LETTERS OF

DEE HARDEMAN RIDLEY

9 Dec 1837 -- 28 Dec 1907

These are copies of transcripts of letters in the Gee Library Archives, Texas A&M University at Commerce, TX, and from the files of Skipper Steely, Paris, TX.

(letters have been altered for punctuation)



Corinth May the 20th 1862

Mr. Cooper,

Dear Sir,

I expect that it is about time that I was writing another letter home so here goes it is rather a gloomy looking day. It rained nearly all night and looks as if it was going to continue through the day. The great battle of the Mississippi Valley of which we have all looked and talked about so much is still un-fought though how long it will remain so I can't say not long thought. Our troops are eager for the fight. Our pickets are fighting almost all the time and the two armies are but a few miles apart. While I am writing I can hear the guns of pickets who are fighting Price's troops or a part of them are here we have plenty of Texans here now the enemy have a wholesome dread of them and will they may for a fight they think of nothing but going ahead without counting noses we are now in General Maxey's brigade. Capt. Young is now our Col. (Capt. Dillard) Lt. Col., John Bray our Capt I am 1st Lt., W. Roland 2 Lt., W. H. Ledbetter 2 Lt. We are camped in a very nice place on rolling ground. We have scaffolds to sleep on. There has been several men discharged from our Company lately. I didn't aspire to the position of Capt. as I did not like to have the responsibility of that position. John is well qualified to fill the place and can make a good Captain. I am well at this time. Cousin Edward Houston(?) has gone home. We do not get to go into the country around so I cannot tell you anything of crops. I hear that they are very few in Texas. I am in hopes it rained there last night as much as it did here. Charley Brown will see you before you get this letter. He can tell you more that I can write. I sent 40 dollars by him. Tell Ada, Ocy May and Charley howdy. Give my love to Helen, Lydia and Aunt Eliza and my respects to the girls. Bill Arington is not dead but is in camp well or very near it nothing more.

D. Ridley

Write soon some of you I received three letters by Capt. _____________?

(Handwritten by transcriber: "Will Cooper, husband of Helen Mae Ridley died in Camp, while serving in Confederacy.")

From copies of transcripts of letters in the Gee Library Archives, Texas A&M University at Commerce, TX, (letters have been altered for punctuation):

On Board the Elanor March the 4 1863

Dear Sister & Aunt,

We got to Shreveport and put up at the Venandah Hotel very much crowded though we did tolerably well. I subscribed for the Caddo Gazette for six months to be sent to the address of Mrs. H. M. Cooper. I send you the receipt I thought that after six months if not before I could send a paper from the other side of the river. The Mississippi is said to be clear of gun boats between Port Hudson and Vicksburg the stage broken down we intended to go by land to Monroe if it had not been for that, as it is we will go by Port Hudson. I expect at least we have started that way.

Friday 6th . Our boat is loading with government corn for Port Hudson it be Monday before we get there and as it is a protracted trip I will protract my letter and mail it at Alexandria. This loading corn is a tedious job. We met two boats going up yesterday. We have a sort of mixed crowd aboard the Elanor, gamblers first, as they seem to be the most plenty, Speculators, next politicians, planters and Soldiers. You would be amused to hear the excuses for high prices that, all but the soldiers, they say but little though. When they do have anything to say it is generally blunt and to the point. There is no news today of importance that I know of.

Sunday March the 8th. We are still on our way. The wind is blowing so today that we cannot travel. The boat is loaded with corn. It took some time to load it. There is the most restless set of men aborad this boat that I ever saw, all anxious to get ahead and I expect that I am as restless as any. Our living is only tolerable the toughest beef and the mustiest bread the meanest coffee the poorest bedding but is no use to commence grumbling yet everybody is talking of peace think we will not have to fight. Hope we won't.

