Camp, Fourth NC
Near Orange Court House
My Dear Mother,
I received your letter dated February 21st, Friday, and I should have answered it yesterday, but for the want of time. Our Brigade has about one mile of plank road to ditch and grade and there is a very heavy detail from the regiment every day. The whole regiment is on duty every day and will be for eight or ten days more. Those are are not on guard at at work on the roads. I came off guard this morning and will be on fatigue duty tomorrow until we make some move. We got orders this morning to cook up two days’ rations and keep it on hand until further orders. I can’t imagine what it is for. We have had so much nice weather for the past week or two. I think our General anticipates an attack. I don’t like the idea of leaving our winter quarters this time of the year. We are bound to have some very severe weather yet. The day Cullen left, it snowed snow about two or three inches deep and before the next day at 12 o’clock all traces of it had disappeared. It is warm enough at present to be without a fire. All are busy cooking up rations for fear we may have to leave. I haven’t cut the ham you sent by Cullen, yet, and I have about half the middling which Mr. Christman brought me. I have one or two potatoes left yet. If we stay here until Spring, I think I shall have enough to last me. If you have an opportunity, I should like to have about a peck of peas. They go farther and do a man more good than anything that I know of.
I wish you would send my copy of Shakespeare; it’s a brown colored back, with my name in it. Wrap it up and send it by May Warren, and ask him to give it to Pat Wooten; he promised to bring it for me. The needles you sent me are the very sizes I wanted. I am very much obliged to you for them. You need not send me any more paper and envelopes until I let you know, as I have five or six on hand and I want to use them up first. I have not received the letter yet that General Battle undertook to deliver for sister. His Brigade has been back for some week or more. Give my love to all the family, and believe me, as ever,
Your sincere and affectionate son
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).