Posts Tagged ‘Camp Holmes’

Fort Holmes

October 1st [1864]

Dear Wife

I now will try to write you a note to let you know that I have arrived here safe and am quite well. My men were all seemingly very glad to see me. In fact they have hung around me so that I have not had the chance to write before. I was not feeling well yesterday being swollen in the stomach but it passed off at night. I had a right good time coming up to Wilson after I left home but had to steal corn out of a mans field to feed Tally that night. I settled up my board and other things in Wilmington on Tuesday and Wednesday and came down on Thursdays boat. There is a great deal of sickness here now and there has been all this fall. Lt. Whitely of Liggets company died last night of typohoid fever. He live just opposite us on the north side of the river and was an excellent young man. He was a large robust man and looked as if he was destined to an old age. His corpse just passed my house on its way home escorted by a company with muffled drums. Poor fellow: show will do him no good now. I pity his father and mother as they perhaps will receive the tidings of his death by having their sons corpse brought home to them. Not many of my company are sick now and what is sick are not dangerous at all. Whitely makes five I believe that have died here this week. Col. Lait seemed very glad to see me and our worthy Maj has not yet returned from his leave to express his joy at my safe return. The Col and I had some sharp sparring yesterday and both of us got quite warm. It began about Halsey and one thing led to another until I told him of his being saddled on us against the wish of all the officers. When he said he knew it and did not care a d_m if we did not like it. He told the truth no doubt. All concur in saying they never saw me so fat and looking so well before. I am feeling very well indeed but feel that I am fatning in the belly to fast. I have been faring quite well thus far as we get an abundance of fish. We have a seine hauled for the garrison and some of my men are on the detail and I make them bring me fish every day. Mars goes striking up the coast every night now and catches a great variety of as nice flounders as you ever saw and he brings them to me to take as many as I want every morning. I take one as that is enough for me and Macon as we are all that are here now. Harrison has not yet arrived and Col intends arresting him when he does come for staying over his time. HE sent me an order this morning to report him absent without leave from the 28th of Sept. There is a squall brewing for Harrison I fear. I am trying to avert it and hope I may succeed. Johnny was more pleased to see me than he would have been to see his father I reckon, and sticks close by me when off of duty. There is nothing stirring down here now, only the Yankees seem to have redoubled their vigilance and are catching steamers rapidly. They run one on shore and burned her night before last at Fisher. I have not yet learned which one it was but we think it was one bound out with a load of cotton. I had quite a load of things to bring down with me and I got them here all safe. I gave Eliza part of my dried apples and Mrs. Southerland a part. I also gave Mrs. Southerland part of my pepper and gave Col. Cunningham a part of the pepper also. Every one who tasted the catchup says it is excellent. I really wish I had two of three gallons of it it is so good. I find it is excellent with fish as it prevents thirst. I drew all of my rations up to the last of the month when I was in Wilmington and gave it to MRs. Southerland. It is unnecessary for me to say anything about Elizas family as Jenny went home with Billy. I persuaded her to do so as she has been confined so long at home and the change might do her baby good and I know you would be glad to see her. Hen she wishes to go back to Wilson you can get Billy to carry her and send Tom with them to carry her luggage in a cart. Perhaps John Bonner will let Charles go with her to help carry them up. I do not know that I have any directions to give you darling about anything as I told you and Roden all that I have wished done while at home. One thing tho I will say. Have the wheat got in as soon as you can as the great fault in my raising wheat has been getting it in too late. While I was at home in June I spoke to Mr. Watson on South Creek to save me some seed oats. Find out whether he done so and if he did when you go to sow oats get them and have them sowed too. Roden told me he had saved 6 bushels of oats and if you can get 4 bushels more to sow as they are the best find for homes we have have and saves corn. Tell Roden to do his best on the hogs and try and have them fattened well. Some one has stolen 4 of my pigs here only leaving me 4. I have a notion of selling what is left as I expect the same persons will take the balance of them. If [illeg] Tripp buys that koop for you or bargains for it you had better pay for him right off and take a receipt for the money. If Mr. Archbell will sell another one take it and I will try to send you the money to pay for it. I should like to buy all the big steers Mr. Archbell will sell another one take it and I will try to send you the money to pay for it. I should like to buy all the big steers Mr. Archbell has to spare at not over 125 dollars a piece. Their hides will almost pay for them at that price. I am anxiously looking for a letter from you and hope to hear that your bore our parting bravely. I hope also to hear of your being in good health and spirits and of the childrens being well. Poor Ben! I had to leave him sick but hope he has got well ere this. Tell the children when they learn the books I carried them I will get them more. Vene will learn hers sure for she seems very fond of books. Tell Josephus that he and Tom must go in the thicket and gather up the walnuts when they fall down. I saw that they were falling when I was at home. Sephe and Ben can with the little negroes get those in the field. Mars is very well indeed and so is Louis. I shall let Mars come home Christmas if nothing happens. Give my best respects to all the negroes and my love to all our dear little ones and tell Josephus and Vene to write to me. I want to be with you my own darling wife more than ever if possible. If I could be with you and stay with you, I could do a hep towards supporting the family by fishing and with my gun. By the John Walfinder promised me to buy me 4 or 6 lbs of net twine from Newberne. If he does you can have some small mesh nets tied. Excuse this rambling letter darling as I have so many around me it is hard to write at all and rest assured you are the dearest object to me on earth. I think of you all my moments of relaxations from my dutys. Good bye my own darling sweet little wife.

