22 November 1864: “The yankees passed last week, but did not trouble anything.”

Item Description: A letter from Mary Forbes to Julia Joyner. Mrs. Joyner directed affairs on the family plantation while her husband and son’s were in the war. Mary inquires after acquaintances and family members in this letter and mentions an encounter with Union Army.

 

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Item Citation: From Folder 18, in the Joyner Family Papers #4428, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Indian Ridge, N. C. 
November 22, 1864

Dear Mrs Joyner, 

Thinking you would like to her from me and as I have an opportunity I though I write you a short letters, I am very well, and enjoying myself as well, as I can expect. I hope this letter may find you and your family very well. 

I reached home safe, but felt very tired, as traveling always makes me so. I am now living in 18th Feubers yard, Mr. Forbes and myself, we have quite a small family. The yankees passed last week, but did not trouble anything. I am very busy getting my winter cloth, Mr Forbes gets plenty of work to do. I enjoy myself much better with a small family, than I did with a large one. I told Isaac to hung and kiss you all for me, but I don’t recon he did so. 

I often think of you, and wish I could see and be with you some, I heard Mely had come in, but I have seen her yet.  Mrs. Forbes joins me in love to your Mother and Miss Martha, give our love to Mrs Harris’s family and Mrs Left, Mr. Keils family, Mrs Yilda Edards, Dr. Baptist, + Major Spades family, tell all my  friends to write to me and will do the same when we have a chance. Tell Isaac to write to me if he is in Franklinton, I have not heard from him since he left home. Have you heard from your son? Mr Forbes joins me in love to yourself and family. Write to me very soon and along letter. 

If we never meet no more on earth may we meet in Heaven. Your sincere friend

Mary Forbes

Direct your letter to
Earnee Gurn, 
Currituck County 
N. Carolina 

Give your letter Mr.Garrot or Mr. Gordon and they will send them to me. 

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21 November 1864: “I would willingly enter the army this winter with the consent of my parents, still if Father can raise the funds I presume I will be allowed to graduate.”

Item Description: Letter from John Steele Henderson to his mother, Mary Ferrand Henderson. He writes that he needs more money for his tuition or he will be forced to leave the University of North Carolina.  He is due to come home after examinations and plans to travel with a female companion, Miss Anna Ashe.  He is still waiting on word from the President, likely about joining the Confederate Army.  He claims that he wishes to join the army but also wants to receive his degree.  John also writes about his feelings towards certain women.  Shortly after this letter was written, John Henderson Steele enlisted as a private in Company B, 10th North Carolina Regiment.

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Item Citation: Folder 36 in the John S. Henderson Papers, #327, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Item Transcription:

Chapel Hill Nov 21st 1864

My Dear Mother,

I have paid all my debts and I find the sum of money remaining in my possession after so deniable are such exceedingly diminutive, trifling, insignificant. I am forced to make a very moderate demand upon you to bring me home. Send me forty dollars as soon as you can for this is my last week at the university perhaps I fear. I will not be able to reach Salisbury before Thursday at two o’clock. At any rate unless I write otherwise you will please have Tom at the depot with the cart to get my baggage on that day and at that hour. I will be encumbered with a female companion, Miss Anna Ashe has placed herself under my protection. She will spend a few days in Salisbury with her aunt and ill then go down to Charlotte to spend the winter with some of her relatives, the Moores I believe. I mentioned her as an encumbrance but I don’t know but what I had better retract that statement. I will be ever glad with her assistance to procure a seat in the lady’s car where I may pass my hours very pleasantly if there are no bawling babies to create a great and intolerable noise. Nothing from the president. We will not hear of his final decision before the commencement of next week what his answer may be, whether favorable or unfavorable, is a matter of the utmost indifference to me. I see no cause for uneasiness however am I though I would willingly enter the army this winter with the consent of my parents, still if Father can raise the funds I presume I will be allowed to graduate. The rain has been pouring in torrents all last night and today. There seems to be no end to its fierceness. I haven’t been able to learn anything about Miss Wright and though I have called upon her I can never propose such a question to her. She is a thoroughbred lady and in truth is one of the 77 U’s. I shall make the inquiries however and will probably bring you all the information you desire when I return home. She is a woman of great beauty and intelligence. I hope I will find cousin Mary Cochran handsome sensible and pleasant. I am incredulous however this is a busy week and I am preparing for examinations. In hot haste with the expectation of a prompt reply.

Love to all,

John

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20 November 1864: “arrested the men that left the Battalion”

Item Description: Letter to George William Logan about arresting men who deserted and gathering new men for the company.

