Letter – Elizabeth Todd, 10 December 1867


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Letter written by Elizabeth L. “Betsey” Humphreys Todd (step-mother of Mary Todd Lincoln), to her cousin William, from Madison, IN. Betsey is updating her cousin on the current state of her children, in-laws, and grandchildren, but does not mention Mary Todd Lincoln. She does mention her deceased son-in-law, Brigadier General Hardin Helm. Helm was a graduate of West Point, and served in the Confederate army. Betsey enjoys living in Madison, and says that several Kentucky families have followed suit, despite some locals who “try to convert us, being well acquainted with our… disloyal sentiments.”

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Madison Dec

10th 1867

Dear Cousin William

Many things have prevented my writing sooner and thanky you for the history of the family of which I was ignorant soon After the death of my Brother I left Ky and have not sen any of them since. You knew Lucy was dead and soon after her three children with that dreadful scourge Diptheria – Sam left two sons his widow moved to Springfield Ill. her oldest son David at College [is a] fine young man. Tommy [is] delicate Joseph mar[ri]ed a relation Sarah Gibson – died in N[ew] York leaving three daughters IS ok – his widow Resides on the farm near Versailles Ky Belle died just before her father and Annie since having Lucy, Sally & Joe Mary H has never married and lives with her Mother at the home place – I had a visit from Mrs Dawson (Elodie Todd) Col Dawson lives in Selma and by the

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of one of our distant Preston Cousins (during the sacking & burning of the town) he knew Dede [Elodie] and placed a guard on her lot as well as a camp but they saved her house Col D. was at Manassas & was in the fight when “Wilson” entered the city but escaped with my other son in law Capt White did not get home for some weeks – David H Todd Capt Art. commanded at Vicksburg has parolled with the Army married a daughter of Judge Turner of Huntsville has one daughter Elise Kitty Todd my youngest daughter married since the war Capt Herr & lives near Louisville has one child H Helen Herr – Margaret my eldest child married Mr Kellogg merchant at that time in N.O. [New Orleans?] has considerable property and resides in Covington Ky. he went South under a misapprehenson After the death [of] A.S. Johnson he was carried to Richmond as prisoner – he is right has always been a Democrat

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you may have heard my great bereavement My oldest Samuel Todd fell at Shilo a brave man went with the NO [New Orleans] “Crescents” saw much privation as he went as a private left a wife of four children in N Orleans – My youngest son Capt Alex Todd fell at Baton rouge “young brave & good he was a favorite with his company and much loved by all that knew him B. General Hardin Helm my son in law fell at Chickamauga – My daughter Emilie was in Atlanta with her three children. she had gone out with him and had passed thro’ many trying scenes before the last affliction which deprived her of a most excellent Husband her children of an affectionate father & me of a devoted son & friend – he was a graduate of West Point, but had left the Army and was was a practising lawyer at the opening of the war – the three lie in

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[the] South I never could get Samuel but Alex and Gen Helm were quietly and decently intered. their Graves are marked. The Genl at Atlanta. his Father Gov Helm died one week after his Inaugeration It may be that the bodies may be brought to Ky – I am now indifferent about it. I have left the state, but hope the resurrection may find us all in the [???] prepared for those who love the Lord – Emily is very young to have the care of her family – she purchased the house we live in. All my child being married I remain with her and am rather pleased with this place ’tis quiet and several Ky families have followed our example and we have society sufficient tho’ the Lads seem to convert us being well acquainted with our to “them disloyal sentiments-” I hope you iwll write again and inform me respecting yourself & others of the family or better still come to see us –

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I direct to Mr. Gilkinson as I am not sure of your address

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I enclose my [???] knitting {???] socks and will try to send one of each of my family – write to Mrs Humphrys for theirs – May evry good my dear cousin attend you [???] E.L.T.

Elizabeth L. “Betsey” Humphreys married Robert Smith Todd of Lexington, KY in November 1826, following the death of his first wife in July 1825. She was stepmother to six children, including Mary Todd Lincoln (then age 8), and soon had nine children of her own, before her husband’s death of cholera in 1849. Three of her sons served in the Confederate army, two of which died (Samuel – at Shiloh; Alexander – at Baton Rouge). Her favorite son-in-law, Brigadier General Benjamin Hardin Helm (married to Betsey’s oldest daughter Emilie) was killed at Chickamagua. She was about 65 years of age in 1867, while living with Emilie, her only unmarried child, when this letter was written.

