Letters To Mollie

The letters of Edward Thomas Broughton
 to Mary Elizabeth Douglas Broughton (1861-1864)

Compiled by Mary Lee Anderson Barnes, Great Granddaughter, 1989



LETTER 1

Van Zandt County1
September 17, 1861

Dear Wife,
           I write you a few lines by Mr. Reasy to inform how I am getting along. I am well; have been every since I left home. The men have been generally well. We have now fifty men in camp and my friends say I will have no difficulty in filling my company in Smith County. We are now camped one mile from Colonel Hambric's and will start to Tyler in the morning. We have to be in Marshall the 1st day of October and will go from there to Monroe, Louisiana. My dear wife; I hope you and my dear children are well. Do take care of yourself and them. Don't grieve on account of my absence, but remember I shall be home by and by.

Your Husband,
 E. T. Broughton

Write to me at Tyler.

1. Written at a Confederate Camp in Van Zandt County, Texas.


LETTER 2

Starville2
September 26, 1861

My Dear Wife,
          I again have an opportunity of writing you a brief epistle and most gladly embraced it. I have been getting along very well since I left home. My health seems to improve in camp. The company is getting along very well. It is not very full. I have now no doubt I will be able to fill it by the time I get to Marshall. We have been in camp at the spring four miles this side of Tyler since last Thursday. I have been to see all the relatives and found them well except Mother and Grandmother3 who both have a fever. Gabe and Mitt4 are very anxious for you to come and live with them till I come home, and if you find any difficulty getting along at home you had better do so as they are well prepared to take care of you and have plenty of houseroom. You can, however, arrange the matter to suit yourself. Mitt said she would write you and perhaps come to see you about it. Gabe says he cannot spare the boy; so I will write to Dempsey5 to get you one provided you stay at home. I am very uneasy about my little ones as I have not heard from them since I received your letter written Wednesday after I left home.
          I trust in God they are well, and that no harm has befallen them. I must confess to that I never did know how dear to me were my wife and children, and essential they were to my happiness till I left home on this trip. Take good care of them and yourself. Remember me always; let my image be in your heart; cherish my memory always and pray God to hasten the period when we shall be again united. Do not let the children forget me. Write often; write to me at Corinth, Mississippi.

Your Husband,
Faithful always,
E. T. Broughton

2. Starrville was a small community east of Tyler, where there was a Confederate Camp.
3. His mother was Rachel Winborne Broughton. His grandmother was Priscilla Owen Winborne, who was about 82 at the time of this letter. They lived at Canton (later Old Omen) southeast of Tyler, near Troup.
4. "Gabe" was Joseph G. James, husband of his sister, Sarah Priscilla Broughton. They also lived at Omen.
5. Dempsey Winborne (D. W.) Broughton was his oldest brother.


                                                      LETTER 3

Shreveport, Louisiana
October 21, 1861

Dear Wife,
          I am glad that I again have the opportunity of dropping you a brief epistle and informing you how I am getting along. I am well. I have been since I wrote you last. I have not written you regularly because I have been laboring every since I reached Marshall, recruiting for my company. The company has been mustered into service, and we are this far on our way to war. We have been ordered to Memphis, Tennessee. You will direct your letters to me to that place till I write you to change.
          My dear wife, how do you and the little ones get along; Are you all well; I confess I cannot help being uneasy about you, though I know that you have the spirit and resolution to care for yourself and the children. I dream of you and them almost nightly. Night before last, I dreamed that Prentiss6 sat on my knee and prattled about the soldiers. I dreamed I returned from the war and you met me at the gate and pressed your angel lips against mine. I entered the house and took our Babe7 in my arms, and as I did so, she looked me in the face with a cherubic smile and call me Pa. But when I awoke I was in a soldier's tent and miles away from all my heart holds dear. Mollie, you don't know what a place that baby occupies in my heart.
           Do take care of her, Prentiss, and yourself. Talk to Prentiss about me so that he will not forget me. ! trust you will show yourself a brave woman worthy of being a soldier's wife. May God help you all. Pray often for your absent husband and write to me about twice a week.

                                                                          Your affectionate husband,
E. T. Broughton

6. Prentiss was his oldest child, about 4 years old.
7.'Our Babe" was Margaret Tomie, only 4 months old.


LETTER 48

Clarksville, Tennessee
November 6th, 1861

My dear wife,
          I again avail myself of an opportunity of writing you a short epistle. I have read nothing from you since I left Marshall, and am exceedingly anxious to hear from you. I have a conflict with my promise to write you weekly though. I have had many hardships and privations to undergo since I saw you.
          We are now at Clarksville, Tennessee on the Cumberland River, sixty-five miles below Nashville, and fourteen miles from the Kentucky line. We leave here tomorrow morning for Hopkinsville, Kentucky, when we will be in the very midst of the enemy, being about twenty miles distant. We will support Gen'l Tilghman's command, and, ere you hear from me again, I shall have met the enemy in mortal combat. Do not shudder at the consequence but pray God to protect me in that hour.
          Mail to Hopkinsville.

Adieu,
E. T. Broughton

8. Copy in his own handwriting in Texas A.G.O., Winter, 1987 (Volume VII, Number 3), The Athens Genealogical Organization, 121 South Prairieville St., Athens, Texas 75751, page 74.


LETTER 5

Princeton, Kentucky
November 16.1861

My Dear Wife,
           Though I have well nigh abandoned all hopes of hearing from you while I remain in the service, yet I continue to write you a line whenever an opportunity presents itself. I have nothing new to write to you. The most welcome intelligence which I suppose I can communicate is that I am well. I am almost frantic to hear from you and my little children. These questions are constantly presenting themselves. How are my wife and little ones getting along. Are they well? Are they happy? If these interrogations could be affirmatively and satisfactorily answered, I could almost say I am satisfied to the life I am living. Without this information. I am almost miserable. I have heard nothing definite from you since I left Marshall. I do trust I shall begin to receive letters from home.
          I am now at Princeton. Kentucky. which is About fifty miles from Paducah. About 2500 of Gregg's Regiment are here, the balance of the regiment is at Hopkinsville in this state about 30 miles southeast of here. Examine the map and you will see the locality of the places. I have been here two days. I remained six days at Hopkinsville. I have 77 men now in my command. My company is the color company of the regiment. The ladies of Hopkinsville are going to present us with a fine flag and I am to make the reception speech.
          Douglas9 is adjutant of the regiment and Bush is the color bearer.
          So, you see, I have a pretty lucky company at last. The General Tilghman has promised to furnish me a fine uniform, and I mean to take good care of it so that I can wear it home when I come to see you. We are situated in one of the most delightful counties. It is in a high state of improvement, and the scenery is delightful. But I have not much opportunity to enjoy it. My quarters are in the second story of the New Cumberland College building which is one of the finest buildings I have seen in some time. The troops are not permitted to pay the guards at all and the officers only on special business. I managed to get to the hotel every morning to get a hot cup of coffee. We are constantly looking for an attack and consequently orders are strict.
         There are about 700 troops here and General Tilghman has five thousand at Hopkinsville to support us. Our pickets come in contact with the enemy everyday. They brought in several loads of provisions today. Sugar, coffee, etc. We will have to fight or retreat before long. But you need not be uneasy about me. You shan't be ashamed of me. Pray the God of battles to shield me from harm. Now my dear wife, I have written out my time and must conclude.
         Tell Prentiss, his Pa wants to see him mighty bad, that he must be a good boy and mind his Ma, and he must learn to read by the time I come home. Kiss the sweet Babe for me. May Heaven bless and protect you and my children.

