YOUR CART 0 items - $0.00
Roll over image to enlarge (scroll to zoom)

36th Georgia Infantry - Wounded Missionary Ridge (2 Letters)

Item CON-6867
August 15, 1862 & August 23, 1862 Lieutenant Colonel Alexander M. Wallace
Price: $425.00


Two original Confederate Civil War soldier letters written in period pencil by Lieutenant Colonel Alexander M. Wallace of the 36th Georgia Infantry. Letters August 15th - 4 pages & August 23rd - 2 pages.

Letter #1

Camp Near Tazewell
August 15th 1862

My Precious Darling,

I embrace the safe opportunity of writing you a few lines by Mrs. Gleason, who has been on a visit to her husband.

We have orders to leave here tomorrow night for the Gap, 13 miles distant and if we pass that point we will penetrate to the northern border of Kentucky. You must not therefore expect to hear from me regularly or often as we will cut loose from all communications with the rear. Our mails for two weeks past have been carried twice a week to cars from Knoxville by our own courier. But the distance will be too great and other difficulties will prevent such mode of communications any longer I mention this matter now so as to prevent undue uneasiness on your mind hereafter.

We may have to remain on this side of the Gap for some time and in that event you will hear from me frequently. General E. K. Smith with 5th Brigade and a larger cavalry force will be shortly, if he is not already in rear of the enemy, and we are to approach his front. If he is in force on the mountain, we will not attack but lay siege and starve him out. If only a small force holds, the works we are to storm the place and carry it with the bayonet. My own impression is that the enemy will evacuate the Gap and endeavor to escape to the rear. But of course, we can only combative what policy he may adapt.

Your letter of the 10th was received. I am sorry indeed, distressed to find you so defeated. The only comfort I can get you is the reflection that God disposes events and it is only our duty to trust our fates unreserved by his hands. The painful instances of his providence to which you allude, are indeed inscrutable and it may be your lot to suffer a like bereavement. But remember Darling, that the path of duty and honor must be trod. I cannot. If I would look back to my happy home and return to its blessed precincts to enjoy for a few short years a selfish happiness when my bleeding suffering countrymen are struggling like men on my behalf. There is dishonor in the thought. And before God to might I had rather gray unburied body should be left in these mountain gorges, thank to share the infamy of those able bodied men who are at home enjoying (if so low an aspiration can be called enjoyment). The wealth that has been spuing from the blood of the brave and the tears of the helpless. You know Darling, precious one, how dear life is to me. You know how entirely happy I am in your blessed society. How elatedly fond I am of my children and how by constitution and temperament and habit I am capacitated for the enjoyment of home comforts. And therefore, you know better than any other mortal living how many a bitter pang this cruel war has cost me and the many sacrifices. I have been called in this providence of God to make in the discharge of duty to my country and yet I have suffered all cheerfully and am willing to suffer to the end without doubting His perfect goodness and mercy and willingness to aid those who cry to him with froth in extremity. I trust he may spare my life to bless you and cherish you my precious one for many years to come. But of otherwise ordained to let us say His will be done and look with faith to that reunion he has promised where happiness eternal awaits us.

Our Campaign will be a rugged one. But my health is good excepting a twinge now and then. Of rheumatism and my heart and mind are absorbed in the work before me. If we are successful, the results will be important to our cause and if disaster awaits us, we will be comforted by the assurance that we have dared all and done all that patriots and men could do.

Colonel Maddox spent an hour with me today. He is well and becoming more reconciled to the hardships of camp life.

I frequently meet friends from Atlanta and the theme is always of “home sweet home.” We generally close however with anathemas on the sneaking infamous cowardly scoundrels who remain around the sacred presence of our homes and fatten by this plunder of our river and little ones.

There is a day of dreadful retribution for these blood suckers when our victorious armies are disbanded and our rugged soldiers return to control civil and private rights. And now Darling, good night. The camp fires are out and the brave and hardy soldiers are asleep and per chance dreaming of loved ones far away. I too, must be refreshed for tomorrow’s march and my hard couch never fails to give me sweet repose. May God bless and protect you and our precious little ones from all harm and keep you under the shadow of his wing and in his own good times restore me to your arms as the fervent prayer of your faithful husband,

Colonel Alex. M. Wallace
36th Georgia Volunteers

Write me as usual. Letter may reach me. I wrote you yesterday, also to Major Branfort today.

If Charley comes by home, keep him there until he hears from me. It may be impossible for him to join us if we cross the mountain. Our rear will be harassed by JONES and bushwhackers making it unsafe for persons alone or small parties to follow us. George is well and a troublesome comfort to me. He improves much in his conception of the duties and responsibilities of life. I am glad he is with me.

Letter #2

Camp Near Cumberland Gap

August 23rd 1862

My Darling,

We have just received orders to move this evening at 5 o’clock. Our destination is unknown to any but Brigade Commanders. But from indications, I think we are bound for the Kentucky side of the Gap. We will probably cross the mountains at some point below this.

If I am right, in this conjecture, you will probably not hear from me for some time.

The enemy are in bad condition at the Gap if reports of prisoners and deserters can be relied on. Provisions are scarce and their supplies are cut off. So it is only a question of time as to their surrender. They continue to shell us every day with their heavy long range guns and we have to dodge about without being able to reply. We are much annoyed by their shells and have some narrow escapes but as yet only one man killed. A young officer was shot last night by his own men on picket duty while at his post. Rani troops are always nervous on picket duty and perhaps an example will be made in this case. Which will have a good effect on the timid and reckless. George and myself are well but we are living very hard, but little meat and not much time to eat in.

I am anxious to hear from Charley. Write me as usual and your letters will reach me in comsey of time.

I was disappointed and hexed to learn that our bacon at Dalton was received and eaten up by morons for want of attention and not fit to send to you.

What do you do for something to eat? How does your bank account stand? I do not know when I will be paid again or when I can send you any funds. This disturbs me very much indeed. I now cannot conjecture when I will be permitted to return home. I am appointed Inspector General of the 4th Brigade and the place is no sinecure. These other new regimental duties keep one busy and will prevent my obtaining leave of absences while one is actively engaged. If we are so fortunate as to reach Lexington or Louisville, I will have better means of communicating with you.

I suppose you cannot now sell our house even if you were so disposed. But as long as you are well and I can remit funds for you to revert on the sale is of little consequence. I hope you may be able to make good long visit to your kindred be one and the change would be good for you and the children. Write me Darling frequently and I will write every opportunity that offers.

Your Husband,

Alex. Wallace
36th Georgia Volunteers