|Nesbitt Memorial Library
November 30, 2009
Letters of John Samuel Shropshire,
Major, 5th Texas Cavalry
In 1861 and 1862, while serving as a Confederate officer en route to and on campaign in New Mexico, John Samuel Shropshire wrote a series of letters to his wife, Caroline. The letters were passed down to their son, Charles Tait Shropshire, then to his widow, the former Nellie Hahn, and then to her relatives. In 1973, Guy Hahn presented eight of the letters and a list of casualties to the Shropshire-Upton Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy for their museum in Columbus, the Confederate Memorial Museum. Later, two more letters written by Shropshire were presented to the museum, one by Betty Bauer the other by Beverly Hahn Carroll. Some fifty years earlier, the chapter had received a letter from one of Shropshire's former comrades-at-arms, John W. Carson, which described Shropshire's death in combat. The letters were published in Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, vol. 7, no. 1, January 1997, pp. 61-70. On May 16, 1998, another letter was presented to the archives. This letter has been assimilated into the following material. It was the letter which accompanied the list of casualties at Valverde. Further, the Tait family had preserved a note written by Shropshire to his future wife in the spring of 1859. That note has also been transcribed and appears below.
In February 2007, another eleven letters written by Shropshire during the war were discovered amongst the voluminous papers that had been collected by James and Mary Elizabeth Hopkins. Ten of the letters were addressed to his wife and one to his brother, Benjamin. With the letters was another letter written by Carson, plus a Bible and a prayer book that had belonged to John Shropshire. There was also an 1860s-vintage photograph of a woman and a baby, presumably Shropshire’s wife, Caroline, and son, Charles (born 1861). Caroline may have had this photograph taken to send to her husband, or to present to him when he returned home. Shropshire’s letters are full of questions about his infant son, who was apparently unhealthy. Shropshire is known to have carried a photograph with him on the campaign, for the remnant of it, a metal plate with the image wiped away, was found in his pocket when his body was exhumed in the summer of 1987. That photograph was likely of his wife alone. He was originally buried on the battlefield at Glorieta, New Mexico, where he was killed on March 28, 1862. He was reburied in Kentucky in August 1990.
|1. John S. Shropshire to Caroline Tait, May 27, 1859|
May 27n A. D. 1859
Tomorrow several ladies and gentlemen will go out abt 10 or 12 miles in the country to attend church— Would you like to take so much exercise on the Sabath day? if so I would be much pleased & very happy to have you accompany me, or in other and more gallant words would be exceedingly delighted to have the privilege of escorting you—Don’t say you wont for I will be very much disappointed if you do. Why did you not send me that letter whilst I was away? It is the sweetest little document I ever saw just write me another such tonight saying you will go with me tomorrow &c—
I could hardly stay away tonight. I do so only on your account. I sing the song “I would I were with thee every day & hour &c” and console myself with the cheering hope that I will enjoy that privilege ere long I saw the Dr this evening but my heart stuck up in my throat and I could not muster up courage to break the ice. I think I will have to take him out to learn to break horses & you know the rest—
Did you have a pleasant ride this evening? yes of course—so did I—Mollie knows it all she says I fessed up—
I have found some things interesting in your papers. That & your letter & the little piece of poetry in the Ambrotype case all combined made me the happyest man I have ever been acquainted with—but I wont go into extremes lest you might doubt my sincerety. So tell me not to doubt—take the advice to home— Please let me know that you will go out with me tomorrow and oblige your Shrop
|2. John Samuel Shropshire to Caroline Tait Shropshire, August 22, 1861|
At Camp, Aug 22nd 1861
My Dear Carrie
We arrived at this place yesterday evening after travelling the major part of the day through the rain. It commenced raining again this morning at abt 8 o clock & poured until abt 12 without ceasing. We are the wetest set of poor devils you ever saw—not only the clothes we were wearing but nearly all we have along are wet. I tell you soldiering
far has not been the most pleasant ocupation I have followed. Whilst it was
raining this morning & and there was not to be found a place to stand upon nor
one to be upon. I thought if I could first have been back at home with dry
clothes a good tody on hand & the lounge to be upon I would be the happyest man
on earth. But these are no times to long for comforts of home. When the home
itself is threatened. All things are getting along quietly in camp & we are
likely to have an agreeable time in our intercourse with each other. We are now
undergoing the pleasant duty of drying our clothes. If you were to drive up you
would think this had been a big washing day. The comp will camp near Gonzales
tomorrow night. I will leave it & start ahead for San Antonio tomorrow morning &
will mail this in Gonzales as I pass through the comp travels about 20 miles per
day except rainy days. I will write again from San Ant. I shall expect to find a
letter there very soon after I get there. I have found my Mexican blanket. I
thought I had left it and asked Mr Hannah to get you to send it to me. Keep good
care of my boy. Good bye. God bless you both. Give my love to all. Write. John
|3. John Samuel Shropshire to Caroline Tait Shropshire, August 25, 1861|
San Antonio Aug 25th 1861
My Dear Carrie
I wrote to you from Gonzales since then there has nothing occured worth noting. I left the Company beyond that place to come on as fast as possible. I deemed it was necessary the company should be reported as soon as possible, therefore I came ahead for that purpose and to attend to other business for the comp. I have not learned yet what will be our destination. Therefore I can give you no information as to that yet. I have not been here long enough to see any of the wonders of this City. We are among the first here I think it will be some weeks before we get off from this place. You must write often I want to hear from you all the time. I wish you to write to me & tell me how Gabe is. Give my love to all the kin. Kiss my boy. May God keep care of both of you. Good bye. Shrop.
|4. John Samuel Shropshire to Caroline Tait Shropshire, August 29, 1861|
San Antonio Aug 29th 1861
My Dear Carrie,
I came in town this morning in full anticipation of a letter at the P O Those aspirations were disappointed. I have not read any letter from any person save yours and Bens of the 22nd I ought to have a letter from some one every mail. I think I ought to have wife & kindred enough to keep me posted up, at least as to their health. I want to know how you are getting & how is Gabe getting & how about Charlie all the time. I have been sick since I wrote last & I am not exactly well yet. I had a spell of the head ache, & had to take some medicine. The medicine did not relieve me entirely & I am trying to wear out the ballance. I brought my comp into town yesterday and had them mustered in. We took the oath and are now Confederate soldiers for the war. I was reelected Captain by acclimation. I had no opposition much no doubt to the disappointment of many of my good friends. Wright was elected 1st Lieut by acclimation. Dave Hubbard & A B Carter were candidates for 2nd Lieut Ash came [illegible] out behind. P. J. Oakes was elected Junior 2nd Lieut. I will send a note to the Citizen & have it published so that you may all see how the comp is composed & organized. You asked me how I liked Camp life. As yet I do not like it a great deal. He, I mean Bob is the damndest poorest bread cooker you ever saw. It beats the bread cooking I used to have a Noah Bonds hotel, in fact it is too bad for any use. I have not tried Bob’s washing yet. I expect he will prove himself as mean at that as at every thing else. I have brushed [?] him once, since we left. He broke my gun off the stock & burnt one of my shirts. I wish you would send me my valise, with a couple of white shirts in it. If there is no one passing, Get Mr Delany to mark it to me at the Plaza House San Antonio & send it on the Stage. Pay its passage before it is started. You can send me the key in a letter. We will have a wagon transportation from this place therefore I can use my valise. My wardrobe is in an awful condition. How I do wish the wars were over & I was at home with you & the Boy. I will have to stay here probably six weeks. If I can I will come back to see you before we start. I have a great deal to do to get the company & myself prepared for service. My duties are not the simplest in the world. It requires a great deal of patience & care as well as study for a green Captain to drill a green company of independent soldiers. I have the confidence of my company and shall use my best efforts to retain it. I am the ranking Captain of the 2nd Regiment my company being Comp A. in said Regiment. There is something in that but what it is I am unable to say Some of the old soldiers, maby can tell you. I suppose there is some advantage or honor attached to the fact, as I was congratulated on being the ranking Captain &c. There is no telling what honors will befall our family yet. Tell Charlie to be of good cheer, he may be a Generals son yet. Generals are made so easy these times. I am afraid there will be no great glory or honor attached to the position by the time I get it. Go down to the plantation occasionaly & write me all the news. Tell the Dr to be sure to make Kitt take care of Dixie & Calilela. You tell old man Kitt to take good care of my young Hounds. Write me something every day. I love to get a letter from you. I think without there is great necessity for it. When I get home this time I wont go sojering again soon. Take good care of Charlie. Tell the Dr I will write to him in a few days. Give my love to Sisters. Remember me to Sister Lou & family Good bye. Kiss Charlie your affect Shrop. Tell Mr Delany to write to me
|5. John Samuel Shropshire to Caroline Tait Shropshire, September 5, 1861|
San Antonio Sep 5th 1861
My Dear Carrie
I came to town today expecting to find aleast two letters from you but nary letter was there for me. Please write often if you are able, if not let some one write to me how you are. I can not endure such suspense, every body sick & nobody to let me know how you are getting. I recvd a letter from Ben, he said Sister Gabe was in a very critical condition. His letter was written on the 27th. Why has not some one written since to let me know how she is? You had also taken fresh cold. Why have you not written to let me know how you are getting? Send me a letter if it is but ten lines. You complained of the bad writing & spelling in my letter from Gonzales. I am not very good on such things these times at best & especially you can not expect me to excell in letter writing under the circumstances which surrounded me when I wrote that letter. I managed to eat or worry down a small portion of a calf & also a pig which we pressed into the service of the Southern Confederacy on or about the occasion of said big rain. We are now stationed abt 8 miles from San Antonio, where we will probably remain 4 or 8 weeks.
