154 Years Ago Today...March 15, 1865

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Virginia Dave

Jan 3, 2019
Waynesboro, Virginia
154 Years Ago Today...March 15, 1865
“Let us pray on, hope on, and there may yet be sweeter days in store for us”
Confederate soldier D.C. Snyder, 11th Virginia Cavalry (near Lexington, Virginia)

“My Dear Wife…On the 1st day of the month we were ordered away from our former camp at Swope's Depot (very hurriedly too I assure you), on account of the advance of Yankees to Staunton. And up to that day I was looking for you and felt almost sure you would be there…I wished often after we first moved to Swope's that you had been out for you could have been pleasantly situated with me there for two months… [But] I believe now it was a kind Providence that interfered with your coming because of the trials and trouble that would have been yours under this recent move of the Enemy. If you were in Richmond there would be no telling how or when you would ever get home, as the Railroad and Bridges are destroyed along the whole line from Staunton to Charlottesville…The roads though are almost impassable for Stages or wagon. I have never seen anything to equal the roads as at present…I felt pretty sure the Yankees would get our entire Train and which they would have done if they had sent a detachment in pursuit…I had my Pocket full of your Letters and I stopped at a fire on the roadside and burnt them all for fear they would get them. This I regretted much for I had designed to keep them until the war was over and lay aside for the perusal of our children in after days. The ones containing the announcement and future reference to the death of our dear little Dan were among the treasured ones and consumed with the balance…The waters were very high and in one case as the front wagon containing Gen'l Rosser's baggage was crossing a large stream near where it emptied into North river, the Bridge gave way and the Wagon and contents, 4 mules and driver (a white man) all went down the stream and have never been heard of since…I felt so sorry for the poor man, for he was a very clever man, had a family and only returned a few days before from his home…

“Dear Rachel I want much to see you and our dear little children, but unless you feel that your coming out will be attended with no risk, liability or trouble in returning I would prefer to await the result of another summer's campaign with the hope of meeting you satisfactorily… There may be many changes and if I survive and am spared all will be well, but the fate of war may claim me as one of its victims and I would love to see you for many reasons if such is to be my fate. Oh I lament so much our separation at this period in our lives and under the existing condition of our country. But let us pray on, hope on, and there may yet be sweeter days in store for us.”

[Text from the Valley of the Shadow website here. Image is of unidentified Confederate cavalryman from Liljenquist Family Collection at Library of Congress.]
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