[no day] 1865 September, place unknown: “Where is the flag that once floated so proudly . . .”

[Postwar poem by an anonymous ex-Confederate soldier.]

The Lament

“Where is the flag that once floated so proudly,
Where the bright arms that once sung out so loudly?
Where the brave hearts that so long held at bay
All the hosts of the North? Where the jackets of gray?

Down is the flag that once floated high,
Low lie the hearts that would conquer or die;
Sheathed are the swords that oft-flashed in the van,
Lost is the cause of Truth, Freedom and Man.

Hope has departed, life has lost all its charms;
Our armies disbanded; Oh! comrades in arms,
Taunted and scorned in our jackets of gray,
We may envy the brave souls who fell in the fray.

Lonely and weary the soldier returns,
Tells he’s paroled, and his manly cheek burns.
Can life without liberty happiness yield?
Oh! would I had died on the red battle-field.

Hardships and toil for four long years endured,
Honor and triumphs by true hearts procured,
Now to be lost by cowards and knaves
Deserting their standard in haste to be slaves.
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Hush, hush, my poor heart! be at ease, be at rest!
One comfort is mine, that the noblest and best:
I stood by our banner, I heard the last gun,
And can now say with pride, I my duty have done.”
September 1865

[Editor: From the autograph album of University of Virginia student James A. Harden (b. 1841) of Richmond, Virginia. He attended during 1860 and studied Latin, chemistry and moral philosophy. Possibly a man of the same name enrolled at Virginia Military Institute in 1861.  A Greenville, Virginia, native of the same name was appointed adjutant of the 23rd Battalion Virginia Infantry in May 1862 and served until his capture at the Battle of Winchester during September 1864 and became a prisoner of war at Fort Delaware until his June 1865 release. This Harden resided postwar in Augusta County, Virginia, and was employed by the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad; he lived in Dillwyn during 1901 and was still alive in 1905 at age sixty-four. Autograph albums (as precursors of college yearbooks) were a popular means of expressing friendship among nineteenth-century students, including those at the University. Harden’s unpaginated album, printed and sold by J. B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia, contains eight entries by his classmates, two unsigned postwar poems, and July 14-16 diary entries, year unknown.]


Friday, 1865 August 4, New Orleans, Louisiana: “Business has changed very much, not only changed hands, but the very mode of carrying it out is so different from what it used to be”

[Impressions of business conditions in postwar New Orleans and Norfolk, Virginia, and the employment of African-American ex-slaves.]

New Orleans, August 4, 1865

James W. Green Esq.
Rappahannock County, Virginia

Dear Sir:
I arrived here on 25 July on Steamship
“Star of the Union” from New York, and went to work next day
in Same office I was in prior to the War. I was enquiring
the other day about Charlie and learned that he was then
expected almost daily in Vicksburg so I presumed I shall soon
see him. New Orleans look very natural & there are many
more familiar faces to be met with on the streets than I
imagined. Business has changed very much, not only
changed hands, but the very mode of carrying it out is so
different from what it used to be. Trade is quite
brisk at this time in almost all its departments; Cotton is
Coming in very freely from the various points, and so long as it
lasts it will keep everything else moving—the growing Crop that
is very small, and the impression is that a Small Crop at
present rates pays as Well as a good large one used to. Planters
generally seem disposed to go to work with a will, and do
the best they can under existing circumstances—the freed labor
system is as yet somewhat problematical, but I think that
once the Negroes being to realize which end they stand upon, and
discover that they must work or starve that they will be very glad
to do at least as little as they possibly can, which might
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amount to something in the long run. I found
in Virginia that many believed it best for each Planter to hire
strange Negroes, for the reason that those previously owned were in
many cases indulged and allowed privileges altogether
incompatible with the new relation between Employer and Employed—
but which nevertheless they would still respect. I think
the idea good as a general rule.
I wrote you from Philadelphia
when I first arrived there, my stay however was very short,
from there I went to Norfolk [Virginia] and remained with a friend
[unintelligible] two miles outside Town, for about 5 Weeks, during all of
which time very much was absent from New Orleans on business
appertaining to the City Banks and did not Know anything
whatever of my whereabouts.
I trust you are all getting on
well at “the Shade” [Locust Shade] & have had a good Corn Season. When
you can make it convenient to write, I would be much
pleased to hear from you.
Please tell W. ?  Green that
when the Express Companies get to Working Well, I will
write & ask him to have that piece of silk I left in
his charge forwarded to this place, as many are very
anxious to see it. I could easily have brought
it on myself had I only known.
With Kindest regards to all at “the
Shade” [Locust Shade]—
I Remain Dear Sir
Yours very sincerely,
Walter F. Irvine [signed]
address Care of
T. H. & J. M. Allen
New Orleans

