17 November 1863: “I hope we that we will not have any more fighting to do this winter; for I am not so fond of fighting as anybody might suppose.”

Item Description: Letter, dated 17 November 1863 from James Augustus Graham to his mother. In it, Graham describes a picket shift, an encounter with Yankees, rumors about the progress of the war, and asks for food items from his mother.



Item Citation: Folder 2, James A. Graham Papers #00283, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Camp of 27th N.C. Inf’y

Orange C. H Va Nov. 17th 1863

My Dear Mother,

I received your very welcome letter of the 11th just last night and started to answer it then, but I was so sleepy I could not do it as I had only slept four hours in forty-eight having been on picket for that length of time. We had a pretty rough time on picket Saturday night as it rained nearly all night and we had no shelter, but had to stand and take it. The Yankee cavalry came up within sight of us on Sunday and took a few shots at us, but stayed too far off to hurt any of us. I took a shot at one of them and made him dodge and get further.

They did not stay in sight more than ten or fifteen minutes.

I have fixed up very comfortably ? having built a chimney to my tent and made a table and some stools. You just ought to see how snugly I am fixed up.

You said in your letter that I must write you what to send me by Walter Thompson.

I wish you would send me a big cake and some dried apple pies or “slapjacks”, I believe they call them, some molasses, dried fruit, lard, vegetables and any thing you choose. Please send me a bottle of brandy and some sugar and I will make an eggnog for Christmas if I can manage to get some eggs. Please send me a pound or two of butter for we very seldom get any up in these diggings.

I hope we that we will not have any more fighting to do this winter; for I am not so fond of fighting as anybody might suppose.

It was supposed in Camp yesterday that Ewell had captured a whole division of Yankees, but I believe it was contradicted today. This is all the news that I know anything about. Please have me half a dozen collars made of some colored stuff as my shirts are without collars and if don’t pay to wear white collars in camp. I must close. Love to all.

Write soon to

Your affectionate Son

James A. Graham

P.S. Please tell Willie to get me some of Gov Vance’s cloth if it has come. I understand it came with the last vessel. JAG.

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