Letters home from the enlisted men of the 6th Battalion N.C. Cavalry

M.Warren

First Sergeant
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#1
This is a series of 15 letters written by William C Penland of Clay county North Carolina. William was a member of Co. A, 7th Battalion North Carolina Cavalry. Colonel George N. Folk organized the 7th Battalion N.C. Cavalry at Asheville, N.C. July 18, 1862. The battalion was originally, composed of five companies but had grown to seven companies by the end of 1862. On August 3rd 1863 the 5th and 7th battalions were consolidated and formed the 6th Battalion NC Cavalry, 65th regiment North Carolina state troops.

In late September 1862 Colonel Folk was ordered to go with three companies of the 7th Battalion to Johnson City, Tennessee to capture or disperse a group of Unionist men believed to be organizing near Stone Mountain, located in Carter county Tn. Company B evidently went by way of Knoxville, Tennessee and was the location of William's first letter home on Oct. 12, 1862. My second great Grandfather M. Warren and his two brothers were also members in the 7th battalion NC Cavalry serving in Captain Browns Co.F and took part, joining Co.A at Taylorsville Tennessee now known as Johnson county, the location of Williams second letter. I'll be posting all 15 letters in this collection a few at a time along with other information on William and the 6th Battalion NC Cavalry, 65th Reg. NC state troops.

Original Source
Library of Congress
Photos are not part of the original collection of letters.
View of Knoxville across the Tennessee river.jpg


October 12 1862.
Knoxville Tennessee


Dear Father and Mother I take the present opportunity to inform that I am as well at the present time as I ever was hoping that these few lines will find you all enjoying the same like blessing all of the boys from Clay County are tolerable well James Crawford has come up and is well Joab Crawford has had the mumps but is well William Waldrupe is agoing to take my saddles home Zoro will please take them home and pay him one dollar for hauling them it has been raining here for two or three days and is a getting tolerable muddy it was the dustyest time when we first got here that I ever saw they have been running soldiers here for several days that is ever since we have been here they are breckinridgees men going to Kentucky there is a great many soldiers about this place everything is the highest here that I ever saw sweet potatoes are worth five dollars per bushel everything else in proportion onions are bringing ten dollars per bushel we are getting tolerable plenty for ourselves and horses to eat but some of them are a ganting up tolerable bad my horse doing about as well as any of them Uncle Wiley Moore has come he got here late Tuesday I heard from Aunt Margaret Mantooth yesterday she is well we do not know when we will leave here but I expect before very long there was a battle at Corinth last week we whipped them on Friday and Saturday but they whipped us on Sunday but we retreated in good order the report that we lost about four thousand in the engagement there was a great many of the wounded passed up the yesterday evenings train tell Mr. Sherman that John is well tell Mary to write me I helpt to take some deserters to jail yesterday they had went home without leave but come and the colonel sent them to jail to give others warning be sure and write for I would be glad to hear from home every day be sure to have those boots made for me for shoes are worth $10 dollars per pair and boots $9 dollars I have not wrote much of interest as I did not have any thing to write give my compliments to all inquiring friends so no more but remains your affectionate son until death


W C Penland

Ft Knoxville Tenn
Co.A, 7 Battalion North Carolina Cavalry
In care of Captain W P Moore


William C. Penland.jpg


wounded.jpg


Camp Near Taylorsville Johnson County Tennessee Nov 23rd 1862

Dear Father and Mother

I take my pen in hand to write you a few lines to inform you that I am well and doing tolerable well hoping that these few lines will find you all enjoying the same blessing I was out on scout day before yesterday and got in last night It snowed a right smart snow while I was out It is very muddy here at this time there has been right smart of rain here lately there is a good many sick men in camps now I think there is between sixty and one hundred men down with the measles in the battalion there is a not very many in our company Dan Ledford and Arch Henson both have had them but are a getting better We are a going to move to morrow about 8 miles and station for a while but I do not know how long I have not drawn any money as yet but I think that I will draw soon we are a getting a plenty of corn and hay for our horses and a plenty of beef and cornbread to eat ourselves I can do better on the fare than I thought I could I am as healthy at this time as I ever was in my life there has been the most snow in this country that I ever saw at this time of the year but it looks at this time like we might have some right nice weather but it clouds up and snows the quickest it seems to me that I ever saw it I have never heard a word from home since I left there it seems to me that you haven't been a long time a writing or the letters have been misplaced I begin to want to hear from home I do not know when I will come home but I expect I will be there sometime this winter but I do not know Franklin Brown has been to Knoxville and there is no letters there for us he has gone back and I do hope that he will bring us some news if he does not I will think that I will not get any soon I have wrote about five or six letters to you and one to Uncle Charles Penland and have never got any answer tell Mr. Sherman that John Sherman is well at the present time Cousin Robert Alexander is well also and has been ever since he left home I would like to be at home to get some good apples as I have not got any good ones since I left home everything is the highest that I ever saw it leather is worth $7.00 per pound and every thing else in proportion We are about twenty five miles from the salt works and salt is worth 20.00 per bushel at the works as it is getting late I will bring my letter to a close sure and write soon and give me the news of the day so no more at present but remain your affectionate son to his father and mother so fare you well