We have been mustered into the Confederate Army & that too for the indefinite term of the war. When we will get back I cant tell. Not I fear soon enough to eat the Christmas Turkey. I do not know positively when we will go from here but suppose we will go to New Mexico Tell Georgia that if she had the pluck of our ancient mothers that she would hen peck Ben like the _____ if he did not leave soon for the wars. Tell her that her boys will be ashamed of him, if when they grow up they remember that their illustrious sire had stayed at home when his country called. never sing "do they miss me at home" I am a poor singer at best as you well know. That song now of all others would force my heart into my throat & choke me. I know I am missed at home, for no man ever lived as happily at home as I do, & left it without being missed. I fear you will miss me too much & attach too much importance to my absence. I hope it has cleared up in your part of the country & that you are again having dry weather. I want you to get entirely well of your cold before the cold weather commences. How has your hearing got? Does Charlie keep well? Has he any more teeth? Tell me all about him. Tell him to get his ma to write him a letter for me. How is the Drs health, has he blowed up Mr Sack yet. write me whether the catapillar has materially injured the cotton, if so, how much. Without some casualty of the sort we would have made a fine crop. Write to James & tell him that I will talk to him about his horse when I get back from the wars. I am sorry he is getting illnatured. He did not use to be so, did he? I would like to have a good horse, but Jas' would not suit me at this time. I have written to Ben & your Bro to procure me a good one and send him by Dave Hubbard. Tell them I must have a good horse, if I have to come home after him myself. Tell the Dr that I have his black pony & will sell him to one of my men. His man cried and wanted to go back I could spare him but could not spare the horse. We will be thankful for all the socks you will get nit for us, let them be yarn. I will try to come home before we leave this place. If you have not started my valise you need not do it until I come or write. I have a great deal to do & do not know that I can get off. If I can I will. Write immediately & fully Any thing you can write will be interesting. Bob is improving & will soon get to be a very efficient servant. Kiss the Boy & give my love to all the children. Remember me to all. Your John.
|6. John Samuel Shropshire to Caroline Tait Shropshire, September 28, 1861|
San Antonio Sep 28th 1861
Mrs J. S. Shropshire, Mdm. I recvd yours this morning which afforded me much
pleasure not withstanding you were somewhat blue when you wrote it. I hope by
this time you are getting more accustomed to my absence and are learning to pass
your time more agreeably. I would have written to you sooner but for the fact
that I found my hands full of business as soon as I arrived. I am yet busy and
will be until I get off from this place. I have a poor place for writing out at
camp, nothing to write upon, and no place to write except in company and that
too when I am liable to be disturbed on business every minute. I wrote you a
short note by Mr Bonds. I had a slight spell of the head ache, but got oover it
We are having some cold weather now for the season. I slept very uncomfortably last night, & I expect some of my men well nigh froze for several of them are almost entirely without bed clothes. I wish some of the patriotich ladies of our county would
let send me about 2 dozen
good comforts or blankets Cant you hitch up Morgan & Sump and go around "a la:
Mrs Gullett? We need such things very much. Some of the men are poor & have no
funds I am I glad to hear that there is a prospect of a better crop than you
once thought. You spoke of going to Ala. If I can make arrangements here before
I leave to have my pay sent to you, you can in the course of a few months have
money enough to bear your expenses without making the sacrifise you spoke of. I
deem it furthermore very dangerous for you to undertake a trip before next
spring. Your liablity to take cold will be very great which I fear would
endanger your life. Please take care of yourself I may come back soon or it may
be a long time, but when I do it would distress me beyond measure to find you
gone. Besides if I should get killed, remember that Charlie depends alone upon
you for protection and care. If in the spring I have not returned and am not
likely to return soon I would advise you to go to see your friends. I hope you
will not get at logerheads with Mrs D. as a row with her or any other lady would
be unpleasant, but dont let that deter you from your duty. Tell Mr Delany to
write to me tell him that I will write him as soon as I can. Tell the Dr I will
write to him soon. I have not had an oportunity to procure the articles I wished
I have not heard any thing about pay yet. I do not know whether we will get any money or not. Write to me every day. Your letters are always very interesting. Keep Charlie. My love to you both. My love to all the Children. God bless you
I have 105 men rank & file, less 1 a deserter, Walter the butcher.
[Notes apparently made by Caroline Shropshire]
Mrs H. 1 pr + Mrs Riley 1 comfort Mrs Hunt 1 pr bl.
J 1 " Folts 2 " " Jenkins 1 "
F 1 + " Goss 1 " " Foard 1 "
R 1 com + " Tait 4 " " Windrow 1 "
F 2 " " Shropshire 4 " " Cook 1 "
G 1 " + " Byars 1 "
L. 2 " + " Hartsf 1 "
S 2 pr " Harcourt 1 "
|7. John Samuel Shropshire to Caroline Tait Shropshire, November 4, 1861|
Camp Manassas Nov 4th A. D. 1861
My Darling Wife,
I recvd yours this morning stating that Charlie was no better. I do not know what to say or do. I can not go to see him & besides that I am on the eve of starting further off. Write to me immediately by the return mail how he is getting. If we leave before your letter arrives I will try to have some one to bring the letter to me. We will not strike camp until next friday. Write immediately. after that you must direct your letters to Elpasso. We will be about six weeks on the route. What will become of us after we leave that place I can not say. I will write to you from every station. You must write me something nearly every day. I regret to hear that you are still coughfing. I thought from your other letters that you had entirely recovered. Please take care of yourself. Take exercise every day that you can. Take the best care you can with Charlie. I can render you no assistance or comfort. I can not be with you for many long days. & ere I am there Charlie will have recovered or will have been transferred to Heaven. God grant that he may be spared to us. You, my Darling, are having a hard time, but yours is comparatively an easy one to mine. I am here seperated from all I love, far away from them with no hope of soon returning, & that too when they are all sick. Every letter I get says that you or Charlie are sick. The sin of this war will be great & must I hope eventually fall heavily upon the head or heads that have produced it. I go from a sense of duty & not from any love I have of the employment. I was never intended for a soldier nor will I ever bless the fates that have forced me into this life.
