Title: Anderson, J. Patton to Etta A. Anderson – Mar. 19, 1863 – Shelbyville, TN
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00085660/00002
 Material Information
Title: Anderson, J. Patton to Etta A. Anderson – Mar. 19, 1863 – Shelbyville, TN
Physical Description: Archival
Language: English
Creator: Anderson, J. Patton
Baker, Christopher A. ( Transcriber )
Publication Date: 1863
Subject: Civil War
Spatial Coverage: North America -- Tennessee -- Shelbyville
North America -- United States of America -- Florida
North America -- United States of America -- Tennessee
North America -- United States of America
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00085660
Volume ID: VID00002
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: 34cb


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Shelbyville Tenn.: March 19th 1863
Dear Et,
Yours of the 10th has just been received. It is the first line I have had from you
since the 2nd. Before this you will have received two or three more of mine written since
the one of Feb. 21st by Lt. Davidson. I don't know why the mails take such freaks.
At one time I received a letter from in five days after it was written: And began to hope
that I would hear more frequently than before, especially while I was stationing at
Shelbyville. I perceive that you have limited yourself to one letter a week now I
suppose on account of the scarcity of paper, or perhaps because you are so busily
employed about your domestic concerns. I shall feel anxious and uneasy until I hear
again how Pat is. I don't know why the children have been so subject to those fevers of
late, unless it may be attributed to your occupying a ground floor. ( By the way, you
wrote me last fall that you had moved downstairs and I have enquired once or twice since
and you forget in your letters to answer whether you are still there or not?) I don't know
what is detaining Col. Beard & Harry. If they started as you supposed they would on last
Thursday (13th) they should have been here two days ago. I expect they did not start. If
you have made up your mind to come here, I am sorry you didn't come with them,
instead of waiting for Capt. Strain. His health is not good & withal, is, I expect, not so
well up to all the tricks of travel as Col. Beard. You seem undecided though, and say that
you would rather have my approval or disapproval of the move. I am so anxious to see
you, that it cannot meet my disapproval. I do fear the fatiguing efforts of the trip upon
you and the children, as also the exposure of the children to Small Pox, etc. (that's
another question you have not answered has the vaccination taken properly on all three
of them?) By all means do not let them stir from home till they have been vaccinated and
it has properly taken not even to go to town. You do not believe the stories about Small
Pox being in Monticello. It may not be there, but it is best to act as though it were there.
If you come, you must telegraph me from Savannah to Shelbyville, so that I can have a
place for you to go to. Every nook & corner is full to overflowing; and I think it probable
you will have to stop at Winchester. If you shall get there and not hear from me, enquire
for Mr. Frank Estill. He will provide you lodgings either at his own house or somewhere
else or for Mrs. Hutchins, an old friend of mother's or for Mrs. Frizell whose son
married Miss Scruggs in the neighborhood of Casa Bianca. Capt. Foster, Quarter Master
is also there now, as Post Quarter Master. He will take it as a favor if you will call upon
him for anything you want. I have mentioned all these names, so that there may be no
mistake about it. I feel sure that some of them would be able and all of them would be
willing to furnish your temporary accommodations. And I mention Winchester as a
stopping place for you, in case you should come up that far and find the military
condition of things at Tullahoma and Shelbyville is such as to make it unadvisable for
you to venture farther. Winchester is two miles from Decherd a station on the road -
whence and omnibus would take you to Winchester. On arriving at Decherd (in case you
conclude not to come on to Shelbyville) you had better stop there where there is a pretty
good tavern and write Capt. Foster a note to procure a place for you in Winchester.----But
I have written as though you were coming sure enough! The very thoughts of you seeing
you soon makes me wild with delight. I have been so fortunate during this war, and have
so much to be thankful for, that I can hardly hope for this crowning act of good fortune,
but I will hope.

Davidson did not get his leave extended, so I look for him on the 22nd and I do not
much expect to see Col. Beard before that time.
Since I commenced writing this letter, Genl. Withers has returned from Mobile so
I suppose I will go back to my Brigade tomorrow. I have not seen the General yet but
will go and see him soon in the morning. His Division is in most excellent condition now
- better than it ever was before, and by far the best in Genl. Bragg's army. If it does not
make its mark in the next great battles, it will not be the fault of the subordinate officers
and men. I received today a letter from Judge McGehee which I will answer soon. I
suppose your visit has brought me this favor.
You rather ridicule my letter of the 19th ulto. speaking of it in a former letter as a
"lecture," and now in this you call it my "letter on propriety." I certainly did not intend it
to be either of the one or the other; but as you had, in former times, when we were more
together than we have been permitted to be of late, frequently asked me to counsel with
you freely about such things, I ventured to advise, not to lecture. I still think it was not a
prudent thing for you to do, although you took the precaution to have the children & Miss
Sylvester with you. I think it was not less imprudent in Miss Sylvester herself I think
the manner in which she is living at Mr. Hamilton's is very imprudent, and I would rather
you had gone alone that to have taken her with you. Mark this prediction, she will be
extremely fortunate if her name does not become common on the tongue of scandal
before another year rolls around. Not that there will be the slightest foundation for it -
for that I do not believe but merely because, in her daily walk, she affords opportunity
for it. That is all that scandal ever wants opportunity.
I had intended to answer your inquiries as to what are my ideas of "prudishness"
but have already "lectured" long enough. I know these are not agreeable topics to you I
will tell you, when I see you, if you will remind me of it.

-- March 20th

Genl. Withers returned last evening and assumed command of his Division today. I take
command of Chalmers' old Miss. Brigade (Chalmers having been transferred, himself, to
the army in Mississippi). It contains many of my old Miss. acquaintances and friends -
and at their solicitation Chalmers made a parting request of Genl. Withers that I should
command them. It is a good Brigade, but I don't think it is quite as good as the one I
commanded at Murfreesboro (Walthall's).
I have just heard that Col. Beard came on without stopping at Monticello, or
rather that he did not come through that place, but took the nearest route from Tallahassee
up through Albany & he stopped at Ringold, GA to see Dr. Gamble, and had not reached
Tullahoma on yesterday. I suppose Harry will come on with Capt. Strain or by himself.
I have just seen a Louisville Journal of the 12th March. It contains nothing
specially interesting. The Fed. Congress has created a new Territory somewhere East of
the Cascades called Idahoe (at first they called it Montana) of which Lincoln has
appointed Col. Wallace the Governor. Wallace's term as delegate from Washington
having expired on 4th Mch. B.F. Kendall (you remember him?) was killed in his office
by a young man whose father Kendall had maltreated in some way.
Today I received a letter from Mary at Camden Arkansas, dated 24th Feb., in
which she laments her own fate rather more than she does that of her husband. She is

evidently deranged, in my opinion. She is there in the swamps of Arkansas, water and
mud-bound with a carriage and two horses and three servants boarding at $150 per
month! Mother had written to her to come to Memphis, and she (Mary) writes to me to
advise her what to do. I shall certainly not advise her to go to Memphis, for besides it
being in the hands of the Yankees where I don't want to see any of my friends she
would have mother in two days, as crazy as he is. I wouldn't live on the same plantation
with such a woman for all the Plantations on old Caney!!! So you must know that I am
not sorry that you are my wife, instead other women I have seen! !-
Kiss the boys all around, Willie, The and Pat for me. I shall feel very anxious till
I hear from you again how Pat is. Much love to Aunt. Where does she expect to spend
the summer? Love to Mollie too and her gals (how many has she?!!!) And here a long,
long kiss for Et from

Transcribed by Christopher A. Baker, University of Florida, 2008.

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