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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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April 18, 1864

We have had since the first of this month a succession of heavy rains & consequent freshets in the river. So cold, wet, & backward a Spring has rarely been known. Corn planting which should be over is but fairly begun & the Low grounds are a Lake, with the prospect of continuing so for some time to come. Since the Snow Storm of the 22d of March there has been five distinct freshets, one 21 ft 1 in, another 21 ft 7 in, so there has been but little dry land to be seen. We have made three trips to Hascosea & three times has the weather disappointed us & delayed our work there. We came back from one nearly fruitless one on Sat. We succeeded, however, in bedding Potatoes & I in planting my Dahlia & Tube Rose Roots. Sad to say I found on opening my “bank” of the former that I have lost more than half of my ample stock. This would not be so much a subject of regret did I not fear that some of my finest varieties have perished altogether. The prospect for Pears is good & that for Peaches, spite of our fears, fair. The crop is much thinned out, but if we escape future late frosts we will have an abundance. Sowed my Flower seed but was forced to entrust my Ochre & Corn to Allen’s superintendance.

Whilst at Hascosea soldiers were constantly passing & from some Georgians belonging to a Battery, which was en route from Hamilton to Weldon, we learned that an attack was considered iminent there, the Yankees having thrown a Pontoon bridge over the Chowan at Murfreesboro & a cavalry advance in force is expected across the county of Northampton in the tract of that taken by Onderdonk & his plunderers last summer. The men we entertained were intelligent, & most grateful for the little kindness we had it in our power to show them; they confirmed the account we had previously heard of the repulse of a Regt of negro Cavalry at Suffolk by a charge of Artillery. anomalous as it appears! It is a fact they ran too fast for the infantry to keep up or even to get in range when “a Charge” by sections of two Batteries was ordered. They said it was ludicrous in the extreme — Field pieces thundering down upon the ranks of the cavalry! — no need to stop to unlimber, pursuit was the word! & Cuffee scattered right & left. They took no prisoners & never intending taking any. A beautiful field peice was captured from them & tied to it was a prisoner, one of our men, who understood that he was to be hanged! One other was liberated in Suffolk, who had been informed that such was to be his fate the next day!

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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[Cornelia Henry to her son Pinck]

My Dear little Pinck,

The mail will soon be on but I will write a little as Papa left this for me. Papa has told you all about the big snow. Atheline’s baby is growing finely, about as big as a rabbit. She asks about you a heap of times. Let me tell you something. Gus can walk all over the house & not fall & when he does fall he can get up hisself. See I told you he would walk before you came home. He can say Papa right plain. He will run & meet you at the gate when you come & call you Pinck. Now see if he don’t. He has got to fighting of late. He pulls Rose’s wool good for her when she don’t please him.

Zona has grown a good deal since you left. She spells her lesson every day & Willie wants to spell too. They often speak of you & want to see Pinck come home. You must learn fast so you can read your paper when you come.

Tell Aunt Dora to send me the measure of your head. I want to have  you a straw hat made by the time you come & tell her to send the measure of your foot to have you some shoes made to travel home in. I am afraid Mother can’t come after you as Papa can’t stay at home & if we all leave the soldiers and deserters will steal all we got. We will send after next month I think. I would like to come so much but can’t this time. Be a good boy.

Mother has been sick for a month but I am a good deal better now. I have not weaned Gus yet. Papa wants me to wean him. I am so lean. Love Aunt Dora & Aunt Matt. They are your Mother’s sister just like Zona is your sister. Be kind to them. They will love you for you are a good boy. Mother & Papa love you dearly. Knit me something & send in a letter so I can show it to Zona & Willie. Good bye. God bless you my dear child.

Your fond Mother

Zona, Willie & Gus send kisses to Pinck, Aunt Dora & Matt. Dora give my love to Pa. It seems he cares nothing for me.

 

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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v.a

Camps near Gordonville

April the 5, 1864

Dear Father and Mother and children I take the plesure of writing you a few lines this evening whitch will inform you that I am well as common hoping theas lines may come safe to hand and find you all well and doing well. I have nothing interesting to wrt you more than I landed safte to my company on Friday knight and found all things rite and all of the boys well though fearing.

 

Bad Dick is well and harty and remembers his love to you all. we have now newse of interest more than Grant had ordered 8 days rations cooked some 10 days ago. Though the weather continues so bad that he cant advanse it has bin snowing or raining most every day for two weeks and is still raining now and the mountins and Blue ridge is covered with snow and ice and has bin for 2 or 3 weeks and the weather cold though as soon as the weather settals I am confident that we will have to try our hands though if reports as true whitch I hope they are we will Bee on [top] of it it is promised in camps that Col. Haywood is likely to get the 7th Regement to camp Homes he has bin home on furlow and is 8 or 10 days Behind Time and col Davidson recieve a mesage from him yesterday that all of his papers was rite so far and he has bin to Richmond and has gone Back to Raleigh and we are all in hopes that he will Bee successful in his undertaking and are anctious to see him return

 

