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South Carolina
Letters of Samuel McKittrick
Part V
South Carolina

"Brass Mounted Army"
Music by Dayle K.

McKittrick Letters Part I and II

McKittrick Letters Part III and IV

Atlanta, Georgia
Thursday, April 7, 1864
Dear Wife,

I am resting here and waiting for the night train for Dalton. I will give you a journal of my trip so far. I left Greenville about 2 o’clock Tuesday morning, arrived at Columbia about 4 that evening. Having my baggage to watch or carry it some 4 miles to cousin Thos’, I did not go there. Dr. Brooks who is Stewart of our Regt. was and is still in my company on his way to Jack. He and I paid $3.00 each for a bed rather than sleep in the open air or inhale the impure gas of the hospital. . We then set out on Wednesday morning at 4 o’clock for Augusta. Got there about half past 4 and left for this place at 7 and arrived here at 9 this morning. We will leave here at 8 this evening for Dalton. I am here and will take a warm dinner with my old friend, W.P. Rice, Esq., who has an office in the Transportation Depot. He is giving me a kind entertainment, a true man. I have been well so far, My dear, the parting scene has not lost its power upon me yet. May the Lord grant that we may meet again. I was very much surprised at finding we had forgotten so many important articles, the letters, tin cup, knife and fork, tin plate, coarse and find combs, and most of all that which may cheer my lonely hours, your beautiful portrait. I bought a cup here for $2.50 a few minutes ago.

I will go on the Regt. and learn what I need most and send you word when I wish this. I started from home with $43.75. I paid for transportation to Columbia $7.50, for bed $3.00, $2.50 for cup and my transportation papers were not fixed up right from Augusta to Dalton. I had to pay $5.00, perhaps I get again. I have now my papers right. I came right on. The guard had nothing to do with me. He acted as though they cared nothing about my going into service ……. tomorrow.

I thought I would wait until I got to Camp. But in thinking it over, I thought that if I waited Thomas League might start before you received my letter. I want you to ask him to bring my knife, and fork and plate., coarse and fine combs and your likeness. You need not send any cup as I told you I had bought one. Wrap up all these things closely. I think he will bring them as I obligated his family in leaving their letters at home. Lieut. Edward Roberts is here on his way home. He is elected Capt. of my company. He beat Hodges. Thos Austin is again elected Lieut. I am satisfied Roberts tells me there is one vacancy yet. I did not in the least intimate of wanting any position. I would rather he was Capt. than Hodges. Dear wife do the best you can in your desolate condition. Kiss my dear little ones for me.

Your loving husband,

Sam’l McKittrick

Dalton –

Dr. Brooks – there are a number of Brooks in the Sixteenth, Sergeant J.L. Brooks who graduated from Furman in 1860 and served in Company A of the Sixteenth seems the more likely choice.

W.R. Rice –

Thomas League – Private – Company A – Sixteenth – Present at Sur. Greensboro (MR) – Wounded Franklin 11/30/64(MR)(T) - Thomas Riley League -Became a Doctor - Born 11/04/46 Died 10/31/17 = Buried Clear Spings - Simpsonsville, S.C.

Lieut. Edward Roberts – Captain – Company I Sixteenth - Present at Surrender, Greensboro (MR) – Wounded Franklin 11/30/64 (MR)(T)

Hodges – Hodges, W. Ludlow – Lieutenant – Company I Sixteenth - Resigned, 5/64 – Present at the Surrender. - W. Ludlow Hodges also served as the Lt. Colonel of the First S.C. State Troops from 8/63=2/64. It is difficult to tell if this is a father and a son or a single man.

Thos. Austin – Lieutenant – Company I – Sixteenth - Promoted to Lieutenant 3-64 –Typhoid -9/22/64 (CSR)- There appears to be a second J.T. Austin in Company I of the Sixteenth. He is listed killed as a Private at Kennesaw Mt.7/16/64(MR)(T) or 6/22/64(K). Listed as dying a Cauldell Hospital in Griffin, Ga.

Camp Near Dalton
April 17th, 1864
Dear wife

As the mail is going out shortly I very hastily drop you a line this morning. I am quite well this morning and very able for my allowance. I am very anxious to hear from you, having heard nothing since leaving you. I dreamed of you last night, but alas I fear my dream will not soon be realized. I suppose that you are waiting for Thomas League to bring me news from you as I hope he soon will. The weather is very cold here, indeed for the season.I have to stand Guard about every fifth day and night. I stood once since coming here. We held an election for 3rd Lieut. on last Thursday. Hodges and Paul Birden were the candidates. Hodges was elected by one vote majority. You can see the feeling that a man who knows comparatively nothing about the military comes within on vote of beating the best officer or one of the best in the Regt. Some of the Company wanted me to run but I refused. I am glad Hodges is elected. He is a gentleman. There will soon be another vacancy as Lieut. Garret has resigned. He will not go before the Board of Examination. Some want me to run but I will not be made a tool of by such men as I could name. My dear, do not show or let any person see this letter as you know how things are. I hope you are getting on very well, with your farm. I want my dear children to be all good and read their Testaments, etc. Kiss Turner and Jeffy for me.

Your Loving Husband

Samuel McKittrick

Thomas League – Private – Company A – Sixteenth – Present at Sur. Greensboro (MR) – Wounded Franklin 11/30/64(MR)(T) - Thomas Riley League -Became a Doctor - Born 11/04/46 Died 10/31/17 = Buried Clear Spings - Simpsonsville, S.C.

