22 September 1864: “I guess Hood will have us all in the saddle tonight”

Item Description: A letter from Thomas Clayton to his wife Emma regarding a friend who got a leave of absence, poor weather conditions, and troop movements. Thomas Clayton did not enter the military until January 1864. Before that he served as acting military storekeeper at the Confederate Armory in Asheville, N.C., and assisted friends in the Confederate army with their financial and personal business. In January 1864, Clayton was ordered to report to Columbia, S.C. After serving there for about a month, he was assigned to an engineering unit in General Hood’s Corps. Clayton was stationed in Georgia during the Atlanta campaign, writing letters from Dalton, Dallas, Marietta, and near Atlanta. He later moved to Jacksonville and Florence, Ala., where he was a member of General [S. D.] Lee’s Corps.



Citation: Folder 9 in the Clayton Family Papers, #4792Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.



Head 2nd Lee’s Corp

Near Palmetto, GA  Sept 22nd, 1864

My Dear Emma,

Since writing you this on West Point and Atlanta RR, ? Nash Hardy has got a leave of absence for sixty days and goes home this evening. I have included to draft you a few lines by time Thursday it will reach you earlier than by the mail. I am very tired though and have but little more to write in the way of news than I had this morning.  The indication today is that we will cross the River. In fact we have orders just received from Mjr Hd 2n to recommend the crossing of the River and I guess Hood will have us all in the saddle tonight and I dread it for it is now raining and will be very dark. But such is a soldier’s life if he does his duty and I will try and do mine. But some of our Buncombe friends do not ? much about this but I spec he don’t care. There is great dissatisfaction in his Regiment at his going away, and I expect many of the officers to resign or try to do so. The weather has been very bad for several days. Rain all the time and very dark my eyes are nearly out from hard use in making maps in such dark weather. It is now so dark I can hardly see where I am writing. If we should cross the River you must not looks for many letters from me. I will have little time to write and no way of sending my letters when written so you must not be weary about me if you do not hear from me often. I hope the campaign will soon end for this year. Then I will get to go home. I don’t want to go before then, and Thomas and Col Preston have both promised me that I might go home. I have never asked for a leave nor I never will as long as I am needed here. I received your letter of the 12th.  Ed Berry had not heard of Joe’s marriage until today I told him. It was the first time I have seen him since we commenced to war.  I think his opinions of ? is about like yours.

Thomas sends his love says tell them all he would write by Nash but has not time did not know he was going write this minute and has just come in from the line. Nash will start in a few minutes. I will close you my love to all at home so take good care of the children, God help them I wish I could see them. Farewell my dear and may the Father of mercy watch and protect you and then in the ? ? of you.

Devoted husband,

T. C.

Geo West is with me now don’t forget to make the gloves for him. I feel under many obligations to him and he is a very clever man.

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