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    An archive of Civil War-dated letters to Texas Revolution hero Thomas "Peg Leg" Ward

    Texas CSA Soldier's Letters Archive of letters written by Dudley Ward primarily to his father, Thomas William Ward dated from January 15, 1863 to September 14, 1864. Mostly 3 to 4pp., various sizes. 32 letters are written to his father, one letter to his brother James. In small part: "[Jan. 25, 1863] Camp in the Field...a yankee blockader generally lies off, and occasionally amuses herself by throwing a few shells which are usually answered by our guns, resulting sometimes in injury to her, but our metal is so light, that we cannot do much damage. Our regiment is in a Brigade commanded by Col. Smith together with three regiments of State Troops, in one of which is Gray's company from Austin and vicinity... [April 7, 1863]...Fort Pemberton near Greenwood Miss... Since I last wrote to you the enemy have twice attacked, and as many times been repulsed... The force of the enemy when they last attacked us was ten gunboats and twentyeight transports, on each one of which I suppose there were five hundred men...Col. Smith...deserves more credit than any officer... he in person reviewed the country and finding out our most pregnable points, took good care that they should be well defended... Fort Pemberton is the keystone to Vicksburg, and if they had succeeded in taking it, they could have descended the Yazoo river and not only have landed troops... but also cut off the almost entire supplies of our armies...[Feb. 9, 1864]... Camp at the Mouth of the Caney at Fort...We had a considerable bombardment here on the 6th just, it continued for about half the day. The enemy wounded 3 of our men and three horses... The shelling was done by one vessel, it was a very large ... carrying six or seven guns of different weight of metal... [Feb. 13, 1864] Camp near Mouth of Caney... The Yankees are about forty miles from below us on the Peninsula, and have not as yet made any demonstrations of advancing. A party of our scouts went down as far as their pickets last night and were chased by them some distance... The cavalry does less actual good than any other arm of the service, and are more expense..." Much more good content. Additional letters from Brenham (Feb. 6, 1863), camp near Vicksburg (April 18, 27, and 28, 1863), Camp Lubbock, Houston, Camp Sydney. Ward's last letter is written from Galveston sated September 7, 1864, reporting an outbreak of Yellow Fever in Houston and Galveston, and his decision to remain in Galveston rather than leave with is regiment believing it would be safer to remain. He writes: "I think that one will be just as liable to take the disease at camp, which is only four miles off, as in the city, besides all the supplies will have to be brought from this post, and if a person happens to be sick in camp he will be almost sure to die for want of nurses, which I understand are more necessary to the cure of the fever than even medicine... I have a good many friends... who will certainly, if I should get ill, take the greatest care of me..." As this is his last letter, it is quite possible Dudley did not survive the epidemic. The archive also includes Dudley's parole under oath note dated July 7, 1863, at Vicksburg, Mississippi. It states that Dudley Ward was a "private of Co. 'Y' Reg't 2, Texas" and a prisoner of war, "in the hands of the United States Forces, in virtue of the capitulation of the City of Vicksburg and its garrison". Signed by Ward and the parolling officer George W. Goddord. There is an additional letter by a J.S. Atchison to Ward, "Camp Lubbock Houston, Texas", dated Nov. 16, 1863 denying his request for transfer. Overall condition of the letters is very good, some have faded ink, toning, and chips along margins.

    Dudley's father, Thomas William "Peg Leg" Ward (1807 - 1872), was a hero of the Texas Revolution. He lost a leg to a cannonball in San Antonio in 1835. Ironically, he lost a second limb (his right arm) during the celebration of San Jacinto day in 1841 when a cannon misfired. Although a bitter opponent of secession, his son Dudley signed up to serve in the CSA.

    A fantastic archive with great content, following the battle experiences of a second generation Texan fighting in the latest war for independence.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2007
    1st-3rd Saturday-Monday
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