrill Slayers.”
From the Archives: Civil War Letter
Atlanta Ga March 14th 1864
My own Dear Johnnie,
I received two letters from you lately. One by Mr Queen the other by Capt Harden. Mr Q. called on Sabbath at the house but I had gone to Sabbath School so I did not get to see him. Then Capt H left this at the Hotel so I did not get to see either one. Though Mr Queen called yesterday evening at the gate he said he was on his way to Mobile I had no letter ready or should have sent it by him. I am sorry I did not know he was going back. I would have been so glad to have seen both of them + conversed with them for awhile. Capt Mount + two other gentlemen also called the same Sabbath while I was at Church so I did not get to see them. I was very sorry indeed. I looked for them up in the evening but they came not. Mr Keener called this week to see how I was getting along + if I had recvd the shoes. He sends compliments to you he told me if I needed any thing to let him know + he would do what he could for me. It is good to know there are some who though they are no kin are willing to assist me should I need it which I hope I never will. Your last made me feel rather gloomy for several days. I am indeed fearful you will not be able to do much if any thing for us though I know ‘twill not be because you are not willing or because you squander your means in dissapation . No no I know my own dear husband too well for that. I know that these little ones (especially this one at my Knee saying Muva I want some meat – when she ought to be in bed) are as dear to you as to me (Hetty now says Muva I want go to bed so I must attend to her,) yes Johny I know full well you will do all in your power for your family yet I can not help at times having the blues.
Meat is 4.00 lb Sugar has gone to $8.00 + I hear some to $10.00 though I do not buy any. I paid $15.00 pr bush for cow peas. Syrup is $20.00 pr gal potatoes sweet scarce $20.00 pr bush +c +c. Now you know I need economy were it not that I have some provisions + Ma’s assistance I know not what I would do. You will not think I am using much economy when I tell you Hettie has a pair of shoes which cost $45.00. Did you ever + they are now selling the same shoe at $60.00 but I did not buy them. Ma did but say nothing to Jake. They are inclined to be jealous any how. I am going to take Hetty to Church + see how she will do. Oh how I wish you were here to go with us. Nearly every thing I do, every where I go I am reminded of my absent but loved one. When I go to church alone I think it was not so once, but I then had a loving husband with whom I could attend church. When I am obliged to go on the street to procure some provisions I contrast my condition now with what it was three or four years ago when I thought not of buying meat, lard, syrup, potatoes +c for my provident husband saved me the trouble. When I see my neighbors husbands returning from their business their children running to meet them, I think of the time when I would await the arrival of my own dear one, and as the time for his coming drew near how anxiously I would watch the road. I knew he would come + at last when I would catch a glimpse of his figure how glad I would be + would always try to make him a smiling welcome, and then when the time arrived for his return to his labors though I knew it his duty to go yet I would have kept him longer, but now how different. Morning comes – no husband to sit at the table with me or give me an encouraging word or a loving Smile. Noon draws near no Johnnie comes to share with us one frugal meal + when night draws, we are still alone + his chair is vacant. We gather round the hearth and talk. I often feel as if you were by me, that I hear that voice which is music to my ears, that I gaze into those eyes + in whose clear depths I have so often read all that was noble pure + good in man. Surely when I experience these things my husband is visiting me in spirit – tis very pleasant to think so at least. And so Capt Harden has come in at last. I am so sorry so sorry that you will have to go into the ranks again. True as you were only acting Q M, you did not make much more, but then it was a much better place than Lt, not so much marching to do, but tis useless to grieve. I can not change the edicts of those in power. If I could I would have this war terminated pretty soon, but we must bear patiently our several burdens. One thing sure there is a brighter + better day for if we are only faithful, then we will have peace and enjoy the society of our loved ones + never think of furloughs, nor drilling nor anything. Constant prayer + a firm reliance on God, using his word as our guide + rule of conduct and using the armor + weapons he has instructed to use we will conquer + enjoy this blessed peace. I still attend Sabbath school and have the same class of fine young ladies. Bascom and Charley are much pleased and never want to stay at home Sunday morning. They always have their lessons. They will have their shoes tolerable good but Hetty is nearly barfooted for every day shoes. I see from your letters that you are anxious to get home again. Well I suppose it is natural for a man if he thinks anything of his family when he has been with them for a short time to desire to see them again. I am glad to see such a disposition on your part for it is strong proof to my mind of the love my husband