Adieu,
Your husband,
E. T. Broughton


9. Douglas is probably James P. Douglas, Mollie's brother.


LETTER 6

Hopkinsville
January 4, 1862

Dear Mollie,
          You are doubtless getting somewhat impatient to receive a letter from me by this time, as I have not written to you for a month. The reason why I have not written is for the fact that I have not been able to write; I have been puny for the last month.
           I was attacked with billious remittant fever and was confined to my bed for twenty days, never getting up without help. I have missed the fever for about 10 days, and I have been sitting up for that length of time, but I am almost reduced to a skeleton, 110 pounds. I am as weak as a child.
          I walked out a little yesterday and today, but it fatigued me very much. I think, however, I am improving very rapidly. I had the good fortune to fall in with a very clever family during my sickness who did everything in their power for me. I shall never forget the kindness of Colonel Henry and lady and Mrs. Davis, her mother. They seemed to take much interest in me as if I was one of their family. Col. Henry is a brother of Judge Henry of Tennessee, now Confederate state senator from that state.
          The health of my company has been very bad since I have been sick. Fifteen have died; none, however, that you know. They were all relapsed cases of measles, and the relapse was brought by imprudence. All the other companies have lost men in the same way. About ninety in our regiment have died, all for the want of proper care. Men will not take care of themselves.
          We are in a constant state of apprehension here. Something of great importance is expected to turn up any day. Gen. Johnston10 and army of which are brigade compose a part is now nearly concentrated at Bowling Green and numbers one hundred ten and thousand men. It is expected he will move forward in a few days, and offer General Buell battle, who is about thirty five miles from him on the opposite side of Green River with 75,000 men. When such happens, you will hear of a great battle. Constant skirmishes are taking place between our scouts and those of the enemy. One took place last week between about 300 of the enemies cavalry. Col. Forest gained a complete victory--put the enemy to flight, killed forty, took 13 prisoners and wounded many more. His loss was one captain and one private wounded. The fight took place at Sacramento thirty miles from here. Gen. Tom Critenden is at Calhoun 40 miles from here with 10,000 men, and we are expecting him to move on this place shortly. We are prepared to give him a warm welcome.
          I have no news to write. I received your letter of the 28th of November while I was sick, and was very glad to hear you are all well, and that Father11 was visiting you. You ought to write me twice a week whether you receive mine or not. You know nothing pleases me so much as to hear from you and my little ones, and when you write you ought to take time and give me some news about affairs in Kaufman.12 Tell me who is dead, married, gone to war, or come back.
          I shall try to get a leave of absence to come home in a few days. I fear I shall not succeed. There is nothing like trying, however, and I will do my best. If I don't come I can send you some money to buy something to eat. Douglas is coming home shortly to see Mitt. I want you to have yours and Prentiss and the babies' likeness made and put in a fine double frame.

Your husband,
E. T. Broughton

10. General Joe Johnson.
11. His father was E. T. Broughton, Sr.
12. Mollie was living in Kaufman, Texas.


LETTER 7

Hopkinsville
January 22, 1862

My Dear Wife,
          Yours of the 29th came to hand last night and I hasten to answer it. It afforded me no small pleasure to hear from you and my little ones, and to know that you are well, even 20 days ago. But it would afford me to bear our separation as best we can. My physician said my disease from which I am recovering was produced by homesickness. I am near about well though and I am still staying in my room but I will go back to my camp next week. The health of my company has gradually improved since I wrote you last. I have not lost a man in two weeks. We have no fights in this section though we are daily expecting one. We have no doubt about the results when it does come.
             Gen. Humphrey Marshall at the head of 2500 men (Kentuckians) met the Yankee Gen. Garfield with 8,000 Feds in the Eastern part of the state last week and gained a victory over him making the Yankees run. The battle was fought near Prestonburg. It is said the Federals are fitting out an expedition from Cairo -to come up the Tenn. and Cumberland River and if they do we will have some fighting to do. Ft. Henry13 is on the Tennessee about 40 miles from this place. It is well fortified and garrisoned by Confederate forces. Ft. Donelson14 and Clarksville are on the Cumberland River about 25 miles distant. These places are fortified and garrisoned by Confederates, and if the Yankees do come up these rivers, we, the brigade stationed at Hopkinsville, will be sent to one of these places. It is my prediction if they do come up Gen. Tilghman has such implements of destruction at those Forts as will frighten the Yankees out of their wits and make them fly back faster than they came.
           Douglas starts for Texas in a few days and I will write you again by him. You must be sure and send me my watch and those likeness if you can get them. In conclusion, think of me often as I know you would do without me asking. Don't let the children forget me. Tell Prentiss his pa wants to see him very much. Kiss little Tomie for me and accept for yourself the sincere love of your ever affectionate husband.

E. Tom Broughton

13. Ft. Henry - in February (1862), Halleck, the Union Commander of the Western armies was to penetrate the Confederate line of defense. This was to be done by breaking the center or to turn a flank. Grant and Commodore Foote, head of the naval forces, thought the former more feasible. Seven of the gun boat flotilla with Grant's seventeen thousand men in reserve, moved up the Tennessee River to attack Fort Henry and to test the value of the gun boats in amphibious warfare. Grant landed below the Fort, and Foote then opened fire. Tilghman in command of Ft. Henry sent the bulk of his men to ft. Donelson with only a handful of men in defense of Ft. Henry. He surrendered the fort after the garrison of men were on their way. Theodore Ayrault Dodge, A Bird's Eye View of Our Civil War, p. 26.
14. Confederate General Joe Johnston made every effort to hold the place. Ft. Donelson was strongly fortified and garrisoned and this was a fight for the possession of Nashville. Ibid, p. 27.
     Grant moved against it from Ft. Henry with fifteen thousand men, five thousand less than the enemy. With green troops and a difficult ground, Grant was assisted by the fleet. The Confederate forces were weakened because of divided responsibilities among the officers. A general assault was ordered, and the fort surrendered. The Confederates captured were over fifteen thousand men. Ibid, p. 27.
     This action broke the center of the Confederate line and Johnston was forced to retreat and leave the Yankees in possession of Nashville and practically all of Kentucky. The Confederates also forced to withdraw from Columbus on the Mississippi to Cairo, forty miles below. It was quite a gain for the Union. Ibid, p. 28.
15. Tom Broughton was captured at Ft. Donelson. Among the men captured at Ft. Donelson was Captain Hiram Bronson Granbury, born 1 March 1831 in Mississippi. He moved to Waco, Texas in the early l850's. He recruited the Waco Guards in 1861, was elected Captain, went with Command 9 on November, 1861 to Hopkinsville, Kentucky, where fie was elected Major. His entire regiment was captured at Ft. Donelson, where he was sent first to Camp Chase and then Ft. Warren, Massachusetts. Normal D. Brown, Editor, One of Cleburne's Command.
    
After his release and exchange he was promoted to Lt. Colonel of the Seventh Texas Infantry 9 August 1862, to Colonel August 29, and distinguished himself in the battles of Raymond, Chickamauga and Missionary. (Raymond was the place where Tom Broughton was captured the second time.)
     Granbury took command of the Texas Brigade when General James A. Smith was wounded November 25. On March 5, 1864 he was promoted to Brigadier General to rank from February 29.


