Song – J.P. Graves, 1864


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Fragment of a a song composed by Private J. P. Graves, Warren County MS Light Artillery, believed to have been written the night before he joined the Army of Tennessee in 1864. The lyrics speak of leaving home to fight for one’s freedom and liberty.

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Ho for liberty freedom or death be

Thats the watchword away let us go

To the Sound of the drum and the bugle

March to vanquish the Ruffless [Ruthless] foe

Farewell to the scenes of my Childhood

To my mother whos praying for me

She would weep if the son of her bosom

From the face of the foe man should flee

Farewell to the home and the hearth

where my sisters are weeping for me

Oh the foot of the spoiler shall never

Stain the home of the brave and the free

Adieu though beloved of my bosom

For your soldier love shed not a tear

But beseech the great lord of the battle

To protect him and all he holds dear

Adie honored father who taught me

[segment missing]

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the ruffian can sweep from the earth

Adieu to the Church where the christians

For the soldier each Sabbath will pray

But the bible and chaplain go with us

and Jehovah our god is our stay

When the old british lion oppressed us

He with washington went to the field

unto him we will look in the battle

and will strike till the enemy yield

Composed by J Pen Graves

Note – the chorus is sung to the second part of the air except after the 5th and 6th stanzas

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 – George Jones, November 1863


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Letter from George Jones to his cousin Helen Sofield, dated November, 1863. Jones is writing to express his condolences to Helen on the death of her husband, Alfred J. Sofield, who was killed in action at the Battle of Gettysburg. He writes about faith, and that God will support her through this difficult time.

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Dear Cousin                           Nov.

I intended to have written long ere this time, but I have been busy and have neglected it longer than I ought. Indeed, cousin, I can sympathize with you. I felt sorry when I heard of Alfred’s death. We talked of your troubles long before I received your letter. I often think of Willie, James, & Benny. Dear cousin, there is a care exercised over us by Our Heavenly Father that we fail perhaps to realize until we, through affliction or misfortune are brought to turn our minds or thoughts to things beyond this world. We can then trace God’s goodness to us through all

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our past life. Tho we were perhaps unconscious from where or how that care has been exercised over us, still we must acknowledge God’s care through all the past. It is said that all things work together for good to those that love God. Although you have been bereaved of a husband and your parents have long since been taken away, and we may utterly fail to see any Providence in these things, yet we are led more fully to realize the truth that there is a high power where we hope to gather strength, and to more fully trust in God.

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We will pray that God will be a father to your fatherless children, and the widow’s God in bringing you through all your affliction, and providing a way for your comfortable support – here below. We are all well at present. Lyman had the eggy five weeks after they came from the 90 days’ call of the governor. We are sometimes a little too hasty. I scolded Henry & Perry a little this week, and Henry run away and I have not heard of him since. Lee joined a conscription company which cost me $80.00. I earn it you know by hard work, and if I had known it would be lost I would much rather have given it to you. So goes the world. I will be happy to hear from you whenever you can make it convenient to write. 

                            From your affectionate cousin,

                                     George Jones

Alfred J. Sofield was a clerk/justice of the peace in Wellsboro, PA when he enrolled as a Union Army Officer. He served in the Civil War as Captain and commander of Company A of the 149th PA Volunteer Infantry. During the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg, he was stationed along Chambersburg Pike north of the McPherson Farm. His unit under artillery fire from the Confederate batteries on Herr Ridge, and was struck by a round, which killed him as well as Private Edwin D. Dimmick and Corporal Nathan H. Wilcox.

Letter – Given Campbell, 21 January 1872


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Letter supposedly written by Captain Given Campbell, to his wife Susan Elizabeth, from New Orleans, LA. Campbell gives his wife an account of his daily life in the city. He describes a visit to a church where the sermon lasted for over an hour, which he thought was much too long. He writes of various friends and acquaintances he has seen in New Orleans. He also mentions that New Orleans is an “ungodly city,” and that as he sits writing he can hear a brass band playing as part of a large parade. He writes that “unless there is more religion here we will never prosper.”

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New Orleans Sunday afternoon Jany 21.72

My Sweet Wife

I mailed a letter to you this morning, and then went to hear Mr M. I was invited to [???] woods to dine but declined. Well Mr M preached a sermon one hour & 5 minutes in length to Christians about keeping separate from the world and he gave his ideas about theatres operas cardplaying, Billiards, Horse races and round dances in extenso: and in the service I thought he was right and reasonable, but there was more too much of it for one time, Aunt Em and Will were at Church in my pew, and Belle Watts from Southland was also there, after church I walked to Uncle Gus’ to see Belle home, and was most pressingly invited by Uncle Gus to stay to dine, but I declined because I wanted to go to the mail which is

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open only between 1 & 2 oclock on Sunday, and I dint know whether they will feel complemented by this preference of mine to get a letter from you to dining with them or not. but at any rate it was so, and I did go to the P.O. and much to my intense disgust the mail was an hour and a half behind time, so I will not get the letter of today till tomorrow morning. These mails are so horribly irregular that they disgust me often. I have set my heart on a letter from you today, for I always enjoy getting your letters more on Sundays. I suppose it is because I have no work to do on that day and have my mind free from business and then it naturally reverts to what it most prominently thinks of and you know who that is.

