The following letter was written by my great granddfather, James Allen Martin, to his cousin Mahala Isabel Martin, about 7 months before end of Civil War.
It was written on Sept 6th, 1864, from Monticello, Ark. at hdqtrs of Hawthorne's Brigade.
Submitted by Meredith Gibson (1924-2002)
Your very welcome and interesting letter was received three days ago, and would have been answered sooner, but I had just returned from Arkansas River on business for the Army and have been very busy, and by waiting I have something more to write.
I have had a letter from Huldah (his wife) and one from Mollie (his sister) since I wrote to any of your family. The one from Huldah was rather old (6 July) but as it came out without being examined and approved by the Feds it contained much that was very interesting to one and I was glad to get it I assure you. It gave me much interesting family news, Which I assure is much more interesting to me than anything else. Mollie's letter was dated Aug 15th and came with Huldah's. Both were wrote from Mother's, where Huldah had been for few days with Mrs. Brighton and Mrs. Platterbury and had enjoyed themselves very much and would return the next day to town inside the Federal lines. All was well when Huldah wrote and also Mollie wrote all were well except Ma..she had a large rising on her arm - but was otherwise well.
The Feds had commenced taking her corn and I fear will take it all. But I am of the opinion thaat we will soon be back on the Arkansas River & where the Feds may be I do not know. We have received Platform of the Chicago convention and the nominees are General Geo B McCellan for President and Mr. Pendleton of Ohio for Vice President. They take grounds about half for peace and very little for war. Its hard to say what is coming - but everybody thinks that peace is close at hand - I do sincerely hope so - don't you?
The war news from every quarter is very encouraging and we have every reason to believe that Sherman's Army is in a very critical situation as Gen Wheeler has succeeded in getting into his rear and has distroyed all his------------? and communications and captured Dalton with large quantities of supplies and three trains of cars. In two late fights at and near Richmond our Army was successful and the Fed losses in these two was about 15,000 according to their own showing. According to the northern account Grant has lost since 1st of May, when Richmond fights began, 125,000 men, more than Gen Lee had to begin with and from the same authority it appears that Grant now has only about 60,000 men left before Richmond.
Our losses has been comparatively very small - about 30,000 killed, wounded or missing. At Mobile the Feds have had their only sweep in capturing Forts Gaines & Morgan, but are still far from having the city and I apprehend but little danger of their getting the city. A coluof 7,000 that started from Little R and in that direction are trying to get back with little prospect of succeeding. Our boys having the roads blockaded and all around them and capturing them constantly. Our movements here are as yet a perfect mystery to all - our calvary have gone & no one knows where - and the infantry will evidently be on the move soon. You may expect to hear from Arkansas soon. --
My health is good & I hope yours and families are the same. So Mr & Mrs Tom J are as well as usual and not far off. Will & Lee have gone with Gen Fagan and were ill when they left a week ago. My love to youeself and allthe family & friends.. I will write to Uncle Allen in a few days. Write often, don't wait for me, as I love to get your letters. from Your Cousin, James A. Martin
This was sent to James' cousin Mahala Isabel Martin
Note from the submitter: I have pictures of James Allen and Huldah if you are interested in them. Also his parents Jared Carswell & Mary (Douglass) Martin. Incidentally, He served last two years of the Civil War as a member of Capt Watkins Company in Hawthorne's Reg't and served as a clerk in adjutant's office, under Gen Fagan, most of the time. Submitted by Meredith Gibson (1924-2002)
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