September 2014 Documents of the Month

Confederate cavalry leader and raider, Brig. Gen. John Hunt Morgan, was ambushed and killed in Greeneville, Tennessee, on September 4, 1864. The Museum library’s Hill-Hunt-Morgan Family Collection contains several condolence letters written to his mother, Henrietta Morgan, of Lexington, Kentucky.  Particularly poignant was this letter from John’s brother, Capt. Charlton H. “Charly” Morgan, who was then a prisoner of war at Fort Delaware. 


Ft Del.  Sept 19” 1864

My dear Ma

I have deferred writing to you from day to day, for the past two weeks, hoping to see a contradiction to the report of John’s death, but alas this terrible calamity has befallen us. The merciless hand of this war has fallen heavily upon our family, within the short period of fourteen months this ruthless destroyer has claimed as victims two of my dear Brothers.  [In?] the death of Johnnie, I’ve not only lost a devoted brother, [but?] one who was to me a Father. He is gone! but his memory will ever live in the hearts of his countrymen, no soldier has fallen during this war whose death has been [more?] generally mourned by the People of his Country[.] My dear Ma, our only consolation is in knowing he lost his life in the faithful discharge of his duties.  May God comfort you in this hour of affliction[.]

Your very devoted Son

C. H. Morgan. C.SA

Prisoner of War

The Confederacy’s ultimately failed war for independence brought forth a flood of patriotic poems and songs, some penned by such well-known literary figures as William Gilmore Simms, John R. Thompson, James R. Randall, James Barron Hope, and Father Abram J. Ryan.  Their works and those by talented amateurs filled H. M. Wharton’s 1904 volume, War Songs and Poems of the Southern Confederacy 1861-1865.

But not all wartime songs and poems deserved publication in Wharton’s book. In 1997 the Museum received a manuscript copy of an anonymous poem entitled “Sweate Dixxy” [“Sweet Dixie”]. Dated September 2, 1864, the song is written with phonetic spelling, but with great patriotic enthusiasm. Probably unbeknownst to the poet, Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman’s Federal army captured Atlanta that day. 

The accompanying transcript presents the song as written except for occasional bracketed letters necessary for clarity.


Sweate Dixxy                           September 2 1864


1” On the banks of the potomick there is an army sow grand

Thair object to sub[ju]gate grate Dixxkeys fair land


Corse [Chorus] Huzah Huzah for a n[a]tion sow true

3 Che[e]rs for Jef Davis & the Reade white & Blu[e]


2” On the plans of maynasey [Manassas] the yankees we met

We give them a whiping thay never for git



3” We met them sow bravly with rifles and spears

that thay will for revry dreade the sutherns Volenters



4” In 1862 on the first of July a trip down to Richmond

the yankes thought they wod try



5” We met them in the morning fort [fought] untill two and

glory waved over the Reade White and Blue



6” Thay say we have ruin this graite union and

split it in two by chan[g]ing the colars to Reade White and Blue



7” We hade a graite army in the valley all Slain

Thay had a cermander Gen Jackson by name



8” Dixxy is the happ[i]es[t] nation on Earth Sweate

Dixxy Sweate Dixxy is the land of my bearth



9” I love I [a]dore her and to her prove true and

Stand by her collars of Reade White and Blue

Ho.saw Ho.saw for a Nation So True Three Chers for Jef Davis

& the red white & Blue


10” Thay will never Subgue us & that you will all see

with Buraygard our General old Johnson & Lee

Huzaw Huzaw for a Nation so true thay will Stand by

thair Colers of red white & Blue


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Document of the Month Archives

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August 2014

July 2014

June 2014

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December 2013

November 2013

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August 2013

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December 2012

Jackson Letter   Transcription

Livingston Letter   Transcription


Booker 1862 Booker 1863

Letter Descriptions

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

August 2012

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June 2012

Document   Explanation/Transcription

May 2012

April 2012

March 2012