My Dear Josie;
I know you are anxious to hear from me as my last was written on
the eve of my departure to the battle ground, & I have been unable to
write again till now.
It is impossible for me to give you any correct idea of what I
have seen or endured for the last 4 or 5 days, so will not
undertake it only so far as I was concerned --- I did not get off
on Sunday as I expected on ac't of the late hour when I got my
pass, but left early on Monday with 32 others whom I had
collected in the camp & walked steadily nearly all day till we
got within two miles of the battle ground when we were met by a
great many of our troops on full retreat, who told us that the
day was lost & we had better turn back, but I could not believe
it & I was disposed to push on. I soon met a man who told us to
go on as we were much needed, but could tell me nothing of the
glorious 22nd or Gladden's Brigade but that they were litteraly
cut to pieces, as they had opened the batl. on Sunday mor'g at
daylight & had maintained the advance during the whole of the two
days. I was then satisfied 'twould be folly for me to undertake
to find them, but all who were with me pledged themselves to
follow where ever I would lead, & we again pushed on toward the
sound of the musketry?. After a walk of about 2 miles we came up
with our rear lines who were just leaving the field, the enemy
also retiring & both firing slowly, I could hear an occasional
ball whistle by me. So I did not have the pleasure of engaging in
the most bloody & desperate battle of the war, nor did I get on
the battle field proper, but only on the outskirts.
Sunday's battle was a complete victory for us, but Monday I
think can hardly be called a victory, altho' we had possession of
the field. Our loss in killed & wounded was great, the
slaughtered was immense, much heavier than on Sunday. Our men
were completely worn out from the fatiguing march of Thursday &
Friday, the scouting & occasional skirmishes of Saturday & the
hard battle of Sunday, together with the vastly superior force
with which they had to contend, & could not stand so hard work as
if they had been fresh as were the enemy on Monday. They had been
reinforced on Sunday night by Buel with some 40,000 to 50,000
men, while our force consised of not more than 60,000 men on
Sunday & 40,000 on Monday & the same troops fought both days. If
we could have been reinforced on Sunday night or even on Monday
mor'g by 10,000 men, we would have had a most complete victory, &
a Yankee would never have been seen again on the Tenn. River. But
I think 'tis not over yet, for I've no doubt we will attack them
again as soon as our army is rested & reinforced, the wounded
moved & attended to, or they will attack us here; in which case
they will be the worst whiped (sic) of any army either of modern
or ancient times. All our wounded who are at all able to travel
are receiving furloughs on 30, 40, 50 & 60 days according to the
nature & severity of their wounds.
I am sorry to be forced to say that a great many of our troops acted
shamefully & cowardly: As I went out on Monday I met hundreds of men
coming away with their knapsacks filled with clothing & other articles
they had taken from the Yankee camp on Sunday + Sunday night & when I
would ask them if they were wounded, their answer would be "No! I'm
sick" & yet they were carrying a load on their backs which I would not
carry if I were perfectly well. Others were without guns,
accouterments, or knapsacks, & frequently hatless, apparently
frightened out of their senses. And ask them a question about the
battle & they were unable to give the least information or satisfaction
but on the contrary led me to the believ (sic) that all was going
against us. Of these two classes I am happy to say that not a man
answered "The 22nd. Ala" on my asking him to what Reg't he belonged.
There were also hundreds too, walking & riding who were wounded; some
slightly & others seriously. Of these a great many belonged to the
22nd Ala. for as I told you they were for the two days in the thickets
& hottest of the fight with
(end of page one)
21st & 25th Ala. & the 1st Louisianna (sic) Reg't (Gladden's Brigade)
the last charge they made was done on 10,000 Hessians with a lot more
than 150 men in either Co & not more than 90 in the 22nd & even this
charge the Yankees could not stand the 22nd Ala. & the 1st La. took
every battery there was taken except one & that was taken by the 25th
Ala. & yet the 21st claims the honor of all this & has so stated it in
a communication to one of the Mobile papers, but the truth will come
out yet. The 21st Ala. & the 1st La. suffered more than any other
Reg't engaged. Gen. Gladden's left arm was taken off about the first
fire & Col. Adams of the 1st La. took com'd. Soon afterwards Maj.
