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Possum Skinner
02-18-2009, 02:36 PM
I received the following letter, along with some others recently, from a lady in SC who had possession of many of my family's artifacts. This letter was written from my ggg uncle to his parents, my ggg grandparents, in April of 1862. John Brock Ogletree was the only son of John and Mary Ogletree. He joined Wright's company of Cavalry in Tallapoosa County, AL in 1861, was assigned to Bell's Battalion, which was later consolidated with other AL and MS troops into what was called the 8th Confederate Cavalry. This was a dubious title, as there were no regulars in the cavalry branch, and it led to much confusion in the years after the war. John Brock Ogletree was killed in action, but the exact date and time are lost to history. I will transcribe the letter as it is written. It is from a photocopy.


In the camps at Corinth

April 20th 1862

Dear Father and Mother I now embrace the present oportunity of writing to you once more. I have nothin of importance to write you we have a heap of rain and mud hear. I must tell you about our retreat from Decater. The yanks come in on us and their was no troops their but this batalion and 15,000 of them and we left their in double quick. We was six days coming hear. we are expecting a fight every day and every hour. The yanks run some of Capt. Tompsons men 3 miles and I expect they got 3 of them. his 1st Lt. William Pedy and a man named grifen. They were out on picket and the yanks come in on them. Their is between one hundred and 50 and 200 thousand troops hear. I find a greate many hear that I am acquainted with. I have not heard from home since I left Montgomery. I wrote to you to write to me at Huntsville and if you wrote the yanks got the letter as they took Huntsville. I understand that their is draft their. I must close. Write soon.

J.B. Ogletree
In the Care
Of Capt. Write
Bells Batalion

A couple of points of interest to me: His battalion came up from Decatur and obviously was not engaged at Shiloh. He also mentions hearing of conscription at home and calls it "draft".

Brock's father, John, joined up later as a teamster for Hilliard's Legion and made it through the war. His sister, Jane Ogletree Thomas, was my gg grandmother and named one of her two sons "Brock" after her lost brother.