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John Caster, a descendant of Elizabeth Slavens Peters, one of Samuel Slavens's sisters, is sharing this transcription of one of Samuel's letters from the Civil War. This letter was written just a few days before he left on the secret mission to slip behind Confederate lines, steal a locomotive, and burn the bridges on the line between Atlanta and Chatanooga. The transcription preserves the spelling and grammar of the original. Many thanks to John for sharing this letter with the world.

Images of the letter's pages.


Camp Vanburon April Th/3 1862

Dear Brother and Sister with pleasure I seat myself to inform you that I am well at present hoping that these few lines may find you all well and doing well I have nothing of importance to write to you at this time but as Reuben was writing a few lines I thought that I would pen you a few to let you know that I had not forgotten you you complain in al of your letters that you do not get any letter from us The fault is not ours for we write three or four every week to you and the rest of the relations I suppose that we will leave here in a day or two we have drawn five days rations but where we will goto I cannot tell I think that we will go to Shelbyville a distance of twentyfive miles that is toward Alabama I think that we will not stop long until we get to Decatur that is a distance of about 100 hundred miles there they say they will fight us but I think that it will be the same as ever when we get there they will leave That you know is the way they have bean a doing as for my part I will just say in answer to your letter about my opinion that the fighting is very near played out for in the first place they are very near penned in and in the second place they will soon run out of grub you can see that they are out of Missouri and Kentucky and Tennessee and where is their provisions to come from if you can see it is more than I can tell They cannot raise it in the states that they hold and in the third place they cannot hold the states that they now have until they could raise it if it would grow Now sir you have my opinion of the war and more I think against the fourth of July we will all be at home that has been my opinion ever since I left home and I will not change my opinion for a while yet nomore at present but remain your brother

Samuel Slavens To Elizabeth Peters and family





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