32nd Letter: 40 Saddles Emptied, 100 Prisoners Taken (March 18, 1863)

 

Southampton cty, Va

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Click image to learn more about Franklin, VA area during the Civil War.

Camp near Franklin March 18, 63

Dear Sir-

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Click image to learn more about Brigadier General Micah Jenkins (CSA).

I rcd your welcome letters by Major Green two days scince, and having a chance to send a letter home I will do so- Tom Webb has furnished a substitute for five months and will start home to day.

I wrote to Ma by our last furloughed boys, which I hope was rcd- I no news of much importance- We are for one time since I have been in the army in a small command, and I hope we will not have so much marching & fighting to do as here to for- We have two Brigades and a battallion of infantry two Batteries and some cavalry- now another Brig Gen Genkins of S.C.- and guarding the line of Black Water River in front of the Yanks at Suffolk-

We have Pickets at every fordable point and good breastworks. Their Cavalry occasionally makes a raid up the River- to find our strength and positions- but as usual our boys make them skedadle-

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Click image to listen to “The Southern Soldier.”

Yesterday morning was clear and pleasant and about 8 Oclock an old Wardog was heard to open down on the River and in a few moments volley after volley of musketing- We were expecting to be ordered out every moment- but were not- A Brigade of cavalry made a dash on our Pickets- They ran in and a Rgt of infantry was then concealed over the River and when they came next time they emptied about 40 saddles and took about 100 prisoner and started towards Suffolk-

I am in hopes we will stay here to Guard this point; they take a company daily from our Rgt for Guard- We left our camp at Murphys station and came to this place 5 miles distant- moving into the Winter Quarters of the 63rd Va- Most of us have very snug cabbins. Some with plank floors and brick chimblys-

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Click image to learn about the referenced Yankee attempt to cross the Rappahannock three months earlier.

We are all very anxious to hear from Vicksburg- I hope our men will be able to hurl back the invaders from that point for they would I think rather have it now than Richmond- but I believe it will hold out yet- Every thing is quiet on the Rappahanock. Lee has breastworks all along the River and their next attempt to cross will be worse than the first-

Tell Ma I think she had better kept that money for you all will need it more than I do- Tell her also that she need not send me any more socks for I have enough now- All I need in the shape of clothing is a pr pants-

Give my undying love to all the family and write at every chance- Write soon – yrs affect- PMBuford

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Blogger’s Notes:

  • Parham penned that an old Wardog was heard to open down on the River.  What is an old Wardog and what does it mean to open down on the River?  Is it a reference to a canine used by military forces to sniff-out someone in hiding, a slang term for a battle hardened soldier, a reference to a River Boat, or something else?
  • Parham mentioned anxiety held by 11th Mississippians over Confederate defenses against Union forces at Vicksburg, a logistical gateway between the Eastern and Western theaters.  Both Parham and Vicksburg, Mississippi’s Rock of Gibraltar, will eventually fall into the hands of enemy forces on the same day.
  • Micah Jenkins, graduate of The Citadel, was promoted to the rank of CSA Brigadier General at age 26.  First Manassas, Seven Pines where wounded in the knee, Second Manassas where wounded in shoulder and chest, Sharpsburg,  at Fredericksburg not engaged, participated in campaign of Lt. Gen. James Longstreet against Suffolk, second day’s fighting of Chickamauga, Kimbrough’s Crossroads.  While riding with Longstreet during Battle of the Wilderness, both were struck down by friendly fire on May 6, 1864. Although Longstreet survived, Jenkins died several hours later of a head wound while rallying his men.  He left behind a son, Micah John Jenkins, graduate of West Point who served as one of “Roosevelt’s Rough Riders” during the Spanish-American War.
  • CSA General Robert E. Lee’s breastworks are mentioned for the prevention of a second Union crossing of the Rappahannock River as had previously occurred at Fredericksburg, VA.
  • A History of Company G, Eleventh Mississippi Regiment, C.S.A. documents information about other comrades mentioned by Parham.
    • Here we see that Francis M. Green appears to been promoted from Captain to Major since mentioned in a previous post.  Enlisted February 21, 1861, at Oxford, Miss., for one year.  Lawyer by profession.  Residence Oxford, Miss.; age, thirty-six; married.  Present at battle of Seven Pines; Gaines’s Farm; White Oak Swamp; Malvern Hill’ Freeman’s Ford; Thoroughfare Gap; Second Manassas; Boonsborough, Md.; Sharpsburg; Gettysburg; Falling Waters; Bristol Station; Wilderness; Tolles Mill in which latter engagement he was mortally wounded and died on the 15th of May, 1864.  When killed and for some time before was and had been promoted to Colonel, and was in command of the Regiment.
    • Upon paying a substitute to fill his role for five months time, Thomas (Tom) M. Webb hand delivered this letter home for Parham.  He enlisted April 26, 1861, at Oxford, Miss.  A farmer near College Hill, Miss.; twenty-three years old and single.  Present two days at Seven Pines; Gaines’s Farm, White Oak Swamp, Malvern Hill, Freeman’s Ford, Thoroughfare Gap, Second Manassas, two days; then absent sick and detailed.  Promoted Sergeant, and discharged in March, 1863. [After discharge Comrade Webb returned to Mississippi and raised a cavalry company and went into the service in Bragg’s Army, and was killed in front of Atlanta, Ga.; a gallant soldier.]

2nd Letter: Melons and Measles (August 28, 1861)

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August 28, 1861: page 1

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August 28, 1861: page 2

Confederate States of America Letterhead

August 28th, 1861

Dear Sister-

Once more being able to sit up I will pen you a few lines-  I broke out with measles last Friday and for three days and nights I neither slept nor ate anything.  I never was as sick in my life.  I broke out with them at camp was immediately taken to the country in a Yankee Ambulance, traveling over the roughest road I ever saw.  Walter took sick at the same time and came with me.  We are staying with a very clever man.  I think we will be able to go to camps [sic] in a week or two – 3 more of the recruits were taken with the measles at the same time.  there are none in our Regiment, but one of the boys went over to the 19th caught them.  There has been a great many deaths in that Reg. from them scince [sic] our arrival. At last accounts Dick Shaw had not taken them and I suppose he must have had them before he came.  My habbits of living have been greatly changed since I left home.  Instead of a good bed I have to sleep on the ground with with [sic] one blanket under me and one over me, and anything I can get hold of for a pillow.  We have beef and Miss Pork- flour- Rice to eat.  Wheat bread shortened with grease and coffee without milk + often without sugar.  We drill about 1 1/2 hours in the morning and evening spend the balance of the cleaning up around our tents – and sleeping and reading news papers [sic] whenever we can get one.  I miss the water melons [sic] and peaches that I left behind most awfully.  I hope when you eat them you will think of my case.  I bought 3 small melons last week while at camp for 60cts [sic] a piece and before I had gone 50 yards. they crowded around me to get them-  They pestered me so, I finally sold two for 75cts [sic] each. and went to camp with the other-  I have seen smaller melons than some I had at home for sale for $1.25.  You must write all the war news you hear of any importance and all other news- for we hear nothing hear here [word crossed-out and modified in pencil].  Tell Ma and the old man [words crossed-out in ink] and all.  that they must write whenever they can-  Tell me where they are thriving in Nurion (?)- and especially BH (?).  Give my love to all enquiring friends-  Let no see this.  Write as soon as you can.

Yr [sic] affection [sic] Brother

PM Buford

Address.  PMB 11th Reg. Miss. Vols. can [sic] Capt. Greene