31 July 1863: “Reid was taken a prisoner and was killed while he was going off over the field so I did not see him any more but I reckoned that he was willing to die…”

Item Description: Letter, dated 31 July 1863, from J. F. Coghill to his sister Mit. Coghill served with the 23rd North Carolina regiment and survived the war, living until 1926.

[Item transcription available below images.]

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Item Citation: Folder 1 of the John Fuller Coghill Papers 1724-z, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Dear Sister,

I received your most welcome letter this evening dated the 21st and I can assure you that it was perused over carefully and I was glad to hear that you are all well. This leaves me well and hearty.  well Mit you said that you wanted to hear something about Reid and how he died I cannot tell you but very little about it. for the last time I saw him was when we formed a line of battle and then I was called for to go in front and I went on and soon opened the fight then our Brigade came in to our support and fought like heros for some time without any aid or assistance we were compelled to surrender but in the — – I was on the left of the Brigade keeping the yanks from flanking our line but when the yanks had captured our men I was ordered to get away if I could so I came out safe and unhurt and Reid was taken a prisoner and was killed while he was going off over the field so I did not see him any more but I reckoned that he was willing to die and as for your picture I cannot tell what became of it well Mit orders has just come that we have got to leave so I can’t write any more at this time. I do not know where we will go to so I must close hoping to hear from you all soon. so nothing were but remaining your benevolent brother,

J. F. Coghill

I have not time to tell you any thing more about it.

August 1, 1863

Dear Mit. after being hurried of yesterday evening before I could finish my letter I will try and write you a few more times to let you know where I am. we are know in a smile of Orange Cour D House in camp but I cannot tell how long we will stay here we have had a hard day’s march and a hot one to know I will tell you something more about the things that you wanted me to write your picture I cannot tell what became of it and as for letters I don’t suppose he had any but what he had in his pocket Book and I have got that and his two rings them I will take good care of until I can send them to his dear Poppa and Mother whom he loved and know for his watch after he was shot down some of our men came across him and asked him for his watch and he refused to give it up and took it of are him and that is the way it ??? swell Mit I must close for this time I will write you a long letter in a few days if we stay here. I have just been grazing on Blackberries so I close hoping o hear from you all in a short time so I remain as ever your kind and loving Brother J.F. Coghill to A. E. Coghill.

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