Hodges – Hodges, W. Ludlow – Lieutenant - Resigned, 5/64 – Present at the Surrender - W. Ludlow Hodges also served as the Lt. Colonel of the First S.C. State Troops from 8/63=2/64. It is difficult to tell if this is a father and a son or a single man.

Paul Birden – probably Paul Verdin – Sergeant – Company I – Sixteenth - Sur. Wounded Atlanta(MR)(T) Listed as P.J. Virden at Surrender - Paul Jones Verdin - B: 1837 - D: 1896- M: Wealthy Hamby - Buried: Bethel United Methodist Church -Paul and Wealthy had 6 children. His son Thomas married Elizabeth Pike, daughter of Lewis Morgan Pike, Co. F - Mauldin Legacy

Lt. Garret - Sur. Greensboro(MR) –Wounded Franklin 11/30/64(MR)(T) - Listed in Laurens County Enrollment Book of Confederate Veterans, 1902, page 57 and 58; Died Since War, listed as a Private in Babb's Company and as Lt. in Company E and I - 1902 Pension – Garrett, E.N. - Greenville County – Fairview -Class C- No1 - 1901 - Company I, 16th – Disabled by wound - Erasmus Newport Garrett

Camp near Dalton, Ga.
April 24th, 1864

Mrs. M.A. Mckittrick.
Dear Wife,

I am by the goodness of God in good health this morning. I have no very interesting news to give you. I am here trying to content myself as well as I can, but I will never be able to live contented away from you and my dear little ones even if I were promoted to rule a Kingdom. Nothing can dissipate you from my mind. I went to see your brother Adam yesterday and spent several hours in pleasant conversation with him. I dined with him and his Col. Our dinner consisted of a slice of fried bacon to each man, corn bread and a cup of water. The Col.made some apology and said it was the best he could do, that he could get nothing by foraging and only draws a soldier’s rations. Officers live as hard here as privates.

Adam is gong to start home on furlough tomorrow. He has not been since last Oct. James D. Piden has just got back from home, and says all our connections are well. James’ wife is dead, his children at his father’s. Adam tells me he thinks that I.D. is trying to court at Uncle John Piden’s. He don’t think it will take. I got acquainted with Uncle Thomas Piden’s son who is in service.

Adam appears only tolerable well contented. He showed me a letter he had received from Rachel who writes in good spirits, etc. She tells him that she thinks it better to sell the old pace some time this year. Adam things best not until the times change or the war is over. He told me he intends to make a trip to our country when the war is over. I hope he may be able to do so. Mrs. Steven’s is living in the house with Jeff’s whole family yet I find they have William under their thumb. Julia has brought Adam a fine son which he has never seen yet, which was born in December last. I suppose I will soon be in his situation. I hope and pry that you may be blessed in your trouble. We are having to live a Christian’s life. Have no earthy comfort worth seeking and if I had it would be sinful to rely upon it. I hope that you and my dear little ones are this day employed in the social and secret worship of God. Let us live so that ere long we will be one unbroken family in Heaven though we be separated on earth for a time. May the God of all Grace keep you from sin and guide you by his counsel. Give all my love to Mr. & Mrs. Buditt and tell them their sons are well and doing well. To Mr. & Mrs. Ashmore, Mr. & Mrs. League, tell them their sons are well also.

Brother Adam – Adam of Miss – Adam Stennis – Adam Turner Stennis was the older brother of Mary A Stennis, the wife of Samuel McKittrick – He was born on September 3, 1819 and died on May 6, 1878. He married Julia Edwards and appears to have removed to Bailey, Mississippi. It also appears from this entry that he controlled the family property in Fairview.

Brother Adam’s Colonel - Lt. Col. Henning of the Fifth Mississippi was in command at Dalton but Colonel John Weir was in command at the beginning of the campaign. One of the two is certainly the man McKittrick has reference too.

James Piden - James Peden – See Below

I.D. -

Uncle John Pedin – Uncle John Peden – Probably John Tillinghast Peden 1822- who was married to Rebecca Eliza Stennis, older sister of Mary A. Stennis, Mckittrick’s wife – at least part of the family was in Mississippi Born page 464- PNA)

Uncle Thomas Peden’s son - Moses White Peden (page 170, PNA) oldest son Thomas Jefferson Peden (page 183, PNA) had children that migrated to Mississippi. The oldest son of Thomas Jefferson Peden is named Moses White. He is probably the M.W. Peden listed below. He married Olive Wiler of Newton County, Mississippi. They had no children. That would be the son of Uncle Thomas. The second Moses White Peden's sister Mary Ann Peden married William Knox Stennis son of Alexander Peden Stennis. There is also another brother Thomas William Peden who migrated to Noxubee County, Mississippi.

Rachel - Rachel Stennis Anderson – sister of Adam Turner Stennis and Mary Stennis McKittrick

Mr. Steven’s –

Jeff -

William -

Julia – Adam’s wife

Adam and Julia’s son – The child is Joseph Dudley Stennis born December 21, 1863. He would die on April 22, 1934 and have three children following his marriage to Pearl Mahan in 1897. See Adam Stennis letter of 1/7/84 which carries similar news.

Mr. & Mrs. Burditt and sons – Jesse Burdett

Mr . & Mrs. Ashmore -

Mr. & Mrs. League and sons -

Fifth Mississippi Infantry and the Peden’s

For additonal information and links to other pages about this unit, See Mckittrick Letters, Parts II and III.

