Southern Anthology

Families on the Frontiers of the Old South

LT John Mitchell Tilley

Male 1826 - 1862  (36 years)

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  • Name John Mitchell Tilley 
    Title LT 
    Born 11 Apr 1826  Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Residence 1860  Taliaferro, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Enumerated in the household are wife, Frances, sons, George and James, daughter, Margaret and 12 slaves. 
    Military 15 Jul 1861  Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Enlisted as a 1st Lieutenant on 15 July 1861. Commission in Company D, 15th Infantry Regiment Georgia  
    Veterans: Confederate
    Veterans: Confederate
    Had the South in her border
    A hero to spare,
    Or a heart at her altar,
    Lo! its life's blood was there!
    And the black battle-grime
    Might never disguise
    The smile of the South
    On the lips and the eyes
    Of her barefooted boys!
    Occupation Attorney 
    Died 27 Jun 1862  Garnett's Farm, Henrico County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Buried Crawfordville Baptist Cemetery, Crawfordville, Taliaferro, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Tilley, John Mitchell
    Tilley, John Mitchell
    • War correspondence to Frances Peek Tilley

      The following excerpts are from letters written by Lt. John M. Tilley, CSA, to his wife, Frances Ann (Peek) Tilley, while he was in Virginia during the War Between the States. The letters are in the Alexander H. Stephens Museum in Crawfordville, Georgia and are preserved on microfilm at the Georgia State Archives. The letters were excerpted a good many years ago by Dr. Reba Neighbors Collins from copies provided to her by Dr. Janes of McComb, Mississippi.(History of the Janes-Peek Family, by Dr. Reba Neighbors Collins, printed by the Edmond Printing Co, Edmond, OK; 1975, first Printing 1975, copyright by Dr. Reba Neighbors Collins.) Later these excerpts were published in another excellent book by Robert H. Swain. (The Heritage of Job and Susanna Swain, Robert H. Swain, Charlotte, NC).

    • Headquarters 12th Regiment, 18 July 1861

      Today we received our additional army orders to move...our company the Delks company from Wilkes the fireside guards & Boroman Volunteers from Elbert leave here tomorrow for Lynchburg, VA Our fare is bakery bread, coffee & fried middling with a little ham. I left the will with Frank Bristow & also fifty dollars for your wants till cotton can be sold. Be of good cheer & keep a stout heart. My dearest best wife If I fall or die dont grieve over me as one entirely lost You will know that you interposed no selfish objections to your husband doing his duty & I would were I a woman lastly prefer to be a true mans widow than some men's wifes Tell Tom (Peek)Joe Peek is well so is Bill Harris, John Johnson, Joe Howell, Ben Jones, the Sharpe boys and Wiley and Smith Humphrey

    • Manassas Junction 29 July 1861

      I went out yesterday. found the company from Greene they had six killed. Dawson Moore was wounded...I was at the house of an old free Negro, 12 men were killed in his yard. I saw where several canon balls shot through his house & his kitchen. I bought a pig from him, gave half of it to two of our men for killing and bringing to camp for me. I went on about 100 yards further, saw several graves & dead horse & then came to the house of one old widow 80 years old. The house was torn up terribly. The old woman was killed by a canon shot. 75 yards further on I saw where Sherman's battery was taken. There was a pile of dead horses and graves were thick. You see nothing there but soldiers, elegant houses where one would expect to see ladies and children & old mothers & sires. I saw Dave Peek Saturday & took supper with him...I think of you every hour of the day dearest wife and children, my sweetheart and little ones.

    • Camp Walker, near Manassas Junction, 5 Aug. 1861

      We have just concluded a prayer meeting at our tent. it would have seemed strange to you to hear hymns sung & prayers made (one by a Chaplain) & see armed men tramping by & in the street above a fiddle & banjo playing but we are a mixed multitude & there are many singular things here...I want to hear from you all the time. Send me the overcoat, the old one will do I guess. You are my sweetheart now & when I can't get the hugging & kissing, I want nearest thing to it, your letters. I long for some kinds of vegetables, collards or snaps or any thing of that kind. Kiss & hug all the children for me. bless the dear babies.

