|Camp at Lick Creek
January the 11th, 1862
Dear Companion, I take this oppurtunity to let you know that I am only in common health at present .... through I am much better than I have been. I was very bad off about two days and nights but this morning find me rising very fast. I think it was (a) cold that I had caught. I had a severe pain in the head and soar throat. I can't complain much of any thing now only I have a very bad cough. I hope these lines may reach you and find you all in the enjoyment of good health. I would have written to you before now but I was taken sick shortly after I came to camps and I did not want to write until I could give you some satisfaction, it will answer in place of me writing to you_____ at once.
When I got to camps I found the company in a bad situation. Something over half the company was down with the measles but the most of them is on the mend. Mart (Marta> (possibly a relative or freind) has had the measles but he is able now to get about through camps.
I now proceed to tell you some thing about the fight at Murfeesboro, Tenn. The Yankee boys is estimated at from 20,000 to 25,000 twenty five thousand, our boys five thousand. We have a complete victory. ...It is the opinion of almost every body that peace will be made and we will get home in time to make a crop. I rely very much upon it myself.
I have some bad news to write you that was received the day before I got into camps.
There was a Yankee force come through Mancansin gap and proceeded to j_ollicoffer(?)
where Edmontons company was guarding a bridge. The Co. engaged the enemy. The fight did not
last long. The yankee force so strong that our little band was compelled to surrender
themselves prisoners of war. The Yankees burnt the bridge and most of there (their)
private property. I am glad to inform the citizens of Jackson (County, N. C.) that
the Yankees give up of J. Ramsey Dills sword (or soon) for his bravery in defending
his position with so small a force of men. The Yankees the(n) went to Carters depot
-- burnt another bridge and took all the men prisoners taking in all four companies out
of our Regt. I don't think it will be long until they are exchanged and will be with the
I want you to do the best you can and write me how Jack gets along getting up the (_illegible_) hogs. Be sure and let me know how Calhouns hand is getting. If you have not named the baby, you may call it, Mary Jane. So nothing more at present but ___ -- ___ --- ____ --- (_missing from recopy) ___ ---___ --- ____ --- it will answer in place of me writing to you at once.
(No signature shown on recopy)
|Lick Creek East, Tenn February 1, 1863
Dear wife it is with pleasure I again seat myself to let you know that I am enjoying a reasonable portion of health at present, ...hoping these lines may find you and the children in good health. I am getting very uneasy about you. I fear thre is something the matter and you wont write to me until times is better for I have wrote you several letters and never have got a line since I left home.
I want you to write ...don't fail... it dont matter what your condition may be. I want
to hear from home. It may be that you dont get my letters. I cant tell if you dont. I dont
want you to fail in writing for I write every week and have done so ever since I left home
with the exceptions of two weeks that I was sick and not able to write.
The war news is somewhat interesting at present the news in the papers is current that
the Governor of Kentucky have called for sixty thousand troops in defence of the south.
Also there is a rumor a float and it is current that there has commisioners arrived at
Richmond from the states of Illinois and Indiana if these reports be true which I have no
doubt it is the case, we will have peace by the first of April, also a northern general by
the name of Woolford commanding the cavilry forces of Kentucky has disbanded his forces for
twenty days and he says if Lincoln dont revoke his emancipation proclamation and he has to
fight any more he will do it in defence of the south. I have a little bad news to write as
well as good. A few days ago we had three men to desert our company there names are as
follows W.L.D. Broom, A.S. Chastaine and J.A. Watson also last knight there was six men
deserted from this post belonging to capt N.W. Broom company B they seeked there oppurtunity
to get away there being a detail of forty men sent off on yesterday a tory hunting the way
was open and last knight they skedadled for home. I fear there are others that will do
likewise. I am truly afraid the army will be broken up between now and corn planting but
as for my part I came into the army honorably and I intend if possible to get out the same
way, you need not look for me at home until I ma honorably discharged according to law. I
want you to write to me how many hogs you got after I left and whether you have got your
corn hauled or not. If you have not got up them home hogs to fatten you had better get them
up as soon as possible if you have got _________ or can get salt to save the meat be sure
to save plenty of meat to do you and to hire your work done for you cant hire work done for
the money if you havent salt plenty dont sell a pound of the meat you have salted now you
can let Jack and A.J. Wood read this letter and it will answer in place of me writing to all
at once so nothing more at present but remains your affectionate and loving husband until
death, Mrs. Martha A. Cook.
Camp near Cumberland gap,
May the 27th, 1863
Dear companion I seat myself to drop you a few lines to let you know that I am well at
present hoping these lines may find you and the children well. I wrote you a letter when we
was at Morristown Tenn. We reached this place yesterday evening late after a tiresome march
of six days in the dust and heat. The heat was so severe we suffered considerably from the
effects of our march. Several of our boys is left behind, ...some is sick and some broke
down. You never have saw the like of soar feet in all your life. Our officers say we will
rest here until our feet gets well. On our march to this place I saw some of the spoils of
the enemy. We come thorugh a town called Gazwell (or Tazwell) (Tennessee) that
the yankees has burnt most of the town. A great many brick walls is standing there with
everything burned out of them and a heap of them that the walls has fell down beside this
numbers of framed buildings also consumed. Also I saw farms that every rail was burned
from around them. We are now at the yankee fortifications that they throwed up when they
was in posession of this place. It is an extensive fortification. The timber is all cut
down from the foot to the top of as high mountains as ever you saw. Also rifle pits dug
out from the foot of the top of the mountains. We are now in sixteen miles of Cumberland
Ford, at which place there is sixteen thousand yankees stationed. I will not write any
more until tomorrow.
