Civil War – Letters from Choctaw County men to home

Four letters from or about Alexander William Thompson (who died from wounds from the Battle of Franklin, TN); he was a member of the New Prospect Grays, part of the 5th Mississippi Infantry. These letters were in Mrs. Virginia Patterson Carlisle’s book, Ye Olde Scrapbook – A Portrait of Choctaw County Before the World Changed, published in 1997.

The first letter is about 300 words. The second one is about 400 words. The third one is about 460 words. The fourth one is about 530 words, written to his widow with details of his death.

Letter #1

Bridgeport, Alabama May 3, 186[3?]

My Dear Father: I write you a few lines this evening to know that I am well and hearty. Hoping this may find you all in the enjoyment of the same great blessing. They boys are well except J. Hutchinson. He has the Measles at this time, but is getting along very well so far. There are several in the company to have the Measles yet.

I have nothing of interest to write, as I wrote to Martha [his wife] on the 29th. We have beautiful weather at this time. I hear nothing new in this department. We have been expecting an attack here this past week, but everything is quiet. A general engagement has been expected above her for some time back, but we cannot see fare before us.

Father I received the letters you sent by Ben Krebbs yesterday, dated January 14th, so Krebbs got his knapsack at last. I received a letter from Martha the same date. I received six letters during the last three days, and three of them were written during January. I received a letter from William Hanna the 29th, also one from Martha dated the 19th. I was glad to hear that you were all well at that time.

We have head powerful news from Mississippi this week of the depredations of those insolent Yankees. We first heard that Louisville was burnt up and Dr. Covington was hung, but we have received a telegraph dispatch from Macon, Miss., stating that was not so, but they took all the jewelry-and horses about town, so I hope we will hear all the particulars soon. [Possibly talking about Grierson’s Raid in April 1863.]

I add nothing more, but remain your affectionate son until death. A. W. Thompson to J.A. Thompson, my father.