 


LETTER 8

Sandusky, Ohio16
May 23, 1862

My Dear Wife,
          Though I avail myself of every favorable opportunity of writing you, yet I have but little hope that any of my letters have reached you, and I fear that you have despaired of ever hearing from me again. Hoping, however, that a favorable breeze may waft this to your hands, I write it. Having written to you already about my capture at Fort Donelson and subsequent treatment by the Federals. I am well and have been since I have been a prisoner with one or two slight exceptions. In fact, I may say my health is exceptionally good. The prison here is situated on an island in Lake Erie three miles from the main shore.16 The island contains several hundred acres and I think is a very healthy locality. There is generally a pleasant breeze ,from the lake which reminds me very much of our prairie country--I have a good supply of books and spend my time reading and taking exercise in the open air. There are many clever gentlemen here in prison whose special qualities are a great treat to me here. I am trying to take my imprisonment as philosophically as possible, never suffering my feeling depressed when I can avoid it. I cannot however relieve myself of anxiety on account of yourself and the children. If I could know and be assured that you were well and not vexing yourself too much about me it would do a great deal toward mitigating the severity of mental suffering. I have not much hope of hearing from you during my imprisonment however long it may be. I do hope and trust that the God whom you place your faith will take care of you and my little ones and shield you and them from all danger. Though I am hundreds of miles from you in enemies country, shut up in prison, yet I have an abiding hope that I shall live to see you again and that we will be the more happy in contrasting future felicity with present sorrow. Do not despond, there is a bright future before me. Don't let Prentiss forget me. Talk to him often about me and tell him his pa wants to see him very much and will come home to see him again. When Tomie can comprehend it teach her she has a father who loves her and will some day be home to see her.
           It seems to me that if my friends would use their exertion in my behalf they could effect my exchange. If Dempsey would correspond with Hogg and Good and Major Chilton or some other of my friends in ,the army they could effect my exchange. It is worth the trial and I hope no time will be lost. I don't know how you are getting along about money and in order that you may not be inconvenienced I send a power of attorney to draw my wages which is not authenticated by a notary. I hope it will be available in case of need. Have no news to send you. I shall bring my rambling epistle to a close.

Your affectionate husband,
E. T. Broughton

16. Sandusky, Ohio. The location of Johnson Island where he was imprisoned for seven months. It was located in Lake Erie about two and a half miles north of Sandusky in Sandusky Bay at the Western end. The island is very small, only three miles long and one-half mile wide.
     During the period from 10 April 1863 to 18 January 1864, the aggregate number of Confederate prisoners reached 6,414. Over 200 men of the Confederacy died on the island and were buried on a plot .on the evert end of the island.
     Charles A. Nicholson, Captain Junius B. Browne's Autograph Book of Confederate Prisoners on Johnson's Island,  Virginia Tidewater Genealogy, Vol. 17, No.2, June 1986, p.
 86-89.


LETTER 9

Vicksburg
September 18, 1862

My Dear Wife,
           I wrote you yesterday and sent my letter by mail, but I have an opportunity of writing a letter this morning by Col. Stone and avail myself of it. I arrived here yesterday and was exchanged after an imprisonment of seven months. My imprisonment has been a long and miserable one, but my health has remained good all the while. I have not heard one word from you and my little ones since the 18th of January last, and I am almost mad to see you, but the authorities will not permit it, and I must content myself for the present by writing you. But it wrings my heart to think that you may be in want of the necessaries of life. God forbid that such may be the case. I would send you money by Col. Stone, but I cannot draw money til I get to Clinton, Miss., where I will go this afternoon. As soon as I get there, I will make arrangements to send you money. I could have sent you money last winter, but I had every arrangement to start home in a few days, had I not been taken prisoner. My dear you must be contented as possible and devote your attention to the care of our sweet children. Kiss them for me and don't let them forget me. Give my love to all the relatives and tell them they are kindly remembered by me, that I would like very much to see them. Tell them to write me. I don't know where Jim 17 is, but I understand he is with Smith's Army in Kentucky. I will find out about him ~nd will write him as soon as possible. Pray God to hasten the time of our reunion. I have no news to write you. You must write to me frequently, and I will try to keep you informed of my whereabouts. You can address your letters, for the present, to Clinton, Hinds County, Mississippi. Tell Mitt my address. I am sure she will write me. The cars will soon start and I must close. Your faithful and devoted husband,

E. T. Broughton

17. Jim was James P. Douglas, her brother.


LETTER 10

Clinton, Mississippi
October 7, 1862

My Dear Wife,
           Never in my life have I undertaken to write to you under more distressing and gloomy circumstances. I am too much troubled to write you an intelligent letter. Today lots were cast as to who should come to Texas to recruit, and unfortunately for me and you, I drew a ticket to stay, and to my great disappointment, I was one of the unfortunate. I know my dear wife, that this will almost break your heart, but you must be hopeful. Surely after so much sorrow and disappointment as we have suffered there will come a day of fruition. Through all the days of danger and toil and hardship I have passed I have always had a strong presentiment that we should be reunited and live a life of felicity together. Pray God my dear, this may the case.
           We have orders to go from this p1ace to Jackson, Mississippi, and I expect we will go tomorrow. Our forces had an engagement with the enemy near Corinth three days ago and were badly whipped, and General Price has fallen back to Ripley. All the returned prisoners in the vicinity, including our regiment have been ordered up to reinforce him. Before you hear from me again I shall in all probability be engaged in deadly conflict with our foes. You must pray for my safety and protection from harm. Captain Brown is coming home and has promised me he would come to see you and hand you this and bring you some money. When you get it I wish you to spend it freely for your own and the little children.
           Captain Brown will tell you all about my imprisonment, he having been with me all the time. I send you by him a lot of things made on Johnson's Island by the prisoners.18 They will give you some idea of the manner in which we occupied our time while in prison. You must keep them until I come home. I have some more for you. You can't imagine my deep anxiety to hear from you. I have not heard anything from any of you either directly or indirectly since the 18th of last January. Some time I almost despair of ever seeing you again put something whispers to me you shall see Mollie again and my hopes revive. If I could only hear from you all regularly and know you are well I could my duty cheerfully. But as it is, my lot is a sad one indeed. My prospects of promotion in service are now very flattering. The major's position in our regiment is now vacant and most of the regiment think me entitled to the position. There are two other captains in the regiment who claim it. The colonel thinks I am entitled to it and has gone to see the commanding General about it. The case will be decided tomorrow, if it is decided against me I will appeal to the War Department. If I am declared Major, I will in a few weeks be Lieutenant Colonel as our Colonel has been made a Brigadier General. This will be pleasing to my vanity if you could be here to share the honor with me. The position will, however, enhance my chances of coming to see you and therefore I crave it the more. Perhaps I may eat Christmas dinner with you yet. Every energy that I possess shall be brought to bear to accomplish the one great object of my existence which is to visit you and my precious little children. Let me impress on you to take care of Prentiss and try to keep him from acquiring bad habits. Keep him from learning to tell stories, never make him a promise you cannot comply with. Don't let either of the children forget me. Give my love to all the relatives and tell all to write me. I have written to Father and Mitt and would write to Dempsey if I knew whether or not he is at home. I am so busy it is hard to find time to write, but I will write as often as possible, write me about all the kinfolks so that I may know who to write. Direct your letters to Holly Springs, Mississippi and they will be forwarded. Kiss Prentiss and Tomie for me and believe me to be as ever your faithful and devoted husband.

E. T. Broughton

Please send my watch by Captain Brown* if you have not disposed of it.

18. He sent among other things a ~old ring and two onyx like rings.

*Captain Brown was probably Captain John William Brown  (later Colonel) from Rusk, Texas, his commanding officer, and, who was wounded at the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee. He is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Longview, Texas. CSA marker on grave.


