Zachariah A. Rice correspondence and military commission

This collection contains 63 letters and Zachariah A. Rice's military commission to the rank of Major. The letters were written mostly from Zachariah to his wife living in Atlanta, Georgia; however some of her replies are included. Rice primarily wrote from Camp Marion in Virginia, but other locations include Richmond and Petersburg, Virginia and Camp Randolph, North Carolina. He describes the life of an officer in the Confederate army, including living conditions and duties. He warns his wife about the destruction caused by Federal soldiers as they move through Confederate cities. Rice declares that the Confederate Army draws good rations and has an abundance of food in early 1861, but in the letters from 1862 he writes that the land is being depleted, supplies have become scarce and life is not as agreeable for soldiers anymore. These letters briefly mention battles at Fort Henry, Roanoke Island, Fort Donalson, Malvern Hill and the naval battle at the James River. In May of 1862 he discusses the rumored surrenders at Richmond and Norfolk, Virginia and proposes that traitors in the Confederate Government are responsible for the shameful suggestion of surrender. Rice provides a detailed description of the Battle of Seven Pines/Fair Oaks that took place on May 31, 1862. During the battle there was daily shelling of both camps, many prisoners were taken, and the Confederates captured General McClellan's supplies. He states that while a three hour truce took place the soldiers exchanged possessions and discussed politics, abolition, and Abraham Lincoln. Throughout these letters Rice continually mentions the religious life in his camp and his encounters with citizens of Atlanta who have moved to Virginia.

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