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Camp Three Miles from Dalton, Georgia May the 4th 1864

Dear Brother

I again drop you a few lines to inform you that I am well and in camp near Dalton Geo. I wrote you one letter since I left my house but recd no answer. I remained at home till the 8th of Nov. I left to join my command and found it on Look Out Mountain. On Nov. 25th [1863] we went into battle. On the 25th and [illegible words] retreated to Missionary Ridge fought there on the 25th and retreated to Dalton. Arrived there on the 27th, a distance of about 32 miles and are here yet and probably will remain here for some time. We have been fortyfing this position for some time. We are looking for the Enemy to make a powerful effort to break through our lines every day, though they know they will have a rough bobcat to tree.

They advanced and attacked us on the 20th of February [1864] but a few rounds from our lines and batteries drove them back to their fortifications in Chattanooga with considerable loss. They have been receiving reinforcements since and will be compelled to advance or evacuate Chattanooga. We also have been receiving reinforcements daily and have a powerful army. I can't tell what number but over fifty thousand all in fine spirits, well fed and well clothed and in good deciplin confident of a victory when they come. There has been skirmishing in front almost every day for two weeks. Wheeler's Cavalry is in our "front". Nature has fortified our postion on the ridge of the rocky faced mountains. What was left undone we finished and are ready for them. Two deserters were shot in sight of our camp today. I don't know how long I will remain in the service. My time will be out in twelve months but I think under the late act of Congress I will be retired or assigned to State duty in a short time. Two of my sons is in camp near me and is well. Josiah and Andrew Toliver is still in Wheeler's Cavalry. Lem is with Longstreet in Va. All well when I heard from them last.

Sister Cassy and Emsly [Hilton] is well as for health but I expect in trouble about their son-in-law. My folks writes to me [that] Jas Canady Jane's man has deserted and come home. [He] staid a short time and went to the Yankees in Tennessee with their other two Battles son-in-laws, and their families are going to them also. Robert Battles, John Nobel, Sam Dillard and others report they are gone. If it is true and they don't come back their lands will be confiscated and sold. You had better go back there and look for you a place again. If you will go there you can get Jas. Kennedy place at the same price Jas. & Emsly promised for it. Emsly & Cassy would be mighty glad you would go and see about it as they want a small portion of it for a home and have got the cotton to pay for it. Mr. Byers & Rowen told me that he would not sell it to any body else as long as there was any chance of their paying for it, but we all know that Jas. Kennedy will never try to pay for it now and I think if you will go out there Emsly will go to Mr. Byers with you and you can take Jas. Kennedy's place and the land at the same price. If I go home I will assist you. Mr. Byers told me he would not sell it to anybody else till he let me know it. The price is five dollars per acre and good time to pay it in. It will be worth twenty dollars per acre in a few years. Caroline make Joseph get on that mule and go back there and get him a place. He can do better there than any place I seen in all my travels. When you write direct to Tennessee Army Stuarts Division Bakers Brigade 42nd red. Ala. vol. Co. G. When you write me at home direct to Bennettsville P.O.

J.       J. Atwood