Tuesday 10th . Got to Alexandria this evening. Went out to see the town. Had to show our papers before we went 40 yards. All right considerable town. Gen. Kirby Smith left here this morning. Gen. Taylor's headquarters is at this place. I went down to see our gun boats, Queen of the West and the Webb. The Queen was injured slightly in the last fight in which she captured and sunk the federal gun boat, the Indianola, but she will be ready to leave tomorrow to hunt up some more of the enemy's fleet. If she finds them they are ours. We have heard no news that would interest you. We are getting along finely will be in Port Hudson Thursday no accident preventing when I will write again if I have time. I must also write to Capt. Bray from that place. I have had the rheumatism in one of my knees for a couple of days, but I don't think it will last long. Kiss the children for me, my love to the girls, tell Bill I will write.

D. Ridley.

Original letter was in the possession of Patrick B. Gibbons, III, 3514 Harvard, Dallas, TX 75205, but the date of this address is unknown and is probably 1984. The letters also state that the "information was received by Danny Howell and Janet Brittain 18 Aug 1984." Letter:

Our headquarters is still at Iuka

In camps at _____Yellow Creek Bridge

March

Well Will,

Here goes for another letter. Our company is now on guard at this place, and will remain here for three or four days. The enemy are in our vicinity. our scouts have a brush with them every day or two.

There are thousands of our troops on this road and I expect there is a probability of a battle soon. We are guarding a bridge. There was a hundred of the yankees in five miles of us night before last, but they retrograded. Our boys are beginning to find the necessity of standing guard. They stand two at a post. There are plenty of our troops in a few miles of us, and we could be reinforced in a few minutes if needed. But I don't think it will be needed.

There is all sorts of news about the enemies here; but as I do not know whether my letter will reach you or not (as everything is uncertain you know), I will say nothing about that. I think if the enemy gets to coming in on you, as it is rumored here (though I hardly believe it), and you have to go; if I was in your place, I would not enlist but just for the present emergency. For I know that you are not in a situation to leave home for a year at a time. And I think I can do fighting enough for both of us.

I have received several letters from home lately. The soldiers that came up brought two and I got one since. Col. is promoted to brigadier general. I expect Capt. Dillard will be our colonel, through I do not know. I will write again soon as the election comes approved (to) let you know.

Tell Lydia that I am afraid that her child is contagious, as I had one the next evening after reading the letter. Tell her to take tea.

Tell Hellen to write. Tell all the rest howdy. I haven't time to write more news, as I am on duty today.

Raise all the corn and wheat you can. And I will come and help you eat (or cut) it.

Alf Evans, Bud (or Brad) Booth, J. Bray, Charly Burrow, V. C. _______ and myself are well.

Write soon.

Yours truly,

D. Ridley

Direct to Iuka, 9th Texas Infantry



P.S. We have plenty of ammunition and issue it to the men every night. They return it in the day, all but ten rounds to the man. You needn't fear, but what the old 9th will come out all right, if we happen to get into a fight.



Original letter was in the possession of Patrick B. Gibbons, III, 3514 Harvard, Dallas, TX 75205, but the date of this address is unknown and is probably 1984. The letters also state that the "information was received by Danny Howell and Janet Brittain 18 Aug 1984." Letter:

Corinth, Mississippi

April 13, 1862

Sister Helen:

I wrote you a letter the other day immediately after receiving yours. I expect that you have received it before this and wondered at its abrupt conclusion. I had to stop writing to go to the battlefield to bury our dead. But the enemy would not let us pass their lines on any pretext whatever so. We had to return (the) next day without accomplishing our objective, though the enemy sent no word that they had buried our dead for us.

I wrote, I believe, a description of the battle to some extent in my other letter. But for fear that you didn't get it, I had better say something more about it. Capt. Dillard was on guard at Yellow Creek with the company, or the most of it. I went into it with only eight men. G. W. Thompson, 5th sergeant, was killed in the first charge. H. Faubian was severly wounded. G. I. Terrill was hurt by a loose horse running over him after its rider had been shot. These were all the casualties that happened (in) our company of eight men. Our regiment lost: in killed on the battlefield -- 13, two have since died; twenty seven wounded and seventeen missing. That is our loss as nigh as I can state at the present. We lost two captains (and) one lieutenant.

