Letter from Capt. Harvey A. Wallace

A special thanks to Mark Gerdes who found this letter and contributed it to this website.


Camp Nelson
Prairie County Arkansas
Nov 10th 1862

My beloved Wife, I this morning have taken my pen to write you a few lines to inform you how we are getting along in camp.  I am in moderately good health.  I have been able for duty every day since I came here.  The health of the company is only moderately good.  The whole Army is suffering with colds, the worst of coughs.  We have had one bad case at this time in the company.  William Whitfield is down with Typhoid fever.  Will be a very bad case.  Marion (?) Grimes has Typhoid fever too.  There is several other men not well.  There is lots of cases of fever in our Reg.  We lost three men in our Reg. This morning and some 1 or 2 more that will die today from pneumonia and Typhoid fever.  Achsah, they are Burying soldiers all the time here.  There is so much sickness in the different Regiments.  I hope the health will improve.  Well Achsah, William and me got Permission to leave camp last Tuesday evening and stay until Thursday.  Jim Wood (a) came in that day so I got Bectens horse.  Jim had two.  William and me went with him and stayed all night.  It is ten miles to his house.  Jim has a good place and plenty of everything.  He is doing fine here.  He donít owe a cent, has plenty of money, a fine stock of hogs.  He will kill between 3 and 4 thousand pounds of Pork this year.  Jim was very kind.  So was his wife.  She is the same Rachel (b) yet.  They have four children, two boys and two girls, the baby girl 3 weeks old.  We went to Bobís (c) this morning.  He lives a mile from Jimís.  He has a good place, a good new house and a good stock and 7 children.  Mary Douglas (d) lives with him.  Manerva (e) has been dead some two months.  Bob was at Douglases (f).  We went there to dinner.  Douglases 2 oldest boys are in Kentucky.  His next Boy has been lying for a month low with Typhoid Fever.  They treated us very kind.  Sarah (g) is lean but the same old Sarah.  Douglas has made money every year since beeing here.  After dinner we went to Jesy Wilsons.  They are well fixed.  Old Jesy has a splendid house.  Elias (h) and his children are there.  His wife died this fall.  Old Aunt Peggy (i) was very kind.  We went to see Darky Wilson.  She lives in sight.  She just has three daughters at home.  The oldest about growing.  Darky looks younger than I expected to see her.  She is poor.  John James (j) died this fall in the Army here.  Robert and William (k) were both taken prisoners at Island Ten.  She has not heard from them since.  She was so kind.  Told us to come back to see here and she would give us some butter.  She lives 8 miles from camp.  We came to John Cookís that night.  He is four miles from camp.  Cousin Anny (l) looks pretty old.  They have Mary with them.  She has a baby about ten months old.  John Cook has a house full of  corn.  He has a good stock of cattle.  He says he can do as well here as he wants to.  He takes his ease and lives well.  We had a good supper and breakfast there.  We went to Andrew Gingles for dinner.  His wife was gone to Jim Neelyís.  Neelyís wife is about to die.  Andy treated us very kind.  We came to the camp that evening both a little sick, a change of diet did not agree with us.  We eat a little too strong.  Gingles has a trunk I want, it is as large again as mine and verry strong.  He has lost the key.  I think I will send over and swap for it as mine is entirely too Small.  Duncan (m) is gone out to Gingles today.  Duncan has a cold and has done no duty this week.  Hays is unwell and does no duty.  Brooks is sick the most of the time but still helps all he can.  He is in Command today.  William is able for duty but still has a bad cough.  John Ray keeps stout.  Rhodes is complaining most of the time of his back.  Achsah, we have got Arms for the most of our men who are well.  Each company has drawn 30 good Muskets that was taken at Manassas.  All of this army is now pretty well armed and they are getting guns every day.  We are expecting every day to move from here.  Our orders are to be ready at a moments warning.  We donít know where.  We think to Reinforce Hindman.  He is said to be falling back before 35,000 yankees in the northern part of the state.  I think a part of this army will be kept here to keep the Army at Helena Back.  The rest of us go to help Hindman.  The weather is clear and cold.  A fine time on us so far.  Achsah, I have not hear from you since the 18th of October, nearly one month.  I am verry anxious to hear.  Do write often.  Your husband untill Death and may God Bless and Protect you all is my prayer.

H.A. Wallace


(a)  James A. Wood, brother-in-law of H.A. Wallace
(b)  Rachel Hall Wood, wife of James Wood
(c)  Robert M. Wood, brother of James Wood, and brother-in-law of Wallace
(d)  Mary Douglas, niece of the Woods
(e)  Manerva Wood, deceased wife of Robert M. Wood
(f)  George H. Douglas, brother-in-law of Wallace and Wood
(g)  Sarah Wood Douglas, wife of George and sister to James and Robert Wood
(h)  Elias Wilson, son of Jessie Wilson
(i)  Margaret Wilson, wife of Jessie Wilson
(j)  John James Wilson, son of Dorcas Wilson
(k)  Robert and William Wilson, sons of Dorcas Wilson
(l)  Ann Cook, wife of John Cook
(m)  Duncan McCallum, married to Wallaceís sister.  Duncan McCallum died later the month this letter was written at Camp Nelson and is supposed to be buried there.

Letter from Capt. Harvey A. Wallace to his wife Achsah Wood Wallace, who was living in Rusk Co., Texas.  Achsah was the daughter of Aaron Wood, a Revolutionary War soldier, who died in York District, South Carolina.  Achsah Wood married Harvey A. Wallace in York District, South Carolina.  This branch of the family moved to Rusk Co., Texas.  Other Wood family members, along with close friends and relatives, moved to Pulaski Co., Arkansas some time during the 1800ís.  These people from York District, South Carolina now living in Arkansas are the people Harvey Wallace refers to having visited.  They lived in north Pulaski County,  between Jacksonville and the Ebeneezer Community, a little north of  where the Little Rock Air Force Base is now located.  Harvey was with the 19th Texas Infantry, camped at Camp Nelson, Arkansas in 1862.



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