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Item Citation: Folder 37, George William Logan Papers, #1560, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Item Transcription:

Farmerville La Nov 20 1864

To Col Logan,

I arrived at home on Monday after leaving Camp, as I was passing through Vernon I discovered that the Reserve Corps had arrested the men that left the Battalion on the night of the 8th inst. The Com Officer intended sending them to Shreveport, but at my request he agreed to keep them but send them to Camps by our Guard and if necessary would find a guard from the R.C. with them. After getting home I found Ford and Jones in the parish they had arrested one man the night before I got home. A Report them here for the purpose of assisting me in arresting these men in the Parish, I would not give one or two men from Camps for the whole Reserve Corps, I will send Ford and Jones to Camps on the 23rd inst. I think that I will catch several of my men by the time my detail expire. My prospects are also very flattering about ?, several of the Boys Express a desire to join my Company, only they wish to remain at home until sometime in January or February. I shall use all the means in my power to fasten them before I leave this parish. Col, H Patterson and Taylor are sent to Camps have them punished by Bat Court Martial if you please

I am Col Very Respectfully

Your Obedient Servant

A A [?]

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19 November 1864: “much obliged to you for sending them in”

Item Description: Letter dated 19 November 1864 regarding travel plans.

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Item Citation: Folder 463, Thomas Ruffin Papers, #641, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Item Transcription:

Nov 19 1864

My dear Sir,

I was much pleased a few hours since by the arrival of Woodson and the dogs, and much obliged to you for sending them in, I had been at home but a few days and intended starting Salem to Rockingham on Monday next,. Tell Sterling that in two weeks I will have them in good running trim and if he will come down to see me then or afterwards will give give him such a a treat as he has not had in many a day. I am in hopes of having John to come out and if and spend some time with me during the hunting season.

My love to Aunt and all the family.

? your friend,

? Jones

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18 November 1864: “it is at work instilling poison in the minds of the people”

Item Description: A letter from Bryan Grimes to his wife. Bryan was an officer in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. He was located in Virginia during the war, but was from North Carolina. In this letter, he mentions General Jubal Early, his wife’s upcoming trip to visit him, and the contents of the Raleigh Standard.

 

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Item Citation: Folder 11, in the Bryan Grimes Papers, #292, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

11th Out Rodes Division
Near New Market
Nov 18, 1864

My Dear Wife,

No letters from you last night. What can be the matter? I suppose though I will receive two to night which will ? me from my disappointment. From your last letter I infer your spirits must be depressed, which ought not to be the case, but always look on the bright side of every trouble. As soon as you are able you must accustom yourself to outdoor exercise, so that you will be able to start the trip to ? without injury to your health, for it will never do for you to join me here if by so doing you will risk anything, for my conscious would never forgive me if I were for my own selfish gratification to jeopardize your health. You seem to think it necessary in each letter to remind me that you are anxiously awaiting the time when you can come to the army, but your desire to be here cannot exceed mine to have you. For this is dearly an hour but what this thought is present to my mind and as the time draws near the desire increases. We hear nothing from Gen’l Early on the ? but if this weather should continue, it will be impossible to make any movement but by the time you have sufficiently recovered to come out we will know definitely where and what we intend doing for the winter.

I got hold of a Raleigh Standard this morning the first I have seen since being home, and find that it is at work instilling poison in the minds of the people and ought so be suppressed for ? ? ? should be done away with–Somehow now of my state papers ever, and can in ? ? in the dark about everything in the politics of the state.

There is nothing in the world have to write about that would afford you its ? interest So you must be satisfied with ? ? of me, ? ? for yourself, and its first start. I continue to enjoy good health. Remember me kindly to all.

Reverently Your Husband,
Bryan Grimes

I enclosed your ($100) one hundred dollars a few weeks ago. Have you received it? If you need money call upon brother for it, and let me know and I will write to him.

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17 November 1864: “Tell her to knit another pair just like them onley a litle larger round”

Item Description: Letter to James B. and E. Knight from their son, James F. Knight, near Kinston, NC.  He writes to thank his parents for the package containing figs, bacon, and gloves.  He asks that they knit him more gloves so he can sell them for $10 to others.

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Item Citation: Folder 2 in the John R. Peacock Papers, 1895-z, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Camp Whiten near Kinston N.C.

Nov the 17/64

Dear Father and Mother

Yours of the 11 come to hand in due time. I was glad to her that you was all well this learns me well and fairing well truly hoping. these few lines may go safe. to hund and fin of you and famley all well I have no nuse to write at present though I can say to you that Mr. Williams got back monday night you cant tell how proud I was to git that box it like to a made a fool of me when I smelt that backen. Tell the girls that I a thousand time a blige to them for them figs. I am more than a thousand times a blige to you for the Rest of the things turn over. Tell Moley that when I saw them gloves I was proud as a niger with a head shirt. Tell her to knit another pair just like them onley a litle larger round and send them to me by C. L. Vick when he goes home he is got a furlow sent up now. I can git ten dollars for them & other if you and waring them shoes you may send them to me. So I must close by saying write soon fail not exchuse my short leter I still remain yours son untill death.