feels for those whose interests whose welfares are linked with him + I hope you never will become careless + indifferent as the whether you ever get home again or not. I do hope you will be able to come + see us this Summer if you can not come sooner. I would be so glad to have you here when my garden is full of vegetables (provided it is). I have all my potatoes in, some peas, beets onions lettuce mustard (white + black) peppers cabbage seed + tomoatoes and will put in more seed shortly. Mrs Mays has a son, a fine one of course. did a father ever think other wise of his first born. As I watched the father leaning over the bed trying to get the little fellow to nurse + saw with what affection he seemed to regard both Mother + child my mind went back to some years ago when I was first a Mother and with what pride you watched your first born son + how tenderly you regarded me as there was another link to bind our hearts in one. Mr Parrott has moved into one of those small brick houses which run from Goodes house to the rail road. he has quit selling provisions will wait until the new issue comes out is now engaged in the Knoxville + Atlanta Register office. Jeny is still going about does not think she will go more than two or three weeks longer. I will tell you something strange. That friend of mine I told you had returned to see me never left until last week staying nearly three weeks something she never done before. I began to grow rather tired of her company + thought a little hinting for her to leave but did not + she left of her own accord. I do not think she will call again soon as she staid so long this time so there is not so much danger of you offending her if that is the way she makes her visits. How are you getting along now. I was truly sorry to hear that you were suffering some, but suppose you have recovered. Would gladly relieve you if I could. I wish I could visit you but it is too far + our means too limited, but never mind you will get another furlough some day. then we will spend the time as happily + pleansantly, I hope as when you were here last. Ma is doing tolerable well. She wishes to be remembered to you. she gives me all the assistance she can. board has gone up at the Atlanta hotel to $10.00 pr meal. Mrs Whitaker lost her babe about 8 months old. Is not Lt Moss’s time out? do you want me to send you those tan shirts you wore before you got the heavy ones. I adivse you to beware of St Michael Street, turn from it as you would from a Viper, but why advise one in whom I have implicit confidence. still it is well to be on your guard. resist all temptations of beauty wit + intelligence + be content with your plain faced though loving + affectionate little Wife at home. I must close. the fire is out + it is drawing near midnight + I will sleep late in the morning. so good night my dear husband. may guardian angles watch over thy couch tonight. May God shield + protect thee in every danger + temptation which may surround thy way + save you at last in his Kingdom is the prayer of your devoted Wife.
Two years after Sherman left Atlanta, the saloon is up and running and the bank is still in ruins. #priorities
Peachtree Street, c. 1866
George N. Barnard made this image in the spring of 1866 when he returned to Atlanta to shoot additional scenes for a forthcoming book, Photographic Views of Sherman’s Campaign. Taken where Whitehall Street (current Peachtree Street) crossed the railroad tracks, the photograph actually demonstrates the extent of Atlanta’s wartime destruction and how rapidly the city rebuilt.
Comparison of this scene to those Barnard recorded in the fall of 1864 reveals that the upper story of the saloon has been built on the ruins of the Atlanta Insurance Company building, which was burned on November 15, 1864. The Georgia Railroad and Banking Company building to the left was rebuilt later.
From the Archives
Rare color footage of Peachtree Street recorded in 1939.
From the Archives: Civil War Letter
Camp Dog River Near Mobile Ala
March 5th 1864
My Own Dear Julia,
Your favor of the 25th Feby was received a few days since and I was truly glad to hear from you and that you was all well. I wrote you by Mr Queen a few days since which I suppose you have received ‘ere this. My health is good with the exception of a sore throat some signs of dipthera. It has been hurting me for 3 days. But hope I will get better in a few days. Capt Harden will carry this to Atlanta as he has to return to NC to file his bond and attend to some business at Raleigh for the Regt. I am sending by him for some cloth + instructed him to leave it at Atlanta. He has got me to hold on the Q M Office untill he returns which will be about 40 days. I will get $40 a month extra until I turn the property over to him that is from the time he got his appointment the (10th Decr). I do not know when I can get orders or a furlough. I will try when he returns. I was sorry to hear that you was left alone again, but I expect it was all for the best. If Ma does not work too hard she is getting good wages. They have advanced the prices of provisions on us so heavy that the wages I get will not more than keep me up. Rest assured I will do all I can for my little Family but you will see my chance is bad when they charge us 240 ct pr lb for pork + other things in proportion. Ese all the econemy you can + make all the Garden you can.
