This letter was written by Corp’l Charles L. Dupree (b. 1843) of Co. D, 7th Alabama Infantry. At age 18, he was mustered into his company on 7 April 1861 at Selma, Alabama, for 12 months. The 7th Alabama organized at Pensacola, Florida in May 1861. It contained eight infantry and two mounted companies. General Braxton Bragg ordered an assault on Ft. Pickens in October 1861 but the attack failed to dislodge the Union garrison and by May of 1862, any Confederate attempt to occupy the forts around Pensacola had been abandoned. The 7th Alabama remained near Pensacola until November when they moved to East Tennessee. They were ordered to Corinth but the regiment disbanded before Shiloh after one year of service.
In the 1840 U.S. Census, Charles’ father was enumerated in Canville, Forsyth county, Georgia. In the 1850 U.S. Census, Charles (age 7) is enumerated in the Forsyth county, Georgia, household of his parents, Charles L. Dupree (b. 1803) and Dovey Dupree (b. 1808). His siblings included Frances (b. 1832), Mary (b. 1835), Elenor or “Ella” (b. 1837), Martha or “Mat” (b. 1840), Lucy (b. 1848), and Lewis J. (b. 1850). In 1846, Charles S. Dupree (the father of this soldier) was the postmaster at Vickery Creek (“Allensville”) in Forsyth county, Georgia. In 1851, he was a delegate representing Forsyth county in the States Rights Convention.
In this letter from Warrington, Florida, outside the Federal Forts Barrancas and Pickens in July of 1861, Charles tells his sister that they have received glorious news of the Confederate victory at First Bull Run and that preparations are underway for a possible assault on the Union-held coastal forts at Pensacola.
July the 27th 1861
I take the present opportunity of writing you a few lines to let you know that I am in the land of the living and enjoying very good health and hope these few lines may find you all enjoying the same blessing. Mat, I have not received but two letters from you yet. The last letter I received from you was about two months ago. I answered it and have never received any answer yet. I suppose you have forgotten me. I have not forgotten you. I receive a letter from Ella every week and that is about all the letters that I do get.
We received glorious news here last Wednesday of the great battle at Manassas stating that our side lost 5,000 and the Yankees lost 15,000. Our side only had 15,000 [troops engaged] and they had 35,000. I tell you it was a glorious victory. Jeff Davis and Old Scott was in the battle. Old Abe was not there and you never will hear of him being where the Dixie Boys can get a shot at him. I think if I ever get to see the young man, I will try my old musket at him and if he was not very smart, I think I would get his scalp.
We have had no fighting at this place yet but are expecting it every day. It will not commence until the enemy brings it on. We are not going to commence the fight here for it would be against our interest. We may storm the fort. There is some report that Bragg is having some gunboats made for that purpose. That is all the way that we can get the Yankees out for they are well fortified and have 16 large rifle cannon and we have but 2 rifle cannon.
I must close for this time. Please excuse bad spelling and writing and write soon if you please. Give my best love to all and kiss little Ella for me. So farewell.
Your affectionate brother, — C. L. Dupree