Wednesday, 18 May 2011

J. S. Walker's Eighteenth Letter

According to the date, this letter was written before the 17th letter. I will correct this in the final version.

Camp Adams,
King’s Mill Warf,
10th July 1861

My Very dear Wife:

                I received yours and Luly’s yesterday and if you knew how much happiness your letters give you would steal a great deal of time from other duties to write. Tell Luly Papa will write to her soon. I am today very busy and cannot do it. Tell little Mary that though it thundered and rained very hard the other night that father was just as dry and comfortable as if he had been at  home in his own bed.
                We are here quietly awaiting the enemy and may have to remain some time. In these trying times, unless our hearts are stayed on God, we are of all men most miserable, but if we lean on him and with strong faith see his guidance and leave with him the issues of the future, we may spend our days in peace in the midst of war. We have a great work to accomplish and it must be done, and tho it may seem that the hosts of the enemy would engulf us, let us remember that the victory is not always to the strong. It will not take years, as you seem to imagine, to terminate these troubles. There is now more accomplished in a month than formerly in years, and I have a trust that the Lord will soon make fall his arm and open a way of deliverance.
                We anxiously await news from the Potomac and hope that the report in yesterday’s paper that Col. Pegram’s command has been taken prisoners may prove untrue.
                If you think it would be more agreeable to yourself or protection of the health of the children to go up the country, do so, and if you would like to be relieved of the house I think putting the furniture in order and storing with David or Moorman the private articles that you could easily rent out house and furniture at good price, and thus save a great deal. Just do as you please. Should you think seriously of renting out, let me know and I will try and make the necessary arrangements. I will write again soon on this subject. I am now too busy with other things.
                Allan (Lyon?) will come down Saturday morning. Try and send me a little good bread by him.
                Kiss the dear children and give the enclosed to my dear little Mary.

                                                                Yours very affectionately,
                                                                                Jno. S. Walker

                Pray for our cause that the Lord may smile through the dark cloud and tune men’s evil heart to praise him. I will if He give me strength see my native land free from (absolute?) despotism, if my life is spent to accomplish it, and count it all honor to die in the protection  to my children of the rights which I believe the Lord has given me and would have me defend.



Sunday, 15 May 2011

Flying the Spirit Flag!

Earlier this year, I learned that one of my South Carolina based cousins had been offered a place at the Citadel, one of the United State’s oldest and most-respected military institutions. I have yet to hear if he accepted the place, as he also received offers from several other worthy universities.
Partly in honor of him, but mostly because it was fun, I decided to add a Citadel Spirit Flag to my Confederate Army of Oxford. I’ve already established that there is a strong South Carolina contingent to the force, and the flag is just such an attractive piece.  Normally, it will fly over one of my batteries, but it is pictured here with the first Confederate figure I have painted from Steve Barber Miniatures.
Previously, I painted a Union officer that I received as a sample. I was pretty enthusiastic about that figure, and that enthusiasm carries on to this one. The figure has some incredibly sharp detailing that makes it a joy to paint. Size-wise, it is fractionally bigger than my Sash and Sabre and Perrys figures, but I’ve placed this guy right into a mixed unit and he’s difficult to pick out.  I do wonder a little about his close-legged stance. I am told that this comes straight out of a period drill manual, but it looks a bit unnatural to me. I wonder how often such a stance was employed by troops in battle. Still, this a minor point to me.

I have purchased several more packs of these figures and will be hopefully showing off some more soon.

The Mysteries of Blogger

A few days ago, I saw that Josiah had posted a nice comment regarding J.S.W.’s seventeenth letter, but when I went to check the blog, I found both the letter and the comment had disappeared. Well, two days later, the letter has reappeared, but the comment is still missing. Josiah, I’d love for you to post your comment again, if you can remember it.
As for myself, this has served as an important reminder. While it is great to have this blog to use as a base and encouragement for my family history studies, it is important to back up all of this information. For myself, I will be storing all of the important stuff both on my computer and in hard copy, just in case.         

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

J. S. Walker's Seventeenth Letter

Camp Adams,
King’s Mill Warf,
12th July, 1861.

My very dear Wife:

