Jan the 24th
Carolina Co. Va
I seat my self this evening to drop you a few lines to let you no that I am in the land of the living yet and in very good health at this time and I hope that these few lines may find you injoying the like blessing and find the family all well. I hav no news of interest to write more than there was some heavy cannonading yesterday in the direction of orange C.H. though I hav not heard any thing from Co. A and one of Co. C deserted last Monday night and I sopose went to the yankeys.
They had took an express last night a week ago and in thes fight broke one man leg and struck another on the head with a pole so that they had to send two to the hospital and the rest were in the guard house waiting to be court marcheld and would hav been severely punished but did not wait for there trile.
The fourth reg. of N.C. cavalry will start back to NC tomorrow morning. We hav very fine and warm wether at present. It makes me think a bout being at home to go a corting and squeeze some of the girls for I no that they would like to be squeezed a little. We hav plenty to eat such as bread and meat but would like to hav something better.
I received a letter from J.E. two weeks ago. He wrote that his health was very good and has duty but lite which he had to do. You can tell mother that I got the pair of socks which she sent with D.M. Harkey. My hand which I had burnt is just about well so that I can write a little again.
I would like to no if the girls goes corting as this is leap year and there year to go see the boys. I think if I was at home they would shorely come to see me but if the girls will go to see the boys they will have to go some distance be fore they will find them. And so I think if they hav any boys at home they would be better to hold on to them for the boys out here are getting pretty bad.
I must come to a close for this time for I do not no if my letter will interest you a nuff to read all of it or not. I remain your brother as ever.
J.A. Smith to M.C. Smith
Source: Christopher Watford, ed. The Civil War in North Carolina: Soldiers’ and Civilians’ Letters and Diaries, 1861-1865, Volume 1. Original in the JA Smith Papers, Duke University Special Collections Library.