[Editor: James W. Green (1829?-?) of  Rappahannock County, Virginia; as a 35-year-old farmer in 1864 he received a Confederate exemption “as an Agriculturalist” for the counties of Campbell and Amherst; in January 1865 the Lynchburg provost marshal’s office (Confederate) granted him permission to visit Rappahannock; his father Col. Charles W. Green Sr. (1817?-1879) wrote to him in 1864 from “Locust Shade”—perhaps the family plantation/farm. (There is a Locust Shade Park near the Marine Corps Base Quantico, in Triangle, Prince William County, Virginia.) An April 1865 a New York Times article described the “Star of the Union” as a “magnificent steamer . . . on the route between New-York and New-Orleans . . . owned by E. A. Sorosa & Co. . . . 218 feet long, 34 feet beam, 18 feet 6 inches hold, and 1,202 tons . . . of white oak . . .  a vertical direct engine.” A Walter F. Irvine (1836-1906) is buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Norfolk, Virginia; the 1900 U. S. Census identifies him as a native of Ireland and a merchant residing on the city’s Bank Street; two of his daughters (Margaret and Charlotte) were Louisiana natives. T. H. & J. M. Allen Company, a New Orleans cotton firm, ca. 1858-1876.]

MSS 4694-A

Monday, 1865 July 17, Toronto, Canada: “I will henceforth faithfully support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Union of the States thereunder”

[Loyalty oath by a former Confederate general in exile in Canada.]

U. S. Consulate
Toronto C. W. [Canada West]

I, John McCausland do solemnly swear or
affirm in the Presence of Almighty God, that I will henceforth
faithfully support and defend the Constitution of the United States and
the Union of the States thereunder; and that I will, in like manner,
abide by and faithfully support all laws and proclamations which
have been made during the existing rebellion with reference to the
emancipation of slaves, so help me God.
Jon. McCausland [signed: John McCausland]

Sworn before me at the Consulate of the USA
at Toronto this 17 day of July 1865, & of the
Independence of the United States the
D. Thurston [signed: David Thurston]
U. S. Consul

Name            Rank
John McCausland    Brigadier General
Point Pleasant, West Virginia
D. Thurston
U. S. Consul

[Editor: John McCausland (1836-1927), born St. Louis, Missouri; graduate of Virginia Military Institute (1857) and the University of Virginia (1858); colonel of the 36th Virginia Infantry; promoted to brigadier general May 1864 and fought in Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia. He died at his “Grape Hill” farm near Point Pleasant, West Virginia, at age ninety-one and was buried in the Smith Cemetery, Henderson, Mason County. He was the next to last Confederate general to die. McCausland was apprehensive about returning to postwar America because of his July 1864 raid into Pennsylvania where, acting under orders of Lieutenant General Jubal A. Early, he burned the town of Chambersburg in retribution for destruction of homes and property in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley by Union Major General David Hunter. Although he refused to surrender with General Robert e. Lee at Appomattox, according to some published accounts he was paroled at Charleston, West Virginia, on May 22, 1865 but his Encyclopedia of Virginia biographical entry states “the prosecuting attorney of Franklin County, Pennsylvania . . . obtained a warrant against McCausland on the charge of arson.” Concerned about being tried and hanged for war crimes, McCausland fled to Canada, Mexico and Europe before returning to America in 1867 with personal assurances from Union General Ulysses G. Grant.  McCausland’s 1865 loyalty oath during his Canadian sojourn may have been part of his stratagem to avoid arrest and prosecution and a prerequisite for his return to the United States.
According to the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, David Thurston (1818-1889) of Massachusetts immigrated to Montreal, Canada, in 1851 and later settled in Toronto where he (still an American citizen) was appointed U. S. consular agent (1864), serving in that capacity until 1869; American Secretary of State William Seward valued Thurston’s service, and so also during this period he served as vice-consul at Quebec and vice-consul general at Montreal. In 1869 Thurston began careers in lumber and insurance but retained his American citizenship. In 1878 he was appointed vice-consul in Toronto and retired in 1882 due to poor health; his date of death and fate after 1889 is unknown. In the oath Thurston incorrectly identified American independence as ninety years when it was actually eighty-nine years (1776).]

