May the 9 1863
I take my pen in hand to let you no that I am well at presant hopen when thes few lines comes to hand may find you in joyin the same blessings. I can in form you that I have not had nothing to eat in two days an almoast starved. I want you to bring mee a box of pervisions if you can for times is hard. No news is com. I com threw the battle safe an was not hirt. Maryan was not hirt. It was bad looken times. The trees and bushes was cut all to peses with balls and grap shot. Right soon and let me no how times is at hom at this time.
Dear mother I would like to be at hom if I cood. Well I never new what bad times was before in my life. Give all my friends my best respets that I can give them. I have not receved no money sence I was at home. I neede something to eat mity hard if I cood git it. Father if you can com er send mee and Mareyn a box please do.
So I must close for this time. Right soon as you git this letter. I still remain loving son tel death Thornton Sexton to Mr. Pryier Sexton. My love a true respts to my father and mother.
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). Original in Sexton letters, Duke University Special Collections.
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May the 18th 1862
Dear Sister Addie
As I have not wrote to you for some time, I thought that I would drop you a few to let you know that I am well and trying to do the best I can. We have hard living hier now, juts cornbread and Bacon & Pickel Pork. We can live most anyway to obtain the independence of our loved South, but I tell you it seams very hard. I saw yesterday for the first time three Yankees. They ware stout healthy looking men. They seamed to be in fine spirits. The way I came to see them was my self and other men was sent a bout ten miles below hier to get some tools where our men had bin tarring up the Rail Road. We met the 4th Cavalry where they was watching three horses. Therefore I had a chance to have a talk with them. They had a yankeys Drum Majers drum staff. I tell you it was a pretty thing.
I should like very much to see you all but it is rather uncertain when I get to see you all. But you may be shure as soon as I can get the chance. You wrote to me something about Drinking. You can rest very easy about that thing. I have not sean a man drink in six months. There is nothing hier to drink. I am trying to live the best I can under the present circumstances but I can tell you it is hard to live write in the armey. I have nothing more to write therefore I shal come to a close. Write soon to your friend and Brother.
Sources: Christopher Watford, ed. The Civil War in North Carolina: Soldiers’ and Civilians’ Letters and Diaries, 1861-1865, Volume 2. (Jefferson,NorthCarolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2003). Original in Mary Gash Papers,NorthCarolinaState Archives.
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