    • Camp Walker, 23 Aug. 1861

      I received your box Tuesday evening last 10 or 12 days after it had left home. It was a great treat & the children would not be more overjoyed in getting a box of goodies at Christmas than I was. Everything was in pretty good condition. The outside of the bread was a little mouldy but it was still very nice. Some of the ginger cakes had got wet but they were generally well preserved. The cake was very good and that old Georgia ham was glorious we haven?t cut it yet. One of the butter jars was broken but none lost or injured. I distributed it according to Nettie's wishes. They all return their warm thanks for it to which I add mine. I divided my good things except the ham with the boys. I am very much obliged to the old gentlemen (James H.Peek, Sr., father-in-law) & all of you for it. I was home eating and that was the great sauce to it. There was some tobacco & a bottle of brandy in it that were not labeled you didn't say anything to me about it. Aleck Stephens took dinner with us the other day & is in camp today. he looks about as usual. He came up to see Linton [half-brother to Alexander Stephens] who is still sick but getting well. Gen. [Robert] Toombs & staff are here. I hear now & then of
      forward movements but I have generally supposed that we will know we are to move when we get orders to do so...By the way I am very thankful for the blankets & pillows you sent me. the weather is cool enough for cover & I had nothing but my breeches to put under my head at night until the pillows came. I want this war to end. if we are to have a fight I am willing that it should be soon & I believe the whole regiment is of the same mind. If you see Mrs. Veazey tell her Pryor wants to hear from home. he is a little sick tonight though able to be about. I have but little doubt that he has the measles. I intend to make him take care of himself. you may tell Mrs. Veazey so. I am glad to see such good heart with the folks at home. I can have a letter from home without tears of joy. Goodbye dear wife-kiss the children all for me--

    • Camp Walker, 26 Aug 1861

      David Peek, Jule Peek's brother is dead. heart disease I understand. Jones, the man from Elbert that I wrote of, died; his father came yesterday evening. he will carry him home for interment. poor fellow is not alone for many who came out in health to this war will fall not by the casualties of the battlefield but disease. we have funeral honors almost everyday over the grave of a soldier. Saturday evening we served out 40 rounds of ammunition and that indicates forward. I believe the boys will fight & I trust in God when the battle comes that everybody in old Taliaferro may throw up their hats and huzza for the 'Stephens Home Guards' although some may do so in sorrow. I don't want the folks at home to be ashamed of any of us when we come back. I have just had a letter from Tom Hightower. When you see him tell him if he says Peach-Pie, watermelon or biscuit in another letter I'll beat him when I get home. It is raining today. this is slippery sloppery country.

    • Camp Walker, 29 Aug. 1861

      We have just received notice to be ready to march at a moment's notice toward the Potomac I suppose. the entire strength of the Regiment is 400.

    • Aug. 31, 1861

      We left Manassas yesterday and came out here 12 1/2 miles. I have no idea how many troops we have here. You need pay no attention to reports you may hear of us. If I am wounded here I want Dock or Felix (Peek) to come to me immediately and take me out into the country. I am still of the opinion that the war will be of short duration & that there will never be such another battle as Manassas was. I would give fifty dollars to hug & kiss you & the children right now. I expect without accident to be with you all by Christmas or before.

    • Camp Walker near Manassas, 3 Sep 1861

      there is no immediate prospect for our leaving here. last Saturday after having all the wagons loaded, the rolls called, the sick examined, we were ordered to unload and pitch tents. so the journey ended. P.S. Another marching order received tonight. they say we leave tomorrow. the report says toward Centreville about 8 miles from here. I came to do the fighting of the Peek Family (Joe and I)...

    • Camp Taylor near Centreville, 11 Sep 1861

      We have moved at last about 7 miles from Manassas & about 18 or 20 miles from Washington City. Centreville is not so large a place as Powelton [Ga] by half & without the interest which war has thrown around it would never be laid down on a map. It was the headquarters of Genl McDowell on the day of the great battle. here we see some signs of civilization. families living in the houses, some women who seem to have some claim to common decency, some yard dogs, sows & pigs, 5 milk cows, negro men & women. These all remind us of home. as far as I have been from Manassas is desolation, fences destroyed, corn fields laid waste, orchards stripped, gardens broken down.

