Letter – Daniel Adams, 22 January 1863

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Copy of a Confederate letter by Brigadier General Daniel W. Adams to James A. Seddon, Secretary of War, from Marietta, GA. This copy is in the handwriting of Randall Lee Gibson. Adams is petitioning Seddon to promote Colonel Gibson to brigadier general. Gibson is currently commanding the consolidated 13th and 20th Louisiana regiments. Gibson was on continuous duty through the Kentucky and Tennessee Campaigns, and was particularly admirable at the Battle of Perryville. Adams also mentions the “great gallantry” that Gibson displayed in the battles before Murfreesboro. Gibson also commanded Adams’ brigade during the Brigadier General’s absence, as part of Major General John C. Breckenridge’s division. The letter includes testimonies from Brigadier General Patton Anderson, Lieutenant General Leonidas Polk, Brigadier General William Preston, and Lieutenant General William Hardee, all of whom are supportive of Gibson’s promotion.


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Marietta Ga Jan 22nd 1863

Sir,

I have the honor to call your especial attention to Col R L Gibson of Louisiana now commanding the 13th & 20th La Regts Consolidated – formerly commanding the 13th La with the view of recommending him for promotion to the Rank of Brigadier Genl

Col Gibson entered the service on the 16th day of April 1861 and has since been actively and assiduously engaged in in it. Within my knowledge – that is since the 1st day of August last at which time his Regiment became a portion of the Brigade under my command he has been continuously on duty through the Ky and Tenn Campaigns. [???] battle of Perryville Ky in command of his Regiments under my immediate and personal observation he displayed great courage, gallantry, coolness, self possession as I have testimony in my official report of the part taken by my Brigade in that battle – throughout the long & arduous march of that Kentucky Campaign he was prompt and energetic in the discharge of his duties. In the recent battles before Murfreesboro he again displayed great gallantry & courage in the engagement of the 31st of December as I have officially reported; and in the engagement of of the 2nd inst as a part of Major Genl Breckinridge’s Div – he being the senior colonel commanded my Brigade in my absence which was caused by my being slightly wounded disabled by a slight wounded received on the 31st of Dec and acquitted himself as I have been credibly informed with great credit.

To my knowledge he is well acquainted and

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proficient in Battalion & Brigade drill and with the rules & regulations of the service and has had considerable experience at [???] during his time of service as a Brigade Commander.

I feel confidently in the assurance that he is well qualified to command a Brigade and deserving the promotion to a Brigadier Generalship; in which opinion I doubt not my superiors in command in this Army will fully and most cheerfully concur. I have the honor to be

very respectfully

(signed) Dan W Adams Brig Genl

Comdg Adams Brigade

Breckinridge’s Div Hardee’s Corps

Hon James A Seddon

Sec of War C.S.A.

Richmond VA.

I take pleasure in adding my testimony to the above. Col Gibson Regiment during the Kentucky campaign composed a part of a Brigade in the Division I commanded. I had opportunities of observing him, and can say is truth, that he managed his Regt on the arduous march with skill and judgment and was highly spoken of by his Brigade Commander for his gallantry [?] on the field of Perryville. I consider him quite competent to command a Brigade.

(signed) Patton Anderson

Brig. Genl. P.A.

I cordially concur in the recommendation of Col Gibson to the office of Brigadier Genl. Col Gibson has shown himself both capable and faithful and would command a Brigade with credit to himself and advantage to our cause,

(signed) L Polk

Lt Genl C.S.A

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I have long known Colonel Gibson and esteemed him for his cultivated intellect, his spotless character and great worth as a gentleman. In my association with him for the last year, and in the trying scenes from shiloh to murfreesboro, my regard has been augmented by finding in him all the qualities of a gallant and skillful soldier, it affords me pleasure to add the feeble testimony of my name to the distinguished recommendations of others under whom he has served to testify my entire confidence in his fitness for promotion to the rank of Brigadier Genl and my belief that the President cannot bestow it on a more faithful, diligent, and meritorious officer,

(signed) Wm Preston

Brigadier Genel Comdg Breckinridge’s Div

I concur in the recommendations given on behalf of Col. Gibson, and cordially recommend him to the President for Brigadier General.