W C Penland

Taylorsville Johnson Co. Tenn
7th Battalion NC Calvery Co B
in care of Capt Moore


Strawberry-plains-bridge-2-cropped.jpg

Mount Taylor, Carter County Tennessee Jan the 3rd 1863

Dear Father and Mother

I now take the present opportunity to write you a few lines I am well at this time hoping that these few lines will find you and all the family and friends enjoying the same blessing I am as hearty as you ever saw me I would have wrote you before this time but I wrote you one and had to go out to meet the Yankees and did not have to mail it the Yankees were within one mile of us and said to be in force and there was but few of us Col Folk could not muster more than one hundred and fifty men in all at this place there was a dispatch come to us last tuesday that the enemy were advancing on the bridge at Zollicofffer and for us to go as soon as possible as we saddled and loaded our bagage and started late in the evening and got four of five miles from camp and heard that the forces at Zollicoffer were whipped and all killed and taken prisoners and were advancing and we turned back and went to a better position to fight and formed line of battle and stayed there until midnight and then we went about six miles and camped until midnight and then we went about six miles and camped and throughed out pickets until morning and then we heard that there was a crowd of what we call tories in the crabb orchard that was a going to cutt us off if the Yankees whipped us and we had to retreat and we went up into that country and found none off until we started back to our former camp and as we came on down we were fired on in two different places out of the laurel two of our men were wounded but none killed we took six or eight prisoners and wounded men of them that had a gun and was in the woods near the south it was such a rough country that we could not get after them for the rocks and brush I expect that there was near fifty or sixty guns fixed at us that day and but two touched there was two men of Browns company that were left sick on the road and they started to come to the battalian and they were fired on by five guns but were not touched a single time we got back to camp last friday and I started to write saturday and sunday and was detailed before I had got half of a letter wrote to go about on scout the Yankees have burnt two bridges and taken four companies of Loves regiment prisoners these force were sixteen hundred men they have left this part of the country the Major Mcdowell surrendered without the firing of a gun but Colonel Love give them a fight at Carter Depot there was five or six of his men wounded and one killed there were two of the Yankees killed and two wounded they were the best armed that I ever heard of in my life had Colts rifles that shot five or six times and two naval pistols a piece that shot six times also there were several of our men runaway a few days ago and they will face tolerable tolerable rough if they get them you wrote to me to try to get A E Pendergrass off if I could he runaway when had been in camp only one week I think that it was a very little trick of them their officers were all kind to them and they were getting plenty to eat I fear that deserters will be the ruin of our country if they keep a deserting and going to that country there will be an army sent to that country it will be eat up and will be starved out I think that is the only danger of our country being ate up or coming to want a deserter ought not to be countence in any shape nor form whatever James Crawford is on the mend and is a great deal better than he was when I wrote to you before he as been very bad M A Martin had not mended much the last account that I had of him I have not heard from him since last thursday he was a little on the mend then R V Alexander is well at this time tell Mr. Sherman that John is well and is gone to Knoxville at this time with some prisoners I am well this morning and have plenty to do lately I have wrote every day for eight days and part of the night in fact, nearly every night more or less in that time I would be glad to be at home but I do not know when I can get a furlough I do not think there will be any furloughing soon in this battalion when we left camp we left all our our sick at camp and they left and we think that they went home we do not know what has become of write soon and give me the news so no more at present but remains your son as ever write to Johnson Depot Carter County Tennessee

W C Penland





To be continued..
 