We had a right good Congregation and I saw some strangers, i did not see Mr Alison, But Mrs Moore & Miss Carrie & Mr W. were each there, and there

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also was Mrs Richardson, and she was not very well dressed I am afraid poor Frank is feeling some of the dullness of the times. Aunt Eve looked well and said she was well and Will is very fat, and his face is as broad a face as a mans ought to be, he was very nicely dressed in a new suit of cloth I suppose his sister must have given it to him for Poor old Mac, does not do much now I never see him have a case and it is strange to me how he gets along. I have not seen any thing of Mary for some time she is disposed to forget me, and as I do not think her recollections as of any advantage to me I wont trouble her by jogging her memory by any visit to her–. I am boarding at Moreau’s on Canal but St. Charles & [Carondelet?], about two doors further out than Giguel’s, and have very fine eating there, and enjoy what I eat much more than at the Hotel, though it is a solitary sort of a life to site and eat your meals at a table by yourself, but as it agrees

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with my appetite then, I think I shall continue it for a few days longer – there it is about $3 per week higher that at the Hotel. This is a very ungodly city. for just as I am waiting here goes a brass band and a procession with banners parading the street. I am afraid unless there is more religion here it will never prosper, well my darling I will now go to dinner and stop this letter here and finish it tomorrow, and mail it then.

You may always know that no one can describe how much I love you, G.

Monday, well darling another beautiful morning has dawned upon us. I am very well this morning. I went to my room on yesterday after dinner and read some chapters in my testaments. I then staid in my room til Church [???] and went to Dr Palmers to the annual meeting of the Bible Society and there was an immense crowd & the church was very close and one man farted & fell from his seat and several ladies had to leave Rev Wm Tudor delivered the address, and his address

[Rest of letter missing]

Given Campbell was a lawyer practicing in St. Louis, MO who enlisted in the 2nd MO Volunteer Militia. In 1861 he was captured with over 600 other militia members by the Union Army and taken prisoner. He was paroled and then went to Kentucky where he joined the 15th KY Cavalry. He was promoted to captain of the company. Following the surrender at Appomattox, Campbell was selected by Jefferson Davis to lead his escape – they were captured at Irwinsville, GA. After the war, Campbell moved to New Orleans where he continued to practice law until 1873, when he moved back to St. Louis. He died in 1906.

Letter – Edward Clark, 5 September 1862


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Letter written by the former Chaplain Edward Lord Clark of the 12th MA Infantry to Mrs. Caroline Webster, from Andover, MD. Clark is writing to express his sympathies at the death of Mrs. Webster’s husband, Colonel Fletcher Webster. Clark speaks very highly of the colonel, and writes of how loved he was by his men. He concludes by mentioning the Websters’ daughter Julia, who also passed away.

Andover Sept. 5th


Mrs. Webster

Dear Madam

     I have thought that the sad news which has cast a cloud over the friends of our brave Col. might not prove to be true. It did not seem possible that he had fallen, but this afternoon the last hope has been disappointed, and I can only express my warm sympathy with you in this terrible affliction.

     While no words can relieve the sad pressure upon your feelings, I am sure that even the humblest praise cannot but be pleasing in the midst of sadness. And I should be ungrateful to him for his many kindnesses if I did not tell you how much we admired his remarkable talents and his splendid accomplishments. His generosity and his sympathy with even the poorest of his soldiers endeared him to the entire regiment. Many times have I spoken of the devotion of his men, and I never knew a Col. so universally

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loved and so cheerfully obeyed as our col. In all my intercourse with the different companies, under all circumstances, and at all times since we left home, I never heard an angry or disrespectful word spoken of him. His power over them was such that I believe they would have followed him everywhere, and yet they never feared him as a commander. With a warmth of heart, which knew no distinction of religion or politics, he drew all men to love him, so that I used to feel proud to observe how much of his father’s genial kindness came to men, and pleased to see how much he had for all beside.

     Never shall I forget the rides we took in the late afternoon at Darnestown. The ease and skill with which he explained to me many things I had not understood in my reading or studies; the warmth and earnestness he threw into his gestures and tones as he expounded the “Lord’s prayer,” and the “Sermon on the mount;” the interest he displayed in

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the details of his regiment- how they thought, and wished and hoped – the enthusiasm and pride he felt as he led his splendid men under some unexpected order, perhaps to a scene of trial; the fondness he expressed for his dear Julia, and all his warm friends at home. These and a hundred things besides are so recent, so fresh in my heart, that I cannot feel the loss enough, or be thankful enough that I have seen and known it all. I wish for nothing so much as to have done something for your husband. I used to think if we went into battle I should never lose sight of him. But this privilege I could not have. Now it is too late.

     When I returned, I was too sick to leave my room, and on my becoming better the Dr. sent me back into the country, so that hoping from day to day to return and see you I did not write.

     You have met two trials, and both together. I cannot tell you how bravely he fell, nor need I remind you that

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this would have been his choice. If I could see you, I should feel that words were a mockery, but I would rejoice to press your hand, and tell you that I should always respect and admire the warm, generous hearted and talented impulses, and zeal, of our own dear Col. While I remember your precious daughter [Julia] as I do the rare days of sunshine in our stormy winter at Frederick. They were not separated.

     With the warmest sympathy ad deepest gratitude for your personal kindness to me, I have the honor to remain,

                         Your obedient servant,

                            Edward L. Clark  

Edward Lord Clark, from Andover, MA, aged 23, enrolled as chaplain in the 12th MA Infantry on June 26, 1861. He resigned on June 16, 1862. Died Feb. 4, 1910.

Fletcher Webster was the only surviving child of the famous Massachusetts Senator and orator, Daniel Webster. He organized the “Webster Regiment,” the 12th MA Infantry in 1861 at the age of 47. He was killed in action on the afternoon of August 30, 1862 at the Battle of 2nd Bull Run.