Posts Tagged ‘civilians providing food and supplies for soldiers’

November 12, 1864

Petersburg Nov. 12th 1864


My Own Darling Wife

I have delayed writing longer than usual in the hope that I would be able to get a short leave to visit you but after waiting a week my application came down disapproved for the present. I only asked for 5 days, but Genl Lee thought it imprudent to allow me that at this time. I was fearful it would be so, yet was much disappointed when I found that I could not go.

We occupy pretty nearly the same position as when you left except our lines are more extended & I shall send for you as soon as I feel that we are permanent. To send before that would or might subject you to a great inconvenience. You must therefore be patient as I shall certainly send the very first moment I deem it safe. The weather is getting quite cold & we get orders today to find winter quarters & I shall start out today to find my winter quarters.

You must make Stephen put up some large boxes or barrels of sweet & Irish potatoes & peas & whatever else he has. We shall need them as I fear provisions will be very scarce here this winter. Make him have those things ready by the time you start. In my next letter I hope to be able to tell you to come on. Dick will send for his wife & you will be together.

I look for Effie’s money today from Richmond and will send it to her the first opportunity. The amount will be about $14.00. She can draw the balance when she needs. I would advise her to do whatever the Dr. thought ought to be done for Benney but I fear it will not be in my favor to go with her to Richmond.

Lincoln is certainly elected and there is non telling when the war will end. We must first determine to fight it out and look for the end when it comes. I saw Genl Lee yesterday and he was in fine spirits and more dispensed to joke that I ever saw him. My good lady friend, God bless her, Mrs. Waddell told me the other day that she prayed that I might not get hurt, but if I did, I must not go to a hospital but come to her home.

Tell Pa when he comes down that I have a lot of 30 or 430 logs all piled up out of which he can make himself a nice selection. I didn’t go through the trouble of gathering them up but found them placed away in an old camp by some soldiers. He must bring you down, I am anxious to see you and hope to see them all this winter. Are they fixing up a box for my Brig? They ought to send two or three boxes & no box must weigh over 100 pounds and should be filled with tobacco. They ought to be plainly marked post as this letter is addressed.

It look his morning as if it would snow & I hope roads will still be in a condition to stop all enemy movements here. Give my best love to all & be ready at any time when I shall send for you. Ask Pa if I will have any money left after paying my debts. I shall need some this winter if I can get it in addition to my wages. Farewell my darling wife, hoping that I will see you soon & write my correct prayer that our God will shield and bless you.

I am ever your devoted husband,

AM Scales

PS I have first learned that Genl Wilcox will leave the division this winter & that Genl Custis Lee will probably be our Maj Genl




Source: Christopher Watford, ed. The Civil War in North Carolina: Soldiers’ and Civilians’ Letters and Diaries, 1861-1865, Volume 1. Original in the AM Scales Collection, State Archives of North Carolina

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Sunday 25th [September 1864]

Clear & cool this morning. Matt & I & Zona & Willie went to get some chinkapins, did not get many. Mr. Moffet, one of the cattle guard, left Friday night on big furlough. Two other militia came this evening to tend the cattle. Mr. Henry has gone to see Marsh Williams this morning. The children are at play. Willie out here in the back piazza playing. I am writing in back piazza as the sun is warm & pleasant. I am very tired of having soldiers here. They are a great annoyance to me but what can’t be cured must be endured. Such is life & a rugged one it is to some of us.


Source: Diary of Cornelia Henry in Fear in North Carolina: The Civil War Journal and Letters of the Henry Family. Clinard, Karen L. and Russell, Richard, eds. (Asheville, NC: Reminiscing Books, 2008).