W.J. Hardee

(signed) Lieut General

Hdqrs Hardees Corps

Tullahoma Feb 1st 1863


Randall Lee Gibson was born in 1832 in Versailles, KY into a family of slave-owning planters. He attended Yale and was a member of the Skull and Bones society. After graduating in 1853 he then studied at the University of Louisiana Law School (Tulane) and received his bachelor’s in law. When Louisiana seceded, Gibson joined the 1st LA Artillery as a captain. He was then commissioned as colonel of the 13th LA Infantry. A year after this letter was sent on his behalf, he was finally promoted to brigadier general for the Atlanta and Franklin-Nashville Campaigns. He was captured at Cuba Station, AL May 8, 1865 and paroled on May 14, 1865. After the war he returned to Louisiana and was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1874, then the Senate in 1882. He died December 15, 1892.

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.

Letter – Robert Ardry, 2 June 1864

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Letter written by Sergeant Robert G. Ardry of Company B, 111th IL Volunteer Infantry, to his father from near the battlefront in Georgia. Ardry writes of the campaign to Dallas, GA and describes the organization of the line of battle, which extended over ten miles. The Union forces built breastworks covered with brush to conceal them from charging troops. The Confederates suffered heavy losses. Ardry also writes of another engagement while his regiment was on the skirmish line. Despite feeling exhausted from several straight days of heavy fighting, Ardry writes that “things are going very well for us now.”


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Near line of battle Georgia June 2d 1864

Dear Father

I will now pencil you a few lines that you may know that I am still well although we have been in some hot places during the last week We left Kingston on the 23rd and marched again on the right flank, keeping 5 to 10 miles west of the RR till the afternoon of the 26th, when we came up to the Rebs in force at a town called Dallas, 10 miles west of Marietta. The line of battle was then formed that night 15th Army Corps (Logan) on the extreme right; 16th (Dodge) next on our left 4th (Stanton), next 20th (Hooker), next and Schofield on the RR. This line of battle was over 10 miles long and fighting has been going on every day since some place on the line. Our brigade had

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a very hot place till yesterday morning on the night of the 26th We built miles of breastworks and the next morning found us in three lines of battle The 111th had the front line; heavy skirmishing all day Co. C was on this skirmish line and had two men killed and two wounded The skirmishers are advanced 200 yards in front of the lines and lie behind logs and trees and shoot at the Reb skirmishers If an advance is being made the skirmishers give the alarm Well, at 4 o’clock P.M. the Rebs made a charge on our lines The center of the attack was on the 83rd Indiana joining us on the right Our works was built after night and we covered the clay over with brush and they did not know that we had anything of the kind They came up bravely and when within 75 yards and our skirmishers all in the word fire was given Our line for ¼ of a mile was

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one sheet of fire. This broke their lines, but they rallied and on they came waving their flag, but we just more than shot them down Their flag fell several times They got it within 15 steps of our trenches when they fled They carried off many of their wounded, especially officers, but many wounded and killed fell into our hands They had all sorts of wounds One man had his leg shot clean off with a cannon ball I thought the roar of artillery and musketry at Resaca was bad enough but it was nothing to this. We had all advantages The 111th did not lose a man The 83rd Ind. lost 3 in the charge They also charged our lines about one mile to our left at the same time but were repulsed Reb loss is estimated at three thousand At dark of the 30th it came Co. B’s time to go on

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skirmish line for the next 24 hours The night was pretty quiet but with day shooting commenced We were within 300 yards of their breastworks We had holes dug behind logs and trees and lay in them with our guns cocked and fingers on triggers And the moment they showed themselves we sent three or four shots at them At dark we were relieved None of us got hurt On the 1st of June there was several heavy attacks on the lines The 15th Army Corps relieved Hooker and he moved still farther to the left We are now lying back as reserve, another brigade being in the front Our brigade was in the front five days at Dallas and we were pretty well wore out sometimes up all night The Rebs made 7 charges after night one night mostly on Dodge This night we did not sleep any but I must stop Things are going very well for us now But it is thought by some that the fight will last sometime It is 25 or 30 miles to Atlanta. One of the McConnell boys the youngest was killed a few days ago Our reg. so far here has lost 5 killed 8 or 9 wounded Lieut. Col. Black being among the later His is a flesh wound in the leg We get plenty of rations The most of the boys are well I do not know when I will get a chance to mail this but will the first chance Write soon So good By one and all.

                                             R G Ardry


Robert Ardry was born in Muskingum, OH. He enlisted in Lively Grove, IL, as a sergeant on August 13, 1862 in Co. B of the 111th Illinois Volunteer Infantry at the age of 27. He was captured at the Battle of Atlanta, July 22, 1864. After being held at Andersonville Prison, GA, he was paroled on September 27, 1864. Following the war he lived in Oakdale, IL, and died May 30, 1922.