RHEA TN 1,
The postal envelope is not available.
March 4th, 1863
I once more grasp my pen in hand to write you a few lines. I received your very kind letter by the hand of Charles, which I read with the greatest pleasure. I opened it over and over and thought of you and the great distance we are apart, and of the circumstances which surrounds us at present - and I could but shed a tear of grief over our sad misfortunes.
Amy I am very sorrow indeed to inform you that Micajah has failed to get his discharge. It was approved by all up to Genl Pembleton, and it was handed over to Surgeon Brown for examination and his decision on the case and he just recommended him to be sent to General Hospital for treatment, and tho Genl just recommended that surgeon Brown's endorsement will be carried out, so this killed the whole -
Micajah is back at Mr Stouts, and will remain here for a while til he gets a little stouter then he expects to return to camp. Our Surgeon (Hodge) and Col Gillespie both tells him that he would do about as well here as at the Hospital. I powerfully regret that I was so unwell when Pappa and Bob started home I believe if I had been well I would have got Micajah off home, I would have tried a hundred ways or got him off. The Col said they ought to have stold him off if no other way. - but the time is passed and we must do the best we can. He is still improving but will not be able for any duty soon.
Miss Amy I have no news of great interest to write you at this time. The Enemy is reinforcing daily. They sent a flag of truce over the other day, with an order for our men to quit firing into their transports as they passed along the Miss - River, as they would hang the last prisoner they had of our men, our reply was to go a head and we would retaliate. It is believed now that a heavy fight will be fought here this spring.
I am a thousand times obliged to you, Mother, and Lemira for those cakes and sausage you sent me. I and Micajah eat it with great delight, and talked about the pleasant scenes of home and your great kindness for sending us such delicious things. We both tender you our grateful thanks, and insure you that we will ever remember your kind favors -
Tell Marion and Mary that I was proud to get a letter from them and to hear that Marion is excused from service.
Miss Amy you wanted to know whether I thought it was right for a person to go contrary to their own will just to please others or not. I would say it is not. Live according to the Golden Rule if you want to do right and be happy. I must close. Tell John when you write that I would like to have him in our company, if he wants to come.
So I again bid you adieu. Your affectionate Brother until death.
Signed: W.R. Clack
P.S. Tell Pappa that I lay four days after he left at Stout's before I was able to do anything. My jaw swelled up over my eye, and it pained me a great deal but it is now well. W.R.C.
This letter was written by William Raleigh Clack (1839-1919) from Vicksburg, MS, to his family in Rhea Co., Tn., while he was in the CSA. In another document, his diary details the misery of his stay there and his trip home after the surrender.
William Raleigh, his brother, Micajah Rogers (1836-1904), and their brother-in-law, Charles Brady, served together in the same unit through-out their Ky and Va campaign, then all went to Vicksburg.
People mentioned in the letter:
Charles - Brother-in-law. Charles (b. 1824) married Mary Lamira Clack (1821-1904)
Amy (1829-1906) - W.R.'s sister. She later married the Rev. James Johnson.
Lemira - Mary Lamira mentioned above.
Mother - Margaret Kerr Clack (1796-1877)
Pappa - Micajah Clack (1799-1886)
Marion - Francis Marion (1823-1895) brother of William Raleigh.
Mary - Mary V. Free (1837-1898) wife of Marion.
John - probably John Sevier Clack (1831-1884) brother of William Raleigh.
Bob - don't know who this is as W.R.'s brother, Robert, had already been killed while serving in the CSA in MO.
From the Collection of Edna Clack
Transcribed by Edna Clack