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Letter, 31 Dec. 1861, Chris C. McKinney to Mary
    A gift to the SCL Manuscripts Division announced in 2003

| Gifts to Manuscripts 2003 | Front Page 2003 | Endowments | Friends of the Library |

Letter, 31 December 1861, of Confederate soldier Chris C. McKinney, Camp Pocotalig[o], [Beaufort District, now Jasper County, S.C.] to his wife, Mary [McKinney], Petersburg, Tenn., conveys details of his service in coastal South Carolina and is particularly revealing for its comments on military discipline. Written on “the last night of 1861” as a “New-Years gift,” the letter indicates that McKinney, a first lieutenant in Co. B, Eighth Tennessee Infantry, had earlier that day inspected and mustered two companies of soldiers detached and “throwing up fortifications as fast as they can.”

The letter complains of problems they were experiencing with “officers and men leaving without leave” and notes that, by order of Gen. [Daniel S.] Donelson, McKinney had arrested three commissioned officers and the quartermaster sergeant, all of whom were likely to be brought before court martial. Continuing on, it voices McKinney’s hope that Col. [Alfred S.] Fulton would “make hast[e] and come for I want him to hang some of the drunken and unruly rascals in this Regiment for I tell you if there is not something done and that soon we will quit the Service disgraced....”

While “we are making great preparations for a fight here,” McKinney wrote, “ I think it is all in the eye and the yanks are not coming out here and if they do my opinion is they will get whip[p]ed in dou[b]le quick time if our Regiment should happen to be sober enough &c.”

McKinney, who wrote of the esteem in which Gen. Donelson held him, was subsequently promoted to the rank of major in 1862 and to the rank of lieutenant colonel in 1863.

This page updated 16 Jan. 2004
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