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South Carolina
The Sharpshooters are ready to pick us out....
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.

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 diappointed 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. Clabourne'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 additinal spirit to our department family formed in Heaven; clear from all the turmoils 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 somthing 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 Leage 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. Excercise 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

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 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.

This 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 appears to have lived through the war by the Taylor Rosters. David, who may be the Austin mentioned is listed as having been wounded at Kennesaw Mountain, Ga. Pliny Leage is Corp. Pliny League of Company A. John Howard is a Lieutenant in Company I.

Sadly, Captain Mckittrick's feelings about himself were all too accurate. He would be killed on July 22 in the fighting around Atlanta. Taylor states that he was buried by Pliney League, who marked his grave and that of Pvt. Joshua League. After the war Dr. League drove a wagon from Simpsonville to Atlanta and returned these bodies for burial to Fairview Presbyterian Church and another 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.

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