PRIVATE F. W. D.
During the War Between the States, there was a large Masonic Emblem painted on the front door.
According to the story handed down, this Emblem is given credit for saving the home place from destruction by the Yankees.
This series of articles entitled "War Experiences" appeared in the Orangeburg Sun in 1909. They were signed "F. W. D." and written by my father, Dr. Fred W. Dantzler. He dictated these sketches of his experi�ences during the War Between the States to his daughters Rosalie and Victoria, who sent them to the Orangeburg Sun. At that time Mr. Fred Wannamaker was the editor.
As every member of the family has expressed a desire to have a copy of these papers in some form which would be easy to preserve and convenient to pass on to the genera�tions to follow, I have compiled this little book.
There are also included several letters written by Dr. Fred Dantzler and his brother Marshall, who were seventeen and eighteen years old, respectively, when they entered the service of the Confederate Army. A younger brother Zimmerman joined the Army later. The spelling and punctuation are as they appeared in the original. Some letters written by my Grandfather, Dr. Lewis M. Dantzler, who was Captain of Company H, 11th Regiment of South Carolina Reserve Army, are added.
Ruth Dantzler Wolfe
DR. FREDERICK W. DANTZLER, son of the late Dr. Lewis and
Mary (Zimmerman) Dantzler, was born December 21, 1846, and died at his home
near Holly Hill, S. C., June 15, 1910. After attend�ing
school, under private tutors at home and the high school of the community, he
Miss Victoria Connor, daughter of the late Frederick and Martha Connor. To them were born eight daughters and two sons.
D. D. Dantzler
(Copied from the Southern Christian Advocate)
In March, 1864, I entered Capt. Henry Seller's Company, St. Matthews' Rifles, Twenty-fifth South Carolina Volunteers, (Eutaw Regiment) Hagood's Bri�gade, at the age of seventeen. In these sketches I am giv�ing some of my experience and observation as a private soldier during the war between the States.
All through the war, up to the time I joined the army, the
Yankees had been continually besieging
In April Capt. Seller's company took barges at
The very first night I was placed on picket with an old
soldier, just under the flag staff facing
During our stay in
On our return to
Our brigade was next ordered to
F W D
[The above article is from the pen of one of the best known citizens of the Holly Hill section. This article will be followed by others giving experiences of the civil war.�--Editor The Sun.]
SOME FIGHTING IN
On the fourth of May, 1863, Grant's army moved across the
Hagood's Brigade was rushed to
Our brigade at that time numbered 3600. �When we reached Wallthall junction on the morning of the 7th we found a small brigade (Bushrod Johnson) and, I think, three pieces of artillery. After skirmishing and moving out of position several times the Yankees moved in force to capture the railroad at about twelve o'clock. To meet this assault our brigade was moved at double quick and charged the enemy. During this charge we were exposed to a severe fire, but fortunately we reached a railroad cut which protected us. As soon as we gave them a few rounds of bullets they broke ranks and retreated. No fur�ther movement was attempted that day. In the hasty re�treat of the Yankees some of their wounded soldiers were left in the woods which had been set on fire by our shells.� The cries of these poor wounded men were distressing, but as they were between the lines we could give them no help.
During the day and night that our brigade held Butler in check every man that could handle a spade was helping build a line of works on Swifts Creek about three miles out of Petersburg, and between us and that city. In the fight here our company lost two or three killed and ten or twelve wounded. Two I know that were killed were: Corporal J. W. Myers and R. H. Zimmerman. Our Lieut. Col. Presley was wounded in the arm. After this we were commanded by Maj. John Glover; Capt. Sellers acting as Major and Capt. L A Harper commanding the company.
At day light on the 8th of May our force was withdrawn to
lines on Swifts Creek where we remained several days. Then
Our picket held the bridge across the creek and one moonlight night a mounted soldier rode up to this picket line. He was halted and when he gave the name of a Yankee regiment he was ordered to surrender. He did not, however, but attempted to escape. He and horse were both killed. How this Yankee got in our line we never could tell, but he was thought to be a scout.
SELLER'S COMPANY IN
By F. W. D.
We occupied a line of works extending from the
Our regiment held the line on both sides of the road and on Sunday evening our company was sent out to relieve the picket and act as picket line for regiment.
At day break on the morning of the sixteenth we found that
there was a very dense fog. A man could not be told from a tree at the distance
of twenty yards. However, the picket was ordered forward and we moved slowly
and with caution, as at any moment we were likely to run into the enemie's picket. In the meantime heavy firing was heard on
our left about a mile on the river. We extended on both sides of the road and
reach very near the works occupied by the Yankees. Intervals were closed on the
main road and when we got near enough to see the works of the enemy we ran low
and with out noise towards the works across the road, about sixty feet in
advance of the Yankees main line. I thought the Yankees had gone, but when we
looked over on the main line we could see them, their heads above the works
looking in a left oblique direction, Capt Harper in command ordered us to fire.
The enemy were taken by complete surprise and thought we were a regular line of
battle. For a few minutes were into a hot and heavy firing. The place we charged
was occupied by the 3rd or 7th
Directly across the ditch there was a twenty pound Napoleon gun and a little to our left at an old shop were four more pieces, all of which we captured later on.
As soon as we fired the volley described above, and had dropped down to reload the Napoleon gun was fired directly at us. Fortunately it had been depressed on ac�count of the damp fog and its contents went into the bank and only threw a little dirt on us. Then the other four guns near the shop fired and then Capt Harper immediately ordered us to fire at the guns to silence them and save the line of battle which was not far back. A few rounds sil�enced them, and after we had killed their horses so that they could not take off the guns, they fell into our hands.
About this time Capt Pat Malone, Hagood's gallant adgt. general dashed up on his white horse and asked: "What troops?" We told him that we had succeeded in breaking the line, and to bring up the brigade. He said: "Boys, hold what you have got; I'll have the brigade up in a few minutes." He was gone only a few minutes before he was back and stayed with us 'till the brigade got in sight. By this time the fog was not so dense as at the beginning of the attack. It rose so that a man could be seen over a hundred yards away. I fired about twenty or thirty times before the brigade came up.
When it came near _____ of our company, _____ works and
When we got to the enemy's works _____
We never did get the credit for capturing this battery that we as a company should have had. The brigade was given the credit. Any other company in our regiment would have done same thing, however, had they been given an opportunity. In breaking the enemies line our regiment was saved from a considerable loss.
Our company lost three or four killed and twelve or fourteen wounded. The only horse that was left alive at the captured battery was secured by Maj. Glover, I think.
At this place Capt. Harper, my brother-in-law gave a wounded
Yankee some water and placed something under his head for a pillar. Several
years later Capt Harper met him in
I'll state that Lieut Frank Shuler, Lewis Shurknight and Buck McIver were among our dead.
In my next I'll give my impression of Cold Harbor and tell
Note:� The 21st reg. 11th and 27, and the 7th battallion over�lapped the space that we broke in the Yankee line, and their loss was heavy in the charge.
