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From left: A.Q. Porter, Eli Cupit, J.S. Burns, Emery Summers & O.T. Synnott. Masthead (c) 2003 David E. Godbold. USE BY PERMISSION ONLY.
Battles & Engagements
Biographies & Photos
A Brief Synopsis of the 33rd's History
1862 Chronology
1863 Chronology
1864 Chronology
1865 Chronology
Letters & Diaries
Original Officers
Rosters & Enlistment History

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 "I was appointed color guard on the left, and a man by the name of Wiggins was color guard on the write [right].  This position was mine till the Surrender at Greensboro N.C. In 1865."

















"So he stood up on his strips [stirrups] [as] he heard us pull back the hammers on the guns. So he said “Gentlemen! Don't shoot!” He rode up to us and found that we were Southern Soldiers.  We found us a Yankey Officer! 














"I went to the Hospital and the Doctor met me.  He told me he was full.  But just as I was going to start off (I no [know] not where) a hearse called to the Doctor, and said that a man was broke out with small-pox and he must go to the small-pox hospital.  The Doctor said to me that I could have that bed.  I excepted the bed and went to it.  They had taken the sick man out.  I went into his warm bed."
















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Pvt. Daniel James Wilson

The following transcript is of the July 1911 hand written letter by Daniel James Wilson to his Grandsons. Parentheses have been added to help the readability of the document by editor/typist Frederic R Ross.

Pvt. Daniel James Wilson

Stratford, Texas, July 1911

Kit and Willis Me[a]dors,
My Dear Grand Sones:

            After so long a time I thought I would tell you about how I got in to the Confederate Army and what a time I had in the Army.  My Company was made up at the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and was called the Cumberland Guards.  The young men that the company was composed of was the pride of Leake and Neshoba Counties of the State of Mississippi.  Captain A. R. Boothe was our first Captain.  He was a fine disciplinarian and wanted everything up to the mark; he wanted no man under 18 years, nor over 30 years to join the company.  I wanted to join, but I was too small and too young by nearly 3 years, so it looked hopeless for me to join the company, but I begged day after day for 3 weeks to volunteer but the same old cry was you are too young and too small, I will not let you join my company.  So one day I just said that I would go in the Army if I had to make up a company of boys of my age and hide in the Swamps to drill until I could get a commission from the President.  This remark from me created some alarm, and some of the neighbors thought it would be the best thing for them to let me join the company, as I could make up a boy company and everyone wished to keep there boys out of the war.

[page 2]
This was good news to me, for I could have made up a company of boys.  I joined the company.  Early in the war, I can't remember the date being a little boy, I had to take my position in the front rank as I was too low to shoot over the front line.  I got in the second file which give me next to head in the front line.  This I kept till I was color guard.  The Flag was always in the center of our company.  I was appointed color guard on the left, and a man by the name of Wiggins was color guard on the write [right].  This position was mine till the Surrender at Greensboro
N.C. In 1865.

            Now for my first experience with the Yankees was [at] Boliva [Bolivar] Tennesee.  Orders came to us to get in to lines and to move out.  We did not know where to.  So off we marched in double quick time.  We came to some heavy timber and there we formed a line and was ordered to load our guns.  Our Sargent detailed 7 men to report to Captain Morgan for Scrimasers [skirmishers]. I wanted to go but my Captain came to me and said, “My boy, I am Captain of this Company when on duty. And you must obey me, or I will put you in the Bull pen with a ball to your neck.  When I am off duty, you can wallors [wallop] me if you can, but when on duty, I am Captain”.  That fixed a quietus on me for all the war.  The Yanks Run! They left all there sashions [provisions] and beds.  We got all after the first night in there blanketts.  We had more lise than

