1863: Henry Glaze Cate to Mary E. Cate

This letter was written by Pvt. Henry Glaze Cate (1836-1907), a Confederate soldier from a family in Cleveland, Tennessee, which was split in their loyalties. Henry’s parents were William Wiley Cate (1814-1892) and Ann Glaze (1813-1887). William Cate was a farmer in Bradley county, Tennessee, who voted against the ratification of the ordinance of secession and was a Union sympathizer throughout the war. He was known to provide food and aid to Union troops passing through Bradley county.

In the 1860 US Census, Henry was enumerated in his parents household; his occupation recorded as “school teacher.” Also residing in the household was Mary E. Cate, 5 years younger than Henry, and Gustavus (“Gus”) Cate, age 13. Gus served in Co. D, 12th Tennessee (Union) Cavalry.

Henry Glaze Cate was a private in Co. C, 36th Tennessee (Confederate) Infantry who appears to have been clerking for the regimental quartermaster.


Montgomery, Alabama
August 8, 1863

Miss Mary E. Cate
My dear sister,

Your letters have each been duly received and read with much joy. Since the prisoners from Vicksburg have been passing, I have been too busy to write. The throng at the door is constant. A few days will determine whether I go to E. Tennessee or not. The Chief Quartermaster is here now & I think of asking him to transfer me to the Department of E. Tenn. It is hardly probable that he will do it though I think if he will not & offers me a situation that I like better than the one I have in this department, I will take it & may leave this post soon. Should I remain where I am, I think I will have no difficulty in getting off to Tennessee in a few days. Everything appears quite now.

Gus Evans’ Brigade is moving through now to Savannah, Ga. I know not what the move means. There were sent on some time since to reinforce Johnston. There will probably be a quietus in military circles for awhile. When the war will break out again with new vigor. There are a great many furloughs granted now. The army seems to be scattering about everywhere.

I was glad to hear that Pa & Gus were better. I hope that all will be well with them. I was sorry to hear that Kirby was under assist. Jim is a clever fellow & deserves very like better treatment.

I have [not] seen nor heard anything of Benton Glaze other than what you write. I am glad you have had the pleasure of knowing Young Cate of whom you spoke. Should he call again, remember me to him.

The weather is very warm down here now. I have changed my boarding house. Do not know it improved much. Everything is unprecedentedly high here to be as plentiful as it is here. I am as yet paying only $50.00 per month but expect soon to pay $60 or $75 with no improvement of the fare.

The shooting affray you mention is one to be regretted but perhaps unavoidable—at least justifiable. If I could come home, I will probably start about the 20th. Hoping to hear from you soon, I am truly your brother, — H. Cate

Give my love to all. — H. C.



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