Mr Queen told me if you needed anything to let him know. His business House is the old barracks building. The firm is Wilburn Taylor Queen + Co. Dr. Taylor is his partner I think. I would be glad you would get acquainted with his Family. They live in the Grove back of Mrs Howards. Oh, Julia you have no idea how glad I was to hear your old acquaintance had called to see you again not withstanding she was rather late in paying her visit but better late than never. You will see from my last letter that I had despared of her calling soon. She has got on very good terms with me. We have cause to be very thankful that things are working on so well. Is it not very strange that she is so punctual. She has never been so kind before. Perhaps she thinks it is war time and the Ladies need all the help thy can get. I hope I may be spared to see you often + her occasionly as long as I have to stay in the service. It is very hard for me to be seperated from such friends, but we must contend and do the best we can + try + put up with such disappointments. I am doing a little better than I did a few days ago, but still their is an aching void at times. Some times I get vexed to think that I cannot have better control of my feelings but a mans mind passions + characteristic and will have their way, in spite of him. When I think what a Kind Wife I have + how affectionate + loveing she is and how devoted I love her + our offsprings how else could I be than to love her society and the affectionate embrace + loveing Kiss that I have received so often, during the last 8 years. all these things make me with + pray to be with her again + so stay during life. Oh I do hope Peace will soon be restored and all our Soldiers be allowed to go home once more and not have to carry a furlough with them that soon notifies them their time is out and they must soon return to their commands or be considered a deserter. our cause seems to be prospering and I hope the Yankees will soon see the error of their way + come to terms of peace + compromise.
I have just finished washing my self + put on clean clothes and sit down to finish my letter as Capt H. will start soon in the morning. I will write to William in a few days. I am at a loss to know what to do in his case. in the first place I do not know whether I can effect the swap or Transfer. it is rather a difcult matter and I am fearful he would not act right, but I hope he would act the Gentleman as he was so near related to me. but I will give it a trial. I was glad to hear Capt Mount had called to see you and I am sorry that I did not get an extension so I could have went with him to get that safe out from Murphy but it is out of my power. I am here + cannot get away easy, but I think I can get orders when Capt Harden returns. if not I perhaps will get off sometime during the Summer. I am more anxious to go back home than I had any idea I would in so short a time. all we want now is for every Man to come out + do his part + we will soon be free but their is such a great disposition on the part of so many to work them selves out of service that is causes thos that will bear the burthen to have to remain that much longer. I Love my Family perhaps as devotedly as any man + would be as glad to be at home, but at the same time I want to see my country free from Yankee Tyranny and that cannot be don by staying at home. we must endure toil dangers + many of us sacrafise our lives before it is accomplished. I know it would be hard on his Family but tell me the difference betwen my Wife + Her and evry Soldier in the same condition and I have never discoverd any great amount of charity in him to my Family or any other Family but a great Thirst for the allmity Dollar, but I have nothing to say if he is not able to do duty. so their has been another change in the Hall + the Atlanta Hotel. thy change their base pretty often. My Throat is much better to day. it hurt me a great deal last night. we are all in good health. the weather is vry pleasant and we are doing as well as most soldiers that is thos that do not visit Saint Michael Street famous for the great number of Fancy Women. I never have seen so much Ludeness in all my Life but I dont patronize them my self – I think too much of that little Lady at home even if I was corrupt enough to visit such places.
I believe I have written all I can think of. Give my Love to Ma Sister Jennie + Mr P. an last though not least the children. tell them Pa often thinks of them and wishes he could be with them.
Let me hear from you as often as you can. I must close by subscribing my-self as ever your devoted and affectionate Husband.