1863: Louis Dallas Gulley to John Gaston Gulley

This letter was written by Louis Dallas Gulley (1841-1923), the son of John Gaston Gulley (1793-1880) and Mary Croom Green (1800-1880) of Clayton, Johnston county, North Carolina. In the letter, Louis mention’s his sibling, Ransom Gulley (1839-1921), and his brother-in-law, Louis Prentiss Lindsay (1821-1883).

How Louis might have looked

Louis Dallas Gulley enlisted on 14 April 1863 as a private in Co. A, 46th North Carolina Infantry. In Gen. John R. Cooke’s brigade, he was in battle at Bristoe Station, Va., in the fall of 1863, and, after the investment of Petersburg by the Northern army, he fought in the trenches, taking part in the battle of the Crater, and at Reams’ Station was wounded both in the right shoulder and left hand, but did not leave the field. He was hospitalized at Richmond in October 1864 and was furloughed on 31 December 1864 but there is no subsequent record for him.

After the war, Louis farmed two years in Johnson county, then engaged in business two years at Raleigh, after which he removed to Goldsboro, where, after a career of eight years in mercantile business, he engaged in cotton buying, manufacturing, and farming. In 1874 he married Ida M., daughter of James Kerr, of Sampson county.


Addressed to John G. Gulley, Esq., Clayton, North Carolina

Taylorsville, Va.
September 17th, 1863

Dear Father and Mother,

Yours of the first is at hand. I was very glad to hear from you and hear that you were well. I have nothing to write that will interest you at present. I am well and getting on as well as could be expected under the present circumstances.

I received a letter from Walter and Nannie the other day and should have answered it but Nannie stated that Leif would write to me the seventh. I have not received it. I also received a letter from Ransom a day or two ago in which he said I could not get transferred to the front owing to the fact that Capt. [Henry Redfield] McKinney stated in the transfer that I had an impediment in my speech which totally unfitted me for the duties of a sentinel but I have to perform them duties here, impediment or not.

Dear Prentiss, don’t give yourself trouble about me. I will do the best I can. I am in hopes there is a better day a coming. Ran[som] stated that he expected to be promoted in cavalry and that I should have a transfer to his company if he was promoted. Mother, I don’t care whether the shirts is cotton or wool—just as you and Leif thinks proper about them. I want a good vest for this winter if you can get it.

Father, I want you to try to get me a hat if you can. Probably you can get one of the Stancle’s to make one. Don’t have it quite as long as my Sunday hat is. Do the best you can. I hope to get back some time to help you work and to go a fishing with Mother.

Father, you said you could sell my horse for $700 or $800 hundred dollars if he is a good horse. I would rather you would keep him for me till I come home—if I ever do. I don’t have any hopes of getting to come under twelve months, if then.

Father, I want you—if you please—to see the superintendent of the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad and maybe he will have me detailed. I will work for a most any price anywhere. You can see him at Raleigh, I guess. His name is [Peyton A.] Dunn, I think.

It is getting late and I must close. Write often and give me all the news. I have a good chance to write home. I remain your son and baby bon till death, — L. D. Gulley



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