Archive for the ‘Hadley Family’ Category

Camp Gordon’s Brigade

Dec 30th 63

Near Guinea Station, VA

Dear Father,

I received your kind and interesting letter of the 21st inst. was glad to hear that all was well &c. Since the death of my esteem Brother – John, I am more anxious than formerly to hear from home and kind relatives & friends there. Never do I expect to find another such friend or Brother, while I remain in the Army. Many times while on long and fatiguing marches we used to divide the last cracker or bit of meat with each other; it made no difference how small or mean his rations was he would never eat it without being satisfied I had some. And I always divided with him. I miss him very much, but I know it is useless to wish him back again. He was kind generous and agreeable to all who knew him, and was universally loved by his company and acquaintances in the Army. He remarked only a few days before he was killed “that he felt like it was time for him to be wounded or killed; as he had been in so many engagements & never received any wound.”

I cheerfully join you in “thankfulness to God for my preservation from bodily harm in many engagements while many of my Comrades have fell upon the field of carnage, while contesting with the enemy in defence of our homes friends and Liberty.” Don’t give yourselves any further uneasiness about me. I feel prepared to meet my fate whatever it may be. I shall indevor to do my duty to my country; and my God, and I hope to be victorious; and ere long arrive safe at home. We are all as well as common at present. I regret to learn that two of our company have died from disease who went home on detail after horses in Nov. Thomas Howell of Wake Co. and Francis M. Brown of Chatham are the two.

I have heard nothing from JM Hadley since I last wrote to you. He was then near Mortons Ford with his regt. that is about thirty miles from here. I would like to see him but we are not allowed to pass more than five miles from camp. We certainly do have very hard masters in the Army. They equal or exceed taskmasters of the Isrealites. But I hope there is a time not far distant when me will again be upon equality.

I sent by Mr. May John’s pistol overcoat & several other little tricks. Which I suppose you have rec’d ere this.

I presume you recollect that I wrote to you about 2 months before he was killed that I had bought his horse for $300.00 and paid him that amount. He kept the money a few days and handed it back to me to keep yet (subject to your orders). His detail came approved a few days after he was killed. But; alas, too late for him to enjoy it. I asked the privilege of going home on it but was denied on account of being an officer. Gen. Gordon gave it to one of his couriers. And he went home after a horse on it.

When old Rock feel down in the charge at Middlesburg, Va and crippled himself John proposed to swap with me for a sorrel maire that I had captured, which I agreed to that he might be mounted and go on to Pennsylvania with us. But before we reached Gettysburg Pa she lost show shoes & got lame by marching so far on turnpike roads. When he captured the Bay horse, I bought, he turned the mare loose and left he there & told me to keep her or sell old Rock in her stead, which I have done for $250.00.

I desire that you hold my grain and brandy until you see or hear from me again. You need not dispose of any of it unless Mr. B. Carter calls on you. If he does please furnish him.

I still hope to get home soon but I can’t name any time when I expect to be there. This leaves me very well no news of interst all quiet about here.

Your Ob’t Son

Wm. C. Hadley

(Please write soon)


Pencil notes in margins:

We have had a rather dull Christmas. Some have enjoyed themselves very well. I have better than I expected too. Give my love to the family.

Please excuse my changeable ink. I have to keep it … to make it black  all the good goes to the bottom. Good Bye. WCH


[Separate memo enclosed in letter]

Acct of Bro. John’s Burial and effects

Nov 9th 1863

1 Coffin & Plank                                                $29.00
1 Jacket & Pants 12 ½                                     25.00
1 Pr Glove                                                               5.00
Board for detail at Orange CH                      12.50
Cr by cash in Pocketbook                                                                              $30.00
                Drawed from Q. Master for Mo. Pay & clothing                     79.50
                Cash in hand for Bay horse                                                           300.00
1 Order on C. Basel Poe from Alois Biddle                                                  43.75

There is now 8 days pay due him which you can draw at Richmond Va he had assigned the Rolls up to Nov 1st before he was killed & I rec’d the money and have it now.