I hope you will succeed in finding something that will agree with my poor boy. I do not believe he will die yet. I made my living from a more tender age even than he has to do & I believe he has enough of my mettle or perversity in him to sustain him through this trial.
I have had my uniform made, it fits & becomes me very well. I had my photograph taken to day, which I will try to convey to you before I leave. I had it taken that my babies—if I should never return, may have some idea of my appearance. I have heard that it has been circulated about Columbus that I had been mistreating my men making servants of them &c. Such is a base fabrication. I was the only Captain in this Regmt who opposed a thing of the sort. The Lieut Col gave a supper in camps to which the commissioned officers only were invited. Simultaneous with the invitations came an order from the commanding officer requiring the captains of each company to detail 2 or 3 men to cook the supper & wait upon the table. I was absent when the order came to my camp, & Lieut Wright got 2 men to volunteer When I came into camp & heard that there was such an order, I said immediately that my men were gentlemen & that I would stand a court martial before I would make the detail—not knowing that two men had been sent. Col Green was at that time absent, but arrived soon after. The first time I had an oportunity, I told him of the circumstances and told him that I would not obey such an order if it even eminated from him, that I would be cashiered and sent home before I would command a comp. of men and suffer them to be imposed upon. He said that I was right & that there would be no other occurance of the kind.
Good bye darling—write—kiss my poor boy. Yours affectionately & devotedly
|8. John Samuel Shropshire to Caroline Tait Shropshire, November 8, 1861|
San Antonio Nov 8th 1861
I send you some pictures—they are not such as I wished. You will please send one of them to Sister Augusta. The others do as you please with. Keep Wrights picture which is in my bundle until I return. I send you twenty dollars also, which I hope you will find acceptable. I have left my pay account in the hands of H Mayes & Co of this place with balance due me of abt $300, which I have instructed him to send to Dr Tait for you. You will get it within one month I guess. I wish you to keep enough to pay taxes next Spring if possible. If I have an oportunity I will send you some more money when I get it. I have drawn up to the 28th of this month. Ask the Dr to please attend to sending the package enclosed to Dr Wright over as soon as possible. You might send it out by Sump. Tell the Dr that his man Sims is not able to make a soldier. We start day after tomorrow early & in a great hurry. Good bye. Il write again before I start. How is Charlie? I have had no letter for 3 days. Your, Shrop.
|9. John Samuel Shropshire to Caroline Tait Shropshire, November 10 and 11, 1861|
Camp 18 miles west S A Nov 10th /61.
My Dear Carrie,
I had to leave San Antonio without hearing from you and Charlie again. I hope he is better by you not writing immediately. I left Hubbard in S. A. to bring out whatever mail may come to morrow morning. I hope Ill get a letter by him. I would like to hear once more from you before I get too deep into the wilderness. We have started at last as you will perceive by the heading of this letter. I hope our trip may be as propicious as the weather promises now. I have but a few minutes to write, the sun is down. We are bivouact on the prairie. Will start early in the morning. 4 miles from here we will pass a post office. When Il mail this letter. We are getting along tolerably well, will travel better as we get more used to it. I have no news to write, except that it is reported that the Yankees are advancing upon Elpasso, from 3 to 5 thousand strong. If that be so we will probably have some fun. Good bye, it is dark. Write to me, your, John
Castroville Nov 11th 1861.
We are here 26 miles on our route. Some of our men sick this morning. John Allen & Crebbs will have to be left here. Flux seems to be prevailing. I am here in a store full of men. Cant write. I am well. Good bye write to me. Kiss my boy & take care of him. God bless you both.
John S. Shropshire
|10. John Samuel Shropshire to Caroline Tait Shropshire, November 12, 1861|
Camp near Denis [D'Hanis], Nov 12th 1861.
Hubbard has just come up from San Antonio without bringing me a letter from you. What is the matter? Write to me immediately and direct you letters to me at San Antonio. Arrangements have been made to ford the letters to the Regmt whilst on the road. Please write immediately. I am very anxious to hear & can not understand why I have not recvd a letter from you within the last week. Direct you letters for the next 3 or 4 weeks to San Antonio.
We are getting along pretty well, no one much sick. We have news that Seward, Cameron & McClelland have resigned if that be so I think we will probably be together sooner than we have anticipated.
I hope it is so. I have no news. We are traveling over an uninteresting country. We are now in an indian country. We are having fine weather. Sleep without putting up our tents. Night before last the dew fell very
heavily heavy I was acting officer of the day & had to be up &
and around camps through the night. I sent you all the money I could draw by
Sims. I hope you recvd it. I bought some articles for myself & a good many for
members of my company, principally clothing. The 3 Lieuts & myself bought a
wagon for our own use which we find a great convenience. Bob drives. I pressed
the Dr's black poney which I have been working, he gets along pretty well. So
far we have corn but soon we will be out. We have a plenty to eat for ourselves
& will continue to have I guess until we get through. Heard from Allen & Cribbs
since we left tham at Castroville. They were better, will be able to come along
with the next party, I hope. Did Sister son get the sweet pepper? Tell the Dr
that his tent was so badly worn when we recvd other tents that I thought it
unfit to return. I will get going to make him another when I return. How are
they getting along at the plantation? If you knew how badly I want to hear from
you, you would write immediately. It is getting, I must stop writing. I will
mail this in the morning at a P. O. abt 2 miles behind us. Good bye. Kiss my
boy. Write to your, John.
Please give the within note to Mr Delany I could not find it when I wrote to him. John
|11. John Samuel Shropshire to Caroline Tait Shropshire, November 14, 1861|
Camp Frio, Thursday, Nov 14th 1861.
We will pass through Uvalde tomorrow some time in the day & I will drop this in the office. We are still getting along tolerably well. We are in an Indian country yet, but have seen no signs of them yet. Our party is so large that I guess the Indians will hardly make their appearance. We will go as we are now marching, as far as fort Clark which is said to be about 60 miles yet. After we get there, the Regmt will be broken up into squadrons & each squadron will march through to Elpasso seperately. I expect we will get there, Elpasso, about the 20th December. I believe I would like the life we are now living, if I did not want to be at home so much. We are traveling slowly, only 12 or 14 miles per day. When we get to Elpasso our trip will not be half finished. So you may judge how
far long we will be required to
make the trip & return, aside from the time it will take to thrash out the
enemy. If peace is not declared before we leave Elpasso, we can not possibly get
back before 12 mo, that is the shortest time, which to me appears an age to be
seperated from my family. But I am not the only man who has had to leave his
family for such a period. If I could hear from you I would feel better
contented. I am anxious to hear yet I am almost afraid to hear. The last news I
had from Charlie was distressing. I am afraid he is not improving. Little
children die so easily in this country, that I have almost despaired of raising
Charlie since I have heard his condition. I hope however that he may make it. It
would be a source of great gratification to know that he was improving, & a
still greater one to return home and find him the boy he promised to be, when I
left him. God's will be done. We have nothing occuring in camp that would
interest you. The Tattoo has just sounded & the rolls are being called, which
indicates that bed time has arrived. Does not that sound strange that
bed time, out in camp. Bob has just made down my bed, he first had it on the
side of a hill with the head down. I have made him change ends. Bob is a great
negroe, a perfect scamp, yet I am attached to him. I cant tell why. He professes
a great interest in me & mine & I believe he does as well as his nature will
allow him. If ever he gets back home, he will be the traveled uncle in our
family. When we bought our wagon he asked me if I was going to hire a Mexican to
drive it. It never occuring to him that he was a suitable person to perform said
feat. The candle has burnt out and I am writing by moonlight. The moon shines
very brightly in this country. We have had fine weather so far. I hope we will
continue to enjoy said blessing. We had no corn last night for our horses, nor
any yet tonight. We are looking for some however, hope it will come. If we have
cold & rainy weather our horses having no corn will become very much reduced & I
fear some of them will die. I have taken special care of my horses, & when we
left San Ant. I believe they were in a better condition than those of any other
comp. But that wont interest you much. Good bye. God bless you & my boy. Write
to me something every day. Tell me all that occurs. What are you doing at the
plantation How are my colts. You have never told me one word abt them. Write a
letter & direct it to Fort Clark. I will try to have it ford if I am not there.
