Aucilla June 3rd 1864
Your favor, in reply to my letter forw'd from Richmond, was handed me on my
return home. I feel very much obliged to you for your compliance with my request in
regard to Whitner. It is useless to attempt to get business through War Dept. at this time,
as their attention is engrossed entirely by the events of the day. I will inform Whitner of
your application, and as he has friends in the Adjt. Genl.'s office, he can get them to
attend to it. I found my wife in a very precarious condition with Erysipelas of the face
and head. Indeed her life was despaired of for a few days before my arrival. I am glad to
say that she is convalescent, and will soon be in the enjoyment of her ordinary health. I
look upon my wound as a blessing, as I could in no event have otherwise been able to
visit home. I am at present in that pleasant state, where I get sympathy without any
occasion for it.
I was not surprised to learn from your letter that you were restive in your new
position. Your life for the past three years has been so active, and amid such stirring
events that it is not singular that you should feel the present calm and quiet to be irksome.
I saw with regret, the announcement of your assignment to duty in Fla., for at that time
there was a considerable force here, I expected that exigencies of the service elsewhere
would deprive you of troops and yet leave you with great responsibilities. My regret,
however, was caused by what I supposed would be the effect upon your feelings.
Although you are condemned for the time to inaction, I think you have good cause to be
satisfied with your lot. You entered the service a civilian, and have attained a high and
honorable rank. Upon many a hard fought field, you have achieved a brilliant reputation
as a commander equal to that of any officer of your present rank in the Army of Tenn.
This is the concurred testimony of your commanding Genl. and his corps commanders.
Now I think this ought to make you rest content, especially as your present inactivity was
of your seeking. Tho I can feel sympathy with your dissatisfaction, I cannot help feeling
grateful, that you are now, not in danger of having your life cut short by a random bullet.
When we achieve our independence, I look to you to take a prominent part in directing
our state affairs, and in giving tone and character to our people, and I am pleased to see
you withdrawn from the dangers of the field. But for all that, if I could assist you in
getting transferred to active service I would most cordially do it. I thought of writing to
Maxwell on the subject, but upon reflection I became satisfied that the delegation in
congress could do nothing. Genl. Bragg has a high appreciation of you, and I think if you
would write him a frank letter on the subject, he might be able to effect the exchange.
Nothing would please me better than to be ordered to Fla., but I do not feel at
liberty to leave the Regt. As long as the authorities will allow me to command it, I think
I ought to remain in command. It is probable that it may be consolidated with the 2nd &
8th after a time. If so, Lang as Col. will take command. In that event I will ask for orders
to report to you, and if no other place can be found, will be commandant at Monticello.
If I could increase my Regt. to five or six hundred effective I would be perfectly
satisfied. I could then hope to do myself and the state some credit. It is hopeless as it is.
I am beginning to feel, as you have already experienced, the disadvantage of hailing from
a state from which there are so few troops. I am very anxious and solicitous concerning
our affairs in north Georgia. A great deal of valuable property has been destroyed, a
considerable portion of the state overrun, and as far as I can see, nothing has been gained
to compensate for the sacrifice. Genl. Johnston has enjoyed to a wonderful degree the
confidence of the people, but unless he gains a brilliant victory, he will go down under a
darker cloud than that which enveloped Genl. Bragg. I had formed a very high opinion of
his abilities, and yet hope for a better condition of affairs. In VA I have no doubt as to
the result. I am afraid however, that Grant is maneuvering to make Lee attack, and that
the game will be successful. It is hard for Genl. Lee to restrain himself when the foe is
I will be here about twenty five days longer and would be glad to see you. Can
you not visit this part of the state? If Dr. Gamble is with you give him my kind regard.
With warm wishes for your welfare and success I am your friend
Maj. Genl. Patton Anderson
Transcribed by Christopher A. Baker, University of Florida, 2008.