HOT FIGHTING ABOUT
Our regiment was relieved by the 22nd regiment, com�manded
by the intrepid Col. Olin Dantzler who entered the army as a private in our company;
was soon elected Lieut of the company, the Lieut Col of the 20th Reg. and then
It was rather a strange coincident that both Col Dantz�ler and Col. Kit, two boys who were reared on adjoining plantations had similar experiences. Before the war Col Kitt was Congressman and Col Dantzler State Senator. During the war both were made Cols, both were killed the same day, and were buried near each other in the same church yard.
When we reached
There was sharp skirmishing between the lines for seven days
before the battle. On one of these skirmishes I recollect the picket in front
of the llth Reg was driven
in. Several companies of the l lth Reg charged them, drove them back.
Then Gen Hagood ordered our company to relieve their
picket. This was about 11 o'clock a. m. All that day we had hot fire, but we
held the line until early next morning. I did not think it just to hold a line
in front of another regiment. Col Simonton joined the regiment at
On the morning of the 3rd of June Grant tried to carry Lee's line by general assault. Our regiment was just be�hind Colquitt's Brigade. The Yankees opened the fight by a severe artillery fire. We were ordered to get down in a little ditch on the side of the road. All obeyed except Sam Inabinet and he sat on the edge of the ditch, cleaning his gun. Capt. Harper ordered him to get in the ditch, but he replied: "Capt, we are to have a lively time today and I want my gun in good order." The second time Capt Harper ordered him in the ditch he said: "All right Capt," but just then a shell struck his head and poor Sam never knew what hit him. A few minutes later the enemy charged Lee's lines for six miles. A N. Y. regiment of artillery charged Colquitt's men who were in our immediate front. They held their fire until they got about seventy-five yards. Then Colquitt gave them a volley which staggered and confused them for a second. They afterwards broke and ran.
After the charge was over I could tell by the line of dead where the volley hit them. Grant's loss was said to have been twelve thousand. The dead lay on the field three days before Grant would ask permission to bury them. However we had advantage of a south breeze, which carried the stink to the Yankees. I think our Major Glover was wounded here in the hand and kicked by the horse we captured at Drury's Bluff. He died from one of these wounds.
When we reached
It was very hot in this ditch which was in the open field, and then to get water we had to cross a hill in order to reach a little spring. The Yankee sharpshooters kept up a continual watch for men who crossed the hill, and they also shelled the spring late every afternoon. I went for water and had filled several canteens and was on my way back when I heard a shell coming. It seemed to have bursted one hundred yards back of me, but suddenly I heard a whizzing noise above my head, so dropped down and placed my arms over my head. Just then a piece of shell hit within six inches of my feet. It must have frightened me, as some of the boys asked me when I got back what was the matter, for I still looked frightened.
In my next piece I'll tell how Hagoods
Brigade again filled a gap in the lines around
About the 12th or 13th of June we moved from Cold Harbor via
White Oak swamp and Malvern Hill and crossed the James river below Richmond. As
Grant had sent a great number of soldiers to City Point who were
At some point between
When we entered the town our band played "
Then our picket was advanced into the branch while the line of battle behind us worked all night and by morning had a good line of works which filled the gap that had been broken. We could hear the enemy working all night.
At sun rise next morning while there was no firing, I saw one of the enemy standing in front of their line. My brother, J. M. D., and "Dick" Evans were on post with me. I told the boys I was going to shoot the "Yank", but "Dick" told me that I should let him shoot first. It was up hill, and the distance could not be judged correctly. Evans gaged his sight for 200 yards and fired; but missed. My brother then fired but the man did not move. Then I put up sight for 300 yards and fired and hit him. I loaded as quick as I could and by this time a man had run out to help him over the works. I threw up my gun to fire again, but my brother stopped me. This brought on a general firing along the line. About two hours later the enemy charged the picket line a little to our left, we gave them a left oblique fire as they advanced. The picket in their front gave way and we were flanked, so were ordered to fall back to main line which was about 200 yards back. We had to run up a long sloping hill and when we came out of the branch the enemy was very near us, and when we came to the top of the hill we were exposed to a fire from their main line. Just then I said to my brother: "I can run no further, so I am going to walk." He told me that he would not leave me, as we had stuck together always in a fight. However, I saw a ditch just ahead of us so when we reached this we got in it and were safe from the fire. As we got into the ditch a ball struck a rubber blanket which I had under my belt at the hip and cut eight holes in it. This blanket had been captured at Drury's Bluff.
We held this line several days and when the permanent line was fixed we moved back to it and remained there for two months. Morgan Davis of our company was caught by the enemy when our picket fell back from the branch.
The Yankees, for a week, continued to assault our lines, either at one place or another. Daily a message would pass up or clown the line that the enemy had attacked some part of the line and were repulsed with heavy loss. Letters and notes were continually passing up or down the line. Usually the letters were addressed just as if it were going to be sent by mail, then tied to a stick and sent along the line until it reached its owner.
I should have stated before that after the death of 1st Lieutenant Shuler, 2nd Lieutenant J. C. Evans was pro�moted to 1st Lieutenant. Wade Wise was made 2nd Lieutenant. First Sergeant C E Hart was elected 3rd Lieutenant and Joe Fralic 1st sergeant.
We were a little to the right of where City Point R R crossed the lines, the morning after we had left the old line the Yankees charged the abandoned works. I was amused to see them advance within one hundred yards of them; then break and run. They tried the second time to capture the empty works. This was about the 17th of June and about the time Frank Haigler was shot in the head by a sharpshooter. He lived an hour or two but was never conscious.
On the night of the 19th my brother and I were on picket all night in a rifle pit. We came in about daylight on the 20th. For a few seconds he was exposed to the enemy, and was shot through the body and instantly killed This was a terrible shock and a great loss to me. He had been in the army two years before I went in. We had always gone in a fight or skirmish, or on picket together, even if one of us had to swap places with some one else.
In my next I will tell of General Hagood's kindness to a private soldier.
The following are clippings from the papers about the death of J. Marshall Dantzler:�
"Killed-We are pained to
learn by a private despatch that J. MARSHALL DANTZLER,
eldest son of Dr. Lewis Dantzler, of St. Matthews, was killed during the
J. MARSHALL Dantzler, son of Dr.
Lewis and Mrs. Mary Dantzler, of St. Matthews, S C, was killed by a
None of our country's roll of
honor deserve a higher place for purity and faithfulness
than young Dantzler. Though only 19 years and 10 months old,
he had been noted by officers as the most remarkable soldier in their com�mand.
He was always ready for duty, brave in fight, and patient in marches. The
secret of his success was that he had been for seven years a devoted member of
the Church, and carried into every service the sense of his heavenly Father's
presence, and did not fear what man could do unto him. So remarkable was his
piety, that his parents felt that he would be safe in the most perilous
dangers. At home he had won all hearts to himself. Father and mother looked
In the following letter the death of Marshall Dantzler is mentioned:
I received your kind letter last
week and was very glad that you all were well. We are still in the trenches
We get for rations one quarter of
a pound of bacon, one quarter of a pound of meal made into bread and sometimes
peas and rice. We also get sugar and coffee. There were rumers
that we would go to
Your affectionate Son,
F. W. D.
P. S. We got the money. I will enclose a lock of my hair that Mainie wrote for in her last letter.
SOME MORE EXPERIENCES OF THE LATE WAR.
