Letter from Ellison Capers to his wife Lottie, January 21, 1862


Letter from Ellison Capers to his wife Lottie, January 21, 1862


Capers writes to Lottie from Camp Gist, South Carolina. He says that he is weary, and is camped with nearly five hundred men with no military knowledge. He writes that he is feeling lonely, and doesn't know whether he hears cannons or thunder from the direction of Savannah. Capers writes again in the morning, and says that the work before him is great.


A1961.1, Box 2, Folder 14


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Ellison Capers Collection









Date Valid


[Page 1]
Tuesday Night in
Camp Gist - Near Charleston
Jany 21st 1862

My own precious wife -

After a wearysome day & before I lay me down to sleep, I will begin a letter to you. I wrote you a note by Lee, just before I left Tady’s Monday morning, & have been so constantly busy since that I had not had the time to write you by today’s mail. Think of it, my precious I have near five hundred men, encamped here, & every one, nearly perfectly ignorant of military duties! Captains, Lieutenants, & Privates all to be taught, & I am perfectly alone. I have not a single aid. Dick & Hemingway will not take the Drill Officer place, & Clarence would be glad to take it, but he is afraid they will not let him off in Va. I have written to

[Page 2]
Genl. Gist in his behalf & hope to have him with me. I can’t give Holly the Qrs. Master Seargeantship for not being a commissioned officer he could not get a discharge. Tonight I am the only person in the field & staff line of tents & to save, me, I can’t help feeling lonely. While I write this, ¼ to 10--by my watch, I hear something which sounds to me like very heavy cannonading in the direction of Savannah. If it is, they take a strange time to begin, though it may be thunder as it is now raining. I am very tired, my darling, so good night till tomorrow, & may god bless you & Frank, & angels watch you while you sleep.


Wednesday Morning -10A.M.

My own Lottie - I rose

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this morning, & have been busy since. I have an officers drill at ¼ before 7 & again at 2 - and a dress parade at sunset & have to supervise every other drill & everything. The work before me is so great, & I have no one to help me that it makes me feel quite blue. Gendron has not called by as he said he would. I put my trust in God, darling, & hope for the time when we will be again united to each other. If you were only in the city, you could ride out and see me every day. We hear this morning that there are an unusual number of vessels off our Bar. May God deliver us. In the language of the first verse of the Psalter, for this morning, “He is gracious, and his mercy endureth forever” Good bye, my

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angel, & may you & Frank be always blessed. Love to mamma.

Forever yours


Capers, Ellison, 1837-1908, “Letter from Ellison Capers to his wife Lottie, January 21, 1862,” The Citadel Archives Digital Collections, accessed July 13, 2024, https://citadeldigitalarchives.omeka.net/items/show/21.