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1862 Confederate diary of T. D. Witherspoon, Chaplain of the 2nd and 42nd Mississippi Regiment, starting July 7th, 1862-Dec. 31, 1862, together with an 1875 autobiography penned by Chaplain Witherspoon. Chaplain Thomas Dwight Witherspoon was born in Greensborough, Alabama in 1836. He graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1856 and became pastor of the Presbyterian church at Oxford, Mississippi. He became a chaplain in the Confederate army and served for the duration of the Civil War. After the war, he was awarded a Doctorate of Divinity from University of Mississippi in 1868 and an Honorary Doctorate in 1884. For most of the war, Witherspoon served as part of the 42nd Mississippi Infantry, Davis' Brigade, Heth's Division, A. P. Hill Corps, Army of Northern Virginia. At the Battle of Gettysburg, Witherspoon was captured on Sunday, July 5th, 1863 while conducting a service for the wounded in a hospital tent. Chaplain Witherspoon was imprisoned at Fort McHenry, Baltimore, and paroled in 1863. He returned to the Confederate army until the surrender at Appomattox Court House, Virginia. Witherspoon was an influential and outspoken Chaplain in the Confederate Army (ref. "Pastor Witherspoon Goes to War", Ronald Coddington, New York Times, April 09, 2011). 1st item – Diary starting July 7th, 1862 and concluding December 31st, 1862 (222 pages total). A large portion of the diary covers Chaplain Witherspoon"s period in Richmond and the battle of Fredericksburg, VA. On 7/22/62, Witherspoon writes of visits to the battlefield of Seven Pines, "The first thing that attracted our notice was the immense swarm of flies which blackened the ground, and which having tasted blood of decaying flesh were perfectly rabid in their attacks upon our horses.." On page 65 titled "Frazier's Farm", Witherspoon's group came upon a "free negro whose house is perforated with hundreds of balls, says the victory was very complete on our side but our loss was fully as great as the enemy's he thinks even greater…the Yankees carried off great numbers of their dead while ours was all buried in the field." 7/28/62 – Witherspoon applies for a furlough to visit hospitals in Lynchburg at General Hood's office. He overhears General Hood say, "Grant it, of course…Let chaplains go to see the sick and wounded or anywhere else they want to go. I don't care, sir, where they go or how long they stay". Witherspoon wonders if this is an insult or compliment. On 8/28/62 – He is called to conduct a funeral service for a fallen officer. He goes to the hospital 'death house' with a group to retrieve the body and finds that during the night, "rats have eaten the face (of the deceased) so as to disfigure it most shockingly". 9/18/62 – Witherspoon goes to the War Department to inquire on a petition and is ushered into the Secretary's office. The individuals present include Senator Brown of Mississippi (who is "pacing up and down the floor"), an unnamed Senator from Kentucky, and the Speaker of the House, Mr. Bocock. On page 187 regarding Fredericksburg titled "Defending the Ford", Witherspoon gives a detailed account of the placement of the 42nd Mississippi at the fords of the Rappahannock River to prevent Union forces from crossing. He writes, "The fact was apparent that we were left without any support whatever. Neither cavalry or artillery were willing to support us…" Later, Witherspoon's regiment is sent to Goldsboro, NC, and the diary closes in December 1862 with an account of Witherspoon battling Typhoid fever (transcription summary courtesy Jay Warrick). 2nd item – 1875 autobiography penned by Chaplain Thomas Dwight Witherspoon (136 pages total). Witherspoon writes the autobiography from Petersburg, VA to his children. Insight is given to events that shaped Witherspoon's life and philosophy. Early in the diary, Witherspoon discusses the efforts of his wealthy uncle to leave provision upon death for all of his uncle's slaves to go to Liberia in Africa and set up a functioning society there. Unfortunately, it was not successful and may have influenced Witherspoons views on slavery for the remainder of his life. In his early years, Witherspoon's schooling was fairly extensive in Latin, Greek, and the Classics. He also shared sicknesses of youth including typhoid fevor and being bitten by a poisonous snake. He decided his senior year to seek the Gospel ministry as a profession. Regarding the Civil War, Witherspoon goes into depth on the causes of it and his views regarding the conflict. CONDITION: Both diaries in overall very good condition. It appears the 1862 diary may have incurred some water damage in the front of the diary and there appears to be traces of earlier writings, as this diary begins on page 35.