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150 Years Ago Today

9/23/1863

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James Pope, Camps near Arkadelphia, to Harriet Pope

Pope tells his wife that morale in the army is low since the evacuation of Little Rock. He writes that 200 of their cavalry were killed by the Union forces invading Little Rock, and 1,500 men deserted outright. Desertions continue with many more leaving every day. The Confederates will be forced to cross the Red River if the enemy attacks and many promise to desert rather than cross it. Pope also urges his wife to not rely on the mail system anymore when mailing letters to him. He never receives the letters she sends by mail and he advises her to send it through individuals instead. SMC.113.1