Letter – J.P. Graves, 25 April 1864

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WARNING: This letter contains racist slurs. We neither support nor condone the use of such language and have therefor decided to censor the words out of consideration for our readers.

Letter written by Private J. P. Graves of the Warren County MS Light Artillery, Confederate Army of TN, to his sister, from camp near Dalton, GA. Graves writes that he would have written to his sister earlier, but paper is scarce. He mentions General Joseph Johnston’s recent grand review of his army. Graves stood right next to Johnston, as well as General Hardee’s wife and daughters, and describes the general’s daughters in detail. Graves writes that General Johnston has ordered breastworks, and that their Union prisoners are expecting the Confederates to win the next fight. After returning from guard duty, Graves writes that General Francis A. Shoup, the Chief of Artillery, wanted to give Parrott rifles to the battery, but Lieutenant Shannon refused the rifles as they were used.


-Page 1-

Camp near Dalton

April the 25/64

Dear Sister

I received you letter the day I wrote to Sallie and was very glad to hear that you all was well. I would of answered your letter sooner but as I am scarce of paper I thought I wouldnt write but once [a week?] General Johston had a Grand review of his army last monday Lieut Shannon excused me from going out with the Company and I went out as a spectater took my stand right by Gen Johnston

-Page 2-

and Gen Hardees wife and daughters I never saw so many men in my life. I got tired looking and I went back to camp I wreckoned you would like to know if Gen Hardeess Daughters are pritty; I dont think so If you think Miss Anna Person is pritty Miss Hardee is pritty also Miss Hardee is a bout the size of miss C Trenten; The Elder one I am speaking of; The younger one is not as pritty as the Elder one. you said Miss Julia Barnett felt slighted by not receiving a not[e] from Lieu Shannon He told me to tell miss J Barnett that he expected to thank he in person That is

-Page 3-

he expected to get a furlough and come down there. He also said that he thought it was a Great deal of impropriety in writing to a school girl. We expect to have Stirring times up hear soon Gen J– is throwing up breast works hear the yankee prisoners say they think we will whip them in the next fight our army is in fine spirits I expect to go out and see Bud to morrow or the next day Tell Webster and Forest they must take good care of my puppy and all of you must take good care of my chickens I must go over to the guard house now as I am on guard. I will write when I come back. I have just

-Page 4-

return from Guard mount and will continue to write Gen Shoup wanted to turn our battery into a parrot battery but as he wanted to give us some guns that had been used Lieut Shannon would not take them Captain Swetts is acting inspector general of artilery and Lieu S– takes command of our battery Semples battery from Montogomery is in our batalion and and their is some very nice boys in it! Powell is in that Company. I went over to the 19 Lousiana yesterday and saw Sam Dinkins he is well and says he has not got a letter from home in a long time I give my love to ma & Sallie & the ******* Bill & Prince as well

I remain your affectionate Brother

J P Graves


J.P. Graves enlisted on March 20, 1864 in Dalton, GA in Captain Swett’s Company L, the Warren Light Artillery. He survived the war and is shown on a muster roll of Confederate soldiers paroled at Greensboro, NC on April 26, 1865.

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