    • 18 Sep 1861

      Since I wrote you we have again moved our camp four miles near the enemy. [more on those sick] It disturbs me exceedingly to have our boys sick & to be so helpless to do them good. I do hope Tom Peek will come, he could do so much good. he is a good nurse & one of those whole hearted men who would endeavor to make himself useful. I want you to tell anybody you may see who has a son or brother here & who they may hear to be sick to come at once..I don't know whether there is any angel above who is looking after me or not but I do know there is a dear sweet wife at home who thinks lovingly of me night & day & there are the dear little ones too who wonder why papa stays away so long. Give my love to all the [Peek] family. the old man & mother [Peek], Jim's Dock's, Felix, Tom's [families]...

    • Camp Pine Creek, 20 Sep 1861

      We are now about 2 1/2 miles from Fairfax CH & 13 from the enemy. The pickets have ceased to fire on each other & get water out of the same spring & meet, shake hands & talk with each other. I have been in tolerable health. I lie on the hard ground every night eat coffee, biscuit, cornbread, beef & bacon-good enough, wear dirty shirts, never shave.

    • Camp Pine Creek, 22 Sep 1861

      I will need two pairs of woolen drawers or flannel either will do. If you or the old lady [Mrs. Peek] could send me a comfort or coverlet it would be of service. Whenever I find a fellow with no blanket at all I give him one. When the government pays us I will try & send you some money & I hope they will soon shell out. I would like very much to have you come near us for a few days. I don't think many of the married men here love their wives as I do you. I telegraphed Tom Peek to come & nurse Billy Harris, Mr. Reid to nurse Billy & Col Menk to come here to see Bob. Bill Harris and Billy Reid are very sick & may die though I hope not. Hug & kiss the children & tell all the negroes howdy.

    • Camp Pine Creek, 3 Oct 1861

      We left this camp last Friday morning in the rain for picket duty at Falls Church. Marched through the rain all day & reached there & were marched back one mile where we got our suppers & fixed for the night. I had scarcely got my shoes off to dry my feet when we received orders to pack up & fall back to Mills Crossroads. We put out through the mud & reached there about midnight. The next morning I went on duty & could hear the drums of the Yankee very plainly. The Yankees are great cowards. If they had had courage they could have come out & fought us. Our men went daily in sight of them. I don't think there will be much more fighting here unless we cross the Potomac. I just now of the opinion that the war will not be of very long duration-I don't know that I could give any reasons. Yet I have that kind of notion. By the way, this is Jim's birthday I remember it well five years ago. What a day of suffering it was for you. Don't be low spirited dear. Keep in good heart, all will end well. We are now posted on the road that Genl Braddock went along just before he was defeated by the French & Indians. Genl Toombs Grandfather was with him. This was before the Revolutionary War. Afterwards Genl Washington & his army went over the same road. Gen. Toombs father was with him. Now Genl Toombs and his two sons-in-law are on the same road.

    • Camp Pine Creek, 6 Oct 1861

      It is reported in camp that McClellan is crossing the Potomac in large force & today we would not be taken by surprise if we were ordered to the battlefield. If we have a general battle & whip it (which we will be certain to do in my judgement) it will end the war. I want peace one way or another. I am not one of those unmanly babyish men that will sit down and mope about going home but still I long to be at home with my dear wife & children. Don't think dear that I am low spirited. You keep in good heart. it may be that if we get into a battle that will not be spared, but never anticipate trouble. I am very grateful to Tom [Peek] for coming to Richmond.

    • 10 Oct 1861

      Mr. Rushin who married one of Jim Peek's daughters is here & will take the letter to Augusta & mail this to you. If we go into winter quarters here I expect to come home on a short visit in December. I crossed the famous stone bridge (over Bull Run on the Warrenton Pike)the other day & took dinner in a house that was struck two or three times with cannon shot during the battle the 21st of July. Tell Jimmy to get me lots of chestnuts & that is Pa's man. Tell Maggie Pa loves her a heart full & she is his little lady. Kiss Bobbie for me. Hug & kiss George for me...