There was one company that was on guard besides ours. The company that cousin _ (looks like Jim; but roster for 9th Texas Infantry shows only an E. R. Houston (Co. D.) and a M. W. Houston (Co. F) Housin was in. They did not get to the fight at all.

We did not have over three hundred men engaged the first day. We took possession of all their camps and slept that night in their tents the next day. Monday we had a severe day's fighting. And at night both parties retreated, the enemy to their gunboats and our forces fell back to Corinth. Both sides lost a great many men; but, I think that we killed a good many more of the yankees than they did of our men. And I had a good opportunity for knowing, for I was all over the battlefield. We took an immense amount of their stores.

I was through the thickest of the fight for two days, and did not get hurt any of worth speaking about. One ball struck me on the leg. I had my pants rolled up. It cut through the roll, but did not go any further.

The old 9th Texas covered itself with honor (in) that battle. I went over the field Sunday evening, after the enemy had retreated (to) their gunboats, hunting for our wounded men. And I saw men killed on every hand. In one place I saw four yankees laying together all dead, one with his head shot off, another with both legs shot off. I saw hundreds of wounded men; but none of our regiment as they had been taken care of by the men who were detailed for that purpose. Charly Brown was detailed from my squad for that purpose.

The enemy threw bomb shells that night at us from their gunboats, but did no harm or but very little. Bomb burst in twenty feet of me. I fell over on my back and did not get hurt. And was knocked down on Monday by a cannon ball passing very close to my head, but was not hurt.

If I were at home, I could talk a week of the many little incidents that happened those two days. But as I am a poor hand for writing, you will excuse me.

You said something about my clothing and asked if they were almost worn out. You recollect I had two entire suits of jeans. There is not a hole worn in any of them yet. And I see no probability of their being any. They seem to be as good as ever, only a little dingy. I don't think I will need any more until my time is out; and then I expect to come out to see you.

Poor Brother ____________ I can't bring him with me as I had been expecting. We are expecting another battle soon. We are preparing for it.

I saw Vol. Ridly. He was in the fight. I showed him your letter. He sends his love.

Write soon to Corinth, Mississippi.

Your Brother,

D. Ridley

P.S. General Sidney Johnson, our Commander-in-Chief, was killed at the battle. I got to see Beauregard and other big generals.

Original letter was in the possession of Patrick B. Gibbons, III, 3514 Harvard, Dallas, TX 75205, but the date of this address is unknown and is probably 1984. The letters also state that the "information was received by Danny Howell and Janet Brittain 18 Aug 1984." Letter:

Corinth

April 28, 1862

Sister Hellen:

I have just returned from a visit to Capt. Patterson's company. They are camped in two miles of this place. It was almost like being at home. The boys are all well except Will Chitam and McClain, who are complaining of colds though nothing serious. They are all in fine spirits and anxious for a fight. They have been dismounted for 60 days or until after the fight at this place.

Bennett's company is here. So is Jim's regiment and nearly everybody that I know in Texas that is in the army are here. General Sterling Price is here. His men all like him and will do good fighting under his lead. Bob Roland was over to see us today.

Our company is getting along finely at this time. We report more men for duty than any other company of our regiment. We expect to change our camp in a day or two.

I cannot write a long letter now. As I write pretty frequently, you will excuse me I know. Write soon, give my respects to all.

Your Brother,

D. Ridley

From copies of transcripts of letters in the Gee Library Archives, Texas A&M University at Commerce, TX, (letters have been altered for punctuation):

