Salem N.C. July 26th, 1861
Last night I felt like sitting down to write, but thinking that I ought not to do so when I felt as depressed as we all did, I refrained.
Although we have heard that the 11th regiment was not engaged in the battle on Sunday, still every one is anxious for private letters, as we do not know what may have happened. The mail is watched and it is not fifteen minutes after it is opened before it is known all over town who has letters from Manassas. Night before last when I received yours it was reported that I had had one and had heard bad news. I had scarcely finished reading it when several persons came to see if it was true. I was shocked to hear the reports and most happy that I was able to say that I had received no news at all from the seat of war.
Lieut. Julius Vogler’s letter to his father came up the same evening stating that the Regiment had been in the Bull Run fight but none of the members of our companies had been wounded. Last night’s mail we were almost confident would bring some letters written after Sunday, but not one word. In addition to this disappointment father read your letter for us, saying that you feared you could not come up before you were ordered off. We had expected so certainly to see you once more before leaving (if but for one day) that we still cannot give up the idea.
I do not believe father has answered either of your letters. He reads them with much interest, but is so much excited that he can do little except read the papers. He coughs a good deal, but I think that his cold is better, and the cough is mostly nervous. I notice that when we hear anything new, and are speaking of it, it is more frequent. With this exception his health is about as usual.
Last night we had the pleasure of entertaining Major Furgeson, Quartermaster of the C.S.A. He came to make a contract about cloth and left again this morning after a late breakfast.
I went to prayer meeting yesterday morning, and Mr. Robert de Schweinitiz offered a very good prayer, and in it rendered thanks for the victory we have won. I was equally well pleased this morning. The meetings are well attended, and I hope they will continue. It is very pleasant to unite in our prayers, for there now is a cord of real sympathy and our petitions are burdened with the same cry for relief. I thought this morning I had never before seen so many pale and anxious faces. I hope the suspense of the present may be relieved tonight. Oh, the days are intolerably long.
I agree with you in your preference for your former name. I do not like the idea of changing that too; things change so rapidly that we aught to strive to retain whatever we can, to remind us of the time when we could call something our own from one day to the next.
Source: Shaffner Papers, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh.