Camp near Richmond
23 May 1862
Mr. John A. Gibson, Dear Brother,
I this morning have the pleasure of writing you a few lyns to inform you that I am still in the land of the living. I have not hird from you for some time. I haven’t received a letter from home for two months. I would have wood have written to you some time ago but I lost my nap sack on the march and I had no paper to write on. We had a very heavy march and we marched about 60 miles. We marched from Yorktown to Richmond or near Richmond. We are within two miles of town. The Yankees followed us for ten or twelve miles tho they are some 76 miles from this place we all came thro safe and supposed youse have hird that I was taken prisoner in the march but that was false. I was sick when we left Yorktown. I went in before with the wagons and got lost form them for five or six days. I had taken the wrong road and went ahead of the wagons. Nat Raymir got a letter and he told me that he hird that I was taken prisoner. I don’t know who it was that sent such nuse as that home.
I saw James W. Gibson the other day. He was well at that time there Regiment is Camped close here. They are now on pickett guard day before yesterday. I met them going out for three days then there will by some other regiment. We have to go ten miles on pickett. This is marching back and forwards. I cant tell how long this will last. I hope it may not last long I hope. How soon peace may be made and we may all get home. This marching thro the mud there is no fun in it certain and sure. We haven’t any tents now our blankets is all the shelter now . I lost all of my close and was not able to carry my napsack and it was put in the wagon and the roads was so muddy that they had to throw the knapsacks out. John A. I want you to write to me soon as you can and let me know where Hugh S. Gibson is and where Will is. I have been looking for a letter from home for some time. I have wrote two letters home since I received any. You will please write soon.
I remain the same your Brother Joseph F. Gibson.
Direct as before only to Richmond Va.
(PS) I must write a few lyns to father and mother. Dear Father and Mother I will endever to try to write a few lyns to youse to let youse now that I am still on southern soil. I can inform you that my helth is tolerable good at this time tho I have ween unwell for some time. I hope this may find youse all in good helth. I suppose youse that the Yankees had taken me tho that is not the case yet I must draw to a close as my paper is out, youse must write soon to Richmond. I remain the same your son Joseph F. Gibson.
Sources: Christopher Watford, ed. The Civil War in North Carolina: Soldiers’ and Civilians’ Letters and Diaries, 1861-1865, Volume 1. (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2003). Original in the Catawba County Historical Association, transcription courtesy of Mrs. Addie Cloninger.