These are excerpts from two letters Private Nimrod Newton Nash of Company I (D) wrote to his wife Mollie at home on their farm near Goodman, Mississippi, during the regiment’s stops on its journey to Virginia. Photocopies are available at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History in Jackson, MS.

Camp Corinth, Miss.                                                                                May 16, 1861

Dear Mollie

I wish you could have been here. Two thousand troops drawn up in two lines is a sight worth looking at. Sam has resigned his office and is going to leave here tonight for Atlanter Geo, and Montgomery, on some business I know not what. He is in fine spirits, something afloat. We are going to send by him for a fine Soard for our Capt. We are going into camp this evening and draw our arms.

We have plenty of provisions and if we had some nic woman to fix them up we could get along very well. There is only blanket enough for about half the company, and if the merchants had not loned us some over coats some of our men would have suffered; as it is much cooler here than it is where my darling wife lives….

Camp Union City,  Tenn.                                                                      May 26, 1861

I am now far away from you my darling; We were ordered to leave Corinth yesterday morning at nine AM; and after a great deal of excitement got off, one thousand in number on one train. Arrived at Jackson [TN] about 8 PM where we spent the night every man for themselves.

Colonel Barksdale was cautious enough to stay there and not run [the train] at night for fear of being thrown off of the track or for fear some of the bridges were out. We left Jackson this morning and arrived here about one…This is the prettiest country I ever saw. I am surprised at the quantity of cotton raised here. The land is the richest in the world I think…

The people in this part of Tennessee were not making any preparation for self [defense] hardly. They are the gladest people you ever saw, as they will be better protected. Sam Young came up here day before yesterd to select a place for a camp and says that a great many who were neutral before are now strong secessionists. We were greeted with shouts and applause by every one all the way up here.

There was a very large crowd assembled at Jackson last night, quite a number of ladies in fact. They were assembled at every station along the route. Sometimes an old woman and her children would come out clapping their hands and spouting to us to protect them poor things. I have no doubt they felt relieved when assured by us that they would be or we would die in the attempt.

I am glad you are so far from danger, although far from me, my love. It is about 300 miles by rail to where my darling is, and I can assure you that you seem nearer to me than ever…

There is a great effort on the part of Kentucky to remain neutral, but that is impossible. She will have to speak one way or the other. This don’t look much like Sunday. The boys are busy engaged cleaning off the camp ground. They have laid it out 1/2 mile square that is our stomping ground. Quite a small place for one thousand men…

I have just received a letter from you written the 19th. I am glad to hear of your good health. You ask a good many questions which I will proceed to answer. I have one of my blankets and [the] quilt. I have gotten use[d] to sleeping on the ground, but never will with the men…

The boys are as gay as larks tonight, playing, swinging and dancing. All seem to be happy and I try to be so as much as possible. It is nearly bedtime and quite cool but by spooning we can sleep warm. Charles and myself sleep together every night and splice our blankets…

Well, my love, I must go to bed. Good bye my sweet wife. God bless you.

Your Newton

About Dick Stanley

Retired Texas daily newspaperman
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