    • 15 Oct 1861

      Nothing to be done seems to be the order of the day. The enemy are too strongly fortified for us to attack

    • Eight miles of Manassas, Camp near Centreville, 22 Oct 1861

      Several days ago our whole army fell back from Fairfax CH & beyond to Centreville where we are now posted in every field to observe the enemy. Yesterday our troops at Leesburg
      2500 or 3000 strong gave 6000 or 8000 of the enemy a sound thrashing...

    • 27 Oct 1861

      Since the Leesburg fight the Yankees are very timid & I am of the opinion that we will have but little fighting in this quarter until spring. I don't want you to sell any cotton for exportation as long as the English & French governments permit the blockade to continue.

    • 3 Nov 1861

      About 2 o'clock yesterday morning a northeast storm set in blowing furiously & continued until 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon. The flapping of the tents made reports like cannon & the whole camp was in a constant roar all day. We were all wet but this morning in the bright sunshine I feel as hearty as a young mule. I have been in hopes that Tom [Peek[ would come up here but I suppose he will take George Gibson home who is dead, I recon by this time.

    • 18 Nov 1861

      I am sorry to hear that the old gentleman [Peek] is sick & I trust that he is well before this time--old as he is he is worth half the young men in this country...Billy Harriss is improving...I was talking with Col Stephens last night & he told me that he thought I could get short leave of absence...We can live tolerable cheap here, turkeys (young goblers) sell at $1.50 a piece but it is cheaper to live on them than hams at 25 cts per pound...Everybody who sells now seems to look to nothing but extortion & making money--an army of swindlers is always about us....

    • 1 Dec 1861

      It may be that we shall meet no more on Earth. If so God bless you all. I shall have done my duty. I don't like the news I have got from the papers lately. There is nothing really bad in the matter but the indications are that this war will be protracted. I cannot see the end of it yet & begin to think it will be badly managed on our side. We have been too idle here...I saw General [Joseph E.] Johnston the other day for the first time...

    • Camp Steiner, 24 Dec 1861

      I am tonight mindful of the hearthstone & am now thinking of those gathered there (or it may be at your fathers) & who are I know thinking, if they are not talking, of the dear husband and father faraway...I must draw to a close, it is late & my candle is nearly out...I hope this war will end soon.

    • Camp Toombs, 31 Dec 1861

      Our winter quarters are not built yet. we are still "dwellers in tents."...I shall wait but a little while after we have completed the cabins before I apply for leave of absence...I hope that I shall be able to come...

    • Camp Georgia, 19 Jan 1862

      Well dear I have applied for leave of absence but I have not heard from it yet. I suppose it has fared the fate of all others gone up lately "on file but the favourable consideration of which is postponed."...You must make up your mind to come up here if I don't get the chance to go home....

    • 22 Jan 1862

      How thankful I am that providence has so helped me. My wife "loved me not in fortune's hour" but for myself alone--when the world had failed to prosper me-when sorrow had laid his hand heavily upon me, I was a stricken man. My dearest wife wed me over obstacle--threw aside wealth to be my bride...yet in after years if I live through this struggle how pleasant it will be to look back on this tribulation...Don't sell any cotton if you can help it...if necessary to keep the Yankees from getting it I would burn it than take a dollar a pound for it...Goodbye dearest best of wives...

    • 8 Feb 1862

      But the old proverb that "man proposes but God (or Genl Johnston in this case) disposes" comes in & if not entirely blasting my hopes in this matter at least greatly depresses them...Unwittingly I have encouraged you to hope that during the winter I would be at home with you & the children & spend a short time with you. I must now dash these hopes to the ground or at least to tell you that you have but little reason to expect them to be realized....I want you some nights to go into the parlor and play "Home Again" for me & "I've Something Sweet to Tell You."...I want to remember you at the piano. I don't want anyone with you at the time unless you wish the children there....

    • 10 Feb 1862

      I write you tonight by Pryor. He leaves for home tomorrow with Dick for recruiting service. You will be surprised that I am not with him instead of Dick ...everyone is coming in & asking are you going home?

