June 1864 Confederate Letter by Private John Morgan Adams, 45th Alabama - Battle of Pickett's Mill - Yankees Attack After Feigning Surrender

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sold out

June 1864 Confederate Letter by Private John Morgan Adams, 45th Alabama - Battle of Pickett's Mill - Yankees Attack After Feigning Surrender

425.00

Item No. 7432997

A fascinating June 1864 autograph signed letter written by Private John Morgan Adams of the 45th Alabama Regiment. Writing to his wife, Adams described waiting behind breastworks for the enemy’s attack. He also described being “on the tramp for 33 days” and taking part in several skirmishes. A larger encounter is described, likely the May 27 Battle of Pickett’s Mill, in which the Yankees, attempting a ruse, “came at a trail arms with a white flag like they were going to surrender and when they got within shooting distance our men answered them to surrender and they raised a yell and commenced firing.” Adams sensed the importance of the developing battle of Atlanta. “If they whip us here we are gone up,” he wrote, “and if we can whip them here we will drive them back to their own country.” The letter reads, in full:

Camp 45th Ala Near Marietta June the 8, 1864 Army of Tennessee

Dear loved absent wife, I again seat myself to pen you a few lines which will inform you that I am as well as common and I hope these few lines may come safe to hand and find you and the children well and doing well. I have not got much to write you. We are behind our works awaiting for the enemy to come but our commander says they can't get them to advance on us and I am sure I don’t want them to come. We have been on the tramp for 33 days and a good part of the time skirmishing with them. We have lost a great many men and they have lost a great many more than we have. They never come on us unless they have 3 or 4 lines of battle and we are always in our breastworks and we send them back every time. My dear Wife, I have a heap to write but I have not got the paper to write on, nor it can’t be got. I hear the 33rd Alabama got in a fight on our left the other night and they lost 160 men killed and wounded. 15 or 20 killed on the field, several died afterwards. Our loss was 5 or 6 wounded and 2 killed. Captain [J. M.] Crockett wounded in the head slightly. The enemy charged our men the same night on the left. They thought they would fool our men. They came at a trail arms with a white flag like they were going to surrender and when they got within shooting distance our men answered them to surrender and they raised a yell and commenced firing. Our men killed nearly a whole line of battle. The ground was literally covered with the dead. We hardly lost any for our men were in their breastworks. Our men have had good luck so far. I think this will be the trying place. If they whip us here we are gone up and if we can whip them here we will drive them back to their own country. I do hope this cruel war will speedily close so I can come back home and be with my dear loved ones, where I can sow peas and not be in trouble all the time. I have no news. Everything has been stiller today than it has for several days. I can hear a gun or two.

My dear Wife, I hope the time is not far distant till I shall embrace you and my little ones again. It seems long of your absence. My dear send me an envelope and a paper to write you a letter for I am here where I can’t get none. I have not received a letter from you in 30 days and this makes first I have written to you, so when you write direct your letters to the 45th Alabama, Lowry’s brigade. Cleburne’s Division, Army of Tennessee, Co. E. I have nothing more to write to you that will interest. We don’t get quite enough to eat but we can live on it. I want you to write to me as soon as you get this. I have nothing more to write, so I will close. I hope our prayers may mingle together in heaven where fear and pleasure has ever lain. So I remain your affectionate husband till death parts us.
Morgan Adams to his dear
loving Wife Harriet Adams

Sadly, Adams would be mortally wounded at Leggett’s Hill near Atlanta on July 21, lingering in hospital until August 2.

Adams’s lack of writing material is evident when inspecting this letter. It was written on four pages of a bifold portion of paper measuring about 5” x 8 1/4”. One page served as the cover, with his wife’s name and a postage mark indicating that 10 cents was due. The paper itself is very thin—typical of Confederate paper. There is some separation at a fold on one of the pages as shown. Some small holes as well, but the letter is holding together on its own without use of document tape, although the next owner may wish to stabilize some of the more delicate portions.

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