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Anthology of Louisiana Literature

E. John Ellis.
Edited by Steve G. Ellis.
Letter to his Father, April 13, 1862.

Dear Pa — We are now resting and recruiting men, cleaning our arms and preparing to take the field again at the call of our beloved Beauregard.

We have had a great deal of wet and disagreeable weather since the battle but today is as bright and beautiful as days ever are, the sun is warm, the buds are bursting and the birds singing, and I could lay under one of these oaks and shutting my eyes almost dream that I was at home again and that there was no war. But the drum roll or a bugle call will break the spell and bring back the harsh reality of civil war, bloodshed and misery.

As I finished the last line, General Beauregard rode up attended only by his aids to Col. Masons hut. A crowd gathered about him and I went up. He asked kindly about our sick and about our losses. Seeing one of our men who had been slightly wounded in the head, standing near with a bandage wrapped around, he rode up to him, extended his hand and inquired, "My brave friend were you wounded"? Being answered in the affirmative he went on and said, "Never mind, I trust you will soon be well. Before long we will make the Yankees pay up, interest and all. The day of our glory is near." As he rode away after gracefully bowing to the crowd, a shout such as Napoleon might have heard from the lips of the "Guard", went up, Hurrah -for Beauregard our chief'. It's strange Pa how we love that little black Frenchman, but there is not a man in the army who would not willingly die in following his lead.

When and where we will fight the next battle I am unable to tell or even to guess or hazard an opinion. I believe the enemy is leaving the Tennesee River. They got enough of that place and our troops, and unless they have an overwhelming force they won't venture to attack us. The times are perilous and the right of southern liberty seems trembling in the balance. This will soon pass away, this war must soon close, the end of summer will not come before peace. The army is confident and jubilant. To judge by Beauregards countenance all is going well and let us trust will end well.

The enemy may take Memphis, yes and New Orleans too. Well, that would be bad, but yet we are unsubdued, still determined to be free, arms are still in our hands, the soil of truth is yet under our feet, and the God of the South and of right is still over us and in the end all will be well.

Affectionately your son, E. J. Ellis


Ellis, E. John. "Letter to his Father, April 13, 1862." Ed. Steve G. Ellis.

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Anthology of Louisiana Literature