Letter from Ellison Capers to his wife Lottie, December 23, 1861


Letter from Ellison Capers to his wife Lottie, December 23, 1861


Capers writes to his wife Lottie from Camp Evans on Johns Island, South Carolina. He wonders where her letters are, as he should have received more than he did. He thanks Lottie for a picture she sent of their son, and assures her that he knows of her love and devotion to him. Capers writes of Colonel Branch, who was relieved from duty, and the demoralization of the men as a consequence to Branch's actions.


A1961.1, Box 1, Folder 50


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Ellison Capers Collection









Date Valid


[Page 1]
Camp Evans Church Bridge John’s Island
Dec 23rd

My precious wife - I wrote you this morning a hurried note from the Citadel to be carried by Sinclair. You may be now reading it, my darling, and as I am thinking of you, I know that you too are thinking of your Ellie. When I got here, about an hour ago, Gadsen handed me two letters; one from you & one from Henry. Your letter, my darling, was written on last Monday & Tuesday, & directed to the care of Hamilton & Smith. Like you I can not imagine where your letters are, for this is the 5th that I have read & I ought to have got 8. I will ask at the P. O. as you suggest, but 289 is the box that Courtney told me to direct to. 398 is the Citadel Box. After you receive this you need not write me again until I see you, as the regt. Will be relieved this week, & I may not be either here, or in the city, as I cant tell where Col. Stevens’ Regt. will be stationed. Tell Frank

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that Stevens has filled up all his places but the ast. Quartermastership & he has the refusal of it. He might trade it, & when some better chance offered, he could be resign. Thank you darling, for the sweet picture of our dear little boy, sitting in his sister’s chair. I could see him by the light of my heart as I read the precious lines of his mother, I am rejoiced to know that you are still free to hold him in your heart. May God continue to bless your work. Thank you, my Lottie, for the socks; they will be highly valued by me. But what, darling, do you mean about Sister Lize & the letter? I only mentioned that I had heard through a letter from you of uncle Peter’s confirmation, but I am sure that I never let [illegible] read a line. And now, my dear wife, let me tell you how glad my heart was made by the letter through Major White. Twas a [illegible word crossed out] horrid idea, darling, to think for a moment that you did not think me

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all I wanted you to, but it seized my heart, & I could not help telling you so. And you must not think that I do not wish you to tell me of my faults, for I earnestly desire it, but it seemed to me that you seemed to despond at my short comings, & while I did not give your very words, those I used conveyed the idea that I had formed. Never mind, my angel wife, I am as sure of your deep & dear devotion, as I am of a heaven, & you shall never hear one word of doubt again. As I rode up from the city today, my mind revolved around the period of your trial, in out engagement, & when I reflected upon the vestal purity & the faithful devotion of your constant love, I, too shed tears, that I had written that letter to you. If I should not be able to go up on Saturday, I will let you know in time , but you had better not send for me, as I may not get the opportunity to write. There is scarcely any calculating or arrangements outside of

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the military. Oh! How galling is it to me to see the Rifle Rgt. of last winter, now received in the very face of our enemies, and because of their the demoralized state into which the sad blunder of Branch has placed it. The men, of course, will go into other organizations; some of them with me, but they will not move one peg under our unfortunate Colonel. And yet the world does not know that the Regt. is relieved from duty here that is may organize for more effectual service. My heart grows sick when I think of it. Poor Branch is ruined, & the fair name of the Regt. blasted, and yet not one man whom I met, who did not seem to crave for a conflict with his foe, & the march from Rockville was as sullen as stone. So thoroughly are the men opposed any further action under Col. Branch, that they insist upon the mortifying alternative of being disbanded. More of all this when I see you. Love to all. Goodbye, & may God bless you, my precious wife.



Capers, Ellison, 1837-1908, “Letter from Ellison Capers to his wife Lottie, December 23, 1861,” The Citadel Archives Digital Collections, accessed July 13, 2024, https://citadeldigitalarchives.omeka.net/items/show/20.