He is charged with a Saddle Bridal & Halter and I have returned his in the place of the ones he drawed. I have his Saddle pockets is all I have except what is herein accounted for.

Your Ob’t Son

Wm. C. Hadley

He had only 1 Pistol & I returned his sabre & his gun was lost where he was killed

W.C. Hadley


 Source: Hadley Collection, Chatham County Historical Association.

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Stephensburg, Va

July 26th 1863

Dear Parents,

This note will inform you that we arrived here last night. Myself John & the company has all returned to this place except 6 who were wounded & 4 that was captured. Messrs Womble Harmon Clark & all your acquaintences have got through the trials hardships & privations & reached this place in safety. While 200 of our Regt has been killed wounded & captured.  Some of our prisoners who were captured at Middleburg Va. have been exchanged & report that Col. Evans is in Washington City his wound is improving Lt. Col Gordon who has been commanding our Regt on this raid has been promoted to Col of the 2nd NC Cavalry in place of Col Williams who was killed at Battle of Brandy Station. I saw JM Hadley at Martinsburg Va he was well & getting on finely  they were moving off all the wounded that was able to travel  he expects to remain till they got better or died.  Cousin WC Hornaday was there under his charge but he was able to move  Our Army is falling back toward Richmond  every thing is very quiet about here  I feel like I was almost home since I came back to in the vicinity of Culpepper CH. I understand Ge. Mead has been superceded by Gen Grant because he did not bag Gen. Lee’s Army while in Md & Penn. Much rioting is said to be going on in the North. I hope something of this sort may help to bring the Yankees to terms of peace. I must close as I am ordered off on Piquet, down on the Fredericksburg Road. We are now about 30 miles from F– & 7 from Culpepper CH

John is quite well & very proud of his Yankee horse Pistol & equipment. Give my regards to the family & enquiring friends. I will send this by Lt. McClenahans boy is going home on business.

I red our kind favor fo the 5th a few days ago was very glad to learn all was well. Today is Sunday but there is not rest for a soldier.

Your obt son,

Wm C. Hadley

Direct to Richmond Va.


 Source: Hadley Collection, Chatham County Historical Association.

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Camp near Martinsburg VA

July 15th 1863


Dear Parents,

I wrote you a note 4 days ago information you of our condition & whereabouts but before I had an opportunity to send it over the River I was ordered back to Heggerstown, MD with 40 dismounted men of our Regt. who had been put under my charge as sharpshooters  we marched back Sunday & early Monday morning we were sent in advance we remained in this position until about sunset when the enemy charged upon us with inft & cav  we fell back firing as we went till we got to our support when we poured a volley into them killing & wounding many of them & driving them back. Our loss was very slight  no one killed & 6 wounded. We had good protection. Gen. Lee waited at Heggerstown 4 days for the enemy to attack him but he had a chosen position & they made no attack only on the flank where the cavalry was guarding. On Monday night our army fell back to the River again & waided over next morning. It was a little more than waist deep.

John is here in camp enjoying good health but very much fatigued as will as all the balance. Our Regt is so near exhausted that it reports only 200 men for duty. Before the rear of our army was over the River the Yankees were on the bank shooting them in the water killing & wounding several. They made no attempt to cross & follow us. Our army is now falling back towards Winchester, Va.

Your son

W.C. Hadley


I arrived at this place a few minutes ago found JM Hadley here in charge of the Hospital & enjoying good health &c. Also Cousin WC Hornaday here under his charge. He is very unwell but is able to walk about. I saw EH Hornaday cince the fight he came out safe but nearly all his Col. & Regt. was killed wounded & taken prisoners. David Roger was not hurt. I heard & wrote home he was killed. There is a great many wounded here now which must fall into the hands of the enemy. They follow us for Gen. Lee has ordered it to be evacuated. Our Regt. is on its way to Leetown & I must close & fall in with them.

Your Son Wm. C. Hadley

 Source: Hadley Collection, Chatham County Historical Association.