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Sept 2nd 1864

My own Dear Wife

I now sit down to write you a short letter to let you know that I am quite well and also to tell you of my prospects of getting home during this month. I made application yesterday to Genl Beauregard for a ten days leave to attend our court on the 19th of this month stating the reasons why I wished to go. The President of our court martial Col Cunning has approved it and recommended it be granted and Capt Graham who has been on Genl Beauregards staff and who is acquainted with all his officers added a note to the bottom of my application requesting them to grant my request. So you can judge for yourself darling what will be the result as well as I can. I confess that I shall be terribly disappointed if it is not granted. I have written to you now 3 or 4 times in a hurry and have not been satisfied with my own letters. They did not suit my taste and I know failed to meet your expectation. My own dear wife you must excuse those letters as I am so differently situated that I have but a sorry chance to write at all. McBryde Braddy and I are in adjoining rooms in the same house and eternally have company in the evening until night when I cant write at all. And it reduced me to write some in the morning or not at all. I struggle hard to keep up my correspondence which is a good deal and find it hard work to do so. You dearest shall not be neglected tho all the rest go to the dogs. I feel cramped up here altho Mrs. Southerland is as good and motherly a lady as I have fallen in with in a great while. The cause is this, Braddy and McBryde are close by and in direct communication with their homes and are getting fruit vegetables cider chickens &c &c from home once or twice a week and I share with them without any prospect of making any amends as my pay for a month would not pay for what they raise in a week. You can appreciate darling my feelings I know as your spirit is as proud as mine. I cannot bear to be under obligations that I see no way of paying back. With my own officers I feel at ease for I know that I do my full share. There it is different. I wrote to you of receiving the money from David. I went up to Goldsboro and Wilson last Friday night and returned on Sunday night or rather Monday morning and it cost me a great deal to do so as I had to pay full fare besides paying board for Saturday at Goldsboro at 30 dollars a day and when I came back I had less than 20 dollars left. I paid Eliza the express on the cotton which was 2 dollars a bunch making 22 dollars. So that is all paid for thank goodness. The whole bill for the cotton is 297 dollars at least a hundred less than I can buy it for anywhere in the state by the bail. It is selling here for from 45 to 50 dollars a bunch. So you see darling I have made a good trade in getting it as I did. You ask my advice about having a steer killed dear. Have anything killed you may need for your family use just suit your own judgment darling and be sure your husband will approve of anything you do, knowing you will always do what you think is for the best. Should you make a mistake in my judgment darling I shall not complain. There is but little news here now but all things seem progressing for our benefit both in Virginia and Georgia. We have no fears of either Richmond Petersburg or Atlanta falling this time. Our court has been in session here over a month and is likely to be for a month to come if nothing breaks it up. There is a good deal of sickness at the forts I hear and especially at Bald Head. The disease is mostly typhoid and ague and fever. My company is said to be the most healthy one down there but it is suffering a good deal. The news has gone out that yellow fever is at this place. Smithville and Bald head but there is not a word of truth in the report. Everything is very high here and still going up  a store rents for 20,000 dollars a year quick and I know of one store with a warf that rented for 80,000 for the next year beginning on the first of October this year. The first of Oct is the genl renting and moving day in this place. I am paying 90 dollars room rent a month 10 for cooking and 8 dollars a dozen for washing and if it all had to come out of my pocket I should break right off. As it is I shall not be able to save a cent. The government pays for my room and fewel and I pay all other expences. I buy tobacco and have paid for 6 drinks of spirits since I have been here and hardly can live at that, tho I am still fatning. I think of you my own sweet wife all the time I am not compelled to be thinking of something else and I cannot enjoy going to see other ladies altho I am often invited because I have no interest in them. I cannot help suffering often when I see other officers with their wives to think I am almost cut off from my wife who is worth them all. I almost go mad some times thinking of the enjoyment I am deprived of and you too darling and our dear little ones also. We could be a happy family were we permitted to be together. This town is a perfect sink of iniquity (so I am told) of nimphs of the [illeg]. I have been told that there is 1800 publick prostitutes here and 9 out of 10 who pass for virtuous women take it on the sly. Is not this a fearful state of morals.