Yours forever and ever


Source: William Henry Tripp and Araminta Guilford Tripp Papers, Southern Historical Collection, UNC Chapel Hill. http://www2.lib.unc.edu/mss/inv/t/Tripp,William_Henry_and_Araminta_Guilford.html#folder_7#2

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Jan. 9, 1862

 From the Twelfth Regiment.

Camp Holmes, Evansport, Va., Dec. 27, 1861.

Mr. Editor:–Perhaps it would be a source of some little pleasure to give your readers a short sketch of Christmas as we spent it in camp; so as it is almost over, I will spend a short time for their special benefit.  On the morning of the 24th an order from our much beloved Colonel was sent around recommending that every company in the regiment should decorate their respective streets with evergreens of such other things as suit their fancy; and as there is a great amount of cedar, pine, holly, &c. growing here, every man, perfectly willing to do with alacrity anything that Col. Pettigrew should even hint at, commenced taxing their ingenuity to invent some little trick of fancy which could be constructed from such material.  Some made beautiful arches over their streets and hung numerous little fancies around them; while others fabricated large letters representing their companies.  Others set their streets with hedges in labyrinthian order, while many of the individual tents were beautifully ornamented.  One of company A, I will mention as being the most fantastically wrought ornament I ever saw.  It was constructed on the plan of a windmill, though its beauty I cannot describe.  By night everything in and around this regiment was beautifully set off.  Everything was arranged in beauty, taste and order, and every man was in fine spirits, while in this harmless but pleasant work we spent Christmas Eve.  The dawn of Christmas morning was beautiful and we were only disturbed in its solemn quietness by being saluted about day with harmless shells from the Yankee battery.

            At guard mounting the Orderly Sergeants of each company were informed by the Adjutant that the Colonel had determined to have a little amusement that day, and for this purpose had purchased a nice pig, which would be shot for at 10 o’clock, and that the whole regiment should be marched out in full uniform, with every man a bunch of evergreen on his cap, and one in the muzzle of his gun, to witness the shooting, the marksmen—five from each company—to be marched on the left.  The shooting was to be at the distance of one hundred and fifty paces without rest.  Lieut. Col. Long and Major Galloway were to decide who was the victor, and after firing two rounds, fifty shots each round, it was decided that Oliver Pike of company L, commanded by Capt. R. L. Gray, of Randolph, was the man who had won the prize, he having made the best shot.  The target was an elliptical circle in the centre of a square.  The shooting was as follows: Shots in the square, co. A none, B 1, E 5, F 3, G 1, H none, I 1, K 1, L 2, and M 2.  L, E, M and F were the only companies which struck the circle, one shot from company L being nearly a centre shot won the pig which weighed 239 pounds net.  The sports being thus ended, the regiment was formed in line of battle and marched to an open place, where it was formed into a hollow square.  The Colonel then called for the Captain of company I, when Captain Gray came forward and was addressed in a humorous and witty little speech from Col. Long who formally delivered “his majesty” to company I.

            Col. Pettigrew, after wishing the boys a merry Christmas, dismissed the regiment, when they all returned to camp, and spent the remainder of the day in singing merry songs, music, long yarns, dinners, egg nog, &c.; but in honor to the boys may it be said that very few of them were made limber in the knees that day.

            But the best part is to come yet.  At night, the whole regiment formed in procession and marched down to the Colonel’s tent to serenade the Colonel, and after playing several popular airs, closed with Dixie, and called for the Colonel, who immediately came forth and addressed the soldiers in a manner that was truly eloquent pathetic and sublime.  And when he was through, we were not only satisfied of the fact that he is one of the best and wisest commanders, but in the true sense of the term an orator.  In the course of his remarks, Col. Pettigrew said: “Fellow Soldiers, when I received the intelligence of my election to the command of the Twelfth N. C. Volunteers, I hesitated not one moment in accepting it.  I had then never seen one of your faces, neither had you ever seen mine.  I knew it was from no party feeling or party prejudice that caused my election, but that your sole motive was to serve your oppressed country, and for this purpose, and this alone, we came together.  And I am proud to say that I believe there is no regiment in the service more willing and more capable of doing their full duty than the one that now stands around me.”  And again he said, “I regard a war between Great Britain and the United States as inevitable and though the present Mason and Slidell affair may pass off for the present, yet it will come, and perhaps upon an event of much less importance than that.  Then the blockade of Southern ports must be raised; then forty thousand soldiers now on our coast can be sent here;  then the invading tyrants shall be driven from Maryland, and the Maryland Artillery, now our comrades in battle, shall be our brothers in State, and there will be nothing to stop our onward course this side of Pennsylvania.”  The Colonel through, and a tune, when Col. Long, Major Galloway, the Adjutant and Quartermaster were called who made a few brief and appropriate remarks.  So ended our sports on Christmas day, which every one admits was spent very pleasantly.  There is nothing new here.  We have no fighting as yet, nor do I suppose we will soon.

Source: The Greensborough Patriot January 9, 1862 as found on Confederate Newspaper Project

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