Letter from Ellison Capers to his wife Lottie, November 9, 1864


Letter from Ellison Capers to his wife Lottie, November 9, 1864


Capers writes that the army has finally set off towards the Tennessee River but had to stop again on account of torrential rain. He tells Lottie that he will send her money from his October pay and that she should not spend it on items for him. He also wishes that he had time to study but says he is constantly employed in fixing his command. His officers are incompetent and in his opinion, incompetence runs rampant through the army.


A1961.1, Box 3, Folder 45


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Ellison Capers Collection









Date Valid


[Page 1]
Near Tuscumbia Ala.
Wednesday Nov. 9th 1864

My own dear Lottie

We made a start on yesterday afternoon for the Tenn. but the incessant rain stopped us short. It is now raining in torrent, with every prospect of a prolonged wet, season. What a contrast to beautiful, bright October! It was really the most lovely month I ever experienced.

[Illegible] started off on yesterday for Charleston. He was illy clad, had no shoes, and I thought I would not take him on the Tenn. tramp. I sent you a letter by him, containing several spare envelopes, which I had in my Portfolio. I also sent my pay account for October to the Qr. Master at Selma, who is a friend of mine, & asked him to cash it for me, and enclose one hundred & seventy five ($175) by mail to you. I trust that it may go safely. I think it

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will. I fear, from your letter sent me in the bundle, that you may need money before this October remittance reaches you. I don’t want you to buy things for me, my darling wife, with the money I send you. It is scarcely enough to supply yourself and the children, and I desire your wants met. I am very comfortable, and doing very well indeed. If I had my pants & boots (the latter Minnis will bring, I am sure) I would want for nothing.

1 P.M. A cold wind has just sprung up from the south, which may bring us the sunshine. I hope it may. I send this by Holmes, who goes to the rear completely used up by our exposures & fatigues. My own health is fine & excellent. What a great blessing good health is! I am annoyed that I can do no

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studying. Every whit of my time is employed, & when we stop a day, or so, or delay a week, even, as we have done here, I am employed fixing up my command, and in a hundred little ways, officially, which consumes time. I have all the head work to do in my Regt. My officers are willing & ready, but incompetent. The weight of the impact of that word is pregnant with great issues. Incompetence! It is a vampire, everywhere in our army – sucking the very life blood of all our efforts. Kiss my little darlings for their anxious father, & my dear Lottie, my own precious, most cherished angel, accept the assurance of your Ellie’s constant devotion. May God keep you.



Capers, Ellison, 1837-1908, “Letter from Ellison Capers to his wife Lottie, November 9, 1864,” The Citadel Archives Digital Collections, accessed June 21, 2024, https://citadeldigitalarchives.omeka.net/items/show/515.