Armstead fell by a grape shot thro' his bowell (sic). In a few minutes
more Col. Deas rec'd a slight wound in his left hand. Then Col. Adams
had his horse shot from under him while leading a charge. He soon
rec'd a severe wound in the head & Col. Deas took command of the
brigade & not long afterwards had his horse killed & rec'd a wound in
his -- arm & one, I beleive (sic), in his hip, tho' neither of them at
all serious. On both sides the slaughter was heavy until the Com'd to
charge was given & as soon as our columns began to move the enemy fled
& our forces took possession of their camp. Here was a perfect
curiosity shop. Every thing in the eating & wearing line, in fact
every tent told of high & extravagant living.
While the Confederate troops are lying on the bare ground with one
or two blankets & eating fat pork & pickled beef, they have their
matresses & feather beds, blankets, quilts, & comforts, every thing
that one's appetite could crave to eat & with stoves to cook on in
their tents. All this fell into our hands & as we could not move them
the greater part of them were destroyed. There were 5 or 6 camps like
this - the first 5 or 6 miles from the river where the gun boats lay -
one every mile or sometimes nearer. We drove them thro' all of their
camps on to their gun boats this was on Sunday, but on Monday they got
their almost ruined camps back again but had to leave them again before
I expected our losses in killed & wounded are nearly equal,
with a small number in our favor, tho' we have I think at least 5000
prisoners, with a small addition to these every day, for Gen.
Breckenridge is still there with his com'd of 40,000 men & he picks
them up prety (sic) rapidly. The Yankees took possession of a house
for a hospital on Tuesday & placed a guard of fifty men over it, & had
a number of our wounded prisoners: On Wednesday night Breckenridge
sent a reg't down & took the 50 men prisoners & brought our wounded
away. He learned from their prisoners that Buell would send a large
force up on the following mor'g to carry all at the hospital down to
the gun boats. So he formed a line of battle in a convenient place to
recieve (sis) them. I have not heard of the result.
We have quite a number of wounded in our Co. & 2 at the hospital I
fear mortally. Capt. Love rec'd an ugly wound in the left breast tho'
not a serious one I think. Lt. Cooper was slightly wounded in the left
shoulder. He left for home today. Lt. Wood with 4 privates are
missing & we can not learn whether they are killed or taken prisoners.
We have had almost constant rain for more than a week & several
very heavy showers & this is really a mudier (sic) country than the
prairaer (sic) is tho' the mud is not so stiff. During our trip we
were in the mud all the while from an inch to 1 1/2 feet deep, besides
wading creeks & branches from 6 in. to 3 feet deep. On Monday night I
lay & stood in the rain all night. I fully expected an attack of
pneumonia, but I feel as well as ever did except that I am a little
sore. My supper that night was a piece of broiled fat back & a hard
cracker. My breakfast next morning the same with a cup of coffee made
on the plan I have given you before, without sugar. My dinner a hard
cracker - a hard cracker is "Pilot Bread" neither lard, butter or soda.
I think I shall be well able to appreciate good eating if I live to get
Brother Walt came over to see me yesterday eve'g. He is looking
very badly & has suffered greatly from exposure & from constant duty
for more than a week. He went safe (sic) thro' the battle of Sunday &
Monday, besides several skirmishes on Friday, Saturday & Tuesday. His
Co. suffered a serious loss from killed & wounded. I expect he left
for the country today to recruit himself & horse a little, so as to be
ready for the next battle. He spoke of doing so on yesterday, & as he
has not been over today I judge he may --- gone.
I heard that a great battle came off in Va. on Sunday, resulting
in another victory for us & in which we took five thousand prisoners.
