A Letter Home


Kept for all these years are the letters John Gray Little sent home to his parents or to his sister, Elizabeth Little Elam, while serving in the Confederacy during the War Between the States.  It tells of the rarity of food and how scarce it was.  Found in another letter he ask his mother to send a little food if she is able when writing again.


March the 25th 1863

Dear Father and Mother

I received yours of the 12th past which came to hand the day before yesterday.  I was truly glad to hear that you were all well.  These lines leaves me well.  We have moved our camps some six miles above Vicksburg to a much better camping ground and where wood is much more convenient and the water better, but its uncertain whether we will stay here long or not for the Yankees is coming across North of us and we heard this morning that they have taken the Yazoo City, though we don't know whether the report is true or not.  If that is true we will not stay here long.  We heard also that our men had taken two gunboats up there from the Yankees and one at Vicksburg yesterday, though we don't know where any of the reports is true or not.  We bare fairing some better now than we did a while back all that poor beef has given out and we are getting a little pork, though it is very little.  Some days we get half pound of pork and other days we don't get more than a quarter pound and some days we get none at all, but our bread is greatly improved and we get plenty of that.  It appears to me that there is more rain in this country than in place that I was ever in and it is the muddiest country that I ever saw.  There has been a storm and a heavy rain today and it rained most of the day yesterday.  Where we are now we have to go on pickets every ten day and one company of our regiment goes at a time and we don't have to go more than four miles and we can catch fish and kill alligators while we are out.  We went on picket last Saturday and John Meggs killed a alligator six feet long and the boys skinned him and cooked him and eat him and they say it was good meat as there is.  No more news here that would interest you.  Ed Bernhard is here and I will you some money.  I will send seventy dollars by him.

So I will close for the present by saying write soon and often.  I remain your dutiful son until death.

J. G. Little

To his Father and Mother, John Gray Little was the son of Benjamin and Epsey Fikes Little and born in Bibb Co. AL.  He served in the 20th AL Infantry, Co. H, along with his two brothers, William and Ben Jr., and his brother-in-law John Monroe Elam.  John and his brother Ben were captured and taken to Camp Douglas, where his brother Ben died.  His older brother William died in GA. during the war.

John Gray Little returned from the war to find his parents had moved not far from Enterprise.  John settled in the Fellowship Community of Jasper County, and Elizabeth and John Elam settled between Quitman and DeSoto.  Many Little descendants live throughout Clarke, Jasper, and Lauderdale County today.