7 November 1862: “we seem to be threatened with something like a famine here. If our farmers have any thing to sell, they will not part with it at present…”

Item description:  Letter, 7 November 1862, from William Horn Battle to his son, Kemp Plummer Battle. Not long after learning about the death of his son Junius in a military hospital in Maryland, Judge Battle writes to his son Kemp about a potential famine in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Item citation: From folder 47 in the Battle Family Papers #3223,  Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

Chapel Hill, Nov. 7th 1862

My Dear Kemp,

I have made the first as requested for writs of sequestration and injunction in the accompanying case. As your bill gives me means of knowing the value of the slaves, I have fixed upon $2,300 as the amount of the sequestration bond.

I am sorry that you cannot go to Augusta. Cannot Mssrs. Bachelor and Bryan go? If this reaches you tomorrow morning, suppose you see the latter, and let me know by the evening’s mail. I feel so much depressed by public and private calamities that I can hardly force myself away from home. Amidst other causes for anxiety, we seem to be threatened with something like a famine here. If our farmers have any thing to sell, they will not part with it, at present, holding back, I suppose for high prices hereafter. I wrote you, I believe, that we had sent our agent to buy corn for us in Lenoir County. He [?] several hundred barrels, but we heard yesterday that it is was probable the Government would not allow us to have it brought up. Mr. M[?] went off again yesterday to see about it. If we cant relief in that way, I cannot tell what is to become of us. I have not as yet been able to buy either oats, fodder or shucks[?], and if I had not made a little corn myself, I should actually be suffering for the want of those essential articles. But enough of this.

I will hold myself in readiness to go to Augusta on Monday, provided I feel in better spirits than I do at present, unless I can hear that Messrs. Batchelor and Bryan will go. More I can not promise.

Lucy would be very glad to see Patty and the children, but by no means wishes her to expose herself or them to bad weather.

Love to all,

Yours,
William H. Battle 

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