LETTER 11

Marshall
January 16, 1863

My Dear Wife,
          I arrived here on the evening of the 14th and found Col. Granbury and the members of the Regiment waiting for me. The orders of Col. Granbury has required us to go to Port Hudson immediately. Therefore, I will not have the pleasure of coming back to see you again. I am very sorry for this and I regret it the more because you thought that I intended to deceive you and did not mean to come back. But I fully intended to come back when I left Tyler and take another fond adieu.19 I must however take this method of bidding you farewell. I shall write you regularly and keep you posted as to my movements. When I can spare time from my duties I shall occupy it by writing you if my letters do not reach you regularly you may be sure it is the fault of the mail and not mine and you must not forget your promise to write to me often. Take good care of our little children and of yourself and don't grieve about my absence anymore than you can help. I have always felt, when leaving you, that I would come back again and I still feel the inspiration of that thought. I feel I will return and spend a happy and prosperous life with you and our sweet children. Let the same thought occupy your mind. I have no news to write. News has reached here that Gen. Bragg was in possession of Nashville, but I do not put much reliance in the report. The enemy has evacuated Vicksburg. We will leave here in the morning. Tell all the friends goodbye. Write to me often; direct your letters to Port Hudson. Kiss the children for me and believe me to be yours as ever.

E. T. Broughton

I am sending you fifty dollars by Dr. Yarborough. I will send you money regularly, and you must buy what you want for the comfort of yourself and children.
                                                                                    ETB.

19. He had been home on leave.


LETTER 12

Port Hudson
January 31, 1863

Dear one,
          Again I avail myself of an opportunity of writing you a short epistle. I have nothing, however, of special interest to write you. We get but little news here and what we get seems to be of very unreliable character.
          We had news of another fight at Vicksburg between Yankee gunboats and the batteries; but the news has not been confirmed today. As I have already written you, a fight has been expected at this place for several days, but the prospect has about vanished the Yankees having gone down the river from Baton Rouge. The gunboat Essex, is still in the river, however, just below here five or six miles. As I write I can hear her canons booming. She is shelling our pickets down the river. If the news be true, as I believe it is, that the Federals have gone back to New Orleans, we will have no fighting at this place. We are constantly engaged in strengthening our works here, which are now of a very formidable character and should the Yankees be foolhardy enough to come up and attack us, we will give them such a reception as will forever make their knees shake (when they hear Port Hudson named). My situation is anything but a pleasant one just now. I have not been able to get any cooking utensils yet, and if I had them, I cannot get much to cook in them.
          Captain Brown has gone to Natchez after an outfit, and when he gets back I hope to fare better. He and I have hired us a negro boy and have made arrangements to eat together. I think we will be able to get along tolerable well, once we get started. The provisions are scarce and very high. When I get accustomed to camp and somewhat forget the comforts of home, I suppose I will be all right, tho I miss you and the children very much. Yet I keep myself buoyed up with the hope that I shall be with you ere many months pass. I hope, my dear, that you know and appreciate my emotions toward you. If I were separated from the rest of the world and could have you for my companion, I could be happy and contented. When night comes and I am relieved of my duties, I lie down in my tent and muse on the felicity that lies in store for me when this infernal war shall end. God grant that these visions of happening shall be realized, that we may soon meet and embrace each other again. I know that this is your constant prayer. I can assure you that it is mine also. I stated that it would not be many months. I base this on the present prospects for a speedy termination of the war. The great and growing discontent against the war, and Lincoln's administration in the northwestern states will certainly paralyze the Yankee Government. The opponents of the war, in that section, are growing more bold, and they are backed up by a powerful organized party, pledged to conciliation. Allover the Northwest, the Democrats are denouncing Lincoln, and his proclamations and the- war, and every where their sentiments are received with delight. This state of affairs must soon bring peace. One of the Generals commanding here, in my presence, offered to bet ten thousand dollars that we would have peace in three months. No one took the bet. This seems to be the universal opinion among the knowing. President Davis in his recent speeches to the people in this section assured them that this was the last year of the war.
          I have not received a letter from you and I am growing anxious to get one. I shall soon begin to look for William20 and I know I will get one or more. You must keep your promise about writing. Address your letter to Captain E. T. Broughton, Gregg Brigade.

Port Hudson, La.
Yours as ever,
E. T. Broughton

20. William was Nathaniel William Broughton, his second older brother who was with him most of the time.


LETTER 13

Port Hudson
February 2, 1863

My dear Wife,
           I wrote you a long letter the day before yesterday and sent it by mail but as a gentleman starts to Texas in the morning I write you again. Nothing new has transpired since I have been here. There seems to be a little prospect for a fight soon. We are, however, doing all we can to improve our fortifications and preparing to give the Feds a warm reception when they come, if they ever do. The gunboat Essex comes in sight occasionally, but takes care to keep out of range of our batteries. My health has been tolerably good since I have been here though I have had very bad fare. Captain Brown has not yet returned from Natchez, but I am looking for him every day, and when he gets back I hope to fare better. The health of our regiment is very good, though we have had some cases of diarrhea in camp. I am growing more tired of the Army every day and I do hope that ere long I will be released from it. The prospects for peace are growing daily more bright and it cannot come too soon for me. It seems times I shall be satisfied to remain with you and the children always now and never be disposed to leave you again.
         My only ambition is to make you and them happy and I shall anxiously look forward to the time when I can return to the loved ones at home where we can be once more united and happy. I want you to write to me more often and freely and let me know about how you are getting along. I don't want you to grieve about my absence but try and make yourself cheerful and contented. Take care of the children and try and improve Prentiss all you can. You may rest assured that I will take best of care of myself that I possibly can and I will hasten home as soon as permitted.
          I wrote you a letter from Marshall and enclosed a fifty dollar bill and a note for two hundred and fifty dollars, and I am anxious to know whether you received it or not. Please write me about it. I also subscribed for a paper for you. Write to me whether you received it or not regularly.
          There is a little matter I would like to ask you about yourself that I would like to ask you. Can't you let me know'? I know that you know what I mean. Don't be offended, dear, because I asked about it, for it is my solicitude that prompts me to make the inquiry. If it is as I suspect, I hope you will not become despondent or low-spirited.21 Be as cheerful as you can and rest assured that you have all my sympathy and nothing but an imperative sense of duty keeps me absent from you. I shall write you often, but I fear the mails are so irregular that you will not get my letters until they are old. I will avail myself of every opportunity of sending you letters by hand, as I think this the best and quickest way to send them.
          Kiss Tomie and Prentiss for me and believe me to be your faithful and affectionate husband.

E. T. Broughton

Address: Capt. E. T. Broughton 7th Texas
Regiment Gregg Brigade
Port Hudson, La.

