Letter from Capt. James W. Terrell of Thomas's Legion written to his wife

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Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Dec 3, 2011
Laurinburg NC

My Dear Wife

Your letter of the 3rd inst. reached me today. Lt. Welch got here safe with all his men except Jonas Jenkins whom he has not seen since he left Walhalla. I wrote you a long letter yesterday which started today. I hope you will get it. I need not tell you how glad I was to get you letter by Lt. Welch. Although the news he brings is not cherring except that you are all well. Still I was not uppropared to receive such a statement as all the news we have had from that country has been of the most gloomy character. If you can only manage to keep something to eat I think everything else will go well. If you are scarse of bread stuff don’t feed the horses any corn but let them run in the pasture and work then half a day about. Let Martins end of the crop fence alone till after corn is laid by. What land you attempt to cultivate be sure and select out of the best.
Labor is too precious now to be expended on poor ground. Let the cows and sheep run out till after the harvest and save the pasture for the horses unless you cows won’t come up. Then as you must have milk ant any rate pasture the cows. Be sure and plant a good large patch of sugar cane as the molasses will be good substitute for meat which will be very scarce another year. Plant all the potatoes you can, also beans and peas I mean field peas. Of such things as these a very little labor will support a large family. I will come home as soon as I can procure a furlough but I cannot apply for one just yet. So I am afraid I can not get home in time to help plant any thing. So I send you the above advise. I hope you will be able to raise enough to do you. All that I am uneasy about now is subsistence you this year and next, and there are so many ways to live that I think we will get through. If you can do no better we can as soon as corn is laid by dispose of the horses by selling one and keeping the other in the pasture till cold weather then feeding it on fodder hay and etc which will keep it strong enough to go to mill for you get through the next year. I know you will do the very best you can out study to make every ear of corn every potato sweet or Irish every bean every pea and every stalk of sugar kane you can then the study will be to save all that it made.

Our war prospects now are bright and brightening. We got a telligram here yesterday evening stating that Kirby Smith had gained a great victory over the Yankee Banks in Louisiana. I hope and believe the news it true. It will not in my opinion be long till stiring scenes will transpire in Virginia which I feel confident will result in our favor. If this year does not wind up the struggle both our folks and the Yankees will be disappointed. While it is certain they can’t whip us this year.

Col Thomas wrote to me that brother John had volunteered in a Haywood Company. You don’t say whether he is still with you or not. I suppose it does not make much odds. Boys without men in them are not much. I have known that some time. But know it better now. A kiss for you.

May the Lord cherish and preserve you dearest one.

Your affectionate husband

Jas. W. Terrell

Mrs. Ann E. Terrell

PHOTO: Captain James W. Terrell
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