Erasmus J. Allton Civil War Letters

Goldsboro N.C.

April 9th 1865

Well Catharine I will now try to write you a few lines to let you know how we are getting along[.] We are all as well as usual and all are excited to the highest pitch over the downfall of Richmond. The Rebels chiefs and cabinet are making for high ground. Grant is following after them with all speed. The prospects for peace are becoming brighter every day and if we are spared will be at home before long. Gen Sherman says that he is going to muster out one of the best armies in four months from now, that ever took the earth and I hope he will. The report is now that we move in the morning, where we are going to I do not know. but I expect we will follow up old Johnson. We have a large army now and if properly handled, I think we can go where we please, but we expect fighting of course. The rebs are des[c]enting by thousands and I don’t think that there will be many more hard fights. Our armies were received in Richmond with joy. This is the sabbath day and a very cool one[.] We had a little rain on the night of the 7th and since that the air has been quite cool. I wish I were with you today, I then could tell you of our hardships and sufferings while on our marches, but I expect that you and all others would hardly believe what we would tell you and yet we could not tell you the half or give you any idea of what we have had to suffer. None knows but the soldier or can have any knowledge of what we have to endure. While on our last march we were, as long as ten days at a time, with wet feet and very often we have had to lie down with not a dry stich on us: we have had to wade ponds of water to our waists for a half a mile or more and the water was so cold that we would become so numb that we could scarcely walk and then after we could have to march all night and fight all the next day. This we had to do here at or near Goldsboro. When we arrived here the third of our army were barefooted and we were nearly destitute of clothing and what we had was so dirty that we could hardly tell what they were made of, but we are now well clothed and in a clean healthy condition and we have all we can eat and are doing fine. I would love so well to see you and have a pleasant walk with with you. I think of you daily and I have your picture yet and have had it next to my heart in every battle that I have been in since I last saw you. and if I am permitted to return to you I shall try to bring it with me[.] I must now bring my letter to a close hoping it may reach you and find you well and well satisfied[.] Remember me as yours forever

Yours truly E.J.A.


Write soon and often, Catharine


I am ashamed to have to send you a letter and to let you pay the postage but I know you want to hear from me and I send you this unpaid for we have no money nor stamps.





Additional Information

[Written by Issac Weiss]


General William T. Sherman 

Born in 1820 in Lancaster, Ohio, William Sherman was born one of eleven children. He graduated from West Point in 1840 and participated in the Mexican War of 1846-1848. He resigned from service in 1853 but volunteered his services in 1861 as a staunch Unionist. After an unsuccessful start to the war, Sherman found himself working closely with Ulysses S. Grant. In 1864, he replaced Grant as the overall commander of the Western theater. Sherman then unleashed a brutal blow to the South when he regained possession of Georgia strongholds and the Carolinas. Following his service, Sherman enjoyed being commander in chief of the U.S. Army for fifteen years. He released memoirs in his later years too and was a popular speaker in many circles. He passed away in 1891 and is buried in Calvary Cemetery & Mausoleum in St. Louis, Missouri. 


Source: Library of Congress, The Civil War in America Biographies: William T. Sherman