21. She was expecting another child.


LETTER 14

Robbin Station
March 18, 1863

Dear Mollie,
          Communication with Texas has been so effectually cut off the last ten days, that I have not thought it worth while to write you, but Capt. Davis will start to Texas in a day or two and I know I will have some hopes of getting a letter to you. I have but little idea that any of my letters written in the last month have reached you for I think the mails are very uncertain. Indeed, I have not received anything from you since your letter by William. But I know that you write to me and that is not your fault, but the fault of the mail. I was taken sick about the 10th of last month and have been unfit for duty ever since. I had, at first, an attack of typhoid fever which lasted about ten days, then I took diarrhea and am very much emaciated, but I think I have been slowly recovering from that attack. I begin to feel and am able to take some exercise.
          I have been staying in the country for the last month and shall continue to do so until I get better and fit for duty. If I do not get well in two or three weeks, I shall resign and come home. I should have resigned before now, but for the fact that William came here to be with me and in my company, I shall regret very much to leave him, but if I do not get well, I cannot be with him and therefore shall resign. He got a pass and came out to see me and I have been to see him twice. I left camp yesterday morning.
          William and Robert,22 in fact, all my company are well. I went down to camp last Saturday evening to keep out of the hands of the Yankees who had gotten in four miles of this place without our knowledge. This place is about twelve miles from Fort Hudson. I went down six miles on a handcar in company with Captain Davis and Lieutenant Henderson (Saturday night) and stopped until daylight Sunday morning about eleven o'clock. Saturday night the Yankees opened on Port Hudson with their mortar fleet and gunboats and for two hours kept up one of the most terrific bombardments of the war. We were six miles off and could see the flashes of the guns. The huge shells flying through the air, and the roar of the cannons was deafing and jarred the house in which we were staying until some of the glass was broken in the windows. I went into Port Hudson Sunday morning with my mind in great anxiety and apprehension of the results. As soon as I entered the works, I began to look about me to see the effects of such dreadful bombardment, but there were no effects visible. I began anxiously to inquire of the men as I passed them what damage had been done us, and they answered none that they knew of but two gunboats had been sunk. with a lighter heart I advanced toward our encampment which is on the river and near the batteries where, if anywhere the shelling must have damaged us. As I approached the river, I could see here .and there where the huge shells had torn up the ground, and even the trees and as I passed one of the batteries, I saw where one poor man had had his leg amputated. Breathless with anxiety I reached our camp and inquired the damage done us. No one in our regiment had been hurt, but one man in our brigade was killed. Being relieved by this information, I began to inquire for the particulars. It seems that the Yankees wanted to pass their gunboats up the river, and after they commenced shelling from their motor boats, they ran their gunboats up opposite our batteries and engaged them. The enemy had one vessel burnt by hot shots from our batteries and one sunk.* None of our guns were dismounted or silenced. Our lot was three killed and ten wounded; that of the enemy was about three hundred. So you see, they caught a tarter at Port Hudson; their land forces never got nearer than 7 miles of our works and commenced retreating on Sunday evening in the greatest disorder. They seemed to have been seized with panic and threw away every thing in their flight. Tents, blankets, knapsacks, overcoats, provisions, and cooking utensils were strewn in the fight. We captured a considerable quantity of army store and a number of beef and sheep. I neglected to say that one vessel passed our batteries, and it was in the river above us. She had the commodore on board, and two couriers have been caught carrying dispatches from him to his fleet below. I think we have successfully prevented him from communications with his fleet. Our tents were cut up by the shelling, but fortunately our men were not in them. They being sent to the breastwork. Some few blankets were cut to pieces. My tent had a large rent in it by a large piece of shell, but William had moved my baggage and no harm was done. This is all the new I have to write you. It is reported that the Yankees are advancing again and if they are I shall have to run again. I can manage however to get news of their army in time to stay out of harms way. I will write again when I have a favorable opportunity. If you do not hear from me again, you can rest assured, of the fact, it is not my fault. Now that I am unfit for duty, I think about you, my dear, and our dear little children. Write to me often. I am very anxious to know how you are getting along. Give my love to all the relatives and believe me to be as ever

Your affectionate husband,
E. T. Broughton

 *In March General Banks started with 12,000 men for Port Hudson to create a diversion while Farragut ran the Port Hudson Batteries, so as to be able to patrol the river above and intercept supplies. On March 14, Farragut made the attempt with 10 vessels. Only two were able to pass above, while the rest were disabled. However, with these two, Farragut was able to blockade the Red River. Port Hudson finally is surrendered in July after assaults from May 24 to July 9, and when the news of Vicksburg's surrender came. Dodge, A Birdseye View of Our Civil War, p. 164-166.
22. Robert was her other brother. The four Douglas brothers were James P., John B., Eli and Robert. Robert was injured and never fully recovered. He died soon after the war ended (Douglas Family Records).


LETTER 15

Port Hudson
April 15, 1863

My dear Wife,
          Yours of the 17th last month came to hand several days ago, and I should have answered it much sooner but I have been waiting on some men who were getting ready to come to Texas so that I could send my letter by hand. Lieutenant Moore starts tomorrow morning, and I gladly avail myself of the opportunity of sending you a short letter. I am very glad you have been getting along so well, hope you will continue to do so. My health continues to improve, but very slowly. I have not been able to do any duty yet, but hope to be able to do my share in a few days.
          We have no news here that would be likely to interest you. We have been looking for several days for the Federal fleet above here to try to pass down by our batteries, but they have not attempted it yet. The news is that they are about the mouth of the Red River cashing logs on their side for the purpose of running by here. But I cannot say whether this be true or not. I am satisfied, however, that they would like to get down and if they don't do so pretty soon they will be bagged. I long to see the Red River open again so I can hear from home regularly. I still have strong hopes of the war ending by summer and think I shall be able by mid summer to be with you and the little ones.
          You wrote to me that you were preparing me some summer clothes and desire to know how you could send them. One of the young Woods will be leaving here for home soon. He is coming after meat, flour and clothing for the regiment, and you can have mine boxed up with William's, directed to me in the same manner as you direct your letters and send them by him. I shall write to Gabe to attend to sending them as I want him to send some meat and flour also. If you have not already had my coat cut, I want you to be sure and have it cut up in the breast. Tell Mrs. Hepperson not to allow any for the lining as she did the other one. You need not put any buttons on the coat as I can get staff buttons and have them put on here. I believe I would prefer a nice piece of black cloth on the collar and sleeves if it can be had. You needn't put yourself to any unnecessary trouble about the coat as I only make these suggestions to satisfy you, knowing you would like to be informed of my preferences. Lieutenant Moore has just notified me that he will start in a few minutes and I must hasten to close.
          The gunboats above have come in sight since I commenced to write. They are signaling the fleet below. I expect they will try to pass down tonight. If they do we will do our best to sink some of them. William and Robert are well. Give my regards to my friends. Kiss Prentiss and Tomie for me, and believe me to be as ever your affectionately.

E. T. Broughton


LETTER 16

Port Hudson
April 27, 1863

Dear Mollie,
          Having waited several days without hearing form you, I have grown quiet impatient. I write you another epistle. I wrote you a long letter by Frank Moore which I hoped reached you. The last letter I have received from you dated March 17th -- considerably a month and may judge how anxious I am to hear from you. But I hope you will not be discouraged. Your letters will reach me sometime. Though they can be a long time coming, they are a source of satisfaction to me above everything else.
           Red River is now permanently blockaded and our letters reaching their destination will be uncertain. If therefore we desire to be in constant communication, we must be very vigilant in seeking opportunities of sending letters. Nothing of particular has transpired since I wrote you last. The gunboats from above and below come in sight almost daily, but have yet made no effort to pass or engage our batteries. The landforces under General Banks at Baton Rouge, Louisiana have as I wrote you in my last letter left that point. They have been operating on the Teche Bayou in the Opelousas country, West Louisiana and have succeeded in defeating our forces there under General Taylor and captured a considerable number of prisoners. Affairs on our side there have been doubtless badly managed, and I fear from the Yankees account that some of our troops have disgraced themselves. I have not seen the account of the affair, but hope it will not be as bad as the Yankee's version.
          General Smith is now at Alexander, Louisiana near the scene of the action and hope he will be able to chastise the enemy and repair whatever damage may have resulted to our cause. I send you a paper containing the Yankee version; it is as embellished as Yankee accounts generally are and doubtless contains the usual amount of truth. I have not heard from Jim since I wrote you, nor have I heard anything of the operation of our army in Tennessee. I expect to hear shortly of a sanguinary struggle in Middle Tennessee which if it results in our favor, as I believe it will, I confidently hope will close the war. I am still sanguine about the war closing by mid-summer, for God knows if there is any event feverently and anxiously wished for by me, it is the close of the war. How sick, tired and disgusted  I am words will not express. How I long to return to my happy home and give my time and talents to the promotion and welfare and happiness of my wife and little ones.
          My health is now pretty well restored and the old hope of a happy future in store for us are as feverent as ever, although dimmed and clouded by disease, has been restored also. Let us hope and be patient, my dear, happiness in reunion will be ours. The day is not far distant when the Yankees overwhelmed by defeat and disgraced will be glad to acknowledge the independence of our country, and when our fair and youthful Republic recuperates from the disasters of this sad and desolating war, she shall stand forth in her beautiful proportions, robed in the garment of peace and stretching the adgis of protection to the remotest limits of her territory when you and I, my dear, shall be free to persue our own true and substantial happiness.
          I wrote to you to send my clothes by young Wood, but owing to the Red River blockade, he will not be able to come. You will have to look out for the first opportunity and avail yourself of it. Perhaps Frank Moore will come back. If he does, you can send them by him. William is well and sits by me writing Douglas. He stands soldiering pretty well. Bob is sick and has been for some time though not dangerously. Give my best regard to all my friends and believe me to be as ever.