In camp near Yazoo City Mississippi June the 8, 1863

Sister Helen,

I hardly know how to commence a letter. This evening we are now in the state where we always get short rations and plenty of sickness, but I am happy to state that I am well. Our company has 32 men in camp. They are all for duty - the sick have all been sent off. We are in hearing of the cannon at Vicksburg. We are as ever ready for a fight at a moments warning, but it seems that we will never get the warning. I can't say that I am very anxious for a fight, just for the sake of a fight, but we have to fight and I would rather do it now than any other time. Mississippi is an unpleasant place to stay in to say the least of it. The Enemy took Jackson but did it before we left Tennessee. They had evacuated the place before we came. They gained several other advantages on a small scale but old Johnson has come and ___________ them another lick. Day before yesterday our forces took possession of Military Stores abandoned by the enemy with a considerable quantity of commissaries. I saw Henry Gatley (?) two days ago he was well most all of the Tennessee or Mt. Pleasant boys are near here. Whitfield's Legion is near here also the 3d and 6th Texas Cavalry. The Yankees have lost a small army in their attempts to take Vicksburg by storm hope they will lose the balance. Report says that they have lost at least 20 thousand men before Vicksburg. We are in General Walker's division he is a new made Major General don't like him as well as I did Chaetham. I don't think I will like any other general we well as I did Old Chietmam. The boys of our neighborhood are all well. I will write when I get another opportunity which nay be some time. Write soon. Kiss the children for me. Tell Lydia and Aunt howdy.

D. Ridley

Camp Near Vernon ? June 14th 1863

Sister, I have neglected sending this letter until now thinking I would get an opportunity of sending it by hand but failed. We are now some 25 miles from Yazoo City. We are getting better meal and beef so of course, camp is more cheerful. The yanks are still hammering away at Vicksburg. I don't think they will make much in the operation. We heard that in the last engagement that we sunk 8 of their gunboats. If we succeed in holding Vicksburg, I believe that the war will soon be over. We move enough to keep us in good health. We had an election a few days ago for 2nd Lt. in our company. G. W. Bedford was elected and will make a good officer. I have not been promoted to captain but am commanding the company. Capt. Bray's resignation was accepted the 24th (?) of April. I have not beep able to draw his money yet don't know how long it will be before I do. Cal (or Capt.?) Young wrote him a letter explaining the whole affair. You have heard before now of N_______ Williams being in camp. He came the last of April. Give Capt. Bray ________ give you all the news _______ Nixon is well, so are all of our neighborhood boys.

Your Brother

D Ridley

P. S. The Mt. Pleasant company is camped in a hundred yards of us. Henry said to send his respects. D. R.

From copies of transcripts of letters in the Gee Library Archives, Texas A&M University at Commerce, TX, (letters have been altered for punctuation):

I have forgotten anything excuse me as I am in such a hurry.

Morton, Mississippi, August 21st 1863.

Sisters Helen & Lydia & Aunt Eliza,

I have not heard from home since John and am anxious to know how you are getting along. I am determined that you shall hear from so frequently knowing that you are not to blame for me not hearing from home oftener. Parson Finney Chaplain of the 15th Texas regiment has resigned and is going to start home in a couple of hours. He kindly proposes to take a letter for me and say that he will call and see you. He is a nice gentleman and will give you more news than I possibly can. I sent one letter by W. Chittman (?) who left here last week. He was discharged. He had to go by his command and will probably be delayed some time. There is no stirring news to ........ at this time. Our General Morgan is captured and placed in a penitentiary with his head shaved. There is no fighting near here except an occasional cavalry skirmish. The Enemy are still hammering away at Charleston. Speculation is all the go in camps at this time. The boys pressed some peaches yesterday that was selling at 1.50 per dozen and some watermelons that were selling at from 6 to 18 dollars.

To be _______ is with us and well. Our company are all well that are here. Henry Evans has gone to N. Carolina on furlough we have a great deal of rain, no tents, have to stretch our blankets and get under them. Haven't time to write more. Tell the children howdy. Write soon. My respects to the neighbors. Parson is about to be off. Good bye.