By F. W. D.
As soon as my brother was killed Capt Harper and I decided to
send his body home by our servant, Joe Hilliard, if possible. We both together
had no more than fifty dollars. Capt Harper went at once to Gen Hagood to get permission to go to
I went to
That day while making preparations to send my brother's body home I found that Wilson's Cavalry raid was about to cut the rail road, so I decided to bury my brother there and not risk the rail road. I telegraphed my father of this change; then my servant Joe, a twelve year old son of Capt Fitzgerald and I buried my brother. The little boy was sent with us so that he might be able to know the grave should anything happen to Joe and me.
Capt Harper was afterwards severely wounded in the thigh and in the following November when he was able to travel on crutches he and Joe brought the body home and it now lies in the old family burying ground. If it had not been for Gen Hagood's kindness and for masonry I would have had to bury my brother in a blanket just where he fell.
Capt. Fitzgerald had been a sea captain, I think, but I have never heard of him since. I would like very much to know what became of his kind little son.
During July and August the two lines were near each other-so near that we kept out picket only at night. All day long there was a constant firing and I had to sharp shoot for two hours nearly every day.
When on picket in the rifle pits at night our orders were that if we were charged by the enemy, fire, lie down in the pits and let the enemy pass over us. The lines were not more than 250 yards apart, I think.
One day Gen Hagood came to our
company with his field glasses and asked Capt Harper to furnish him a man to
climb a tree to look over in the enemies line to see
what was going on over there. Capt Harper offered to do it himself, but Gen Hagood refused to let one of his officers place himself in
such a dangerous position. Just then Abe Robinson of the Edisto Rifles
volunteered to go. As soon as Abe got up in the tree the enemy saw him and
began to bark the tree with bullets. The general ordered him down at once. Both
sides used mortar batteries in the seige of
burst in air or after it reached the ground.
After some time we threw up traverses in the trench so that we could dodge the shells better. One day our Ord�nance Sergeant (Dock Pursuer) had gotten a good dinner in a tin plate and had just started to eat it when one of those shells came over and entered the ground and filled his dinner with dirt.
I should have stated that we were placed in what seemed to be a wide old ditch, six or eight feet wide-and large red oaks grew on its banks which gave us plenty of shade.
At one time it was thought that the enemy were mining under us, so we had a sounding pit dug in this broad ditch to see if the Yankees could be heard at work.
One day in July I was sent with others to work on a covered way (i. e. a ditch leading from lines back of trenches.) This was on a hill to our right. The day was a hot one, the ditch deep, and the enemy seeing the dirt thrown up by our shovels commenced to shell us with a battery about 500 yards off. Some one had cut a shelf in the ditch about two feet from the bottom and about five feet long. I got in this shelf to cool off on the clay. About this time a shell struck the top of the ditch bank and ex�ploded knocking down two men, but not hurting either very much. Another struck just over my head and tumbled in the ditch. I could hear the men running up and down the ditch, but there I was within two feet of it, and could not get out with out going over the shell. I expected it to burst at any second, and after a minute or two looked over and saw no fuse burning. That shell got out of the ditch just as soon as I could get it out.
The Lieutenant in command said that it would not do to work there during the day, so sent us back to our com�pany.
On Saturday, July 30th, the enemy exploded a mine under our lines at about day light, about one half or three quarters of a mile on our right. We were near enough to see the smoke and dust and hear the noise. There was some hard fighting here for several hours. We were taken out of the trenches to help retake the lilies but had marched only a short distance when we were ordered back in the trenches, as the lines had been retaken.
The enemy literally dug their own graves for hundreds of them were buried in the pit of the mine. Some of the boys visited the place and reported such a scene of horror that I did not care to visit it.
In my next I'll give my experience at Weldon's
This letter was written by my fattier to his sister Mary Jane (Mainie) who later married Dr. W. W. Murray. Dr. Murray was Assistant Brigade Surgeon.
I seat myself this beautiful morning to write you a few lines to let you all know we are as well as usual. You must not expect a long letter because I have no knews to tell only that the Yankees opened on our lines with their artillery on the thirtieth of July and early that morning they sprang a mine under a battery Twenty-second and Twenty-third S. C. D. As soon as the mine exploded the enemy charged and succeeded in capturing a part of the works and some prisoners, but at two o'clock they were charged and a great many killed and captured. They ad�mit of a loss of between four and five thousand. The negroes and whites were all mixed up together in a ditch. Grant is still missing but we are trying to counter mine and it was reported yesterday that we dug into one of their mines, but I don't know whether it is so or not. I hope it is so.
We have not herd of the boxes yet
but I hope we will soon for I am anxious to eat something from home once more.
Harper went to
Your affectionate brother,
F. W. Dantzler.
CHARGE OF THE WAR.
About the 18th or 19th of August, 1864 the enemy moved in heavy force on the Weldon railroad and captured it.
Hagood's Brigade was ordered out of the trenches that we had held for two months without any relief. We were on picket one whole night and up half of the next in the trenches ready to shoot at any moment. This strain on the men was very great and to get any rest during the day we had to sleep while heavy firing was going on all the time.
We were moved to Weldon road and camped on Satur�day night a
few miles from the railroad. On Sunday morning we were to move forward to
attack the enemy. Just before we formed the line to charge we passed a bat�tery
of artillery which opened fire as we passed. The brigade gave a rousing cheer
to the battery and this drew the fire of the enemies
artillery. He had to move forward under this terrible shelling. On the edge of a woods we formed a line to charge the enemy's works in
the open field and as we left this wood in the charge we passed through Flanigan's Brigade. Where our company charged, as well I
remember, there was some stunted corn. It was com�pany
F and one of the color companies. Color Corp. O. J. Parler
(Brooks) of our company who had the flag and another Color Corp., either
When the command was given to charge we moved off at double quick, running low down and where we charged we moved under a terrible front and flank fire. When within fifty yards of the works Porter who was on my left tumbled over and the flag fell in front of me. At the same time the other Color-guard fell, so I threw my gun to my left hand and seized the flag in my right, though I was only a private. It had not been down two seconds before it was up again. I thought the quicker we reached the works the better, but when within thirty yards of the works I heard on my right the order "Lie down." Looking in that direction I saw that everybody behind me was down, so I stuck the flag staff in the ground and dropped on my knees, to shoot. But thinking I was too close the enemy to have an empty gun, I lay flat on the ground.
I did not think the charge was a failure as I thought Finigin's brigade would come to our succor. All of this time we were under a terrific fire and after a few minutes a ball hit the flag staff and it tumbled over behind me. I looked back just in time to see the Color Corp., who fell when Parler did run, catch the flag, and turn to run out with it. But he was shot down the second time. Then for the first time I realized the fact that the charge was a failure.