J. F. Knight to J. B. & E. Knight

Write soon fail not. I weigh 170 lbs yours truly J. F. Knight to J. B. & E. Knight

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16 November 1864: “This is the day set apart by President Davis as a day of public worship”

Item Description: A letter from James Graham to his mother. James Augustus Graham was an officer stationed in Virginia and South Carolina during the war. In this letter he requests items for his troops. It reveals a lot about what the soldiers needed during winter months.

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Item Citation: From Folder 3, in the James Augustus Graham Papers, #283, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Camp 27th NoCa. Infry
near Petersburg Va. Nov 16th 

Dear Mother, 

We are having a very quiet time in camp new. Contrary to the expectations of almost every body we have had no fight this month and I don’t think there is much chance of our fighting any more this campaign at least about Petersburg. I wish things would settle down so that we could go into winter quarters; for the winter seems to have set in in good earnest. The nights are very cold and we have a heavy frost almost every evening. 

This is the day set apart by President Davis as a day of public worship and we will have no drill or military obletes of any sort until Parade this afternoon. 

As it is getting so near winter and our men are needing gloves, cannot your “Soldier’s Aid Society” send me about 30 or 40 pairs of gloves for my company. 

Some socks also would be very acceptable as the socks we draw are very inferior and we seldom draw any. 

Please ask father to bring my cloth on with him when he returns to Richmond and I will try and get a leave of three or four days to come to Richmond and have it made up. The cloth I got this fall is that I want him to bring. 

When you send me a box I wish you would send me some sorghum and onions as they are about the best things for us in camp, also my herring. 

I have a good many bottles that I will send you by the first opportunity if you we don’t move camp; and I compelled to brave tem; before I get a chance to send them. 

Please send me some Postage stamps if there are any in Hillsboro. It is impossible to get any here. 

I must close as the mail came. Is waiting for my letter. Write soon. Love you.

As ever, Your affectionate son 

John Graham

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15 November 1864: “I do not take that lively interest in writing that I used to”

Item Description: Diary entry dated 15 November 1864, written by Sarah Lois Wadley. She writes about her social engagements and activities of the past week.

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Item Citation: Folder 5, Sarah Lois Wadley Papers, #1258, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Item Transcription:

Tuesday, Nov. 15th. / 1864.

This is Georgie’s seventh birthday, how fast the children are growing up! it does not seem like seven years since we left Georgia, but it seems as if we had been here such a long time, our old home and all the associations of my childhood are like a dream. We have holiday today in Georgie’s honour, and I have been writing letters all the morning, it is a murky, chilly day, peculiarly suited to letter writing, but now that my correspondence is so irregular and uncertain, I do not take that lively interest in writing that I used to. We have had such delightful, clear, warm weather lately, so unlike November. I have spent almost every afternoon in my flower garden which is beginning to assume a somewhat orderly appearance. I was in the garden Saturday when I was delighted by a visit from Mary Stevens and Eliza Baker, we spent a very pleasant day, what made it doubly pleasant was that it was Father’s birthday and the anniversary of his and Mother’s wedding, they have been married twenty-four years. I like Miss Eliza Baker very much indeed, she is only sixteen and is quite girlish and unaffected. Miss Mary rode with them about a mile on their way home, and enjoyed it very much, as we also did the walk back in the clear quiet evening light. Father received a note from Willie, dated a week ago Sunday at Shreveport, he was quite well and had carried all the negroes that far quite safely. I received a letter from Grandma and Lois last week, it was written in July, they were quite well. Also received one from Julia Compton, she had been sick but was then better.

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14 November 1864: “we are saddled up to meet the Yanks.”

Item Description: A letter from the cousin of Margaret E. Blackwell describing his experience in the Confederate Army in Alabama. He explains several small skirmishes between his men and the Union army, a wagon stampede, and what he gets up to in his free time.