Evening. Well dearest I have just got a very precious letter from you written on the 28th of August just 5 days ago. In fact it was finished on the 29th which makes it only 4 days since it left your precious hands. I am truly glad to hear you have enjoyed yourself so well last week. You had better go visiting oftener than you have been doing as I have do doubt it will make you feel better all the time when you go home. The wish you express my dear of being in my arms with your lips pressed to mine is seconded with my whole heart and soul for darling it seems I have never wished to see you half as much as I have since I left you last. My whole heart pants to be with you love and to enjoy the luxury of seeing the happiness burning out of those pretty blue eyes of yours on meeting me. Now darling I can see you as plain as if I were with you. Oh! Wife of my choice it seems as if could I be with you I could be happy any where. When I recall the love and entire confidence you have by your acts often expressedin me I feel that I cannot love you half enough. Love begets love and could I have the eloquence…. [next page missing]


*** Note:  William Henry Tripp and his wife Araminta Guillford Tripp lived at Mount Hope farm on the Pamlico River near Durham’s Creek (sometimes called New Durham’s Creek) in Beaufort County.  William served in the Confederate Army as captain and commander of Company B of the 40th North Carolina Regiment. He and his men were first stationed at Fort Fisher, outside Wilmington, N.C., April 1862-January 1865; and then at Fort Holmes on Smith Island, N.C., February 1865

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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Tuesday 12th [July 1864]

I spent the day at Mr. R.L. Jones’. Mrs. Jones is very low. Her & two daughters are also down with typhoid fever & some of the negroes are sick. She sent me word to come. They have but little company. Till Morris is staying there now. Every one is affraid of the fever. Mrs. Willey Jones has a little daughter very low with the flux. I got a little damp as I came back this evening, at least my skirt did. I had my parasol & Laura Jones loaned me her shawl. Mr. Henry went to town today but no news.


Wednesday 13th [July 1864]

I mended some this morning & then cut Pinck’s pants of the cloth Dora gave him. Did not finish the pants. They are open in front, his first pair made that way. Anon Jones spent the day here. Tom Tidwell came up this evening from the camps. Some of the 14th Batt. called here last nighta bout 9 o’clock to get some bread & milk. We were abed & asleep. He got up & had them some bread baked. There was ten, only two staid all night. Dr. Baker staid here Monday night.


Source: Diary of Cornelia Henry in Fear in North Carolina: The Civil War Journal and Letters of the Henry Family. Clinard, Karen L. and Russell, Richard, eds. (Asheville, NC: Reminiscing Books, 2008).

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April 30, 1864

Came home from Hascosea where we went on the 28th to spend 24 hours only, but the River rising suddenly we were kept for three days. Had a galop up to Conneconara to see Sophia who, poor thing, is in feeble health & has come home to recruit. Not much public news. All stand expectant waiting the issue of the impending battle. The Abolitionists are doing their best to blind us as to their real plans, now occupying Suffolk in force, suddenly evacuating it, & landing troops from Ocean steamers at Yorktown. A whole army corps was there last week, when presto, they vanish to appear again at Barhamville thirty miles from Richmond, having reached that point via the York River, McClellans old route. We are preparing for the coming shock, one of the most uncomfortable evidences being the prohibition of all travel save military on the R R to & from Richmond. No matter how urgent the private necessities may be, the fiat is inexorable. No passports are issued. Susan is thus detained in Petersburg far beyond the time allotted for her visit. Gen Grant seems to hold Joe Hooker of fighting memory in no high estimation, vide the endorsement on his report of the battle of Lookout Mountain. Gen Joe, how do you relish such aspersions on your veracity? But you are a Yankee & your point of honour is not easily assailable. Gen Beauregard has his head quarters at Weldon to watch, it is said, any advance by the Southside or through our North eastern Counties. Will send him a basket of supplies, for, poor man, he must mourn for the flesh pots of Egypt in that terrible place. Dreadful in “piping times of peace,” what must it be now when successive detachments of troops have swept the whole county in search of supplies?

Have read an article on “Miscegnation” from a late New York paper that disgusts & revolts my whole nature. What a people, to desire a mixture of African blood to “to energize” and “revivfy their own.” They think the superiority of the Southron arises from the “magnetic” influence of their “dusky attendants.” Faugh! it sickens me!