MSS 13267

Tuesday, 1865 June 20, Washington, D. C: “. . . a full pardon and amnesty for all offenses by him committed, arising from participation, direct or implied, in the said rebellion . . .”

[A presidential pardon for a former Kentucky member of the Confederate Congress.]

Whereas, Eli M. Bruce
of Kentucky, taking part in the
late rebellion against the Government of the United States, has
made himself liable to heavy fines and penalties;
And whereas, the circumstances of his case render him a
proper object of Executive clemency;
Now, therefore, be in known, that I, Andrew Johnson
President of the United States of America, in consideration of the premises,
divers other good and sufficient reasons therefore moving, do
hereby grant to the said E. M. Bruce,
a full pardon and amnesty for all offenses by him committed,
arising from participation, direct or implied, in the said rebellion,
conditioned as follows, viz: this pardon to being and take effect
from the day on which the said E. M. Bruce shall
take the oath prescribed in the Proclamation of the
President dated May 29th, 1865, and to be void and
of no effect if the said E. M. Bruce shall hereafter,
at any time, acquire any property whatever in
slaves or make use of slave labor.
And upon the further condition that the said
E. M. Bruce
shall notify the Secretary of State, in writing, that he has
received and accepted the foregoing pardon.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto signed my name and caused
the Seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this
Twentieth day of June,
A. D. 1865, and of the Independence of the
United States the Eighty-ninth.
Andrew Johnson [signed]
By the President:
W. Hunter [signed: William Hunter Jr.]
Acting Secretary of State

[Editor: Eli Metcalfe Bruce (1828-1866) of Kentucky, member of the House Ways and Means Committee of the Confederate Congress. He died of heart disease at age 38 and is buried in Highland Cemetery, Fort Mitchell, Kenton County, Kentucky. Andrew Johnson (1808-1875) of Tennessee, 17th President of the United States (1865-1869). William Hunter, Jr. (1805–1886) of  Rhode Island, Acting Secretary of State, 1865, and United States Second Assistant Secretary of State, 1866-1886. Hunter was serving in an acting capacity because Secretary of State William Seward (1801-1872) had been attacked in his home by Lewis Powell, a fellow conspirator of John Wilkes Booth, during the night of Lincoln’s assassination. Seward’s son, Assistant Secretary of State Frederick William Seward (1830-1915) was also seriously wounded while attempting to protect his father, and was assistant secretary of state 1861-1869 and 1877-1879. Despite Bruce’s pardon, martial law did not end in Kentucky until Johnson’s October 12, 1865 proclamation. On May 29, 1865, Johnson granted a presidential pardon to persons who directly or indirectly aided the Southern war effort and restored their property rights in the former Confederate South with the exception of slaves and upon swearing an oath of loyalty. Exempted taking the oath were fourteen ‘classes’ of individuals including Confederate civil or diplomatic officers and individuals who had conducted piracy against Union commerce; however, those in such ‘classes’ could apply directly to the president for a pardon.]

MSS 10719-D

Saturday, 1865 May 13, City Point, Virginia: “. . . having served Honestly and Faithfully with his Company to the present date . . .”

[Five hundred days after his enlistment and a month after the surrender of Lee’s army, an African-American soldier receives a certificate of disability and discharge from the Union Army.]