Dave Ott of the Edistoes was lying very near me wounded in the thigh. I said to him: "Dave, I am going to try to run out." He replied: "For God's sake, don't." "You'll be killed." All during this time balls were throwing dirt on us, and every time I thought I was hit.
After sometime the enemy ceased firing for a second, and then I raised up on my knees and looked around me to see who was hurt, but soon the firing was renewed and I fell down again and remained there till it was over.
Capt. Harper was in command of the company when in fifty yards of the works a ball hit him on a button and glanced; but it shocked him. When the first firing ceased he jumped up and ran. This caused the second fire. They shot him through the thigh, but he succeeded in getting out.
I got up and looked back of me again after the firing and was very much grieved at the sight. Major Sellers, First Lieut Evans and First Sergeant Fralic were killed. Color Corp. Parler mortally wounded and many others killed and wounded.
When I got up to go in to the Yankees I carried my gun with me, but when within ten feet of the works one of the enemy threw up his gun at me and ordered me to throw down my gun. I obeyed at once, but just then another Yankee knocked up his gun, jumped over the works and helped me over.
Our company went into the charge 21 strong. 14 were killed or wounded. 4 got out unhurt and three went over the enemy's works as prisoners. These were Lieut. Hart, Corp. L L Dantzler and myself. Our brigade went into this charge 700 strong. 175 got out.
This was the place where Gen Hagood shot Capt Daly who had the flag of the 27 Regiment, off his horse, got on the horse and ran out, followed by some who were near him. Capt Stony caught the flag when Capt Daly fell and carried it out. All this happened right in front of the enemy's lines. I did not see it, as it happened to my right. After I was captured the Yankees told us Gen Hagood was killed and it was months before I heard that he was not but that his gallant Capt Malony was killed. I have heard that Gen Mahone was responsible for the charge. He ordered six brigades to charge the enemy, but later, finding them much stronger than he thought, countermanded the order. The four center brigades got the order in time, but the right and left wings did not receive it so were hurled at the whole 11th corps (Warren's). These two brigades were Hagood's and Harris' Mississippi Brigade. I do not know the above to be a fact, but I have been told this by responsible parties.
The enemy had two strong lines of works, lots of troops and only a half mile from Gen. Warren's headquarters. Our company had only one officer left after the charge. Major Sellers was killed, Captain Harper wounded, Lieu�tenant Evans killed, Third Lieutenant C E Hart captured and First Sergeant Fralic killed.
This charge was one of the bloodiest of the War. Cap�tain Alston, I believe wrote a poem on it. I would ap�preciate a copy of this poem from any one who may have it. Send it to F. W. D., Holly Hill, S. C.���� .
In my next I'll give some of my prison experience and tell how tobacco got me out of prison.
HOW TOBACCO GOT HIM
OUT OF PRISON.
After crossing over to the enemy we found that they had two
lines of works and heavy masses of troops behind them. I was told that
For a half mile, after going over the works, we were under heavy artillery fire from our guns. Lieut. Hart did not have an officer's uniform so passed as a private in order that he could stay with us. We marched fifteen or twenty miles through Grant's army to City Point. The Yankees were very kind to us and at every camp we passed some of them would run out and offer us food. They guyed us good naturedly, calling us "Johnny Rebs" but we would always return their jokes with interest.
What a contrast between Grant's well-fed and properly
clothed army and Lee's poorly fed and ill clad men! In our army I had seen many
a soldier get his side pone of corn bread and a piece of meat at night and sit
down and eat it every bit, leaving nothing for his next day's rations. This
happened during the seige of
At City Point we were placed in their army "Bull
Pen", among the bounty jumpers and the worst criminals of Grant's army,
for thirty-six hours. These were the worst men I ever saw. But soon we were
placed on board of a steamer and sent to
When we reached the prison we were lined up in order that we might be searched. We were ordered to give up all money, jewelry, watches and dangerous knives. I had a twenty dollar bill, a two dollar bill and a half dollar in silver. I slipped the silver in my sock and patted my foot 'til it got under the bottom of my foot. I rubbed the twenty dollar bill until it was very soft, rolled it up, covered it with another piece of paper and made a stopped for an ink vial which I had in my pocket. Then I gave up the two dollar bill. I afterwards sold the twenty dollar bill for one dollar in greenback.
I should have stated that on the day I was captured I wrote my father that I had been captured, unhurt, but did not know where I would be sent, also told him that O. J. Parler had been badly wounded.
The prison was a flat plain on the shore of the
The whole camp was surrounded by a twelve foot board wall with a platform three feet from the top for the guard to walk on.
There were about 10,000 men in the prison when I was there.
The Camp was laid off in divisions, nos. a, b, c, d, etc, In
each division there was 1000 men. I was in division D.
As soon as I got in camp I found that they would allow
twenty-five pounds of tobacco to be sent from
Our rations were three quarters of a pound of light bread, one quarter pound of beef or pork, one pint of bean soup �and we were considered lucky if the soup contained a spoon�ful of beans. We were given vegetable soup twice a week. It was made of dried vegetables, packed in large square tins, and had a very unpleasant odor. I was hungry the whole time I was here in prison, but could not eat this soup.
I had been captured with only the one suit of clothes that I had on and a haversack, but it was empty. When we reached camp it was warm and they said they had no blankets so each of us was given an old piece of tent cloth about the size of a blanket and that was all we had to sleep on.
The men had nothing to do so a great many of them carved rings from gutapercha with dainty silver trimmings set in. Great many useful articles were also carved from beef bones. You could very well estimate the mortality from pneumonia in winter and dysentery in summer.
We would sit or lie around the tent day after day and tell
of good things that we liked to eat. There was an old man-Elihu
I did not use tobacco at this time, but my cousin did. He did my darning as he was a good hand with a needle, and I would give him tobacco. I managed to get it this way: Whenever a new lot of prisoners came in I would get them water to drink for a chew of tobacco. One well of water was better than the others, but the pump was broken on it, so I would take a tin can with a nail tied to it to sink it and let it down through the air hole and in this way get a drink of water.
I have waded in the
After waiting a month and receiving no tobacco I wrote my
father to go or send to
A large bulletin board was kept on which was posted each day what came in for the prisoners. After watching this for ten days I saw one morning this written up: "F W D, E L D, C E H and O J P each 25 lbs of Tobacco." We got our Sergeant to identify us and the 75 lbs were de�livered to us at once. As 0 J Parler had been left behind wounded, we wrote Capt Brady, the commandant of the camp, a plain statement of the case so he then turned Par�ler's portion over to us also. This was on Friday and we were rich, after being hungry for two months-100 lbs of tobacco worth $100 in greenbacks.
E L Dantzler was our secretary and treasurer, C E Hart was our wholesale man and I was retailer of from one chew up.
By Saturday evening we had five or six dollars, so went to the sutler and bought meal and salt pork. We cooked a big pot of mush and fried the pork, and I tell you it was fine. I ate too much, so on Sunday morning I reported sick to the rebel doctor who prescribed for those who were only a little sick.
