5 January 1865: “I am afraid we have a gloomy time before us”

Item Description: Letter dated 5 January 1865 from James Trooper Armstrong to his wife Matilda Greene Armstrong. He writes from Cavalry Headquarters, District Arkansas, at Camp Smith Plantation near Fulton, Missouri. Armstrong was the owner of Woodstock Plantation near Pine Bluff in Jefferson County, Ark., and a Confederate Army officer.


Item Citation: Folder 11, James Trooper Armstrong Papers, #03942Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Item Transcription:

Calvary Headquarters, District Arkansas

Camp Smith plantation near Fulton

Jany 5th 1865

My dearest Wife-

I have just rec’d your letter dated yesterday. I did not expect you to come to the party. None of the wives of members of his staff were present. It turned out as we all predicted that it would be ?. But the Gen requested his staff to write their wives. There were only three or four ladies present. The party was ? at Gen Massey Hd Qrts. I should be delighted to be with you at the conferring of the mason’s degree on the ladies by Gen Pike, but think it better to remain here until we get through dismounting the cavalry. We would have been through but for some mistake in orders sent to Gen Clarke not reaching here him. We are now waiting on him. He will be in 19 miles of this place tonight. We have Gen ?  dismounting ? + Shelby commands. Clarke now is the only command to dismount. We will get through dismounting his command Sunday or Monday next. You may look for me about next Monday.

I have improved in health since I have been here, notwithstanding I have had a good deal of work to do + we are encamped in a new muddy + disagreeable place. I would have been entirely restored had I remained in Washington where I would have had my dear wife to have taken care of me. However I am so much better that I should not complain. We have heard bad news from our armies in Georgia + Tenn. If they have met with no disasters we have heard I am afraid we have a gloomy time before us Gen Grant My darling that this war may soon cease + that we may be once more united in a home of our own.

I shall look forward with a great deal of pleasure to over getting through our business here. Tell Bob I think there will be no doubt about my getting a saddle for him. The saddles were all turned over Quarter Master and I did not know I could purchase one until last night. When Clarks is dismounted I will get an order to purchase one.

And now goodbye my precious wife- Kiss the children.

Your affectionate husband

J.T. Armstrong

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