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June 20, 1862 to May 5, 1863

Edited by
Frank Ross Stewart, Centre, Alabama

The Stewart material does not seem to be copyrighted. Mrs. Stewart mistakenly wrote Avery for Augustus. I have substituted the correct name. Milton Avery Hardin, his cousin, was in the same company. See Notes

More letters! At the website of Mark Jenkins. Click on the letter's page number here (if any) to see Mark Jenkins' transcription of that letter in gif format. Un-numbered letters are only on this site, while yet other letters are on his site only.Some clarifying comments.

Tennessee Letters (This Page)

1- June 20, 1862, Chattanoota, Tennessee
1- July 13, 1862, Grainger County, Tennessee
July 13, 1862, Grainger County, Tennessee from Rob Sloan
July 27, 1862, Clinch County, Tennessee
1- Aug. 20, 1862, Claiborne County, Tennessee
Aug. 24, 1862, Claiborne County, Tennessee
1- August 25, 1862, Cumberland Gap, Camp Hornet's Nest, Tennessee
1- 2- November 3, 1862, Manchester, Tennessee

Vicksburg Letters (Page 2)

1- 2- Jan. 7, 1863, Camp near Vicksburg, Mississippi
Jan. 28, 1863, near Vicksburg
Feb. 16, 1863, Mississippi camp near Vicksburg
Feb. 19, 1863, Camp near Vicksburg, Mississippi from F. Minton
1- Feb. 25, 1863, Camp near Vicksburg, Mississippi
March 15, 1863, Mississippi camp near Vicksburg
April 19, 1863, Camp near Vicksburg, Miss., from Rob Sloan
1- April 20, 1863, Camp near Vicksburg, Miss.
1- May 5, 1863, Camp in the Old Field

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Privates of Co, B. 31st Alabama Infantry, transcribed by Stewart

[Some sources on the Web call this one Company "C".]

J. A. Arrington
John Arrington
A.D. Arrington
H. W. Anthony
John Abernathy
J. F. Beard
Hiram Beard
Daniel Baker
John Bailey
Ely Bell
John Bell
Elija Browning
Jep Coley
Patrick Carnes
_______ Carroll
Richard Campbell
Richard Covington
Lawrence Copeland
A.B. Dempsey
Walter Davis
Russ Davis
John Davis
John Dobbins
Mark Dean
Pink Elrod
Gray Elliot
Wm. Ewing
M. A. Espey
Atticus Freeman
Eli Frost
Wm. Gibson
Wilson Goss
Jas. Gains
Jas. Graham
Richard Gaylor
Peter Hitt
John Haney
John Hyatt
Simp Hester
Alex Hollis
N. R. Hill
M. D. Hill

Avery Hardin
Lem Kirkpatrick
John King
John Lambert
Frank Lumsden
Guss Lokey
Frank Minton
Jas. McAbee
Thomas McAbee
Thos. McGriff
_____ Norton (Matthew Champion)
_____ Norton (Isaac Marion)
Inge Nix
E. A. Peek
Jas. Peek
Robert Parker
_____ Parker
Foster Pardew
John Pruitt
W.L. Roberts
A.P. Richardson
Jas. Ragan
Wess Ragan
Sam Reedy
Ike Reaves
Mark Rich
G. W. Smith
Jas. Smith
Andrew Swords
Chas. Slatton
Robert Slone
John Sanders
_____ Strause
Virgil Starks
Calvin Story
Mark Shearle
Wm. Tutte
George Tucker
Zibe Walker
John Walker
Tip Walker
John Webb
Wm. Williams
Bud Williams
G. W. Whitten
John Wilson

Milton Augustus Hardin,by Stewart

Milton Augustus Hardin was born in 1842 in Cherokee County, the son of Asa and Annis (Holmes) Hardin, both natives of the state of South Carolina. Asa Hardin was born in 1814 at Charleston. [More likely Anderson County, SC] He moved to Cherokee County, near Bluffton, about 1836. His wife, Annis Holmes, was born in 1813, daughter of [John Vernon Holmes] and [Annis Stent] Holms. She died in 1899 and is buried at Salem Cemetery by the side of her husband who died in 1887. Asa and Annis (Holmes) Hardin had: Mahala, born 1837, who married Robert E. Sloan, son of Shumate and Betsy Woolf Sloan; Mary; Milton, of this sketch; Eli H., born July 29, 1845, who married on Oct. 15, 1865, Auriana Elizabeth King, who was born July 15, 1848 at Forrester, Tuscaloosa County, Ala.; and Vernon, born 1849, who married Mattie Ferguson, daughter of Equilla and Margaret Ferguson.

Milton Augustus Hardin enlisted in Company B, 31st Alabama Infantry. Officers of this company were: Capt. Marshall J. Alexander (later John J. Nix and J. T. McClanahan); First Lieutenant A.M. Patterson; Second John Billingsley and T.P. McElrath; Third Lieutenant Weldon Hughes, J.P. Davis, R. F. Nix; Non-commissioned officers, Jinks Swords, _____ Anderson, W. M. Meeks, G. B. Carnes, D.A. Elrod, Wm. Minton, Berry Hawkins, A.F. Means, A.C. Hester, Jas. Minton, T.W. Scroggins, T.M. Lumsden.

