The Ladies Of Demopolis Part 1 Missouri Boys


Lt. Colonel
Forum Host
Regtl. Quartermaster Shiloh 2020
May 7, 2016
This is more about stories from CS Soldiers about the Ladies of Demopolis, than a soldiers tale so here goes. All the diaries I have from CS Troops that were stationed here after the fall of Vicksburg and the evidence I have dug from the camps all seem to say the same thing "God Bless the Ladies of Demopolis". This is part 1 as one of the soldiers fell madly in love with a local girl and has some interesting thoughts of the "Ladies of Demopolis"

These plate and other china pieces were recovered from a fire pit that was used by Confederate Soldiers while encamped at Demopolis in the winter of 1863. Confederate Soldiers did not carry breakable plates and these plates were part of many items that were taken to the camp by the ladies of Demopolis and represents the kindness and generosity of the local people. The references below attest to these facts.

Diary of W L Truman 3rd​ Missouri Artillery

We landed at Demopolis July 12th, 1863, and were all happy to know that we had escaped prison life, by surrendering on July 4th​. Our camp was an ideal one on the north east side of the City, amidst magnolia and some other forrest trees, on rolling ground carpeted with blue grass, and bounded on the south, by the beautiful Tombigby river, which is formed by the Little Tombigby and the romantic Black Warrior rivers, both in view of our camp, we are content to rest here, but as we are strangers in a strange land, and prisoners of war, our hearts yearn for home, and how greatful we were, when we quickly realized, that the noble Southern women of Demopolis, and vacinity, understood from the very depth of a pure womans soul, our sad and almost unbearable condition, and came to our rescue by the hundreds, with their praise for our patriotism, and their tender words of comfort and sympathy. Having their carriages loaded with good things, and feasted us on the very manna of their Alabama homes. They also sent wagons and carts to our camps loaded with mellons, peaches, and all kinds of vegetables, without money and without price. Our souls were revived, and a God bless the Alabama women, was on the lips of all the Missouri boys. Most of the boys received invitations to visit the homes of their comforters.

From The Journal of Henry Cheavens, Missouri Infantry 1862-1863

.April 16th​ 1863, Here we again were hurried on through the peninsula formed by the Alabama and Tombigbee rivers to Demopolis on the Tombigbee. This was the fairest portion of the south. The people seemed to treat us more like men than others. The ladies brought us bouquets, socks, and a large lot of cooked vegetables and milk was brought to us. The ladies and general bearing of the inhabitants made me think of our own state of Missouri, which so far stands ahead of all states for hospitality

Here's a news article from the Selma Daily Reporter, March 30, 1864, which shows the Missouri Brigade in camp at Demopolis, Ala. --

Camp near Demopolis, Ala., March 23.

Mrs. Carrie Rowley, Ladies Aide Society, Demopolis, Ala.

The box containing 35 shirts, 17 pair wool and 48 pairs cotton socks, 2 pairs gloves, 2 comforts, 4 cases needles, pins, thread and buttons, donated by your Society for the benefit of the 3rd and 5th Missouri Regiments, was duly received, and for which I take this method of returning my thanks and the thanks of the soldiers of my command.

These donations are appreciated very highly, not only for the substantial benefit which they confer, which is great, but as an evidence of the fact that we have the remembrances and kind sympathies of the generous and patriotic ladies of Alabama, and permit me to say, that next to Missouri, our native land, do we cherish and estimate Alabama. We have found no hands so willing to perform deeds of love, no hearts so overflowing with tenderness, no homes where such cordial welcomings greeted us – every fireside heating the atmosphere of our own homes – every lady a sister, a mother, as in Alabama. Its homes sheltering our wounded, sick, exiled soldiers speaks in silent yet sublime eloquence of the noble deeds performed by the citizens of your patriotic state.

May God in his mercy protect your quiet homes from the invader’s polluting tread and heartless cruelty; and you may rest assured that our lives will be offered willingly sacrifices to avert this sad calamity.

I caused your note attending the donation to be read on dress parade, and it elicited many thanks and kind emotions for your noble Society.

You may say to the young ladies of your Society that our young men wish no more enduring nourishment, no other heritage, when this cruel war is over, than s____ in their memory and hearts and to ……

Very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

Frank M Cockrell

Colonel Commanding

1st Brig Missouri Infantry.