I certify, on honor, that Moses White, a Private of Captain Cunningham’s Company (A) of the 38th Regiment of U. S. Colored Troops Volunteers of the State of, born in Hertford County, State of North Carolina, aged 20 years; 5 feet 3 inches high; Dark complexion, Dark eyes, Dark hair, and by occupation a Farmer, who joined for service and was enrolled (see Note 9) on the 6th day of January, 1864, at Norfolk, Va., by D. E. Clapp [Lieutenant Colonel Dexter E. Clapp], for the period of Three years, and mustered into the service of the United States on the 23rd day of January, 1864, at Norfolk, Va., by Captain Gould; and having served HONESTLY and FAITHFULLY with his Company to the present date, is now entitled to a DISCHARGE by reason of Disability.
The said Moses White was last paid by Paymaster Howell, to include the 31st day of December, 1864, and has pay due him from that time to the present date; he is entitled to pay and subsistence for Traveling to place of enrollment, and whatever other allowances are authorized to volunteer soldiers, drafted men, or militia, so discharged. He was received from the United States Clothing amounting to Fifty nine [dollars and 43 cents], since the 6th day of January 1864, when his clothing account  was never last settled. He has received from the United States__________ dollars advanced BOUNTY.
There is to be stopped from him, on account of the State of _________, or other authorities, for CLOTHING, &c., received on entering services, __________ dollars; and for other stoppages, viz; __________ dollars.
He has been furnished with TRANSPORTATION in kind from the place of his discharge to _________: and he has been SUBSISTED for TRAVELING to his place of enrollment, up to the __________, 186__.
He is indebted to ________, sutler, Five dollars.
He is indebted to ________, laundress, ___ dollars.
Given in Duplicate, at City Point, Va., this 13th day of May, 1865.
G. N. W. Cunningham [signature]
Commanding Company

[Editor: North Carolina farmer Moses White (ca. 1845-?) married, raised a family and worked as a fisherman and farmer in Princess Anne County [the city of Virginia Beach since 1963], Virginia, until the 1930s, becoming an octogenarian. The nature of his disability was not recorded. A separate document indicates White’s regular monthly pay as $16.00; for his final pay period of 1 January-13 March 1865 (four months and twelve days) he earned $70.40; to this was initially added $56.81 “for clothing not drawn” for a total of $127.21; from this amount $5.00 was deducted for money owned a sutler [civilian vendors who traveled by wagon with and sold eatables and luxuries to soldiers the field or in camp as supplements to their military rations] and $59.43 for “clothing withdrawn” resulting in a balance of $62.78. He signed his final pay voucher for this amount with his ‘X’ mark on May 16, 1865, three days after receiving his disability discharge certificate.
The 38th United States Colored Infantry (United States Colored Troops) was organized in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, and Tidewater, Virginia, during January 1864; four percent of its 1,307 men enlisted in Union-occupied Norfolk. Initially assigned to Norfolk and Portsmouth, the regiment participated in the 1864-65 Petersburg Siege and the April 1865 occupation of Richmond; at the time of White’s discharge it had been assigned to 1st Brigade, 1st Division, XXV Corps since December; a week after White’s discharge the regiment was transferred Texas where in January 1867, after three years of existence, it was among the last African-American regiments mustered out of federal service. Three members of the 38th regiment, Private William Henry Barnes (c. 1840 or 1845-1866), Sergeant James H. Harris (1828–1898) and First Sergeant Edward Ratcliff (1835 –1915), became Medal of Honor recipients in April 1865 and February 1874 (Harris) for gallantry at Battle of Chaffin’s Farm, Virginia (September 1864).
Captain G. N. W. Cunningham was a member of the 13th Massachusetts Infantry, the 37th United States Colored Infantry (first lieutenant), and mustered out of the 38th USCI on October 17, 1866.
“Note 9” (included on reverse of this certificate in section “Final Statement of Regiment of Volunteers”): “If the soldier is a drafted man or substitute, the space for time, &c., of enrolled, should contain only the word drafted or substitute, as the case may be. If the Soldier is a “VETERAN,” (or RECRUIT), the words as a veteran, (or recruit,) as the case may be, should be interlined after the words mustered into the service of the U. S. A. A statement of all the instruments of Veteran or Recruit Bounty RECEIVED by the Soldier must be made up on the back of each final statement.”
Lieutenant Colonel Dexter Elisha Clapp (1830-1882), a native of North Bergen, Genesee County, New York, and a captain of Company C, 148th New York Infantry from September 1862 until promoted to a lieutenant colonelcy in the 38th USCI in March 1864; he resigned March 13, 1865 and later received the rank of brevet brigadier general, United States Volunteers, January 15, 1866 “for gallant and meritorious service.” Black newspaper reporter Thomas Morris Chester (1834-1892) of the Philadelphia Press characterized Clapp’s personal bravery during the Battle of Chaffin’s Farm as inspirational to the 38th USCI during the Battle of Chaffin’s Farm (New Market Heights). But according to historian Joseph T. Glatthaar’s Forged in Battle: The Civil War Alliance of Black Soldiers and White Officers (1990), Clapp’s abuse of his black troops, fellow officers and command authority caused a buildup of discontent and discipline problems in the 38th USCI resulting in courts-martial for himself and at least two lieutenants. Other postwar records suggest Clapp was apparently acquitted because on April 5, 1865, by appointment of Richmond, Virginia’s Union military governor he became a member of a commission constituted for the relief of destitute city families. He further redeemed himself in an October 1865 report on the release of wrongly incarcerated African-Americans in North Carolina. Clapp served as U. S. Consul in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1871-1873; he died in 1882 and is buried at the Yates Center Cemetery, Woodson County, Kansas.
“Captain Gould” is unidentified; several white officers of that surname were assigned to various regiments of United States Colored Troops during the war. “Paymaster Howell” has not been identified.]

