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Greensborough Patriot

Greensborough Patriot

Sep. 18, 1862

Page 3


A Letter From a Tennessee Lady

            We are permitted to make the following extracts from a letter just received in this place from a lady of Tennessee, to her relative in this place, describing the condition of affairs in West Tennessee.  The letter bears date, Woodland, Sep. 3, 1862.

            I am so anxious to hear from you all, that I have concluded to write.  I avail myself of an opportunity of mailing my letter at Holly Springs, Mississippi.  Since our army evacuated Corinth, we have had no mail from any direction—nearer than Holly Springs—and part of the time the Yankees have had possession of that place.  They are driven from there now, and I trust they will soon be driven from Tennessee.  A few days ago, Gen. Price’s army whipped them out at Corinth, and was moving on to Bolivar where the Yankees have a large force, and were attacked last Saturday by seven thousand of our cavalry commanded by Jackson, Armstrong, and Pinson.  They had Bolivar surrounded, the Yankees supplies cut off in every direction, and it is believed by the knowing ones, that the Federal army at that place will be destroyed.  Bolivar is only forty miles from us, but news reaches us only through courier or through the Memphis Appeal, which is published at Grenada Mississippi.  The army at Bolivar have injured the citizens of the northern part of Fayette county very much; their cavalry dashed on Somerville a week ago, and arrested fifteen of the most prominent gentlemen that were in the place at the time, carried them to Bolivar and compelled then to take the oath.  Several of the citizens left the place before the Yankees reached it, among them was Mr. Alex Williamson and L. Armstrong’s son, who came here and remained with us until the Federals left.  It is said they carried off every negro man, and every horse and mule in Somerville, and the adjacent neighborhood, over five hundred negroes were supposed to have been carried off at that time, besides a great many others which have run away, and gone to them at different places.  The Yankees did not reach our neighborhood in their last raid on Somerville, though the most of the gentlemen around here left their homes for a few days, fearing the Yankee cavalry would make a dash on them.  It is necessary that the ladies should be very brave here, as the gentlemen can be no protection to them.  Our neighborhood was very much annoyed with the villains soon after the evacuation of Corinth; they took possession of the Memphis and Charleston Rail Road, and strewed their army along the road from Corinth to Memphis.  Six thousand were encamped and fortified at Lafayette depot, only six miles from us, and remained there four weeks.

            They made no arrests, but foraged around and got whatever they wanted.  They came here and loaded up fifteen wagons with corn and fodder, gave a receipt for it and left by telling Mr. Jordan, if he would go to the headquarters he could get pay for it; he did not venture to go.  They took four of brother Howe’s mules, and took as many as six from one of the neighbors.  The newspaper accounts of their villianies, and robbing and plundering are not exaggerated at all, and if they should ever get in reach of you, you will believe they are an army of thieves and robbers.  There are none now nearer as than Memphis.  Occasionally their cavalry venture as far as Germantown, and once to Collierville.  I suppose they are kept in check by our cavalry which are passing very often.  Our crops out here have been unusually promising, until the last four weeks the drought has injured them a great deal.  But little cotton was planted by the farmers, and it is supposed that which they raised will be burned again.  The farmers in this country submitted cheerfully to having their cotton burned.  Those that were missed, sold their cotton for 25 cents in gold.

            You all have no idea what war is until you are as near the army as we have been, and we have felt nothing yet, and suffered nothing in comparison to what the citizens of the northern counties and Kentucky have felt and suffered.  Many of them have had their homes and everything they owned destroyed, beds cut open and emptied in the fields, furniture cut up and broken, and clothes torn up, and some have had every negro taken from them.  We all don’t know how soon we may share the same fate, if the wretches are permitted to take possession of our country.  The western army is daily increasing, the conscripts have all gone and there is scarcely a day passes but Kentuckians are passing to join the army.  There are as many as twenty in one company who have been forced to take the oath and have come right off and joined the army.  You all know nothing of the excitement and anxiety that is felt by us.  We some times have cavalry twice in a week, camping in the bottoms, in a half mile ____.  The neighbors feed and forage them.  We all prefer feeding our own soldiers instead of the Yankees.  I welcome them, when they come among us.


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