The Letters

Chattanooga June 20 1862

Dear Father and Mother,

I will avail myself wunst more of the opportunity to let you know that I am well except with a bad cold and the each ..... John Billingsley came down from Knoxville last night. He said he would have all together or fight all the regiment left here yesterday ering to go to Shelmont. I hear that they are fighting there. The souldiers are coming here from all the confederate states We will have a big fight here before long ..... Our pervisions is scarce here .... without tents ... the sick men are just laying under trees .... It looks like our men are the last scrapings of the earth .....

I never have heard from home sens I left. Write to me if you ever inten to any more ... how you are getting along with your crop ... if you made any wheat ... Finally I want to say to you that we are whipped shore if some other nations come in and help us. I have found out a camp life is a hard life to live and I am not satisfied with how I am getting along. There was two days and nights we had peas for bread and peas for meat and peas for coffey. so I will close for this time ... my best respects to Mahala, children, Frank and Mary.

M. A. Hardin

To Asa and Annis Hardin

" There was two days and nights we had peas for bread and peas for meat and peas for coffey. "

Granger co Tenn. July 13th l862

Dear Father and Mother,

It is with the greatest pleasure ..... would like to see you and be with you .... We have left Knoxville and are stationed at Rutledge ... 35 miles from Knoxville in the ugliest place in the world and have to drink branch water. Robert Sloan is well and hearty and very well satisfied but wants to come home. We are within 15 miles of the Kentucky line. You need not be afraid of us getting in a battle for the Yankees cant never find us .... We are completely hid in the Tennessee mountains .... I do not know how long we will be hear but we are ordered to keep three days rations cooked ahead to be ready to march at any hours warning ...

William Couch says to tell Many that the mountains are so close together that he can jump from one to the other and God bless her soul how he loves her ..... I want you to write to me when you get this letter you dont know how much satisfaction it gives me ... tell all the children howdy for me ... Tell Eli and Prece Minton they had better let the girls alone til they get big enuf to plow. We heard that Davis Slatton and the rest of the boys was at Knoxille. We left several boys there that was not able to come on with us. Columbus Arrington, I.. Swords, John Sander, Herintogreen Carnes, John Hyett they all was left at Knoxville and since we got here Zib Walker and Tiff Walker are both sick and bad off. I am somewhat dissatisfied with our general. He says we have to throw away all of our close but one pare of pants, two shirts and two pare of shoes, one blank and nary tent to put our things in in time of rain ... There ant no pubilick convin to this place. We are stationed where we cant get anything ... write me ... I ant heard from you in two or three weeks ...

Milton Hardin

To Asa and Annis Hardin

" William Couch says to tell Many that the mountains are so close together that he can jump from one to the other and God bless her soul how he loves her "

Attached to July 13 [1862] letter from Granger Co. Tenn. of Milton Hardin.

Mahaly, since Milton is writin to his pate I will write you a few lines. I am not very well. We have a heap of sickness in camp. We left several at Knoxville. Joseph Peake we left him at Chattanooga. I dont know wheather he is dead or not. There has been four died and I expect there is two more died in this time. John Hardin is sick and Zibe and Tiff Walker. Mahala I have not drawed any money yeat. We spent all of our

money for something to eat at Chattanooga. I hope peas will be made soon. Our col. says we will be home by the last of September. I hope it will be the case but I am afraid the last words we will hear will be close up a close up and aime low boys. There have been thousands of our friends who have been snatched off the face of the earth and the last they heard was close up boys .... I remain your-most obedient husband

Robert Sloan

To his wife Mahala Sloan and Carline Sloan

There have been thousands of our friends who have been snatched off the face of the earth and the last they heard was "Close up boys, close up and aime low boys." - Robert Sloan

Tennessee Clinch Co. July 27, 1862

Dear Father and mother,

I seat myself ........ I can inform you that we ordered from here this morning. I dont know where we will go. Some of our boys left here yesterday and I dont know where they have gone. I dont know where we will go where the rest is or not.

I think we will go to Clinton. That is about 30 miles below here. and 20 miles of Knoxville. It is though that we will have to fight down the there.

We have to leave a heap of our boys behind sick. Robert Sloan and Frank Minton went yesterday. The Walker boys is all bad off. John Hardin is very sick.

I got that money you sent me. It came in a good time. We see a hard time here in came tho we git a plenty to eat. We have to march very hard and we march often. We march most all the time in the night. We just take the rain and mud and lay down any where and sleep. I dont know nything about hard times until he tries camps. It was reported in camp that they are afighting at Chattanooga. I dont know hwether it is so or not. If it is so we will be in it before it stops. We have got forty or fifty thousand men thar I feel confident we will whip them thar. I got your letter. Was glad to hear. I will send this letter by Mr. Walker. I will come to a close .....

M.A. Hardin

To Asa A. and Annis Hardin


The State of Tennessee
Claborn County August 20th 1862

Dear Father and Mother,

I now seat myself to drop you a few lines to let you hear that I am well at this time hoping that these few lines may find you all enjoying the same like blessing.

