Letter from Ellison Capers to his wife Lottie, June 16, 1862


Letter from Ellison Capers to his wife Lottie, June 16, 1862


Capers recounts an advance of the enemy on Secessionville. The Yankees tried to storm the Battery three times while Capers was in charge of manning the heavy guns. He talks about both Confederate and Yankee casualties and how it was a gruesome sight to behold. He also talks about an item that he shipped to her and how he lost his haversack. He says what a joy her letters are and asks her to pray for him. Capers also remarks on how he gave bread and water to the wounded prisoners.


A1961.1, Box 2, Folder 48


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Ellison Capers Collection









Date Valid


[Page 1]
Camp 24th J. Island--
Monday Night June 16th

My dear angel wife

Thanks be to God, your Ellie has passed through another conflict and is unhurt. I wrote you on Sunday morning just before our Rgt. went out on picket duty, which was to have lasted until this morning. Just at day light the advance pickets in the Secessionville road reported the enemy in force as advancing against our Battery at Secessionville. Regts. were ordered out to meet them there, but a letter from you darling, just handed me but I was going on to say they got into position slowly and the Yankees advanced their regiments boldly up to our Battery and tried to storm it three times. I was ordered away to take command of a Battery of heavy guns from which I did great service. Genl. Evans ordered me to remain at the Battery and direct its fire throughout the fight which I did. Only three companies of our Regt. were engaged from which we lost three

[Page 2]
killed, and five or six wounded. The enemy were totally routed. We captured about 75 including about 40 of their wounded. They left over 200 dead on the field. Oh! It was an awful sight to ride over that field. Here and there in groups & alone lay the ghastly foe. I counted immediately in front of around the Battery 81 and my heart grew sick and I rode in and they carried off many of the dead and wounded. The horses of the officers were stripped of their riders and trophies and carried off. I think [illegible words] Yankee loss at 350 in all. Our men were burying their dead on the battlefield and and we are taking care of their wounded. Our loss is about 30 killed & 40 wounded. Marion [illegible] is not hurt that I can learn. Mr. Rogers is safe. His Battery was not engaged but was ordered up to support my guns just at the close of the engagement. Capt. Reid, Marion’s Capt. and a noble man, was killed. Col. Gaillard is

[Page 3 – written over page 1]
slightly wounded. I will write you tomorrow D. V. [illegible words]. He has gone back to his gun boats. Now for your letter. I ordered the [illegible] shipped. It must be at the depot and go to see. I am too busy to send Mr. R’s shoes now, will do so when I can. Tell him constant & anxious duty has prevented me so far. We are all to be ready at any moment. The enemy is [illegible] camped a mile and a half from us. But, my angel, I have lost my haversack. The strap broke and [illegible words]. I must have stopped it. I don’t think the [illegible words] is true. We can’t tell whether [illegible] is, or not. My lamb, I read your letter with joy, & to think you only wrote this morning, is pleasant to me. Continue to pray for me, my angel. Whenever you are going back to Mrs. R.’s give me [illegible words] shoe number and if I can do so, my darling,

[Page 4 – written over page 2]
I will write you tomorrow. I am grateful to hear of our boy’s good health. I thank God I gave many of the wounded prisoners bread and water, and are said to me “Thank you, Cole. That is different from what our officers have told us. They said that if you ever got us prisoners, you would bayonet us all.” God bless you my own precious angel. Ellie

P. S. I do not look for another attack shortly. I think they will go on with the bombardment of the work, which was kept up all day yesterday and Saturday. Ellie


Capers, Ellison, 1837-1908, “Letter from Ellison Capers to his wife Lottie, June 16, 1862,” The Citadel Archives Digital Collections, accessed July 13, 2024, https://citadeldigitalarchives.omeka.net/items/show/472.