Letters of Sergeant Samuel J. Smith

46th Mississippi Infantry Regiment

Confederate States Army

Vicksburg Miss     Sep the 14th 1862

Mrs. T. C. Smith

Dear Wife I seat myself to write you a few lines which leaves me in a little better health than I was when I wrote you before tho I am not sound and well yet. There is a great deal of sickness in our company. I hope these lines may find you and Fanny both well. Miss I sent 20 dollars to pappy and you together. You must get him to change it and let you have ten dollars of it and write and let me know whether Pappy has got it or not. I sent 20 dollars to your Pa yesterday by Mr. Daniels he said he would send it to your Pa as soon as he got home. We only drawed our bounty and commuted ration money if you need any more write and let me know and I will try to send you some. You need not look for me this nor next month. I see no chance to get a furlough tho I shall try to get one to come after my clothes if it is gods will that I should live that long. I have nothing more to write May god Bless you and may he help you to raise Fanny up aright. We have prayer meeting every night I think we have some as good Christians in camp as anywhere else and a man can worship god here as well as at home he can have time to read the Scripture. Miss if it is gods will that we should never see each other on earth Oh may we meet in heaven there to praise god for ever and ever write soon I remain your affectionate Husband til Death

               Samuel J. Smith

(Addressed to Mrs T. C. Smith, Morton, MS)

Vicksburg Miss         Oct the 8th 1862

Mrs Mary A Myers       Dear Sister in law

I Seat myself to write you a few lines which leaves me only tolerable well I have a bad cold and some times a very bad headache I hope these lines may find you and family well I have seen a good many strange things since I have been here and heard some of the largest guns I ever heard There is no talk of there being a fight at this place hour I have nothing much to write I want you to write and let me know where Mark is So as I can write him I send Aniss a letter in this envelope and Back it to you so as She will Be more apt to get it Write in Misses letters So I can hear how you are getting along So Ive heard more at present at present only I remain your

           Yours truly

                     Samuel J Smith

Camp Pleasant  Near Vicksburg Miss   Oct the 21 st

Mrs T C Smith

Dear Wife I Seat myself to write you a few lines which leaves me in tolerable good health hoping these few lines may find you all well. I have nothing of importance to write the health of this Battalion is improving very fast I received a letter from you which I read with Pleasure I was glad to hear that you have got rid of the chills but I was Sorry to learn that Fanny still has the chills. I am afraid that she will have them all the winter you wrote to me to meet you in Vicksburg Saturday before the third Sunday I went there Saturday and Sunday but saw nothing of you if you can get to come with Mrs Davis come on there is not many men it may be as good a chance as you will get to bring my winter clothes with you so as you can take the clothes that I have here back with you my pants is tolerably good my shirts no holes in them yet your Pa passed here and brought me some butter and Potatoes I did not get to see him he left them at the hospital in Vicksburg your letter Said that you had not got a letter from me in Some time I have answered every letter that you have wrote to me I don't think that there will be a fight here in Some time tho there is no telling when they may come down the river soon and try to take Vicksburg But I don't think they ever can take it without they bring a large land force down the river I must come to a close May god protect you with the Shadow of his love and if it is gods will that we Should never meet on earth again may it be our happy lot to meet in heaven where there is no wars nor of rumors of war Write Soon and let me know whether you are coming or not and when tho whatever you do don't Start By yourself. Kiss Fanny for me I remain your affectionate Husband till Death

                 Samuel J Smith

Camp      Near Vicksburg Miss   Feb the 2ond 63

Mrs T C Smith

Dear Wife I Seat Myself to write you a few lines which leaves me in tolerable good health hoping these few lines may find you all well I got here Sunday morning and found all right but I got here just in time to save myself for they have appointed a Colonel over us and I am afraid that he will be a tight one They have several men in the guard house for dissenting There was one of the yankees boats passed Vicksburg this morning about Sun up I expect that there will be a fight here before long the yankees are at work at their canal on the other side of the River as I came on I stopped at Fathers to let him know where I was I had heard that he was very uneasy about me and I stopped to let him know that I was going back I also heard at Morton that he was about to start to see me I went Back the next day to take the car but it was so badly crowded that I could not get on it and I had to lay over till the next day and as we came on a freight train that was ahead of us had run off the track and we had to lay over there till morning. Tell Miss Boles that James is well So I must come to a close Send the next letter that your Pience to me I hope that the day is fast coming when I can go home and live in Peace as we have done before You must try and content yourself as well as you can and hope for the better May god bless and be with you and protect you from danger both seen and unseen and if it Should be his will to take either of us before we see each other may we be prepared to meet each other where there will be no weeping and no sorrowing Give my respects to all of the your Pas family and inquiring friends and reserve my love for yourself I remain as ever your affectionate Husband

             Samuel J Smith

(NOTE: This is a portion of a letter. This letter was evidently written about February or March, 1863. Samuel had evidently been home on furlough in January of 1863, and his wife "nagged" him to stay home longer, or overstay his leave. In his Feb. 2, 1863 letter to her, he refers to getting back here "just in time to save myself." (from the "tight" new Colonel that no one liked). Now, he mentions that "Sis" told him that his wife was sorry for talking to him as she did.)

Miss I forgot to say anything about shoes  if that leather is tanned I want you to have me a pair of shoes made as these that I bought are too small for me  have them made No 7 and made so as they wont run down

Miss I hope the time will soon come when I can return home to stay with you Sis said that you was sorry for talking to me as you did when I was at home but I thought that it would be best for me to come back soon which it was for there is several now in the guardhouse who did as I nearly did I know you thought hard of me for not staying longer At the same time I knew you did not know what was the best for me Miss I want you to write soon and try to be as well reconciled as you can I often think of home when I am on guard and you are asleep So nothing more at present

              S J Smith

Haines Bluff Miss      April the 3rd 63

Mrs. T C Smith

Dear Wife I Seat myself to write you a few lines which leaves me in tolerable health hoping these lines may find you all well I have nothing to write that will interest you much the health of our regiment is as good as usual We were ordered upon Deer Creek on the 25 of March we left camp about three O clock P M we got to Haines Bluff at 5 A M on the 26 we took the Boat and went up Deer Creek about 9 miles we then got on an old flatboat and had to work our passage up about three miles further we got there at dark we then had to march down a mile or so before we could camp and we could hardly find dry land enough to camp on we went two days without anything to eat but it was the fault of our great commissary we get tolerable plenty to eat now but how long it will last I do not know we are now stopped at Haines landing about 12 miles from Vicksburg We were on our way back and and the commander of the Post stopped us here I do not know how long we will stay here Some say we will stay here some time it is reported that Yankees has gone back up Deer Creek and if they have I expect that we will go back up there or to Greenwood So I must come to a close direct your letter to Vicksburg write soon and let me hear from your often May the hand of providence protect you in all of your troubles and may the day soon come when I can return home in Peace to live the remainder of my days with you give my respects to all inquiring friends and to your Pa and family and reserve my love for yourself I remain as ever your affectionate Husband Till Death

             Samuel J Smith

Excuse bad writing for I had to write this on my knee

(NOTE: This is the last known letter of Samuel's as he was killed at the Battle of Port Gibson, MS less than a month after writing this letter to his wife.)

Contributed by: Frank Milling, Ph.D., Colonel, USMCR (Ret.), Purvis, MS 39475 (2003)

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