Tell the Dr that I met a large train of wagons yesterday, loaded with baging & rope. I expect we can do something with cotton in S. A.
|12. John Samuel Shropshire to Caroline Tait Shropshire, November 19, 1861|
Fort Clark, Nov 19th 1861
My Dear Carrie,
So far we are getting along very well. Since I wrote to you last we have rested & washed one day. Yesterday, which was Sunday we laid over, I read a novel through We have had a good road since we left San Antonio. We are now abt 135 miles from San Antonio. We camp tonight abt 7 miles from here. I stop here for the purpose of writing you a letter. I am officer of the day, to day. My duties require me at camp.
Capt Hamner in command of this post, met us with his comp. and escorted us to the fort. He then invited the officers to dine with him. We find him to be a very courteous and hospitable gentleman. I am well. My men are all well except one, Mr John Knowles, the bro of the men who died at Mr Pinchback was accidentally shot through the foot last Sat. He is to be left at this place. Contrary to his desire & my judgment. I think he could go on with safty. I do not know whether we will find another post office before we get to Elpasso, if we do I will write to you. I wish I could hear from you. I dreamed last night you were dead & I am getting superstitious. We will stop the mail as it comes up & I hope very much I will find a letter. You do not know how much I want to hear from you. Good bye. Kiss my boy. God Bless you both is my constant prayer.
P. S. Write to Sister Augusta and tell her that I have not
forgotten her, & would write to her immediately & frequently but have not the
time. Give her my love. Give my love to all. Yours
|13. John Samuel Shropshire to Caroline Tait Shropshire, November 24, 1861|
Fort Hudson, On Devil’s River
215 miles from San Antonio Nov 24th /61
I have traveled on ahead to day for the purpose of writing to you. We are still getting along very well. We are now traveling or marching by divisions. Our Regmt being broken into 3 parts on account of water & grass, both of which are scarce. We have no water except at regular watering places & have to regulate our gait so as to make a water hole every day. We are traveling in the first division & are therefore ahead, some advantage. This is the poorest country you ever saw or read about. There is none so poor as to equal it, for the last hundred miles I have not seen as many trees. The earth is covered with rock, cactus of every variety & with every other stickey thing read of in the books. There is very little grass & it appears to me that the most of that little has thorns on it. As yet I have seen no country worth fighting for. The health of my command is good. A few a litle sick nothing serious. I never had better health in my life. We have had fine weather, no rain yet. It was pretty cold last night & night before. Last night I became chilled through. The cover wont stay on, I cant tell why. I am getting so partial to sleeping on the ground, that we will have to sleep out of doors when I get home I expect. How would you like it? I have no news to write, nothing occurring in camp to write about. We are getting along so much better than was anticipated that I have nothing to quarrel about. Our beeves stampeded last night, but caused us very little trouble. Our horses have behaved very well. Some of the boys are walking already, & we are only abt on third the way. We heard that General Sbley was only a day or two behind us & will likely be up with us very soon. I am looking for a letter by him & sad will be the disappointment if I fail to get one. I hope I will not be disappointed. I have not heard from you since 3 weeks, & unless I get a letter by Gen S. I will not probably get one until we get to El Passo, which will be atleast 4 weeks more. I would like to know that my wife & boy are well. I am afraid you are not doing well but hope you are. Ask the Dr if he has had the barley et al. sowed yet? How are my two colts? How are you getting along farming? How much cotton will you make? How many of your negroes are sick? Have any more of them died? Bob is getting along tolerably well, he stole a six shooter from me and exchanged it for 2 fine shooters which he gave away, to 2 other negroes. I got the sixshooter back & gave him a pretty good whipping. I wish you had him. I fear he will trouble me yet. Good bye. Write to me every day so that when I get the letters I will know what has been occurring. Give my love to all inquiring friends. Kiss Charlie God bless you both. your Shrop
|14. John Samuel Shropshire to Caroline Tait Shropshire, November 29 and 30, 1861|
Near Fort Lancaster, Nov 29th 1861
I sent you a note from Fort Hudson Since that time we have been getting along tolerably well. I have had the back=ake for the last 2 or 3 days very badly. I have been so bad off that it has been with dificulty that I could ride upon my horse. After getting into camp I took a nap, a short one, and have waked up with a slight cold & headache. So you see with a back ache, bad cold, & head ache, I am not the wellest man in the world. We are having the finest weather that ever blessed poor travelers in our condition. We have cool nights and pleasant days. The weather has not been very disagreeable at any time. We have had quite a scarcity of water since we left Devil’s River. Il tell you all about this country when I get back. Suffice it to say, so far, this is the poorest part of His Majesty’s vineyard, that my ill luck has ever forced me upon.
Well, Gen Sibley came up the day after I wrote to you at Cam Hudson, but did not bring me a letter. It has been now about 4 weeks since I recvd a letter from you. In that time I have not heard a word from you, either directly or indirectly. And I presume I will not hear from you until I get to Elpasso, a month yet? After supper—I have just had a sumptuous feast upon cornbread & molasses. Bob is getting to be quite a famous cook with Charlie Schroeder to superintend him. I will try a new dish directly I think. Bob is making some soup out of a smal dog, which I think will be good. I will tell you how it goes after I try it. I have nothing to write about. I could tell you a great many things if I was with you, but I can not write them so as to make them interesting. I wish you would write to me as often as I do to you. Kiss my Boy. Remember me to all. God bless you. John.