Letter – John Brown, 24 September 1863


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Letter of Private John S. Brown of Company F, 39th NC Infantry (illiterate), written for him by Private Samuel W. Cooper of Company K, 39th NC Infantry, to the family of Sergeant John Wiggins. The letter is sent from Ringold, GA, and while dated the 14th, this is likely a mistake as official records mark that he was wounded on the 19th at Chickamauga. It informs them of his death after being wounded on September 19th, 1863, at Chickamauga, TN. Wiggins was shot in the thigh and brought to a hospital, where he died on September 21st. Sergeant Wiggins’ brother, Joseph, was with him when he died, and had him buried. Brown writes favorably of Sergeant Wiggins, and mentions that he was a good soldier and well-liked in the regiment.

Ringold Ga Sept 14th 1863

Asteemed [Esteemed] friends it is with sorrow that I right [write] at the present from the fact that I have sad news to wright your son & bro is Dead he was shot Saturday in the first charge, he was shot in the Thigh & the ball Broke his thigh & he was caried to the hospital where he remained till Monday he Died a monday Evening & he ast me to wright home & tell you [???] that he was wounded. John’s Bro, Jo. came to him before he Died & he stayed with him untill he died & he had him Buried there was is one consolation to wright that is he was a good soldier & fought & died for the good of his country & all of the Boys in the Regt Like Sargt Wigeons he all ways done his duty & acted like a gentelman & was good to all of the Boys I recking I had better bring this letter to a close so no mor your friend John, Brown,

written by S.W. Cooper

John W. Wiggins, age 19, from Cherokee County, NC, enlisted in Company F, of the 39th NC Infantry, circa February 23, 1862. He is listed as a sergeant as of November 25, 1862, and was wounded at Stones River on December 31, 1862, but returned to duty the next day. He was promoted to 1st Sergeant of Company F on March 1, 1863. He was fatally wounded at Chickamauga on September 19, 1863, and died in the hospital on September 21st. He was twice reported on the Confederate Honor Roll for valiant service, at Stones River and Chickamauga.

Letter – Edgar Wilcox, 22 September 1863


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Letter written by Lieutenant Edgar “Ned” Wilcox of Company H, 3rd Battalion, 18th U.S. Infantry, to his sister Lottie, from Chattanooga, TN. Wilcox writes that he was involved in the “thickest” of fighting at Chickamauga. He describes the recent fighting, as well as the casualties suffered by his regiment. Wilcox’s regiment bivouacked after a retreat, and the next morning he awoke with a fever. Too exhausted to continue with his men, he sat under a tree until the Confederates began shelling, one of which injured his knee. He is writing this letter while stretched on the counter of an empty dry goods store that he found after the shell lamed him. He is determined to continue fighting the next day if able.

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Chattanooga Tenn. Tuesday

Evening 8 PM. Sept 22d 1862

Dear Lottie

I will write you a few lines to night though I do not know whether I can get them into any mail or if I do whether you will ever get them — We have been fighting now for three days very hard and I have been in the thickest of it but have providentially escaped without a scratch so far with the exception of a hit in the left knee with a spent shell yesterday P.M. which has lamed me considerable but did no further injury – All that troubles me is the fever & ague which I have had ever since Sat owing to exposure &c – Our Brigade went into the fight at sunrise Saturday morning the 19th & fought till dark & were repulsed three times with heavy loss – That night we were shelled heavily but we were so worn out we slept till 2 O.clock in the morning full force not over 500 yards from us and that the Balance of our Division had fallen back without letting us know any thing about it – you may perhaps imagine we fell back double quick and I can assure you we did – at day light Sunday morning were in line of battle again and I was ordered out with my comp. as skirmishers – about

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By 8 o.clock I had lost 6 or 7 men when the Rebs advanced in force & I fell back to the Reg. who were laying down under a little slope some 300 yds behind me. Here we fought them some 20 minutes but at a terrible loss as they flanked us & we were under a cross fire and we were obliged to fall back again – After this the fight became general for the rest of the day – The enemy charging & driving us and we in them charging & driving them – About noon I heard that Lee Brown was laying on the field where we opened the fight in the morning badly wounded and as I could not leave my comp. sent 4 men and a Sergt to carry him off, they told me he was wounded in 6 places the worst wound breaking his leg but that he was cheerful & did not think his wounds dangerous – At 4 P.M. the Rebs massed up on our left where were & completely overpowered us and we retreated precipitably and as our hospital and ambulances were capture I think Lee was also.

