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Lot 142: WITHDRAWAL FROM CORINTH; YANKEES ATTACK; EUROPEAN RECOGNITION & BURNING COTTON.

Raynor's Historical Collectible Auctions

August 20, 2022
Burlington, NC, US

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Description

A great Confederate soldier's letter, 4pp. legal size folio., written by Pvt. Henry J. Carter, Col. [William] Wirt Adams (1st Mississippi) Cavalry regiment, "Camp near Ripley, Miss., June 5, 1862, to his wife reading, in part: "-soldiers do not feel at Liberty to speak of any movement - before it is accomplished. We have made a retreat from Corinth and a very successful one - which our officers consider of more advantageous to us and more injury to the enemy than a victory to our arms. Our ability to hold Corinth was never doubted, but we could not get a fight out of the enemy, only behind his breastworks and we could not wait for the costly - siege. The enemy can not occupy Corinth is safety-if he follows us he will be too far from the river and his place of refuge and source of supplies that we can easily make the country too hot to hold-I hear nothing from those in command-the enemy attempted a feeble pursuit for a short distance when the way was left open to him. We were left with Gen. Chalmers command within three miles of Corinth until the army had fallen back a considerable number of miles. The enemy made several attempts to cross the Tuscumbia river along which we were camped. A fight took place one evening in which several on our side was wounded and a considerable number of shells thrown among our men. The attack was resumed the next morning and several of the enemy were killed with no loss on our side. We were in a very dangerous position - had the enemy know ho small our force was they might have cut us off and destroyed our force, but we did not allow their advance to come far enough to see how many troops we had. Our wagons had been sent on some twenty miles and we suffered some for want of provisions - when we left Tuscumbia river we left in the night-made a forced march-to prevent being cut off - where the Rilpey and Danville road intersects-we were just in time for when we arrived there the enemy's piquetts were within 3/4 of a mile of the cross roads and captured a lieutenant and two men of Capt. Foote's company who had gone off - in search of provisions-the enemy had come up with our wagons at Black Land and captured several of among them one of ours. The rest of our company wagons came up-minus the tents and several saddles-one or two of our horses also are supposed to have been captured-I have received a bundle containing my jacket, oil cloth, socks & shirt. It had been sent to Corinth-and Col. Adams very kindly took it along with him and sent it to me yesterday. The coat is a nice fit and all the boys want to get it-I thank Miss. H. heartily for the nice garment I have on - Capt. Reeves Noxubee Cavalry [Company G, 1st Mississippi Cavalry] is with us. They are mostly from Macon and Shuqualack, Miss. Some of their men are on furlough-we have just heard that England and France have recognized our government and that our forces in Va. have been victorious over the enemy who is in full retreat-we hope it is true - it we get the enemy to commence a retreat - we shall drive them Jackson fashion back into Tenn. and Ky. If one half the reports are true you may look forward to a speedy termination of the present struggle and perhaps a naval warfare between England and the U. States - the blockade of the cotton ports will be raised soon. We have burned all the cotton here [that is] likely to fall into the hands of the enemy - he will find little booty here but the growing crops. There is some talk of a reorganization of our company - while we were at Chewallee our force was attacked by the enemy and two of our company were killed and several wounded but none from our company which had no man seriously injured- we are often in positions of great danger and we face the music but as the Capt. says we have had remarkable good luck - I love you now as my guardian angel who shall yet be my prided and comfort through the storms of life. If the war closes I dread no hard times for I shall have you as a fellow soldier - to fight the battles of life - we shall be invincible against adverse fortune - as ever your own devoted, Husband." Also included is the original "Due 5" transmittal cover with "Ripley, Miss., June 7" cancel on the verso. Docketed: "H. J. Carter. Priv., W. Adams' Regt. Com. C)" in the upper left corner. Fully transcribed. Overall VG to near fine.

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