Camp of the 25 Reg Nc Toops
March 16th 1864
Dear Sister I take the pleasure of dropping you a few lines to let you know that I am well at this time truly hoping these few lines may safely reach and find you all well. I received your kind letter by Robert yesterday. Erwin brought on and one by mail so I will answer them both at once. Erwin and Robert is well and all the Smiths are well. I was sorry to find you was so out of heart. You must cheer up. You might want your tricks close. You thought I was joking last spring when I told you about the Boys the sweetning out of a ginger cake tho it is so. We are in our old Camp at newbern. Erwin got here on the 4th. He sed George was coming soon. I will tell you about the nigrs.
Well we first went down to Norfolk va or we went in 10 miles of it and took some prinser but they was white men and we got lots of Bacon on our salt and then we went to Suffolk and there we routed the negroes. We killed some of them and they killed 2 men of ours – 1 the 24th and the other 49th. They was some of them negros got in a house and they shot till the last. They sat the house on fire and they staid in till they burnt up 5 of them.
We had the hardest kind of marching for 17 days but we are resting. You said you want to see men and all at home. You cant want it worse than I as Spring is ready to start. I close I will write soon and you must. So nothing more at this time.
From your brother
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 Matt Love Papers, Duke University Special Collections Library.