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Wednesday 18th May & Thursday 19th [1864]

I suffered a great deal with my head yesterday (Wednesday). In bed all day. Mr. Henry went to Asheville & got some sugar. No news further than the news of Monday is confirmed. Banks has surrendered our forces in Va. victors. P. Allen was buried yesterday at Sardis. Mr. Henry in the farm today. Mary Tutt spends the day here. Jinnie & Matt cleaned the side room & one room upstairs after dinner, scoured & scalded. My head not well this morning but now since dinner nearly easy. I had a letter from Sister Lena Monday. They were all well. I finished Willie’s socks today & began a pair cotton gloves for myself of thread I have had ever since I was married. I bought it from home, some coloured thread I had left of knitting stockings. Mary Tutt was going to stay all night as it looked like rain this evening but her mother came after her. I suppose she was uneasy about her. Mary brought my hat & Gus’s today. They are very nice.

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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Wednesday 17th [February 1864]

I fixed the band of Zona’s chemise today & sleeves. Sewed the frill in & began Mr. Henry a pair gloves in the evening. Matt will make Zona’s chemise. Very cold today. I could not keep warm by the fire & we have very good fires. Fannie psinning. Atheline knitting, heeling the children some stockings. Nothing new going on in the country. Negro Jim Common set into work this morning at the same wages he did last year.

Thursday 18th Feby 1864

I finished on of Mr. Henry’s gloves today & began the other. I finished “Morgan’s Raids & Romances” this evening. I have read it & knit. ‘Tis very interesting. I don’t like to knit at day but if I have anything to read I don’t mind it. My little ones are doing very well. Gus will soon be walking. Willie is a very stout healthy child. He can talk nearly plain. Zona can begin to read a little in the first lessons in her primer.

** Raids and Romance of Morgan and his Men by Sally Rochester Ford (New York: Charles B. Richardson, 1864) Read the digital copy here

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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Bristol TN

January 13th 1864

Came here by 3 pm & am at Uncle King’s where I am always welcome & treated to as can be my good aunt and uncle. The Zollicoffer Bridge is completed and the cars will go to Carters to day. I rec’d as a present from Miss Lizzie Rhea – a splendid waist coat at 2 this morning. Many thanks. I hope she may be wooed and won by a worthy man and gallant soldier of the South. I must not fail to record here in kind acknowledgements to my particular friend Miss Mollie T. at Carters for two splendid pairs of socks. Knit by her own hand and presented to me at her house. Such presents are calculated to make a bachelor such as I, one of necessity, inclined to give up the dreams of single blessedness.

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 diary of William W. Stringfield, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh

Stringfield’s Biography and excerpts from his diary: http://thomaslegion.net/stringfield.html

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Camp near Morton’s Ford, on Rapidan River

October 5th, 1863

My Dear Mother:

I received your letter of the 23rd yesterday while on picket duty and it seems to me from the way in which you write that you did not receive my last letter. I don’t think that it has been two weeks since I wrote; ‘twas soon after Harry Warren got back. We are at the same camp we were when Henry came. Our Brigade does picket on the river at Morton’s Ford. We, that is, our regiment) have to go on every fourth night. Night before last was a terrible night, could and rainy, and the wind way pretty cutting. Our line is on the river bank, in a cornfield. The Yankees are on the other side, some four hundred yards distance. We have no communication with them, it being against General Ramseur’s orders. Battle’s Brigade (Alabama troops) talk and exchange papers with them every day. They join our line above the ford. When we went on picket at the river we could hear the Yankee’s drums by the hundred. They stopped all at once and we did not hear more than two or three for a whole week. Yesterday morning they opened with their drums again and from the number it would seem that they have a large army across the river. I think they tried to make us believe they had left, but they can’t fool General Lee. We have had orders for a week or more to keep two days’ rations cooked and be ready to move at a moment’s notice. I don’t think that we shall remain much longer at this camp.