Your affectionate husband,
 E. T. Broughton

Note: He is captured at Raymond after this letter. See  Granbury's letter from the Official Records.


LETTER 17

Newman
May 23, 1864

My dear Wife,
          For the first time in a long time I have an opportunity to write you with any hope of my letters reaching you. I have been in Dixie two weeks and have been looking all the while for a chance to send you a letter, but none has been presented previous to this.
          After my capture at Raymond, I was taken to Johnson's Island, the place of my former imprisonment. I was kept there until the 22nd of April at which I was carried to Point Lookout, Maryland. I was kept there ten days and then brought over to Richmond. During my imprisonment I had a hard time of it. I suffered a great deal mentally and physically. I was sick continually from the 1st of October to the period I left the island having had small pox, flux and two attacks of erysipelas. My face is pretty badly marked with pox. I am in pretty feeble health, but have been improving since I got back into the South. I think I will continue to do so. I shall leave this place today or tomorrow, go into the country and remain there until I get well. I am on parole and do not know when I will be exchanged, but I am resolved not to go into service until I get entirely well. I tried, while in Richmond, to get permission to come home, but could not succeed. I shall, however, keep a sharp lookout and if by any hook or crook I can get off I will come to you. I heard from you once during my captivity and that was through a letter written by Jim in December last.
          It informed me of the death of your mother,23 and that you had given birth to another daughter.24 How I wish I could see the wee thing. You must take good care of her until I come home. I know you must have suffered an immense deal of anxiety on my account. I hope this letter and the news I am once more in the South will allieve it. Would to God I could come home immediately and receive the loving embraces of yourself and the dear little ones.
          Be of good cheer; do for yourself and the children the best you can; and by all means do not suffer and distress on my account. I feel assured I will come home by and by. All of the suffering, anxiety, and distress we have suffered will lend to enhance our bliss when we meet again. Jim Douglas has been back some time, but I haven't had the opportunity to see him or communicate on account of the fact that General Johnson's army has been making retrograde movements ever since I have been here. This place is about 40 miles from Atlanta and 80 miles from the army which is now about 40 miles above Atlanta. A big fight is looked for there and may be transpiring even now. The enemy is pressing down on our army with the hope of capturing Atlanta. I hear from the army every day our troops are in excellent spirit, eager for the fight and are receiving daily reinforcements. I think when the fight does come off, we will achieve a glorious victory. I have the most unbounded confidence in the skill and sagacity of General Johnson. We have been successful in engagement in Virginia. Our success in the Spring campaign, thus far, has been incomparable. From every point of the company comes the most cheering news of Confederate soldiers. This is soul-cheering indeed to one who has been immured in Yankee battles as I have been.
          William is here in the hospital. He has been a little sick, but is now about well and notwithstanding his sickness, he has more flesh than he ever carried home. I saw his letters brought through by Jim and received from them the gratifying intelligence that you and the children were well. We got five letters. My name was mentioned in only one. Mitt was the only one who seems not to have forgotten me. Be sure to give her my most sincere love and tell her she is not and cannot be forgotten by her brother Tom. Give my love to all the relatives. Kiss the children, and tell Prentiss to be good until his Pa comes home and he will get him something fine. Tell him and Tomie that their Pa wants to see them very much, and will be home to see them sometime. Don't let them forget me. Try and keep yourself in good spirit; don't be uneasy about me and believe me to be,

Your ever affectionate husband,
E. T. Broughton

23. Margaret Tirzah Cowsar Douglas died 27 September 1863 in Tyler, Texas.
24. Mollie had given birth to her third child, Salina Ema.


LETTER 18

Newman
June 3, 1864

My dear Wife,
            Although I wrote you day before yesterday and have written three times in the past week, yet knowing the uncertainty of my letters reaching you, I avail myself of the present opportunity of again writing. I am staying in the country ten miles from this place with a Methodist preacher by the name of Smith, a very clever gentleman. He and his family treat me very kindly. My health continues to improve and I begin to feel like I am getting well once more. The regiment was well unto an engagement on the 28th and lost several, killed and wounded. My company lost, but one man, A. J. Davidson of Van Zandt, was killed. I had a letter from Jim Douglas day before yesterday and it was the first I received from him since I returned to the South. He and his company all well and getting along well though somewhat tired by the recent long marches they have taken. Jim enclosed to me your letter to John and Eli (Douglas) dated May 1st and brought over by Mr. Weeks. It was a source of greatest satisfaction to me to know and be informed that you and the children are well and that no misfortune had befallen you. You seem to write in a cheerful and hopeful spirit. This delights me much for all the trouble and suffering I had during my long imprisonment there was none of a mental character which grieved me more than the thought that you would grieve yourself too much on my account. Of course I do not expect or wish you to forget my existence. This I know you will not do, but I have always had a presentiment since I have been in the army. When this war was over and peace restored to our unhappy country, I should be permitted to return home and find you and the children waiting to welcome me and that we would lead a peaceful and happy life once more. Through all my vicissitudes of fate, and they have been many, this thought has bouyed me up with hope and confidence. Prison walls, disease in their most malignant character, smallpox,25 flux, ericipelas all combined could never for a single moment deprive me of this hope. Although I am so near the front I can get no reliable news from there.
          Our army is confronting the enemy on a line from Dallas to Marietta about 40 miles above Atlanta and a general engagement has been looked for for ten days. None has yet taken place, but I think the conflict cannot be postponed much longer. When it does come it will be of a bloody and decisive character. From all I can learn our army seems to have the best morale possible. The soldiers are in high spirit , buoyant and confident of success in all the partial engagements we have been successful and the enemy have been beaten and discomforted. This must to some extent demoralize them. In addition to this General Johnston has decoyed them away from their base of supplies and thereby exposed their rear to our cavalry raids. Taking into consideration the additional fact that General Johnston will fight the enemy on his chosen ground I cannot think the issue doubtful. We must certainly be victorious and if we are I predict it will be the most decisive and complete one of the war, one in all probability will give us peace and bring about a speedy recognition of our independence. I have no late news from the army in Virginia. At last account things were meaning the most favorable aspects for us. Having given you full particulars in my relation to my imprisonment in all my former letters, I shall not renew the subject. I wish to forget those unpleasant reminiscences as soon as possible. I wish you to write me every opportunity you have and let me know everything of interest in the country and all about how you and the children are getting along. Tell Mitt to be sure and write me. Give my love to Grandmother, Father and Mother and all the relatives and tell them they are all kindly remembered by me. Kiss Prentiss, Tomie and the stranger for me and believe me to be your ever affectionate and devoted husband.