I wrote to Ria this morning that he was wounded but in good spirits & nothing more as I did not want to alarm her unnecessarily. On the retreat I got about 20 of our Brig. together & bivouaced about 12 that night – In the morning I waked up with a burning fever on me but hearing that the brig. or what was left of it was in camp 1/4 of a mile from us I sent them there in charge of a segt and laid down under a tree too much exhausted to go any further – There I staid

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until 4 P.M. when the Rebs commenced shelling the road & I concluded to “fall back” on Chattanooga (5 miles) but had not gone 20 yds before a shell burst just in front of me and bim a piece took me in the knee, but it was spent and only lamed me & I managed to get in here where I have been stretched on a counter in an empty drygoods store all day & where I am writing disconnectedly & hurriedly to night – Our Brig. has fallen back to the fortifications in the edge of town & there will probably be on the heavy fight tomorrow & if I am not really down sick I shall go again – Our Brig. now is all cut to pieces and numbers about 200 (200) men but they will fight to the last & you may bet I will be with them if I am able to stand up. – Can write no more to night –

Yours in Haste


Edgar Norville Wilcox was born in Berkshire, MA. He was a civil engineer attending the University of Michigan when he enlisted as a private in the 7th OH Infantry at age 23 on June 19, 1861. He was discharged in December of 1861 and then joined the 18th US Regular Infantry on January 14, 1862. He was assigned as a private in Company B, 3rd Battalion. In May 1862 he was promoted to sergeant of Company H and was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant on June 11, 1863 (retroactive to February 19th). Wilcox was promoted to 1st Lieutenant on September 20, 1863. He was breveted Captain in September 1864 for Murfreesboro, Atlanta, and Jonesboro and after the war was officially promoted to Captain on January 22, 1867. He mustered out January 1, 1871 and lived in Oberlin, OH working in railroad construction. He died May 25, 1892.

Letter – Cecil Fogg, 10 February 1864


Letter written by Private Cecil Fogg of Company B, 36th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, to his father from Chattanooga, TN. Fogg writes that he sent his father his pocket diary from 1863, which he carried while in Tennessee. The arrival of the paymasters leads him to believe they will be paid soon. Fogg has heard that his regiment received marching orders for Knoxville, though they have yet to move. He has continued working on the bridge, along with the 21st Michigan Regiment. Fogg writes that a depot containing overcoats and other clothing recently burned down, having caught fire from a nearby dwelling house that was supposedly set ablaze by a Confederate sympathizer. Fogg concludes by writing that they will take up the dead at Chickamauga and bury them in the Soldiers’ Cemetery near town.

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Chattanooga, Tenn. Feb, 10th


     I rec’d the Tribune Almanac which you sent to me, and the two letters containing money and stamps. I mailed a pocket diary for 1863, which I suppose you will get before this reaches you. It may contain some of the items of interest which I have not written to you. It is too small to write much in. I carried it in my blowse [blouse] pocket the most of the time since we came to Tennessee. The paymasters are here again. We signed the payroll yesterday, and I suppose we will be paid off again shortly. We only get paid for two months this time, and I don’t know as I shall have any [money] to send home this time. Most everything is plenty now, but prices are very

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high. Green apples are bought for $10 per barrel, and retailed out at 10 and 12 cent a piece. Cheese sells at 50 K, 60 cts. and butter 75 cts. to $1.00 per lb. Paper is the cheapest thing I know of now at this place; it can be had for 15 cts. a quire. Two months ago it was selling at 50 cts. It has been reported in camp that we have been under marching orders for Knoxville twice within the last two weeks, but we are still here. One division of our corps is said to have started for Knoxville this morning. They started very early this morning for some place. I have been at work on the bridge for 3 days. It is a large job. We have been at work on it for about a month, and have not got the abutments and piers half done yet. The 21st Michigan Regt. is working at it too. The soldiers

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do the heavy work and the government pays $2.50 and $3.00 per day to citizens for doing the light work, which we could do just as well as they. There are men here working at the bridge from nearly all the New England states, New York and Pennsylvania, who get $3.00 a day and their board, and don’t work half as hard as we do at 50 cts. a day. There was a fire here on the morning of the 6th. A depot burned down, and it was said to contain 50,000 overcoats, besides a great quantity of other clothing. It caught fire from a dwelling house nearby, and it is supposed by a good many that it was set on fire by some Rebel sympathizer. I must close now, for we have just rec’d orders to be ready to march at 4 in the morning, and it is after roll call now. We are going out to take up our dead at Chickamauga and bury them at the Soldiers’ Cemetery near town.

