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South Carolina
We are expecting a battle here soon...
South Carolina

Emblems of Southern Valor, The Battle Flags of the Confederacy Joseph H. Crute, Jr. Illustrations by Roland N. Stock ISBN# 1-56013-001-6.

Music by Dayle K.

Thanks to Joann Arrington of Fairplay, S.C. and to Daniel and Henry Tollison for these letters.

The following letter is one of several written by Private G. W. Davis, (George W. Davis) to his family. This letter is written shorty before or after the arrival of the Sixteenth and the Gist Brigade in Tennessee. The Sixteenth will not get to Chickamaugha for the battle but the rest of the Gist Brigade will. This is the battle that Private Davis anticipates.

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.

Tenasee Near the Noxville Railroad

September 2, (1863)

My Ever Dear Mother

it is with grate pleasure I andwer your kind letter whith found me well. Hooping this may find you all the same. We arived here on the last day of Aug. we are in 10 miles of Chatanango Tenasee. My dear mother there is no thing new to write to you only we are expecting A battle here soon. I cant tell you mutch about this state as we havent bin here long. I will write you more about it in my next letter. I want to see you all very mutch but I cant tell when it will bee soon. I hope I will get to come home soon but it is a bad chance now. I want yo to send me a pare of pants, & 2 pare of socks & something to eat & some brandy. Doo try to send them if you can get any chance. I cant think of any thing moe to write this time. you must excuse this short letter. Give my love to all. I will try to take the best cae of my self that I can. Doo write often except my love. From youre true devoted son

G.W. Davis

Direct to Co B, 16th Regt.
Walkers Devisson
Chatanooga Tenasee

The battle Private Davis anticipates will be fought without the Sixteenth South Carolina. Unable to move all of the forces available to bring them to bear, Bragg will still have a victory and once again muddle his way through to defeat. The Sixteenth will sit on a siding and watch the other units of the Gist Brigade and Longstreet's Corps roar by on trains bound to the front. They could not know how very lucky they were. Following the service in Mississippi the men of the Sixteenth are still suffering the constant needs of the Confederacy's armies in the west. Clothing, food, good water, tools are all in short supply. Only with the arrival of good old Uncle Joe Johnson will the worst of these needs be addressed in an orderly fashion, although Bragg did not provide as little as some.

To Return to the Letters Index, follow General Gist; to go home, follow the flag.