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Camp 4th Reg NC S Troops

9 o’clock Sunday night

Feb 15th 1863

Dear Mother

The time since I left your roof seems very long & I assure you that I have passed through many dangers both seen & unseen since we met – yet through the interventions of Divine Providence in answer to the Prayers of devoted & Pious Parents I am still spared – amid friends & with the best of health. Blessings for which I owe the deepest gratitude of my heart – I am truly grateful too for the fine health of my little homeless family. I am under special obligations to you & Father – sister & all for your many kind offices in rendering them comfortable & happy whilst I am compelled to be absent serving my Country in the course of Liberty & Independence. I often think how very fortunate I am in having Kind Parents where I could seek shelter when driven by the Vandals from home – When I see the suffering & misfortunes of the people of this & other parts of Va – where it has been my lot to travel since I came to this Army.

I am still in Camp in the very spot where Father spend the night with me – we have been having abundance of Snowey and Rany weather & the roads are now in an almost impassable condition. Indeed so very muddy that the Forage masters cannot supply us with anything but a little musty corn for our horses. Though I trust they will soon be better when we can get some [long] food – Bill stands the service pretty well.  He is looking we as most of Army stock – we are getting tolerable plenty to eat – we get flour at 8 ½ c a bb – Bacon at 4 c a [illeg], port at 11 ¼,  Beef fresh and poor 13 ½ cts bb.  We get as much sugar as we want to use at 13 ½ cts bb. When we get anything else it is outside. Butter $2.0 bb – Eggs 1/25 Doz. Lard 5 bb Candles 1.0 bb etc. etc. Of course these later articles we rarely get. Quite a No. of our Offiers & men are absent on furlough: several are resigning on the plea of ill health. Great many of our men who were wounded at Seven Pines are returning many of them mamed for life. I am having quite a no. transferred to Hospital duty & discharged. I am still tenting with Lieut Hofflins our Commissary.  [illeg] Lawson who has been with me since the 20th Jany is now absent on furlough – will return about 24th inst.

His absence leaves me in charge both of the Regi & Brigade Hospital which keeps me very busy thought he health of the Reg is very good and the Brigade tolerable – Soon as Lawson returns I shall send in an application for leave of absence unless a fight is expected to come off very soon. If it gets through I shall hope to see you all early in March – I wrote to the Boys last week at Kinston. I’ve heard nothing from them since I saw Pa – I’ve heard from Lizzie only once since Christmas – Then sister was in Orange.  Is she still in Orange? I think they treat me very mean. I write them weekly. If you see Mrs. Alston you will remember my Regards to her and tell her I saw Joe a few days since. He is in the 12th NC near my camp. He was very well – I’m going to see him soon. Like most of us he is getting tired of war.  I have no war news of Special interest. We are waiting for “Fighting Joe” to come over when we will take them in. Gen’l Ramseur has taken command – Col. Grimes is absent at home Remember me kindly to Mr Nettles & family & to E Fike & all Friends

From your affectionate son,



Tell Pa

Write soon


Source: Hadley Collection, Chatham County Historical Association.


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Camp Long, NC Dec. 31st 1862

W.P. Hadley

Dear Father

Christmas has been a dull week with us on account of sickness, suffering and death in the camp.

On the 28th inst. all the officers and the effective men started for Kinston and I was ordered to take command of the camp and [torn] men about 100 of which are sick and you may guess it was a dreary time with so much sickness.  Jas Sidney Henderson and some others from others co’s have died since they left. The remainder of the sick from our company are improving. But several belonging to the Regt. are bound to die soon.  I heard from John [torn] last [torn] day he was well and [torn] north side of Neuse. Lieut Ellington and 19 others [torn] said they were [torn] well for [torn]

It is rumored in camp this morning that the Yankee Gen Foster is leaving Newbern, his supposed destination being Weldon via Greenville and Tarboro. But the report is not creadeted here  My health is improving slowly. We are having very cold disagreeable weather here now. We don’t know whether we will move the entire camp to Kinston or [torn] the commander of our Regt [torn] did not know on the 28th inst. there is a considerable amount of ordinance & commissary stored here now & it will be a great deal of trouble to move them. But if I learn the Yankees are coming in this direction I will do all that I can to get them out of their reach. Dr. Dunlap told me yesterday that Sid Henderson was held [torn] any case he ever [torn] him when he [torn] he lived until Tuesday [torn] I started his remains [torn]

I feel under many and [torn] obligations to you for all the kind favors shown my little family during my absence. You can dispose of my pork &c as you think proper. Please excuse this hastily written note [torn] answers immediately.

