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SOUTH CAROLINIANA LIBRARY
UNIVERSITY SOUTH CAROLINIANA SOCIETY
MANUSCRIPTS DIVISION 2001
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Dalton Family Papers, 18 February 1861-20 October 1864
Nine manuscripts, 18 February 1861-20 October 1864, reveal something of the Civil War experiences of the Dalton family of upstate South Carolina, chiefly through letters from Pvt. Amos H. Dalton (d. 1864) to his father, Smallwood Dalton (1815-1894), who lived near Grove Station in Greenville District.

A letter of 31 September 1861 written from Manassas Junction, Va., discloses that the younger Dalton, who was attached to the Davis Guards, Hampton Legion, was convalescing from measles, while another dated 27 February 1862, Prince William County, Va., speculates whether he would be sent to Tennessee and reports that he had stood picket guard the preceding night-"hit was So darke that i coodent see not one thang to Save my life." On 12 June 1862 he wrote giving details of a fight in which "the balls fell all around me just like granes of wheat" and Hampton Legion had sustained severe losses. A kind citizen of Winchester, Va., he related on 18 September 1862, had washed his clothes, given him food, writing paper, and envelopes, and made him a haversack while he was in town.

The summer of 1863 found A.H. Dalton sick in the hospital again. An affidavit, 8 July 1863, signed by W.A. McDaniel, Greenvil-le Court House, attests that Smallwood Dalton "is a good and Loyal citizen of Greenville District...and wishes to visit Peters Burg Virginia to See a Sick Son." From Petersburg the elder Dalton wrote to his wife and family on 30 July 1863 advising that Amos was better than expected and should be released from the hospital soon. Smallwood Dalton hoped to secure his son's release from military service but was doubtful as to the prospects.

Three months later, 13 October 1863, A.H. Dalton wrote from a Confederate camp near Chattanooga, Tenn., where, he reported, his company was engaged in picket duty atop Lookout Mountain. He noted that his boots were worn out but that he hoped to draw a pair soon; then he responded to questions concerning allegations of food theft. "Some of the leageon did steel some meat...but hit was none of the Davis guards," the letter asserts, but "tha boys aught to steel meat for wee Donte git anuf to eat but wee have to doo."

Two items concern the death of Pvt. A.H. Dalton. Smallwood Dalton wrote on 14 August 1864 requesting that the army "make out a pay Roll on a Discriptive list" for his son who had "died on the 24 of last March in the Prision Camp in the State of Indiania" after being "taken prisiner 29 of October last near Missionary Ridge." A final letter, 20 October [18]64, from W.W. Tarrant, Camp Hampton Legion, apologizes for the delay in paperwork regarding payment of money due A.H. Dalton and notes that it was due to the fact that the company's books were at their "Reserve Camp."


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