You can't imagine how thankful I feel that I have been spared so far, and am blessed with an opportunity of dropping you a few lines.This leaves me well.You can't imagine the privations and dangers I have undergone since I left Alex.The big fight of the worst has come off, the loss on both sides are heavy.We gave them the worst whipping that a set of men ever had.We followed them about 20 miles, and 2 general engagements, repulsed them with heavy loss -- our cavalry are still in pursuit.They were in Natchitoches on the night of the 10th.They are leaving as fast as they can.We captured about 200 wagons and around 40 pieces of artillery, large quantities of arms and ammunitions, about 5000 prisoners and they are still coming in.Gen. Mouton was killed.We regret the loss of him very much.Col. Walker of the 28th was killed.All the field officers of the crescent and 18 were killed.The loss of the 28 was 59 killed and wounded.Berry and Doc Strickland and Lassiter of Co-A was killed.My friend Walker was wounded.A Paul Slight and a great many others that you know nothing about.Joe Prat one of my mess was killed.Gray has been promoted to General.Cpt. Melton to Major, he will be _______.Colonel Pool will be Colonel.Our regiment has distinguished herself.She stands at the top of the list.We cut our way through the yanks, flanked, and took 2 regiments of yanks.I had the pleasure of seeing them surrender.I was one of the first that got to them.You can't imagine how bad I want to see you, worse than I ever did in my life.I would give everything if I could get to see you.It is thought we will go to Arkansas.I have been looking for Bud for sometime.I don't think we will be bothered by the Yankees any more this summer.Kiss the children, tell them I want to see them.I have some nice clothes if I had any way to get them home.My respects to all.Jef, Silas
Yours as ever J. L. Moss
Direct your letter to Shreveport.Write soon and often.I have not heard from home since James came.Ben Baker is missing -- supposed to be a prisoner.
I have only a typed transcription of this letter.I do not know who has the original letter, nor who did the transcription.
J. L. Moss is James Lundy Moss.Emma is his wife, Emma Margaret Sale Moss.
James enlisted in Company A, 28th Louisiana Infantry (Gray's).He was mustered in at Monroe, La., May 8, 1862.James and Emma lived in Bienville Parish at this time.After the war, they removed to Linden, Texas (Cass County) where James died February 14, 1869.Emma returned to Claiborne Parish, lived with her brother S. A. Sale in Haynesville, and taught school for a number of years.She is buried in Old Town Cemetery, Haynesville, La.
This letter is written 4 days after the Battle of Mansfield.The description James gives of the battle is consistent with historical accounts.
The "Alex" mentioned is not a person, but rather a place - Alexandria, Louisiana.
I believe the "Bud" mentioned to be Sylvanus Adolphus Sale, Emma's brother.
Gen. Mouton is General Alfred Mouton, commander of the division.
Col. Walker is Colonel William Walker of Company K of the 28th Louisiana Infantry, from Winnfield, La.
"Berry" is likely Berry Strickland of Company A from Bienville Parish, La.
There were 2 other Stricklands in Company A, Jerry and Harrison.One of these could be "Doc Strickland."
"Lassiter" is likely either John Lassiter or Wesley Lassiter, both of Company A.
"My friend Walker" could be any of a number of Walkers in Company A, but is likely David M. Walker who was admitted to C. S. A. General Hospital, Shreveport, La., May 6, 1864, most probably having been wounded in the Battle of Mansfield.James Moss and David Walker were both Sergeants in Company A.
Gray is Henry Gray, promoted brigadier general April 15, 1864.
Cpt. Melton is Isaac Melton, promoted Lt. Colonel, April 15, 1864
Colonel Pool is Thomas W. Pool, promoted colonel April 15, 1864.