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"Our Division met with a Serious misfortune on the 20th of July---we charged the Yankees and ... over half of our Regt that was engaged was killed and wounded."

--- 2nd Corp. M.A. Dunn (Co. K)


















"The charge was a gallant one, many of our men reached the works and fought for a while hand to hand with the enemy – but we were compelled to give way –"

--- Sgt.-Major  C.P. Nielson






















"They knew how to appreciate soldiers; they gave us apples, cider and offered us other kindnesses, which we declined. They were different from the people of Grenada, the boys wanted to move up there. As we passed along the street the ladies, children and servants came out to the gates and cheered us."

--- Capt. Moses Jackson



















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Company K

2nd Corp. Matthew Andrew Dunn
to his wife Stumpy

Atlanta Ga
August 1st 1864

Dear Stumpy, I avail myself of the present opportunity to write you a few lines—knowing that you are uneasy about me. I think I will have an opportunity of Sending this a portion of the way by hand. I am happy to Say to you that my life is yet Spared and my health is good. I Sent word to you in Clems letter a few days ago that Tad was wounded on the 22nd, but it was a mistake But Since then on the 27th he was in another battle and was Shot through the Leg below the knee which caused his leg to be amputated above the knee. His Brigade went in the fight before ours, and as we went in I met him lying on the Road Side. I Stopped with him a few minutes and he told me that he did not think the bone was broken, But I supose [sic] after the Doctors examined it they thought it best to take it off. I know it will nearly kill Ma to hear of it but it is a portion of the horrors of this Cruel war The fight he was in on the 22nd was a very hard one but a complete thing on our part. He captured three horses & Jimmy Perkins one. Their Brigade captured 14 pieces of artillery and many Prisoners. They charged the Yankee works and the Yankees being very Stubborn they remained behind their Breastworks until our men Scaled them. they then had a hand to hand fight. Our Boys Shot until they got in close quarters then not having Bayonets they clubbed them with their guns. They broke a great many of their guns but they captured others in their place. Our force engaged took 1900 prisoners & 27 pieces of artillery. Our Division met with a Serious misfortune on the 20th of July---we charged the Yankees and our Brigade being on the extreme right of the Division we were badly cut to pieces by a Brigade on our right not coming up to Support our flank---over half of our Regt that was engaged was killed and wounded. Our Co was not into it as we were on other duty. Our Reg Suffered worse than any other, being on the flank and was exposed to an enfillading [sic] fire. We lost our Col. [JabezL. Drake] He charged waving his Sword until he fell. Capt. [Moses] Jackson commanded during the balance of the engagement. Our color bearer was killed. Others attempted to get the colors and were wounded. So we lost our colors. The 22nd Reg had three color bearers Shot down, one was Claudy Davis, he was waving the colors when he fell. Amite County will never raise a more gallant Son than he was. 7 men were killed & wounded in Saving their flag. It was a very bloody affair. Peter was Shot through the knee joint in the fight with Tad. But I never Saw him. I am afraid it will cause him to lose his leg also. I have not heard where they were Sent. Jimmy came out all right. John H. Turnipseed was killed a few days ago while on Picket. We are losing Some of our near and dear friends but I hope God will Soon Stop it. We are enduring many hardships but I try and Submit to it cheerfully, feeling assured that we will come out all right. I suppose Porter & Betty are married at last. It must have been a sudden thing as you never Spoke of it in your letter of the 24th. that is the last letter I have had from you. I am very anxious to hear from home. Oh my love it I could only See you and our dear little ones again what a pleasure it would be. But God only knows whether I will have that privilege or not. I want you to try and raise them up right. Train them while they are young---And if I am not Spared to See you I hope we will meet in a happier world. I want you to be fully reconciled for it if am wounded I will be at home as Soon as I can and if I am killed I hope that I am prepared to go---But my daily Prayers are that we may meet on earth again in peace and health---I want to hear from your crop and how you are getting along generally and how the children are getting on at School. Try and send me a letter by hand every chance you have as the Yankees cut our Rail Roads occasionally which Stops communication. Tell Julia that Clem will not write as paper to scarce but he is all right and Hemp & Prior also, and Jimmy Tell Ma that Tad will be Sent home as Soon as he is able. He will be apt to have her a letter written to let her know of his location. He is done with this war but poor fellow his life will be but little Satisfaction. Our Company has not been in any hard fighting yet. we have about 60 men in the Co. Andrew is well---Tell the Darkies they must think of my hardships and try and try and do the best they can for me at home---Tell Cousin Lewis that Jimmy is all right, and give him my respects. I cant write all the news for want of paper, and this is badly done as I am writing on a plate. Tell Levi to write to me---Tell Uncle Billy Johns that Frank is Safe yet, and tell him to remember us in his prayers---Stumpy I hope you are doing well, let me hear from you. My respects to your Pa's Family. I hope we may Soon have better times. Kiss the children and tell them to be good children I hope God will bless us, good bye my dear. Your husband M. A. Dunn

