View Full Version : Rather Be A Dead Hero Than A Live Coward

M.T. Moses
03-03-2011, 02:42 PM
Another tidbit found whilst looking for something else entirely.

1863 Letter Written From New Orleans By Corporal George H. Davis, Co. C, 26th Massachusetts Infantry

New Orleans, LA.
April 15th, 1863

Dear Father & Mother,
I received your letter last night and was very glad
to hear from you & to know that you were all well. I am in perfect
health at present & hope this will find you the same. There is not
anything new to write. Everything is quiet in the city. They are
not doing much up the river nearly all of the troops have left
Baton Rouge & have joined Gen. Weitzel at Berwick Bay, he is
doing a little fighting today. I saw Daniel Burrell he came down
with Prisoners of War that they took on the Queen Of The West
the other day. They sunk her and now they have got another
called the Diana. I think that they Rebs will get all they want
up this way in a little while. All of the Easton boys are well. I
am tired of staying here in the City & doing Guard Duty. I wish
that they would put us in the field & give us a chance to get our
name up. We have not had a fight yet & it is two years tomorrow
since I first started for War. I have had some pretty good times
& some hard times but I do not want to leave Service until the
Stars & Stripes wave over all the States. I would not leave
tomorrow if I could as well as not. I love a soldiers life and if
I can get into the Cavalry I will enlist for three years as well
as I love home. The nine months men are homesick they are
the biggest lot of cowards I ever saw. Here we call them conscripts
it makes them feel bad I tell you but I can't help that if they
had come when they ought to this war would have been done
with long ago.
All that started them this time was the Large Bounty while
the boys that have been in the service two years & have to stay
two more do not get any Bounty at all. Let them go as we shall
come out alright yet. I have rather be a Dead Hero than a live
Coward. They can stay at home & blow about this war but they
will dare not face this music. I think that I left just as much at
home as any of them. I should like to have been at home when
Uncle Sam & Uncle Eben were up there. He told me to fashion
one Reb for him & you may bet I will if I get a chance. I hear
that (PO Days) Daughter is to marry John Bailey of South
Easton. I think that two fools have met this time. I think that
you will never see William Cole alive again he is failing fast.
He frets a great deal but he can't get his discharge. Do not list
a word for I do not want them to know that I have said a
word. You say Uncle Eben told you about my Yellow Girl.
I think that you will love my wife if you see her, that is when
I get one. She is a beauty & there is one thing I do not like
she is rich. Ask mother if she remembers that little girl that
used to stay to Jim Wells, the one that they tried to stop me
from going with. That is the one she is as good as she is
handsome. Sometime I will send you a picture of her. I
think that I have written nonsense enough for one time.
Give my love to all & write soon. I will write in a few days
no more now from your affectionate Son,
George H. Davis
to his Father R. Bruce Davis