We have been in a little skirmish but there werent much damage They bummed up from about 10 oclock until night. Well Pap I can tell you I dintLike them old bums. We are in about two miles of the gap and looking for a fight every day and out pickets is afighting all the time.

We have to form a line of battle every morning at three oclock and stay in line until day. We have about 10,000 men and they keep coming in. We think that we have got the Yankes surrounded we are on this side and they say we have a large army on the other sideof the mounting I am in hopes that we will rake them in before long

Want to see you all mighty bad but dont known when will get the chance to come home but hit is a mity pore prospect of hit now.

I want you to rite often and will do the same. I must come to a close by saying a remain your affectionate son until deth

M.A. Hardin

To Asa and Anis Hardin

Rite and rite soon ana tell the children and Manda to rite to me and I will do the same.


The State of Tennessee Claborn Co. Aug. 24 [1862]

Dear Mother and Father,

I now seat myself to drop you a few lines to let you know that I am well at this time hoping that these few lines may find you all enjoying the same.

We are near Cumberland Gap but dont know how long we will stay here. We have picket fighting here everyday. On the 22nd of this instance we had a little fight here and the balls whistled over my head as thick as hail. We fought the Yanks about two hours and then doubled _____ back to the Gap but they was not much damage done, on nair side ther was not but one man kild.

I got a letter that you sent in Mary letter. Hit was dated the 5th of Aug. Was glad to hear from you. I rote you a letter to send by Nortens _____ but as they have not got of will write you a few more lines.

Well pap I want you to have me a pare of shoes made. If there is any chance for I have begin to need them. Know I want to see you awl mighty bad. Beby as Tuswell sick but was not bad of.

I send my best respects to Manda and all of the children. I must close.

M.A. Hardin

To A.A. Hardin


Camp Hornet's Nest Aug 25th 1862

Dear Father and Mother,

I take this opportunity of droping you a few lines ... we are stationed three miles from the Cumberland Gap and the Yankess in the Gap and Kirby Smith is on the other side with his forces. We have got the Yankess completly hemed. They have to surrender or fight soon. I seen one prisoner from there today. He stated they had only four days rations and they have no way of getting any more. Until they fight or surrender. And if they fight we will whip them ...

I think we have picket fighting every day. Last our company got into it heavy. The Yankess bombed us and shot at us but did not hurt anybody.

We get tolerable plenty to eat such as it. We dont get anything but flour and beef sometime we get a little bacon and some green corn.

Our officers is making out the payrolls for our company and reckon we will draw some money before long or at least nearly so. I hope so. Wm. Couch says not to eat any roasting ears if you make any because he are eating them all here. He says he likes to shoot at the Yankess but he dont like for them to shoot at him.

We have been up and down for a week.

I will close for he present. Write soon and I will do the same

Yours obediently,

M. A. Hardin


Nov. the 3rd 186[2]

The State of Tennessee Camp near Manchester

Dear Father and Mother,

... We left Core Station. We left there about two weeks ago ... we were on the raod about 13 days and traveled about 175 miles ... we are now campt about one miles from a little place called Manchester ... about 30 miles from murphybur. We dont know how long we will stay here. There is some talk of us going to Murphybur. I wish we could get stationed for a while for I am getting tired of marching. I am getting tired of the war anyway. You will fix it, and I think awl of the solyer is just like I am--for I think they are awl tired of the war. Green Carnes ses he saw from eight to ten men a day a desertun and going home as he came on and a heap swears if they dont get furlows they are going home anyway. and there is know one getting furlows now that is well. They say that they are furlowing some men from the horspital. John Billingsley got here yesterday and I got my things. I got the bread that you put in my pockets. I am glad to get anything that comes from home. Tell Eli that I got them apples and I was glad of them. and also the gubers that he sent me. Well pap William Davis is acoming back home. He aimes to start in the morning and I am going to send you fifty dolars by him. I would have sent it before if I had had the chanch. I dont know when I will get to come home. I think I will take the chanch and then I think I will hold on and see if they wont give me a furlow.

Well pap I want you to spend my money as soon as you get it fore I am afraid it wont be any acount long.

They say the small pocks is in about 12 miles of us and the orders came in the other morning for to have ten men in every company vaxinated and me and Frank was vaxinated. I will send Eli, Ve, and Biley, and Hap awl a shin plaster apiece. I will put them in the letter and the other money I will just give to Davis. I went you to write often for I like to hear from you. You wanted me to write how my close fit. They awl fit splendid. So I must come to a close. Nothing more only I remain your affectionate son until deth

M. A. Hardin

To Asa and Anis Hardin

" MEN OF THE HILLS... DO NOT CAST YOUR LOT WITH THE REBELS. The secessionists, the flatlanders, the planters, the so-called gentlemen whose fine daughters do not acknowledge your existence would have you fight their RICH MAN'S WAR. If you join their rebel army it will be a POOR MAN'S FIGHT. " - from a U.S. recruiting poster seen in Alabama.

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Last updated 28 Aug 2009