Albert E. Fant and John R. Dickens served as the Colonel’s commanding the regiment. Samuel F.M. Faucett, John B. Herring, W.L. Sykes served as Lieutenant Colonel, with Herring also serving in the rank of Major. James R. Moore, John Weir and Adam T. Stennis also served as Majors of the unit with Stennis serving as Adjutant. John Weir served as Colonel as well. The fifth was organized with men from Pike, Amite, Lauderdale, Winston, Noxubee, and Kemper Counties. It served in Florida very early in the war and fought at Shiloh under General Chalmers. The unit lost 47% of the 170 engaged at Murfreesboro and 33% of the men engaged at Chickamauga Only a remnant surrendered in April of 1865. (Crute)

Peden’s serving in Company I of the Fifth:

Peden, Andrew H.*
Peden, A.W.
Peden, D.A. – shown as a Second Lieutenant of Company I, Fifth Mississippi State Troops
Peden, David T.*
Peden, James D. – Second Lieutenant*
Peden, James K.
Peden, John J. – Sergeant
Peden, John T. – Ord. Sgt *.
Peden, J.R. – Sergeant – listed as Company I, Fifth Mississippi State Troops
Peden, Lacy G.*
Peden, M.W. *(See Above)
Peden, Robert M. - First Lieutenant
Peden, T.J. – listed as Company I, Fifth Mississippi State Troops

James D. Peden was born in 1792 at Fairview and served in the Creek and Seminole War, and in the War of 1812.. He also saw service in the war for Texas Independence. He married Mary Baker and moved to Kemper County, Mississippi. Among his children are John Tillinghast (Born 1822- Married - Rebecca Eliza Stennis, older sister of Mary A. Stennis page 464- PNA), James Drumwoodin (Served through the entire War Between the States on the Confederate side – page 465 PNA), Andrew Hugh Hamilton (Born 1831 – Died for the Confederate cause – page 473 PNA) and William M. Three of the four appear to have seen service with this unit. (Page 464 of The Pedens of North America.)

Alexander D Peden (page 481- PNA) migrated to Georgia and married Rebecca Durham. The town of Peden or Padan, Mississippi is named for him In 1875, he and all his sons removed to Texas. Alexander was born at Fairview in 1804 and died in 1880. His sons include C. David Thomas (Born 1830- page 482 –PNA), John Alexander (Killed in the Confederate Army-page 488-PNA), James Dunwoody (Born -1839 – Married Margaret Elizabeth Stennis – House of Alexander- page 492 –PNA), Lacy Griffin (Born- 1843 – page 494 – PNA), and Andrew Hamilton. Certainly some of these sons are also included in the above list. Page 481 of The Peden’s of North America.

Wednesday 27th
Dear wife,

I very anxiously looked for a letter from you but get none. I think you surely have written before now. There is great uncertainty in the mails. I am well and trying to get along as well as I can, and as well satisfied as I will ever be away from you. There is no situation or position that can supply your place in my heart. We are expecting something to do here before long. We have received orders to move all surplus baggage to the rear. We have boxed our heavy and surplus baggage to be sent off and home. The box was sent to Mr. Burditt you will find I have sent home a pair of new shoes and my old pantaloons. I can draw plenty of clothing here and if we have to march I cannot carry it. I wish I had not brought so many from home. If you get the shoes, keep them till next winter. They fit Line or you can trade them for leather or something else. You need not expect them very shortly. I got the shoes for $10.00. I suppose they will be worth eight or ten times that next winter. I want to send some more clothes home when I get a good chance. The clothing is worth a great deal more than the commutations’ money. Our Co. are able to be up, but Thos Throckton who is pretty bad off though I think is better than he has been. My dear wife and children, do the best you can, remembering to trust in God for help.
Your ever loving husband until death
Samuel McKittrick

Thos. Throckton – Thomas Thackston – Company I, Sixteenth South Carolina

May 1st, 1864
Camp near Dalton, Ga.

Dear Wife,

This morning finds me in good health. I joyfully received by the hand of Jas. Bramblett this morning a letter and five dollars form you. He said he was at out house. Saw you and all was well and doing likewise. He told me the five dollars he gave me was for one bushel of sweet potatoes. I am glad to hear that you had got on so well planting, and that you had a prospect of friends in you trial, etc. The Lord will always raise up friends to us in times of trial. I am also glad to hear that you have started me something to eat. I tell you, my dear, I am living hard, but I do not wish to complain. I know that it is the lot of soldiers. I am uneasy fearing that you may be robbed of some or all of your provisions. Try to take care of all you can for I assure you this is only the beginning of hard times if the war lasts much longer. This whole country is eat out – we cannot buy anything here scarcely for any price and when we can it takes all a man’s money to buy very little. Flour $1.25 per pound, Bacon $5.00, Eggs $44.00 per doz., etc. I have bought nothing yet. I am trying to save all I can, perhaps too much so. I have spent but one dollar since coming to camp and that was for pegging my shoes. I tell you that I rec’d my fine comb by letter by Thos. League. We have a very warm meeting going on in our Brigade. Several have joined the Church and are to be Baptized today into the different denominations. I am truly glad to hear that John and Add are reading their Testaments by your encouragement. I am reading my Testament through from the beginning. My dear wife and children, the great end of life is to prepare for death. All is quiet now in Camp though we are daily expecting orders, but there is no telling when we may (be) needed. We are within some 30 miles of their Headquarters at Ringgold.

