John L. Perley papers 1864
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Perley's three letters to his wife, Jenny (Jane), are each outstanding. Each has its highlights, describing some of the more sensational aspects of a soldier's experience. In the first, Perley describes of the brutal execution of three men who had been captured while attempting to desert. In the second, he provides details on the failed expedition up the Ashepoo River; while in the third, he provides a stirring account of skirmishes during the raid toward Baldwin, Fla. In this last, Perley includes a description of the close-range killing of a Confederate officer who refused to surrender peacefully: "I asked him to surrender every time before i fired and he only threw down his armes after he had five bullett holes threw him from my revolver. I was sorry to have to kill him but it was his life or mine and he fell and I did not ... I should be proud of the honor that has bin bestowed upon me for what I have done if I was only happy but I am not."