[page 3]
we wanted.  The next time we met the Yanks was at Corinth
Mississippi.  Here we had our first fight.  We finally got the best of them, then we went to Cofferville Mississippi, where we had a fight.  The measles killed lots of the company.  I was never taken with [the] measles until late in the war.  Finally, we went over to Deer Creek where we had a hard time for 3 weeks.  Here I got into a fight. I was put out on Vided [vedette, a sentinel] and was given the Countersign which was Constatinople [Constantinople].  It was not long after I got it, till I forgot it. I was shore [sure] if I could here [hear] someone call it, I would remember it.  I was close up to the Yanks.  I could here them call out there games while they played cards.  After a bit I heard some one coming toward one in the dark.  When he got close, I heard a low voice “Halt! Who comes there?” The answer was “A friend, with the countersign”.  I said, “Advance friend, and give me the countersign.” (I could not remember it.) He advanced, and put the palms of his hands up on his shoulders.  I placed my bayonett in the waist band of his pants, with my gun cocked, and my finger on the trigger.  I demanded of him the countersign in a whisper.  He said “Jackson!”  I said “Not right!” (With my bayonett still in his pants so he could not knock my gun off to one side) “Try again!”  He said “Vicksburg!”  I said “Not right!  This is your last chance, try again.”  He said “Constantinople!”  I remembered it!  I said the countersign is right, come in.”  It was my company Sargent.  He [had] slipped out of the lines and came [back] in on me to see if I would do to triset (qualified for) on an out-post. He said, I would do.  But I never did let him know that I

(page 4)
forgot the countersign.  Well, the next morning was a thick-fog morning.  My Captain wanted 4 trusty men to go out to reconnoiter, and to try if we could locate the Yanks.  Myself, D.W. Russell, Tade Russell, James Simmons and Roland Savil [Roland B Savell] [were selected].  We five men with our Captain left to be gone maybe 2 or 3 days.  So we plunged into the  heavy cain [cane] swamps, watching for anything we could see or hear.  The fog got so thick that we could see not more than 20 or 30 yards ahead of us.  Finally, about sunset, we saw a man on a horse coming towards us.  He saw us and thought we were his men.  He warned us to care [be careful] to the left, that the Rebs were left of us.  Captain told me and D. W. Russell to train our guns on him, and we did so. Then told him “Care to the front!”  So he stood up on his strips [stirrups] [as] he heard us pull back the hammers on the guns. So he said “Gentlemen! Don't shoot!” He rode up to us and found that we were Southern Soldiers.  We found us a Yankey Officer!  He offered us his gold watch and several gold rings, but our Captain told him to keep his watch, rings, and money; that we were not fighting for plunder; but [that] he was all we wanted.  I stepped to him and said, “Mister, if you have any tobaco [tobacco] we will take it.”  He said yes, and gave me a half plug. I taken [took] it all.  So we went on and found his men.  Some we captured, killed some, and ran the rest into there gun boats. 

            Then, after being in the backed water for 3 weeks, we moved to Green Wood Mississippi. At this place we lost 7 of our company killed; one Lieutenant and 6 Privates.   We than went to Canton Mississippi.  Here we lost one man.  We moved then to Bakers Creek.  Here we fought

[page 5]
the Battle of Champeon [Champion] Hill. Then we went to big Black
Bridge and fought the Battle of Big Black Bridge. Then we went to Jackson Mississippi and fought the Battle of Jackson Mississippi.  Thense to Demopolis Alabama, thense to Montavalla Alabama, thense to Rome Georgia, Thense back to Dallon [Dalton] Georgia. Here we began the 100-days Battle Back to Atlanta Georgia.  At New Hope Church Georgia we got 14 of our Company killed and 20 wounded.  Then we went back on Hood's March to Big Shanty Georgia.  In this fight we got one killed and 6 wounded.  Then we went to Franklin Tennessee. We got 20 of the Company captured, 14 wounded, 9 were killed.  Thence to Nashville where we lost 7 men.  Here we turned for North Carolina. I got wounded and was sent to Raleigh North Carolina.  At this place, my brother died.  I was sick and wounded, and for the want of a room in the regular hospital, I was put in an old church; the house was full, with no beds, we had to lay on our blankets only.  The boys were dying 4 and 5 a day.  They would wrap them in there blankets and bury them that way. One day the Doctor sent word out in the city for everybody to come to the hospital that could, and help take care of the sick and wounded soldiers. There was one lady named Miss Larah McKee.  She came in to the hospital (or church) and told the Doctor that she wanted a soldier.  He said to go and pick out one, and he would give him to her.  She came on down the aisle.  When she got to me, she asked me some questions. I lost my

