From Thomas Lightfoot, 6th Alabama

Letter from 2nd Lieutenant Thomas Lightfoot, Company A, 6th Alabama Volunteer Infantry

Camp Davis near Corinth, Miss.

May 29, 1861


We arrived here several days ago, but I have been so wearied that I was not able to write to you. I will now give you my views of a soldier’s life.

A soldier is worse than any negro on Chattahoochee River. He has no privileges whatever. He is under worse task-masters than any negro. He is not treated with any respect whatever. His officers may insult him and he has no right to open his mouth and dare not do it. My officers have always treated me with the utmost courtesy, and I expect will always treat me so, for I am going to obey orders. This is a hard life, but I like it very much. We make our pallets on the ground and we rise at the tap of the drum or we are placed on double duty. I have been so fortunate as to be always at my post.

We left Montgomery on Saturday last in very good 1st class passenger cars, and were getting along finely until we got to Chattanooga, where they placed us in box cars. Ladies crowded to every little depot to cheer us on (our) way. I can truly say I never saw as many and as pretty ladies in my life as there is on the road from Montgomery to Corinth. The cars were literally covered with bouquets from the beautiful ladies. I think when I want a wife I will come somewhere on this road to find her.

It is generally supposed down in our country that the people of North Alabama are not right on the present issue, but I can assure you that they are the most warlike people I have ever seen. Women cheer us, and the men go along with us. Every little village has at least 25 flags floating aloft.

You must write to me soon and give me all the news. Give my love to Uncle, Dr. and Lady, and all the rest of the family and accept the wishes of your most obedient servant and affectionate cousin,



Tapert, Annette, The Brothers’ War: Civil War Letters to Their Loved Ones from the Blue and Gray. New York: Vintage Books, 1988.

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