Letters from the Civil War: Monroe County Remembers her Rebel Sons, complied by Kathy Painter McCoy with contributions by Anna Thibodeaux and Joe Holly. Monroeville, Alabama: Monroe County Heritage Museum, Monroeville, Alabama. © 1992. ISSN 1064-9743. You may write to the The Monroe County Heritage Museums, P. O. Box 1637, Monroeville, AL 36461 to determine current availability of this publication. These excerpts are used with permission of the author, Kathy McCoy, Director, Monroe County Heritage Museums.
John DeLoach was Captain of Co. F, 36th Alabama Regiment. A native of South Carolina, he is listed in the 1850 Census for Monroe County as a farmer owning 250 acres of land. When two companies formed from the county - the other being Co. G - members of Co. F enlisted at Mt. Vernon, Ala., on May 1862 and spent nearly a year building fortifications along the Alabama and Tombigbee rivers.
In April 1863, the regiment went to Tullahoma, Tenn., and then northern Georgia. DeLoach, suffering from bronchitis, writes it is the calm before the storm for his company. That fall they were baptized with fire at the Battle of Chickamauga. Living up to its Indian meaning of “river of death,” more than 18,000 confederates and 16,000 Union Troops were wounded, killed or missing. The battle was called a Confederate victory for sending a third of Union forces in retreat. Sometime after 1863, DeLoach resigned his commission. The 36th continued and wintered at Dalton, Ga., until spring 1864 when it joined opposition forces before Sherman, fighting from Crow Valley to Atlanta and Jonesboro. The regiment disengaged and swung back into Tennessee in an ill-fated campaign to reclaim the state. It was a slaughter and the 36th withdrew to Spanish Fort, Ala. They walked into another battle, were heavily bombarded and shoveled dirt all night rebuilding fort walls. Eventually what remained of the 36th withdrew to Meridian, Miss., and surrendered.
DeLoach returned to Monroe County to live on West Claiborne Street in Monroeville. He served two terms as circuit clerk.
Here are letters to and from DeLoach:
June 4, 1862
I am at Claiborne, came to bring Dr. Daily he is on his way to your camp. There is nothing doing here or at Monroeville the dullest place in the world all well though & geting on after the old state. we have just heard of the great Battle on the Chichhuhoming in Virginia we whip them out. But are mortified by a retreat from Corinth. But you will hear all about it before this reaches you. Burr of Selma - the Selma & Gulf Rail Road agent has sent some rail road accounts to Mr. Corey arming one on Geo Dailey's estate which for $40 odd dollars which he says have the money to pay & asked who is his agent. What shall I do about it. Shall I make up the complith record of this care-since last count.
All your folks are well & geting on as usual. Polly says you must come up soon they all want to see you. We have several arrivals of families from Pensacola lately, taking quarters in our town. Also the Rev. Poeter Cotter with his lady has become a resident of our town. Everybody here are going to the salt works. I think I shall go soon. Give all the boys highest regards. I regret the death of Ed Bryant very much. Jack Parker has been at home some days, he came home well but now has the jaundice. Malden Company has became a guerrilla & gone to Tenesee. We have had fine rains & corn looks fine. I nothing to write of interest.
J. W. Pose
May 31, 1863
Dear mother & cousin,
I received your letter of the 22nd luck which gave me a great deal of pleasure to hear from you & that you were all well. I am in hopes you had rain before this wire. We have just had plenty of rain. For the present we are still at Manchester. I don't know how long we will remain here. I ___ that___ march probability ___ fight here now. A few days ago the Yankees came withing two miles from us, but moved back again without doing much damage. The raid was for the purpose of haveing the familys of some Union men who were in the Yankee army. I want you to write me every week how you are getting on and how the crops are doing. I have nothing of need to write____. These____ me tolerably____. Now we have some sickness but no bad cases which the men got sick. They are sent back to the rear.
June 14, 1862
Dear Mother & Cousin,
I take this opportunity of droping you a line in answer to your letter of the 1st which gave me a great deal of satisfaction to hear from you. And that you were all well and the crops were looking fine. This letter leave us tolerably well. I have been troubled by bronchetus. Tell Mrs. Posey that I have not seen her brother yet they are at Tallahoma. We are 12 miles east of that place. If we ever get close together I will make their acquantance. We are detached off from our brogade at present. But I don't know how long we shall remain so.
The following account about John Lee Marshall (1842-1924) was taken from the book Whitfield, Bryan Smith and Related Families by Emma Morehead Whitfield.
As a student at the University of Alabama from 1860-62, John Lee Marshall heard the call of duty. He enlisted May 10 at Mount Vernon, Ala. He enlisted in Company “F” 36th Alabama Infantry, C.S.A. He attained the rank of Captain and fought at Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, and Atlanta before capture. He was shut up at Johnson’s Island, Lake Erie, where be suffered greatly because of the treatment deliberately accorded him. Following the war he took up farming. Three terms between 1905 and 1917 he served Monroe County, Ala., as tax collector. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church at Perdue Hill and later of the Church of Monroeville, Ala. 1924 found him in the latter place. Mr. Marshall wore the uniform of the Confederacy until his death in 1934.
Fountain wrote this letter on May 19, 1862, to his brother about his difficulties in service. The letter was transcribed by James Fountain from the original.
I seat my self this morning for the purpose of dropping you a few lines to let you hear from me, I am not well. I have a very bad cold. I have nothing of importance to write you but I will try to interest you as well as I can. A soldiers life is a hard life. A man don't no nothing about hard times until he gives himself to the government and then he will learn something about it so will say nothing more about a soldiers life. George is well and Robert is well and Henry Newberry has got the measels and they make him very sick. All of our boys is down with the weasels but them that has had them. Give my love to Gatsey and the children and accept a portion for your self. I hope that I will get back safe. You must write as soon as this comes to hand and don't stop at one letter. Write often. I will write as often as I can. So I will close and write no more only I remain your sincere brother until death.
P.S. Direct your letters to Mount Vernon, Mobile, Ala. in care of Capt. Deloach, Col. Smith's regiment.
NOTE: William Dausey Fountain, listed in the 1907 Census of Confederate Veterans Residing in Monroe County, Alabama as having been born on April 5, 1861 (sic) Claiborne, Monroe Co, Ala. He was listed has having been a private in Company F, 36th Alabama.To Company F's Muster Roll
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