My dear, this day 13 years ago we followed to the grave our poor little Stennis. Wee have had many vicissitudes since then. Oh, if I could see you all and my shugary boys Jeffy and Turner.

May 1st, 1864
8 o’clock in the evening

I have taken dinner and now sit down to finish my letter. I attended Church today. A large audience were in attendance. About 90 persons have joined the different denominations., some 50 joined the Methodist, 25 the Baptized, and most of the balance the Presbyterians, except a few who joined the Episcopalians. 15 were baptized by sprinkling this morning by a Methodist preacher and several are gone to be immersed by a Baptist preacher. The meeting is still going on, but I have not the pleasure to say that many of the new converts belong to our regiment (16th). There is quite a serious feeling apparently in our Brigade and I hear it is quite so among other commands. I am very well pleas with our Chaplain (Depass). He is a familiar working man and I think he is popular among the men. We have an association of Professors in the Regt., organized in the Regt., that all denominations join together and pledge themselves to the performance of certain duties and abstinence of certain vices and subject an offender to reproof or expulsion form the Association, etc., but I find that many will object, some on the ground that they cannot keep the Rules, that they are too strict, and others that this or that difficulty is in the way, when in fact they have no heart to abstain from vice. I am going to send a letter to Mr. League with this. Give my respects to Mr. & Mrs. Stokes, tell him I hear that the Raiders have not attacked him since I left. Remember me to Rachel and family and tel them to write to me. I intend to write to her when convenient. Your loving husband. (Kiss Shugary for me)
Samuel McKittrick

Chaplain Depass –

Mr. and Mrs. Stokes –

Raiders –

Rachel and Family - Rachel was the older sister of Mary A. Stennis.

Camp near Dalton, Ga.
May 4, 1864
Dear Wife,

I am well this evening although much fatigued. On yesterday morning about 2 o’clock the orders came that the enemy were advancing, that we must cook 2 days rations, to start at half past 7 o’clock. We got up and made ready to march. General Walker’s whole Division were ordered out, consisting of 6,000 troops. The line of men extended over a space of about 2 miles, a grand scene to see this long line followed by the Ambulance Corps and Ambulance Wagons to carry and haul the wounded from the field. We moved on 10 miles to a point called the Spring- Place, at which the Yanks had been a week ago. This is a small broken –down village now principally used for a rendezvous for soldiers. We arrived there about 2 o’clock much wearied, for when I got all my trappings ready for curiosity I weighed and found they weighed 30 lbs., and that without one of my blankets and cloak and one pair of my pantaloons I find that a soldier can carry but very little if he intends to hold out. We refreshed ourselves as best we could until night when our Co. had to go on picket duty with many others. We marched out a few hundred yards and took our station in a long lane. I lay in the fence corner all the night. Our guns were loaded and we entirely on the front lines, and every person that passed whether soldier or citizen, we made him give account of himself., but no enemy appeared. We left for camp this morning and after a very speedy march arrived here about 12 o’clock. The poor fellows are resting so sweetly now, and when we got here we found orders to hold our lines in readiness to march again at a moment’s warning as the Yanks are about to advance on the place that we have just left, but I hope that we will not have to go before morning at least. I think that last rip was principally taken to train the troops, etc. I have no interesting news to give you. I am trying to get along the best I can. Our meeting is still going on although the great wickedness that prevails the camp, there appears many anxious about the one thing needful.

General Walker – General W.H.T. Walker - Walker's Division was at Mill Creek Gap May 8, at Resaca on the 10th, and crossed the river to Calhoun, skirmished there on the 14th, recrossed during the battle of Resaca and went into line, then fell back with the army. There was heavy skirmishing near Cassville, May 19, and the division fell back across the Etowah, moved to Dallas to meet Sherman's movement by the right flank. The Division took part in the bloody battles of May, near New Hope church, skirmishing heavily for several days. The fight moved gradually to the right, till Pine Mountain was reached, where General Polk was killed June 14. Then followed the campaign along Kennesaw Mountain; thirteen days of being picked out by the sharpshooters, the battle lines being very close. July 2 they moved to Smyrna church, on the 9th they crossed the Chattahoochee.

Spring-Place -

May 8th 1864
Dear Wife,

I am well this morning. We are now about a mile beyond Dalton. We left our old camp yesterday and after a very fatiguing march of some 7 miles we took camp in the woods. Our whole, and many of the Divisions, are now lying here awaiting orders to march to the front. I am now only in camp. I cannot here describe the scene. The green-clad hills are (for this is very hilly county) alive with the bustle of soldiers and battling wagons, etc. All appear ready to meet the enemy. There were some collisions yesterday. My dear wife, when you hear of our dangerous positions do not let it affect you too much. I am calm and feel resigned to my Maker’s will, knowing that he can protect me and shield my head in Battle, and if I fall I hope to die in his favor. My great trouble is thinking of my dear wife and sweet children, in whom my soul is bound up. I know that I have your constant love and prayers, my loving wife. Your present situation grieves me. I can only commend you to God. I have too much luggage. I cannot carry them at all. If I cannot send my clothes and one blanket home, I will have to throw them away. One blanket and on pair of pantaloons are all I can keep at once. I am fearful I cannot hold out to march although I intend to try to go as far as I can. Our meeting is still going on and numerous have joined the church. We had a meeting in the greenclad grove this morning. 6 were baptized and about 15 mourners in the Altar seeking God’s favor. My dear wife and children, this meeting was the most impressive of any we have had. To see a large mass of sinful creatures as it were, standing upon the Brink of Eternity, worshipping perhaps for the last time in the world. The Preacher (Dupass) made a strong appeal to the soldiers. Many serious reflections crowded my mind as it came back to by-gone days and to future prospects. A tear fell from my eyes. The weather is quite warm here for the season. The water pretty good. Tom and Davis Bircliff and Mr. League’s boys are well. I.M. Havard has been sick, but is now better and able to march. He is with us. We have not received your box I am fearful we will not get it here before we leave. May the Lord prepare you all.

