Monday, May 28, 2007

The Civil War: A Fallen Itawamba Soldier's Burial in Atlanta

The following is a portion of a letter that was written to Itawamba County merchant and planter, Alfred Hoyt Raymond of old Van Buren and Verona. His son, Samuel P. Raymond served in Company E (Verona Rifles) of the 41st Mississippi Infantry during the Civil War. He was killed in the Battle of Atlanta during 1864 and was buried in a vacant lot in the city. Raymond hired a man in Atlanta to properly bury his son in a cemetery in Atlanta during 1866. Below is a portion of the moving letter written from Atlanta pertaining to his son’s re-interment.

Atlanta Ga
Aug 25/66

Mr A H Raymond
Verona Miss

I rec’d yours of 21st just last night and today have disinterred the remains of your son and placed them in a neat coffin and deposited them in the north east subdivision of the cemetery by the side of J.T. Terrel’s grave who lived in or near Quincy, Miss. Thinking he was perhaps an acquaintance or friend of your son. You I suppose are acquainted with the family. On the south side of his grave other Mississippians are nearby. A small apple tree stands at the head of the two graves rather between the two. A temporary headboard is put up on which his name only is inscribed. There is not a doubt as to the identity of his remains. Two plank were put down on the bottom of the grave. One on either side and covered over with short pieces of plank. He was enveloped in a colored blanket and no dirt was in contact with his remains…

If you will pardon me for again alluding to an incident that will perhaps dampen his parents eyes with tears of affection I will relate it. A very amiable young Lady, a Miss Kendrick, who lives on an adjoining lot to the one which he was buried was witnessing the disinterment of the precious remains and who seemed deeply moved with feelings of sympathy for parents and with much solicitude had made many inquries as to his age, his place of residence and whether his parents were living, evincing evidences that she fully understood the ties that link the hearts of parents to the memory of departed loved ones and when she saw the remains lifted from the rude grave she involuntarily exclaimed most pathetically and feelingly: “Noble Noble young Hero, he never disgraced his gray jacket.” I allude to this incident that you may know that a sympathising tear was dropped upon his remains by a Lady friend though a stranger to you and to him…

Yours Truly

F.R. Bell

Mr. Raymond

I send you a lock of your son’s hair in a separate envelope or supplemental note as I am not acquainted with Mrs. Raymond’s temperament and not knowing but what other circumstances might forbid the sudden introduction of the hair of her idolized son to her attention.

Yours &c


Source: Itawamba Settlers, Volume XXVI, Number 3, pages 118-119 from a transcription of the letter made from a copy of the original letter housed in Mississippi State University’s Allen Memorial Library. Illustration of a Confederate soldier from the Library of Congress

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