E. T. Broughton
Edward Thomas

25. Smallpox affected his eyes severely.


LETTER 19

Atlanta, Georgia
July 3, 1864

My dear Wife,
          Colonel Baylor leaves of Texas tonight and I avail myself of the opportunity of writing you a short letter. I have kept a constant lookout and availed myself o every good chance of sending you a letter since my return, and I trust that out of the number, some few of them have reached you. I have for some time, anxiously been expecting a letter from you but have received none yet. I suppose your opportunities for sending letters by hand are very bad, and know the mails are very uncertain but nevertheless I shall continue to hope that ere many days I shall receive one from you.
          My health continues to improve, and I think in a few weeks I will be well and fit for service. There is no prospect for getting home until the present campaign is ended. I may safely say I will be home to take my next Christmas dinner with you, provided nothing is wanting to bring about an event so wished for save the consent of military authorities. This will seem like an age for you, but you must be patient and hopeful and the time will soon come around and then how consoling the hope and bliss in the realization, with Mollie by my side, the children around my knee. I have no news to send you.
          The armies above here have the same position they were three weeks ago. A fight seems eminent and certainly will transpire before many days, and then goodbye Yankees. I have not the least doubt of our success. General Johnston has the best army I ever saw or ever expect to see. Our men are in the finest spirits and pretty confident of our Success. I came down from the front yesterday. William, John, Jim and Eli are all well and in good spirits. I have been promoted to Major and expect to be promoted to Colonel by the time I am fit for duty. I am going down to LaGrange to hunt up my father's kin26 and stay with them until I get well, provided I like them and they like me.
           Kiss the children for me and believe me to be yours ever.

Affectionate husband,
E. T. Broughton

26. Edward Broughton of LaGrange, Georgia was the son of John H. Broughton, his grandfather's brother.


LETTER 20

Atlanta
August 15, 1864

 My dear Wife,
           Mr. Johnson leaves in the morning for Texas, and I drop you a short letter by him to let you know how I am getting along. I have written you two letters in the last few days, but knowing the uncertainty of my letters reaching you, I never let an opportunity slip of sending you one. My health is improving and I think I shall soon be well fit for service. I have been with the regiment the past week. But I do not think it too prudent to stay here permanently yet and shall therefore go to the rear again. I have been promoted to Lt. Colonel of the regiment.27 There is nothing new here. Things are tolerably quiet and have been since the fight of the 28th of last month. The armies are in close approximation to each other, and a fight may take place any day, and it may be postponed indefinitely. But I think a general engagement will take place before long and when it does come that it will be the most bloody and decisive of the war.28 William is well and doing finely. I have received no letter from you yet; altho I have been looking for one for some time. It discourages me so much to be so long delayed in hearing from you. But I feel confident it is no fault of yours, that you have written and will continue to do so when opportunities are offered. Sometime when I feel depressed about not getting a letter from you, I sit myself down and read over your old letters. I hope you and the children are well. I hope you will make it your chief business to make yourself comfortable and happy. I sincerely hope in the course of four or five months I shall be with you once more and find you all well and waiting to give me an affectionate welcome. Remember me kindly to relatives and friends and believe me to be your ever affectionate husband.

E. T. Broughton

27. His promotion to Lt. Colonel evidently was never officially recorded.
28. The Battle of Atlanta -The Confederate Army fell back from Dalton, Georgia to the outskirts of Atlanta in May and June 1864. General Joe Johnston was replaced by John Bell Hood because President Davis was afraid that Johnston would give up Atlanta without a fight. Johnston was reluctant to battle, and Hood was always ready for a fight. Davis promoted Hood to a four star command of the army of Tennessee.
     Within a few days after taking over, Hood struck at Sherman. There were three battles in quick succession on the 20th, 22nd and 28th of July.* Hood was repulsed in all three battles and withdrew his shattered army into the inner works of Atlanta where they held out until September 1, l864 when he abandoned the city. (Col. Harold B. Simpson, Hood's Texas Brigade in Poetry and Song, The Texan Press, Waco, Texas, 1968, p. 252-253.)
     *James P. Douglas wrote his wife a letter dated August 17, 1864 near Atlanta. "Tom Broughton is here. He will leave in a day or two on account of his health. A recommendation has been forwarded for his promotion to Lieut. Colonel. I don't think he will remain in the service long as his health is generally feeble. I think he will make application to be placed on the retired list which will enable him to go home and stay until he recovers his health." (Lucia Douglas, Douglas' Texas Battery C.S.A., p. 1231.
     August 27 James P. wrote, "Tom B. has left on a 30 day leave of absence" (Ibid, p. 126).
     August 31 James P. wrote, "Had to give up Atlanta" (Ibid, p. 127).
     September 26 he wrote, "Tom Broughton paid me a visit. He returned to command yesterday, looking improved in health" (Ibid, p. 136).
     It appears then that Tom was not in the Battle of Atlanta, but on leave and returned in time to join his command and make the long march through Georgia and Alabama as he describes in the next letter written from Tuscumbia, Alabama.
     In 1862 General Grant had established a strong hold in Kentucky and Tennessee. The Confederates hoped to regain those areas. According to plans made by General P. T. C. Beau
regard, General Joseph Wheeler was to slow down Sherman, and General Hood was to retake first Tennessee and then Kentucky. They also hoped to draw Sherman out of Atlanta to face battle again, but Sherman ignored them. Instead he went on to devastate Georgia (Hodges, A Bird's Eye View of Our Civil War, p. 280.}


