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Lot 144: SLOGGING ALONG TO TUPELO.

Raynor's Historical Collectible Auctions

August 20, 2022
Burlington, NC, US

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Description

A great Confederate soldier's letter, 2 1/2pp. (crosshatched front page) 4to., written by Pvt. Henry J. Carter, Col. [William] Wirt Adams (1st Mississippi) Cavalry regiment, "Tupelo, Miss., June 14, 1862", to his wife reading, in part: "- while we were en route for this place I wrote at Tupelo Springs - we reached this place last yesterday evening over a dusty road on which the wells were nearly all guarded to prevent soldiers from procuring water to quench their thirst. You have no idea of the inconvenience of a march at this season over such roads as these. The dust lies like ash to the debt of three or four inches and as the wagon train passes along it raises a cloud - in which we have to march, so dense that often times one can see only three or four files - before him. The dust settles upon our clothing, saddles, blankets and valises until man, horse and equipage look one motley mass of moving dirt. The luxury of frequent baths would be highly appreciated - but the water courses are so few and far between and the water they afford is so muddy and stagnant that we have very little choice between muddy water and dust. I am well and hearty and can stand as much service a any of the company. The boys all say I am fattening. My face looks like a piece of tarnished copper and my hands look like those of a black-smith. I attribute my health to the cautious use of water. I go thirsty rather than drink the filthy water. When we are to march I fill my canteen with corn or rye coffee instead of water and drink it on the road. I also take care to exercise caution in regard to diet. When I have symptoms of diarrhea like others I have an inordinate thirst and craving for food but I abstain from both until the symptoms disappear. In this way I have warded off many an attack - we are now camped in a beautiful grove about three miles north of the R. R. station - the enemy does not seem to be advancing. Scouts have gone as far as Danville and Boonville and report no enemy hence we presume that the pursuit is abandoned - we hear rumors of foreign intervention, an armistice, etc. I hope our generals will not be duped by a cessation of hostilities. The enemy now can not use his gun boats on many of our rivers - the weather is so warm that his troops can neither march nor fight with safety hence nothing would belles strange than that he should wish to gain time and recruit his invading hordes by an armistice - we can fight him now to best advantage and we can stand active service better than life in camp. Everything seems to our advantage to strike while the iron is hot. I want to fight it out myself - now is the time. If an armistice is concluded - I may get a chance to go home - the report of our being taken prisoner at Chewalla was all an unaccountable rumor, it - made many anxious hearts but they all doubtless know that it is false by this time - you must let no reports make you uneasy for a thousand and one false reports are in circulation all the time and many a man has been reported dead who I know now to be alive and well. I am confident the Yankees will not be able to lay their clutches on me - direct to the care of Capt. F. Y. Gaines, late of Wirt Adam's Regiment of Cavalry - I do not need any more clothing at present - undying love for you my dear wife, Henry." Fully transcribed with hand drawn map of their retreat towards Tupelo, Mississippi. Overall VG to near fine.

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Shipping Terms

Shipping, handling and insurance charges will be added to the invoice. The MINIMUM Shipping & Insurance is $15 and $40 for framed items.