Erasmus J. Allton Civil War Letters

Camp near Nickajack Ga

July 12th 1864

On yesterday evening we had a very nice shower of rain which was needful, and was received with joy and gladness, for we have suffered for the last week or two almost beyond endurance. The sun was so excessively hot and the earth so dry and dusty, it was almost impossible for us to stand marching at all, and there was hardly a day but what we had some marching to do. But not withstanding all our hardships we are enjoying very good health, and are in high spirits, for we have been successful so far and have had nothing to discourage us. We are now in camp and the report is that we stay here for a few days but I do not know anything about it and I dont think they do. The enemy has retreated back across the Chattahoochee river so that they are on one side of the river and we are on the other side. We are within 12 miles of Atlanta and can see the city from the tops of some [of] the hills here. It is said to be a large and beautiful city, and it has that appearance from here. I wish the city could be taken without being destroyed, but what must be, must be I suppose. The cars* are moving and come right up with the army and we lack for nothing. We have clothing and provisions in abundance. This morning is so beautiful and calm. The rain last evening, has renewed the forests and fields, and given them a bright and lovely appearance and the atmosphere is more comfortable and pleasant and inspires within us a new life, so that we feel as though we were new beings or that we have been transported to a more temperate climate. But we are in Ga.  and expect [to] be for some time yet if the confederates don’t run out, and to do that I think they would have to bring about one half of Lee’s army from Richmond to assist them for we have an awful force and at no place yet have we used all of our army at once to drive Johnson back. I received yours of the 28th June and was pleased indeed to know that you were still well, but I was sorry Catharine to know that you were so unhappy, and on my account. I would rather hear of you being happy and contented. I know that we all have our trials and troubles but we should bear them patiently and be thankful that our troubles are no worse. We should live in hopes trusting in a higher power than ourselves, and we should know that all things are for good although they may not appear so to us. Be patient Catharine there is a better time coming and I trust that we may both live to see it. I hope that you may live more contented and enjoy yourself well. I want you to write soon and often and keep me posted in the affairs of the neighborhood. You are still writing to the first sergeant of Co. D. and that is all. I want you to tell me in your next what made you ask that question for you have been hearing reports of some kind, and I would like to know what it is. I will now bring my letter to a close hoping it will find you well and contented. Write and direct as usual and remember me as yours E.J. Allton

Catharine Shick

Farewell Farewell

Excuse blotting**


Transcription notes:

*Refers to train cars

**Refers to the letters being somewhat smeared due to blotting of the ink.