Posts Tagged ‘winter quarters’

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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Camp of the 53 Reg.

8 miles North East of Orange CH Va

January 3rd 1864

Mr. Wm and Mary Proffit

Dear Father and Mother I with grate pleasure drop you a short note wich will in form you that I am in tolerable helth owing to hardships and privations of camp life. I do grately hope when these lines comes to hand you and family may be in Joying good helth.

I have no news for to communicate wish would inter rest you. I have no war news at present times & all is still in this vicinity at present & we have just go up some of our huts. I got mine done the first of this instant all to the done shelter. I had not laid in a house nor under a tent for eight months. We have just taken the wether as it came and you can give a gess how we have fard and the wether is powerful cold here at this time and we are scarce of blankets but if we can get to stay here in our huts I think we can do very well.

We have a grate many that is sick in our brigade and some ar dieing. John Wodey died at Orange the 15 of December. Harrison Brown was sent off to the horse pittal yester Day. Barnet Owens was sent this morning. Boath was very sick men. I have no thout that Owens will live. We have bin so exposed I feer that we shal have a grate Deal of sickness. Orders came round last nite to furlow one man for evry twenty men in camp that some of them will be coming home constantly.

We have a close time here at this time. Tha have cut our rashions down to a qarter of a pound of bacon and one pound of flower and evry thirde day we don’t get that. We drew to day one spoonful of shooger and not so much coffee and no bacon. We have close living.

I have bin looking for a letter from you for some time. I wrote you a letter just as soon as I herd W.H. was ded but has failed to receive please respond to me. So I will close by acknowledging my self as ever,

Jesse Miller

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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Head Quarters

23rd NC Regt. Jany 10/62

 Dear Jinnie

I have just returned from picket and found Dock at camp and received from him your letter together with a full description of current events in our neighborhood told in his best style. I was highly delighted to hear such a good account of you and they family that all are getting on so well and that the family and friends are all in good health and doing so well, notwithstanding the war. I cannot express to you how much pleased I would be to pay a visit to you all. You are entirely mistaken when you think that I could get off home if I was an anxious to go as you are to see me. I assure you that I have used every honorable effort to get a furlough – and I will try no other and in every instance have been disappointed. I have known several officers to send up applications stating that their wives and children were on their death beds and in one instance that the wife of an officer was thought to be deranged or nearly so on account of the death of her last child & the absence of her husband, and all of these applications with these strong inducements for granting them were refused promptly and positively. But notwithstanding all of these discouraging circumstances, I have strong hopes of getting a furlough very soon as Col. Hoke has consented to use his best efforts for me as I have been so prompt & unremitting in the discharge of my various and heavy duties.

We had a very severe spell of weather while on picket, snow and rain yesterday incessantly, we returned to camp today over the worst roads I ever say, the mud was almost impassable, but we had to wade through it. I was in command of the battalion consisting of Five companies and had a very tiresome and disagreeable march. Soon after getting to camp, Col. Hoke sent for me and state that he wished for me to take command of the pioneers – 200 men – and superintend the building of our new winter quarters on the other side of Bull Run. So after being on constant duty for five days I will have to leave camp early tomorrow morning and will be overwhelmed with business for some length of time, at least until upwards of one hundred cabins are completed and ready to move in. I cannot tell with any certainty when I can be at home, but promise to see you as soon as possible which I hope wont be long. Give my love to all the family & friends,

Very truly & affectionately,

C.C. Blacknall

The box sent by Dock ahs not yet arrived but I hope it is not lost.


Sources: Christopher Watford, ed. The Civil War in North Carolina: Soldiers’ and Civilians’ Letters and Diaries, 1861-1865, Volume 1. (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2003). Original in Oscar Blacknall Collection, North Carolina State Archives.


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Camp Vance January 4th 1862

Dear Uncle [Mr. John Blair]

I take this oppertunity of writing you a few lines to inform you that I [illegible] geting along tolerbly well I have but little newse to write. There is good deal of excitement about Newbern now they think the enemy is going to try to take that place if they take that place they will have us in a close place but I am not uneasy though we have heard that there has been a fleet fited out for Newbern

Robert is well and geting along fine the company is in tolerbly good health but not so good as they have been we have four in the hospital and some on the sick list who are in the camp some of them have mumps the mumps has just got into the company, but I think most of them have had them. We are engaged now building winter quarters we will soon have them done and I expect when we get them done and get fixt to live we will be ordered away that I believe that is the common luck of a soldier. I would be glad to know whether any of you have heard from Uncle Wm Blair or not it has not been long since there was a battle in the county where he lives. I fear they have hard times there I have seen a volunteer who was in western Va he say Pochahontes County is in desperate condition he says the people there are half abolitionists Uncle John I have seen and learned a great many things since I have been in the army I could write a verry long letter if I had time and space but I have not and if I had I do not know that it would interest you I must close write to me soon any thing from home interests me I am ever glad to hear from any of my relations or friends

Yours truly

M B Blair

Source: Milton B. Blair to Uncle John Blair, Jan. 4, 1862, Blair Letters, 1838-1883. North Carolina State Archives and found in Civil War Digital Collection: http://digital.ncdcr.gov/u?/p15012coll8,591

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Manassas Junction,Va., January 16, 1862

Dear Sister:

            I received your letter some days since and was very much rejoiced to hear from you, but I thought that you were a very long time in answering my last.  It came at last and eagerly did I devour the contents and with what pleasure I lingered on every sentence, no tongue can tell.  The description you gave of your tableau interested me very much, and I regret very much not being able to have been there, as all such scenes always interest me so much, besides the desire of seeing you act.  I think, myself, that you should have had your face painted, and that would have set off the piece a great deal.  It is a pretty hard piece.  Didn’t you feel pretty scared?  What does Dick act?  Who was that sweetheart of yours that has been home four times?  I should like to know him.

            We have a hard time of it here now.  The ground is covered with snow and then a sleet over that, and it is nearly as cold as the frozen regions, the winds come directly from mountains and blow around us like a regular hurricane.  But we have now moved into our winter quarters, huge log hut, and we keep very comfortable, but it is nothing like home, home with its sweet recollections.  As I sit and write I cannot refrain from gliding back into the past and enjoying the blessed memories of yore.  But enough of indulging the imagination, for this is a sad reality and it will not do for my imagination to assume too large a sway.  Tell Miss Myra that when I visitWashingtonI will call on her parents.  I expect to go there soon, either as a visitor or captive, but I hope as the former.  We will have a tableau before long, I expect, but I expect the scene will be played in a larger place than a hall.  It will encompass several miles and will take several hours to perform it, but when it does come off it will end in a sad havoc.  I am very thankful to you for those socks you knit for me, and when I wear them I shall think of you.  All around me are asleep and the huge logs have sunk into large livid coals ever and anon emitting large brilliant sparks, that cast a ghastly hue around the whole room, and I know think it time to close, so goodbye. 

Your loving brother,


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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