Camp Calhoun April 13th 1862.
I wrote last Sunday, & although
no letter has come since I will write a-
gain, & I expect to write at least twice
a month from now on. ___ We have
had some excitement in our neighborhood
within the last few days. We had been
rejoicing over the late victories in the
west & had begun to feel that the
tide of fortune had turned in our fa-
vor. Last Thursday morning about 7
o’clock heavy firing was heard in the
direction of Fort Pulaski, which is
10 miles east of our camp. The firing
was slow at first but gradually became
more rapid. We could see the shells
explode over the Fort. It was ascertained
during the day that 5 of the federal
batteries were playing upon the Fort,
& that the fort replied by firing
one gun every five minutes. The firing
was kept up regularly until 7 P.M.
& then resumed at 9 P.M., firing
slowly all night. At day light rapid
firing began & continued until 3 P.M.
I was in Savannah when the firing
ceased, & the circumstance caused
greater alarm than the firing itself.
Many reports soon got abroad as to the
cause of the stopping, but nothing
definite was known until the next morning
when news came into camp that the
guns of the Fort were silenced at 3
P.M. Friday, that the walls of the fort
were completely shattered, that four
of our men were wounded & that the
garrison surrendered at 8 P.M.
Nothing has been heard from it since.
Capt Mc Mullins Company from Oglethorpe
of which Col. Montfort is 1st Lieut, is in the Fort.
The Reg. he wanted us to join was never formed,
& after roving over the mountains of Virginia
at their own expense, this Company came back to
the Coast of Georgia..
To-day news came into camp that there had
been another great battle at Corinth
Miss. in which the federals lost 20,000
& Confederates 5,000, & about noon an-
other report came that 70,000 of the fed-
erals had been made prisoners. I
give the rumor for what it is worth.
That another bloody battle has been
fought there is, however, no doubt.
Report says that Gens. Van Dorn & Price
made a junction with Beauregard & Bragg
& completely overcame the Yankee Hosts.
___ We are still here. Fort Pulaski
having been destroyed there is no bar-
rier between the enemy’s gunboats & Sa-
vannah, except Fort Jackson & a few
sand batteries near the city. I am of
the opinion that these defences [sic] are in-
adequate. They can be destroyed if the
Enemy undertakes it. They may give us
credit for better preparations than we really
have, & this may deter or at least delay
them for a while. But Savannah is in my
opinion a doomed city.
Joshua Thews is with me now. He is still wa-
vering & does’nt know where he will join. If
the conscription bill is passed – and I
hope it will be – he will be compelled to join
somewhere. Jim Rouse is trying to raise a com-
pany for the State Service & it is likely Jim, Josh
& Calvin will all join it. Jim expects office, &
they want to be together. Lew left Fort Valley to-
day was a week ago. Josh came with him as far as
Millen. By waiting a while at Mr. Slappy’s he
succeeded in getting a free passport to his
Company at Yorktown. He gave Josh $10. to
give me to send to you, which I will the first chance.
___ I was in Savannah Friday & bought a cooking
stove for Ma & sent it to Boston. I also sent
$70.00 by express, 20 for Bob & 50 for myself.
If you need the money use it, if not invest it
in Sheep or stock of some kind, if they are not
too high. ___ There may not be pipe enough for
the stove, if not let me know & I will send
more. Bob is in fine health & spirits. I
never enjoyed better health in my life. I will
send the scrap of cloth. I forgot it before. ___
[This letter is written in red ink and is from Robert E. Bedingfield. The postscript is in black ink and is written by John Bedingfield. At this time Robert and John are both serving with the 4th Ga. Bat.]
[transcription by Mary Roy Dawson Edwards]