Andrew has just come in with a nice Bucket of rice & Squash & a very fancy Shirt for me. He keeps me in good clothes---Aug[u]st 2nd
M. A. Dunn

Weymouth T. Jordan (Ed.) The Journal of Mississippi History. NOTES AND DOCUMENTS Matthew Andrew Dunn Letters. Vol. I, No. 2, April 1939. Pg. 123-124.

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Sgt.-Major C. P. Nielson to Matthew Dunn’s wife regarding his death

Hd Qts Featherston´s Brigade
Near Verona Jany 11th, 1865

Mrs. Dunn
Dear Madam

I received a note from Mr. Harrell a few days ago inquiring into the circumstances of your husbands death.

On the evening of the 30th Nov 1864, our brigade was formed in line of battle and moved through a very dense wood driving the enemy before us. On emerging from the woods we found our selves in front of the enemy´s breastworks at Franklin. We were ordered to charge and at the word the Brigade moved forward your husband in the front rank. The charge was a gallant one, many of our men reached the works and fought for a while hand to hand with the enemy – but we were compelled to give way – and fell back some two or three hundred yards and there remained until next morning. Mat was killed in about 50 yards of the breastworks. He was killed instantly. During the night the enemy retreated and at daylight next morning I went _______  ____  __  ___ battle field to look for my dead and wounded friends. Mat was one of the first I found. He was lying on his back he appeared to be peacefully sleeping a smile was on his ___________ and every thing indicated that he _____ _____ away without a struggle. He was wounded four times – two of which was sufficient to provide instant death. One ball struck him directly in the front just below the breast bone passing through another struck him in the right side passing through another in the right cheek and another in the left hand. Early as I was there others had been there before me and had taken every thing of value from him. I found his testament lying on his breast and thinking of his widow far away I put (it) in my pocket for you. I will be home some time this winter and will bring it to you. My duty required my presence at other parts and I left him. I saw afterwards that he received a decent burial at the hands of his friends and comrades. Monroe Causey has preserved a lock of his hair for you. His mess mates tell me that he had no baggage except what he had with him – (his knapsack and his blanket) and these were taken by the inhuman robbers of the dead. It would certainly be a consolation to you to have received some last message  from your loving one, but the unexpected mess of the battle and the circumstances of his death precluded the possibility of such a thing. You have two strong sources of consolation Mrs. Dunn. That your husband died as he had lived, a true Christian, and his death was such as becomes the true soldier on the battle field with his face to the foe and followed by love and regrets of all his comrades. Your loss is great and deeply so. I sympathize with you but you “mourn not as one without hope.”

I am very respectfully

Your friend
C.P. Neilson

Mrs. M.A. Dunn
Liberty, Miss.

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Captain Moses Jackson to his wife

Camp Vernon
July 28, 1862

Dear Wife,

I received a letter from you a few days ago and would have replied sooner, but we moved from Grenada to Abbeville. Mr. Kirkland says you sent a letter and a package by him; he lost it on the way. I have not received it.

We left Grenada last Monday and arrived at this place in the night, at eight o’clock and slept under the trees. We selected our camp the next morning at ten o’clock the weather was very sultry. We worked very very hard to clean up our camp, pitch contents and go into a brigade drill for two hours. Our camp is one and a half miles from Abbeville, a quarter of a mile from the railroad.

This is quite a poor town, a depot and a few houses. We are pleasantly situated in our present camp. There is plenty of wood and water from the finest spring I ever saw. The soldiers make themselves sick by drinking too much. The water is different from that at Grenada, it is free from limestone. The country is sparsely settled and broken. The people generally are poor.

I returned last night from a trip to Holly Springs. I was ordered to go there with my company to guard some wagons and to bring some provisions for the army. Started with sixty men at four o’clock, traveled twenty miles that night and arrived at two o’clock. We occupied the Court House the balance of the night. The Yankee’s had occupied it Tuesday night before. They committed great destruction in Holly Springs and vicinity, not only using provisions to supply their army but driving off livestock and destroying all they could. The citizens were amazed. They didn’t know at first if we were Federalist or not. When they saw who we were they were proud, kind and hospitable. They knew how to appreciate soldiers; they gave us apples, cider and offered us other kindnesses, which we declined. They were different from the people of Grenada, the boys wanted to move up there. As we passed along the street the ladies, children and servants came out to the gates and cheered us. That is the only kind of reception we have met with since we have been out.

