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Ward, Edward K. (1837-1864) to his sister

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02232.09 Author/Creator: Ward, Edward K. (1837-1864) Place Written: Tupelo, Mississippi Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 11 July 1862 Pagination: 6 p. : envelope ; 20 x 26.5 cm.

Writes that some letters he sent to his father were confiscated and later returned to him by General Grant. He laments that General Clarke has been reassigned and writes that "there was never a general so beloved by his troops." Explains that his company has every Saturday to clean up camp, and do the wash and other chores "like negroes" do. He jokingly admits that the men are better at playing poker on Saturdays. Ward is anxious to see girls again and is still resolved to marry. Discusses his feelings on women and marrying and warns his sister to never be "green enough" to let someone fool her. Updates his sister on news from other soldiers. Complains about how hard General Bragg works the men.

Edward K. Ward was a commissioned officer in Company A of the 4th Tennessee Infantry (Shelby Greys).

Tupola. July 11th/62
Dearest Sister
I received your letter, and in fact two it is, I have received since I have written to you. I am very glad indeed to see you do not wait always for an answer, it is such a gratification to hear from you I was delighted to hear from home yesterday. Marshall having received a letter from Pa of date July 4th. I was indeed sorry to learn of the death of poor ole Aunt Liz- Pa mentions it without any of the circumstances. He says great changes have taken place, which it is not prudent to mention. Some letters we had written him were siezed, and afterwards handed him by Genl Grant. I am so glad there was nothing in them to [couse] him trouble. Dr. Temple has been released, having been begged off by Miss [Button]. They were all well at home. Clarance's company is for the present, stationed at this place about four miles from us. He was over here the other day and looks better then I ever saw him. Direct your letter to him to Tupola Care Capt. C. McDonald, Forrests Cavalry [2] I fully expected, that we would leave this place and be up in middle Tennessee before this time but we are only waiting for a rain, which I think we will have soon Yesterday was showery, but there was not a great deal of rain fall. We are all ready to start, with rations in our wagons for a twenty day march, and I should not wonder if your next letter (if not written very soon) was not forwarded to me at some other point than this. Genl. Clarke from Missippi- who has been our division general, since we first went to Cornith, left us the first of the week- having been assigned to duty elsewhere There was never a general more beloved by his troops, and whose loss, was so keenly felt by those under his command. This is Saturday and like the negroes, we have this day for washing ourselves, and clothes, cleaning of our Camps, arms &c. We in our company "aint" much on the wash, but we are some on poker so you see Saturday is card playing day with us. Sunday is [3] the busiest day we have, as we have inspection, and review on that day It has been a Confounded long time, Since, I have heard a man preach. I really don't think I could stand to hear it, although I would like powerful well to see a church full of people once more. Havent we had glorious news from Virginia. Would that our victory there would end this war! I am powerful anxious, to get in company with some nice girls again, and as I said before I am now resolved to marry -
You need not be talking about falling in love, getting married &c, for that is all foolishness. You can now begin to have fun and I would have may share of it- certain I have had a powerful sight of it, but think it is time to stop. Mrs. McCombs I have no doubt thinks I should have married three years ago, and I know some three of four young ladies, that think the same thing- Well it they had not have had [4] relatives too eager for a match- I might have been caught. Well I wont say any thing about the past- I am truly sorry for some things I have done but I have had a glorious time untill this confounded war came on - Sis - I am in hopes you will never be green enough, to let any body fool you. Well I must close for the present and will promise you something interesting from middle Tennessee in my next. I have been sick for two or three days, and am not- well now. Marshall & Clarence are both well. George is well, Bart & [Ziehring] [illegible] planning - "The widow" has been quite sick- I am very much obliged for the geranium you were kind enough to send. We have not become so rough we can not appreciate a gift of flowers It gives to thought a new direction, and when all is gloomy in the present in [5] memory we may live [ever] the past - [Zierhing] has been down, within 40 miles of where you are, for a long time sick, and could have called on you, but probably did not think of you being there. Under old Braggs management we now have a hard road to travell, and it is drill- drill all the time, except weekly reviews which are a plagued sight worse We still have our own cooking to do - which goes powerful hard with me. It is true Pa sent us up a boy but he is no account and sick most of the time. Marshall sleeps and eats up at the medical department, so you see I see but very little him, and you need not fear that your wild brother Ed will lead him astray much. I have got to be very good lately I am sure I never drink any thing and occasionally I do take a little game of draw poker, just to pass the time when I am not drilling or studying [6] Hardee's Tactics. Well Goodbye. Tell Rose I will write her a long letter from some point in Tenessee soon. Give her my love and tell her I intend to write soon - I have had all my whiskers shaved off, and got George to cut my hair, and he made such an awful cut of it, that it will take it 12 months I am afraid for it to grow out again right -
Write soon and direct your letters as heretofore
Your affectionate Brother

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