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South Carolina
"Mary I can't write all that I want to so I will stop"
South Carolina

Private Young Hitch
Company I
Sixteenth South Carolina

"Stonewall Jackson’s Way"
Music by Dayle K.

To Mrs. Mary a. Hitch at home. J.H.E. Hitch

Camp near Dalton, Georgia, March 13, 1864

Mrs. Mary A. Hitch,

Dear wife, as I sent you no letter by H.G. Vaughn I will drop you a few lines. I don’t feel very well to day I have cold or may be takeing mumps, though I may not taken them, but wee have one case of them here in camp.

Mary you may rest easy about my clothing, the way everything has turned out I have done pretty well, as we have had cabbins to stay in most of the winter and the winter has not been as hard as some winters.

True I would rather have the coat you made than these short jackets when it rains. But as it is I have as much or more than I can pack and toat on a march. So I want you to put that suit in the drawer & keep them until next fall maybe you may yet see me put them on. Mary I have three cotton shirts two are getting smartly worn, and two flannel shirts. If it had been clean I would of sent Joseph my red shirt for it would come nearer of fitting him. I have three pairs of drawers one is old. I have a pretty bd pair of pants on & drew a good pair the other day. They are just plain homespun but they are lined & well made. I also drew a pair of shoes my old ones are thing & rather tight. My new ones are rather large, But I can wrap my feet up with rags & keep them warm. I have one pair of socks that I hant wore any yet. If you have any socks you may send me a pair by Vaughn. I would as soon have cotton ones. You may send me a pair of suspenders and some sewing thread. If H.G.V. can fetch it you may send me a little honey & brandy for I could sell the brandy & get something to eat. I had of thought yesterday I might of sent you some buttons for pants for you may need some. Mary I told Vaughn to go to see you & the boys & to tell you to treat him to some honey & brandy for me that I could not get there to get any of it myself & that I wanted a friend that could drink some of it.

Mary I can’t write all that I want to so I must stop. I rec. yours of the 7th to day glad to hear from you, I hope this may find you well. Hitch

So it begins, shortly Sherman will begin to push the Army of Tennessee back toward Atlanta. Like J.D. Cooper in G Company and G.W. Davis in B Company, Private Hitch feels the press of time, there will be a campaign and although Uncle Joe has done his best for his beloved men… it isn’t enough. Come summer Young Hitch will be backed up against Kennesaw Mountain and a Federal bullet will seek him out on the picket line. He will draw his last breath on a hot muggy Georgia day. His friend, Sergeant H.G. Vaughn, also of Company I, will do better, he will live to see Winstead Hill, outside of Franklin, Tennessee, in late November, but there he too will meet his fate. Probably the most striking thing about the letters of the men of the Sixteenth is the number of people mentioned and the number of authors who do great kindness to one another, who carry messages and packages back and forth, who love their brothers, mothers, fathers, grandfathers and children, who will never live to see these families they love again. Scattered from the coast of South Carolina, to Mississippi, strewn across the hills of northern Georgia and the beautiful rolling country of middle Tennessee, buried in forgotten graves in North Carolina, in 1865, my home, our south. was one vast graveyard… nothing left but letters like this one, from men who only wanted a little honey, a taste of brandy, the sight of their children, the kiss of a beloved wife and the freedom to govern themselves. Men who had done nothing more than what their Great Grandfathers had done, declared themselves free and self governing.

Furnished by John Bigham
Confederate Relic Room
Columbia South Carolina
Donated to the Relic Room by Nan Barmore

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