William S. Patterson Stewart was born 12 April 1827 in Pendleton District, SC; moved to Tippah Co., MS. from SC before 1850 ; died there 20 February 1907; and is buried at Ebenezer ARP Cemetery near Cotton Plant (Old Tippah Co., now in Union Co., MS. He served in Co. I, 1st Bn. Miss. Infantry as a Captain.
This letter was reprinted after the death of his daughter Anna Myrtle Stewart (b. 25 Nov. 1858; never married; died 5 Nov. 1929; she, too, is buried at Ebenezer ARP Cemetery.
When the letter was printed in the local newspaper, it carried this caption:
"Discovers Letter Written in 1862. Esquire L. D. Gassoway, RFD
# 3, New Albany, MS. handed the following letter from Capt. Bill Stewart
to his wife (Elizabeth Lucinda Black (b. 12 Nov. 1833 Wilcox Co., AL; died
1893; d/o David A. Black and Mary Audra Young Black; the information about Elizabeth Black Stewart does not appear in the letter; I add it only to clarify the names mentioned in the letter, csholem). She. too, is buried at Ebnezer."
"The letter was discovered in his old papers following the death of
his daughter, Miss Myrtle, lately deceased. We reproduce with pleasure."
Sept. 28, 1862
I will write you a few lines this beautiful Sabbath morning and it is just now time for you to start to church and now how I would like to be there to go with you. I don't think I would complain to have to drive the mules to the wagon as you know I formerly did. I think I have learned to be more patient and resigned to my lot. I wrote you a letter some four days since, to send by the individual that is to carry this and finding that Wat Stricklin was going home I sent it by him. I also sent by him One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) to you which I hope you will get and use to the best advantage as your judgment may direct and your necessities may require. If Martha needs money, you pay her for Brindle. I payed Billie Wiseman $50.00. I owed him $48.00. We both wrote you and Sarah, directing you to count the interest, and settle acccordingly, you lifting the note. I have written two letters since the late battle at Mumfordsville, or rather Forts Craig and Dunham. As you will doubtless get the general account, I will confine myself to what concerns us most. Our Regiment attacked Fort Craig charging over fallen timbers where we got mixed up together and fought in this manner for nearly four hours. Billie was wounded early in the engagement. He was near Billie Liddell, and kept near him all the time. Myself and most of the boys were a good deal farther on near the fort and knew nothing of his or John Barkley, or Henry Owen, and others of our company, who were killed and wounded, until the battle was over. The boys who were with me were Daniel Gassaway, Ed McD. (think this was Ed McDaniel, csholem), Ben Norris, Sam Snell, Sam Jones, Ira Cole, W. W. Crum, Jack Dickson, James Keith, and Milton Richmond. It was awful to see the dear boys shot down there when they had but little chance to injure the enemy. Of those with me, Ed McD., Crum, Norris, Dixon and others were severely, but not mortally wounded, while my nearest man, Ira Cole, and James Keith both fell mortally wounded. Ira died that night at Cave City and Keith the next night. As you have heard, or will hear, we failed to take the fort. Under a flag of truce, we carried off our wounded and buried our dead. Truly it was a mournful sight to see men, 12 in number, bloody and mangled, wrapped in their blankets and laid side by side, in a long pit, covered with earth without a coffin. Lieut. Col. Bullard [note: James G.] was placed in first at the north end, then Lieut. Graham, then a Sargt., then Fayette Kelly, then Red Turner, then Thompson Johnson. We buried Ira Cole at Cave City the next day. I made his coffin with some assistance from my friend Sargt. W. O. Gassaway, Sam Jones, Daniel Gassaway and one or two others of the boys dug the grave. He was decently buried. Did not get to give Billie and the other wounded boys as much attention as I desired to, but I hope they will all get well. We feel very lonesome without these boys. There had grown up a powerful attachment between the Billies, Wiseman and Liddell. The latter appears very much lost now. The boys that are left feel very near to me, so far out here where we cannot hear from home, or the wounded either. I saw Samuel Black the other day, in fact I have seen him several times lately. He has grown very fast and fattened up too, and looks more and more like Pa. We made an effort to swap J. N. Harden for Sam but failed so far. We get a great many things to buy at a fair price, especially those who have the money to pay, and most of the people around here are willing to take Confederate money. I have heard two sermons today, from Rev. Miller, Chaplain of the 9th Regiment. He is a son of Thompson Miller and a relative of Cal Liddell's. He is a fine man, a Methodist minister.
Dear children Irene,Selden and Myrtle, Papa thinks of you often and
hope that you think of him. Talk to little Sallie for him.
Love one another, and love Ma and obey her and God will bless you, is your
Papa's daily prayers.
(Note, daughter Irene was christened Mary Irene (b. 13 March 1854; d. 20 Dec. 1929; married James Harrison Snell (b. 15 April 1851 Mecklenburg Co., NC; d. 17 Oct. 1910). They are buried at Bethany ARP Cemetery at Brices Crossroads, Lee Co. MS.
James Harrison Snell was the son of Samuel Amzi Snell (b. 16 March 1832; d. 5 Feb. 1886 near Lovelady, Houston Co., TX.)
Sam Black referred to is Samuel Oliver Black, a younger brother of Capt. Stewart's wife. Sam enlisted at Orizaba, MS...attained the rank of Lieut....and was killed at Franklin, TN 30 Nov. 1864.
His brother James Pressly Black was killed at Antitem (Sharpsburg) MD on the 17 September 1862. He, too attained the rank of Lieut.
Contributed and copyrighted by Cordelia
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