Source: Edmondston, Catherine Ann Devereux, 1823-1875, Journal of a Secesh Lady: The Diary of Catherine Ann Devereux Edmondston 1860-1866. Crabtree, Beth G and Patton, James W., (Raleigh, NC: North Carolina Division of Archives and History, 1979).http://nc-historical-publications.stores.yahoo.net/478.html

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Camp near Orange Courthouse

April the 5 1864

Dear wife

I this morning take the present opportunity to drop you a few lines to let you know that I am well and truly hope these few lines may find you all well. Dear wife, I received your letter the other day and was glad to hear from you to hear that you was well. I want you to write and tell me whether Brother Daniel got home safe or not. We had a very deep snow here some time ago, and we have had several little snows since then, and we have a rainy time of it now. We have had a very bad weather ever since I came back from the hospital to the company. I am glad to hear that you was a getting along with your work as well as you are. Whenever you get a chance to have the baby’s funeral preached, you might better have it soon, for a chance of me a getting a furlough now is very dull. I want you to let me know whether you got the plank hauled up from the sawmills yet or not. Brother Noah said that he thought he could work some at the porch for you if he gets home. I want you to let me know whether you heard that he got home safe yet or not.

That box you started to send me, everything that was in it got lost. The regiment that I was in got the box or a part of it, and they eat it up and now denies it that they ever got it. The people are not to be trusted these days for I had a shirt stole out of my knapsack. It was the one that you sent with your Uncle Kenery.

I want Daniel as soon as he can to write to me and tell me how all the folks is getting along. I want you to tell Daniel that he should go and see Brother Ephraim and tell him that I would like for him to do my blacksmithing this summer for me. And tell him to write to me and tell me how he will charge for his work, whether he will charge high or not.

I want you in your next letter to write and tell me whether you will have enough meat to do you or not. I would like to be there at home to get some of your sweet potatoes, and I want you to write and tell me whether you have money or not. I want you to tell me whether you got enough for to do you. Dear wife, I have not much news to write that will interest you much, so I will bring my letter to a close by asking you to write to me as soon as you get this letter, so I will close by asking you to write soon. So, no more, only remain your husband until death.

Andrew Rink to Emeline Rink


Source: Christopher Watford, ed. The Civil War in North Carolina: Soldiers’ and Civilians’ Letters and Diaries, 1861-1865, Volume 1.

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Camp 1st NC Infantry

Friday March 18th 64

Louisa affectionate sister,

I take my pen in hand to write you a few lines for I know if you could write you would be sure to write me a letter. I am well at this time wishing these few lines may reach you and find you all well.

I have nothing of any importance to write but I will write something maybe it would be interesting to you. Last Sunday a cold windy day and our brig was on picket and the soldiers as they would pass by they would have the wind blow off their hats and they had nothing to do but pick up their hats. Their would be a few haw haws over it and all would be all right. Finally on Monday the 4th Brig (Louisianans) came to relieve us and about 2 oclock we started back to camp and the closer to camp we got the faster the men walked. And when I got almost to camp I stumped my toe and fell down but I had nothing else to do but get up and go on.

We got to camp and since then I have been enjoying the good of my cabin ever since. It has been tolerable cool weather lately and it seemed right pleasant to be in a cabin. The next day after I got to camp I washed my clothes. I washed them with the soap you sent me from home, that ought to last me all summer.

The more coffee and sugar that we draw does me a great deal of good but I do not know how long we will draw it. I have me a boiler I carry with me on the march to make coffee in. I also carry me a little friar made out of a half a canteen which I carry to fry my meat in. I have my knife & spoon up yet and expect to carry them through the summer if I should live. If you have a chance you might send me a piece of ham.

Rufus Jones got off home. He took my blanket but did not take my vest. I do not know where he will leave it he will probably leave it at Statesville.  You recollect my writing about John Estes. I rec’d a letter from him written with his left hand. He is now going to school at home and I recon enjoying himself as well as could be expected with his arm off. I am as ever

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 Calvin Leach Papers, Southern Historical Collection, UNC-Chapel Hill.

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