MSS 11505

Wednesday, 1865 April 19, [Greensboro, North Carolina]: “Total Present—not Effective.”

Wednesday, 1865 April 19, [Greensboro, North Carolina]: “Total Present—not Effective.”

[Ten days after the surrender of Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox, Virginia, a Confederate staff officer prepared a list of 20,640 “not-effective” men from eleven former Confederate states.]

Greensboro No. Ca. [North Carolina] C. S. A. [Confederate States Army]
April 19th 1865

Virginia             Richmond                 289 men
North Carolina  Raleigh                  2,645
Tennessee        Nashville               1,312
South Carolina Spartansburg        4,335
Georgia            Macon                   5,626
Florida             Tallahassee              351
Alabama          Montgomery          2,578
Mississippi       Macon                   2,137
Louisiana        Baton Rouge            104
Arkansas        Little Rock                 741
Texas             Austin                        527
Total [Present]                            20,640
J. M. W. [John Marshall Warwick] Otey [signed]
AAG [Assistant Adjutant General]

[Editor: Lynchburg, Virginia native John Marshall Otey (1839-1883) was a staff officer under  Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard (1818-1893) with the rank of captain and assistant adjutant general, April-November 1862 and October 1864; he held the same under General Braxton Bragg (1817-1876) in 1862. By June 1864 Otey held the rank of lieutenant colonel; according to the National Park Service Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Database his final rank was that of lieutenant colonel and assistant adjutant general. He was paroled on April 26, 1865 (with the Army of Tennessee) and worked as a broker and insurance agent during the postwar era. Otey is buried in Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia. “Not Effective” [Noneffectives] were soldiers unable to take up their military duties due to a variety of reasons (medical leave, desertion, missing in action, etc.) The cities and towns are written in pencil. Their significance—and the purpose of this list–is unknown—perhaps these were soldiers awaiting official paroles? Possibly Otey prepared it for General Joseph E. Johnston (1807-1891) as part of his April 17-18 and 26, 1865 negotiations with Union General William Tecumseh Sherman (1820-1891) resulting in the surrender of Johnston’s Army of Tennessee and Confederate forces in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida—nearly 90,000 soldiers.]

MSS 3272-D

Monday, 1865 March 27, Tallahassee, Florida: “This will be carried to your outpost . . . under Flag of truce.”

