CONFEDERATE SOLDIER LETTER – HIRAM HOLT, 34TH ALABAMA

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Item Code: L15376

The following letter was written by Hiram Talbert Holt of Choctaw Corner, Alabama. Holt joined the “Suggsville Greys”, a volunteer company from Clarke County, Alabama, before the firing on Fort Sumpter. Later assigned to the 38th Alabama Infantry Regiment, he was under bombardment for 18 days and nights at Fort Pillow, served at Forts Morgan and Gaines, Mobile, took part in the skirmishing around Tullahoma, Chattanooga, Chickamauga and Atlanta. Hiram Talbert Holt was killed while on picket duty near Dalton, Georgia on February 24, 1864.

Letter is written on lined paper. Measures 7 3/8” x 9 ½”. Fold creases are present and slight chipping on edges. Shows areas of yellowing from age. Totally legible.

Letter reads, ”Fort Morgan, June 19th, 1861 / Dear Carrie, Since I have not got the funds necessary to the mailing of a letter to you & not being able to leave you in memory, I will write to you & if I should chance to fall on some bloody battlefield, then even these lines I trace here may bring afresh scenes that perhaps have fled. For 12 long days I have watched eagerly for a letter from you, but none has come! I have also been sick both in mind & body, but though my pulse beat hard & fast & my brow was scorched with fever & troubled with pain, yet Carrie, I did not forget to exclude myself from my brother soldiers, to think and pray for thee! And as I sit the surging waves can not equal the power of my emotions. I travel backward to days of youth & innocence. I recall the distant shadows of departed time. I see again the childish faces & forms that with me chased the butterfly, or else plucked the little wild flowers that lay along our way. Oh! Where are those forms now! Beneath the cold moist earth they have mostly found repose. And then again as I grew in stature, how scenes of glory pictured themselves to my imagination! How often I have burnt the midnight candle in perusing the acts of great & good men. How devotedly I have tried to travel the same road. But alas! Unlike them I’ve had no friendly hand stretched forth in my behalf. All alone, alone, I’ve fed the lamp in which ambition burned. My youthful endeavors failed. All but my affections chilled. How sad the heart will grow! I think of my kindreds graves! I wonder whether it will be far away. Sometimes & oft memory will rise on her airy wings & bear me to where they lie! There I sit and gaze as it were upon their different beds or else my eyes (tearful they may be) directed upward beyond that starry region where angels dwell. And again my mind will Dear Carrie to our love making days, some bright, some black with woe’. Still I go onward to our nuptials. To our days of peace & joy. Since I review all the scenes we have past over till we parted for the war. This then Carrie is the way I live. If I should chance to die away from you, it will do you good to know how devotedly you were loved & remembered through all the storms of life that assailed one with the fond assurance that we shall meet in that upper world, to part no more! Dear Carrie, I am sick & faint. I must quit. Yours till eternity, Talbert”.  [sl]

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