If this is true I expect Ned, Jule & Bro. Walter were in that battle.
If so, God grant they are all safe, & well.
Should peace be proclaimed soon you may look for me in the shortest
possible time thereafter in which I could reach P. G. (Pleasant Grove-
mine) for that is the first dear spot I shall wish to visit. Or
should we have an other battle here, - and I am satisfied we will - & I
am wounded & am able to travel I shall place my self under your special
care for treatment. As soon as it is possible for me to reach you.
I rec'd a letter from sister C - yesterday. All well but Pa. He
was suffering from a severe cold. No news from Walter for 2 or 3
weeks. I also received a letter from Emily, sister R-'s oldest
daughter. Her father expects to go to the war in a short time. It
distresses sister very much.
Josie I have never rec'd your letter addressed to Ft. Pillow, &
fear I shall not, as 'tis not likely any one there knows where the 22nd
I have not been able to meet Capt. Borden tho' the 10th Miss. is
here. I have been constantly on the look out for John, but I do not
think he is here unless he has arrived very recently. I should be most
happy to meet him.
I have had but few opportunities of getting away from camp lately,
as I am now & have been for some time Acting Commissary & my duties
confine me very closely to my post. We returned to camp on Tuesday
night & now 'tis Friday, & this is the first opportunity I have had of
writing to you & I have been called off at least a dozen times to issue
rations or to fill orders for officers, since I commenced this, (letter
- mine) I have now to write to Pa for the first time in 10 days & I
shall have to abridge this letter.
I look forward Josie with a great deal of anxiety & many fond
anticipations to the time when I
shall see you again, & every day increasing in anxiety. Surely our
meeting will be a happy one after so long & painful a seperation (sic).
I do not speak idly when I say it seams at least five years since I saw
you. An yet time seems to have passed very rapidly. I often wonder
where you are & what doing. What your thoughts are & where. In fact
Josie there is not an hour during the day but that you are the subject
of a greater part of my thoughts. I need not ask my darling if this is
not the case with her, for I am satisfied it it (sic) is, & this belief
makes me happy. The Confederate States owes me over 3 months pay as a
private & near 1 months pay as acting com'y & I would freely give it
all & as much more for the pleasure of one hour with you.
But I must leave you now - my own precious one, with many kisses &
heartfelt wishes for your health & happiness.
My love to all & believe me, my Darling Josie
Your ever devoted
Saturday, April 12th 1862
My Darling Pet.
I could not find an opportunity of sending my letter to the post
on yesterday as it was raining all day. It is still raining & from the
prospects I think will continue thro' the day. I had the pleasure of
meeting last night with Joe Atkins Dr. Tinker, Mr. Brame + Dr. Hindon
from New Bern. I was truly rejoiced to see them, as we so seldom meet
with old familiar faces. They had heard of the battle of Sunday, on
Monday Night, & started on Tuesday mor'g & arrived on Friday Eve'g. To
offer their services to the surgeons in assisting in their duty of
administrating to the hundreds of wounded soldiers who fill almost
every house - public & private in Corinth. Truly is a noble deed &
most worthy of Imitation. We have but few of the citizens of Corinth -
2 ladies - who have acted thus nobly, tho' many have given up their
houses, while others have been taken possession of by order of the
I had forgotten to tell you, or rather, I had not learned
positively till last night that Gen. Buell (sic) was killed in the
battle of Monday  & that 'twas done by a "Texas Ranger." Also that
Gen's Prentiss & Seigles with a greater part of their commands were in
our hands besides other Genl's, Col's & C. (?)
We heard last night that the enemy had taken possession of
Huntsville, but learn this mor'g that 'twas only a small body of
cavalry who had run in, in all probability to reconnoiter & to tear up
the Rail Road.
 My Thought- Wishful thinking. Could have been the order or Gen.
Albert Sidney Johnson's death. Paul Savage