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Item Citation: From Folder 2, in the Margaret E. Blackwell Papers #4790-z, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

 Item Transcription: 

Camp near Bailey’s Springs Ala. Nov. 14th 1864
Misses M.A. Blackwell and TR. Crawford. Dear Cousin and Niece,

I received a letter from Cousin Agnes of 27th & 28th Oct(?) a few days ago, and one from Bob a few weeks ago, but have  not time to reply till now. Will likely be stopped ere I get through, as we are saddled up to meet the Yanks. I have been on picket duty at Bailey’s Springs for the last three day, and am just  relieved. Have had no Beef issued us for four or five days, but I am not hungry. The boys have been conscripting Hop and I have got one meal a day from the citizens, who have generally very little to eat, and who will have to move off or starve. Our Army ruins the country wherever it goes. Sucks everything from the rich and the poor. The soldiers have no money, not being paid. 13 months pay due them and not half enough issued to the Cavalry to subsist them and the results is the county is plundered where ever we go. It is generally thought we (the army) will move forwards on tomorrow, to middle Tennessee. Infantry now crossing at Florence. Armstrong Brig crossed and came here on the 5th oct, since which time we have been fighting every day. On the sixth I went out to piquet(?) and had placed out a half dozen cadettes and a few scouts to the front and had just retired to reserve camp when we came full the cadettes and Scouts, before I had my other intimation of the attack. The Yanks close upon their heels and firing into them, we did not hear their guns till they got with 300 yds of us. It amounted almost to a surprise, but I had plenty of men (7 companies) to hold the place, and as good luck would have it I was mounted and found enough men ready to meet them instantly, and check them till the others could get into position. We fought till night when they retired. Lt. Lenox, of your acquaintance I suppose, was badly wounded, had just tendered his resignation and expected it within a few days. They tried us in heavier force next day but we were better fixed and drew them off directly. Col. Pinson has lost more men than any other Rgt. I think he has lost 8 or 10 men. Comd. King and Lieut Henly among the killed in his Rgt.; the names of the men killed and wounded I do not know. When the Yanks would let us along I had a nice time piqueting? at Baleys Springs. Met with some pretty young Ladies one of who I began to fancy and thought I had begun to interest her a little when she very seriously asked me if I were not a relation Davy Crockets. I have determined to get a better suit of clothing, if I have to nob a yank; I met an old acquaintance of Pas. Rev. Robt Williams, of McNairy County, Tenn. in very bad health at the Springs; another old acquaintance of his Rev B. L. Andrews lives not far form here. Nearly all the Captains living in North Georgia & North Alab. are poor. Some of them very poor and I can’t see how they can live here. Tom Grace is well but getting very tired of the service. Cross went 7 or 5 miles North West after forage yesterday. And while the wagons were loading we went out a half mile in front to picket and, finding a squirrel, commenced firing at it with his pistol. The wagons stampeded and lost a good load of the forage. He and another man took after them to stop them but the wagoners thought the were yanks, and drove furiously forward beating them to camp. Tom met with a number of his Tippard acquaintances in the Infantry yesterday. I sent some memoranda for you to transcribe up to some time in September, but do not know whether you received it. Please let me know when you do receive it and Up to what date, so I may know where to commence next time. I commence and go over again partly by guess-as my pencil notes are defaced. I would write much more if I had good paper and oftener if I had leisure. You must both write me every opportunity I have been looking for Cousin & Bro. Joseph, as time of furlough is up. Yours Truly,

AHB

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13 November 1864: “I hear that you have had supplementary drafts there and it has ruinated the township.”

Item Description: Letter from W. W. McKnight, Company E, 175th Ohio Volunteers in the hospital for jaundice at Columbia, Tenn., to his friend John Heaton in Fincastle, Ohio, describing his illness and the hometown boys in Company E and inquiring about the draft in Fincastle.

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Item Citation: From Unit 52 of the Federal Soldiers’ Letters, #3185, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Item Transcription:

Columbia Tenn Nov 13th 1864

Friend John,

I though I would write you a few lines this Sunday morning and let you know of my whereabouts.

I have been in the hospital one week yesterday.

I have the jaunders but am getting better. I have lost about 20 or 25 pounds since I come to the state of Tenn. The Doctor thinks I will be all right as soon as I get used to the climate and he says I must get used to the hard tack and sow belly for it was that that brought my sickness on in the first place. I am able to go around and go out in the country and get apples and vegetables.  The Fincastle boys of my company are here in town on detached duty.

Our regiment is scattered along the rail road for a distance of 50 miles to guard it but the Fincastle boys all got detached before the regiment was all taken away. Duffy is in the Post Saddler Shop and the rest of the boys are Post teamsters. We have never been paid anything yet and I don’t know how soon will be paid.

Well John I full sorry for my old township. I hear that you have had supplementary drafts there and it has ruinated the township. I do wish that the township had acted wise when we made the first effort there to clear the township.

I want you to write and give me all the particulars of the drafts and who all run away. Give my respects to every member of your family and believe that I am Fraternally yours.

W. W. McKnight

P.S. Direct to Columbia Tenn Co. E. 175 O.V.I.

 

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