Civil War Listings
Letter-Archibald D Norris-Off to War+Great Civilian Letter
Item #: NEW-0017151

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I purchased this grouping from a picker who obtained a portion of a family estate.  The first listing is a letter written by A D Norris describing how he was mustered into the 7th Infantry Regiment.  He later gained fame for saving the company's flag at Gettysburg.  The second letter is from a friend of the family who gives the latest news of the battles. An image of Norris can be found in my Sold category.  

Here is the transcript of the Norris letter, presumably the first written as a new recruit.

                                                                                      Richland Station, Sumner Co July 22nd

Dear Father,

     We arrived here last night about two o’clock and having nothing particular to do today I avail   myself of this opportunity to write you a few lines to give you my idea of the times and circumstances by which we are surrounded.    An immense concourse of people were assembled in Lebanon on Monday morning to witness the departure of the troops.  A great deal of feeling was manifested by the citizens, there being but few dry eyes in the place.  We left about eight o’clock.  Took dinner at the sister’s at green hill and arrived in Nashville about three.  The buggies carriages and wagons conveying the troops and their friends numbered one hundred and fifty eight.  The Handkerchiefs and waving hats with which we were greeted all along the route had a tendency to dispel the gloomy depression relating to the parting of friends and relatives.  The procession proceeded around the square and through the principal streets of Nashville and then repaired to the fair grounds where we were mustered into service by taking an oath to offer our services in defense for twelve months.
I then went to see Grandma Leyons (?)stayed a short time, slept at the Commercial Hotel with Wilson Phillips who went down with the procession.  I was quite unwell during the night in consequence of having eaten too heartedly of preserved soft peaches at dinner and adding these onto a hearty dinner.  Was all right yesterday morning.  We were drilled a little yesterday morning after which I called on Mrs Rosser’s friends to whom I had letters of introduction.  Had a very pleasant visit and received a letter of introduction to Captain Creghead of Company B of the Rock City Guards which I will soon present to him.

Yesterday evening we marched from the fairgrounds to the depot a distance away we went up about three miles.  We got on the cars before seven but it was after ten before we left edgefield.
We had a short of "rough and tumble” side to this place, one or two of the cars became detached and causing delay.  We pitched our tents and sometime after three o’clock lay down and slept till about five.  

I do not feel near the fatigue that I expected to from exposure and loss of sleep.  Last night was my first in the "tented fields”. I like it very well just from the novelty.At present my health is good and spirits hopeful.

We will probably remain here a day or two and then go to the general encampment a few miles from this place, beyond this nothing certain, just conjecture.  I must close, I will write again when I get to a place where I think where we will remain long enough to get an answer. Your affectionate son, Archie

Archibald Debow Norris and the men of the 7th Tennessee Infantry Regiment

Follow in the footsteps of Archibald Debow Norris and the 7th Tennessee Infantry Regiment.  This regiment was formed in late May of 1861 near Gallatin, Tennessee.  Among its companies were those boasting names such as "The Hurricane Rifles” and "The Statesville Tigers.”  Norris graduated first in the class of 1860 from Allegheny College in Pennsylvania.  He returned home after college to find his home state embroiled in discussions of secession.  He himself supported the preservation of the Union and was not afraid to share his sentiments in public.  However, once the state seceded he joined the 7th Tennessee in 1861 at the age of twenty-one.  At Gettysburg he fought with the regiment on July 1st and 3rd where he displayed conspicuous bravery despite the chaos of combat.  Another soldier would later remember…

"I can recall Capt. A. Norris… when the right was being enveloped and hope gone, tearing the flag from the staff, and retreating with a fragment of his company under a fire so destructive that his escape seemed miraculous.  There was no better officer in the Seventh or in any other regiment”

Here is the second letter from Doug Yoke, a long time resident of Wilson County

 Cherry Valley,

Feb 7th 1862  A D Norris Your letter from camp near Romney came to hand the this inst I assure you it was received with much pleasure not only by me but by the whole of our small family.  I landed home from Russleville the 1st inst (instant?) have been on a visit there to see the boys, friends, and acquaintances.  I found Jno & Alek with bad colds but mending   met Tobe coming home for the first time since he left he is well and weigns 167 pounds  he starts back to camps this morning.  I found ?Rasser very low with fever  he says he is some better  Mrs. Rasser is there with him.  Russelville was a very handsome place before the soldiers were posted there  now it is the muddiest place I ever saw  the forces there is estimated at 20,000 & more coming  the prospect of a fight of a fight at Bowling Green I think is ? for the present tho Russelville is threatened  about 8,000 Lincolnites came across green river at Carrolton & was fortifying for 15 or 20 days but Jno writes me since I got home that they are gone from there but does not know where.  The news papers say they are coming up Cumberland of Tnnessee rivers as far as fort Donelson on the cumberland and fort Henry on the Tenn  rumor has it that they were fighting at the latter place day before yesterday, I think we will hear tonight the danger lies in that direction now I think  They are aiming for our Railroads if they destroy the bridges they cut off our supplies from Bowling green to Russelville.  I suppose you have heard of our defeat at fishing creek under general Crittenden.  it was not near us as bad as it was at first reported but was bad enough  the best information is we lost about 200 killed & 300 prisoners among the killed general  (Felix) (Zollicoffer) Zolicoffer, Col (George) raines and the Col Baley (Bailey) Peyton