[A Confederate general proposes an exchange of paroled Union prisoners of war in Florida and Georgia]

[Headquarters Military District of Florida]
Tallahassee, March 27, 1865
This will be carried to your outpost
by Capt. John C. Rutherford C. S. A.
under Flag of truce. He is the bearer
of a letter from Brig. Genl. Pillow[,] Commissary
[General] of prisoners C. S. A. addressed to
the officer Commanding Federal forces
Jacksonville and Capt. Rutherford is
also charged with the duty of paroling
and sending within the lines occupied
by the U. S. troops for exchange, the prisoners
of war held by the C. S. and now
confined within certain states, Georgia
and Florida among others. This exchange
is in accordance with terms agreed
on between Lt. Gen. Grant Commanding
Armies of the United States, and the
proper authorities of the [Confederate] States.
Under existing circumstances the
prisoners in Georgia and this place

[page 2]
can be delivered more conveniently and
comfortably to themselves at Jacksonville
than Mobile. [Alabama]
If you will receive the prisoners
and receipt for them as paroled prisoners
for Exchange, I will do all in my
power to send them without delay to
I am very respectfully
Your [obedient servant]
[Samuel] Jones
Major General
Brig. Genl. E. P. Scammon
Commanding 4th [Separate] Brigade
Jacksonville Fla. [Florida]

[reverse endorsements]
Headquarters Military District of Florida
Tallahassee, Florida
March 27, 1865
Jones, Sam.
Major General
L. R. B. 23 JDF Vol.2
Transmits a letter
From Brig. Genl. Pillow
Commissary General Prisoners
C. S. A., proposing to
deliver prisoners at
Jacksonville for
States that if the
prisoners will be
received, he will
do all in his power
to send them to
Jacksonville without

Stamped postmark “Received Hd, Qts. March 29, 1865.”

[Editor: Three days after Lee’s surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox, this prisoner exchange remained uncompleted though preliminary arrangements had been made between Scammon and Rutherford for an exchange to have taken place at Jacksonville pending General Grant’s approval. Mobile, Alabama, was occupied by Union troops on April 12, 1865. Confederate Captain John C. Rutherford, assistant adjutant general to Major General Howell Cobb (1815-1868) since January 10, 1863; he began his wartime service as a sergeant in Cobb’s Legion, organized 1861 by then-Colonel Thomas Reade Roots Cobb (1823-1862), brother of Howell Cobb, and composed of cavalry, infantry, and artillery. Brigadier General Gideon J. Pillow (1806-1878), commissary general of prisoners of war held by the Confederacy, February 1863. Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885), general-in-chief of the armies of the United States since March 1864. Major General Samuel Jones (1819-1887), commander of the Confederate Department of South Georgia and Florida; paroled May 1865 after surrendering himself and the Department of Florida and South Georgia’s troops on May 10, 1865 at Tallahassee. Union Brigadier General Eliakim Parker Scammon (1816-1894), a West Point graduate (1837) and later a prisoner of war (February-August 1864), commanded the District of Florida at Jacksonville until war’s end. The Fourth Separate Brigade, assigned to Scammon’s District of Florida command as of a November 30, 1864 reorganization of Union troops in the Department of the South, consisted of eight regiments (17th Connecticut; 75th and 107th Ohio; 3d, 34th, and 35th U. S. Colored Troops; 4th Massachusetts Cavalry, and 3d New York Light Artillery, Battery F).]

MSS 3070-H

Tuesday, 1865 February 14, Petersburg, Virginia: Two Valentines from the Petersburg Front

[Valentine letters and poems to Virginia sisters Barbara and Rebecca Hedrick from an anonymous Confederate soldier in Army of Northern Virginia.]

Letter 1 of 2: “My mind is to marry and never to part . . .”

Camp near Petersburg, Va.
Feb. the 14th 1865
Miss Barbara this will inform
you that I am still in the land
with the living and doing well
hoping you are blest with all the
comforts needful to make you happy.
I have no news to interest you with.
I will send you a present to
let you know I am ever mindful
of you believing you are the
same to me. [As] it is raining and
cold I will desist for the present
leaving my name blank for you to
guess for. So no more at present but
remain as ever yours till death. good
bye till I see you.