Your loving husband,

Samuel McKittrick

Preacher Dupass – Chaplain of the Sixteenth

Tom and Davis Bircliff – Probably two of the Burdett boys.

Mr. League’s boys – are members of A Company – they include Corporal Wm. Pliny League -B: Aug 15 1844 -D: Oct 14 1932, Married: Fannie Moon , Buried: Simpsonville City Cemetery – Present at Surrender Greensboro(MR) –Wounded- Dalton, Ga.(MR); Joshua League – KIA – Jonesboro -9/1/64 - Buried: Clear Springs. Simpsonville,S.C.., KIA Sept. 1864 aged 20 yrs. and 5 days", Brother of Wm. Pliny League; League, Thomas – Wounded Calhoun, Ga. - Thomas Riley League- Became a Doctor -Born 11/04/46 Died 10/31/17 - Buried Clear Springs - Simpsonsville, S.C.; League, Wm., DOD Dalton 02/20/64 (K)(MR)(T)(CSR) - Buried: Confederate Cemetery Marietta, Georgia -U.D.C., Vol. 2, page 627, U.D.C. information is dated.

I.M. Havard – Lt. J.M. Howard

May 16, 1964
Camp near Calhoun, Gordon County, Ga.
Dear Companion,

I have the pleasure to inform you that I am well, by the Blessing of God in good health. We are now and have been in the line of Battle for several days but have not been in a battle yet. On last Saturday morning the Yanks attacked Resaca, a small town on the Railroad below Dallas about 13 miles. Our Division were ordered. We left camp about 7 o’clock in the morning, marched within 3 miles of Battlefield where several companies had to go on picket duty. Among them were our’s. We stayed nearly a day and night on the river bank in sight of the Yanks, occasionally exchanging shots, but none of us were hurt. In the mean time the Battle was raging at Resaca. Our Regt. were ordered to it, but were not in the fight. We left on Sunday morning as the Yanks were about to bag us. We marched some 7 miles in retreat down the railroad and there threw up some breastworks. But as the enemy were about to com upon us, and we were not strong enough to fight them, we again had to retire after dark some 2 miles back and formed the present line of battle. They Yanks are persuing us. We are now entirely in the front. They are now in hearing of our camp. Their Pickets and our’s are now nearly together. More tomorrow.
May 17th

Dear Wife,

Thinking my narrative will amuse you, I will go on. Our skirmisher met on yesterday and fought desperately. Only 2 companies in our Regt. were engaged. The Brigade threw up breastworks and lay in plain view of the field of action. Our skirmishers repulsed the whole Yankee skirmishers. You must understand that when skirmishers fight nobody else touch until each party get up within range of the other’s guns. The C balls came all around us but fortunately but one man was hit in line of our Brigade and he slightly wounded. We have been greatly preserved. Lieut. Minners was killed and Thomas League slightly touched. He came very near being killed, and one man in the 24th regiment in our Brigade was killed and some others slightly wounded. The Hand of God appeared to be signally on our side. The Battle ceased about 6 o’clock. We lay quietly until about 2 o’clock at night when we were ordered to move forthwith. We arose and packed up and left and marched some 10 miles down the railroad to where we now are, near a little point called Adairsville. To what point we will go to next I cannot tell. We suppose that Gen. Johnston is trying to hold the enemy out of their fortifications so he can flank them. I confess I don’t understand so much falling back. The road this morning was crowded with thousands of soldiers. We are now resting in the woods and taken our dinner or rather breakfast for rations gave out on yesterday and the wagons had to go ahead so we got nothing until we overtook them. I made a very palatable dinner or broiled bacon and cornbread, having eat nothing since yesterday but half of a cracker and marched from 2 to 10 o’clock you may guess how my appetite was. But my dear wife, do not understand me to complain. I am still alive and well except my fatigue. I try to feel thankful. I wish you could behold us for a few moments. The poor…….. worn soldiers are lying about by thousands, some sleeping, some eating, others engaged in various ways, the most of them appear cheerful and merry. My feeling were greatly revived upon receiving within a few minutes after arriving here a kind letter from you, dated the 10th inst. My dear, I almost could see and hear you talk. I am gratified to hear that you are doing so well, hoping that John has got well before this time. You wish to know how to direct your letters. Direct to Samuel McKittrick, Co.I, 16th Regt. S.C.V., Gist Brigade, Army of Tennessee, or you may say Dalton as the letters are stopped before they get to Dalton. Dalton is now vacated. If you direct as you have done and add Gist Brigade I will get it. I have received all your letters so far. You say you have written 5. I have received 5 from you. The other letters you spoke of that I left have all come to hand long ago. But unfortunately having to march about so much we have not got our box you sent us. We do not know where it is. I am fearful we will never see it. We need not try to get anything in that way while we are running about this way.
May 18 Down near Cassville.

