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Stan Hutson

Letter describing conditions at Corinth after Shiloh, by Cpt. Vincent Martin Elmore, Company E, 1st Alabama Cavalry CS

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Post Marked May 9, 1862 

My dear sister
 
I have already made you an explaination why I wrote you so seldom. I know you will not feel hurt with me although my letters to you have been so few yet yours to me very precious (but--I always burn them). Warren says I have written you but once. That is a mistake. I have written you at least three or four times. The mails are so confoundly irregular. I do not know who to write upon my word I don't. You learn something about Corinth I expect, it is a dirty little place some 1000 souls in real times if it were not for the Memphis & Chattanooga R.R. S & Mobile & Ohio it would never have been noticed. In and around Corinth prevails a great deal of sickness. Corinth itself is Charnel house an intense and sickening odor pervades the whole town especially near the Depot where the dead and dying and wounded often lie for hours waiting to be taken off, it is overpowering. Soon after the battle I went through one of the large hospitals for the wounded and I had to hold my breath. If I had not I believe I should have vomited. I saw some men burying a leg right out in the street. The Doctors say we will lose more men in Corinth from sickness than if we were to attack the enemy and have a bloody battle. We are now some 15 miles from Shiloh in a straight line. There are deer and turkeys--plenty of them in a half a mile of us but it is very hard to get permission to hunt. One of Capt. Stokes men wounded a gobbler and sent it down for a treat. He would weigh about 17 lbs. I do not feel like writing anything worth reading, my dear sister. I feel well and have nothing about which to write. The less said about New Orleans the better. I expect and as for Shiloh we who were there know what Monday's fight was. The report is and has not been contridicted that two companies of Forrest-Rangers were utterly cut-up and taken prisoner two days since between Monterey and Meekey's. W. is a pity, they were gallant fellows. Nothing saved us. I think was the fact that our horses were so poor we were sent down here to keep them from starvation. Milton Brown has repeated many tales to tell you and Arthur about Montgomery. Tell Russ to study tactics hard and learn to shoot a rifle and if the war lasts long enough he will make somebody if he gets into a tight sort of regiment. Brookford is ready. Tell John too, to practice with a rifle or pistol. In your last you said if I could write to Cousin Rosalie you thought she would be pleased. I will my dear sister after awhile but now her grief is so great that I could offer no comfort in a week or two a letter now and then will distract her attention for a time from the sad misfortune which has befallen her and her sisters. I do sympathize 

so deeply with Thomas family and if possible love Cousin Rosalie more. Does Cousin Elmore seem much cast down? I hope not for someone should keep up their spirits. Where is John F. --K and John T. Elmore and are the Yankees taking the town from you. It seems so far from what I can hear from the hospital and prisoners' guard. Lt. McDowell goes today and will carry this. He is a noble fellow South Carolinian hard as steel too much so that if the Jury in Montgomery troubles him they ought to be hung. Tell Mother opened her tray this morning was much obliged and that the Ginger Cakes pleased me more than all else (I have not been well). The next time she has an opportunity to send a couple bottles of Brandy for Medicine and get Father to get them he is a fine Judge. For Medicine & nothing but Medicine. Make the boys write too. 

Your brother, 

V. M. Elmore 

Link to V. M. Elmore letters:

V. M. Elmore letters 

http://acumen.lib.ua.edu/u0003/0001954/0000005/0001/?page=1&limit=40

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