June 13 1862
It is with great pleasure that I again have the opportunity of writing you a few lines to let you know that I am well and hope that you are the same. It has been a long time since I have written or received a letter, and I doubt very much whether this will reach you. I have been in some close places since you heard from me last but so far I have escaped unhurt. At Winchester on the 25th of May we had a severe fight, but it did not last long. Our Regt had a part of only fighting three Yankee Regts, and out of about 300 about 100 were killed and wounded then for the first time I seen my comrades fall around me. Lt. Colonel Pepper was shot through both hips. On Sunday the 1st day of June, we marched out to Strasburg expecting another large fight, but there was only a little skirmishing and at night we commenced falling back until we reached this side of Harrisonburg. We do not know where the Yankees are now but we know they are not far off.
We are not very far from Staunton at present but I don’t know where we’ll be tomorrow this time. I believe that General Jackson is one of the keenest generals in the south and I know that he is the most successful one, but he is terrible hard on his men. He very often marches them day and night but he always accomplishes his aim. I think that I shall come home on the last day of next month according to the Conscript Act, I being under 18.
I must bring my letter to a close. Don’t be uneasy about me if you don’t hear from me for we seldom have a chance to write. Direct your letter to Staunton to the 7 Brigade. Give my best to Mag and all the children and tell them that I should like to hear from them. I remain your affectionate son.
Sources: Christopher Watford, ed. The Civil War inNorthCarolina: Soldiers’ and Civilians’ Letters and Diaries, 1861-1865, Volume 1. (Jefferson,NorthCarolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2003). Original in Clewell Letters,NorthCarolinaState Archives.