Well, I eat the dog. The soup was fine, the meat very good. But late in the night I had the worst head ache I nearly ever had. My head does not ache like it did & I hope will get well without medicine. I was thinking and saying abt one week since that I was the most lucky fellow out, having enjoyed such good health, but I was hardly done bragging before I had the back ache. Il not brag any more. We are resting here to day, washing &c. We enjoy a rest very much after traveling one week or tin days without intermission Our horses are doing very well. We have had no corn for abt 3 weeks. The men get a plenty to eat. How long it will be so I cant say. The report is that abt 7 thousand Californians are enroute for Elpasso & that it will be a closte rub with us which will get there first. If we are beaten we will have a bad time, our provisions will be out & we will have nothing left but to starve, fight or surrender. I doubt the report, from what I can hear no body else except us would ever be fools enough to go after it. The country is very poor & very sparsely settled. Good bye. I shall look ford to Elpasso with a great deal of solicitude. I certainly will get some letters there. Take good care of my Boy. I would love to be with you both. God bless you. Your affectionate, Shrop
|15. John Samuel Shropshire to Benjamin Shropshire, November 30, 1861|
Camp Lancaster—Abt 300 miles from San Antonio—November 30th 1861
Dear Ben, we arrived at this place yesterday abt noon. We remain here until tomorrow for the purpose of resting & washing &c. We have been on the road abt 3 weeks. We have a plenty to eat for the men grass & water in places both scarce for horses. The whole of this country is not worth ____ even [?] not worth having, & that which we are going after I am creditably informed is no better. & if I should get killed fighting for such a country I shall not complain. Served him right for being such a fool. Well Ben I have nothing to write I have been out of the world now 3 weeks, hear nothing except occasionly a rumor. It is rumored in camp that Tate beat Herbert, is it so? I hope it is. But I fear not. It is rumored here that old Butler is enroute with 7 thousand Californians to meet us at Elpasso. If that be so we are likely to have some serious fun—if that report be true. There are yet abt 2500 old U S A troop in New Mexico. I guess we will have some fun. I wish you would write to me at Elpasso. We will be there abt the 1st day of Jan next I expect I would like to hear from you frequently. It has been 4 weeks since I heard from my wife & Boy. I look ford to the time when I will be a free man again with as much solicitude as a boy does, to the day when he shall commence life on his own hook. But there is no use in talking abt such things. when do you think we will have peace? We are getting along well have fine weather. Our horses looking well, considering. My young horse falls off more rapidly than the horse I ride all the time, he being bad all the while. He is too young I will bring me a good mule if I am ever so unfortunate as to have to make another such trip. Good bye. Your Bro. John. Give my love to all the family.
|16. John Samuel Shropshire to Caroline Tait Shropshire, December 6 and 7, 1861|
Fort Stockton, on Camancha Creek, abt 400 miles from San Antonio, Dec 6th 1861.
My Dear Wife, We arrived at this place last night. met with a serious accident. abt 100 of our horses stampeded last night. I have been hunting horses all day. have first returned. We have found all the horses, but some of the men are yet out. We leave this place in the morning. Our horses are growing thin & beautifuly less every day. My fine horse would not be worth more than $100 at home. Tell the Dr that I wish now I had taken his advice and bought a mule. A good mule out here would be a great stake now. I am in no danger of being afoot however, as with 4 horses, I think I can ride as long as those who have only one. We are about to have squally times in this part of the world. the provision train which was to await us on the Pacos, has gone on and our provisions are growing very short, & we were abt to be put upon short allowance and would have been to day, but we heard when we arrived at this place that the train would await us at a fort 80 miles from here, Fort Davis. We got some here which with what we had will last us to that place. Soldiering is a great business. We are dirty and hungry all the time. The men all complain of not having any thing to eat, yet there is not a man in the comp, except 1 or 2 puny ones but has fattened greatly. I think I will weigh now abt 190 lbs. & feel like, generally, that I could eat a horse. With the exceptions of the head ache, (one spell of which I have had since leaving San Anto.) I am not sick at all. The weather promises us something worse than we have had since leaving. I hope we will not have a sleet, for it will play hot with our horses. There never was prettyer weather for our business than we have had. Our mules are begin to fail & there is a prospect that we will have to throw away our tents. if we do and we have any sleet something else besides horses will suffer in the flesh. But we need not anticipate misfortune. we may yet be lucky. I begin to think now that we will probably be back by next May or June, dont know, it looks like a long time to me. I have ceased to fret about hearing from you. dont expect to hear from you until I get to Elpasso. maby not then. if not then not until I get home. I hope you are well & that Charlie is getting over his misfortunes. I have nothing more to write about. I would like to know how you are getting along farming, & whether you need the money I left for you at San Antonio. Give my respects to all. Give my love to all the kin. Keep my boy. Good bye. God bless you both. yours John.
Dec 7th 1861.
Another stampede last night. We have all the horses in and will be off in a few minutes. With stampeding & starving the majority will soon be afoot. D. A. Hubbard requests you to send Mr D Tooke word that he is well. I have no sick of a serious character. Good bye. God Bless you
|17. John Samuel Shropshire to Caroline Tait Shropshire, December 12, 1861|
Fort Davis Dec 12th 1861
My Dear Wife,
I recvd yours of the 28th Nov. two days since, much to my surprise & gratification. I am now in a great hurry to get this letter into the mail, which leaves this place in the morning. I am glad to hear that you and Charlie are once more well. I was sorry to hear that you had been sick. I hope this cold weather will cure you of the chills. We are getting along well as usual, our horses are failing very rapidly. Our cavalry will be converted to infantry before we return I expect. I would write you a long letter if I had time. I start in the morning to the Riogrand abt 125 miles in seperate companies. My comp starts first. I will be commander all by myself. The route is dangerous. The Indians have been stealing mules from some of the commands ahead. Remember me to all. Keep my boy & take good care of him. Tell him I will write to him by the next mail if I have time.
Tell the Dr I will write to him some of these days when I get time. I have a very poor oportunity to write while traveling. Give my love to sister Augusta. I would like to hear from her. Write to me every day. Good bye. God Bless you.
Yours affectionately, Shrop.
|18. John Samuel Shropshire to Caroline Tait Shropshire, December 26, 1861|
Camp on the Rio Grande, 5 miles below Fort Quitman, Dec 26th 1861
Dear Carrie, We arrived at this place last night, our mules & oxen broke
down, having been out 36 hours without water. We came a new road nearly all the
way from Fort Davis. The road was very heavy, & water was very scarce. Our
horses are all in as good condition as could be expected, all poor & some of
them very poor. Christmas day 1861 will be remembered a long time by this Regmt,
not a man of which I guess, but would have gladly been at home. I thought of you
many times & hoped that you were enjoying a good time. The eggnog & good things
you had to eat I sincerely hope you had the good apetite to enjoy. I could have
enjoyed a dinner with you amazingly. The boys say that I can eat more than any
body else. I have a wondrous apetite & enjoy fine health. I am fattening. I
weighed at Fort Davis 184 lbs. I feel stouter than I have for years. I can not
say how much glory we will gain, but I can say that we will have done as much
hard work as any other soldiers in the Confederate service. Cvalry on the march
have a hard time at best
on the march but especially do they
suffer when they march through a wilderness when a scarcity of every thing
essential to comfort prevails. I candidly confess I never would have come this
way had I imagined the country was so mean. In after years when Charlie's grand
children get old this country will be used for raising sheep. If I had the
Yankeys at my disposal I would give them this country and force them to live in
it. I would make Devil's River hollow headquarters for them. Men & nations fight
for principle. The U. S. A. spent millions of money to buy this country from
Texas (I mean New Mexico) & then spent much money & life to whip it from Mexico
& after all a country was acquired which would impoverish any private individual
to own. Our people fought for principle and took the country for spoils, & got
cheated. We are fighting for an outlet here where he gives it. It will only do
for a Van Dieman's Land. Since I commenced to write this letter, Col Waller, who
has recently been promoted from major, has arrived at this camp, enroute for
Hempstead. He promises to deliver this letter at some convenient place. I do not
know which route he will take. Waller is going home to raise another Regmt for
the S B. He reports lots of small pox in the uper Country abt Elpasso. He
reports 2600 regulars in New Mexico to whip. I do not know why they are sending
for more troops, except to promote Sibley, to Major General. Since I have been
writing it has sprinkled a little. The second sprinkle since we left I believe.
It has not rained yet. Bob sends his love to all the gals.
We hear no news from the head of affairs. Ask the Dr to send me the Delta after he reads it. I would like to know what is going on in the old world. We go into winter quarters near Fort Bliss, where we have plenty of corn, they say. Fort Bliss is near Elpasso. I intended to write you a long letter but can not write for the men around me. Send me by mail all the good news you can get through
by mail. I can not write any more. as soon as we
get into quarters, I will write you again Good bye. Write to me every day. God
Bless you & Charlie.