Early that morning it was reported that the camp would be thoroughly searched and everything that the camp rules did not allow would be taken from the prisoners. At nine o'clock the bugle sounded to fall in ranks. I was up, but on the sick list, so told the boys I would try to save our extra bedding by pretending to be very sick. When the men came round to search our tent I pulled off my shoes and jacket and got on the bed, expecting them to come in at any minute.
They first massed all the well men in one end of the camp
and put a strong guard around them. I remained in the tent about an hour,
finally was dozing when some one put their head in the door of the tent and
asked how many sick men were in. I replied "four". He said: "Get
up and go to the Hospital. We are going to send a boat-load to
I gathered tip my blanket and haversack and went to the hospital and there I found five or six hundred sick men massed together with strong guard. Two small open tents were brought in, two surgeons then brought in a table with four or five clerks. The guard would allow one man pass at a time. This man would step before the surgeon who would pass them to the clerk where he would give the name of his company, regiment, brigade and division where cap�tured. This was a very pitiful lot of men, and I was not weak as most of them so waiting until about twenty five had passed the surgeon and none had been turned back. I then pushed my way through fearing should I wait I might be shut out. One of the surgeons was young and had a kinder face than the others, and you should have seen the appealing look I gave him when I halted before hint. After a few seconds he said: "Go on". I went to the clerk and registered to come home.
Every sick man in camp was parolled that day-that is everyone that was able to travel.
The report that they would research the camp was put out by Capt Brad. He had orders to parole all sick men that day, and if the prisoners had known it all would have been sick. So you see the tobacco was really the cause of my getting out.
I will tell of some incidents of my trip home in my next.
OF TRIP BACK TO OLD HOME.
When captured I had only one suit of clothes, so when wash day came had to wash under�clothing in cold water and wear jacket and pants until they dried. We were given plenty of soap and vinegar, however.
The paroled soldiers had been placed in a camp nearby and this was policed by detail from main camp. E C Dantz�ler had all of my money, so I wrote him a note by one of the detailed men to send me five dollars and some rings that had been made, and told him also that he and C E Hart could use the remainder.
We were then placed on board of a steamer and sent down to Fortress Monroe to await the arrival of the pri�soners from the other prison camps.
The two governments had agree to
exchange 5600 sick and wounded prisoners at
All of the transports having arrived we left on the steamer Northernlight, which once plied between
We had good weather along the coast, and I did not get sea
sick. Our vessel was the first of the transports to reach
We were taken up the River to
The ladies would say: "Eat all you want, boys, but don't put any in your haversack, for we have many more hundred to feed."
They had prepared a camp for us in the park, and hun�dreds
of ladies visited our camp that evening. I had many invitations to different
homes, but had to decline them all. On the 17th of Nov 1864 I was given a
thirty-day furlough to report at
On the morning of the 18th I left
On the morning of the 18th I left
I thought I would work on her sympathy, so told her if I were able to walk, I would solicit aid from no one, but I was not physically able as I was just out of a northern prison where I had only a light diet consequently was very weak I told her also that my father and mother did not know I was on my way home, for they thought I was still in a northern prison.
She then cordially invited me in so I knew I had touched her heart. She sent for her husband and soon we were on our way in the old cart. This was slow traveling and to while away the time we exchanged War stories. He told me some of his experience in the Polish Revolution in 1848.
When we reached home it was after night, and took the family by complete surprise. Mr Chibinoski told me the next day it was worth the whole trip to see the joy he had brought.
When I left home in March I weighed 145 lbs, but when I reached home on the 18th of November I weighed only 125 and had not been sick any time over twenty-four hours.
I'll state here that when I got home Capt Harper had
recovered from his wound and had gone back to
OF SOME BLOODY FIGHTING
When I reached home my father told me that Capt Harper had
After I had been home about two weeks my father re�ceived a
letter, dated Danville, Va., from the Colonel say�ing that he had escaped from
the prison in Columbia and had gotten as far as East Tenn. on his journey when
he was captured again and sent to
At the end of thirty clays I reported to provost
Marshall Col. Green (I think) at
When I reached home I decided to stay there until I could
find out where the brigade was and where I could join them. However I soon
found out that it was in Wil�mington N C., so I started out at once to join
them. I reached
We had a very quiet time at
When we fell in line we could hear the heavy booming of
We made a force march of twenty seven miles, only rest�ing five minutes each hour. It was one of the hardest marches I ever made, as I was loaded up with several days' rations, blanket, over coat and sixty rounds of am�munition. When we reached the Fort late in the afternoon, as usual, were formed in line of battle and threw up a line of works.
Gen Terry had landed 15000 men near
On the night of the 14th of Jan 1865 about 250, or 350, of our regiment were placed on board of a steamer to go into the Fort. The boat ran aground that night so we did not get off until early next morning, and landed about a half or three quarters of a mile behind the Fort; and were ordered into the Fort under a most terrible bombardment of the War. It was thought that the Yankees were send�ing about sixty shells a minute. I think there were 400 guns in their fleet. Every shell that passed over the works would be among us as we were moving in.
I recollect that I had several quarts of rice in my haver�sack, and stopped three different times to pour some out in order to lighten my load as I was so tired.
Finally we got in the Fort and were placed on part facing
the fleet. Under this heavy bombardment all of our guns had been put out of
action. The Yankees then ceased firing and the marines charged our front. We
whipped them back, with great loss. We were hilarious over our suc�cess, when
looking to the left where the enemy's infantry had attacked and we saw a
Later we were ordered from the right to the left to try to recapture that end. The enemy who had already had a foot hold had breach loading guns. We had to move through a different passage in the Fort, and the enemy saw our move from right to left and lying on top of the works concentrated their fire on these passages.
Eight or ten men would run through, thus drawing their fire and we would have to wait a minute or two, and then advance again.
While passing through one of these passages a ball cut my blanket string and entered my overcoat pocket. It shivered a lot of hard-tack and lodged in the lining of my coat pocket. The ball was one of the gun cleaners-made in two sections with a piece of zinc, shaped like a button, be�tween the two sections.
We kept advancing until we got on top of a magazine within thirty yards of the enemy. We could advance no further, but held them in check until dark. In this move the men became badly mixed, so about dark Frank Haigler, three other privates and I got on top of the work behind a traverse. The enemy were on the other side, but after a short while, Frank who was watching, said: "Look, the Yankees are down there"! I jumped up and saw a number of them at the bottom of the works. We fired at them, thus drawing their fire, and ran down into a bomb proof at the bottom of the works.
We found the bomb proof full of men, but I managed to get some men between me and the door. Then I told the boys that we would be prisoners in three minutes, as the Yankees would be there as soon as they could climb the works. I found Montgomery here with the flag, so I told him to get out and run down to the place where we had landed that morning and try to save the flag, but the pres�sure from the door was so great that he could not get out. I then told him to tear off the flag and hide it under his clothing, and save it in that way. If I had thought of it I might have saved it in that manner on the 21 of Aug.,
The whole fort was captured about an hour after night and with it about 1500 men.