    • 23 Feb 1862

      What a year has popped. How many in the bloom of manhood one year ago now asleep under the sod or are on the battlefield. The sword has its victims & diseases theirs. And yet the strife continues...Our people must wake up...Let us all fill heroes graves or live free men... (Feb 25) I am sorry you took it to heart that I didn't come home...I don't intend to resign now....It is possible that this time tomorrow night that one of the greatest battles of the war may be fought...I feel we can whip the devils if we stand for time...

    • 8 March 1862

      I am now sitting with my back against a sapling in the woods bivouachingas [?] as the French call it...God knows that I have no desire to be hit with a stray bullet but if it is providence for me to be struck I shall never run out of it. Keep a brave good heart...You will know before this reaches you where the Army of the Potomac is....(13th Culpepper CH) We are stopped whether for a stand or not I don't know...

    • Camp near Orange CH, 2 Apr 1862

      At our camp at Culpepper I was sick with one of my spring colds though up and about and marched over here---after I got here I went out into the country and spent a few days with a widow lady (quite old) a Mrs. Conway & a niece of President Madison--I wrote you while there but as I have already stated I had no opportunity to send off my letter....

    • Camp Orange CH, 6 Apr 1862

      We are all here now on the tiptoe of expetation...last week we received light marching orders that looked like going back towards Winchester to meet the Yankees. A day or so after we were ordered to pack up for Richmond--both were countermanded...this evening we got another light marching order & if it is not countermanded we will go in 12 hours, in my judgement, to meet the Yankees. [written in pencil] We go at once to Fredericksburg-no time to write now. [in ink again below signature] 10 Apr (Sunday night) After closing as above we took up the line of march to Fredericksburg & walked till 4 in the morning--halted, slept an hour or two, resumed our march, went about 5 miles farther & halted for the day. Heard that there were no enemy in the direction we were going, stayed all night, it rained & sleeted. Next morning we got orders to come back here to take the train for Richmond...I begin to feel more hopeful now than I have for sometime past for a speeding termination of the war. I don't think it will last long now. We are all of us here confident of whipping them whenever we meet them. How happy we will all be when it is over & our independence acknowledged & we are welcomed back to our families. I don't know when I will get done hugging you & the children & going to see Uncle Ben & the old man. I can't tell you how much I love you.

    • Near the Trenches near Yorktown, 27 Apr 1862

      When you write me hereafter use a fictitious name - Julia Gordon & address me as Lt. or Mr. Tilley so that if your letters fall into the hands of the Philistines they wouldn't know who wrote it. I would know & you could speak of yourself & the children as usual - we are having a hard time here - no coffee, no sugar or molasses - a few crackers or a little flour & a very little meat...I begged a piece of bread yesterday morning. I eat last night a piece of 1 leather hoe cake for supper & a piece of the same for breakfast...At 8 o'clock at night we go in the trenches & stay 24 hours--it is now damp cold rainy weather ...this we do every other day & just half our time we are there...We are in plain view of the yankees...We can see them dodging about their works--see the smoke of their rifles as their sharpshooters pop away at our fellows...Our sharpshooters kill more of them than are killed on our side...I was very much pleased with your letter about the gunboat, if you want to give them anything give a bag of cotton. Iron Clad gun boats are worth more to us than all our forts: 6 like the Merrimac or Virginia as he is now called would clean out every Southern port & close this war in 2 months...I wish the war was over-- How I would like to come home now & eat corn bread and greens, knock about over the plantation, sit by a good fire on a cold rainy day...I know I shall be a great deal better husband than ever before-- I recon the old man would say sure enough that I was spoiling you...Give Maggie 4 hugs and kisses for papa- tell all the negroes howdy & give them my best respects.

