The following three letters are from several written by Private G. W. Davis, (George W. Davis) to his family. These letters are written in 1863, just before the Sixteenth will leave to go to Mississippi. As you can see, the unit is already suffering from lack of food and clothing. Private Davis served with Company "B" and "E" , Sixteenth South Carolina. The letters are held by Ms. Joann Arrington of Fairplay, South Carolina and were furnished as typed transcripts through the kindness of Henry and Daniel Tollison. Private G.W. Davis served from 1863-1865 with the Sixteenth South Carolina. It is unknown if he returned to service following his wound at Franklin. He is listed in Company E in the Taylor and Memory Rosters but cites Company B within his letters. He was born on 6/21/45 and died 4/4/19 and is buried at Washington Church near Pelzer, South Carolina. Private Davis was wounded at Franklin and served a prior enlistment in the Bozeman Guard of the Hampton Legion. Some of his letters from his prior enlistment survive. He was wounded slightly during the Peninsula Campaign, probably at Seven Pines or Gaines Mill. By the time of his service with the Sixteenth the days of plenty have passed and he is condemned to serve with little food or clothing, this is the beginning of the end. Also, as shown in these his later letters, the glory of war as seen through the eyes of a young man are long passed, as well. Like most soldiers, particularly old Confederate soldiers, the image left by his words is gaunt, starved, half naked, and very very lonely for an about to be lost home.
Mar 22th 1863
Dear Father and Mother
I seat my self this butiful Sabbath Evning to rite you a few lines to inform you that I am quite well. I hope this will soon reach you and find you all well. I have no news to rite of interest and if we are expecting a fite soon I cant tell. I am very well satesfied we have a fine company & fine regiment. This is a low and flat untraf (probably untraveled land-smb) & many gants & sand fly than you ever heard tell of. They bight very bad & are very annoying. In some places you can hardley stand them I would be glad if you have the chance for you to send me something to eat by some one that is paysing (passing-smb) for our ratshings is very short. We get plenty of corn meal but viery litle of anthing elc. William Harris* is wel & says he wants his wife to rite soon and send him some clothes. Give my love to all inquiring frends & take a good portion to you self. Rite soon and often. So I close hopeing to see you all soon.
To M. & N Woodson
Direct your letter to Adams Run SC Company B 16th Reg. S.C.V.
*William C. Harris, Private, Company B - probably 3/27/29 -7/14/77, Buried Ashmore Cemetery. The land around Adams Run is described by several men as absolutely desolate and illness has been a difficult problem for the unit during 1862 and since the return from Wilmington, N.C.
April ist 1863
it is with gratest plesure that I seat my self to write you a fue lins is ancir to yours whitch (few lines in answer to yours which-smb) I received today was glad To hear from you & to hear that you was well. This leaves me well & truly hopin when these few lins come to hand they may find you enjoying good health. I havent any thing in the way of newse to write to you at the present time. If you you dont get the chance of sending me something to eat in a weak daunt send them for I doan know whear I will be by that time. Tell the old man to write to & all so sister Mary and & brother William & tell them to write to me for I am glad to hear from any of them so I will close my dull letter by asking you to write. I still remain your tru son untill death.
G.W. Davis to Nancy Woodson
I will drop you a few lines to let you of my good health. I hope you air well. I havent any thing in the way of news to write to you that will interest you in the least. I want you to write all the newse. I wold like to see you all at this time. I want you to write the number of the killed and wounded in the batle. I want to know wheather they was mutch blud shpilt in the fight. So I will close my dull and badly roat letter for thelight is so dim that I caint see. I still Remain you Friend untill death.
G.W. Davis to Izarire Woodson
One might speculate that news of Lee's movement toward Gettysburg and Grant's move on Vickburg, have fed camp rumor that the unit will be moving to a more active area. Within two months they will be in Mississppi, moving early in May. However, the May letter shows no knowledge of that move.
Camp Melony, Adams Run
May the 4 1863
I seat my self this smorning to inform youe I am well at presant. I hope those fue lines may find youe well when they come to hand. I nothing very interesting to write you youe. I recived you kind leter the first day of may whish gave me grate peasure to hear youe all wase well. Unkle John is well at this time. Dear sister they have granting fulowes(furloughs*-smb). I think I will get to come home some of the days.
Dear Brother I want youe to save all the Egges youe can. I give youe my Best Respects I will close by saying write soon
(Below is a fragment that may connect to this letter, Uncle John is unidentified.)
Deare sister and Brother
youe must write to me soon so nothing more at presant Remanes you Brother untell deth Mary E. Davis
I will drop youe A fie lines to inform youe I am well and getting on find. Mother I want to now if youe got that lete I rote to you a bout ten days A goe. Deare mother I want youe to send me some Egges and Buter and ham of …….. if youe see in chance soon. I want to see you very bad. You must rit sun as youcan. Tell the old man to rit how he is a giten on. Rit esey is al so. So I will close in asken you to rit sun
G.W. Davis to Mary Davis
There will be no more letters from the coast of Charleston, the next will come from Mississippi, then one from Tennessee, and finally, one from Dalton, Georgia.