Some half-dozen cannons were heard up the river yesterday. I suppose they were signal guns. A pretty good sign of a movement. I hope we will soon do all the fighting that we expect to do this winter, and let us go into winter quarters. The orderly has just come around with orders to be in readiness to move, as the Yankees are advancing and we may probably leave this evening. All the preparation that I have to make is to look up our day’s rations of bread. As soon as we go into camp to say any length of time, I shall be glad to get my flannel drawers. I will let you know. I hope Dr. Thompson will be well enough to come when his furlough is out, and bring my overcoat, also a pair of socks, gloves (if you can find them) and a little box of lip salve. Tom Stith was waiting about a week before he got his things, which Henry Warren brought. He had to leave them at Orange Court House, as he had to foot it about eighteen miles. Col. Grimes got back a few days ago from North Carolina. He was married while home and he is now a candidate for congress, and I think he will probably be elected. I would like very much to be at home with you to eat some of that nice fruit which you have. Peaches here in camp sell for $2.00 per dozen, so we can’t afford to eat as many as we want at that price, or it would take a month’s wages to pay for the treat. Blake said for me to tell you to please tell Mr. Rhodes to send him thirty dollars by Thompson, if this reaches you in time; if not, send it by mail. Tom Stith says to tell some of his folks not to send him any blanket as yet. He will let them know.

I am enjoying excellent health at present. Sometimes I am troubled with diarrhea, but I general stop it by quit eating beef for a few days. Next time you write to Pussy, give her my best love and tell her I would like so much to see her. Give my love to all the family, and believe me, your sincere and devoted son,

Walter

PS Much obliged for the paper and envelopes.

Source: Laura Elizabeth Lee, Forget-Me-Nots of the Civil War: A Romance Containing Reminiscences and Original Letters of Two Confederate Soldiers (St. Louis, Missouri: A.R. Fleming Printing Co, 1909).  See also Joel Craig and Sharlene Baker, eds., As You May Never See Us Again: The Civil War Letters of George and Walter Battle, 4th North Carolina Infantry  (Wake Forest, NC: The Scuppernong Press, 2010).

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Tuesday 18th and Wednesday 19th [August 1863]

This is the 19th, my birth day. I was born in 1836, 27 years ago today. Many changes have turned up since that day. My own dear mother has passed away. I can’t wish her back when I certainly believe she is at rest. She is free from all the cares of this life. I had headache yesterday & today, not one of the worst sort as I was able to sit up. I finished my cap & knit some on Pinck’s sock. I am knitting him some cotton socks. Matt Tidwell will knit one pair for him. Today I took some tea, a garden plant commonly called Old Man. I think it done me some good. It is very bitter. I took a nap after dinner & my head was well when I woke about sundown. Harrie came over yesterday. We sent to Asheville for him. He brought my mantilla, it is died black & looks very well. He brought the children some candy & Fannie sent Zona a home made duck. Eugenia’s family were well when he left.

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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Camp Near Orange CH

August 2nd 1863

My Dear Mother

I received your letter day efore yesterday, just as we received orders to march. We marched about fifteen miles yesterday through the hottest sun that I ever felt. The men were constantly dropping out from overheat, and one or two died from the effects. WE are in camp to-day but have orders to hold ourselves in readiness to move at a moment’s notice. The report is the Yankees are advancing on Culpepper. I guess we will leave here tonight or before day in the morning. This army is seeing a very hard time at present. Nothing to eat but beef and flour and the hardest marching that this army has ever done. At the time we crossed the mountains at Port Royal, we marched from 4 o’clock one morning until day break next morning. We were drawn up in line of battle twice during the time, once we had a very sharp fight between our sharpshooters and the Yankees. Our Brigade was in line on an edge of a mountain overlooking the whole scene. I don’t think it will be long before we shall have a fight, from our present movements. I thought I told you in the letter I wrote from near Hagerstown, while in line, that I was with the Regiment. You must have missed getting that letter. This makes the fifth I have written since I left home. When I got with the regiment everything had so much changed at headquarters, new men detailed, and my not knowing any of them, I concluded to go back with the company. I have been doing duty with the Company ever since I got back and I believe I feel better satisfied. Jim Gay got back to the regiment this morning, left Wilson last Wednesday. He has told us all about the Yankee raid.