                                           Cecil Fogg

Cecil Fogg enlisted in Company B of the 36th OH Volunteer Infantry on August 12, 1861 at Marietta, OH at the age of 20. He served through his three year term of service and re-enlisted for the war, but was mustered out July 27, 1865 based upon a surgeon’s certificate of disability. The 36th served in West Virginia in 1861, and participated in the battles of South Mountain and Antietam as a part of the 9th Corps before being transferred west in January 1863. As a part of the Army of the Cumberland’s 14th Army Corps (George H. Thomas), the regiment fought at Chickamauga and later in the Atlanta and Savannah, GA (March to the Sea) Campaigns.

Letter – Cecil Fogg, 24 September 1863


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Letter written by Private Cecil Fogg of Company B, 36th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, to his father from Chattanooga, TN. His company left the Signal Station to rejoin his regiment in Trenton, GA then came down into the Chickamauga Valley. He describes being part of the advanced guard in the Battle of Chickamauga, being fired at by Confederate pickets. Despite being outnumbered they managed to turn the Rebels back and took prisoners. Col. William G. Jones was killed with another man from his company. The following day they were part of the center and were nearly surrounded, being fired on by sharpshooters from 3 sides but eventually were able to meet up with Gen. Gordon Granger’s Reserve Corps and fell back to Union fortifications.

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Chattanooga Sept 24th


I am sitting in one of the “Last Ditches” (just finished) writing this. I have been through a two day fight and nearly 2 weeks of skirmishing since I wrote to you last and have escaped unhurt up to this time. Co. B staid up on the mountain above Jasper guarding the Signal Station from the 22nd Aug. till the 6th of Sept. On the 6th we started for our Regt. which was at Trenton Ga. we got there on the 8th. On the 10th we started southward and went about 10 miles then crossed over Sand mountain [AL] one of the Look-out range, when we were coming down the valley into Chickamauga Valley we could see where Gen. Negley’s Division was fighting a whole Corps of Rebels. I was in the advance guard

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coming down the mountain and was fired at by Rebel pickets at the foot of the mountain. It was about dark when we got to the foot and we ran the pickets in abut a mile farther and then stopped for the night. Several balls came pretty close to me that evening and one of our co. was wounded. We skirmished around here till the 18th when it was discovered that the Rebels were moving towards Chattanooga on the other side of Pigeon mountain. we started and marched all night of the 18th Our Brigade was about the center. The Rebels out numbered us 3 to one according to their account. There was a weak place in our line a little to our right when the Rebs broke through

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and we were called out there to turn them back, and we did it we took some prisoners there who said it was the hardest fighting they had ever done and they had been in nearly all the fights in the east. There is where our Regt lost the most. Col [William G.] Jones was killed and Maj. [William H.G.] Adney wounded one of our co. killed and 5 wounded. The next day the big fight came off They turned our right and left and we were nearly surrounded in the center and were exposed to a fire of sharp-shooters on three sides of us. About an hour before sunset our Brigade took the lead and made a charge to cut our way through and get out of there, and we got out just about sunset. When we stopped Gen. Reynolds, Col. [Philander P.] Lane of the 11th

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Capt Henry, 3 Lieutenants and about 150 of our Brigade (mostly 36th men) were all that was present. The balance had taken a different direction after passing through the 1st and 2nd line of Rebs and come out by a shorter cut bringing with them about 200 prisoners when Gen. Reynolds and his 150 men stopped it was sunset, and we had run 4 or 5 miles, cut our way through 3 lines of rebs and were then chasing a while Brigade of Cavalry. The dirt and noise we made then was all that saved us, we found our way to Granger’s Corps, then to our own, and fell back 6 or 7 miles that night. Monday night we fell back to the fortifications and have been at work fortifying all the time since.

Col [Timothy Robbins] Stanley of the 18th was slightly wounded Sunday.

Cecil Fogg

Cecil Fogg enlisted in Company B of the 36th OH Volunteer Infantry on August 12, 1861 at Marietta, OH at the age of 20. He served through his three year term of service and re-enlisted for the war, but was mustered out July 27, 1865 based upon a surgeon’s certificate of disability. The 36th served in West Virginia in 1861, and participated in the battles of South Mountain and Antietam as a part of the 9th Corps before being transferred west in January 1863. As a part of the Army of the Cumberland’s 14th Army Corps (George H. Thomas), the regiment fought at Chickamauga and later in the Atlanta and Savannah, GA (March to the Sea) Campaigns.