    • Near Richmond 22 May 1862

      Since writing before we have moved about 2 1/2 miles and some further from the city...The suburbs of Richmond are quite pretty; the houses are beautiful, the farms are in a high state of cultivation, the fixtures are all neat...I intended to go over and see our sick boys especially Joe [Peek] as I know Tom would naturally look to me to see after him but Sunday night we received orders forbidding both officers & privates from going in...I have heard from Joe several times this week- he has not been seriously sick & all the boys who have come into camp say that he is getting on finely & will soon be well...We have diverse accounts of the enemy. The newspapers speak of the battles that are imminent & we hear in camp that they are in a few miles of us. We may have a fight and may have a great battle near here- one thing is certain, Richmond will be defended to the very last. Our army, every of us, feel just as confident of whipping the enemy if he attacks us as if we had already done it. The people of Richmond want the City blowed to old Harry rather than give it up-- this is the right Spirit, it is a fighting whipping feeling. There are none of us insensible to danger- We know that in a battle some must fall, some hearthstones must be made desolate. We would be glad that it were otherwise but no one shirks from the contest. Georgians have won a proud name in this war, many of her Regiments have been engaged & all have behaved gallantly...I am like Uncle Ben, I want to live to see the end of it but I may not-- if I were to die or be killed I would want to be buried at your father's. I would want to be buried by my own father if not for you. When we both are gathered to the dead I want us to sleep side by side. I don't write this because I have any gloomy forebodings...Every man who goes into battle is liable to be killed though there're 9 to 1 chances in his favour. I am just as jolly as I ever was in my life. We had read to us on dress parade yesterday the infamous order of [Benjamin] Butler the Yankee General at New Orleans directing the ladies to be created as whores. [Order #28, May 15, 1862] They are heaping up wrath against the day of wrath...I do hope once that you could come up here but that is now impossible. Richmond and its vicinity is no place for women & children. I expect we'll have to wait till the war is over-- That I am confident can't last many months longer...

    • Near the Chickahominy, in Camp, near Richmond, 6 Jun 1862

      I know with so much fighting around me that you can't help being uneasy, particularly so many in current reports of those engaged reach home. We were not in the battle on Saturday or Sunday at all but about 5 or 6 miles further off...The 49th GA. Regt. was in Saturday's fight & of course the other company from Taliaferro commanded by Lieut. Durham. Holden was about sick. Samuel Gunn was badly wounded & supposed to be killed; two others were badly wounded & several were slightly wounded. Young Chapman son of John & grandson of old Nathan Chapman was shot in the arm. Jim Reid and Jim Hardaway were both in the fight & both unhurt. Lieut. Jim Reid brother of Jim Glenn's wife was wounded in the fight-not seriously--he belonged to the 8th GA Regt. I am well pleased with the Virginians & with the people of Richmond. Every vehicle of every description that could be used is taking the wounded off the field was brought out promptly to the battleground. The stores were shut, business was suspended & the citizens devoted themselves to taking care of the wounded, bringing out good water & in every way they could ministering to the wants of the poor fellows who had so gallantly shed their blood for the common good. It is true this was their duty but it does ones heart good to see men discharging it so willingly with so much industry & hearty goodwill & zeal. But the sweetest of all occurs to the poor fellows after they get into hospitals in Richmond. Here the ladies--God Almighty bless them--look after them--the young the old the gay & sober vie with each other in nursing & tending the wounded. The matrons & the maidens neither restrained by false delicacy standing by the cot of the wounded soldier dressing his hurts. Many a poor fellow far away from wife mother sister has his heart gladdened & his eyes wet with gratitude to the dear kind ladies of Richmond. Many a wife mother & sister far away down South will have her heart gladdened by the knowledge that her dear suffering ones have not suffered for want of a woman's care. You know dear how impulsive I am & how easy at times my eyes glisten with tears--I can't think or write about these noble people of Virginia & Richmond without a throbbing heart & tearful eyes. Our soldiers fought like heroes, whipped the Yankees two to one out of their own camp & trenches & breast-works. The Yankees will find "on to Richmond" the hardest road to travel they ever went over except when they go as prisoners--that is the only way they ever will ever go to Richmond...Our army is one of men none think it possible to be whipped. I am sorry to hear such a bad account of the small grain crop in Georgia particularly the wheat crop. Make all the potatoes you can--indeed we ought to make everything we can to eat. I am glad to hear you have so good a garden & so many nice potatoes & beets etc--I want you to think of me & eat as many as you does me a great deal of good to know that there is plenty at home. I am afraid that the people at home will be troubled by thieves breaking the meat house, killing hogs this summer & fall...What you have to spare give to the needy poor who may be in want. This Regt is in prime condition now. Joe Peek is well & in fine spirits, Pryor is...jolly as a piper. Ben Jones is well. The Howell boys, Johnson Smith & Miles Jimmy Lacy are quite well so is Jack Bledsoe. John Johnson sends you his respects. You must not come here now...wait till things are quiet. I am still very hearty & vigorous. Last Saturday night 7 years ago you ceased to be Miss Peek & became Mrs. Tilley. I must close--we are still roughing it--the ground is my bed & sometimes a wet one at that. They give us plenty of exercise & we are pretty hardy & tough...I am afraid it will be sometime before Jim [the freedman, servant] can stand this life...for him to lay down on the wet ground & take our tramps might bring on his rheumatism again. Tell him "howdy" for me. Tom Sharpe is in Lynchburg. Levi is here but poorly. I must close now-- our Regt is just being relieved of picket duty & we will soon fall back to camp....P.S. Joe Meyers is out with us today. He will leave for home on Monday & will return here in 2 weeks--if you can send me 2 or 3 pr home made cotton socks I would like it & one or two pr summer pants. I don't think I need anything more except that which cannot be sent...Everything is quiet along the lines today though the cannons may open this evening--they sometimes do. I would like very much to have Doc or Tom here to nurse me if I were to get wounded. Tell Tom if Joe is wounded I shall be certain to telegraph him if I can possibly do so. I will do the same to Billy Reid & any others who can afford to come...

