Letter from Ellison Capers to his wife Lottie, November 5, 6 and 7, 1864


Letter from Ellison Capers to his wife Lottie, November 5, 6 and 7, 1864


In his letter on the 5th, Capers states that the army has been delayed in crossing the Tennessee River due to a delay in supplies. He reports the large number of men who are in need of shoes and other necessities and the small amount that is actually given to them. He talks about the cost of sending a telegram and how the mail is very slow. He also mentions his servant, Ben, and his character. In his letter on the 6th, Capers tells Lottie that there is still no sign of movement of the army and he wonders if the campaign will happen at all. He also describes the contents of a bundle he receives including shirts and a cap and gloves. He closes the letter by discussing where a new bundle should be sent as well as some extracts that Lottie sent. In his short letter on the 7th, Capers states that they are going to cross the Tennessee River the day after tomorrow.


A1961.1, Box 3, Folder 43


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Ellison Capers Collection









Date Valid


[Page 1]
Bivouac 24th S.C.V
Tuscumbia Ala.
Nov. 5 1864

My dear, precious wife

We have been unexpectedly delayed here receiving our tardy and scant supplies of Qr. Masters & commissary stores. When we reached this place I reported 23 barefooted men, and 113 men who actually needed shoes, not to refer to the wants for blankets & clothing. On yesterday they gave me 26 prs. of shoes to fill out my report! 16 prs. of pants, etc.! I see by Mr. Bryce’s speech in Columbia, that he thinks of these things. Our delay here may frustrate the Tenn. campaign, though a day or two more will decide.

I sent you a telegram on yesterday of five words, & what do you think, my darling, I had to pay for it? $9 ½! I could have sent ten words for the same, but did not know it until my dispatch had gone. I send you, by my old Qr. Master Addison, a letter written on the 2nd, and containing $20. That letter, dear Lottie, made the 5th I had written you since leaving Palmetto. Only five letters, in a period of five weeks, written to my own Lottie! It was a trial to my heart, my dearest one. I would think of you on the march, & when we halted at night, I would long for a mail opportunity. This is our fifth day here, and no mail yet! I begin to look for [illegible]. When he comes he ought to bring me a letter, & my boots. Your letter, written on the 14th ult., came in good time, & I believe is about as late a date

[Page 2]
as any of my friends have from S.C. Wm. Henry Cain dined with me today, & said his last letter was dated the 7th ult. Ben gave me a right good dinner. I left it entirely to him. He will do anything if you praise him a little, or attach an importance to the duty you require, & seem to rely upon his capacity to accomplish it. But he does not bear surveillance well, & if disciplined, it must be constantly kept up. He can’t bear to be rebuked or reproved. I find him most invaluable to me. I suppose you will go to C.G. by the last of this month. I will continue to direct (sunset, just now, my bundle is handed me by a gentleman just from Macon) to Aiken until about the 20th D.V. when I will write to C.G.

Sunday Nov. 6th 1864

No signs of a move this morning. Sherman makes golden hours of our delay. I fear we will have no campaign into Tenn. Well, we have changed Sherman’s plans & relieved the pressure in Georgia, if we go no further. I examined the contents of my bundle with much interest. The shirts are very nice. I will write M.V. a note by this mail opportunity & thank her for so comfortable & elegant a present. The gloves, Lot, are the very thing. They come up well over the wrists. The fingers are just right, and they have very good shape. The worsted cap came in the very nick of time. So did the covering for my chest. I will direct this to C.G. as I expect you will be

[Page 3]
there by the time it reaches S.C. I allow [illegible] to go to Charleston. He will mail this there. I want you to write to him, directing to Mr. Sage’s care, so that he may know whether to call at Kalmia on his way back, or not, for my bundle containing my pants and C. If you have it at C.G. send it to Sage by first opportunity, so that George can get it there. I will direct him to call at Sage’s. My health continues excellent, my darling. I read the extracts you sent me, & send them back to you. You must not allow my views to disturb your mind, dearest. You do not understand me, I see, however, and we will let the subject drop. Though I can not forbear the expression of some mortification at your intimation of my being a little dashed with crazy! I send you all the spare envelopes I have. Don’t send me any more. I do

[Page 4]
not like to use them. I will finish this tomorrow, dearest.

Monday Nov. 7 – The indications are this morning, Lottie dear, that we will cross the Tenn. day after tomorrow. I will send George [illegible] tomorrow. We have had a great deal of rain, so far, this month. Oct. was a most lovely month.


Capers, Ellison, 1837-1908, “Letter from Ellison Capers to his wife Lottie, November 5, 6 and 7, 1864,” The Citadel Archives Digital Collections, accessed June 21, 2024, https://citadeldigitalarchives.omeka.net/items/show/513.