Zollicoffer April 1st 1863
Miss Mary A.L.
I wrote before I left home and thought that I would have received an answer before this time. But I suppose that it has been misplaced as many things are done these times. I haven very anxious to hear from you for some time. I would have visited you before I left Haywood if I had not been ordered off some sooner than I expect. I received a note from you desiring me to come down to your Quarterly meeting which request I was sorry not to fulfill from several considerations. We have been at this front near a week and we have a cold time of rain, snow, sleet and hail. It is colder here than in N. Carolina or I have got so that I cannot endure the cold.
We had a fast day here the other day and preaching. A good many country people were out and among them many fine ladies. This is the greatest place for ladies that I have seen in East Tenn, and I believe they would all like to marry if they had a good opportunity, but whether they will get that or not I cannot tell. The citizens here say that Gen. Carter will attack us soon, but I do not think he will be over very son, although we will keep a close watch out. If they do come we Conscripts will do the best we can.
I would like to know very well how you are getting along with your school, and if you still like the occupation. Let me know how all the girls on H are doing and whether they have got tired of the war or not. If not, tell them to rest contented a little longer. Let me know how G.W. McCracken and his Octave is getting along. There is a great deal more fun at a party in Buncombe that laying in camp at Zollicoffer or any other place.
I do not hear of any fighting at this time, though several big fights are in expectation. If they have to fight, hope they will fight soon, so that we may soon know our doom. It is very uncertain whether the war closes in two years or not. If our arms are successful this spring the war may close in six months. If not, we may prepare for two years longer and against that time many will never see their homes nor families. There is a time when there will be peace, though we may be ruined and I hope to live to see the worst of evil, though it may not be very pleasant and there may be nothing worth living for. Both sections of the country will become bankrupt and insolvent. I will quit this subject and leave it for your secret meditation.
Write soon and let me know all the good and bad news in your country. It is very cold today and I shall have to close by saying that I am still your absent but true friend.
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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