The Lincolnites call it bull run for Crittenden is called everything but a patriot by some I suppose our generals were deceived as to the strength of the enemy  they were in 2 divisions on either side of fishing creek  the creek very much swollen supposed to be impossible.  our generals continued to attack the division in between the river and creek made a force march of 20 miles in the night and joined the other division in the fork which made their forces double as strong as was expected  Zolicoffer was decoy ? up to a  Indiana  Regiment by a Confederate flag hoisted by them and was shot in the early part of the engagement (Tenn is in mourning his loss) The remains of Zolicoffer & Rains was interred at Nashville last Saturday that of Peyton at galiton (Gallatin) the same day with military honor  all the good waggons & teams have been pressed to supply the loss at fishing Creek yankees state their loss as great as our own men.

While at Russelville I came across a young man a native of Kentucky who went to VA last spring was in the hospital when the battle was fought at Manassas has never been well since they went to Russsleville.  they have been scouring the green & mud river country ever since they went up there  Jno A Basses hand has cured up but can not use it yet  Captain Phillips is well and is very popular in his company he lost a fine horse while I was up there worth $200  Understand that general Anderson is at Nashville trying to get his brigade orders to Tenn or Ky if you come let us hear from you as you pass.  When your letters come to pass there is a scramble between Polly & Jake who will read it first  pardon my scribling and I will not intrude on you patience longer, write soon and often and remember your friends, Doke Young.   closing personal remarks signed D Y.   Note:  Doke Young was a long time resident of Wilson County

Shipping Weight: 2 lbs
Price: $357.50 USD
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1884 Form-Confederate Reunion-Thomas Ellett
Item #: NEW-0017141

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Interesting blank form to be filled out by the soldier to give information about themselves and others who may have died in combat. The form was to be mailed to Capt. Thomas Ellett, over National Bank of Virginia, Richmond Va.  "Return tickets will be issued by the Cheasapeake & Ohio Railway on showing a certificate of membership of Battalion, at one cent per mile, on occasion of re-union, June 27th, 1884. Note the condition problems, best shown on the back. Will be mailed along the existing folds to save postage cost.

It appears to be preparation for an upcoming reunion. Crenshaw's-Ellett's Battery was organized in March, 1862. During the war it served in R.L. Walker's and W.J. Pegram's Battalion of Artillery, Army of Northern Virginia. This company disbanded on April 9, 1865. Its commanders were Captains William G. Crenshaw and Thomas Ellett     

Shipping Weight: 0.1 lb
Price: $5.50 USD
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POW Letter-Johnson's Island-1st Lt. 8th La Infantry
Item #: NEW-0017140

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This is the best POW letter I have ever had.  It is written on one page as required and addressed to John B Lindsey, Esquire in Frankfort Kentucky. It is dated June 8, 1865. April 9th was the date that Robert E Lee surrendered so the war was clearly at end.  The letter as written by Robert S Perry.1st Lt 8th Louisiana Infantry. Perry was struggling with his future as to whether or not he should sign the Loyalty Oath to the US 

 Dear Johnnie, Yours May 2nd answered 14th same month.  Enclosed is a likeness of myself.  I then, answered, as near as I could your questions as to my instructions for the future.  Since that time grave events vitally affecting that future have happened, and today I find myself without a government, nay without a country, for I shall not indulge in hypocritical ?.  The Confederacy has ceased to exist and I presume I must now submit to an inevitable conclusion, and ask for amnesty.  In this matter I think I have gone as far as honor and duty expected of me.  I now regard myself as at liberty, if I choose, to give my allegiance to the U.S.

     As to the moral propriety of my doing so I have no doubt.  The sacrifice of political principle involved is such as has been made, without crime by some peoples, at different stages the the world’s great history, as such a sacrifice as thousands of republicans living under monarchies and taking oaths to support them & vice versa.  Were I not convinced of the morality of the course I should remain here a long time yet.  There is a question of duress.  But for that I am not responsible nor do I have any ? upon it.  

This being my conclusion, I desire you to get my release at once, and by any means in your power.  But very few are being liberated, and those only upon representations specially made by funds at Washington.  You will be able, without difficulty, to learn how to proceed in the processes.  I hope you will write me at once on this subject and that you will not allow the grass to grow under your feet.  I remain your friend Robert S Perry. 1st Lt.  8th La Infantry.          

Shipping Weight: 0.13 lb
Price: $227.50 USD
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Union Form-1865-Lt. Col John E Smith
Item #: NEW-0017134

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Brief form from the Paymaster General's Office Jan 18th 1864 acknowledging the muster in of John E Smith Lt. General in the 96th Reg Ill Volunteers

Shipping Weight: 0.1 lb
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Catalog Updated
12/15/2018 3:40:00 PM
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