Gen. Terry had 15,000 infantry besides the marines. Some of our men seemed to be demoralized but they could not be blamed as they had been under that terrific fire for such a long time.
The force from our regiment was not that way. All did their duty, as we had not been in the Fort long enough to "get rattled".
Our loss was heavy, but do not recollect just how many of them killed. Orderly Sergeants Mike Grambling and Davis were killed.
The enemy lost heavily also. I have read Admiral Roberly Evans' account of the fight and he gave a fair account of the part that the marines took in the fight. He was desperately wounded in the charge of the Marines.
It has been said that some of the officers in chief com�mand were not in condition to manage as desperate work as the defense of the fort demanded.
In my next I will give some of my experience on a trans�port-The Gen. Lyons.
EXPERIENCES OF THE WAR.
During our trip up the coast the weather was in�tensely
cold. When we stopped at Delaware Break Water it was reported that we were
When we reached there we found about twelve thousand there and we were marched to a guard house (there was a large guard house with cells in it) and Major Beale, the commander, made us a speech saying that they were going to search us and told us to give up all money, watches or jewelry we had and it would be returned to us when we left the prison. If they found any money or other valuables on our persons they would punish us severely. I had been a prisoner before and when first captured had advised the boys to hide securely any money they had but Major Beale's talk brought most of the money and valuables in that crowd. I had $175 in Confederate money, $5 in green�back and two silver quarters. I at once hid the five dollars in greenback securely. I had a tooth brush pocket in my inner left side of my jacket. I folded first a $50 bill the width of the tooth brush handle and slipped it behind the tooth brush handle. The rest of my money except the quar�ters I had in an inner pocket of my drawers but when they commenced searching us I found out that they were search�ing much stricter than they had at the first prison and would certainly find the money I had in the inner pocket so I took it out and slipped it in my canteen, the mouth being broken, there was no water in it. The two quarters I put in my mouth. I gave up one dollar in "shin-plasters" and saved the rest although their search was very close.
Sergeant Johnson of
When I got to
Not long after we were in
On the top of the wards was a good place to sun blankets. One day I told my cousin, H F Dantzler, to "let's sun our blankets on the roof." Our ward was very close to the wall and I had not noticed that a guard was near. He said it was against the rules. I told him that all I asked of him was to throw them up to me when I got up. This he refused to do. I said I would do it anyway. I had not noticed the guard was listening to our conversation. So I got a blan�ket and threw it on the roof and climbed up. Just as I got up he halted me and ordered me down. My cousin laughed at me and said before the guard: "I told you so". I said nothing until I got out of hearing of the guard when I told him I'd sun my blanket on that roof that day in spite of Henry and the guard. He said as usual, "You will never get home". I waited until the guard was changed and saw the first one was out of sight. I went into the ward and came out whistling
with my blanket in hand and threw it up on the roof and went up and spread it out and came down.� I kept my eye on the guard all of the time but pretended not to notice him. I went into the ward and told my cousin to go and see if my blanket was not on the roof. I, personally, got along better in this prison than at Point Lookout because I could get outside help, but many a poor fellow suffered much more than I did and if he got sick enough to go to the hospital you might as well bade him good bye. I saw this later on when I was attached to the hospital department. The convalescents were not given enough food to build them up.
In my next I will probably end these papers.
EXPERIENCES ON A TRANSPORT.
The night we were captured we were moved down the sound about one mile and camped. Early next
morning some of the enemy prowling in one of the magazines of the fort accidently blew it tip and killed a good many of them. This excited them and they threat�ened to retaliate on us claiming that we had left a slow fuse that blew it up. But they soon calmed down and it ended in threats.
On the evening of the 17th we were moved back to
On the 18th of January, five hundred of us were put on board of the General Lyons and at sunset left for the north.
In May, 1764, we had one hundred and three men in our company and in January we had only fifty. Forty of our company were captured in the fort. �Eight or ten men were not captured for they were on various details outside of the Fort.
The morning after I was captured I wrote my father, "Captured, unhurt, but do not know where we shall be sent."
While on this vessel, I was somewhat reckless and the only time I lost hope of ever reaching home again, but as soon as I got off the vessel I regained hope.
We reached Fortress Monroe about sunset on the twentieth. About this time we discovered a barrel of cider vinegar stored on the freight deck which we occupied, and it was only a few minutes before the boys had cut a hole in one of the staves and some one had an unused pipe stem in it. In two days the vinegar was gone and there was a guard in twenty-five feet of it all the time, but it was dark.
My cousin, A P Dantzler, developed a case of typhoid fever
and at this time was very delirious and we had nothing but pork, hard tack and
water. I told his brother, Henry, to go on deck and beg some coffee from the
enemy for him. He soon returned without it and said there was no chance to get
it. I told him if Arthur was my brother I would have the coffee. He said
"You talk so big. Get it." I said "I will." They detailed
several of our men to help cook for the guards on the boat and the cook room
had a guard stationed at the door and did not allow any one in it except the
cooks. Bill Laneau of
We stayed at Fortress Monroe until late in the evening of
the twenty-third of January, when we sailed again, reaching Delaware Break
Water on the twenty-fourth, On the twenty-fifth we
left there about eight a.m. and reached
After orderly sergeant, Mike Grambling was killed at
One night Dick said he was very hungry and wished he had something to eat-some bread. I told him I believed I could get it from the two negro cooks that cooked for the crew. He gave a silver quarter. We were not allowed to talk to the cooks. I passed and one of the cooks was standing in the door. I asked if he could sell me a loaf of bread and he said he could for a quarter. I offered him twenty cents and he said he could not take it for it belonged to the other cook and he must have a quarter. �Just then the guard saw me talking to him and ordered me down. I told Dick I could get a loaf for a quarter, and the guard had ordered me down. He said, "I am very hungry. Wish you had brought it." I went back and got it.
The sailors on this vessel were Irish and one night I asked a sailor if he could not give me some supper down in front of the boat. He told me if I could get down there he would. I told him if he would just say I could come I would follow him down. He said, "If you risk it you can do so." So I boldly followed him down right by the guard. It was dark and he took me for a sailor. He gave me a good supper and when I reported my success to Dick and Henry they doubted me.
He promised me some breakfast next morning if he could see a chance to do so. Next morning I was on hand when he went to breakfast, but it was now daylight. I whistled, sang and did all I could to attract his attention but he would not notice me, I turned off and then met another sailor going to breakfast and asked him if there was any chance to get something to eat and he said nothing, but as he started down the steps I saw him motion his hand under a false deck about three feet high that extended from the bow to where all the steps went down. There was a guard walking across the deck at this point. I got on my knees and looked under and saw some ropes and chains. I stood near the guard until he turned, then I dropped on my knees and crawled under there. I found a hole through to where the sailors were. I tapped on it and one of the sailors looked up and asked what I wanted, I told him I would give him five dollars in confederate money for a breakfast. He could use the bill for a souvenir. He readily gave me several biscuits, two large Irish potatoes and a large piece of fish. This I put in my pockets and turned around to see if the way was clear for me to get out. There about thirty feet back on the deck was Ebbie Shuler watching me. I shook my head and he got up. I then crawled to the edge of the false deck and when the guard turned his back I got out. All of the time there were about forty or fifty men on deck moving in all directions and that gave me a better chance to be unnoticed. Shuler was the only one caught on and he got something to eat too. I carried what I got and divided it with Dick and Henry and met with the same old threat-that I never would get home.