I have been suffering some little from pain in the feet, caused by hard marching. The doctor told me yesterday that I might put my things in the ambulance. At night when I went after them, some one had stolen my knapsack with all my clothes, except what I have on, and my shawl. I’ll try and make out with what I have until cold weather comes on. You may send me two pair cotton and two pair woolen socks the first opportunity you have. That will be the first thing that I will need. Dossey came over to see me this morning and read a letter to me that he got from Cousin Claudia yesterday.

There is some little talk sometimes of our Brigade being ordered to North Carolina. I wish to gracious we could be. I’ll bet the Yankees wouldn’t cut up there like they have been. To-day is Sunday and one of the hottest that I ever felt. We are in a piece of woods where there isn’t one breath of air stirring. If we do have to march to-day, half of the men will give out from over heat. I would much rather march two nights than one day. You may send me that homespun shirt in my trunk, at the same time you do the socks – that checked one. I hope the authorities will send some troops home to prevent the Yankees from making a raid through there. Write whenever there is anything to tell me about home and you all.

Your affectionate son

Walter

Source: Laura Elizabeth Lee, Forget-Me-Nots of the Civil War: A Romance Containing Reminiscences and Original Letters of Two Confederate Soldiers (St. Louis, Missouri: A.R. Fleming Printing Co, 1909).  See also Joel Craig and Sharlene Baker, eds., As You May Never See Us Again: The Civil War Letters of George and Walter Battle, 4th North Carolina Infantry  (Wake Forest, NC: The Scuppernong Press, 2010).

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Friday 6th [February 1863]

Mail brought nothing new. He went back from here. Mr. Henry gave him a certificate so the mail will not go through this week. Vic left the mail here but took the log. Cold north wind today. Snow not melting any of consequence. Negroes getting wood. Very cold time to do it, it is true but we are out & have to have it or freeze. I made some tape trimming today & dampened dried & cut Mr. Henry’s coat this evening. Betsey cvut 7 yds out this morning for coat & pants. I am footing up some old socks for Pinck, some of his last winter socks. I do my knitting at night mostly. Not many people came to the office today as it is almost impassable along the road. Mr. Henry went to feed some sows & pigs this morning, he rode. He says ‘tis nearly impassible for horse to get along. Tis dreadful on the stock. We have a yearling choked on straw. I expect it will be dead by morning. We have had three nannie goats to die this winter & our lambs have nearly half died. We have had a dreadful winter on stock of all kinds.

Saturday 7th [February 1863]

Got the sleeves, tarts & breast of Mr. Henry’s coat done. Worked all day at it. Sewed the seams with the machine, it done finely. Betsey went home this evening. She walked. She was afraid a horse would fall down with her. Dr. Love of Hendersonville dined here today. Snow melting a little, dripping off the south side of the house. A bright sunny day but cool.

Sunday 8th February 1863

Cloudy with occasional sunshine. The report that the blockade was broke at Charleston is confirmed, so Dr. Love was telling us yesterday. I hope ‘tis true. Sam Murray was here yesterday & begged me out of a little coffee for his wife who is sick. I do which they would let me alone about coffee. I must stop now as I want to eat some apples, walnuts & peach leather. It is now after 12  & soon dinner time. Snow melting very slowly. Mr. Henry staid in the room all the evening as the snow is too deep to travel much.

 Monday 9th [February 1863]

I finished Mr. Henry’s coat today after working faithfully all day. It suits him finely. It looks very well. Mrs. Jamison & Betsey came today just after we had eat dinner.  They eat here. They say it is very bad walking. Snow melting some faster. Mrs. Jamison stays here tonight. I do not feel so well tonight. Mrs. Jamison reeled some this evening for us on Mrs. Fanning’s reel (a count reel).

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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