P. S. I will write to Ma, & as soon as I get quartered, send me the letters
you get from home.
You must not forget to tell me abt Mahala, when you write. I expect to find some letters from you at Fort Bliss. If I do not get them I should be disappointed. From the present prospects I fear it will be a long time before I see you again I fear I will be tempted to desert yet, or do some thing else desperate. This is a hard life to lead for a man who has as good a home as I have. God grant that the war may soon end. Good bye Kiss my boy. Yours, John. Give my love to all. Especialy to Gabes babies. Remember me to Mr Delany when you see him.
If you hear from Bro Jim let me know the news. I should like to hear from him.
|19. John Samuel Shropshire to Caroline Tait Shropshire, January 6, 1862|
Camp near Fort Bliss Jan 6th 1862
We arrived at this place on the 1st Jan and much to my disappointment I did not receive a letter from you. Our mail has come in since we have been here & no letter for me from you. I should think you could write me atleast one letter per month. If you know how thankfully your letters are recvd you would not be so sparing of them. I recvd a letter from Ben in which he said yours & Charlies health was not yet good. I hoped from your last letter that you had both recovered. I have nothing to write about. We are having a pretty hard time our provisions are running short. Bread & poor beef is all we will have I expect from this time on. The health of the Brigade is good my comp are all well. Not one man sick at this time. I have not heard from Knowles since I left him at Fort Clark. He was shot in the foot accidentally. I intended to write you a long letter from this place but I fear I will not have the time now. I have taken up all the morning writing to Ben. The mail leaves in the morning & I have to finish this immediately & take it 3 miles to have it mailed. I have been once over into El Passo, and saw nothing but a considerable number of miserable men women children & dogs. The houses are built of dobeis and all together present anything but a pretty appearance. Franklin, the town on our side of the river is a poor thing also. All that I have seen yet of the country that is worth a coper, is the land we have passed over from the time we struck the river. The Riogrande botom is fine land and by irigating fine crops can be made upon it. But the miserable class of people who live upon it, will never develope the country We leave here tomorrow or next day for fort Thorn. We have first heard that 4 companies of the enemy have been run into fort Craig by the advance of the 1st Regmt. We do not anticipate any great deal of fighting up here. There are not more than 3 thousand regular troop in all new mexico. The natives are ready to join the strong side. Good bye, write to me if you please. It may be months before I hear from you again. God bless you & my Boy. I wanted a letter very much before I left. Direct your letters to this place. I will get them after a time. Good bye Yours
John S. Shropshire
P S Direct your letters to Mesilla Arizona
|20. John Samuel Shropshire to Caroline Tait Shropshire, January 16, 1862|
Camp near Fort Thorn Jan 16th 1862
We arrived in this vicinity, yesterday evening. This morning was spent in selecting a camp convenient to water & grass. & this evening we moved to this place, where we have all the conveniences that this country affords. We have a nice pleasant place in a skirt of timber on the east bank of the Rio Grande river. our horses have stood the trip so far amazingly well, the men are all well except one who is too trifiling and mean to keep well—his name is Walters—you do not know him, nor has he any friends in your country (And I expect none in the world). I am on duty as officer of the day. It is now about one oclock at night, the camp is hushed in sleep & no noise greets the ear except the occasional challenge of a sentinel and the continuous howl of woolves which by the way is music. is musick in the wilderness. Just think of my condition now, here. One thousand miles from home in the [illegible] field, sourrounded by enemies in the midst of a country claimed and inhabited by the treacherous Mexican, with every mountain pass and hiding place infested with the savage Indian, in the midst of winter, with poor horses and no corn to feed them with. And then think of what my condition was but a short time since, when at home with my loved ones around me—The best contented and happiest man in Texas—is there not a contrast? There is, and the pictures are not half drawn. My cup of bliss was too full. the happiness that was mine, was more than my portion. The luckless boy who commenced his career as it were in adversity, and battled his way to manhood through all the ills that beset an orphanage could not be left to the unalloyed enjoy=ment of such. Wise men say that man shapes his own end, and that he is the architect of his own fortunes. Such may be facts, but if so, I shaped this end, & designed this portion of my fortune when too young to be responsible, for no man of mature years & discretion moderate, could, of his own agency, have been guilty of such folly. No, my Dear Wife, I never could forgive myself if I thought by my agency, I had brought this upon myself. There is an all wise Providence, who shapes our ends and moulds our destinies, and to Him alone must we look to have our rough places made smooth. & by his graciousness only can we pass safely over them. I feel tonight most deeply how helpless & dependent I am, & am now lashing myself for the many ungrateful thoughts that have coursed their way through my mind since I left you. I hope these trials are put upon me that I may be made a better man. And I pray that the inflictions may soon end and that I may never become unmindful of my own littleness, nor of the many mercies of The All Merciful. And Darling let me tell you that I have an abiding faith in the petitions that you make for my wellfare. Whatever my trials are no matter how gloomy my forebodings may be, I am always congratulated that there is one dear one at home who does not forget me, neither waking, nor sleeping—whose prayers are never made except there is a petition entered up for me also. Many have said to me on this trip, that they were more fortunate than I—they had no wife to care for at home. They are deluded creatures, the consolation that I have a loved one at home, & the hope of again being with her, are sources of more pleasure to me in one minute, than such men are allowed to enjoy in an age. I sometimes doubt whether I was justifyable in leaving you and begin to regret my course, but a conciousness of duty over balance all such thoughts & I am left to regret the necessity that forced me. I will come back to you sooner or later I hope. I will come as soon as I can honerably. & if I never come back I will have no stain upon the spotless boy I left with you. God bless him. If I die, I will die in defense of my country, fighting for the oneside I love so much— fighting an enemy, who would desecrate a hearthstone so sacred, and bring bondage upon the entire household. Though I have much to live for, I will die, if it is my fate, without a murmer To live & see my country, my people, & my dear ones in the hands & at the mercy of so despicable a foe would be far worse, than to die striking at the hearts that concoct & would execute the extermination or subjugation of my people. And should it be my fortune, do not let Charlie forget, that he must take my place as soon as he can shoulder his musket, and then manfully stand as long as the foot of the enemy polutes his soil. But there is no need of talking so I will be at home to teach Charlie all such. It is now twenty minutes after 3 oclock and I have not slept one wink tonight. Between my duties and this letter I have made one night. Darling I have writen to you frequently, but my letters have been short ones and written in camp mostly on the march. And I have found that you thought them indiferent If you had the constant duties that are mine you could very easily pardon me. I have not recvd a letter from you since leaving El Passo nor did I receive one whilst there. Every body else gets letters but me. I am looking for some letters every day now. God grant that I may not be disappointed. Write to me frequently. I love so much to hear from you. I have only had one letter in abt 3 months, almost a lifetime. Good bye. God bless you & my Boy. Remember me to our relations. I can not specify. Tell Mr Delany I think strange that he does not write me sometimes. How is he & family. Tell the Dr. that I have intended to write him a letter, but have never found the time, oportunity & inclination together. If we stay here long I will write to him if I have an oportunity to send the letter to Mesilla.
