36th Letter: “God Only Knows When This War Will End” (May 24, 1863)

                                                                                         Bivouac on Blackwater

May 24th, 63

Dear Sister-                       

2013-05-27-21.53.46-e1372190931900

Click image of Parham’s church in College Hill, Mississippi to learn about his home community behind Yankee lines.

Not knowing whether you are in the Yankees lines or not, I will write for I know you are all anxious to hear from me. I am in good health, as also the company with the (page torn, word appears to be consumption) of one or two that never are well enough to do duty-

We have been running about quite briskly for the last week- up and down our line, for you must recollect our two Brigades has a line at least 60 miles long to guard- We crossed the River yesterday and had a skirmish with the enemy about 4 miles beyond, but without the loss of a man- They threw a few shells at us, but they passed harmlessly over our heads- We lay in line of battle untill night, when we recrossed the River, with our whole force- This makes the second time lately that our Gens have offered them battle on that side of the River, and I hope now that they will wait for them to try to cross-

Unknown

Click image to watch Vicksburg Animated Map by American Battlefield Trust.

We have splendid fortifications at every ford and will give them a warm reception whenever they attempt to cross I (words unknown, page torn) to think the Yankees have come as far into Va as they will ever get- but alas, the bad news reached us yesterday that Pemberton had been whipped, with the loss of 38 Pieces of Artillery and had fell back to Vicksburg. I am inclined to disbelieve it if it is so it will be an awful slam on us-, but I am still in hopes Jonston will strengthen that army out down there and make them do something yet- Vicksburg is one the principal objects of the Yankees, and if they get it,

God only knows when this war will end. May an honorable and speedy peace soon…

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Blogger’s Notes:

  • John Pemberton

    Click image of CSA Lt. Gen. John C. Pemberton to learn about his defeat.

    Parham’s sister in College Hill, Mississippi was behind Yankee lines, and Parham previously wrote on January 17, 1863 of learning about the burning of a home within the community by occupying forces. Assuming family food provisions had been taken by the enemy, he also mentioned sending money home in the same letter and again on March 18, 1863.

  • Parham wrote of two individuals in this letter.
    • John C. Pemberton (CSA Lt. Gen.) is stated to have been whipped, showing how quickly, just seven days, news of the disastrous blow to the Confederacy at the Battle of Champion’s Hill traveled from the Mississippi River to the 11th Mississippi located in Southeast Virginia.
    • Joseph E. Johnston (CSA Gen.) had been mentioned before by Parham (November 23, 1861 and January 21, 1862) as he was the original commander of the Army of Northern Virginia and replaced by Robert E. Lee when wounded at Seven Pines.  Upon recovering from his wounds, Johnston commanded the Western theater where Parham wrote he hoped to see him strengthen that army out down there and make them do something yet.
  • The remaining sheet(s) of this letter appear to have been lost to time; hence, the reason for the abrupt end.
Advertisements

9th Letter: Missing Overcoat Found (October 27, 1861)

Camp Fisher Oct 27th 1861

Dear Sister,

I will now attempt to answer your pencil note though I have no news of importance to communicate.

I have a slight cold at present, but that is nothing uncommon here. There is not much sickness in camp except mumps, which I have missed so far.

We have had some very cold weather for the last week, with heavy frosts, but we sleep very comfortably with our blankets and pine straw.

mapOur Colonel came back yesterday and brought with him a deserter from this Regt, who he overhauled at Okolona. I think he will be shot. for I can’t see what else they can do for him.

Click image of General William Henry Chase Whiting to learn more.

Click image of CSA General William Henry Chase Whiting to learn more.

Last Monday We had an awful march of about 12 miles. The day before we had orders to pack up all our extra clothing, to be sent to Fredericksburg.  Monday morning we struck tents and started off – each man with about 40 lbs on his shoulders.  We went a few miles and halted, where we found out what was to pay. Our general (Whiting) wanted us to camp at this place but the Col. wouldn’t do it.  So we came back to our old camp where we are now….

Joe Buford came back two days ago, looking as well as I ever saw him. I forgot to mention about about Tubby and Tom.  Tubby has the guanders but is getting.  I do not know what is the matter with Tom – though he is complaining some.. The Juanders have been nearly all through the company.

I suppose you have heard by this time of the glorious victory gained by our forces at Leesburg.  Some thing there will be a big fight, up about Mannassa now pretty soon but it all conjecture, no one knows nothing about it but some of the Generals.

You must tell the old man I found my coat and that I am very well pleased with it.  One of the boys in the company had it, though he did not know who it belonged to.

October 27, 1861: page 1

October 27, 1861: page 1

October 27, 1861: page 2

October 27, 1861: page 2

I don’t believe you will get all my letters and I know I don’t get half you write.  I am going to number every one I write after this.  Give me all the news when you write, for I never hear nothing here, but turn out to drill.  I can think of nothing else that would interest you and I must close. Give my love to all the family, rcd a portion for yourself. Tell Ma I will write her next.

I remain as ever your devoted

Brother P M Buford.


Blogger’s Notes:

"Confederate High Tide at the Tishomingo Hotel" by Keith Rocco. Click image to view virtual gallery and studio of Keith Rocco.

Painting is “Decision at the Crossroads – The Battle of Corinth” by Keith Rocco. Click image to view virtual gallery and studio of Keith Rocco.