[page 6]
hearing and was about dead.  She went back to the Doctor and told him she would take the boy on the back seat.  He laughed at her and said, “You are a poor judge to pick yourself a man, for that boy will be dead by morning! So you had better go again and get you a man.”  She told him she was satisfied with me.  So she soon had me a nice bead (bed) fixed and put me on it, after washing me.  She had a Negro to help her.  She soon had me comfortable fixed.  She soon brought me a bole [bowl] of tea.  My, but how thick the measles did come out on me.  If it had not been for that Society girl, I would have been dead years ago.  She is now dead.  I got a letter from her son in Washington
D.C.  He told me she was dead.

            Now back to my story.  After the measles had come out on one [me] good, the news came to the hospital that:  Sherman's Army was a coming, and would take us all prisoners, and send us North;  For all that could get to the train had best go; that it was the last train and the last chance.  So I got out of my bead [bed], left all my stuff that I had, and started [leaving].  When I got to the house, the Doctor met me and told me to go back to my bed.  I said, “No! I will not go!” He looked for a guard, but I kept going.  He tole me I would die.  But me, I didn't.  When I got to the train, it was full, but I happened to see one place on the corner of a flat car.  I began to crawl up to it, and with a little help, I got in to this space.  By letting my feet hang down, in this position, I went 80 miles feeling a coled [cold] North wind.  When I got to Greensboro, I was feeling bad.  The measles was gone in on me, and my head aked [ached] so bad I thought I must stop or I would die.  It is no wonder that

[page 7]
the trip did not kill me.  I got to the Hospital.  A Negro said, “You can't get in this hospital, for de cracks am full of Soldiers.”  I got to [see] the Doctor and I told him my fix.  But he said, “I am sorry, but we can't help you.  We are now got more than we can take care of.”  But he said there will be a train leaving for Salsberry [Salisbury] soon, [and] I best go there and report there.  The first train I could get, I went to Salsberry.  I went to the Hospital and the Doctor met me.  He told me he was full.  But just as I was going to start off (I no [know] not where) a hearse called to the Doctor, and said that a man was broke out with small-pox and he must go to the small-pox hospital.  The Doctor said to me that I could have that bed.  I excepted the bed and went to it.  They had taken the sick man out.  I went into his warm bed.  The Doctor gave me some medicine and the measles came out again.  The next morning after the measles came out on me, a cannon was fired and the shell came over the hospital and exploded.  Then one of the North Carolina Malishey (Militia) came running into the hospital saying, “Get out! All of You! For Stoneman is a coming with his Negroes and giving no quarter to anybody...Not [even] to children!”  So up and out I went again.  There was a South Carolinean came to me sick with Typhoid Fever, and a Georgian with remitten [Rheumatic] fever.  We decided to stay together, come what would.  So we started out in the morning to make our escape.  We came to a steep banked creek; a very swift stream and deep water.  We found a pole [log] to walk over on [upon].  After we crawled over, we pulled the pole into the creek, so if the Yankees came after us, they would have to find a crossing.  It was a quarter of a mile back to town.  We sat down

