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Fever at New Orleans

Commander Bell, commanding the West Gulf squadron pro tem, has informed the Navy Department that a pernicious fever has appeared on board the United States steamers repairing at New Orleans from which several deaths have resulted. Some of the cases have been well defined yellow fever and others are recognized by the names of pernicious and congestive fever. The vessels which have suffered the most are those lying the longest off the city.

Source: Fayetteville Observer, October 12, 1863 as found on www.ncecho.org.

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Liquor Sellers

During the past six months one hundred forty seven licenses to keep ordinaries have been granted by the Hastings Court. Our citizens, from the above, may form some idea of the magnitude of the retail liquor trade in Richmond. One hundred and forty-seven men licensed to poison people. Enquirer

Source: Greensborough Patriot, September 24, 1863 as found on www.ncecho.org

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Tuesday 22nd [September 1863]

I have felt very gloomy today. Matt & I went up the peach orchard, got but few peaches as they are all gone or nearly so. We sit down by the old store house under a tree & staid there some time. I love to go on the hill where once stood our hotel but I feel so sad when I look at the ruins of the old house. I sewed some on my chemise today. Did not get it done. We had a big frost Monday morning, I saw some after I got up. The sun was an hour high. We had some frost this morning but ‘tis more pleasant today. Indeed I got quite warm as Matt & I were going up to the orchard. It was about 11 o’clock when we went & dinner was nearly ready when we got back. Harrie came over this evening. The bridge is not up yet, he forded. Betsey has been sick all day, wove but little.

** at the beginning of Cornelia’s diary, we learned that they operated a hotel and that it was destroyed by a fire, likely arson, in early 1861

Source: Diary of Cornelia Henry in Fear in North Carolina: The Civil War Journal and Letters of the Henry Family. Clinard, Karen L. and Russell, Richard, eds. (Asheville, NC: Reminiscing Books, 2008).

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The bloodied coat of Lt. Col. Thomas Ruffin of Johnston County, worn when he was mortally wounded in battle in Virginia Oct. 15, 1863, is a challenge for N.C. Museum of History Conservator Paige Myers. As a conservator she seeks to prevent further damage to textiles in her care even as the ravages of war are still evident.

During a live webcast September 10 from the N.C. Museum of History, you can get a behind-the-scenes look at a working textile conservation lab and see some of techniques Myers uses to conserve Civil War uniforms.

Some of the highlights of the program will include:

  • A demonstration of treatment for the blood-stained frock coat worn by Lt. Col. Thomas H. Ruffin, of Franklin County
  • A look at the moth eaten frock coat of Col. Dennis D. Ferebee of Camden County
  • Discussion on the various treatments that conservators use to preserve Civil War-era fabrics and uniforms
  • The chance to ask Myers questions about her work and textiles in the museum’s collection via email and live chat

The webcast will be held on Tuesday, September 10 from 6 to 7 p.m., and an Internet connection is all that is required to participate. To register, simply fill out the form at http://www.ncdcr.gov/CivilWarTextiles.

This program is the first in a series organized by the Connecting to Collections Project (C2C) of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, in cooperation with the N.C. Museum of History. Future programs will examine the conservation of flags and garments from civilian life during the Civil War. The entire series is made possible thanks to a federal grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

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Freedom Tenn

Washington Co. August 21st/63

Mr. G.F. Smathers

Dear Father I take my pen in hand to drop you a fiew lines which will in form you that I am well at the present time hoping theis fiew lines will cum safe to hand and find you and all the rest of the family well and doing well.  I received your leter yesterday and was glad to here from you but was truly sorey to here that you was sick. I hope that you will soon git well agin. You was rong in formed about me being cuming home at camp meeting. I hav giv my name to go with the cavalry and if I git in with them I will be at home sum times this fall to git me a horse. Father I wold like to see you the best in the world but I recon it is out of the question un less you git able to cum out here. I got the nuse that you got the money that I cent you by JP Justice. I got my pants and socks and unions that mother cent me. We are at a vary good place now but I don’t know how long we will git to stay here tho we may git to stay here a long time yet.

You rote that never wanted me to run away like sum of them has dun. Rest contented about that. I do not expect to ever run away unless times gits worse about sum thing to eat. Be fore I will parrish I leav if they hang me for when my life is gonewhat will this world be worth to me. I had as soon be hung or shot as to starv to death. I wish

If you hav money by you that you wold keep hit till I see Whiker. I git in the cavalry or not. I fi do I will hav to borey sum to by me a horse. So I must close. BGive my best respects to all my friends. Yours truly un till deathe. Tell Jane that I cold ent rite to her this time I had just started her old leter. Fare well father for this time.

Sgt. WJ Smathers to

Mr. GF Smathers

Source: Christopher Watford, ed. The Civil War in North Carolina: Soldiers’ and Civilians’ Letters and Diaries, 1861-1865, Volume 2. (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2003).

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upcoming webinar on conservation of Civil War uniforms!

