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Hardest Time Ever

Camp Near Gadsden, Ala
October 21, 1864

My Dear Sister

It has been almost a long month since I have had an opportunity of writing to you. There was a mail sent out last week but I did not find it out in time to write but sent you all a message by Jim Jackson’s letter which I knew would be better than nothing.

I have had for the last month the hardest time that has ever fallen to my lot yet have marched over two hundred & fifty miles through rain & dust mud and over rocks & mountains until I am completly worn out and the worst of it is have had scarcely nothing to eat. I am as poor as a snake and the hardest looking rebel in this army. I have not time to give you all the particulars of our trip nor do I feel able just now to attempt. I have just time and opportunity to scribble you a few lines. You should no doubt by this time seen [illegible] and heard most of the particulars of our trip at the time he left? since then we have captured Dalton and several other intermediate places and torn up about forty miles of track and captured about two thousand prisoners in collecting eight hundred negroes? Madam rumor says we are on our way to Tennessee and I think from all indications that she must be correct. I do not know what Sherman is doing. It is thought by some that he is still holding onto Atlanta and watching our movements. He has had a portion of his forces following up in our rear until a few days since.

I received a letter from you last night dated the 4th. The first word that I have heard from home since leaving Palmetto Station and was very much grateful to learn that you were all well. I am very much in need of some winter clothing which I will write to you about when the campaign closes as you can not send them until we get into our quarters. In the meantime if there is any chance to draw anything of course I will do it. The mail carrier is waiting and I will have to close.

I am afraid you will not be able to read & understand this as it is written in the greatest hurry and I am very much fatigued just off of a March of twenty miles and had nothing to eat today but one piece of cornbread and some ginger syrup but expect to get some poor beef tonight. Give my love to all.

Your affectionate Bro,
William

Barry Letters, Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Jackson.

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