Camp near Fishersville Verginia
June the 11 1864
Dear father and mother
I take my pensil in hand to drop you a fiew lines which will inform you that I am well truly hoping thiese fiew lines will cum safe to hom and find you all well. I received a letter from you dated April the 1. I wold hav rote before now but I have not had the chance. I can inform you that I hav bin in two fites one at Carter and one in the valley of Verginia. And it was a hard fite. We got in at six oclk in morn and fought unitll two then we was bound to retreat. Hit is an offee cene. The Yankey loss was sed to be six hundred. J.H. Smathers is well. J.D. Smathers is well. I will give you a list of the kild and wounded of our company. V.H. Williams & J.W. Bugg kild and Lieutenant Smathers & Lieutenant Chavre E.D. Sharp wounded. John Red Sleeve missin. We don’t know whether kild or capchered.
We are now behind our brest works looking for a norther fight. We has bin in line of battle for two days. The numbers we are contending with is twenty three thousand and they will fite if you call cuming close anuff to club guns over each others heds anything! Wold like to see all of oyou again but I recon there is no chance yet a while. Tell Merion to cumn back and help us whip them out so we can all cum hom. I must close. Write soon
Yours trulely until death,
Sgt. W.J. Smathers
[Smathers served in Company C, Love’s Regiment, Thomas’ Legion]
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).