Your affectionate son

Wm. C. Hadley

Source: Hadley Collection, Chatham County Historical Association.

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Camp near Summit Station, Va

December 18th 1862

Dear Father

I write to inform you that the fight is over and I am safe. The enemy camped at 2 or 3 miles below Fredericksburg Thursday night nor Friday night. Our Division marched all night from Port Royal and went into line of battle on the Fredericksburg Heights and Saturday at 6 o’clock were exposed to shot and shell –supporting batteries. All day during the fight we lay in line – from Saturday morning till Tuesday all the time within less than 1 mile of the enemy who were in full view all the time under cover of batteries planted on the opposite heights. For 48 hours after the repulse of the enemy two immense armies lay within cannon shot of each other and yet the enemy did not see fit to renew the fight. From our lines I saw with my own eyes thousands of Yankees immediately in our front. Tuesday night they recrossed the River & skedaddled. During the engagement we lost in our reg. 4 killed  and 20 wounded from shot and shell. We lost a gallant Capt J.H. Carter of Washington, NC whose head was entirely blown away by a shell. I sent his remains to Richmond to Mr. Palmer who had it decently interred. We succeeded in getting all our wounded and getting them off to Richmond in due time. Tuesday morning I rode over the battlefield – saw hundreds of Yankee dead yet unburied. Our troops were engaged in burying them. I saw many relicks some of which I saved and will bring when I come to NC. Jake made quite a haul got splendid pr. of shoes and 2 blankets. I visited a splendid mansion near the river used by the enemy for a hospital which they left in a ruined condition shooting or breaking everything. From the papers you can learn much of the battle that I haven’t time to write. I am writing on my knee by an open fire and we expect snow tonight. I’ll send my letter to the office in the morning with some sic. Tell Lizzie I rec’d an old letter of Oct. 26th today. I’ll write soon again. Give my love to all the family and write soon.

Address Fredericksburg, Va.



Tell Lizzie I’ve heard nothing from Emil but will look after him.


Source: Hadley Collection, Chatham County Historical Association.


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Camp Long neare Garysburg, NC

December 11, 1862

Dearest Mother,

I take my seat to drop you a few lines to inform you that I am very well. Except a bad cold I have enjoyed spended health since I left home I have not been on the sick list yeat but there is not onley two that can say it. They are Isac Womble & Van May. I have fatened up so much that all my clothes are guitting to tite expecelly my pants. The uniform pants that I brought from home are same to small and they are guitting pretty thin and the other pare that I brought from home are also to small but I can make tout to ware them. I am going to send the pare that Cis brought home for they are so tite on me that I cant ware them.

Mother I want you to make me a pare of large thicker pants just as soon as you can and send them by someone passing. Please make them larger than ever you made any before for if I keep fattening I don’t know what I shall doe for clothes. Cis is improving fast from the measles he has bought a trunk and it will hold his & my clothes and I am going to send Phebie’s valice home by Frate.

The health of our Company is very bad. The measles & mumps are still among our boys. Onley two has had the mumps but no doubt from what we will all have it. I am staying the Lieut tent with Cis and Liuet Elington. There is know news about this solitary spot of Christendom for there is nothing but a old nasty camp.

Give my love to all enquiring friends and keep a large portion for yourself. Tell Sallie & Lizzie to write to me soon and give me all the news. Please excuse this badly spelt and written note.

I remain your son until death

John W. Hadley to his Mother

Please make my pants soon


Source: Hadley Collection, Chatham County Historical Association.

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