This letter was written by 28 year-old John Bolling Cochran (1835-1910), the son of Seaborn Cochran (1804-1892) and Clara (“Clary”) Harris (1808-1864) of DeKalb County, Georgia. He married Mary Elizabeth Shaw (1846-Aft1910) in November 1866 in Henry County, Georgia.
John B. Cochran served in Company E, 7th Georgia Infantry. The regiment was raised in May 1861 by recruiting its members from several different counties, including DeKalb County. The 7th Georgia participated in the Battle of Bull Run and in April 1862 was placed under the command of “Tige” Anderson until the end of the war. At Gettysburg, the 8th Georgia lost 172 of 312 soldiers they took into the battle, most of them in the wheat field in Cemetery Ridge on 2 July 1863. This letter was written at the time the regiment was going on detached service with Longstreet.
John wrote the letter to his cousin Jane Hardman (1840-1905), the daughter of John Hardman (1793-1879) and Mary (“Polly”) Cochran (1798-1871).
John mentions the “Powells” of his company. There were several soldiers by that name in Company E: James Powell, George Powell, John J. Powell, and Leonard C. Powell.
Addressed to Miss E. J. Hardman, Stone Mountain P. O., Georgia
Camp near Richmond, Virginia
March 6th 1863
Miss E. J. Hardman
I take the pleasure this morning to write you a few lines to inform you that I am well and I am in hopes that these few lines will reach you soon and find you enjoying the same blessing and the rest of the family also.
Cousin, I have nothing much to write more than I should be very glad to hear of the war ending, but I don’t hear no talk of peace in this country. We are camped four miles from Richmond on the south side of [the] James River and I suppose that we will go farther south in a short time toward Petersburg somewhere about North Carolina.
Cousin, I would like very well to be back in old Georgia for I can enjoy myself a great deal better there than I can here in camps. I should like very well to be at another candy party if it was in my reach. Jane, the Powells boys is well.
Cousin, you must speak a good word to all the girls for me and Miss Molley especially. Cousin, I never expect to see you all anymore until the war ends, if I am spared to live till that time, and I am in hopes that I shall be spared to see you all one more time. Cousin, you must write soon and write all the news. Give Uncle and Aunt my best respects.
Goodbye to you all. — J. B. Cochran