Yours,

D. Ridley





From copies of transcripts of letters in the Gee Library Archives, Texas A&M University at Commerce, TX, (letters have been altered for punctuation):

Camp Near Morton, Mississippi, August 13th, 1863

To Ada Anna & Charley,

Dear Nieces & Nephew. I hardly know how to commence a letter to you it being the first of the kind that I have undertaken but here goes for the best I can. First I will give you the news. I went to the country to my dinner the other day and got a fine dinner, a nice drink of Blackberry wine and seen two of the nicest young Ladies. Brought back a mess of Roasting Ears for dinner next day so you see we keep a lookout ahead. I don't get an opportunity of going often though. Today is wash day with us. We don't drill any today. The men wash their own clothes. It looks

rather funny to see them, they are so awkward in the place of a bench and battling stick. They whip the dirt out round a tree. William Chittem(?) is fine today and is going to take this letter to you for me. He is discharged on account of bad Health. We get some peaches and apples to eat by paying one dollar a dozen. When dinner is ready to eat (we have no plates), every man gets a piece of bread goes to the oven and gets a piece of meat and stands up to eat it, unless they have a log close by to sit on. If they, we, happen to have any gravy, we use our pocket knives for forks and draw up round the oven in the place of the table. Tell Ocy May that I would like to see her very much. Give my love to your Ma, Aunt Eliza and Lydia and write me a partnership letter when your Ma writes. We have no fighting to do now and are camped at a nice place, a good Spring close by and we are doing quite as well as could be expected. I believe that I have nothing more that would interest you. Ada you must read this letter to Anna and Charley and they must listen to it if they can be still long enough. I have written to your Ma and sent the letter by a Mr. Bankschard (?) who carries it as far as Washington, Arkansas. It will go by mail from there, so good bye. Be good children and kiss your little sisters for me.

From Your Uncle Dee

Addressed to His#

Ads Cooper

Paris, Lamar Co., Texas

Politeness of Mr. W. Chittman.

Care of Mrs. H. M. Cooper.

From copies of transcripts of letters in the Gee Library Archives, Texas A&M University at Commerce, TX, (letters have been altered for punctuation):

Demopolis, Alabama

March 14th, 1864.

______ Col. Dillard got to camp last week and _____ me several _____ you were well. Your presents came to hand all right and I an very much obliged to you for it. I intend to have a breast pin made of it if I can get the opportunity. Lt. Hays of the 32nd Texas came with Col. Dillard. They had rather a tedious trip but came through safe. The long letter that you spoke of Sister Lydia writing has taken a trip to Yankee land. Capt. Ed. Williams and Steph More staid with me one night on their way to their command. Capt. Williams had given all the letters that he had for this Regiment to a M. Chapin who he met at the river and who belongs to this Regiment. The Yankees captured Mr. Chapin. He got away himself but lost his letters. War News is scarce at this time. We are doing nothing at this time, laying around idle but ready to go when called on. We got plenty to eat and have good tents and plenty of ______ take care of the boys are all well. I don't know when I will get an opportunity of sending this. I will write every opportunity - write soon to your Nephew.

D. Ridley

Sisters Lydia & Helen,

This is Sunday evening and a very beautiful one too - I have heard two sermons today by parson Mathews. He is a first rate preacher. I received both of your letters by Col. Dillard. You will excuse as for making a partnership letter for you all have the advantage of me from the fact that there are more of you. Col. Dillard has forwarded all of the letters he brought Mrs. Higgs among the number.

In turning over to write on this side I found that my paper was smartly soiled and I thought I would just remark that it was very probable that it would be worse before it was better for it is a large sheet and it will take me some time to write it full. The boys are all laughing at my position. I was lying down on my elbows with my feet near the edge of the tent. Some two or three of them slipped round and gathered me by the feet and away I went feet foremost I had to promise to sit up and write before they would let me loose. We are going to have a prize drill this week a company from each Regiment inn the Brigade. The company that wins exempts their Regiment from all guard duty for four days. There was three men sentenced to be shot yesterday. They were marched to the place of execution. Two of them were reprieved and one was shot. He was caught with the enemy. The reenlisting question is all the topic now. A great many of the Brigade have reenlisted. We have a ___________ of Roster every day. I saw two men today from the 8th Texas Regiment- the Regiment that Vol Ridley belonged to. I had heard that he was discharged but these son said that he was not, but was with the Regiment at Chillinough (?). The 8th has a considerable Reputation as a fighting Regiment. The boys are all proud of their Regiment. I think furloughs have about played out. Well I believe that I have a bigger ___.