The great Governer Vance has Bin out hear making speaches though I dont think they will have much of affect more than he will loose many voat by speeking in the way he did he wants to fight untill hell freases over and then figt on the ice and we ar not willing to figthe so long as that and think Mr Holden is not for fighting that long and he is our choice By a large majority I think at least I think so I will  close for the presen & reman as ever yours untill death

G. A. Williams

 

 

Source: Williams Womble papers, State Archives of North Carolina as found on www.ncecho.org

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April 2nd 1864

Camp of the 18th NCT

R.L. Proffit

Beloved cister,

I again attempt to write you not in anser to a letter from you for I have not had any intelligence from home cince I left onley what I heard through other letters I have wrote home. All so A.J. has don the same.  If you have not got them you should have written us any how. I expected to git some letters when J.E. Luther came back but I failed to do so and I have all most sworn off even writing home any more if I knew you had not started me a letter. Yet I would bind to my oath but as I have a better opinion of you I will try you alittle longer and see if you think any thing of me. I don’t think that you have mutch right to think anything of me but still if you don’t I think you could write me a while any how. I think this will do on this subject so I will stop these rarmkes etc.

Cis I will now give you a sketch of the times. I can inform you that we have the most rain and snow I ever saw. It is raining and snowing now the wind blowin etc. As for rations, it is like Pap says we draw only what we by and make it do. I guess we make the wilde onions git up and git. We fish a goode part of our time and that is a vary good traid, mutch like where you live. We jeneraly have fisherman’s luck, a wet ass, and a hungry gut.

Governor Vance is in our Brigade. He was to speak yesterday. The weather would not admit it then today is worse than yesterday and I don’t know when he will speak.

I have no news from the 53rd as late as 27th March. The boys are all quite stout and harty. I saw P.W. & J.E.L. with others of your acquaintances yesterday. They are in good health. My self with A.H. are vary stout and harty. I trust you, father and mother and the rest of my friends are well in good health etc. etc. Write me as soon as you git this. Give me a long and interesting letter. Let it contain the important news from home and Wiles. Give me the account of our private affairs etc.  As I have no news to write I will soon close. I remain your

Affectionate brother until death

A.N. Proffit

 

 

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 Proffit Family papers, Southern Historical Collection, UNC-Chapel Hill.

 

 

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Camp near Orange CH Va

March 29th 1864

My dearest Friend

I am very anxious to hear from you soon and often and I have concluded the oftener I write the more you will answer. I will endeavor to write every week but if you should not hear from me weekly do not be uneasy as it is often the case a march prevents writing regularly. I have taken severe cold since I returned; for three or four nights after my arrival it was very cold and being rather scarce of bedding the consequence was I slept cold therefore I think is the cause of having such a cold. I haven’t gone before the board yet nor do I know when I will, there has been two appointments for its session but other things crowded it out, and now I suppose it will be toward the last of the week before it will be done as Gov. Vance is with us speaking and nothing can be done while he remains here. I think there is no doubt but that I will pass the examining board as I have been recommended by Col. Martin and also have an appointment from Gov. Vance, or rather from the executive Officer signed by the Gov. entitling me a commission if the judgment of the examining board I am qualified the fill the position; well when I go before it I will first show my appointment, then they will want to know by whom I was recommended (as they will see some one recommended me as the appointment could never have come)  I will say Col. Martin after which I will be asked but few questions; so say men who have been examined.

Today at 10 o’clock ours and Cook’s brigade are to be reviewed by Gov. Vance, I suppose, and at 12 the Gov. speaks to them. I’m sorry to say that Holden will get a strong vote in Co. B.

I suppose you have seen an account in the papers of the engagement between ours and the Cooke’s brigades, with snow balls it was a great sight. Officers are now drawing the same amount of rations as men in the ranks some of them think it hard but as for myself I can live on as little as anyone without murmuring if the Confederate States can do no better.

I am willing to live a great while on small rations and endure many hardships and privations rather than succumb to Yankee rule, which in my belief will never be our lot. Do not make yourself unnecessary uneasy about me as I am living tolerably well and I will not expose myself to danger uncalled for, it is true my lot as well as others is hard but then I am or try to be cheerful with it.

I will try and keep my spirits up and not fall into deep despondency, the feelings of which is hard to endure. Give my kindest regards to Sue, Puss, and uncle John.

As ever your devoted husband

Lewis

 

 

 

Sources: Mike and Carol Lawing, eds., My Dearest Friend: The Civil War Correspondence of Cornelia McGimsey and Lewis Warlick (Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2000). Original collections of the papers are in the Southern Historical Collection, UNC Chapel Hill.

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Tuesday March 22th [1864]

It began to sleet Sunday night and has continued to snow & sleet ever since but is quite cold tho’ not quite as cold as during the storm in Febr. The snow is quite deep & it still continues to sleet. It is the severest weather we have had this late in the season in a long time. I am afraid all the peaches will be killed & all the garden seeds. Buddy has been moved from Yadkin to Dobson Surry Co. Mr. Dye’s little daughter died Sunday night. Mrs. Martine has been quite ill but she is considered better. Ma was out there part of last week.

 

Source: Malinda Ray Diary, Anna Sutton Sherman Papers, North Carolina State Archives.  See also David A. Ray Papers, Southern Historical Collection, UNC-Chapel Hill

 

 

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