LETTER 21

Tuscumbia, Alabama
November 2, 1864

My dear Wife,
          Once more after a long silence I avail myself of an opportunity of writing you a short letter. I should have written oftener, but we have been making a long and rapid march for the last month and the chances of writing have been very bad indeed. This army left Palmetto Station on the West Point and Atlanta railroad on the 29th of September and arrived here day before yesterday. We went first to Altoona thence Dalton, Georgia, tearing up the railroad at intervals on our way. From there we moved through Lafayette to Gadsen, Alabama, thence across Sand Mountain to Decatur, thence to this point. We are now three miles from the Tennessee river.  Across we have a pontoon bridge over which one corps of our army has already passed. The campaign this far has been the most brilliant and successful of the war. We have already gained more than we lost in the fall of Atlanta and the good part of the affair is that we had but little fighting to do, although we die hard marching over the two hundred miles. All the points designated are Altoona, Rome, Dalton, Lafayette, Georgia, and Gadsen, Decatur, Courtland, Tuscumbia, Alabama29 and Florence (where we have our pontoon bridges). You may find them on the map and thus gain some notion of our line of march to this place and soon will be moving the cars to within fifteen miles of this place and we will move to this place. I do not know but think this will be our future base of operation, and that we will make our winter quarters not far from here.
           Your kind and very affectionate letter of the 18th September came to hand today yesterday; and I was highly gratified by the personal after such a long and tiresome march to receive such undoubted assurance of sympathy and affectionate counseling indeed. You ask me when I think of coming home and when the war ends, and I wrote you sometime since that I thought I would be home by Christmas, but the present campaign had not begun, and I had no idea about it. And I cannot now tell when it will end. But as soon as the army goes into winter quarters, I shall begin to move on the matter. I am determined to come home this winter, and when I get west of the Mississippi, I intend to stay there. I intend to do all I can to get William off too. I feel almost as much as interested in his coming home as I do in coming myself as to the termination of the war. I have no settled opinion. I have so often formed conclusions and been disappointed that I have ceased to speculate on the matter. I think its termination depends on accidental circumstances.
           As to Prentiss going to school, you, my dear, must be the judge in my absence. If you can get along without him at home, send him to school, provided you can send him to a competent teacher, but do not send him to one who is harsh and unkind. Be firm with him yourself. Make him know he must obey you, and never make him a promise unless you intend to fulfill it, and by all means avoid scolding him or complaining at him constantly. When he does a praise worth act tell him of it and encourage him to do so again, and never whip him for fighting unless you know him to be in the wrong. I fully appreciate your responsibilities, my dear, and make these hoping they may be of some slight advantage to you in the discharge of them. It is great satisfaction to me to know that there are those who, though far away from me, make my welfare their chief concern and who constantly pray for me and my speedy return to them. I have no dreams of ambition to be fulfilled and expect happiness in the future in the bosom of my family only. I, therefore, hope you will preserve a sweet temper yourself and cultivate the same in our dear children, so that I may not be disappointed in the only hope of happiness I have on earth.
           My health is improving slowly all the time excepting my eyes which give me some trouble yet. The pox marks (small) are going away gradually and I think I shall be slightly disfigured after all. William's health is fine, and he keeps in pretty good spirits. He received Father's letter of the same date as yours. Father seems to complain that I do not write to him well. Tell him he recollect that my eyes are bad, and the chances of writing around campfires are bad, especially when the army is in motion besides I know he receives your letters and gets all the news worth writing. I stayed with Jim Douglas last night. He, John and Eli are well.
          
Give my love to all the relatives and kiss the children for me, and believe me as ever,

Your affectionate husband,
E. T. Broughton

29. Tuscumbia. The soldiers rested in Tuscumbia while Hood fumed because the railroad from Corinth, Mississippi had not been repaired. He had been planning to re-supply the army here and go north into Tennessee, but the army lay idle for three weeks. Hood and Beauregard consulted while President Davis was having second thoughts about leaving Sherman to do what he wanted in Georgia. (McGaffrey, This Band of Heroes, p. 131.)


    On November 13 General Hood crossed the Tennessee River to establish headquarters at Florence. On November 15, shoes, clothes, and other supplies arrived. On November 21 they started on the next leg of their journey. The weather was cold and snowing. (Ibid, p. 132.)
    On November 27, James P. Douglas wrote "Tom Broughton is with his command .." "The Yankees burned up their stores and evacuated Columbia last night." (They had camped about 3 miles from Columbia.) (Douglas CSA, p. 149.)
    On the morning of the 29th of November lighting began. Stewart and Cheatham had been sent across the Duck River with orders to go around and strike the Pike at Spring Hill. Hood hoped to cut Schofield off here from the road to Franklin and Nashville. Cleburne's division arrived at Spring Hill about mid-afternoon at the head of Cheatham's Corps. The Federals held at Spring Hill, however, and during the night slipped over the Pike into Franklin. (Brown, One of Cleburne' s Command, p. 133) The Texas Brigade had slept within about a hundred yards of the Franklin Pike. Captain Richard H. English of General Granbury's staff, went to investigate noise heard and was captured by the Twenty-third Michigan. Comment is made by McCaffrey in This Band of Heroes that it seemed incredible that some of his friends did not sound an alarm when he did not come back. (R. H. English was Tom Broughton's law partner in Kaufman, Texas.)
    Hood was very upset over this turn of events and blamed Cheatham, but Cheatham claimed he did not have specific orders. Another version (One of Cleburne's Command) states Hood's assistant, Major Mason, confessed he had never delivered the order. The mystery is why someone did not post troops to block the Pike. (McCaffrey, This Band of Heroes)
    The next morning, Hood moved quickly across the Pike to Franklin. Schofield had formed a line of defense south of town and the Harpeth River. Driven by his anger and fury over the failure at Spring Hill, Hood came up fast.
    About 4:00 p.m.. Stewart and Cheatham's Corps made a massive frontal attack on the Federals. Bates' division was on the extreme left, Brown to the right of Bates with his right resting on the Columbia Pike, and Cleburne's on the right. with his left brigade, Granbury, formed with its left on the Pike. Stewart's Corps formed to Cleburne's right. (Brown, One of Cleburne's Command, p. 147-148.)
    The long lines of men moved forward to the strains of Dixie and the Bonnie Blue Flay. (McCaffrey, This Band of Heroes, p. 138.) The advancing Confederates were held by two brigades of General Wagner's division, and after a near break in the center of the main lines on the Columbia Pike. there was hand- to-hand fighting. Cleburne, delayed by Wagner. came up just in time to receive heavy crossfire from the men who had forced Stewart to retreat. Cleburne was killed forty or fifty yards in front of the breastworks, struck in the heart by a mine ball. Granbury, charging with his men, was shot in the face under the right eye. Throwing his hands to his face he, "sank down in death." One source quotes a federal veteran of the battle as saying. "he had never seen men in such a hellish position as Cleburne's division for a few minutes at Franklin. The wonder is that any of them escaped death or capture."
    Although the battle lasted only a few hours, the human destruction was terrible. The Army of Tennessee had lost almost six thousand men--killed. wounded and captured-- for which there was no replacement. (Brown, One of Cleburne's Command, p. 148.) In a letter dated December 3, 1864. James P. Douglas wrote: "Our men fought with more desperate courage than I have known before. Granbury's brigade suffered heavily. Generals Cleburne, Granbury, Gist, Strohl. Adams and Carter were killed. Captain Tom Broughton is the Senior Officer with the Brigade. He was slightly wounded which will prevent him from duty for a few days. His brother, William, was also slightly wounded. .." (Douglas, CSA. p. 149.) He said further, that he had seen many battles, but this was the bloodiest that he had ever seen. The men conversed as they fought in hand-to-hand combat. (Ibid, p. 150).
    Even with the great losses and demoralization of the troops, Hood was ready to go on to Nashville. They began, after burying the dead, reorganizing the command structure. Brigadier General James A. Smith, once commander of the Texas Brigade, replaced Cleburne as division commander. Captain Edward T. Broughton of the Seventh Texas assumed command of the brigade. As McCaffrey wrote in This Band of Heroes, this illustrates the condition of the Confederate Army. (However, Tom Broughton believed he had been promoted to Lt. Colonel.) Other captains were in charge of other regiments. Some of the men had very strong feelings of hatred against Hood and cursed him for being a murderer.
    The Federals were firmly entrenched at Nashville, and Hood was badly outnumbered. He was again defeated and the Texas Brigade was on the way to Franklin with the entire Army of Tennessee streaming to the rear. On Christmas morning they were at the head of the Tennessee River near Bainkeridge, Alabama and the men began to cross the pontoon bridge thrown across the next morning. As they did they began to sing to the tune of the Yellow Rose of Texas:

 So now we're, going to leave you,
 Our hearts are full of ease.
 We're going back to Georgia to see
 our Uncle Joe.
 You may talk about your Beauregard,
 and sing of General Lee
 But the gallant Hood of Texas, played
 'hell in Tennessee.
 (McCaffrey, This Band of Heroes, p. 147)

          Tom Broughton tendered his resignation as Captain of Company C, 7th Texas Infantry Regiment on January 16, 1865. He suffered from "obstinate chronic conjunctivitis and general debility." (Letter from James M. McCaffrey to Mary L. Barnes, 1989).

 

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