I will send this letter back to Mesilla by express. I hope to start it now in a few hours. I suppose by the time this reaches you we will have attacked Craig. We are still not anticipating much of a fight there. Fort Union will be our destination from there—provided we get there. I am cold and tired. For God’s sake write to me and send me all the papers you can worth any thing. Good bye. Yours, John.
|21. John Samuel Shropshire to Caroline Tait Shropshire, January 26, 1862|
Camp near Fort Thorn Jan 26th 1862
I once more avail myself of the opportunity to send you a letter from this place, the last from this place & it may be the last from any place, (I hope not however) Since writeing you last our scouts have returned from La Mosa abt 25 miles this side of Fort Craig, bringing no news from the enemy reliable except that the Mexicans of La Mosa & adjoining country have been ordered to move their families above Craig, which order thay have complied with, & which indicates to me that the enemy are prepared to receive us at that place If they do no doubt they will give us a very nice reception, and probably some of us will have an oportunity to make and end of our glorious careers. I have no doubt that we will whip them and look upon a fight there as our only salvation, for if the enemy should retreat and we have to follow them in winter to fort union we will be worn out and our transportation entirely exhausted before we can over take them & then we will have to fight them in a fort almost impregnable with supplies sufficient for 2 years. We start in 2 or 3 days now. I recd your letter of the 26th Dec 4 or 5 days since. Your letters are emphatically angels visits to me. They come seldom but when they do come are harbingers of great consolation. Your health to me is a matter of as great concern as our seperation. I fear you are not sufficiently cautious of your health. remember darling that if I am so unfortunate as to numbered among the slain in our country's cause that to you alone on earth will our children have to depend for their sake & for mine be extremely cautious. You expressed a hope in your letter that I may return in the spring. I must confess that I fear that happy event will be prolonged to a much greater length than you or I have ever anticipated. My prospect to me now of returning are gloomey and I look ford to the time as one of indefinite future dependent upon many uncertainties. In the event of our success to the extent of our anticipations it must necessarily be some time before we can be allowed to return to our homes. I fear not before the end of the war which to me now appears but just begun. After all our boasted prowess I can not see but that the enemy like the Boa Constrictor is entwining his clamy coils around us and only awaits the completion of his coil, whis is nearly at hand, to crush us at once. God grant that my opticks may be deluded, and that "the darkest hour is just before day" but when I look and see that in Virginia where we have had our best army the enemy has been allowed to remain upon our soil, that Ky is now overrun and almost entirely lost to us, that Tennessee is threatened by a large armament, that Misouri is abandoned & that our whole coast is blockaded and any & every point is liable alike to the successful foray of this enemy I must confess I feel gloomy & have some forboding as to the future. I do not fear for the future. I know almost that eventually we will be free and that no enemy will threaten our coast or place a foot upon our soil, but that time may be farther hence than the most desponding have placed it. The deeds of heroism & and acts of sacrifise that already shine upon our young history will be but nothing to those that will yet be recorded before peace & quietud are restored to us. I do not believe that Lincon will be so silly as to engage in a war with England at this time but upon the contrary he will use every effort to conciliate that government until he has made his final effort against us. But darling let us hope for the better and pray that we may soon be reunited There are no charms in this sort of life for me I am no soldier, and am panting for a release My home with my wife & little one are more to me than all the blaze & pomp & circumstance of the military. I would not forego them to be generalisamo of the American continent. In this long wearisome march my fancy has been idle and allowed to roam at will. Many are the fancy castles I have built for you & I & our little ones & I believe that some of them will be realized for I have once been happy beyond my most vain expectations and can see no cause why I should not again. I keep yours & Charlie's likeness in my breast pocket all the time The picture inanimate as it is affords me pleasure every time I look at it. I am glad to learn that the little fellow is improving. My own troubles and ailments would be of no concern to me if I only knew that you & he were well.
You ask me what shall be the name of our next little one in the event it is a boy. If I return I should like his name to be Benjamin. Not a fancy name by any means, but the name of a man to whom I would like my children to look as a model Although Ben is my Bro I do not think nature has formed a better man. If the babe should be a girl you can name it as you please. I have no particular choice I expect you will select some one of the family names any that you select on either side will satisfy me. If I should never return it may be well to call the boy, if boy he be, for his sire. use your pleasure on that subject My own name was never a favorite of my own. I favor you in the hope that It may well bring health & renewed vigor to you. Why you do not get well I can not tell. I wish very much you were in Ala. I think probably you would be in better health. I think as soon as you can travel you had better endeavor to go back by spring probably Ben can get a furlough long enough to take you to your relations I know he would do so with pleasure I do not know why you have not recvd the money I left for you in San Antonio. I am afraid it has not been paid over by the Quartermaster. I wish you would get Dr Tait to write to N O Green Atty at Law San Antonio he promised to see that Meyer paid it over as soon as he recvd it. It certainly will be paid soon. We have not been paid any thing yet which I conceive to be entirely the fault of our QM I may be wrong He is yet in San Antonio & we have now been 5 mos in service. All unnecessary.
Yours was a more pleasant Christmas than mine. I wrote you how I spent my Christmas in a way to impress it upon my mind I never wanted to look into the future so much in all my life Tell sister a letter from her will be very thankfully read Ask Mr Delany if I have offended in any way that he will not write to me occasionaly I hope not. When you get that money send down by some one and have the Houston Telegraph sent to me. It takes us a long time to
If you can not get the money in San Antonio ask the Dr to have some cotton baled for you and send it to Messrs Vance & Bro San Ant. and have it sold. I am surprized that our crop turned out so poorly. Why has Pierce not finished the Gin. there is sufficient baging and Rope there to bale all the cotton & I think it will be as safe a plan as any to have it ready to ship immediately upon the opening of the market. Besides probably the Dr cold sell it to some of our creditors who are holding notes bearing ten pr ct &c. Wm Baker has a note which I wish could be settled some way if possible if Whitfield has not done it he promised to settle it when I borrowed the money but had failed, or had when I left home. I would like the Dr when he sells the cotton to pay Coats if he requires it and also to pay to Ben Shrop. something of what I owe on my interest in the Ranch the ballance aside from what you need I would like him to appropriate to the payment of what we owe him. Mr Sack of course must be paid first &c I have intended to write to the Dr relative to business, but have declined so long that I feel entirely unfit for the task. I rely upon him entirely & feel satisfied that he will act entirely for the best Tell him that he will find in Mr Delaney's office in one of the drawers of one of the book cases, a small book marked "cow book" which contains the substance of the contract I made with A. G. Andrews. That he will see an act I have against the firm for supplies and money furnished. Ask him to see Windrow and get the particulars of a partial settlement I have made with Andrews through him & see that Andrews gets his notes from Rivers & Windrow and that I have credit upon Andrews note for the amt I have paid. Where I hope the matter will stand until I return As I hope to get home before the next crop is disposed of Mr Delany has all the papers of mine, which he will furnish you in the event thay are needed. I have left my business in a very poor condition for any one else to attend to if I should get killed up here I wish you to have the title perfected to that League & Labor of land on the Mustangs & have the same saved for our child or children until the eldest is grown. Who is overseeing for you? If you have Carter how does he get along? What has become of Mr Sack I wish the old fellow had gone to the wars last spring. Did you get any small grain sowed? Ask the Dr not to let them neglect my mares & colts. give them corn this winter. Tell the Dr if he gets short of team to call on Gus & he can probably furnish him some young horses if he has not sent them all to the wars. I hope your trip to Fayette will be beneficial to your health. Give my love to all. I cant specify. Write. write. yours affectionately, Shrop.
