Sunday, December 9, 2012

1862 December 10 near Grenada

                             Hd As 1st Corps 1st Div
                         Army Dept of Miss East La
                        near Grenada Dec 10" 1862
My dear brother
                     Last Sunday was a week, we
commenced a retreat from our position near
Abbeville and had a most horrible march
of eight days. The army stood the march &
the privations, which were sever from the
horrible weather and the want of provisions.
The enemy pushed us hard with Cavalry
all the way until we got to Coffeeville, 16
miles above this point.  When we made
a stand, and had a pretty brisk en-
gagement of two or three hours, in which
our division and a single other regiment
were alone engaged--We punished
them pretty severely--Killing some
40-taking 52 prisoners-and
wounding a great many--we only
lost 7 killed & 43 wounded.  I was
not in the engagement, having broken
down my horse in the morning, & not
anticipating anything of the kind Genl
Tilghman left me to attend to matters

[page 2]
at HeadQrs.  The force which was
brought down upon us was so great
that we could not hold the positions
above this point  Here however we have
a very strong position and have heavy re-
inforcements on the way to us- Genl Kirby
Smith-Genl Loring & the President
himself are on their way here--Genl
Smith will be in command of the dept
and the change of the command will
be a popular one with the army--Lt
Genl Pemberton has not made himself
popular-Indeed we have been unfor=
tunate in our commanding officers
are are glad to get some of the will
known men of the Army--to day
it is ascertained that the enemy
are falling back--the force that
moved down from Helena have
certainly gone back to that place
probably from fear of being caught
in the swamps by the rains.  I
suppose the campaign is over for the
winter in Virginia-as it will be in
three weeks here, except probably
an attack upon Vicksburg and
Mobile--It will be impossible to

[page 3]
operate by land after the roads once
become bad.  I have not had a letter
from home for some time and can only
tell you to direct to care of Brig Genl
Lloyd Tilghman. Comdg 1st Div 1st
Corps. Army Dept of Mss & East La
   I am glad to hear of Tom Munford's
promotion--Let me know his staff
Newman Eubank has never made
his appearance and his not
doing so, has caused General
Tilghman great inconvenience
and myself a great deal of ann-
oyance.  I hope Fan has gotten
well enough to allow Ma to return
home ere this.  I wish very much
I could be with you at Christmas
  dining upon corn meal and Fresh
Beef and sweet potatoes altogether
as even we do at Head Qrs is pretty
hard, and I should enjoy the
good things you will have, not=
withstanding the War very much
Give much love to one & all
at home and at the Colonels
-I am enjoying a sleep upon the
floor of a house instead of my tent
and find it agreeable--as the nights

[page 4]
are cold and damp--my
health was never better however
and I have no colds in the
head now.  Clean clothes
are very scarce, as it is almost
impossible to get any washing
done.
               Affly yr brother
               P. Ellis, jr
 Charles Ellis Esqr
Richmond, Va.

University of Virginia alumnus Powhatan Ellis, Jr., 1829-1906, served fist in the 3rd Kentucky Mounted Infantry and then as Asst Adjutant General to a series of Confederate Generals including Lloyd Tilghman, Leonidas Polk and Nathan Bedford Forrest.

MSS 2516



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