Confederate Letters of James W. Parrish (1847 – 1916)
Provided below is the transcription of a Civil War letter written June 5, 1864 by James W. Parrish. The letter is one of a collection of five Civil War letters written by James W. Parrish during the summer of 1864, while he was serving with the Confederate Army near Atlanta. These letters have been published along with other Civil War letters at the Berrien County Historical Society website courtesy of John C. Futch. The letters are addressed to his wife Christian DeVane Parrish, and mention or refer to Captain Godfrey, Thomas Ray, Eli Futch, Ansel Parrish, Absalom Parrish, Thomas DeVane, P. W. Sineath, Thomas Futch, and others.
James W. Parrish was a son of Elder Ansel Parrish and Molcy Knight Parrish, After the war he owned 295 acres on land Lots #371 an 366 just west of Ray’s Mill (Now Ray City, GA), along with others of the Parrish family connection. He was a neighbor of Noah Griffin who was residing on 245 acres of Lot #371 with his family.
According to the 1921 Confederate Widow’s Pension Application filed by Christiana Parrish, James W. Parrish enlisted in April 1864 in Company K, 1st Georgia Reserves, at Nashville, GA. His letters home show James W. Parrish was with his unit at Camp Georgia near Atlanta in May, 1864.
The following letter was written June 5, 1864:
Camp Georgia Neare Atlanta Ga.
June the 5, 1864
Deare wife I once more imbrace the opportunity of dashing you a few lines which will informe you that I am in tolerable health. I truley hope this will come to hand in due time and find you all enjoying the best of health and as well satisfyde as the case will admit. I will now say to you that I have but little newes that is reliable to write you more than what you see in the papers. we have a grate variety of newes here but we do not confidence were all of them. we are still at the same place. we have all organised I think in companyes and Regments. Godfry is co. Captain, Thomas Ray, first Liutinant. we have a grate many woonded soldiers coming in here but there has not come any of the Berrien boys yet as I have herd of yet. Some of our men go to the hospital all most every day. There was a good rain here yesterday and after the rain slacked there was hevey fireing of the -nnon in the direction of our armey. we here the morning that Shurmans armey have fell back 10 miles. whether this is so or not I cannot tell. I will now say to you that I have made all the enquery I can about Eli. I have herd he had give out and was gone to the hospittle but wher I can not tell. It is thought by some that we will not stay here many days. Gov. Brown have bin to see cos. twice. He says he will not keep us here eny longer than he can help. our county men I believe is all tolerable well. Let Mother and Ansel read this letter. I will close. You must write me all the newes. direct your letters to Camp Georgia near Atlanta, Ga fifth ? Ga Militia care Cap Godfrey
Your loving husban
On July 2, 1864 the company was at a “camp in the woods” about ten miles west of Atlanta on the banks of the Chattahoochee River. On July 26 James W. Parrish wrote that was detailed as a company cook. At the War’s end, his command surrendered at Goldsboro, NC, but James wasn’t with the unit at that time. According to the affidavit filed by his younger brother, Henry William Parrish, he was furloughed sick in Savannah in September, 1864. When he recovered, instead of returning to his unit he was detailed to a unit “hunting deserters” and was on that assignment when the war ended.
- John W. Hagan Witnessed “Unholy War” and the Execution of Elbert J. Chapman
- William W. Knight Writes Home About Old Yellow and Men of the 29th Georgia Infantry
- Civil War Letters of William Washington Knight 1861-1863 in VSU Archives
- Confederate Letters of John William Hagan
- Isbin T. Giddens Dies of Brain Fever at Guyton Hospital, Georgia
- Eulogy of Elder Ansel Parrish
- Gilbert Parrish and the Dipper Gourd