Thursday, May 3, 2018

Appomattox Courthouse blog letter home

Dear John,

If the Confederates couldn’t have been more beat from the mad march through Georgia, they certainly are now. I’m unsure if word has reached you and Sally in Virginia, but a white flag is flying high from the Confederates. At Saylor’s Creek, the battle seemed set up in the South’s favor, but the Yankees bested us. Men fell down left and right. Couldn’t have been more of a blood bath. Lee’s due course has been served, and the surrender is tied in a knot. The capital has fallen, but it’s not all unfortunate. In terms of surrender, the men get to go back home under conditions of sworen oath to disengage in further battles, assigned rations, and allowance to maintain and keep personal weaponary. We did surrender over military grade weapons, however. You’ll be seeing me soon, father, for the long war is finally over.

William Matthews

1865 letter

Dear wife and father in law,

It hurts me to say this but we have lost the war. We won the last battle but it really didn't count towards us because our General had already surrendered. We surrendered at Appomattox, Virginia, there were only 6,000 casualties in the confederates side and 10,780 casualties in the Union side but they captured 27,805 rebels in Paroled. The terms of surrender were that we give up all our guns, promise not to fight again and we will be allowed to keep our horses and personal arms plus we will be given 25,000 rations of food I can't believe we lost , I was so confident about this war... I have no words. I guess there isn't much we can do. but try and move on...
Husband and son in law

1865 Letter Home- MJR Ottot

Dear Millicent,

                  General Lee just met with Grant about the terms of surrender. Looks like I'll be heading home soon, or back to what's left of it anyway. I'm glad our family came out of Sherman's raid unharmed, I'll be home soon to sort that out. Also looks like we're going to need too free all our slaves. I miss you a bunch.


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

1865 recipe

Dear Wife and Father,
I have encountered some of the best cake I have had in a while, it it probably because I am hungry, and haven't eaten a reasonable meal in about 5 years. The circumstances under which the cake was brought to our regiment are quite striking, may I say. After the surrender, it appears Mary Todd Lincoln gave a cake to General Lee. However General Lee was, of course, too troubled to even think about eating. He awarded us the cake for being the best regiment, by far, and of course my regiment gobbled down that cake faster that you can say Mary Todd Lincoln's cake. Some of the men went on grumbling that their wives made better cakes, and whilst they were grumbling the cake was being devoured. Anyhow here is the recipe for the cake:

  • 1 cup finely chopped almonds
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Confectionary sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a round bundt cake pan. Cream the butter and sugar together. Sift the flour and baking powder before adding it to the butter and sugar. Add in the milk and the almonds and mix well. Beat the egg whites until they are stiff and then fold into the batter. Then finally stir in the vanilla extract. Pour into pan and bake for one hour or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Turn out onto a wire rack and cool. Once cooled, sift confectioner’s sugar over it.
                                                                                         Yours Truly,

1865 movie poster

1865 battle entry

Dear Wife and Father,                                                                                                      April 11, 1865
I have some very tragic news, the South has surrendered. This however does not mean we will go back to the snobbish Union.  Our dear capital has fallen, but I am sure you have already heard this. We had 8,000, which is basically a fourth to a third of our army, surrender. The terms of surrender state we get to keep our horses and personal weapons, and we will get 25,000 rations. However we must relinquish all our weapons, and promise not to fight anymore, and go home.  The entire south is completely devastated, but I am sure our terrific General Lee has a loophole to their terms of surrender. You will also be completely astonished when I tell you Grant's attire to the meeting with Lee. Of course, our gentleman General Lee came in a suit, that had not one speck of dirt. General Grant however came in his muddy uniform. All of us soldier believe it represents the immaculate South to the disgusting union.
                                                                                           Love your Husband and son,

1865 letter home

Dear Wife and Father,                                                                                                May 18, 1865
If you are reading this letter it is under tragic circumstances. This is the last letter I am writing you, not because the South has surrendered, but because I have died in the battlefield. Even though the war has ended there is still skirmishes. If the date is between May 9 and May 10, then I have died during the battle of Palmetto Ranch. If not then I expect the soldier delivering the letter to explain how I have died. I would like you to know that I will always be looking over both of y'all. I assume I will be seeing you soon father. As for you, my wife, time is very precious, it is something I wish I had more of, but sadly I do not. Since I did not have enough time, I wish for you to have more time, and live your life to the fullest. Do not shed tears over my death, but rather move forward, and do great things with your life. I would also like to let you know that I am safe now. Even if I am not with you, I am safe, and I will try to keep you safe as long as I can.
                                                                                            -Your dearest,
Dear Mrs. and Mr. Pettigrew,
Your son has died of an alcohol overdose. A couple of soldiers found him, it appears he died after playing cards. I am deeply sorry for your loss.