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3rd South Carolina Infantry - Killed at Gettysburg & Death of Stonewall Jackson

Item CON-6702
May 13, 1863 Thomas W. Sligh
Price: $950.00


Original Civil War Confederate soldier's letter. 3 pages war dated and written in period ink. Soldier writing home to his Pastor.

Near Hamilton’s Crossing, Virginia
May 13th 1863

Mr. Boinest,

I was made the happy recipient of your kind, interesting and most welcome letter some time ago. And ought to have answered long ago. But after I give you my excuse, I know that you will forgive me for my delay. A few days after the arrival of yours, I took the fever and dysentery and was very sick for about five days. About the time that I missed the fever, old Mr. “fighting Joe Hooker” took a notion to cross the Rappahannock and kick up a row. We have just passed through another series of battles similar to those around Richmond last summer. On last Wednesday morning a week ago, the long roll was beaten in our Brigade, we were immediately marched down to our position on the line near Fredericksburg. And remained there till Thursday night. We then moved towards Chancellorsville. Friday morning the ball opened. We were double-quicked to the battlefield but fortunately were not engaged. That evening, the enemy fell back about two miles and fortified himself. Saturday evening, our company with one from each regiment in the brigade, were sent out as skirmishers to annoy the enemy, while Jackson was moving on their flank. We soon came up with the Yankey skirmishers, drove them behind their fortifications. And then we had it hot and heavy. We fought them for about two hours, when it became too dark to shoot. We had two splendid soldiers killed (viz William Reed and Jno. C. Davis); Lieutenant Wright and Samuel Hiller were wounded but both very slight. The lamented Stonewall got in his (the enemy) rear and caused them to retreat towards the river. Sunday, our division was sent back to the “Brick Church” to meet Sedgewick’s Corps, that had crossed at Fredericksburg, and was coming up in our rear. Sunday evening, there was a fight on the line, but again our lucky brigade was not engaged. Monday evening, the whole line advanced and we soon had Old Sedgewick in full retreat for the river. We followed him that night. (The moon shining brightly). To the river banks and captured a great many prisoners. General Lee has gained a great victory and without much fighting. Old Hooker was completely out generaled Though, as in every battle, the South has lost many a good soldier. Among the many slain, is the brave, noble and much loved Stonewall Jackson. This is a serious loss to the South, but I hope that we have some other General who can fill his place. It will be glorious news to the Yankeys for they dreaded the name of Jackson. But we must expect to have some reverses for were everything bright, our people would soon forget to recognize the hand of God in our victories. But would give all the praise to themselves. Jackson was a true Christian and he now rests from all the hardships of the battle field.

We are now at our same old camp. Resting and enjoying ourselves tolerably well. Glenn has just arrived from home. He brought two large trunks of provisions for ourselves and I tell you that we are living high now. He was very much pleased with his trip. And enjoyed himself finely. I was glad to hear from him that the wheat looked so well and also that there was good prospect for fruit this year. I hope that there will be large crops of provisions raised this year. We did finely during the fight in the line. The Yankeys threw away their haversacks and knapsacks and we could get plenty of meat and crackers. They had eight days’ rations with them; half of their knapsacks were piled with crackers. Old Hooker guessed pretty well, for it just took us eight days to drive him across the river.

We have beautiful weather now. Though it is very warm. I don’t think that we will remain idle long. We have orders to fill up all vacancies in the line of officers, shoes and clothes for the men as soon as possible. I think that General Lee will make an advance in some direction. The Yankey Army must now be worst disorganized than it ever was before. We had no trouble at all in taking prisoners. As soon as they would see us, they would surrender. During the night when we were pursuing Old Sedgewick, there was a Captain came on top of a hill opposite us, and asked us if we would shoot if he’d come down. He said that he had a company with him. He marched his men down and surrendered them.

I will close this uninteresting letter. My respect to your family and Mrs. Rickard. Write soon, for I consider it one of my greatest pleasures to hear from my Pastor. I remain, as ever,

Your true and affectionate friend,

Tom. W. Sligh