Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Selma, Alabama 1862

Civil War letter from Selma, Alabama from March 26, 1862. It is from A.L. Haden and is 3 pages long and is all handwritten. Here are some highlights of the letter:

Our people have not been fully aroused, they are now beginning to be and I hope ere long we shall be a unit, we are now fighting on the Mississippi River at Island #10 and if we hold that place and whip the enemy at Corinth I shall be very hopeful and if we fail there I will not despair for we shall then have to adopt a new policy which if vigorously carried would we will kill them off. I mean guerilla war. Ambush them and kill in every case where it is possible and this we can do when they undertake to march through the country as it seems they will do if they can, if we had built boats iron clad at the outset we would have whipped them long since…

The Merrimac is what we need at every place now and one such at each seaport would secure our safety it is late to begin but I am in favor of beginning now and moving as vigorously as possible. Mobile is threatened and if they take it we shall have their gun boats at this place, we have neither men nor arms here, but we have the torch, to burn everything they may want except our negroes, the cotton is what they mostly want now and that we do not intend they shall have, if fire will prevent them.

I have heard from Grey to the 12th Inst then near Fredericksburg. Willie I have not heard from so recently I suppose he is at or near Gordonsville, our army are getting much nearer home and the Yankees nearer to us, this seems to be hard I hope it is for the best, but I am inclined to fear that it exposes our weakness.

I intend to go to the mountains soon and take some hand up to plant corn for the poor soldiers wives who are left to make all they will have to live one. I feel very sad on account of that class of people. They have turned out and have gone to the war, until in many places none are left but the old men and women and children, and they are very poor, have no negroes and et the slave holders are not disposed to or send their negroes, fearing they may lose them, but their children have gone and many will never return, but they will not trust a few negroes to go when there is no dangers and this has caused the most of our troubles. We have been looking after money instead of our liberties until the enemy are all round us in immense force.

I have given up everything for the cause have lost sight of making money, ever since the commencement of this war, but have been giving until I have nearly given all for the cause of our country and still I am disposed to contribute and will be until the last is taken and if this will secure me life liberty and equality I am paid with interest for the sacrifice such I find to be my own case but not so much with many among whom I live and for whom I have no respect and will not have any thing to do with them.

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