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Letter from E.W. Mudge to his family, March 17-18, 1862


“Letter from E.W. Mudge to his family, March 17-18, 1862,” Madison Historical, accessed June 2, 2023,


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This is a letter written by E.W. Mudge to his family while at Camp Smith during the Civil War. In it, Mudge details a second hand account of the fall of Fort Donnelson and a Confederate soldier capturing a former schoolmate as a prisoner of war.


  • Camp Smith Mar 17th

    I will now try to finish the letter I commenced this morning though not with the expectation of finishing it without again being interrupted though I will try as I most certainly will not do so without trying.

                A young man has just left our tent who was at the fall of fort Donnelson. He says they fought five days and nights and does not think that they lost in killed more than 6000 and further think that if they would have held out a little longer they (the Confederates) would have held the field & fort. He says that some of the men fairly cried when they heard that

    the fort was to be given up and tore the white flag down several times and when that failed they tried to escape which feet a great many accomplished be among the numbered.

    In another fight that he was in up in the mountains he says that they captured several prisoners among whom was a young man that He had gone to college with the year before he says that the prisoner looked rather crest fallen when confronted by his old schoolmate. Our Col. has just received sealed orders from Gen. Lovel we do not know what they are though it is removed around camp that we are about to be ordered back to the City (new Orleans) for myself I did not place any ?? on it and in fact before it is not so unless there is realy danger of


    the Cities being attacked for I do not want to return home without being in a battle for I enlisted to fight and want to fight.

                I must now go on duty again I hope in my next attempt I will be able to finish this bit of a letter.

                March 18th, 1862

    I will now try with the expectation of finishing succeeding  (to finish this letter in the cource of which I have been so many times interrupted. Last night it was a very cold night and I tell you I felt it as guard where I had to stand two have at a time all night in the cold not being allowed to go near a fire and I can assure you I felt glad when daylight appeared.

    Enclosed I will send a note which I hope will be delivered without being looked at we will need all our heavy baggage back to Granada tomorrow and will then with light shoulders as well as hearts advance on the enemy I will send a pair of shoes and a change of clothes back and then will be plenty light enough.

                I  must now bid you all good bye so with love to all I remain your off and devoted son and Brother

                                                                                                                E.W. Mudge   

    Direct all letters to

                Corinth Miss.

    And they will be forwarded it to me

In Collection


  • Military
  • Civil War
  • Family
  • Communication
  • letters


  • Mudge, Stephen


March 18, 1862


  • Miscellaneous Document


  • pdf


  • Mudge-Steve-D-0013
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