Our NC Museum of History conservator will be sharing soe behind the scnees secrets! Sign up today! It’s free!

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Museum Monday

today will start “Museum Monday” …. I’ll feature museum collections at least weekly because objects can tell you as much as a document

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Williamsport, MD

July 8, 1863

My Dear Mother:

As I think there will be an opportunity of sending off a letter in a day or two, I believe I will drop you a few lines to let you know of some of my adventures since I last wrote you (Winchester). We have had rain every day since we left Winchester. I’ve been marching about ten to twenty miles a day. After the first days our squad of two hundred dwindled down to about fifteen men, most of whom were officers. A Lieutenant from Texas commanded us. We were bound to form squads of some strength to prevent “bushwackers” and the enraged citizens from attacking us on the road. Last summer was nothing at all to this one in Pennsylvania. Although I did not have the pleasure of going into Yankeeland with them, I was following them in the rear and could see the havoc they did. The squad I was in, the first night we got into Pennsylvania, killed a hog near a man’s house and then sent two men to him to borrow cooking utensils to cook it in, most of them would make the expression, “I reckon you got your rations out of the field.”

The Fourth of July we got in eight miles of the battlefield, all that day the citizens tried their best to prevent our going any farther. Told us we were certainly chickens if we went any farther, that the Yankees were on picket some little distance off in large force. We didn’t put any confidence in their chat but kept on. The last day of the three days’ big fight , we got within a few miles of the battlefield, when we met General Imboden’s Cavalry, the advance guard of our whole wagon train, who turned us back by orders from General Lee, ordering us at the same time to keep with the train, which did not stop until we arrived at this place, we (the wagon train) intended to ford the river here and again set foot on Virginia soil, but it has rained so much we have been waiting four days for the river to fall low enough to ford it. The Yankees attacked us here day before yesterday with the inteion of capturing us, but they were driven off. I can’t form the most distant idea what the army is going to do, whether they intend to stay this side of the river or go back into Virginia. There is not a day passes but you hear of fighting goin on. You don’t feel right unless you hear cannonading going on. The stillness doesn’t seem natural. There are five or six thousand Yankees here waiting for the river to fall to cross.

When I have more time I will write again. Captain Thompson was wounded slightly and has crossed the river. I don’t know with what intention. Buck Nolly was killed in our company.

Write to me as soon as you get this and let me hear from you all, direct to Richmond and I will get it. This letter is No. 3.

Walter

Source: Laura Elizabeth Lee, Forget-Me-Nots of the Civil War: A Romance Containing Reminiscences and Original Letters of Two Confederate Soldiers (St. Louis, Missouri: A.R. Fleming Printing Co, 1909).  See also Joel Craig and Sharlene Baker, eds., As You May Never See Us Again: The Civil War Letters of George and Walter Battle, 4th North Carolina Infantry  (Wake Forest, NC: The Scuppernong Press, 2010).

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Update on NC Troops, our regulars in these posts, and the upcoming Battle of Gettysburg….

 

Several of our “regulars” will be affected by the campaign that starts today in Gettysburg.  Lee and his Confederate forces will be engaging with Union forces for the next three days.  The aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg will play out in this blog over July.  Most every poster will be affected in some way, some will have deaths in their immediate families, others will report deaths to loved ones.  Just because bullets stop flying in early July  in the US’s bloodiest battle, doesn’t mean that the “battle” is over for the homefront.  Stay tuned to learn more.

 

One of our regular posters – William Dorsey Pender – will lead his men into battle today.

 

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Aprile the 7 [1863]

Clinton tennesee

 Anderson co

Dier wife I take the presant opertunitey to inform you that I am not well I hav ben very sick sinc I hav ben hier at clinton but I am beter than i hav bin  I received your leter dated  26 of March which gave me grate satisfaction to hier that you was well you rote to me that you was as fat as a pig I am not fat but as pore as a snake we dont get anuf to eat we only draw quarter rashens I hav drawn 66 dolers more money I hav thout of my littel sweet a many a time sinc I hav bin sick and wanted to be with you  I had a pain in my wrist til I cold not li but it is about well i hope I will soon bewell

Direct your leters to  Anderson co clinton . po tennssee

I want you to rite all about your things I want to know how your horse is giting along and what  you air going to do with him this summer and I want to hier about your cattel and hogs is giting along you dont rite half anuf nor half often anuf I want you to rit every week and I will tri to rit every week it is all the satisfaction that I see is when i can hier from you and all the folks  John is not well he has got a very bad cof  Saeptey I want  you to git to be a good little gal for I dont now whether I shal ever see you any more or not for I am a long ways from you and in a sickley place and if I dont get to see you any more on erth I want  you to prepair to meet me and littel Slocum in heven So I  must bring my leter to a close by saying that I remain your affectinate  husben until deth .

D W Revis to

Sereptia S revis

Source: Daniel W. Revis Papers, North Carolina State Archives and as found on www.ncecho.org

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