Chattanooga Tenn Apr the 12th 62
Here we are at this hole & when we will get away God only knows—we got here Friday about day-break & if we had not failed at Atlanta to get transportation through to Corinth we would have gone on towards Corinth without halting and now been prisoners in Lincolndom as the train that we would have gone on was taken by the Federals at Huntsville It is reported here that Huntsville Ala is in possession of six thousand Federalists which cuts off this place from Corinth and it is very probable that we will go back through West Point, Montgomery & Mobile to get to our battalion, though I don’t recon I will get to stop at home, though it would be pleasant to get a peep at you now, but you know that I promised not to write any love letters to you so just pardon me for this first offence and I will try to do better. Gen. E. Kirby Smith took about Four thousand troops from this place and started towards Huntsville this morning to retake the place but I don’t know how he will come out – if he succeeds of course we will go on through there to Corinth. Otherwise we will come back through West Point. It was telegraphed to this place this evening that sixty deserters from the big shanty GEO had seized a train and was coming through this place on to Nashville. We attached ourselves to a cavalry company at this place and went out to meet them but didn’t come up with them. There was also a car load of infantry composed of the citizens and a few straggling soldiers went to meet them and I have heard since I came back that they captured the train but the deserters took to their trollers and made good their escape. Don’t know how true it is.
Apr 13th – Those deserters proved to be Yanks but there have been only four of them and the train captured. We are still at Chattanooga which I think is the back bone of nowhere and will get off to West Point this evening. I am very much dissatisfied with the arrangement of affairs in this place – The take of Huntsville and burning a bridge in thirty miles of this place created about as much excitement as the loosing of an old hen and seven would create in any family in Chambers Co. though I have been told that this Co has seventeen companies in the Confederate Service & three in Federal service – there are very few Negroes in this place and the most of them are free and as imputed as bull fices [sic]. We have the car box that we started from WP on. We keep our horses on one end and eat and sleep in the other – we are all in fine health & enjoy ourselves tolerably well. I want you and your Papa to go down to our place as often as you can, and see that every thing is going on right; I cherish some hope of getting back next Spring and want something for us to live on.
Give my love to all the family and receive a double portion yourself. I will write again as soon as we get to our place of destination.
Your husband W.R.Anderson
big shanty GEO -- ???
Co – county? company?
WP – West Point
bull fices – bull feces
our place of destination – Corinth?