Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Letter Transcript: A.White 4th N.C. 1864

     An interesting late war letter reflecting a southern soldier's desire to keep connected with home.  Albert M. White lived in Iredell County, N.C., where he enlisted in a company of troops organized there on 7 June 1861 at age 24. White was mustered in as a private. He was wounded at the Battle of Seven Pines on 31 May 1862. He was promoted to corporal on 13 March 1863 and was wounded at Gettysburg, 2-3 July 1863. He rejoined the company prior to 1 September 1863, when he was promoted to sergeant. He served until paroled at Appomattox Court House, Va., on 9 April 1865. White's company was organized in Iredell County and enlisted at Statesville on 7 June 1861. It tendered its service to the state and was ordered to Camp Hill, near Garysburg, Northampton County, where it was assigned to the 4th North Carolina Infantry Regiment as Company C and mustered in on 2 July 1861.  [Information based on UNC Library Resource Center provided to me by Fred London]
   It is interesting that he expresses what so many soldiers felt:  they never received enough letters from home.  The U.S. Christian Commission realized this desire/need and tried to help out on the Union side by supplying stationery for free and by carrying letters to and from the troops whenever they could.  Sadly southern troops did not have such an organization to support them.  Theirs was the more informal system or more localized organizations.  I hope you find this letter as interesting a read as I do:

Sgt. Albert M. White of the 4th N.C.Inf.  Oct.16th, 1864News from the Valley

Camp 4th NC Troops near Strawsburg VA:
Oct. The 16th 1864.  Miss Mag. A. White

   Dear Sister   I reced your kind letter of the 6th Inst & was glad to hear from you but was sorry to hear that you had a fellon your finger  I know something about them now: they are a bad thing to have.  I was gald to hear that you ware all well we are boath well I received a letter from Mira about a week ago I don't think you get the one half of the letter that I write:  I write at least one evry week but I cant hear of moor than one every month So I will stop this Subject at present well we are now at the Same plaice whare our last stampeede taken plaice I hope for better luck this time we are at Strawsburg again we have been three days all is quiet yet we drove the enimy beond Strawsburg across Sedar Creek then we came back to our works again they fought us a rite smart fite before they went across;  I will tell you how they have been doing the Sitizens of this Vally they are burning all the barrels all the milles and a greate many houses they are trying to compell them to move North Some have gon others moveing South & Some trying to tuf it out  it is hard to see this but we cant help our selves the yankees say that this valley is a harber for the Rebs when they perished out at Richmond  they can come here and suport all their armey:  They say that Grant Ordered them to strip this Valley of evry thing so bair that if a crow starts to fly across it he will have to carry his owne rations with him but I hope they will not get to do any more damage than they have done:  there is I think enough for what is left to live on we get plenty of appels yet I have eat more appels this year than I every did in one Sumer & we are still getting plenty to eat & having good health to engoy it the boys are well as far as you are acquanited I have not seen Lewis to day  he is one picket:  I have wrote 4 or 5 times to know if my Oaver coat had ever got home but if you get the letters I write I don't get them that you write in answer I sent it with John Finnster last Spring to Stoctons in Statesville if there is any one coming here I would love to get it again if you ever have got it if not it is at Stoctons I hope if I am Spaired I will get home this fall or winter So I will close for this time I wrote to Mira a few days ago and told all the news I want you then you write to tell me all the news if you hear from any of ur folks  let me know So I close for the present A[lbert].M. & G[eorge].W.
Transcript courtesy of G. Esker