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