    • Near Richmond 18 Jun 1862

      I am in prime health...sometimes I have the diarrhea--but that never troubles me...lately we have been doing very hard service. I have not had the shoe of my left foot off in two weeks last Sunday morning. I took off the right one day because my big toe was hurting me. We have been on the front lines all the while till yesterday evening when we were relieved doing picket & other outpost duties. One day I picketed with my company in [illegible] with the Yanks. We didn't fire upon each other & were only about 200 yds apart. I would pull off my cap and wave it at them & they would return the salute. Near night however we broke up the truce, stepped in front of our lines & told them in half-hour they need not be surprised if we fired upon them. We wounded one of them before night--one of the riflemen shot him. The last 4 or 5 days we did picket duty we were 150 yds of the enemy. We had to die, whip them or be taken prisoners--retreat was impossible & it made me feel bad that if we had a fight that it was probable that I might not see you again--We all felt relieved when we were withdrawn. Last Sunday a melancholy accident occurred in our company--John McClusky accidently shot Young Hackney a half brother of Bates...John was frantic with grief about it...he hollered and cried like a child--it was pure accident. John says...he knows it will kill Hackney's mother...We are all anxious for this war to end--the Yankees come no nearer Richmond than they were 8 weeks ago. They will not be there very soon. I have no doubt they are more anxious about the fate of Washington than everbody here is about Richmond & we all think that Stonewall Jackson will get to their capital much sooner than McClellan will to ours unless he goes there as a prisoner...On the 31st in a battle a second cousin of mine Wm. Thomas Gilbert a member of the other company from Taliaferro was wounded and not found afterwards. His father Nathan Gilbert came on to Richmond to look for him but in vain. I have just found out where he is--he is at Portsmouth, a prisoner...tell Maggie she is papa's sweet little lady & Jimmy that he is papa's sugar plum. Tell my dear darling wife that she is all in all & dearest all to husband...Tell all the negroes howdy & give my respects to Jim--the weather is cool and rainy--Goodbye now--God bless you dear darling wife.

