J.R. Baird Collection

Transcribed by: Wanda Ray

Transcription Date: 2.13.2006


Camp Windman Aug 28th 1863

5 miles South of Chattanooga, Tenn.


Dear Pa,

I am unable to express how relieved I was on the receipt of yours of 11th inst. Accompanied with your note of the 21st (word?).  From the tone of yours you have been equally anxious about me, both it seems waiting on the other.  I felt confident that some sad misfortune had befallen you was why you delayed writing: – not a word before this since we left Shelbyville, Tenn. 2 long months ago.  I looked and looked for a reply from Cleveland until my heart sickened me.  Henry Anderson told me you passed up the road going to N.C. tho’ from your long continued silence I began thinking you must have turned back and I knew not how or where to write, but the past is in the eternal past!!  I am happy and thankful to my creator that my Dear Parents are still alive and in health.  Just those words were enough and I was John again.  May God bless you both is my every moments’ wish.

I’ve been slightly sick as usual with my bowels, tho’ very well indeed at present have been on outpost duty near Bridgeport, Ala. for 6 weeks and were called up here we suppose to confront R’s Army which it is rumored are going to try Chattanooga in Tenn.  How tru I am not able to say.  We have so many false rumors in fact we hear any and every thing you wish and from the position we occupy now I think we are waiting for the enemy to cross the Tennessee and if they do I believe instead of attacking us, then they will try a flank movement towards Atlanta.  Tho this is simply a conjecture of mine.  The major portion of the Army seem more determined than ever on liberty or independence.  Many are ready to submit and to our shame one dissenting daily.  Miss. Troops at that those that have heretofore shared the glory and sustained valor of the state of Miss. are now cowering and crouching behind every petty pretense the human mind can conjure up and some of the unprincipled (word?) dissenting.  I do wish they would look them up and shoot them down like dogs for they deserve nothing better and unless we do manage to put a stop to it, and also bring out those who have substitutes and able bodied commissaries and Quartermasters, we are a ruined nation without doubt.  This is a time that can not cope with a part of our strength, but every shoulder must be put to the wheel, and immediately at that.  Heard from Will the 17th inst. – was well but ordered to Enterprise again after the expiration of sixty days.  The swamp was “right side up with care” at that time, tho’ but little hope of remaining so.  Sister Mary scared to death and crazy to get out of that Yankee land.  In my opinon that is the safest place this side of the Miss. River that is accessible to us.  If we could smuggle them (negroes and stock) a cross the river to Texas this fall it would be far the best place for them, but otherwise had rather risk the Swamp.  On a pass yesterday I walked 22 miles in the country and got nothing by my dinner (a sorry one at that) and a few peaches for which I paid two dollars.  Oh this war is only severe in spots.  We don’t know anything yet.  In N. Alabama there are whole families that have not had a pound of meat and but little bread for 3 months.  When last heard from Kittie and Charlie were well and all doing well.  So you must rest

Page Two August 28, 1863


easy about us all and take good care of my Mamma,; hug and kiss Robin and “Mistus” for Buddy Johnny. No chance for a furlough whatever.  Love to all and especially my dear Grand Ma who thought I was awful lazy.  Write.

I am as ever your devoted son.  Allright

John Rupert Baird.