Dear wife,
I am well today.
The Yanks came upon us yesterday. Just before I wrote to you we were thrown in line of Battle an lay there until about 1 o’clock this morning when we got up and slipped off and have marched 15 miles. We are now at the Little Branch close to Cassville (Two Run) where you will recollect we camped as we went to Miss., both going and coming, where the dead horse lay close to us. We had a hard march today. I think we will make a stand here somewhere. Our whole army have fallen back. We must fight them shortly or they will flank us. My dear, I feel reconciled to fight the foe when ever I am called to do so. May the Lord sustain you and my dear children.

Your loving husband,

Samuel Mckittrick.

Lt. Minner – Lt. Mims - Mims, Samuel P.-Lieutenant-Company A-Sixteenth S.C.V. – Mims attended Furman University prior to the war. Death is mentioned in, Enlisted for War: Eugene Jones, page 162. Mims was killed in action at Calhoun, Ga. His body was identified in error as that of Capt. Steinmeyer of the 24th.

Thomas League – Wounded-Calhoun, Ga.(MR)(T)-Also Listed as Thomas R.-Thomas Riley League-Became a Doctor-Born 11/04/46 Died 10/31/17-Buried Clear Spings- Simpsonsville, S.C.

Dallas – Battle of New Hope Church

Camp in the woods, Cobb County, Ga.
June 4th, 1864
Dear wife,
I am by the blessing of God tolerably well. I have been troubled for the past two days with Diarrhoea. I hope I will soon be alright. I received your kind letter dated 27th Inst. on yesterday. McKinney did not come to the Regt. I was getting very anxious to hear form you. Your letter gave me great pleasure was alloyed with grief that you are so troubled about my in your poorly situation. I am continually thinking of you and praying that the Lord will take special care of you and my dear children. I have been mercifully preserved so far. We were in a battle last Sunday night. If you have received my last letter you will have the news up to Sunday morning. On that night we were lying behind our breastworks about 12 o’clock at night the Yanks commenced firing on our works, we commenced firing on their’s. There was rapid firing for a few minutes, the cannon on both sides opened. They threw their shell all around us. I tell you the scene was awful almost beyond description, the night added to the horror of the scene. There was but one man killed in our regt. a Mr. Wade about GCH, and one or two others wounded. I think the Enemy intended to take us by surprise but they found us ready to receive them. The 16th Regt. has certainly been in a fight at last, and they will fight too. We lay and skirmished with them until Wednesday when they left their position and we have come about 7 miles to the right where we are now lying in line of Battle with a great many other troops. There is not much skirmishing this morning, I cannot tell what the issue will be but there will surely be some hard fighting somewhere on these lines. Our line of Battle is several miles long, the enemy is trying to break our line and get to Atlanta we think.

Sunday, June 5th – in Line of Battle, Cobb Co., Ga.
Dear Wife,

I will finish my letter today. I never know when I commence a letter that I will have time to finish it without being stopped as we are frequently disturbed in our writing and have to lay all thinks by to march. We have been ever since the 7th of May marching around and lying in line of Battle all the time. We have marched I suppose about 150 miles by day and night. We seldom pull off our shoes at night as we have to start so suddenly. We moved a short distance yesterday and struck up camp in the rain, hearing the Yanks were getting to our right. We left camp last night about 12 o’clock and came some 5 or 6 miles in that direction, we are now going to move again this evening. We had a severe time, this moving through the mud and rain in the dark. My dear, it is a hard struggle for Independence. I am well today, my bowels are troubling me some, I stood all the hard marching better than I expected to. The troops are very much fatigued. We are now getting more to eat that we did before we left winter quarters. We get enough meat and bread. My dear wife, I hope your frightful dream will not be realized. Oh if I could be with you in your confinement, but this you know is impossible. I hope that your neighbors will not let you suffer. I hope that you are getting on with our deal (dear) little ones, be firm in government with them. Tell them I am always thinking of them. I want to see them badly. Tell Turner and Jeffy they must not say bad or ugly words. Tell Rose and Line (slaves) that I have not forgotten them, I want them to be faithful servants both to you and their God. Tell my children I want them to be such good children that if I never see them again in this world we will meet in Heaven. My dear wife, I have had many serious thoughts since I left you, about leaving the world. I sometimes fear I am not prepared but still I have a Hope that I would not give for any mansion. In the narrow escapes I passed through I felt resigned to the Lord’s will. My dear, I have no doubt of your preparation and if we both prove faithful we will soon meet where all the Horrors of war with be over. I am sorry I have not got your Likeness but I have it engraved on my heart, which nothing but death can erase. Write when you can,

Your Loving Husband,

Samuel Mckittrick

Line of Battle Near Marietta, Ga. June 27, 1864

Dear Wife,
I am by the mercy of God well this morning. I write to you under very unpleasant circumstances. We are now and have been lying behind our breastworks, and the enemy are about 900 yards in front of us, behind their fortifications, their skirmishers occasionally killing one of our men and wounding several others. It is dangerous to step from our works. Their sharpshooters are ready to pick us out. This is the only fighting we have had here, yet we are hourly expecting an attack. But they do not apear to come on us. Both parties bomb each other but to no great damage. They are both actively engaged this morning in bombing. My dear, you will scarcely believe how indifferent soldiers become to danger. This is the 9th day that we have been thus, waiting an attack. We have lost several men, in killed and wounded. I suppose we had some 15 killed and 64 wounded. Tell Mr. Brditt I have not heard from William, he left the line Greenbury. Austin is severely wounded in the head. Thomas and John Atkins brothers are both killed.

