Civil War and letters from the home front

Submitted by C.J. Johnson


Mrs. Roy McCarty contributed two letters from John F. Porter to his parents and family during the War Between the States, which were published in Mrs. Virginia Carlisle’s book in 1997. Porter was a member of Capt. H. L. Halfacre’s Company, also known as “Winston Brothers,” originally with the 5th Regiment, Mississippi Volunteers, 60-day Troops.

The second of these letters is reprinted here in its original form.

Tuscumbia, Ala. March the 24/62. Dear Sister & Family, I seat my self this night to drop you a few lines in answer to your letter whitch I received today. I was glad to hear from you. I received one from Mary today also whitch was wrote a few days before yours. I am sorry to hear of Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher’s bad health. I am in hope when I hear from home again their health will be better. I haven’t time to write but a few lines as it is now 10 o’clock and we start in the morning to Corinth at 6 o’clock to meet the Yankees on Miss. soil. The big fight will come off their in a day or so from all accounts. They say there is (looks like 60 to 80 thousand) landed their. They landed 26 miles from Corinth.

I don’t think they will wait for the Yankees to make the attack this time. They will have the Bloody fifth [5th Mississippi Regiment] to contend with. Calvery passed through today. I saw George Ennis, did not see Morrison. He was not well and was not in ranks. They were marching and I did not have to chance to say but a few words to him.

I forgot to tell you about our health. I am not very well at present. The changed water has made the most of us sick & it is so much colder that we all have had colds. We left Lark Turner at ——. I never expect to see him again.

There has been several of the Regiment died since we came here. I am afraid the change will kill a great many. I must close. I am going to send this letter to Louisville by Leut. Quarles. He starts at 5 o’clock in the morning for home. He has bin unwell for several days. He is going home on a furlough.

Write soon. I am always glad to hear from any of you. I haven’t time to write no more at present. I will do better the next time if I should be spared to see another change. Nothing more. I remain your brother. [J.] F. Porter.