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Granada, Dec19th 1862

Dear Father
I should have written to you some time since but have been waiting for a letter or something of that sort to occur in order that I might have something of special interest to write. But it seems that we are now about as far off from a fight as ever, and so I concluded to write anyhow, for the purpose of informing you, in substance, of the condition of things here, so commence at the beginning; - on this 4th day of last month, November, we, that is the army here, were at Cold Water, 7 miles north of Holly Springs, when information was received of the advance of the Federal army from Corinth, down the Central Miss R.R. on which Cold Water is situated. Orders were issued and immediately carried out to load up the waggons and send them off with the surplus baggage, tents, cooking utensils to retain with us only our blankets and three days cooking rations. We were then drawn up on line of battle & kept that way about two days (I don't mean that we were kept standing that length of time in line but that we were placed in that position, our arms stacked & we remained on or about the line ready to fall in at any time at a moment's notice at the end of which time information was again received that we were about to be flanked, the enemy coming around our right to Holly Springs. Off we then started by way of Holly Springs to Chinata and about 7 miles East from some town where we formed another unit & remained there between two and three days. It seems that about this time our Generals were informed that the enemy was advancing from coming from almost every direction , particularly from Memphis on the Memphis to Charleston R.R. and from Corinth as above stated. I do not know, nor have I as yet been able to find out whether they were correctly informed or not, but I do know that we were then out of provisions, & that we commenced a retreat which, Paine satisfied, proved much more destructive than any battle would have done. The men have nothing to eat except what they could pick up, & for the first time in my life, pleased that people do the hardest sort of work things on purpose [___] & eat potatoes, sleeping with one blanket so small & in freezing weather. Our waggens had proceeded into Abbeville about 18 miles South of Holly Springs, & to that place we marched without halting except for a few moments at a time, & arrived at Holly Springs for fear, it seems, that the Federals would get there before us. We made it, a distance of about 48 miles, in 30 hours. It was the most fatiguing march I have ever experienced. We had lost a good deal of sleep before commencing it. & we subsequently were not in good condition to stand it. There were hundreds, in fact thousands, of stragglers. I waked up numbers of men lying on the frozen ground asleep without fire & with no covering whatever. Of course, the loss since from sickness, from stragglers who have come up & is immense.
Abbeville is a short distance south of the Tallahatchee River on the Central R.R. The division to which we are attached Genl Tilghman's was moved in a day or two after reaching Abbeville, to Rocky ______ is about 18 miles East from said town forming the extreme right of our army. In this position we remained about two weeks, digging trenches, building fortifications, & preparing as was generally supposed to make a stand, & fight it out. But the order again came to fall back. We started & have finally reached this place about 100 miles South from Cold Water; where we were at first, & still on the Central R.R. The last retreat occupied a good deal more time, but there was no excessively fatiguing march as on the first, though there was considerable suffering from the want of provisions & rough weather. Genl Tilghman's division was in the rear & as the Yankees got marching pretty close, he had the waggens lightened, throwing, & burning all our tents, & a great deal of Confederacy baggage. There has been no fighting except what is called skirmishing. The closest I have been to any sort of fighting was at Coffeyville, about 16 miles north from here. There is another about 1 ½ miles the other side the enemy closes in our cavalry to came up on Genl Baldwin's Brigade which formed our extreme rear guard. We, that is Waul's Legion , were next to Baldwin's, & were stopped & were held as a reserve. We were in about a mile of the fight, which was a tolerably small skirmish and after his batteries which were engaged in it, one on each side, together with the popping of muskets & our expectation of being ordered into it every moment, made it rather exciting. The Federals,however, (it being only their extreme advance comprising about 7 or 800 men) were driven back directly & we were ordered on. The whole thing did'nt last an hour. We reached this place on last Sunday week, thus fortifying and preparing it to make a stand again. Whether it will be similar to the other stands we have made I can't say. We have been resupplied with tents & are now tolerably comfortable again. From the exposure, fatigue and resulting, consequent upon our recent movements I have lost Seven men of my company, besides two left behind & not heard from. In case of inquiry, I will give you the names of those of the company who have died since leaving Texas. J.S. Webb, who was left in the hospital Monroe, La. I think, though I am not entirely certain that L.T. Chanceller, who was left in the hospital at Vicksburg, is dead. Since we left Cold Water, the following have died viz: G.M.Green, C.L. Saylor, Thos. D. Evans, L.S. Purdue, F.M. Wright, Z.C. Dunbar, & W.H. Dawson, all with Pneumonia. A.A. Watkins was left in Holly Springs in the hospital; I think he is also dead, though I have not heard from him. A. Robbins straggled from the company in March and I have'nt heard of him since. I am satisfied, however, that he is not dead but think that he has been captured by the Yankees. So far as I can ascertain the loss of my company is about average considering the size of the company, it being much larger than usual. I have now about 30 sick in different hospitals, though, so far as I can learn they are all improving. I think we have passed the worst of it in the way of sickness. Batcheler is in the hospital at [baiden]; has been there two or three weeks & the doctor says Rheumatism in the breast. I doubt, even if he lives through the winter whether he will ever be able for service again. He was sick so long before he would give up and allow himself to be sent off from the company, that I think it has done him a permanent injury. So far as I am concerned, I am somewhat thinner than when I left hom, but in perfect health. I saw Wm. Moody & Genl. Gray a few days since both in good health. Moody is for the present on Gregg's staff as A.A. Genl. Would like to hear from you if any thing of interest occurs. Yours, L. D. Bradley