Oh Barbara, Oh Barbara would you think it unkind
For me to address you and tell you my mind
My mind is to marry and never to part
The first time I saw you, you wounded my heart.

Letter 2 of 2: “When this you see remember me . . .”

Camp near Petersburg, Va.
Feb. the 14th 1865
Miss Rebecca this will inform
you that I am well and as gay
as a lark hoping you may get
this in due time and it may
find you quite lively. I have
nothing in the way of news to
interest you with. I merely write to
you and Send you this present
as a token of mutual friendship
hoping that such exists between
us and that you will keep it
until I come and then I will
tell you all about it for a
puzzle. I will leave my name
blank and see if you will
have it guessed by the time I get
there. I remain as ever yours

When this you see remember me
Though many miles apart we be
For I will ever think of you
And hope our days apart are few.

[Editor: The reverse of both letters have nearly identical hand-colored drawings of pairs of turtle doves, intertwined hearts, and vases of flowers; in Barbara’s letter “Army of Northern Virginia” is surrounded by flowers. The Hedrick family lived on a farm near Cross Keys, Rockingham County, Virginia; according to the 1860 U. S. Census it included Barbara A., age 19, and Sarah R. [Rebecca?], age 15; fifteen years after the war (1880) both were still unmarried and living with their parents in Rockingham County. Apparently the soldier did not marry either Hedrick sister; perhaps he did not survive the war.]

MSS 38-665

Sunday, 1865 January 22, [Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana]: “I . . . ask a leave of absence . . . to visit my home in Guadalupe County Texas, distant about 550 miles.”

[A Texas cavalry colonel stationed in Confederate Louisiana requests a leave of absence.]

Head Quarters, 1st Texas Cavalry, Natchitoches Parish,
Louisiana, January 22, 1865

Lt. Col. John N. Gallaher
Assistant Adjutant General, District [of] West Louisiana

Having been in the service for nearly four years—during which time I have never been absent from my post except when sick—my business at home requires my attention. I therefore respectfully ask a leave of absence for 60 days to visit my home in Guadalupe County Texas, distant about 550 miles. Col. Lykens [James B. Likens/Liken] is now on duty in command of the Brigade. Col. [Alexander Watkins] Terrell’s  leave expires on the 28th instant. [Editor: The term “instant” is an adjective for ‘of the current month.’] Lt. Col. [Robert A.] Myers is present for duty with the Regiment. Major [Edward] Beaumont’s leave expires on the 26th instant (though he may be absent beyond that time on account of his wound). A more favorable
time for my absence will probably not offer soon, I therefore trust that this application will meet with your approval, and should the spring campaign open before the expiration of my leave I shall return promptly to my command.
I wish also to lend my assistance to Lieut. D___(?) [Andrew Daley?] in returning
absentees to the Regiment.
I have the honor to be very respectfully
Your [Obedient Servant]
William O. Yager
Colonel, Commanding Regiment

