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South Carolina
I want you
to get me a recruit...
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.

"Richmond is a Hard Road to Travel"
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. Following the retreat from Missonary Ridge, the Army of Tennessee goes into its last winter camp. Uncle Joe has finally arrived, and he begins the task of training and making whole what is left of his army. One of the many ways, he tries to improve morale and grow his army is by offering a bounty of a furlough for each new man that is enlisted by someone already serving. The battles for Atlanta, Franklin, Nashville, and Greensboro are all yet to be, but to these men who have seen so much, they understand clearly, one more trip home... a trip that may very well be the last one.

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. I wonder at his desire for someone over fifty and under seventeen, is it possible that Private Davis knows these men can somehow escape the fate he sees for himself and his friends... I do know this, he wants only to see home one last time, for he already thinks of himself as a dead man.

Camp Near Dalton Ga.
March the 10th 1864

Dear Mother It is with the gratest of plesure that I writ you a few lines to let you har from me. I am enjoying the best of helth and I am in grater hops this letter will find you well and injoying all the compforts of life. I have no news of importance to write to day. Mother I want you to get me a recruit that is under the age of 17 years or orver the age of 50. Get get him and send him to me far I want to come home very bad. It will be a long time before I can get home if I hav to wait untill my time comes for a furlow and I want you to send me a recruit So I can get home to see you all.

Mother I want you to send me something to eat. Sent it buy Peter Charlgs (Peter Charles) or by the first one that you see coming that will bring it to me. If Margin Jack has to com send him here to me and I can get to com home to day. If untcl John has to serve in the war tell him to come out her to me. I ancered your letter when I got my things. We ar not going to draw no money. Tell the new ishiue. So I must close far this time So I remain your true Son untell Dethe.

G.W. Davis

Peter Charles, Company B, Sixteenth South Carolina, seems to find his way into many letters from Company B. I have often wondered that he was, indeed, someone very special. Private Charles got a furlough, at a time when few others could, and this was good, because less than four months away, at the foot of Kennesaw Mountain, on a hot, humid July day, he will catch the eye of a man in blue and the heart of God. He will make the long journey home from Atlanta, one last time, and he will find his way, to the Charles Family Cemetery. He was born in 1825, and will leave this plain in his thirty-ninth year. Jack and John are not identified at this time.

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