10 May 1863: “Harriet we have bin living fine since we came to Va. I not seen any corn bread since I left N.C. or that is we have not had any but we only get a quarter pound of meate a day & a quarter pound of sugar how long it will last I don’t know.”

Item description: Letter, dated 10 May 1863, from Robert Sifford, Hanover Junction, Va., to Harriet McIntosh, Mecklenburg County, N.C. During the war, Sifford served with the 52th North Carolina Troops (within “Pettigrew’s Brigade”). In this letter, Sifford gives a detailed account of a recent battle, presumed to be the Battle of Chancellorsville.

Item citation: From the Harriet R. McIntosh Papers #4794, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

Hanover Junction, Va. May 10 1863

friend & niece

This morning affords me the pleasure of communicating to you that I number one among the living as yet & in the best of health hoping the same may befall your lot on the reception of this confused letter. Well Harriet, I suppose I must tell you of our recent trip from old North Carolina. we left Kinston on Saturday night landed at Richmond on Sunday night we stayde at Richmond till Thursday when we took up our march again marched about 30 miles to Hanover. I don’t know how long we will stay. we did not get out here in time to take part in the big fight. from all accounts it has bin one of the most bloody fights during the war. both parties was slaughtered terrible bad day before yesterday I saw two thousand yankee prisoners on their way to Richmond & yesterday 5,000 more was along & I understand their are to be a great number on to day the prisoners who conversed with us say their time of enlistment is out the 20 or this month & home they are going & home they intend to stay if this should be so the war will soon end but how true it is I will leave for you to judge for I don’t pretend to say but I suppose they got a bad whipping this time but we lost a big number in killed & wounded I understand the 23rd, 34th, 37th Regiments were cut all to pieces I have not heard who was killed only Jacob Killian of the Beattiesford company But I heard their were six or 7 killed & a greate many wounded in that company & I heard this morning that the notorious yankee general Hooker was again coming with a large force if it be true we will be into it the next time. it was amusing to hear the yankee prisoners talk as they passed through our briggade they said Gen. Pettigrew was a powerful man for not long since he was after them at Newbern N.C. & from their he was after them at Washington & now on them again at Hanover Va. & I think myself we come as nigh being ever whare as the next Briggade the yankees all dread our briggade I heard that they offered fifty thousand dollars to get their hands on the Bethel Regt. & they call our Regt. the old Gun Boat Regt.

I heard from Miles as we came through Richmond he was nearly well But the Dr. went let him out get well Harriet we have bin living fine since we came to Va. I not seen any corn bread since I left N.C. or that is we have not had any but we only get a quarter pound of meate a day & a quarter pound of sugar how long it will last I don’t know. I wrote to Anabella while at Richmond so I suppose you have heard from me My regards to your father & mother & also H.P. Little & family & tell all hands to write & direct to Richmond Va. I will give you the address

Co. G. 52nd Regt. N.C. Troops Petigrews Briggade Richmond Va.

in care of [J.M. Kincaide] R. P. Sifford

 

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