We started from Holly Springs at ten o’clock, arrived at nine o’clock at night. The route was long, hilly and very sandy. We were all very tired when we reached camp. Some did not reach camp until the next morning; their feet were blistered and became very sore. I stood the trip very well, one of my feet began to blister, I exchanged for a woolen sock with Clem Lea, which relieved it.

The crops here are very fine. They have not suffered for rain. They have the finest apple orchards I ever saw. The trees are loaded with fruit of a fine quality. The climate and soil is much better adapted to fruit than ours. Holly Springs is the second largest town in the State, level and beautifully situated. The nicest residences and the kindest people I ever saw.

We are under Col. Scott; acting Brigadier Gen. He is quite a military man, mild and pleasant, though stern and very strict in military discipline. I would not wonder if he did not send half of us home or reduce us to the ranks for incompetency. Our officers here have never done their duty, heretofore. We consequently are not very efficient. We would show up badly if examined by a military board. We are just where I desire to be. Our field officers are forced to do their duty, which some of them never have. I like equality. - Military law is in full force here. No one can travel here unless he has a pass or can give a good account of himself, pickets are out everywhere, officers and privates are treated alike.

I do not think we will remain here too long. Two regiments have left here since we come and two more are here. Reports say the Federals have burned Nashville and are approaching Memphis and other places to attack Richmond. Some say we will go north, some say to Camp Moore or to Ft. Adams. I do not know. I will write you wherever we go.

We sent some of our sick to the hospital at Grenada when we left and some to Oxford. M.A. Dunn was among the number though not very sick, the order came to send them, so we could not avoid it. Dr. L.J. Spurlock was sent also. He makes a very poor soldier. He is too lazy. Paps would be disappointed in him.

I did not get your letter until I left Grenada, consequently cannot get the slip and indigo you wanted.

Ex-soldier, Mr. Westbrook, was accidently shot this morning in the knee, was not very dangerous. He is in our company. Pistols have since been taken from privates.

When we left Grenada we left all our comforts, bedsteads and stoves behind. We have straw and take it rough and tumble. I managed to bring a small table with me, but the tent is so small and warm I prefer to write on a board under a shade tree. We have received orders to ship all trunks home; a small valise is allowed commissioned officers, so we sent our extra clothing home. I sent my homespun coat and two pairs of socks home in Lt. Quinn’s trunk. He will send them to Mr. James where you may get them. My over coat was sent to Col. Lewis by Kent Westbrook who promised to carry it to Liberty.

Our military officers are going to make our life a rough one. Say to Nora (sister) I received her letter and will answer soon.  I fear Mr. Kinnebrew has lost his composition.

Your last letter was not as despondent as others which was pleasant to me. I want you to promise after the war you won’t let small things trouble you, which is a very good resolution. I suggest you commence the resolution now. I would like to pay a visit home, but it seems impossible at present. Perhaps it will not be so always. Our major tried to get a furlough last week but failed. The health of our regiment is not very good. There is more or less cases of fever and diarrhea. I have been as well as previous. I have lost a little weight due to heavy duty and the sultry weather. I have not missed a day from duty in two months, which cannot be said by many officers. There is considerable shirking among officers and the men. I have learned that few of the militia have (sic) left Amite County yet, owing to our doctors giving them certificates, which is wrong. That shows what men will do to shirk their duty. If possible they would have a few bear the burden of this war. I have learned that those who fail to come will be sent for, which is just and proper. Everyone thinks his neighbor can be spared better than he. I hope the last one is brought up to scratch. If each would do his duty it would be much lighter on the rest of us. If I could leave home almost anyone could.

We have several Captains under arrest for allowing their men to commit devastation on the planters. Sentences were read this morning from the color line. Also sentencing four or five privates to wear a ball and chain and live on bread and water for fifteen days forfeiting three months’ pay because they incited mutiny and refused to do duty. The usual penalty by the military is death.

I sent you a few leaves from the silver leaf poplar which is quite common here and is a beautiful shade tree. It looks so pretty when the breeze waves the silvery leaves up. I could write you more, but the drum calls me to drill. Give my love to all and accept the same.

Your husband,
Moses Jackson

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