The night we got to
Note-I am indebted for the most of the dates used in the papers to a diary kept by a cousin of mine, H F Dantz�ler, four years of the war. He was in fort and in prison with me.
AS WAITER AT THE MESS.
We had small-pox in camp all the time. Have had a man to take them who slept in six feet of me. The small-pox hospital was isolated in one corner of the camp in the lowest part and as soon as a case developed they were moved into the hospital.
I got both money and boxes from Col Mattock's mother which I divided with my cousin, H F D and Dick Evans. Some coffee was sent in the box, but how to get it made was a very serious problem with us. We finally fixed up a quart can with a stout piece of wire and would place this can in a red hot stove and it would boil in one minute. This was against the rules and if we were caught we would be put in the guard house for five days on bread and water. My cousin would not take the risk of boiling the coffee, but would watch while I made it. He said I was too careless and would let the spies get too close before I would notify him. Well, we got the coffee when we wanted it, but at some risk. Things moved on as usual until the night of the 16th of March. We had several days of unusually warm weather. During the night some twenty of us were aroused and ordered to make a fire on the bank of the creek for the water had over-flowed half of the camp beyond the creek and threatened to wash away the small-pox hospital. They were busy transporting these patients in boats to the fire. Henry, Dick and I helped to make the fire.
By sunrise of the seventeenth the whole camp was under water
and by eight o'clock it entered our ward and at twelve it covered the lower
bunks two feet deep in our ward and from 4 to 6 feet deep over the entire camp.
It looked very curious to all of us but after twelve o'clock it commenced to fall
and by night it was out of our ward. It then turned cold and commenced to sleet
and snow and we had been all day without anything to eat as all cook houses had
been flooded. Our ward was left with a deposit of mud one inch thick. We had a
terrible time for thirty-six hours. The flood washed down half of the wall of
the camp and three or four guards were drowned. After this things moved along
quietly until Lee surrendered. This was a great time with the enemy and a
correspondingly depressing time with us. After Lee's surrender they commenced
to let out soldiers on parole. They just let out all detailed men who had
agreed to take the oath. Then they had to fill their places with other men from
the body of prisoners left. About this time Ned Montgomery of
My duty here was to go around to each hospital ward every morning at ten o'clock and get a list of the convales�cents for that day. We had two meals a day-one at eight a.m. and the other at 2 p.m. When I took charge we had about one hundred and seventy-five men to feed and twenty clerks. These clerks ate at a separate table and had more to eat than the convalescents. I had fifteen waiters under me and we used white pine tables without cloths and had to scrub these tables every morning with hot water and soap. The mess hall was scoured every other day. We had a force pump with rubber hose attached and plenty of soap. We used tinware for the table and everything had to be kept in first-class order, for the hall was inspected every day by the officer of the day. I had nothing to do but to make requisition on Sergeant Johnson for the number of rations necessary for each day. He furnished to me both bread and meat already cut for each man. My first day Johnson gave me twelve or fifteen rations over. I had the waiters to break them up and added to each plate. When I got through just before the drum tapped for them to come in, the Yankee hospital steward came around and asked me what those extra pieces of bread meant. I told him I had some extra bread left and I added it to the other rations. He said, "I'll let it pass this time but if I catch you doing that again you will go to the guard house." That I was to give each ration as it was furnished to me by Johnson and no more and if I had any left to turn it back to Johnson. Johnson still was liberal with us but no rations were ever returned. I have now an old moth-eaten jacket with a large pocket on the left side inside made by my cousin, H F D, in which I carried him bread every day. Ser�geant Johnson was very kind to me for he was thrown with us more than with his own men. He had special charge of the special diet men-men who the doctors said should have beefsteak, milk punch and custard. In his office he kept a supply, such as butter, crackers, etc. He gave me permission to get anything in his office I wanted, but not to carry off anything. I did not abuse this privilege. Dave Thomson and Silas Griffin I got in as waiters under me. They were from our company. Sam Ott was a cook and fried beefsteak for the special diet men.
After the special diet men were furnished with their punch and custard, the doctor would always specify how many ounces for each man. By two o'clock all had been served and several gallons of milk would be left which we could use.
You ought to have seen the "mush" they gave them cooked without any salt, with about a half a tablespoonful of syrup on each plate and mush put on top of that. After the syrup had been put on the plate I have turned the plate completely over without wasting any of it.
The convalescents had a half hour to eat in and had to stay that time in the hall. When they came in one nurse from each ward came with them. As they marched by each ward they would fall in until they reached the hall. There I would call the roll and each man as he answered to his name walked in. They were not allowed to carry anything out with them.
After Lee's surrender a number of ladies would visit the hospitals, some from good motives and others from idle curiosity.
Sometime the officer of the day would bring them through the mess hall. They would comment on the neat appear�ance of everything. I had to follow to answer any ques�tions asked. They were never brought in to see what the prisoners had to eat.
Professor Rowe was president of a female college in town. I
think he was a Southern gentleman from
of our men. He asked me where I was
from. I told him
By the middle of July the camp looked like a deserted town.
There were eighty left, forty sick and forty well on detail. Prof. Rowe went to
We were given transportation to
We left ten out of the forty buried there. You see one fourth of the number in six months.
These are the names and date of death.
Feb. 10-Andrew Heckle.
Feb. 23-Sergeant B M Dantzler.
Mar. 1-R Smith.
Apr. 6-Andrew Hoffmau.
May 9-Charles Strowman.
May 11-Bill Whiles.
June 1-Dick Evans.
June 25-G D Barber.
June 30-H Shirer.
This is from a record kept by H F Dantzler in prison.
I am a member of the Elloree Camp U C V. This spring I applied to the Daughters of the Confederacy for a "Cross of Honor" and addressed my application to the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Orangeburg, S C, and have never heard one word from them.� _____ if they are going to _____ I intended writing to them but I have _____ publish- _____n I had _____d.� _____gadier _____ and _____ privates in his brigade and he wrote me that they made good soldiers.
I am indebted to Comrade D B Brookhart, Elloree, S C, for the copy of the poem I asked for. Bookhart was a member of Sellers company for a year and a half, then transferred to the Sharpshooters in the 27th Reg of the S C V. He was third sergeant of his company and was in that bloody charge on "Weldon Railroad." He saw Hagood shoot the Yankee officer off his horse and saved the flag of the 27th Regiment.
Oct. 26, 1862
I received your kind letter and the things sent by Uncle Mid safe, I would have answered your letter by Saturdays mail, but I was prevented doing so on account of us going to Pocataligo Wednesday and didn't get back until Friday evening.