[page 8]
to rest some 40 or 50 yards from the creek.  We was not long their, till we saw 20 or 30 Negro Soldiers trying to get over the creek.  We got up to start off, when the Negroes said, “Halt! You Damm Rebils!”  We did not obey the Black raskils, but went off in a walk.  They shot at us several times, but we could not run.  We got into the cinkeypen [chickepen] [??] bushes in the mountains.  We were then safe from Negroes, for they would not go into the bushes with us.  We sat down to rest a piece.  I saw a white man coming to us.  One of our men said, “What will we do if he is a Yank dressed in blue?”  I said, “Keep quiet, and let me talk.”  So he came to us and said, “Where are you a going?”  I said to him, “We are sick and are trying to get to Salesbury to get medicine.”  He said to come with him, he would take us their. I told him we were so sick, we must rest [awhile].  “Well, come on when you are rested.  Come the way I go and when you get to the top of that hill, you will see the town.”  When he got out of sight, we left and went the other way, till we came to a big road leading to Lincon [Lincolnton -a small village ssw of Salisbury], Salesbury [Salisbury], and Fayetteville Road.  I will show you how the roads run [The original hand written letter has a small map drawn in the upper corner of page 8].  We all came to where you see dots [near the intersection of the roads in the brush].  The Georgian being stronger than we, he said for us to lay down, so no one would see us if they passed on the road, and he would crawl up to the road to see if anybody was in sight.  If every thing was clear, he would wave his hand and for us to cross over quick.  Just as he got to where you see the lone dot [near the edge of the road], he hears horses coming down from Lincon.  They were coming so fast he could not get away.  So he lay down under some brush and where the chickepen brush grew over it so he mite not be noticed.  The horses were a Squad of Negro Calvery.  They stopped where you can see the dots from Lincon, and turned up toward Salesbury. 

[page 9]
The old Negro Sargent in command stopped his men where you see read [red dot – nearly on top of their friend] dot.  He could have spit on our man, he was so close to him.  But not looking down, they never saw him.  Finally, after a few minutes, the Sargent said to his squad of Negroes, “Dey is no Rebels down this way! We is gun forward back, forward, double-quick, charge, and fire at will.”  When they were gone, our man came back to us.  He was as white as cotton.  He never again crawled up to a road to see if it would be safe to cross it.  We always waited for dark to come to cross the road.  After we got over this road, it began to rain and we had to stop and huddle up like sheep to keep warm.  As we could in the morning, we heard a rooster crow close to us.  So Georgia (as we called him) went up to the house to get something to eat if he could.  The Lady of the house just had got up and was out to get kindling to start [a] fire.  She saw our man.  She came to him and said for him to hide, for her house was watched, and if he was seen at her house, she would be arrested.  She asked him what he wanted.  He said he had two sick men with him, and he wanted something to eat.  She told him to stay where he was till she got back.  After a while, she came back with 8 little pieces of like bread, and told him to get us and go, as she was under suspection; her man was there in a Yankee prison.  We went as fast as we could, till about sundown, in the rain.  All day we saw a [only one] little house close to us.  Georgia went to it.  A Lady came to him and told him to hide for her sake, as the Blue nor the Gray had no friends in those Mountains. Georgia toled [related] his mission.  She went and got a pan of cold collards with corn-bread and showed him a stake to leave the pan on, but please not come to the house.  Her brother and husband were with Lee in Virginia.

[page 10]
            So after putting her pan where she said, we went on in the rain very slow at dark.  We found some high grass to hide in [and] we camped. Not log after we started, we heard a Cavalry a coming in a hurry toward us.  We lay down.  One of the man said, “Let's move!”  I said, “Lay down and be still. The horses would jump over us.”  But as good luck [was] with us, we were close to the road and did not know it. It was Negro Cavalry.  Next morning we went toward
Concord.  Twenty miles it taken us 10 days to make it.  It rained on us every night, but once we got to Concord, the Cart train was soon to start for Sharlot [Charlotte].  My two comrades were stronger than I, so they left me.  After the train left, I went down the road and lay down to rest.  Four or 5 hours after I stopped, a Lady came to me ask me my trouble.  I told her I was sick and stopped to rest awhile, then [planned] to go on to Charlotte, which was 20 miles.  She wanted me to go to her house.  I told her I was sick, wounded, dirty, and lousey, and would not go to her house.  After she found that she could not get me to her house, she left me.  But came back with a carage [carriage], and after she convinced me that she was going to take me [to the] Charlotte Hospital, I went with her.  She shore taking [sure took] me to the hospital, where I lay 5 days.  That I [   ] nothing nor got no medicine, when the Doctor saw I was reviving, he began to phisic me and I am still in this world with the rest of you.

[signed] D.J. Wilson, Co. A, 88th [33rd Infantry] Regt, Mississippi Volunteers
Featherston's Brigade
Loring's Division
Polk's Corps, then Stewart's Corps
Johnson's Army of Tennesee

 Courtesy of Frederic R Ross

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