    • Camp Near Richmond, 22 Jun 1862

      We are here awaiting any attack the Yanks may make, fortifying & making the defenses to the city stronger day by day--They I suppose are fortifying their camp & trying to get a little nearer--I have never been under their fire yet though while on picket I am generally in full view of them. Yesterday I went over to their lines & for the first time stood face to face with a hostile. I swapped pipes with one & gave him a piece of tobacco--he told me that he was a sharp shooter & belonged to the 6th Maine Regt. There were at least one hundred Yankees [within] one hundred yards of us while I talked to this fellow. I suppose they were attracted by curiosity to see a Rebel. Burch went over with me--he tried to swap papers with them but they would not exchange. It seemed very strange that I & this man should meet hereafter in mortal combat but it maybe so. They told Capt. Burch that they were very tired of this war. When we left we pulled off our caps and saluted them which they very civilly returned. Nothing has occured of any interest here since the 31st of May. I sometimes think we will not have another battle at this point. We have occasionally smart skirmishes but nothing beyond--I am almost persuaded that Stonewall Jackson will change the theater of the war to Northern Virginia again & possibly to Maryland...if he continues to be very successful we will have no fight here--if he loses Manassas we will have a very serious battle here. May God defend the right. We can whip them and we will do it. I wish it was over & I could come home to be with you--I am looking at these infernal devils on picket...I hope the rains will continue so you can make a fine corn crop...Ask Levi or Dock & let me know how the potatoes are. I would like to take dinner with you & eat meat & greens or baked potatoes...I want a home dinner with my wife sitting by looking at me. I don't know whether I could sit in a chair or eat with a knife and fork. I am certain that I should have to sleep on the ground--a featherbed I am sure would smother me...I must close now, hug & kiss the dear little ones for me...Give my love to all the Peeks & my kind regards to all my neighbours--Tell all the Negoes howdy for me. With a heart full of love for my dear wife--your affectionate husband,

      John M. Tilley.

    Person ID I1071  Dickinson
    Last Modified 7 Sep 2015 

    Father George Tilley,   b. aft. 1780 
    Relationship Birth 
    Mother Sarah Simms,   b. aft. 1790, Hancock County, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Relationship Birth 
    Married 16 Dec 1819  Hancock County, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location  [4, 5, 6, 7
    Family ID F0163  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Sarah Pringle,   d. 21 Dec 1851, Taliaferro County, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. George Pringle Tilley,   b. 06 Oct 1850, Taliaferro County, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1929, Conyers, Rockdale, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 78 years)
    Last Modified 10 Nov 2009 
    Family ID F1238  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Frances Ann Peek,   b. 25 Sep 1831, Taliaferro County, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1887, Conyers, Rockdale, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 55 years) 
    Married 01 May 1855  Taliaferro County, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location  [8
    +1. James Peek Tilley,   b. Oct 1856, Taliaferro County, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Jun 1927, Conyers, Rockdale, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 70 years)
     2. Margaret Tilley,   b. Abt. 1859, Taliaferro County, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location
     3. Robert Tilley,   b. Abt 1861, Taliaferro County, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified 9 Nov 2009 
    Family ID F1239  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 01 May 1855 - Taliaferro County, Georgia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 27 Jun 1862 - Garnett's Farm, Henrico County, Virginia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Crawfordville Baptist Cemetery, Crawfordville, Taliaferro, Georgia Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Sources 
    1. [S014287] 1860 United States Census, Bureau of the Census, (Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1860), Census Place: , Taliaferro, Georgia; Roll M653_137; Page: 21; Image: 176.

    2. [S336278] U.S. Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, Historical Data Systems, comp., (Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2009).

    3. [S216] [online], (Cartersville, Georgia: Researchonline), "Georgia 15th Infantry Regiment, Company D,"

    4. [S007817] Georgia Marriages to 1850, Jordan R. Dodd, (Provo, Utah: The Generations Network, Inc., 1997).

    5. [S012032] Georgia Marriages, 1699-1944, Hunting For Bears, comp., (Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2004).

    6. [S336457] Georgia, Marriage Records From Select Counties, 1828-1978, (Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013).

    7. [S100034] Coweta County Chronicles for One Hundred Years, Mary Gibson Jones and Lilly Reynolds, (Atlanta, Georgia: Stein Printing Co., 1928), 715.
      16 Dec 1819.

    8. [S197590] Georgia Marriages, 1851-1900, Dodd, Jordan, Liahona Research, comp., (Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2000).