[Editor’s Note: If Goodrich wrote any letters during the time he served with the 6th Arkansas Infantry, none have been found. However, one letter written to Goodrich while he was in the Confederate service remains. It was written in Kentucky by C. Wright, another member of Company A, who was serving as the clerk at the time:]
February 4, 1862 Bell’s Station, Kentucky
Dear Goodrich. Your letter has been received and in reply I would advise you to inclose your certificate by mail to me and I will see it through. Also, if you like, you can empower me to draw your money and I will send it to you. You must do this in writing in regard to your gun and so forth. I would, if I were you, put myself to no trouble about them.
I thought you were discharged, for some time ago Joe Mallone came to me and enquired your age, given name, place of birth, &c. and said your papers for a discharge were being made out and I supposed you were discharged when [John] Sibley was. He cut 2 fingers off and got a discharge. Report says it was done intentional. One thing certain, he is a great coward. I was so certain you had gone home that I inclosed $5.00 to you addressed to Little Rock. If you do not wish to come up – though I would like to see you – if you will send me your certificate I will get it through for you. Also I will draw your pay if you wish.
Goodrich, I expect to remain in the army and I want you to let me have your India rubber blanket if you have no use for it. I have suffered a good deal. I have only one poor blanket and I can’t get anymore for love or money.
In regard to a school, I think if I were in your place I would try the old states if you wish a good salary. And if you will go to Georgia, you can get a good situation again. The climate will suit you better than in Arkansas. It is not half so changeable. If you do not come up [here] and conclude to go [to Georgia], I will give you a letter to Dr. [Samuel K.] Talmage when [you] come and [he] will do you more good than anyone else. If you conclude to send me your India rubber [blanket], you can send it by someone coming up. No news. I am well. Must close. The cars are off. Your friend, — C. Wright
In February 1862 while in or near Franklin, Tennessee, Goodrich wrote the following poem:
Letter: to Ralph Goodrich from C. Wright. Source: Box 1, Item 64, Ralph L. Goodrich Collection, Arkansas History Commission
Malone served in Company H (the “City Guards”) of the 6th Arkansas Infantry.
Unit records for Company A, 6th Arkansas Infantry, show John Sibley was discharged on 6 January 1862. He enlisted on 1 September 1861, the same day as Ralph, though he served briefly in the “Peyton’s Rifles” – a local militia unit formed very early in the war and disbanded by the summer of 1861.
Samuel K. Talmage was the President of Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia from 1841-1865.