June 28, 1864
Dear Wife

I am still well. I was disappointed in finishing my letter yesterday. The news came that the enemy were advancing upon us. We all had to fly to arms for an attack but they did not come. But they attacked our line both on the right and left of our position. We hear that they were repulsed with a loss of 3,500 killed and wounded. Our loss is said to be 150 killed and wounded. A great victory. Gen. Cleburne’s division had but one killed and eleven wounded. Gen. Mercer suffered more severely. Our division namely Walkers was not engaged. We may be attacked today. If so I trust God in his providence will shield our heads and give us victory. Our troops are so worn down by fatigue and hardships that many of us care but little how soon they come as we have them to fight somewhere and perhaps as well here as anywhere else. My dear wife, I feel anxious about my dear infant. But I know that an All wise God will do all things right, I also know that your very soul yearns for its recovery and are doing all you can for its relief. The Lord's will be done. If Providence calls her away she will make an additional spirit to our department family formed in Heaven; clear from all the turmoil’s and troubles of earth. Oh, if I could be allowed to visit you and spend a few days with my most interesting family. But this privilege is denied me and I am trying to get along as well as I can by only enjoying sweet meditation of you.

Let us live so that if we never meet on earth we may make a happy reunion in Heaven. My dear try to train our dear children for Heaven as there is nothing worth living for on earth. I truly sympathize with you in all troubles and cares and can only bear you to a Throne of Grace. I hear that John Mack, Gus Sand, Thomas Reden, John Harrison, and the two Kelletts are all coming to our Co. They are due here today. If so, quite glad to hear that they are coming here. I have finished my good things from home. The man in charge of our box examined it to see what was spoiling. The potatoes were spoiled. He wrote to us there was but one pod of red pepper in the box when it came to hand and there might have been something else taken out but on the whole we were lucky to get anything. Your butter came safely and was fine indeed. Your likeness was all right. I was grieved about losing my box on account of your likeness but now I have it. William Burdett is gone to the hospital and I hope he will get a furlough home. Pliny League is well and doing likewise. So is John Howard. I hope that you are getting on with your wheat harvest some way or other though I am fearful you are troubled to get it out. Do as you think best in regard to getting it thrashed. If you think you had better haul it to the thrasher do so. Perhaps if it is not very heavy you had better do it as I suppose they can haul it without difficulty. Exercise your own judgment and I will be satisfied. We are getting plenty of bacon and cornbread, occasionally a mess of good old Rio Coffee and sugar and a mess of beef once and a while. Give my respect to Mrs. Ashmore, Mr. Mottom's family and all other inquiring neighbors and friends. I have not seen Adam lately but heard three or four days ago he was well and had escaped. Kiss my dear children for me. Your loving husband till death. Samuel Mckittrick

Mr. Ashmore – Neighbors of McKittrick, see earlier entry.

Mr. Mottom’s – Mr. Mattox’s family-Neighbors of McKittrick, see earlier entry.

Sherman continued his drive on Atlanta in the spring and summer of 1864. Mcpherson's (U.S.A) attempted envelopment through Van Wert combined with the movement of Thomas (U.S.A.) and Schofield (U.S.A.) brought on the battle of Dallas or New Hope Church (May 25-27). Levi Cooper was wounded and many other from Greenville County were buried as the drive to Atlanta continued. General Polk (CSA) was killed at Pine Mountain on June 14. Trying to protect the railroad, Johnson (C.S.A.) took up the positions on Kennesaw Mountain and dug in, Sherman would take the bait. For the first time, Sherman undertook a frontal assault. The battle of Kennesaw Mountain was the result (June 27). Captain McKittrick speaks in his letter of this battle. It was a slaughter but still Sherman came on. General Grant was not the only one who could waste good men in a headlong assault. On July 20, the 16th would be engaged again at Peachtree Creek. , then the Battle of Atlanta. By September 1, The "Gallant" Hood had enough; he would abandon Atlanta to its fate. The men of the Sixteenth would be ground up in this series of battles, totally engulfed in the hopelessness so openly expressed in Capt. McKittrick letter.

The generals mentioned are General Patrick Cleburne, General Hugh Mercer, and General William Henry Talbot Walker. General Walker would be killed in the Battle of Atlanta; Pat Cleburne would die at Franklin. General Mercer would live to see his beloved Savannah fall and the Radicals attempt to try him for war crimes. This was Mercer's reward for his role in the trial of galvanized yanks that tried to desert a second time. His home in Savannah would become famous in a way that would disturb him greatly. It is the setting for Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. He would also have a pretty good songwriter with his name, Johnny Mercer.

These men coming to the company are coming from the Palmetto Light Artillery, see Captain Holtzclaw's Life Insurance Company for more information. The Atkins brothers are probably the Atkinson brothers, J.H. Atkinson, Company A, killed on June 20 at Marietta, Ga. and Thomas A. Atkinson, Company A, killed June 15 at Marietta, Ga. John Mack is John "Mc" Peden, often identified as John McPeden or John McPedey; he made it to the company and surrendered with them as a Corporal. Gus Sand did not make it to Company I, as far as the known rosters reflect. Thomas Reden is Thomas Peden and he did make it to the company and finished the war with them. John Harrison or J.R. Harrison will serve as a Sergeant in Company I, he is related to Captain McKittrick through the Pedens. The two Kelletts, William and John A. joined Company I and finished the war alive. John was with the 16th/24th Consolidated when they stacked rifles at Greensboro.