|22. John Samuel Shropshire to Caroline Tait Shropshire, February 27, 1862, and accompanying list of casualties at Valverde from Company A, 5th Texas Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, compiled by John Samuel Shropshire|
Camp Lockridge — 2 miles above Socora New Mexico — Feb 27th 1862
It has been some time since I wrote you last since which time we have had a very tight fight and lost several of our best men Major Lockridge of our regmt died in a gallant charge upon a battery of the enemy. It will be useless for me to tell you that we whiped the enemy for that is a matter of course. I did my part my officers and associates all say. I was by the side of Lockridge at the batery when he was shot. & I claim to be the first man there, but there are many others who claim the same honor. Suffice it to say, I was there among the first & I can assure you that it was the warmest place I have ever had the honor to ocupy. I can tell you that my friends at home can never appreciate the danger through which I passed. Enclosed you will find a list of the killed and wounded in my company which will show to you and our friends what part the comp performed in the battle of Val Verde. I do not know whether you will ever recv this letter as we are in the country surrounded entirely by enemies. Fort Cregg is still in the hands of the enemy. We whiped the enemy in a pitched battle near the fort & have moved on thus far without oposition and feel confident that there is no enemy here that will dare to meet us again. We fought a large odds and at great disadvantage. We whiped them completely and killed a large number. We had killed 38 & 145 wounded on the field. We had been without water 2 days except what we could carry in our canteens. We had at no time more than half of our forces in the fight. We fought from morning until sun down. You will see no doubt much better and more full descriptions of the fight. I can congratulate you upon being Mrs Major J. S. Shropshire you may write the fact to Sister Sallie. There are many things I might write to you, but prudence dictates the contrary course. I hope soon to hear that peace has been declared and that I may soon be at home. I dislike military service & most especially do I dislike fighting. The Yankies fight so gallantly that I have come to respect them more & feel willing to live upon terms of friendship with them— provided always they will "let us alone" I have no time to write any more. I am in fine health yet and all of Co. A, except the wounded are well. I expect soon to have an oportunity to write you again. This goes by a scout mesenger & it may be that it will be cut off. Good bye. Kiss my babie, & take good care of him. Dont forget me in your prayers. Remember me to all the relations. Write to me. I will get the letters some day probably. Yours affectionately
John S. Shropshire
Major 5th Regmt T. M. V.
P. S. Gen H. H. Sibley sends his love to you
J. S. S.
P. S. Col H. C. McNeill sends his love to Mrs Ford. Please ford it & oblige
J. S. S.
Tell the Dr or Mr Delany to publish in the county the report I have enclosed so that the various friends may know what has become of us. Hubbard will doubtless die. The rest will I think all recover. Willson sends his compliments to the Dr. Oakes would like very much to see his girl. I expect a large lot of letters from you soon. I have not heard from you since leaving Fort Thorn.
List of the Killed and wounded in Co. A 5th Regmt T. M. V.
Killed. Private Joe E. Smith.
Wounded. Lieut D. A. Hubbard, seriously wounded in the head, (Is expected to die little hope of his recovery)
Sergeant G. O. Sloniker, shot through the foot, improving.
Corp. R. H. Carter, shot through the thigh with a grape shot, a severe wound, no bones broken, improving.
Farrier M. C. Knowlton, shot through the left side, a very severe wound, improving.
Private A. L. Baker, shot in the eye, improving, his eye will probably be saved
John P. Campbell, slightly wounded.
Suffield Clapp, shot through both thighs, no bones broken, improving.
F. E. Caldwell shot in the arm.
J. H. David shot in the
left right breast, with a grape
shot, But little hope of his recovery, he is very low, is dead.
H. D. Donald shot in the thigh, improving.
T. B. Gillespie, shot in the hand, improving
W. L. Grow shot in
the leg calf of his knee, improving.
Sam Henderson, Badly wounded by a burn by the explosion of a Caison of the enemy whilst storming the battery, improving
John Knowles, shot through the writs & a slight wound on the stomach, improving.
A. G. Mitchel, shot through the wrist, improving
J. H. McClary, shot through the calf of the leg, pretty seriously hurt but was reported slightly wounded, because he did not quit fighting as long as there was an enemy, improving.
J. D. Montgomery, wounded in the leg, improving.
Martin Pankey, seriously wounded shot through the thigh, improving
S Putman, left arm badly shattered, I think doing very well
W. G. Roberts, slightly wounded in leg, improving
J. I. Stolts, arm broken, doing well
August Schubert slightly wounded, well
Corp I. R. Taylor, slightly wounded, well
The above is a correct statement of the condition of the men of Co. A. The number of the wounded will show what the men had to under go & how well they sustained themselves. No man ever led a better & braver company than I had the hon to command in the battle of Valverde.
John S. Shropshire
Major 5th Regmt T. M. V.
|23. Letter of James W. Carson to Shropshire-Upton Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy, May 31, 1920|
Hallettsville Texas, May 31, 1920
Mrs. E. C. Gordon
Sec. Shropshire-Upton Chapt. U. D. C.
Your invitation received to be present at your meeting of the observation of Davis day, with request to reply. I regret to say I will not be able to attend it would be a great pleasure for me to be with the ladies of Columbus where I spent some of my happiest days with the young ladies there in my young days. I feel that I am deficient of language to express the praise the Ladies of the U. D. C. deserve in perpetuating the memory of their noble & heroic fathers; but I will say woman so perfect & so peerless outstrips all praise and makes [obscured] halt behind her. I will give you a short sketch of the death of Maj Shropshire which is not generally known Capt. Shropshire was promoted to Major of the Regt. and at the battle of Glorietta, New Mex. I was in command of the company. After fighting and driving the enemy about a mile, the company on my right encountered a body of the enemy behind a ledge of rock in the mountains and was driven back in disorder. Major Shropshire ordered me to take my company & drive the enemy out, which was the last order he ever gave. I ordered the charge & Shropshire & I leading the charge & he was shot in the head & killed instantly when we was in about 10 steps of the enemy After the battle I with others of my comrades got the body and took down in the valley & buried it. He was the best friend I ever had. we were very intimate and were bed mates. He was one of God's noblemen & his spirit so holy it would not stain the purest rill that sparkles among the bowers of bliss. I feel that can see him now, peeping through the [obscured] curtains of Heaven awaiting & watching the coming of his chivalrous knights.
Lt. J. W. Carson
Company A, 5th T. M. V.
|24. Letter of James W. Carson to Laura Hahn, September 11, 1921|
Hallettsville Tex Sept 11th 1921
Mrs. Laura Hahn
Dear Madam Yours of the 6th inst received in which you
wanted to know the war record of Major John Shropshire, for the benefit of his
Grand Daughter to make out her application papers to join the U. D. C. which I
will do to the best of my recolection, as its all ways a pleasure to do any
thing that I can for any of my old comrads or their decendents John Shropshire
organized a Company at Columbus in the summer of 1861 and he was elected Captain
of the Company. I belonged to the Company, we went to San Antonio, and was sworn
in to the Confederat Army in front of the Alamo building there and Capt J
Shropshire’s was made Company A of Colonel Tom Greens Regiment and joined Gen
Sibley Brigade and was Company A 5th T. M. V. = (Fifth Regiment of Texas Mounted
Volunteers) (and the 2 Regiment of Gen Sibleys Brigade) Col Tom Green was
afterwards promoted to General and Commander the Sibley Brigade we started to
Arizona and New Mexico in the fall of 1861 and foght the battle of valverdy the
21 of Feb 1862 and Major Lockredge of our Regiment wa killed and Capt Shropshire
was promoted to major we fought the Battle of Glorietta the 27th March in Apache
Pass about 15 or 20 miles east of Santefee New Mexico where Major Shropshire was
killed we had been driving the enemy for some time and encountered them behinde
a big ledge of rocks wher they made a stand, I was Commanding Company A and
Major Shropshire orded me to take my compny and charge their position I ordered
the Charge and Major Shropshire and I was leading the charg he was right by my
side and when we got in a bout ten steps of the enemy he was shot throught the
head and killed instantly. we buried him there on the battle ground. he was one
of the noblest men on earth and the best friend I ever had we were mess mates
and bed mates.
give my best reguard to your Grand Daughter and except my best wishes for you and her future prosperity an hapiness yours Respectfully
J. W. Carson
Lt. Co. A. 5th T. M. V.