We got orders about four o'clock
Wednesday to go to Pocotaligo. We soon fixed up and
started for the railroad and when we got there the forty-sixth
All along the rout we got a gloomy account of affairs, that the Yankees had the railroad and had fired into one train killing several of our men. And we thought we would have a general fight in the morning, but when we got there we found things quite different that our men had wiped the Yankees at Old Pocataligo and it was thought they had gone back to their boats.
After resting awhile the two regiments marched into Old Pocataligo, about two miles from the railroad, our com�pany and Capt. Carson's with a detachment of Artillery and cavalry was then sent out to look for the Yankees, and making a good serch through the woods and around the landing, and finding no Yankees we return to the railroad which is about eight miles from the landing.
The Yankees landed about six or eight regiments soon Wednesday morning and commenced the advance on the railroads. A small force of our men consisting of several companies of our cavalry, one infantry and some artillery met them but they were forced back three or four miles to Old Pocataligo where there was a marsh about four hun�dred yards wide and a causeway thrown up across it. Here our men placed their cannon to rake the road wich checked the Yankees. And most of the fighting was done across this marsh until about dark, when the Yankees left leaving all their dead behind. From the looks of the roads it looked like they didn't confine themselves to the road but every one for himself. One place they had four sheep kilt ready to cook but did not have time. Several of our com�pany got splendid oilcloths and other things, but didn't get anything of any importance.
The Yankees didn't leave more than thirty of their dead and I didn't think they carried many, if any, off. Several they bueried in a hury and left their shoes sticking out. The papers says their wounded two hundred, but I hardly think it was that many. Our boys is put down at fifteen killed and sixty wounded; we also lost a good many horses. Captain Edwards carried twenty five in the fight and had one killed and nine wounded. Cousin Irvin Dantzler was wounded in the hand. I don't know any of the rest that was wounded. The Yankees had a great deal of lightwood tied up in bundles and tar hemp round them so as to catch quick. I suppose with the intention to burn the bridges on the railroad. I don't know any thing of the fight at Coosawhatchie only what the papers gives an account off. We all returned in the night being hungry and tired down. We have been faring well indeed since we have been here and have got no right to complain.
Give love to all
Your true brother
Write soon.�������� L. M. D.
Mond. Oct. 28,1862.
I reckon you thought strange that I did not send Joe's clothes by Uncle Mid but the reason why I did not send them was because I was on guard and didn't get the bundle that had your letter in it until Uncle Mid was gone. Joe is very anxious to get home and I thought I would let him go the next chance I got and I will make him bring all his clothes.
If you can please have a coarse pair of over socks with long legs made for me. There is a good deal of fever in the Company. Arthur and Edward both had fever yes�terday but it is cold and raining this morning and I hope will stop the fever. I must close as it is most time for the mail to leave.
Your true Son,
J. M. Dantzler.
Feb. 3, 1865
I put off writing till this
morning thinking I would get a letter yesterday, but it didn't come. Uncle Mid
sent up his furlough yesterday. If it is signed I will send this by him. I
hardly think he can get off for we had something of an alarm last night. A
courier came in last night from
Major Rast has taken command again. The men are very much out with him. The petition to the Gov. to dis�band the battalion will be back today or tomorrow. I don't think he will grant it.
When you get a letter from Freddie please send it to me.
Has Pa ever written to Dan Avinger why I did not go to Adam's Run?
It is raining again and looks as if we are going to have another spell of bad weather. I will close, If Uncle Mid gets a furlough he can tell the news.
Your affectionate son
D. Zimmerman Dantzler
P. S. Uncle Mid can't get the furlough. The picket has come in. I think the report of a battle at Braxton's Bridge is false.
The following letters were addressed to Mrs. Mary H. Dantzler, Vances Ferry, and were written by Dr. Lewis Dantzler, Captain of Company H, 11th Regiment of the South Carolina Reserve Army.
Jan. lst, 1863.
I received your letter in due time and I write now to get my letter in Saturday's mail. I have been so much engaged in getting matters straight-together with the business of the Company and making out four large pay and muster rolls that I have hardly had time to think about anything.
All these matters and drilling keep me constantly em�ployed, for I have all to do myself and can't, like some of the officers, put some off on others. .
I cannot direct a word how or what they should be doing home for I cannot have time to think about home matters. You must do the best you can. Ask Mid and Cousin F. Connor when you are at lost how to work. If you can't get on without more Black Smith work, ask them to direct you what sort of iron and how much to get and try and get it. If you need more salt you will have to make up a load of something to send to town and get it _____ I sent for okra and potato coffee but I was mistaken, it is okra and rye they use in our mess.
I received the box by D. M. Shuler and will I think do very well with one box more if you have a chance to send it. I think then you need not send more unless I write.
Zack Stroman is very sick in camp but is a little better this morning. We have measles in camp and 3 men home sick with it. We have a good many to get it.
They calculate we will get off the 7th or 8th Feb. so we have but 5 weeks to stay.
Last night was a very cold night but we got along very well. We have about as good times as any Reg, can have to have any organization at all. We have an easy man for Col. but a poor officer, and without a fight we will do very well. The men seem to be getting more satisfied, and get along very well.
If you get the amt. of money I expect from Russell, tell Cousin John to go up to Spartanburg and pay Bobo for the nails and then if you get it you can let the neighbors have what they need.
The election for officer has been suspended by the order of Gen. Beauregard and I think very wisely for it was creating great excitement in camp.
Remain yours affectionately,
Jan. 16th, 1863.
I received your letter last night and write early this morning to get my letter to you by Saturday night. We have had a terrible blow here for the last 24 hours and now is raining so we cannot go out of the tent.
I am getting along well and feel well and I am doing well. We have in my Company four cases of measles which is just coming out on the men and I am afraid it will be hard.
I got a letter from Fred on his
If those steers are fat enough to kill you can have them killed for J. Felder and keep what you want for your own use. I shall write no more now. The wind is blowing terribly,
Feb. 1st, 1863.
I have just seen Wash Snell and he tells me his father is in town. I write this with the expectation of getting him to carry it up.
I feel something like getting sick yet indeed I do not feel any uneasiness about it. I am only tired of this place and wish for the time to come for me to leave. I would have come home but I concluded it would be awful if would get sick there. By the time I can come with perfect safety I will be needed in camp to close up the business of the Company. So I shall go back to Pocataligo next Friday or Saturday.� �
The Regiment will be disbanded
about the 16th. The old men will all come home to stay, but all under 40 will have choice where they will go but they will
be kept in service. Yesterday was a very terribly exciting day on account of
the capture of a boat and the crew as prisoners on the
I cannot say what ought to be done in work but the plows should be kept employed in breaking up ground.
All fields on Jack Branch should be broken up. At Poor Chance the Bachelor field and the Duck Pond field and the field across the road from the graveyard ought to be broken up also. I want the plows to go on steadily so that if I want to send to town after I come home I shall have time to do so. If you think right you can send off some bacon and what�ever else will sell well before I come. Write me if you want more salt. I can bring some when I come.
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