Grenada, 20 Sept. 1872
My dear sir,
I was greatly shocked to receive your telegram announcing the death of Genl.
Patton Anderson. I had not even heard of his illness. I am called away to Jackson by a
telegram on a most imperative matter of business, otherwise I would certainly be with
you Sunday & if by travelling all night tomorrow night I can reach Memphis in time -
after getting through in Jackson I will go any how. Few men have ever been known to
me for whom I had the same respect and affection that I bore for him from the time I first
knew him & for none had I more.
He was true, unselfish, & honorable in all things, & with all men. And the
manliness with which he bore up under misfortune, without murmur or complaint & the
silent submission of his proud spirit when adversity was on him excited the admiration of
all who knew him. He was as genuine & pure minded a man as proud and as brave a
one as ever lived, withal was so accomplished & amiable & gifted that he was, to me as
to most men who knew him, irresistibly attractive. I loved him & took him to my heart &
I can not express to you how keenly I feel his loss. May God favor and protect his wife
& his dear little children.
I have written you a rambling letter -just saying impulsively what I feel. I only
wish I could say one word to break the force of this blow, which has fallen so heavily on
his family & on his friends & the country. But his virtues & high qualities & rare gifts,
when we contemplate them, have to make us feel his loss but the more. But we can gain
some solace from the full knowledge that he whom we loved as a gentleman of honor
had no superior as a soldier he stood high among the highest. As a patriot he was true,
devoted, and uncompromising. As a friend he was faithful, staunch, and purely unselfish
and as a brave, proud, quiet cultivated man he led a blameless life, filling well his place,
in his family, in country, & in the world at large.
Are there many more among us like him? Is there one with all his high qualities
& no low or bad ones? I confess I fail just now to call to mind one single one.
I am just getting over a severe attack of illness, & am very weary as my hand
Edward C. Walthall
Transcribed by Christopher A. Baker, University of Florida, 2008.