This morning finds me well. we have not made any further ________ (line missing on old recopy) ________ move than. The General sent up orders for about forty men from the Regt to go on picket. They are now gone but none went from our company. Also he sent for one hundred men for fatigue duty they are gone. I am not able to say what he wants with them
Late yesterday evening I went over the cumberland mountain and looked at our mens fortifications. I dont think that one hundred thousand yankees can hurt a hair on our heads at this place. Our regt can whip ten thousand yankees in the rifle pits and battery fortifications we have at this place but I have no idea that the yankees will ever attack us hear. If they do they will soon get a decent whipping. The war news is very favorable at present. We got a dispatch last knight from Vicksburg (Mississippi) which say there has been hevy (heavy) fight at that place. The telegram says there was ten thousand yankees lying dead on the field of battle, it was a complete victory on the side of the confederates. I think a few more such whippings as this will end the war. I will send you a piece of poetry that is called the ladies breeches. If it is not any amusement to you perhaps some one will fancy it. Also I send you foar small tracts which I want you to keep until I come home, for they are something interesting to the soldier.
I want you to write as soon as you get a letter before we have to leave this place. Direct your letters to cumberland gap, Tenn (Co) G... 62nd Regt NC Troops, Gracies Brigade ... to be forwarded.
I must close nothing more at present but remains your affectionate and loving husband
August the 23rd, 1863
It is with pleasure I sear myself to let you know that I am enjoying a reasonable portion of health at present, ever l\hoping these lines reach their destination and find you and the children enjoying the best of health. I can inform you that we are somewhat flustrated here now. There came a dispatch to this place night before last reporting thirty thousand yankees to have crossed to Cumberland mountain four miles from this place. It has caused considerable excitment at this place. It is thought by some of the officiers that they are trying to surround the gap, but I do not think so. My notion is they intend making a raid on the "railroad" but I may be mistaken. We have moved our commissary stores to more secure parts within our fortifications and if they come here, they're going to get hurt. Our boys is in fine spirit. we was ordered yesterday to cook three days rations. We don't know for what purpose but we know one thing, it is either to take up the line of march or to go into our rifle pits, provided the enemy should attack us. But, for my part, I am not uneasy for we are well fortified and can defend ourselves securely from far superior forces. And, if they come here, you will hear of them getting hurt. Also, if they should surround us and cut off our supplies, we have provisions to last a considerable length of time. But, I have no fears of this for the enemy has no chance of getting supplies on the south of the line of the intruder so, I apprehend so serious results to follow.
Marth, I want you, if you can, to write to me often. I have not got a letter in over
a month. The boys in our company is in tolerable good health. Marta and your cousins
here is well. Nothing more but remains your affectonate husband until death.
|Camp Douglas, Chicago, Ill
Dec. the 27th, 1863
Dear companion, I take this method of letting you know I am well at present. Hoping these lines may find you and the children well. This day twelve months ago I left home. I have lived through many hardships since that time and I am yet alive and enjoying good health, better than usual. It is a sad misfortune that the horror of war has cast our lots in a foreign land but it is even so and we have to submit to its consequences whatever they may be. Hope it will not be long until we are exchanged and get back to our beloved homes and family.
The health of the reg and company is tolerable good at present.
Tell the friends of ____________(illegible), their relatives are generally well. M.M. Shelton is not very well but on the mend. ________ Hooper, L.W. and T.S. are all well. Send word to pop and Elizabeth.
Martha I want you to write to me and let me know how you are all doing. You will be limited to a short letter otherwise it will not pass through. Write every week, probably I will get a letter after a while. Direct your letters to Chicago camp Douglas Illinois marked to the Co. and Regt.
Nothing more but ramins your affectionate husband until death.
Tell L.S. Shelton's (?) family, he has
been sick but getting well fast.
Asks for them to write to him.
All of the CSA soldiers who died at Camp Douglas are buried at Oak Woods Cem. in a mass grave called The Confederate Mound. Most were buried in individual graves in either the Chicago City Cem. until it was closed in the late 1860s or in the smallpox cementary in Camp Douglas until the camp was dismantled at the end of the war. Their remains were moved to Oak Woods and buried in a common grave. There are supposedly 4000 men buried in this grave but the true number is said to be closer to 6000.
You can order Soloman's CSA service records for 8.00 from the NC State
Archives. The address is
DEPT. OF CULTURAL RESOURCES
DIVISION OF ARCHIVES & HISTORY
ARCHIVES AND RECORDS SECTION
109 EAST JONES STREET
4614 MAIL SERVICE CENTER
RALEIGH, N.C. 27699-4614
Ronnie W. Bagwell
We will continually update our website as information is made available. Anyone wishing to add to or correct information on our website can contact John M. Cook, Jr at [email protected] or write to:Cook Family History