Pvt. Thomas Hudson, Co. D, 4th Alabama Infantry, On His Capture and Imprisonment

11 01 2022

[From the Uniontown Herald.]

Interesting Letter From Tom. Hudson.


Washington City, July 25, 1861

Dear Father – I know that you are all very much distressed to known my fate; so, I take this, the earliest opportunity, to let you know how and where I am.

It is very doubtful whether this letter will ever reach you; if it does, all well – if it does not, there will be no harm done. I shall have at least made the effort to let you hear from me, which will be some consolation.

I am a prisoner in the hands of the enemy, and confined in prison in the City of Washington. My health is very good, and I am treated as well – and, in fact, much better than – I expected. * * *

My letters are inspected by the Sergeant, and I cannot write you at length – cannot give you many particulars that I would like to communicate. I was in the bloody battle of Bull Run last Sunday; was in the engagement six or seven hours. During the battle I got cut off from my regiment, and for something like an hour or more, I was immediately between two batteries, alone. In that time I am satisfied 300 grape shot and bombshells fell right about me, knocking the dirt and dust all over me. One shell bursted a few feet directly over my head without doing me any damage. The shot and shell fell so fast and thick that I determined to risk the fire of a whole brigade, which was so close to me that I could hear every word that was said. I broke and run, and it seemed to me that the whole brigade fired at me; but the only damage they did was to cover me with dust. I dan about fifty yards, and was taken with that I suppose was something like sun-stroke and fell to the ground on my face. I got up and ran about ten steps, and fell again, I tried it for the third time, with no better success. I then determined I would try and walk along slowly, but did not go but a step or two before I dropped down, completely exhausted. I was in that condition when a company came up and took me prisoner. * * *

Our company officers behaved bravely in the fight; every time I saw Dr. H.* he was in the thickest of it, urging the boys on.

We have been visited by a great many ladies and gentlemen, and have been very kindly treated by them. We have been furnished with clothing, and a great many little things which are very acceptable to persons in our situation, by the ladies; they send something good to eat every day. I wish it was in my power to repay these “good Samaritans” for their kindness to us in this out time of need. Senator Breckinridge, Vorhees, May, J. J. Crittenden (the old wretch) and several other distinguished persons have called to see us. Mr. Ogle Tayloe and Mr. Phillips, formerly member to Congress from the Mobile district, have been very kind to us – offered to do any thing they could. I want some money very much, but I felt a delicacy in asking a favor of them, and did not do so. I wish you would send me some money as soon as possible. * * *

Give my love to all. I hope this war will soon be over, and that I may have the pleasure of meeting you all again around the family circle.

Your affectionate son,

(Greensboro) Alabama Beacon, 8/30/1861

Clipping Image

*Likely 1st Sgt. William O. Hudson, who would become regimental surgeon in 1862

Thomas Hudson at Ancestry

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Thomas Hudson at FindAGrave