Civil war letters and family pictures from the descendants of James Salter
James Salter was born in North Carolina in 1760. He fought in the Revolutionary War ands was rewarded for his services by President John Quincy Adams. The new land was located in the Mississippi Territory, which until after the Creek War of 1812-1814 was not conducive to settlement. In 1816, Salter came down the Federal Road to the area known as Burnt Corn. According to family, James married three different times and fathered 21 or 22 children. Two of his sons were James, Jr. and William. The following letters, stories and pictures come from the descendants of these two men.
Civil War Letters
Camp Hardier was located near the present city of Columbus, Mississippi today. This was the last camp before the battle of Vicksburg for Melton Greenberry Booker born 1837, Monroe County, Alabama, died June or July 1863, Vicksburg, MS. Melton is writing his wife, Sarah (Sally) Salter, born 1830, New Ireland, Alabama (Greenstreet) died 11902, Burnt Corn, Alabama. They were married in 1859 and had two children: Willis Napoleon (Polie) born on May 11, 1860 and William Sugart, born Dec. 19, 1862.
After Meltonís death at Vicksburg, Mississippi, Sarah married Sidney (Peter) Desplouse of France and they had one child, Mary Josephine Desplouse, born May 31, 1867, in Conecuh County, Alabama. Life of a Confederate Soldier was hard, always short on everything and being away from their wives and children was the worst part of being a soldier. For some reason, Sally did not write often. Melton sent stamps to Sally by McMillan in hopes that she would write. Kenny (Kindred Salter, ca.1840) was Sarah (Sally) Salter's brother. James William, and Kindred, served in the Confederate Army. Enoch was exempted from service because of varicose ulceration on his feet leg by a doctor at Sparta (county seat of Conecuh County, Alabama on October 31, 1864.)
Camp Hardie near Columbus, Mississippi, the 4th Sep.1862.
I seat myself down this morning to drop you a few lines to let you know that I am well at this time hoping these few lines may reach you and find you and family well. Sally I have nothing of importance to write to you at this time and through I can't hear from you I want you to hear from me. Sally I want to know the reason that you don't write to me more often for it is but seldom that I get a letter from home and I do want to hear from you and the children so bad. Sally I have been awaiting for a letter from you so long and it seems like I want get none. So I will write you this letter and see if I can get an answer to it. Sally if Kinney hadnít been sick I would wrote to you before now but he is getting better
I think that he will soon be well now but he has been very sick. Sally write Kinney a letter to lack the other day and he was very bad off but he is better now. Sally if you know how bad I wanted to hear for you and the children you would write to me everyday. Sally I want you to write to me whether you got them stamps that I sent to you by McMillan or not. Oh Sally that I was with you today I would give all that I possess in this world for there is nothing that is (can not read this line) you and the children is Sally if there was any chance to get a substitute here I would have it took every thing that I am worth in this world. Sally send your mother word how Kinney is so that she want be uneasy about home for the letter that Kinney made me write will make her uneasy about him but I don't' think tht he in dangerous now. Sally nothing more at this time I remain your husband till death M.G. Booker to Sarah Booker (Salter)
Recorded by Edward W. Salter, Jr., 9 August 1990
Camp Pollard was located near the present site of Pollard, Alabama today. Pollard is located between Brewton and Flomaton, Alabama and approximately 8 miles from the Florida State line.
Death was always on the soldier's mind. In this letter, Melton is quoting the Bible to comfort his family. Hisacih (Hezekiah) was Martha Ann McClammy Booker's (1819-1896) brother. Martha married William B. Booker, 1816-1891. Her father was Mark McClammy and her mother was Nancy Johnson. William and Melton were brothers. Note: Melton spelled Salter with a "U", Salter, this was common throughout the 1800s.
Camp near Pollard, Oct. 7, 1862
I take my en in had to let you hear from me I will inform you that this few lines leaves in tolerable good health and I hop when this few lines reaches you they will may find you enjoying he same like blessing I will inform you that I have nothing new to write to you we have beautiful weather for camp I will say to you that he health of camp is tolerable good at this time for which blessing I feel thankful to God for his kind care over us while many thousands of our noble men have suffered and died never to return to these fathers and mothers any more and hundreds many hundreds and thousands will never have the set comfort and pleasure of home and their wife and children any more in this life. There fore our lives are uncertain at this time be ye also ready for the hour that ye thineth not the Son of Man cometh Dear Sister I will say to you that if you have any lard to spare our men will pay you as much for it as you can get any where else and pay you the cash for it and if you have any you will please let us know or send it down here and we will pay you the money. You will please look in the office at Burnt Corn and see if they re any letters for Martha and send them to her tell Martha tht I will send al my letters to Burnt Corn Post Office you will please give my love to all inquiring friends if any I will say to you that it is not expected that we will be station at this place long vu t I can't tell when we will be station for winter quarters but somewhere in Florida I will inform you that Martha's brother Hisacih Cumbo was killed in the battle near Harpers Ferry we morn the lost of him although he died an honorable death striving to be free so I will close by saying I remain you truly brother.
M.G. Booker to Elisa Salter writes soon
Eliza's full name was Sarah Amanda Anna Eliza Booker Salter, written and recorded by Edward Salter Jr., Aug. 4, 1990.
Columbus, Mississippi was the last camp before the battle of Vicksburg for Melton Greenberry Booker. Melton is writing his brother, William and his sister Sarah. In this letter, Melton is asking his brother and sister for help in getting Sally to write. Melton's spelling is bad, as in his other letter. Kenny (Kindred) was Sarah Salter's brother. Kenney has stayed in the hospital because he came down with measles. Hospitals were often timeís centers of infections of one kind or another, especially for gangrene. Medicines and food were always in short supply in the Confederate Army.
Columbus, Miss Iowns Co. June the 11th 1862
Dear Brother and Sister,
I seat my self to drop you a few lines to inform you that I am well at his time hoping these few lines may reach you and find you and family the same I have nothing of importance to write you at this time Kinney has been very sick with the measles but he is agitating well he has come back in camp this morning from the hospital he stayed there eight days and he says he is in hopes he will not have to go their any more for the did not get anything to eat in three days he says he liked to perished to death he says he wants lie so to see you one more if he could but he don't know when that will be for this is hard place to geat off from for they have strict laws her ink you don' know nothing about sickens I had to guard the hospital the other night that had 300 sick soldier in it but that is nothing at least there is 3000 sick soldier at this place but they come from quarantine down here ink we heard hear that three would not be no more fighting in 90 days. I don't believe there will be any more at all ink I want you and Elza to write as soon as you get this letter till all the rest to write Tom too for I want to hear from you all very bad and that every day we are hear yea but we don't now how long we will stay hear we had a lively time them that any sick but I had rather be at home any time till Sally that I had rather see her and the children that to see anything in the world till Sally I want her to write to me as often as she can so I will close my letter by saying I remain your Brother till death
You must excuse bad writing for I have to write on my knee.
Written and recorded by Edward W. Salter, Jr. 10 August 1990.