Letter – John Wiggins, 20 April 1863

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Letter written by Sergeant John W. Wiggins of Company F, 39th C Infantry, to his brother Joseph A. Wiggins, from Shelbyville, TN. Wiggins is replying to a letter from his brother, and writes that he is glad that Joseph is safe. He mentions supporters of Abraham Lincoln, and says they “showed themselves to be what they represent.” He remarks on the deaths of family friends. Wiggins has heard of recent reinforcements sent to the Union army at Tullahoma. Wiggins mentions their hard drilling, and how they have a new brigadier, General William B. Bate. Wiggins hopes that R. B. Vance, who was recently promoted to brigadier, will get command of his brigade.


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Shelbyville Tenn

April 20th/63

Mr. J.A. Wiggins

Dear Bro

its with pleasure that I put my pen to respond to yours of the 7th which has been before me only a few days I was truly glad tohear from you and hear that you had come through on a [???] and from the account you gave me that you was in a tolerable close place and it also seams like the Lincens [Lincolns] and their gallant Leader showed them selves to be what they represent I can inform you that I received a letter from home today and they was all well it was dated Apr 12th it said that Geminie Welch was dead and I also received one from home a short time before this and it said that Calvin Colvard wife was dead;

I expect that we will have something to do in a short time the enemy is reported to have received a reenforcement of (20,000) twenty thousand

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and it is reported that they are reenforcing at Tulihoma [Tullahoma] with 3 Divisions from Miss and it is also reported that they are reenforcing from VA; I would be mighty glad to see we are living tolerable well at present we have to drill tolerable hard we have got a new Brigadier Gen Bate Col R. B. Vance has been promoted to a brigadier but has not been ordered on duty I am in hopes that he will get command of this Brigade Brother Burton was examined and came clear of conscript so I recon I must close for the present so no more only remian Your Brother Respectfully

John W. Wiggins Co F

39 Regt NC Troops 2nd Brigade

McCowns Division


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 – Robert McClure, 23 August 1864

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Letter written by Captain Robert B. McClure, Assistant Adjutant General, Staff of Major General William B. Bate, dated August 23rd, 1864. McClure is writing to Lieutenant Colonel Fletcher H. Archer of the 3rd VA Infantry. McClure received the letter Archer sent him from Petersburg, VA. McClure writes that he is determined to see the end of the Atlanta Campaign as long as his health allows. He mentions that General Bate was wounded by a Minnie ball in his knee, and that John C. Brown now commands the division. McClure requests that Archer send him his boots as well as socks, soap, and a comb. He wants Archer to come visit the camp, and sends his love to friends and family. McClure also describes recent actions of Wheeler’s Cavalry, including rumors that they blew up a tunnel between Dalton and Chattanooga.


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Hd Qrs Bates Div August 23rd August 1864

Dear Col

Your letter written at Petersburg was only received by me, about [ten?] day ago, I was indeed glad to hear from you, I did not know what in the world had become of you, for I had written several letters to Macon & Griffin but could hear nothing of you, and did not know until I got your letter where you were, Since that time I have learned through Charlie Pucco that you were in Augusta and also his mother and the children I wish very much I could be with you, but I am determined to [paper torn] this Campaign as long as my health [paper torn] good but I still hold up and do my duty and a great deal of it too, Genl Bate was wounded about two weeks since by a minnie ball just above the knee, the same leg he was before wounded in at Shiloh The wound is not a dangerous one, but a severe one and will keep him from the field six or eight weeks yet, John C. Brown is now commanding the Div, he is a splendid officer, and an elegant gentleman. I like him very much indeed he has been made Maj Genl temporarily Col I would be glad for you to see Ed Obrien who lives with Maj Cunningham, and if my boots are done get them and send them immediately, as I am d— near bare footed, if they are not finished have them right away for me I would be glad for you to send me two pairs of socks and two collars and a nice piece of soap

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and a comb, Tell Ed Obrien to send my calico shirt you get it and all th things to me Direct them to the Care of Lt Col Gus A Henry; Genl Hoods Staff and I will be certain to get them Col, come up yourself, if you can, if its any [???] the change will do you good, We have plenty of room and would like to see you, Henry & [Clive?] are all right and speak of you often, if you do come bring some of the [???] will you for the poor sick soldiers I sent my kindest regards to Mrs Pucco and all the little girls, my love to my little sweetheart and tell her I dont to hear of her flirting with any of those Augustans if she does it will make me very jealous, Our Army is in fine spirits and [paper torn] …of the rail road between here and Dalton and blown up the tunnel between Dalton and Chattanooga, these are rumors, but I think them true, Write soon, if you come up bring me some novels to read

Your true friend

Bob McClure

My kindest regards to Capt Bryann when you see him also Ed Obrien and other friends


Fletcher Harris Archer was born in Petersburg, VA. enlisted April 4, 1861 as a Captain with Company K of the 12th VA Infantry. He was then commissioned into the Field Staff of the 3rd VA Infantry and promoted to Lt. Colonel on May 5, 1861. He was wounded at Petersburg June 14, 1864 then at Sailor’s Creek on April 6, 1865. He died August 21, 1902 and is buried in Blandford Church Cemetery.