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Kentucky Union Soldier Complains of Sharing Rations with Suspected Rebels
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the Majority of them are rebbels from the fact the most of them are from Tennessee…I had rather send some of them back to their goodly land dixey than to see them comeing over to Ky. We allreddy had too many of them in our country, readdy to do us all the ingery that is in their power, at the same time pretending to be a better Union man than you or I

LEWIS F. HOPKINS. Autograph Letter Signed, to his parents Thomas and Matilda Hopkins, April 18, 1864, Camp Point Burnside, Kentucky, 4 pp.

Inventory #21265.19       Price: $175

Complete Transcript

                                 Camp Point, Burnsids

                                      April the 18th 1864

Dear Father & Mother

I snatch a moment from fleeting time in which I shal endever to pen you afew lines. I am happy to informe you that I am well and harty hoping those few lines will reach and find you all well & doing well. I have nothing very interesting to write at present, we all reached camp safe and sound We found a good many of the boys that formerly belonged to the 12th Ky. Regt. but all have not come up yet

I heard no complaint about us overstaying our time. We Reached here the 14th of April if I mistake not.

We have not drawn our horses yet, and I do not know that we will, but I rather guess when they find out that we wont serve with out them, they will bring them up. from what I can find out they are ameing <2> to have us mounted, if they do not we are determed not to serve. We will suffer ourselves put under guard and kept there first but if accordin to contract they give us horses we are readdy to go any where they want us to, if it be to England Ireland or Scotland it matters not where.

there is two Other Regiments here (Viz) the 49th & 30th Ky and Alexanders Batalion it seems from the preparations beaing made here that there will be a considerable force kept here all the time, there has already been pretty extensive breastworks thrown up and we are daily at work ond forts there are 4 or 5 beaing built, our Regiment has to furnish a good many hands every day

Well, I can informe you that we have plenty to eat such as bacon & crackers sugar coffee, rice and beans, and so long as we get plenty of this we will be content so fare as something to eat is consernd <3>

I would to God that every one had as good and plenty of it but there is a great many in this vicinity that has nothing only what they draw from our commissarys, but they get plenty, & in fact they get better than we have for they draw flour in place of crackers I am glad that people that cannot help them selves, have resorce to or commissarys for something to eat. at the same time I am a little juberous[1] that the Majority of them are rebbels from the fact the most of them are from Tennessee. If it were our own people, that have been deprived of all they had, bye the notorious rebels it would be as it should be. We would be willing to live upon half rations if this could be the case but I had rather send some of them back to their goodly land dixey than to see them comeing over to Ky. We allreddy had too many of them in our country, readdy to do us all the ingery that is in their power, at the same time pretending to be a better Union man than you or I <4>

Now Father & Mother, I would be glad to see you all again, but can not at present, but there is one consolation We can hear from each other now and then, which is a plasure and a privlige that I want neather of us to forget nor neglect. Shelby is well and harty he will write soon for him self

Give my love and respects to all inquiring friends. Let me know of Wash if you hear of him

            I believe I have written about all I can think of at present Write soon direct your letters thus

                        12th Regt. Ky. V. V. Inft.

                                    Co (C)

                        Point Burnsids

                                                                        L. F. Hopkins

                                                                        For Thomas Hopkins

Historical Background

After its organization at Clio, Kentucky, in January 1862, the 12th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry participated in the siege of Corinth, Mississippi, in April and May, and the Battle of Perryville in October. It spent the winter of 1862-1863 in Lebanon, Kentucky, and served in Kentucky throughout much of 1863. It participated in the occupation and later siege of Knoxville late in 1863. In January 1864, the regiment was veteranized, and veterans went on furlough until April 1, 1864.

When the veterans of the 12th Kentucky returned to duty, they were stationed at Burnside’s Point, an island in the Cumberland River in southeastern Kentucky, twenty-five miles north of the Tennessee border, until May 1864. It is from this camp that Hopkins wrote his parents. Late in May, the regiment joined General William T. Sherman’s army in Georgia and participated in the battles leading to the siege of Atlanta in July and August 1864. Returning to Tennessee, the 12th Kentucky took part in the Battles of Franklin and Nashville in November and December 1864, then transferred to Washington, D.C. In early 1865, the regiment moved to North Carolina, where it helped capture Wilmington in February, Goldsboro in March, and Raleigh in April. Present at the surrender of General Joseph E. Johnston’s army, the regiment remained on duty in Greensboro, North Carolina, until July 1865, when it was mustered out of service.

Lewis F. Hopkins (1841-1921) was born in Kentucky and enlisted in Company C of the 12th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry in October 1861, and was mustered into service in January 1862, at Camp Clio, Kentucky. He reenlisted in January 1864 as a corporal and was promoted to sergeant in May. He was discharged with his regiment in July 1865, in Greensboro, North Carolina. In November 1866, Hopkins married Lousetta Ann Hopkins (1843-1925), with whom he had nine children between 1871 and 1892. In 1870, he was a farmer in Clinton County. By 1880, they had moved to Newton County, Missouri, where Hopkins continued farming. In 1900, they owned a farm in Grayson County, Texas. Hopkins died in Grayson County.

Thomas Hopkins (1798-1875) was born in Georgia. In 1823, in Wayne County, Kentucky, he married Jane Watson, with whom he had two children. She died in 1830, and he married Matilda Ryan (1807-1876) in 1834 in Clinton County, Kentucky. They had ten children between 1835 and 1851, of whom Lewis F. Hopkins was the fifth. In 1860, Hopkins was a farmer in Clinton County, where he lived with his wife and seven of his children.

Granville Shelby Hopkins (1843-1925) was born in Kentucky and was Lewis F. Hopkins’ younger brother. He enlisted as a private in Company C of the 12th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry in November 1862. When the regiment was veteranized at the end of 1863, Hopkins was not eligible for furlough as a veteran but remained in the regiment. He suffered a concussion at the Battle of Columbia, Kentucky, on November 29, 1864. He was mustered out with the 12th Kentucky in Greensboro, North Carolina, in July 1865. He married Isabell Hunter (1849-1889) in October 1869, and in 1870, was a farmer in Clinton County, Kentucky, where he lived for the rest of his life.


[1] dubious or doubtful.


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