The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 83, July 1979 - April, 1980 Page: 52
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
miles below Little Rock. We marched from Camp Nelson31 to Little
Rock and there got on Boats and came here. We were four days on the
boats. Our boat was the first to land here; there was four or so Regt on
each. Gen. McCulloch32 said he sent our Brigade because he had more
confidence in us than any that he had under his Command and Genl
[H]olms33 said the same. He praised our Regt very much and said we
was the best drilled and best disciplined Regt in the Western Army
which was saying a heap for us; he also said that if there was a fight We
Should be in it first. I do not know how long we will remain here. The
Yankeys are supposed to be advancing up the River34 but they may turn
back and if so We will remove to some other Point. We are only about
20 miles from the Mississippe River. We have not got our Clothing yet;
we are looking for them every day; our Orderly has gone to meet the
waggon to bring them to us but we dont know when we will get them.
We are needing them very much. I heard from Wm Gates35 a few days
ago; he had been quite sick with Phnemonia. Mr. Ratley3N is still unwell
and at the Hospital. I have not received but one letter from you in three
months or more. You must write often. Direct your letters to Little Rock
and they will be forwarded to me; as I have no news of importance I
will have to close so no more at preasent. Give my love to all and except
a due portion for yourself.
I remain your son until death
G. W. Allen
31Camp Nelson, named for Colonel Allison Nelson, was between Benton, Arkansas, and
Camp Texas. Evans (ed.), Confederate Military History, XI, 245, Seaton, The Bugle Softly
32Brigadier General Henry Eustace McCulloch, who in 1862 commanded all troops east
of the Brazos River and north of the old San Antonio road. Evans (ed.), Confederate Mili-
tary History, XI, 244-245
33The letter is torn and shows only "olms"; presumably General T. H. Holmes.
34Probably the Mississippi Rivet.
35The son of Amos Gates, who lived adjacent to the M. Byrd tract in Washington County.
The Byrd and Gates families were among Austin's earliest settlers. Judy and Nath Winfield,
Jr., Cemetery Records of Washingon County, Texas, 1826-i960 (n.p., 1977), 1.
36sThere are no Ratleys in the 1860 or 1870 censuses of Grimes, Montgomery, Walker, ox
Washington counties. There was a George W. Ratliff, Sr., who was married with a son in
1867. Ratliff served as a Texas Volunteer under Colonels Carter and Giddings at Brenham
in Washington County and was a scout. He is probably the elusive Mr. Ratley. Frank W.
Johnson, A History of Texas and Texans (5 vols.; Chicago and New York, 1914), IV, 1732.
"This young private ... was only one of many teenagers being recruited in
the South as the second year of the Civil War began."
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 83, July 1979 - April, 1980, periodical, 1979/1980; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101207/m1/72/: accessed June 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.