Thomas Wilkes Glascock INGLETT left his sweet wife, Martha A. PALMER, with 3 children to fight in the Civil War. They carried on their courtship throughout the conflict through letters. T.W.G. INGLETT was 25 years old when he wrote the above tender letter to his 21 year old sweetheart wife back at home in Columbia County, GA, outside of Augusta, GA.
At the time of the letter, T.W.G. or “Tommie” was part of an army of 52,000 men in General Lee’s defense of Petersburg and Richmond, Virginia. The battle of Petersburg began in earnest in March of 1864, and in June alone over 11,000 Union soldiers lost their lives trying to take Petersburg. Over 4,000 Confederate soldiers died in it’s defense. There was a lull in fighting the first two weeks of July when Tommie wrote the letter. Within weeks the fighting started back up.
General Grant commanded the Union forces that had little success during the summer of 1864, for the Confederates were protecting their Capital and the surrounding areas with great resolve. The Union forces began a siege on Petersburg throughout the subsequent winter to cut off supplies to the Confederate soldiers. The city finally fell April 3, 1865 when General Lee abandoned both Petersburg and Richmond.
The siege of Petersburg is considered the last significant stand for the Confederate forces. The ultimate surrender took place at Appomattox Court House on April 9th, six days after the abandonment of Petersburg. T.W.G. INGLETT returned home to Georgia and Thomas Jefferson (Sandy) INGLETT was born 16 May 1871, father of Essie Lee INGLETT.
The following is a transcript of the letter, with current spelling and punctuation:
Camp Near Petersburg, VA
July 15th 1864
My dear little wife, I will drop you a few lines to inform you that I received your kind letter of July 1 and was glad to hear from you, but sorry to hear that you had got so poor. I am well and I hope this may find you and all the rest in good health. My dear, I am worn out for I have been exposed to the fire of the yankees sixty days, but I am not whipped yet. We have lost a good many men out of our Brigade. One day we lost 57 out of one of our Regiments. But it is not so bad as it has been, for we don’t sharp shoot as much as we did. I got struck with one ball on the collar bone, but it did not enter for it went through a gun before it hit me. Poor little Ned and Eli Beasley got killed on the 20th in a charge. We just have to watch day and night for the mortar shells and dodge them the best we can. The yankees are in 75 yards of us and it is a continual fire day and night. My dear I can’t give you half of the news for it would take me a month. Give my love to all of my folks and tell them to write to me. Give my Respect to babe and to your Pa and Ma and to Emma and all the rest of Ben’s folks and receive the best portion for that sweet little girl Mattie that has got my heart. God bless you my love. How bad I want to see you. I will close, my love, for this time. Good Bye Mattie until I hear from you again. Write soon to your love, Tommie Boy.
Mrs Mattie A. Inglet
My Pen is bad, my ink is pale
My love for Mattie will never fail
Look at this and think of me
T W G Inglet