Write me a long letter. Let me know how Will is getting along, Bud Booth, whether he is yet at home or not. He is now absent without leave and next muster will be dropped as a Deserter. It looks hard but it is fair. If he had come back, someone else would have got to go home.

Our currency is not worth so much now as it has been. I suppose you have read before this the law on that subject - after the first day of April all bills over five dollars are thirty-three and a third cents. The most of the people who have money are funding it, getting bonds or certificates for bonds, so it leaves but little in circulation and that little not worth a great deal. We all think that this ______ will make the money a great deal better. I should have remarked that the new issue will be about the first day of April 1864. It will bring prices down, we think, a little nearer reason. I don't know how long the people of the trans Miss Department have to fund their money as I did not pay a great deal of attention to the bill. I sent you one letter with about the same in it of this but I did not know whether you would get it or not. You will please excuse me for not writing a better letter. Give my Respects to all my love to the children. Write soon and often to your Brother.

Dee.

From copies of transcripts of letters in the Gee Library Archives, Texas A&M University at Commerce, TX, (letters have been altered for punctuation):

In Camp at Verona, Mississippi,

January 19th, 1865

My Very Dear Sisters,

It was with a painful pleasure (if there is any such feeling) that I read your letters of Oct 30th although I was already aware of the sad news it contained. I had learned in a letter to Ben Roland from his sister that Brother Will was dead. He was my best friend, and as such I deeply regret his death but how much more so as the Husband & protector of my sister Helen. I was truly glad to know that he was prepared for his fate, and that you have a hope of one day being reunited in a world where there are no more deaths nor sorrows and that you will rear his boys with Christian resignation I haven't a doubt. The Lord giveth and taketh away. But why he should choose to afflict us so much I know not, but I would not impugn the motives of the most High, but will try to believe that it is all for the Best. I had hoped and have so written that I would be with you this winter but have been most grievously disappointed. By what means it is not necessary to state there were 7 officers to go from the Regiment. Lt. McCuistion and myself had equal claims and by mutual consent we drew for the chance and I drew the Blank. There are some going that have no Business nor Relatives in the State. I think we should have had the Preference but did not. Well there are one hundred in my fix, and I shall try to content myself the best I can until another opportunity presents itself, when I shall try again. It is barely Possible that I may get to come in the spring. You cautioned me to take care of myself that I shall do the best I can - My fortunes are cast with as gallant a Regiment as ever tread Confederate soil and I have been with it until they all seem as brothers nearly. But be assured that I will be more careful than theretofore when I can do so consistent with duty. I know you would not counsel me otherwise. You assure me that you will get along but I can't help being uneasy about it - if I could get Home I would see if you could not get a more convenient place off the road. If this arrangement can be made I think it would be better. Under the orders that we are furloughed we will not be likely to get more until the ones that are furloughed return. If they fail to come back no more will get to go, and under the circumstances, if they fail to come Back, I for one consider them Devoid of that Principle of honor which it takes to make a gentleman. This may not be the case with the officers for it is generally the case that they have the preference more in fact than is right. Shephard and Evans I think they will both come back. I have just read a Document from General Maxey's in which he speaks of a vote of thanks to the 9th ___________________ by the Confederate Congress and he speaks in glowing terms of the Valor and gallantry of our Regiment. Little thanks to him or anyone else. It is true we have like to be well spoken of by all. But what we have done, we did unaided by any. It seems that all the troops on this side are forgotten by our own state unless they hear of a Battle, then they are all on fire to get a newspaper to read of the gallant Texans first and and foremost in every fight (they know it will be there) for it is some gratification to their state Pride. But they never make an effort to Relieve us to visit home. We are here and we can stay. If the effort was made it would be done. One Brigade from that side would Relieve two here and the exchange would be an advantage to all hands but it is useless to write on such subjects. Sister Lydia was very Particular to enquire about Tennessee. Well I have written you one letter and in that gave you all the new that I was in possession of on that score but for fear you do not get that I will write more - I have been to Mt. Pleasant - staid two Days and one night - I could not stay longer, as the army was moving to Nashville. Cousin Emma and Winny are both grown and are sprightly girls pretty wall accomplished in the art of talking singing and playing or performing on the Piano. Aunt Lydia was well and dressed in Black Silk. Granma was well or nearly so. They were all mighty glad to see me. Cousin ____ Ward (?) has five children. I eat dinner with Lizzy - Cooper. Came by Mrs. Kindles saw Carrie but none of the other girls. They almost took a Duck fit over me and asked ten thousand questions about you all and sent more word than I could tell you in a day and night if I was at home.

