Camp Burnett Letter

    First Kentucky "Orphan" Brigade 


Delightful Situation -- Picturesque Scenery -- Fourth Kentucky Regiment -- Col. Trabue --
Troops Pouring In -- The Courier, &c.


Camp Burnett, Sept. 4

Editors, Louisville Courier:

   Thinking perhaps, that you would like to hear from us, I seat myself to give a brief description of our camp, and how we are getting along, &c. We are encamped in a beautiful grove, three miles from "Camp Boone," and one mile from the Kentucky line, on the land of Capt. Meriwether, in Montgomery county, Tennessee. Our camp is on high and dry ground, in a very healthy locality, and beautiful and picturesque scenery around. I think that this portion of Tennessee is the prettiest in the State; the citizens wealthy, and their hospitality unbounded; in fact, we would not ask for better quarters, for we have everything we want and to spare, Lincolnite lies to the contrary notwithstanding. We are forming the Fourth Kentucky under the command of Col. R. P. Trabue, and a more gallant body of boys I never saw -- fine, healthy looking fellows, and braver men never drew a sword or handled a musket; and Lincoln's minions may tremble, for if they ever meet this regiment it will be a day they will regret but once. The regiment is composed of "gentlemen, " and they are the pride and boast of the surrounding country, and I know that it would do your heart good to see their superior bearing as soldiers, their morality as men, and their high toned sentiments and decency as KENTUCKIANS -- This is no vain puff, but the common talk of every lady and gentleman who visit us.

   We have at the present time about one thousand men, and more daily arriving. -- They come in so fast from different portions of the State that we can hardly supply them with tents, and I dare say that in two days more we will have a full and complete organized regiment of 1,200 men. Where we will be ordered is to us unknown. Our officers keep their own counsels, and their intentions are only known to them.

   The men unanimously are highly pleased with their situation, and anxious for a brush with the "Northern vandals." We think that we could render an account of them that would be satisfactory to all our friends in old "Kentuck."

   The finest company on the ground, is that commanded by Capt. JAS. INGRAM, of Henderson, Ky., known as the "Lee Guards." Capt. Nuckols, of Barren, has also a very fine company.

   We are highly pleased with Col. TRABUE. He is a clever gentleman -- courteous and kind to every private in the ranks.

   We get the "Courier" here every day from the cars. It is a great favorite with all the boys, and if we miss a copy, it is a sad disappointment -- long may it wave -- and fearlessly assert the truth as it has hitherto done. If any thing of interest occurs in camp, you will hear from me.

Very respectfully, yours,


(from the Louisville Daily Courier, 17 September 1861, p. 4; copy courtesy Jimmie Epling)



This letter was probably written by Pvt. George W. Sheets, Co. B, 4th Kentucky Infantry. Camp Burnett was established in mid-August 1861, for the organization of the 4th Kentucky Infantry under Col. Robert P. Trabue of Adair County. The regiment was officially organized on 13 September 1861 with 806 officers and men.

Capt. James Ingram’s company was Co. B, and Capt. Joseph P. Nuckols commanded Co. A.

For further info, see our article on Camps Boone and Burnett.


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