Letter – J.P. Graves, 1 June 1864

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Letter written by Private J. P. Graves of the Warren County MS Light Artillery, Army of TN, to his mother, from Floyd Hospital in Macon, GA. Graves suffered a minor head wound at New Hope Church, at the battle of Pickett’s Mill, but plans to go to Eufaula or Columbus if the doctors let him. Graves was wounded in the charge made by Union Major General Oliver O. Howard’s Corps against Patrick Cleburne’s Division. He mentions hearing that several friends were safe and remarks on the number of prisoners taken and casualties suffered. He also recounts the casualties at Resaca and Calhoun. Graves writes that he is tired of fighting and mentions getting a ring made for a young lady. He admits he didn’t know what it meant to be a soldier until he joined, sleeping on rocks and marching for miles each day.


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Floyd Hospittal

Macon Ga June the 1/64

Dear Mother

I arrived at this place last Sunday as one ofe the wounded soldiers; I was lsightly wounded in the top of my head; the ball cutting the skin a bout two inches; I am getting a long very well now. I will try to get to Eufala or Columbus [???]; If the Doctors will let me. I forgot to tell you wheir I was wounded at It was at New Hope Church [Battle of Pickett’s Mill, near New Hope Church, GA, Friday, May 27, 1864] last fryday I was wounded a bout an hour before dark in the

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charge that Howard Corps made against Cleburn their was only three Brigades of Cleburne Division in the charge. Bud came through safe. I saw a man in the 45 Ala; he said Mr Barnett came through safe also Hendon and Dose Glenn we captured three hundred prisoners and seven hundred stand of small arms. This makes three fights I have been in too many Resaca Calhoun New Hope Resaca we lost ten men kill and wounded in our Company Calhoun 1 man wounded New Hope we lost two men wounded

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I am tired of fighting now; and willing to come home since I got my wound. If you have any money on hand I wish you would send me some; I have got some but it wont pass here. Tell Sallie I have got her ring made but have not got the sets put in it yet I have got a yankee ring that come off a dead yankees finger at Dug Gap but I dont reckond you would want it. I want that money mostly to buy some paper and envelopes as they are cheaper here than

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any wheir else. The Ladies visit the Hospittal evry day. I have been looking out for Miss Love Upshaw but have not seen her yet Tell sister that I will write to her in a few days. I did not know what Soldiering was when I came out but I no now I have been sleeping on rocks for the last three weeks some time we would march 15 miles a day and would have to march back to the same place that night and form a line of battle but I am willing to stand to it. Give my love to sister Net and Sallie

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and take a good share your self I remain you dutiful Son

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.

Letter – Godfrey Rider, Jr., 8 June 1864

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Letter written by Lieutenant Colonel Godfrey Rider, Jr., of the 33rd MA Infantry, to his former commanding officer, Brigadier General Adin B. Underwood, from the woods near Marietta, GA. Rider describes a charge on a Confederate fort [Battle of Resaca], as well as the fighting that occurred near another stronghold [Battle of New Hope Church]. He describes the losses his unit suffered and comments on the strategies of Generals Sherman and Johnston. He mentions the number of muskets now in the regiment, and hopes to recruit more soldiers when the current campaign ends. He writes about the current state of several army officers, and mentions several who are vying for promotions.


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20″ Coprs.

33″ Regt. Mass Vol Inft

In the Woods between

Ackwood & Marietta

June 8″ 1864

My Dear Genl, your letter of the 18′ ult reached me yesterday, for which I thank you, and glad to hear you are so well situated. We left the Valley the 2″ day of May, and have skirmished until the 15 when we charged a Rebel fort, drove them from intrenched hills, lost that day 86, including Lieut Bumpus killed. Lieut Parker died 2 hours after taken from the field. Lieut Williams bad flesh wound in the left arm. May 25 formed line in short range of another strong hold, lost 56, and 5 prisoners Lieut Capt Turner slight wound in the rist, in various battles our loss has been about 160 to date – Our fighting has mostly been in the woods with deep ravines in front. I never saw such natural strong positions. Sherman seems to work carefuly, but Johnson is shrewd, often before we know it we are in front of a mare’s nest. But the country grows less mountainous, and once in a while can see daylight. We start tomorrow, supposing that the Rebels have gone across the River, We now number 163 muskets. After this Campaign I shall try to get home to fill up, unless it is to last all summer. My throat continues very weak, and no voice, but the Major

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can do all the ordering. and has been great help to me. Col Wood commands the Brigade, about the same as he did his Regt. but with more dignity and a big staff. I think he is too partial to his Regt, the have lost less and done less than any of us. Col Gamby and his major were killed May 15. Capt Powers is senior, but Col Wood ordered him relieved and is to be examined. Wood will get fitts when leisure time comes –

Genl Steinwehr was ordered to a Brigade in the 14 Corps but went home on “sick leave,” Schurtz I hear is in charge at Nashville.You know he asked for investigation of Hookers charges. Wood, Jones of the 154 & Bushbeck were the board. Wood & Jones sustained the report. Bushbeck opposed it. Bushbecks time is out and gone home. Wood is anxious for a Star & Faulkner for the Eagle, but probably neither will get it. The 20″ Connecticut & 26 Wisconsin have joined us Col Long has been away sick 2 months, how lucky he is – the 2″ Mass I see often but as Coggswell is at home you will doubtless see him. The 12″ Corps so far have not done so well as the 11″.

I am sorry that my throat is so bad, but dont let my wife & parents get hold of it, my Bro of Chicago came to see me in April – Prospects are good for success, but hard work, “Carry me back to old Virginia” Butterfield commands our Division, Excuse this, I will write you as often as I can, and hope to see you in July or August

Your Obt Servt

G. Rider Jr. Lt Col Comdg

33 Mass


Godfrey Rider, Jr. enrolled as a captain on July 31, 1862 in the 33d MA Infantry. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel April 3, 1863 and resigned September 17, 1864.