I also called on Mrs William Bond and _______ Hunter and old Dr. Jordan ? Almond. I expected to see them again on my return home but did not have the time to spare an we came out. Our Army took a perfect stampede from Nashville and we came back in quick time. Tennessee has faired much better than her Sister states. Most of the Negroes are free but the farms are generally in good order. They had plenty to live on and have nearly all taken the oath and can buy from Lincoln _______ anything they want. Columbia looks somewhat Dilapidated, a few houses burned. The Yanks cultivated the large farms of the _____ and _______ last year. I saw Huston Thomas who says that he is a cousin of ours. He enquired very particular about Aunt Eliza. I also found lots of kin up about Nashville. One John Ridley who was very wealthy and prepared clothing enough for my company, but unfortunately we did not got it as we came by on the Retreat in the night and the Yanks right behind us. We met with a sad Reverse at Nashville but Maxey's Brigade gained New Honors and lots of ___________. We were complimented by all the Generals from Hood down we alone saved the left wing of the army from capture. Jim Harten (?) from our company was wounded and left in Enemy hands. Sgt. Dooley died from wounds received at Altoona. A____ Clark from Co. A. was wounded and left. I was in command of Co. A and K both in the campaign.



From copies of transcripts of letters in the Gee Library Archives, Texas A&M University at Commerce, TX, (letters have been altered for punctuation):

Copy of letter to Dee Ridley On the line between Coryelle & Bell Hill

July 22nd 1867

Dear Captain,

Yours of 3d Ult received before leaving Waco which I would have answered sooner, but John had just written to his wife and John Bray and I concluded to wait a few days and as I have some leisure today thought I would drop you a few gleanings and let you know that I had not yet gone up. But will have again to call upon your sympathies as I had almost got to the haven of bliss again when an unforeseen something came up and broke into my arrangements. I had the arrangements all made - the time and place all setting - When lo! and behold some designing person had been busily engaged undermining my platform and this was really more provoking than the other, it being with a such more intelligent and handsome lady. And, in two hours of the time; my foundation all gave way, and my air castles all crumbled into ruins and I have almost resolved to not have anything more to do with grass widows.

Well we are ripping around as usual - I am tanning and John and Mason trading, doing as well as could be expected - getting up a good lot of horses - some very fine ones. We are now boarding where there is 5 or 6 girls all the way from Tennessee. Oh! don't they put on airs - while I prefer putting in hairs but if a man was to marry one of them it would be a week before he could touch her as she would be too timid to take it on at the start. And so I hardly ever talk to them but you ought to see me tipping around in my old farmer's clothes and hear my awkward expressions. I tell them I was raised in the backwoods of the Indian Nation where I never saw a white man 'till a

short time ago. And never was in a schoolhouse. So you see I will have some fun as we go along.

We camp out when traveling but when we stop to tan always put up at some good house. Well D what has become of Jim Harderson. Hope he is all right. Give my kind regards to all the friends. We are enjoying fine health, have fine spring water and taking everything into consideration I think this a delightful country though the Indiana are or have been recently in the western portion of this County. Having nothing more worth your attention I shall close. You can answer this at Georgetown.

I am with due respect

Yours fraternally,

? T. Renfrew [Note: Probably Renfro]

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