1862: Columbus D. Harrison to Brother

This letter was written by Columbus D. Harrison (1836-1879) who enlisted as a private in the 1st Confederate Regiment Infantry, 2nd Co. D, on 1 May 1862. He was later transferred to 2nd Co. K. This regiment was originally known as 1st Villepigue’s Independent Battalion and the 36th Regiment, Georgia Infantry, (Villepigue’s). Its designation was later changed to 1st Confederate Regiment Infantry and it was also known as the 1st Confederate Regiment, Georgia Infantry.

Columbus surrendered with his regiment at Greensboro, North Carolina, on 26 April 1865.

Columbus was the son of John J. Harrison (1808-1874) and Saphronia McFarland (1810-1850) of Walker county, Georgia. He was married to Martha J. Cooper (1849-1921) in December 1868 in Catoosa county, Georgia.


Fort Gaines
[Dauphin Island], Alabama
July 7th 1862

Dear Brother,

I take the present opportunity to write you a few lines to inform you that I have written to you and [   ] brother and have never got a crack of a pen from either of you. I can’t tell what in the matter. I am very anxious to hear from home. I sent your letter to Randolph by Capt. Curry and if you have not got it, you had better go home about [illegible] that I got from Capt. [Elijah M.] Dodson to get a transfer to Bob Briggs’ Company. I told Cury to put it in the [post] office and I directed it to Rossville. I want you to attend to it.

I am very well satisfied here but I can stand a better chance to get a discharge there. If you have not got that letter nor can’t find it, I want you to see Bot Bery and find out about it and I will get another and send to you.

I have no news to write you. I have enjoyed good health ever since I have been here. There is but very little sickness in our company. This is a very pleasant place here. We have good houses here to stay in and bunks to sleep on. We get a plenty to eat and a plenty of coffee. There is no prospect  of [a] fight here at all. We don’t drill but very little as we used to do.

This is the best place for fish and oysters you ever saw. Bill Pitts ¹ has got back in camp. He stayed in the hospital until he had liked to starved to death a trying to get a discharge but could not get it. The doctor gave him one biscuit and cup of tea three times a day.

[Lt.] Joseph Albright is a coming down before long and if I can’t fix up that transfer, I want you to send me my linen coat and one pair light pants and three or four bottles of whiskey or brandy. We can’t get a drop here. Put it in a little box and it will not cost any freight.

Write to me how you are getting along a farming and [how] the crop looks. Tell Jack that I went to sleep a little while ago [and] dreamed about him. I dreamed that I was at home and he had some good brandy and I was drinking it. I want him to have some when I come.

There is some talk of us being moved up to the Big Shandy and if we are, I want you to come down. I want to send my money home. We are looking to draw our money every day. The payroll is made out.

We have not organized the regiment yet. There is but 7 companies. I don’t think that will ever be filled out. Our 7 companies is all the troops that is here at this place.

So I have nothing more to write at present. Write me how the times is down in Tennessee. You can tell Marshall that Leb is a getting well. Direct your letter to Fort Gaines, Alabama in care of Capt. [Elijah M.] Dodson, First Confederate Regiment.

So nothing more at present. Yours as ever, — C. D. Harrison

¹ This must have been Jesse W. Pitts who was in the same company as Columbus Harrison. He deserted prior to the first of March 1864 and took the Oath of Allegiance at Chattanooga on 9 March 1864.

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