William Burdett lived through the war, his brother David, is listed as having been wounded at Kennesaw Mountain, Ga. Pliny League is Corporal Pliny League of Company A, 16th South Carolina and will be as faithful in death as he was in life. John Howard is with McKittrick at the end for better or worse in Company I.

Sadly, Captain McKittrick's feelings about himself, as expressed in his last two surviving letters, were all too accurate. He would be killed on July 22 in the fighting around Atlanta; the Sharpshooter would finally pick him out, a footnote in a long a bitter war that he tried very hard to do his duty to both family and country in. Taylor states that Pliney League, who marked his grave, and that of Pvt. Joshua League, buried Captain McKittrick. After the war Dr. League drove a wagon from Simpsonville to Atlanta and returned these bodies for burial to Fairview Presbyterian Church and Clear Springs Baptist Church in the lower part of Greenville County. Fairview holds the bodies of more than fifty Confederate soldiers including those of my wife's family, the Peden's.

Other letters found with the Mckittrick Letters

Greenville, S.C. Sept. 15, 1863
Col. Roberts Dear Sir

I was too unwell Sunday morning to accompany the regiment as I had expected standing about in the sun on Saturday and not being used to it made me violently sick on Saturday night, and I have not recovered from the effects of it. I hear of others going next Monday and if you really think me as belonging to your regiment you must send me transportation, for I have not money enough to carry me to Columbia, and my children will have to suffer for bread in my absence. I am bound to think it hard that while I am the only printer here with a large family, or any family at all, the only son I having been in the army now going on three years and my wife and five little girl children dependent on me for everything they eat or wear, I am pressed into service, although I have papers exempting me from Confederate service, as you know while there all your printers here without any family at all who are exempted from all service. I say I think it is hard some of these young printers never served the country an hour. You know that I served the and Confederacy twelve months, a portion of the time with you. And now because I happen to be older than the other printers with my wife and five little girl children my only son in the service and without a pair of shoes to my name, worthy of the name of shoes or the money to get them. I must go into the service, while others more able are left out. You ask me what I have done with the money I have made at the printing business. No you will not ask it if you have had meat and bread to buy.

Our whole book establishment will have to be suspended while I am in the service and Mr. Elford has a contract for then (ten) thousand prayer books for the soldiers. I suppose you are aware of these facts. You know what a man of my ability would be in the field. Well my absence from the printing office virtually annuls the operations of five others, who could be useful to the Government, because no other man can do the work that I do that would keep them going you are knowing to the facts. I think if you would see Gen. Garlington and explain these facts to him, h would at once exempt me for the service knowing that I could do so much more good here It is asking a great deal of you I know, but by doing me the favor it would elicit my everlasting gratitude.


Col T.B. Roberts - See earlier entry

Mr. Elford – Col. Elford of the Sixteenth and the Third Reserves, Elford also ran a newspaper in Greenville.

General Garlington -

H.H. Sprouse to W.W. Sprouse
John’s Island, Aug. 21, 1863
Dear Brother

I seat myself for the perpos of answer yours which came to hand last night I was truly glad to here from you and to here that you was standing the hardships so well it seems that I cant stand the servis at tall. I have been very feeble all the summer and still very poley if I was in infantry I could not stand it but I have got the best riding nag in the conderery I have goe Dime the Gidfrey mare and she is one of them I wold not take a 1000 Dollars for her Wen the time is har here or seems so to me but nothing to compare to them whire you are we leave nothing to do but picket duty we are still on the Island whire we have been all the sumer. You wished to know what we thought about Charleston whether it wold stand or nor I belive the genrel opinion is it will fall they are fighting there now and have been for the last ten days I understand they have Fort Sumter is pretty well down there has been some very hard fiting about their. We this our company has not been in it yeat we have had some little serishing bu no boddy hert on our side you say you think the war will close in on yare I it will close in less time that that I bleive the people think we will be whipped in six months from now as for myself I cant draw no ides when it will quit I wish I cold Win I have no news to right you. I have not had a letter from home in three weeks but I here from occasional the war all well the last time I herd I understand the crop is very good Wheet was good enough and suppose the corn is fine it has been a very wet year too wet for low bottoms I have got Waren going to soule this year and he learns vary fast I wold give ever thing I have got in this world if it was so I cold be at home with them in pease as you say it looks like if this war last too yare longer I don’t know how I will stand it if we are spard to get home it will be a great blessing I hope and trust it may be so it wold be a pleasant thing to see you and here you talk I wold like to see you children the best in the world I have not had a letter from Mothers in some time the old lady was sick I most close for the present give my respects to all the conneting that you see and the same yourself your affection Brother

H.H. Sprouse to W.W. Sprouse

You want to the no of my regiment and the letter of the company it is 6th reg, Co.A.

H.H. Sprouse – served in Company C, 3rd South Carolina State Troops, (Jun 1862 - Jan 1863) from the Anderson and Greenville Districts. He also served in the Sixth S.C. Cavalry, Company A, as noted above.

W.W. Sprouse – served in Company A, First South Carolina Cavalry, Company A.

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