                Had I known that Crow intended to report me sick in bed, I should have kept him here, but I suppose he is excusable, as the whites set the blacks the example of exaggerating everything, and sensation is the order of the day. I had a bilious headache and diarrhea caused by the necessity of standing several hours in the sun in moving our camp. I concluded it prudent to keep still for several days and not do military duty fast and take a little physic, to have my system the better prepared to stand the hot sun of the summer. When I think I am seriously sick and my health is likely to require it, you may rest assured I will go home, for while I willingly lay down my life for my State’s honor and my own rights, I do not regard it at all patriotic to lose it through neglect, inattention, etc., if care can prevent it.
                You ask me if I received any of your letters. I have very little doubt but that I received them all, but in camp so uncertain are my movements that I have adopted the plan of reading them carefully and then destroying them, so as to prevent their accumulation and by accident falling into the hands of the enemy, so when I write a return I cannot reply acknowledging dates. The last received is dated July and has three slips of newspaper in it and quite long for you. I fear from its tone that while you are willing to submit the issues of this war to the Lord that at the same time you allow speculations of your cowardly male neighbours, retailed through the sensational females of the city, to shake your faith, and that you find yourself drifting into all the horrors of a seven years away. If the North raise 400,000 men and $400,000 and the chivalry of the South sit at home and speculate upon the issue and seek money making investments, and rejoice at our victories with great odds against us, and swear by the eternal that we (that is, they) can whip all creation, and good Lord forsakes us, the war will be short, and thank the Lord I will have fallen before my country’s disgrace is consummated, but if the Lord continues to smile, and those who enjoy the rights of free men and show themselves by their services worthy of the name, then, be it long or short, the right secured to our children and the principle established, we can go down to our graves honoured. Trust in the Lord and listen not to the flippant speculations of home knights. My own prophecy is that the war will be at an end in three months and that the Lord will direct the strength of the enemy to their own destruction. I will trust him to the end.
                I must close that this may go to the Post Office.
                You need not send me papers. I get them every day.
                Direct your letters to the 15th Regt: VA. Vols., Grove Warf, James River.
                Kiss the children. Love to all.
                                                Yours very affectionately,

                                                                Jno. S. Walker.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Col. James McCullough

Of all my Civil War ancestors, the one to which I feel most closely connected is my great-great- great-grandfather James McCullough, who spent most of the war leading the 16th South Carolina Volunteer Regiment.  Not only did he pass his family name along to me, but when I was a boy, my family spent many summer days down in South Carolina on the same McCullough farm that he had worked both before and after the war. I remember seeing the Colonel’s portrait hanging in my great-grandmother’s house, and his monument continues to dominate the small family graveyard.
James McCullough was born in 1824 on the family farm, 25 miles south of Greenville, S.C. His father was a major landowner, slave owner, farmer and horse-breeder. His father died in 1853 and James inherited the farm.
In the fall of 1861, C. J. Elford was granted authority from the Governor of S.C. to raise a regiment for state service, and James McCullough did his part by organizing one company.  The regiment would eventually be labelled the 16th South Carolina Volunteers and James McCullough was elected Lieutenant Colonel under Col. Elford. In early 1862, the regiment was sent to Adams Run on the Charleston Savannah Railroad where they participated in the small battles of Pocotaligo and Johns Island. In April, the regiment was changed from state to Confederate States service, and James McCullough was elected Colonel of the regiment.
In March of 1863 the regiment journeyed to Wilmington, N.C., but soon returned to the Charleston area. Then, on May 4, 1863, the regiment was ordered west to join General Joseph E. Johnston’s army attempting to relieve Vicksburg. Now part of States Rights Gist’s brigade, the 16th missed the battle of Chickamauga while on detached duty. However, they returned in time to take up a position on Missionary Ridge for the defeat at Chattanooga. From then on the regiment stayed with the army through all of the battles in the Atlanta campaign.
From there, the 16th joined in Hood’s disastrous campaign. At the battle of Franklin, States Rights Gist’s brigade was one of the first to hit the Federal lines. When Gist was killed during the battle, Col. James took command of the brigade. Sometime after this battle, possibly after the battle of Nashville, the depleted 16th regiment was combined with another regiment. With no real command left, Col. McCullough resigned his commission and returned home.
He lived on until 1892 and was very involved in veteran’s affairs.
That is most of what I know about the Colonel’s war record. As you can see, there are many gaps in my knowledge. With the help of this blog, I hope to start filling in some of those gaps and gathering as much information as I can about my great-great-great-grandfather and his four years as a citizen of the Confederate States of America.

Monday, 2 May 2011

J.S. Walker's Sixteenth Letter

Camp Adams,
King’s Mill Warf,
6th July, 1861

My very dear Wife:

                I cannot let the opportunity escape of writing by Lieut. Rady, who goes up today, tho I have only to report my continued good health and everything quite in the camp and surrounding country. It may be but the lull before the approaching storm, it may be the premonition of permanent peace. Whichever it is leaving with the Lord, I pray for grace to do my duty, to live for and love him as I ought, quiet moments when I am allowed to enjoy them prove I hope times of spiritual profit, to face our evil hearts and judge them by the Lord’s standard shows us the sin therein, as far as the Lord wills, for if with the piercing eye of the Almighty we could at a glance see their whole enormity I fear divine grace could hardly sustain poor fallen humanity, the (unreadable) of heaven for purifying the human heart demands our admiration if not our continued praise.
                If you want to send down anything, Rady will bring it or tell you of opportunity to send it. Be sure and let me know the state of your health, and the dear children who you will kiss, and remember me to all friends and relatives.
                We are looking for stirring runs from the Potomac line every day.

                                                                Yours very affectionately,

                                                                                Jno. S. Walker.