Cpt. George W. Wooding, Danville (Va) Artillery. Last letter home

White Flint Bill

Oct 9, 2017
Southern Virginia
Over the past year or so I have from time to time published here one of the letters of Captain George W. Wooding of the Danville Artillery. To the best of my knowledge these letters have not previously been made available on the internet. I am grateful to this site for providing a home for them, as it will be easy for future researchers to find them here. What follows is Captain Wooding's last known letter, before he was mortally wounded at the Battle of Fredericksburg.

Martinsburg, Va. Oct. 19, 1862

Dear Pa

Enclosed I send you a check for Rufus Bennett, a private in my Battery, who is still at home wounded. Let Sam or Jim carry it to him, as soon as you get it. He can then get any to draw it for him if he pleases. I sent Barker's money home by Sam Williams, who gave it to Mr. Lipscomb, to be paid to young Barker's father. He has doubtless received it ere this. (Referring here to Walter Barker, killed at the Battle of Second Manassas).

Jackson's Corps advanced from Bunker Hill to this place yesterday. We are now engaged in tearing up and destroying the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.

My Battery as well as myself was near being captured a few days ago. General Stuart with his cavalry was fighting a column of the enemy, which was advancing on Charlestown. He sent to General Jackson at Bunker Hill (12 miles from Charlestown) to reinforce him with another Battery, and mine was sent. But before I could get there, Stuart had fallen back and taken a road leading in the opposite direction from the one I was traveling, left the town in the hands of the enemy, and sent no one to notify me, or tell me not to move in that direction. Under the circumstances I continued to move as first ordered, towards Charlestown, and when about three miles of that place I met a regiment of Yankee cavalry face to face in the road and some hundred and fifty yards distant from me. Seeing my critical condition, with no infantry or cavalry to support me, I knew that to run, or attempt to get out of the way, would expose my weakness, which being known, the cavalry could charge on us in a single minute. As soon therefore as I saw them, I ordered the guns thrown into position and gave the command to load and fire. As soon as this command was given and the men commenced carrying it into execution, the Yankee cavalry broke and ran in various directions. They must evidently have thought that both infantry and cavalry were behind me. As soon as they dispersed I started all my Battery but two guns back toward Bunker Hill and with those two remained in the road until night, when I with them went back to Bunker Hill.

I wrote to Tom several days ago. Harry and Jim Gun stayed at my camp night before last.

Love to all. Write soon.

Yours affectionately
George W. Wooding

P.S. Send the enclosed note to Michael Cassell

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