Camp 24 miles northeast
January 28, 1864
I received your kind letters dated 14. I was very glad to hear from home for I had been looking for a letter for a long time. I did not get Emerson’s letter you spoke of. I got all the letters you sent. I want you to give me the date of all my letters you get there after. I was well pleased with the letters the children sent to me. I want them to be good children and be smart for I will come home sometime and I want to find smart children. I am sorry to hear Jonty has got to be lazy for he told me he would be a good boy. I want you to get Wood if possible for it won’t do to let the land lay idle. I would like to be there a few days to make some arrangements for you but I can’t come before spring. I got the cakes and pies and apples and sausage you sent me. They were all good. I wish I had some more for we are only getting 2 ounces of bacon per day and 1 pint of meal not sifted. We have to shoot three men tomorrow for desertion. The whole Regiment is in an uproar now about it. I don’t have to shoot for I am no guard till tomorrow night. We have all sorts of rumors in camp but no reliable news. We are now 24 miles from Wilmington working on breastworks. I don’t know when we will go back to camp. We are in 15 miles of New River, not far from the Yankee line. Great confusion among the soldiers. All want peace not caring how so all can get home. Some think the Army will break to pieces in the Spring. All in favor of going back in the Union hoping there will be a convention. The home guard in Hanover County is called into service and about 800 men in Wilmington drilling. My mess crowd is all well and I will tell you who they are William Hood, Nathan W. Smith, W.A. Smith, Giles Etchison, Peter Allen, S.M. Foster, Robert Orrell, Peter Harman, and Hiram Speaks. We have all been in one mess for a long time. I have given you about all the new I know. I have received two numbers of the press. I send you all my love hoping I will see you all in peace before six months.
I am in fine health. Hoping you are all well.
Tell Emerson to write to me again. I want you to tell Copes to write to me and I want you to write every week and tell me who wrote your last letter. I could not make out the handwriting. I would read it very well. Do the best you can till I come. If you don’t get a letter from em again soon don’t be uneasy, for I shall try to do the best I can for myself. I still remain your loving husband and son.
T.C. Riddle to Sophia R. Riddle, Nancy Riddle, and my dear little children.
Source: Christopher Watford, ed. The Civil War in North Carolina: Soldiers’ and Civilians’ Letters and Diaries, 1861-1865, Volume 1.