[Editor: Yager’s request was later approved by District of West Louisiana commander Lieutenant General Simon Bolivar Buckner (1823-1914) during February 1865—but only for a thirty-day leave of absence. Later that same month Brigadier General Arthur Pendleton Bagby Jr. (1833-1921) “earnestly requested” Buckner extend Yager’s leave to sixty days, praising him as “an officer of distinguished merit.” The request was also endorsed by brigadier generals Joseph Lancaster Brent (1826-1905) and Allen Thomas (1830-1907); Terrell, Bagby and Brent were assigned to duty as general officers (subsequently, in Bagby’s case, to that of major general) by appointment of General Edmund Kirby Smith, commander of the Trans-Mississippi Department though their ranks were never confirmed by the Confederate Senate.
William Overall Yager (April 3, 1833-January 20, 1904) was born in Luray, Page County, Virginia. After tutoring at home, he graduated from Virginia Military Institute (1852), ranked 5th out of a class of 56, and studied law at the University of Virginia (1852-1854), earning a certificate of distinction for attaining the first division in the junior class of the University’s law school; during the 1850s-1860s Yager went west for his health and practiced law and served as a probate judge, notary public, militia colonel, federal postmaster and county surveyor in Kansas and Texas. Prior to taking command of the 1st Texas Cavalry (pursuant to an October 9, 1863 special order), he served as a lieutenant and acting assistant adjutant general on the staff of Brigadier General Ben McCulloch (1811-1862) in December 1861 and as a lieutenant colonel and acting assistant adjutant general on the staff of General Hamilton P. Bee (1822-1897) during January 1863. He was promoted to full colonel in April 1864 and paroled at San Antonio, Texas, on September 2, 1865. After the war Yager was a lawyer, banker, manufacturer and represented Page County in the Virginia General Assembly’s House of Delegates 1875-1875 and 1879-1880. He was the county’s superintendent of schools during the 1880s. Yager died in 1904 and was buried at the Yager Cemetery in Luray, Page County, Virginia. A decade after his death, at the request of his widow Mary E. Rhodes Yager (1842-1932), the U. S. War Department provided her a summary of his Confederate military service.
The 1st Texas Cavalry was also designated “Colonel Augustus Buchel’s [and later], Lieutenant Colonel William O. Yager’s 1st Mounted Rifles,” “1st Regiment, Texas Cavalry (Yager’s) (1st Mounted Rifles)” and “First Texas Cavalry Regiment.” John N. Gallaher was assigned to the staff of General Buckner during February 1862. The District of West Louisiana was part of the Confederacy’s Trans-Mississippi Department (May 1862-May 1865) which included Arkansas, Missouri, Texas, western Louisiana and the Indian Territory; the District of West Louisiana and Texas (authorized May 28, 1862) was among its military districts. At the time of Yager’s leave request General Edmund Kirby Smith (1824-1893) had commanded the department since 1863 (colloquially known as “Kirby Smithdom” because of the autonomous civil, executive and military authority he wielded over this vast and isolated military theater after the Union Navy’s control of the Mississippi River made communications with Confederate president Jefferson Davis in Richmond, Virginia, impractical if not impossible).]

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Sunday, 1864 December 25, [near the Cane River, Natchitoches, Louisiana]: “How happy I should have been to have spent this day with my family”

[A war weary Louisiana Confederate engineer’s Christmas diary entries.]

Sunday, Dec. 25
This is Sunday the Lord’s day but
Oh how it is kept, not as in times
passed, [sadly] there is no religion
in the army, no fear of God
or man. When Oh when
will our people return to
virtue, when will this unholy
war close—But this is Christmas
a day of feasting and yes
drinking—We had a good Eggnog
this morning which made
it appear like Christmas, but
how happy I should have been
to have spent this day with
my family—but here I am in
the army and by the appearance
of things I am to see another
Christmas in the army, but
my prayer to God is that peace
will dawn upon the land Soon.
I am in good health thank
God. No news of any kind.

Wednesday, Dec. 28
Thank God I am in good health.
The weather is a fickle as an old
maid, nothing new, and no
news–consequently I have nothing
to write.

[Editor: Corporal John L. Sharitt [Sharrett/Sharritt], Jr. (October 17,1825-?), a New York-born civil engineer, moved to Louisiana in 1858 and lived at “Lucky Hit,” a Rapides Parish plantation, with his wife and daughter Rebecca Ann. In September 1864 he was mustered into the Provisional Army of the Confederate States’ 4th Engineers Regiment [4th Regiment, Confederate Engineer Troops] and served the remainder of the war as a corporal in Company I (?). The 4th Engineers, organized at Shreveport, Louisiana, was later commanded by Colonel Hugh Thomas Douglas, 1st Regiment, Confederate Engineer Troops, and chief of engineers for General Edmund Kirby Smith in the Trans-Mississippi Department. Paroled as a prisoner of war at Alexandria, Louisiana, in June 1865, Sharitt returned to Rapides Parish. He spent much of the war constructing pontoon bridges and, unlike many Confederate soldiers, was stationed near his home county (parish) which enabled him to occasionally visit his family. Throughout his diary Sharitt comments on his health, the weather, Louisiana place names, daily activities, the lack of Sunday religious services, second-hand war news, the dislike of commissioned officers, the hopelessness of the Confederate cause, and his longings for the war’s end.]

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