  1. The Colonel that brought with him a deserter…who he overhauled at Okolona is Colonel William Hudson Moore.  Colonel Moore is returning after recovering from an accidental shot to the foot during the Battle of First Manassas and eventually returns home again.  He later commands the 43rd Mississippi and is killed at Corinth, Mississippi while defending against Yankee invaders.  Painting above by Keith Rocco may be showing Colonel Moore upon a horse in battle moments before his death.
  2. Tubby is Goodloe Warren Buford, Jr.
  3. Parham is referring to jaundice when writing of guanders and juanders.

6th Letter: The Missing Overcoat (October 12, 1861)

Damfries Va

Oct 12th 1861

Dear Mother.

October 12, 1861: page 1 right

October 12, 1861: page 1 right

I have written two letters home since I heard from any of you, and now as I have an opportunity I will write you a few lines.

I have been in camps two weeks and have enjoyed good health so far, though I had a severe rising on my lip which troubled me two or three days. The mumps have been in our company for 3 weeks, but as yet I have escaped them. There is not much sickness in our Brigade at this time.

I suppose you rcd my letter speaking of the march we made. Scince that time we were called out again, expecting to meet the enemy, and again disappointed. We went about 3 miles, then returned to camp, and now we are expecting marching orders daily, keeping three days rations cooked ahead.

We are about 5 miles from the Potomac. I saw the river to day. I went 1/2 miles from camp, and saw it by climbing a tree.

I can not write much now, as I did not know that Dark was going to start so soon.

Click image of overcoat to view source.

You must tell the Old Man that I think I have lost the Over Coat clean. I was not in camp when it came. One of our boys put it in a box and when it came to the camp it- the coat was gone. I never saw it all. I was was away when it came to the other camp, and also this. I wrote before for one blanket, and I don’t believe we will draw any, and if you can get another I would like to have it. I suppose you got the other list.

October 12, 1861: page 2 on left, page 3 on right

October 12, 1861: page 2 on left, page 3 on right

I rcd letters from Claudia Rodgers and Aunt Polly. They are all well except Ab Rodgers child was dead, the deaf and dump one.

I must close for the present, as it is night and the boys keep up such a fuss that I cant write. I would like to get letters from you all at any time. Give my best respects to the family and inquiring friends. Write soon.

Yrs respt. P M Buford

Family Connections

Parham mentions the names of other people he is serving with in his letters, some of whom he shares the same family name with.  The roster of 11th Mississippi, Company G reveals there are five related soldiers bearing the name Buford, all through a single great-grandfather.

Family treejpg.001Photo sources:  http://www.11th-miss.com/history.htm and http://www.11th-miss.com/roster.htm

1st Letter: Journey to Virginia (August 17, 1861)

Aug19-61side1.doc copy

August 17, 1861: page 1

August 17th 1861.

Dear Mother –

I hope you will excuse me for not writing sooner.  We never got a tent until yesterday and we have been mixed up. so much that I could not well write-  I took cold two days after my lett arrival but am free of it now.  

Click image to view another primary source mentioning ladies greeting soldiers at train stations.

I will start at the first and give you particulars.  At Corinth Charles Gaston joined us– Nothing of interest occurred on the road- except the presents received from the ladies who greeted us at every station- untill we came to Lynchburg- when about 5 miles from there- when the boiler bursted and part of the tender ran off the track.  No one hurt-  We staid there about 3 hours waiting for an Engine-  About 30 miles from our stopping place we meet with Tom Buford and Morris Weeb who had been out in the country rusticating.  

We are encamped about 4 miles from Mannas south West. there is not much sickness in this company at present- Joe Buford is complaining- a negro belonging to this company died two days ago of pneumonia.  there is a great deal of sickness in Meets Regiment.  measles generally- several have died since our arrival- though at present they are not in our regiment- I have meet with several of my old acquaintances in the different Regiments around- all of whom seemed glad to meet us-

We live on wheat bread- fat meat. coffee. and rice and beef occasionally Vegetables are as scarce as hens teeth.  

Our Company was put on Brigade guard yesterday- Each man has to stand 8 hours out of 24. and relieved and two at a time.  I stood 4 hours during the day and 4 at night.  During the night an officer came round to try the sentinels.  he took guns away from three of our number of raw recruits who I will not mention as they have been plagued teased enough already. The old goat tried to get mine but I had heard of those tricks before I came here.  I was about a mile from the encampment in the woods.  I halted one feller and made him stand there about an hour waiting for the corporal of the Guard.  

August 17, 1861: page 2

August 17, 1861: page 2

The old is now sounding for drill and I must close giving more particulars next time.  Give my best respects to all the family + inquiring friends.  you can let any of the family read this-  I want all of you to write and give the news. Yrs truly

PM Buford.

P.S.  Address. 11th Reg. Miss. Vols. company

G Mannass Junction – care of Capt Greene.

Preserving History

top

Click image to view website of the Lamar Rifles, Company G of the 11th Mississippi Volunteer Infantry Regimental Civil War re-enactors.

One-hundred and ten years after the unit fought its last battle, Company G of the 11th Mississippi was re-activated. It was formed in 1975 by dedicated historians of the American Civil War who wanted to share their knowledge with others who had similar interests.