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Henry Stokes Figures

"I received my clothes today. As soon as they came, I went to the creek and took a good bath..." Henry S. Figures, Tennesse 1 Oct. 1863


Near Chattanooga, Tennessee—October 1, 1863—

Dear Mother--

I received my clothes today. As soon as they came, I went to the creek and took a good bath—then put on a clean shirt, drawers, and socks--which I needed very much, as the others were put on at Atlanta about two weeks ago. Just imagine you see a soldier with a white cotton shirt on, been worn two weeks, a new hat (cost $30.00 in Petersburg) a good pair blue pants, a nice jacket—Confederate Grey—and you would see your son, Henry, who I know you want to see. I have got my overcoat yet. Good as new. My clothes fit very well—all but the coat which is large enough for an overcoat, but I don’t need it night now, as I have a very nice jacket and it is not cold. If everything keeps quiet for two or three weeks, I am going to apply for a furlough. If I get it, I will bring my coat home and let you alter it.

I am very much pleased with my clothes. The coat and pants are very nice, so are the shirts. You must thank Hanis for the socks, they are very nice. Tell Mrs. Masteri that I saw Ed yesterday, he looks very well, is now on Gen. Kelly’s staff, was formerly app. 8 Ark. I have just heard that Shank Drake was at the 4th Ala. and is going home in a day or two, so I will send this by him. I may write move tomorrow but I don’t know, so good by. I remain your aff. son…

Henry S. Figures

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Submitter: Sherri Cawley Notes:

The 48th Alabama was a group of Confederate men who witnessed and participated in an impressive number of battles. The 48th Alabama Infantry enlisted for three years at Auburn, May 22,1862, with 1,097 men. A few weeks later, it reached Virginia, and was attached to General Taliaferro’s brigade--Jackson’s division, with the 47th Alabama, and three Virginia regiments.

The 48th was first engaged in the battle of Cedar Run, with severe loss. And, at the second Manassas it also suffered. It was in the brigade of General Law of Macon (with 4th, 15th, 44th, and 47th Alabama Regiments), Hood’s division, Longstreet’s Corps.

The regiment was under fire at Fredericksburg, and fought with light loss at Suffolk. It moved into Pennsylvania, and its colors floated highest on the rocky heights of Gettysburg, where it was dreadfully punished. Ten weeks later, as part of Longstreet’s Corps, the regiment was where the lightning of battle flashed brightest, and its thunder pealed loudest--Chickamauga. The 48th was hotly engaged at Lookout Valley, and at Knoxville.

It passed the winter in east Tennessee, rejoining the Army of Northern Virginia, the 48th fought at the Wilderness and Spotsylvania, and its long list of casualties bore testimony to its conduct. Henry S. Figures was unfortunately, one of the casualties. He was Killed in Action at the Wilderness Battle. From that time to the end, at Hanover Junction, the second Cold Harbor, Bermuda Hundreds, Petersburg, Fussell’s Mill, Fort Harrison, Darbytown Road, Williamsburg Road, and Farmville, the regiment was almost constantly on active and perilous duty. Its colors were furled at Appomattox. Over 150 of its men had fallen in battle, 165 died in the service, and 125 had been discharged or transferred.

Henry S. Figures enlisted in the 48th Alabama on May 22, 1862. He was Adjutant of the 48th Alabama and was killed at the Wilderness Battle on May 6, 1864.

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