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SOUTH CAROLINIANA LIBRARY
UNIVERSITY SOUTH CAROLINIANA SOCIETY
MANUSCRIPTS DIVISION
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Samuel L. Dorroh Papers [Addition to], 1861-1865

Forty manuscripts, 1861-1865, augment the Library's holdings of the papers of Samuel L. Dorroh, a native of Laurens District who enlisted in the Confederate Army on 16 August 1861 and served throughout the Civil War in Co. E, Fourteenth Regiment, South Carolina Volunteers. Dorroh's letters convey information on the movements and activities of his unit, the soldiers' life in camp, and his feelings about the war.

Military service took Samuel Dorroh through Camp Johnson to Tomotley and then on to Virginia, where he saw action at Fredericksburg, Petersburg, and numerous minor skirmishes as his regiment served in the Army of the Rappahannock. Both of his brothers, James and John, were killed at the battle of Fredericksburg, 12 December 1862, and Samuel was wounded in fighting on 27 June 1862.

Dorroh was elected lieutenant of his company in January 1862 and in January 1865 was promoted to the rank of captain. His letters indicate that optimism remained high within his unit well into the final stages of the war, but by early 1865 the reality of the situation was making itself known. Writing from Petersburg on 9 February 1865, he thanked his mother for packages from home that had arrived the previous day, among them one sent at Christmas. The potatoes were rotten, but the food was badly needed. "I tell you we were living very hard. We have been without meat for three of four days at a time. Get sugar & coffee in place of meat. You know corn bread & coffee is dry liveing."

Alarmed by the news of Sherman's capture of Columbia, Dorroh feared that Greenville would fall next. His concern for the Southern cause was grimly apparent when he wrote on 28 February 1865?"I dont see what our men are doing, it seems that they are not trying to stop the yanks at all, at least they go just where they please." Morale among the Confederate ranks, he observed, had fallen?"the Soldiers are in very low spirits a good many are deserting and going to the yanks....I fear a great many more will go if Sherman is not stopped."


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