Submittted by C.J. Johnson
In January 2014, this column provided a brief history of the Army of 10,000, followed by two letters written by Porter brothers who were in the Army of 10,000.
Thanks to the generosity of a dear friend and fellow historian and genealogist with strong ties to Choctaw and Winston County, here is a third letter, from one of the brothers, Demarcus “Mark” Porter, which was written earlier and mentioned his brothers John Fletcher “Fletch” Porter and James “Jim” Alexander Porter. This contributor, Billy Weeks of Nashville, TN, was also kind enough to send copies of all three original letters.
By reviewing the originals, a correction must be noted to the letter sent from Tuscumbia Alabama, the second letter in the series published in January 2014. This letter was not written by John F. Porter, but by his brother Demarcus “Mark” Fiske Porter, who signed that letter as D. F. Porter.
This third letter, dated December 8, 1861, was sent by Mark Porter to his sister Cenia Adeline Porter Woodward. The original letter is in the possession of a descendant of Adeline. Also included in this column is a copy of a portion of the original letter. Thank you, Billy, for making this available. Here is the letter, in its original language and spelling.
Pensacola Florida Warington Navey yard Dec th8/61 Dear Sister. Brother & Famley it is with pleasure that I Seat my Self to answer your kind letter, I am glad to inform you that I injoy fine health at the present hopeing this may find you all injoying the Same, there is a good deal of Sickness here mostly mumps Some tipoidfever, there has bin no deaths in our regiment Since we landed except Major Stenas s Negro, the weather is warm & plesant here, I have saw no frost this winter, times are came here once more, we have expected an other attact from old Brown, but believe now that he has postponed it, until he cam get a larger Fleet, Bragg is mou=nting more guns, as though he expected an other attact, the 24 Reigment Mifs Landed here a few days after the Bombardment the regiment that Rat Huntley.S belongs, 3 of them went to the Navey yard found a bunb Shell they thought they would get Some Pouder out of it. Comenced tinkering with it & it exploded tearing one to peaces the th2 a peace passed through his sholders killing him instant the th3 lived 2 or 3 days & died, one of the 8 Mifs Reigments took a Ball & knoc=ked all the Poder out he said. & put it in the fier to warm to put to a Sick mans feet, it exploded knocking down 3 men crippling one very bad,
Provisions is very S Scarse here we get but very little Bacon mostly Beaf but very little Salt boil our beaf in Salty water out of the bay make our bread in the Same
I have not herd from home Since I received your Letter, Mr. Young Landed here last Saturday, he Said the webster [community in northern Winston County] Company took the Cars Thurs=night at Macon, he said Jim & Fletch [Mark’s brothers] was a long.
Jim he said th2 Leutenant I recond he thinks he is a hos in a company of Batterrey bilders, I think they might have wrote to me before they left, Fletch will wish he was back at Ma.S House before he gets back.
I am inhopes Peace will be made before my time is out. I never want to Volenteer a gain, I have one of the best Captains in the Cofederacy he is a perticular Friend of mine,
I must come to a close write Soon I am ancious to hear from Pa to know if he received my letter of the th25 of Nov Nothing more at present I remain your affectionate Brother [signed] D. F. Porter
N. B. Direct your letter to Pensacola Florida 5 Reigment Mifs Volnteers to the care of Capt Weir.