Last edited:

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M.Warren

First Sergeant
Joined
Dec 14, 2014
Messages
1,436
Location
Watauga Settlement
#2
Nashville, Tenn. Fortified railroad bridge across Cumberland River (1864)
Original Source
921px-Cumberland_River_Bridge.jpg


Washington County Tenn Feb 16th 1863


To H. M. Penland
Dear Father and mother

I avail myself of the fineses opportunity to let you know that I am well hoping that these few lines may find you and all of the family & friends enjoying the same blessing (there was a hole in the paper) kind providence it is raining here today and is warm and pleasent James Crawford is still very very low but is a little better than he was the last time that I wrote but is not out of danger yet George Loyd is sick yet and I do not know what is the matter with him A M Cook has got into camp again and is a gitting right smart better Capt moore has gone to Knoxville and has been for several days I think that he will be in tonight he will come home in a day or two after he comes to camp cousin Robert Alexander is well and uncle Wyly is also the health of our Batt is tolerable good at this time Samuel Justice is sick but is a gitting better When I heard that you had come to Macon to see me I was very sorrow that I had not have stayed there a few days longer I could have stayed until monday if I had of tried to have done it We are a gitting a plenty to eat at this time and tolerable plenty for our horses there will be four or five men that will come with Capt Moore when he comes home but I do not know who they will be I do handly expect I will get to (hole in paper) I think I will come about fifth of this month I have been to (hole) today we have a chaplain now I hope that he will stay with and not do like the other one that we had He stayed until he drawed a hundred or two dollars and only preached one sermon but I do not think that the one we have got is a very clever man his name is Harris We have had preaching every Sabbath for three or four weeks as it is a gitting late I will bring my few lines to a close write soon and give me the news give my respects to all of the friends and relatives so no more at present but remains your affection son as ever Address letters to Jonesborough Tennessee 65th NC Reg W.C. Penland Our battalion has been turned to a Reg

W.C. Penland

Confederate camp AL.
7e1d52ffe5109f0c0906787687b2058b--civil-war-photos-war-photography.jpg

Greasy Cove Tennessee Washington County March the 2nd 1863

To H M Penland
Dear Father

I seat myself to write you a few lines that I am still in the land of the living hoping that these lines will find you and all of the family in good health I am not very well at this time but have been well all of the time until a few days ago I have the bad cold very bad I think that I will be well in a few days we have been doing some very hard scouting we started one morning last week at two o'clock and walked all day until night over the mountains and did not get anything to eat until between one and two o'clock some of our boys went to the limestone cave and they got back and they got two bush whackers General Jackson is in this part of the country and a part of our men crossed Chucky to go with the general they are a going to give the mountains about the line a general scouting they killed one of the bush whackers yesterday they found three of them at a camp and they started to run and they shouted and they would not and they killed one of them and the others got a way there is camps nearly anywhere in this country where there is there is a thicket Arch Henson met with a bad accident the other day I believe it was yesterday morning he was going to get into a canoe had his gun on a rock and hit the cock on a rock and it went off and hit him in the back I do not know if it went to his hollow or not the doctor says that he will get over it I expect it very uncertain whether he will

March the 3rd

I feel some better this morning but not at all well Big Jason Ledford and Hezakiah Smith runaway a few days ago I recon if he went strait on he is at home today he did not tarry with us long I think that he just come after his money and not as he aimed to stay he is a true lover of money and at least he thinks more of money than he does for his character we a getting a plenty to eat for ourselves and our horses my horse is in a little better condition than he was when I wrote you last our men are very much scattered Lieut Barnard and about twenty four are here and there is a detail of fifteen with Lieut Feancher Lieut Anderson and all of the rest of the sick a way down below Johnson Depot and the last that heard of Lieut Cunningham he was in the Elizabethton area I do not know here James Crawford is now He was a getting better I have not got a letter from home for some time now the last one I got was from brother James H Penland I got a letter from Mr E M Scroggs he is well he says he thinks that the folks of Macon and Clay have forgot him I expect that would be glad to hear from you all at home I do not know when I can write again for we are all nearly out of paper and we can not get any paper in this part of the country we can get some by sending to Jonesborough or Greensville I want you to write me as soon as this comes to hand I must bring my few lines to a close give my love and respect to all the children and Mother and grandma and also Mr Sherman still address to Hanesville Washington County Tenn tell Uncle Charles and family howdy for me so no more at present but remain your affectionate son as ever


William C Penland

Note:Hanesville or Johnsons Depot is current day Johnson City Tn.


12a1aad961b45d21dc8e2074903559f0--battle-of-athens-the-battle.jpg

Washington County East Tenn

March 12, 1863

Dear Mother

I seat myself this morning to write you a few lines to let you know that I am well hoping that these few lines will find you and all of the family well we come in from the Greasy Cove yesterday to Johnson Depot there has been a good deal of rain here lately and the waters are very high we aimed to go to Zollicoffer but we can not get there until the water falls I was sorry to hear of Uncle Maturnic Moores death but it is a debt we all have to pay and there gone where there is no more war and distress there the health of our company is tolerable good at this time James Crawford is a little better the last time I heard from him I do think that he ought to have a furlough but he can not get it all I do not think it is said that he started to go home which I expect he did but it was when the small pox was reported to be in camp he met some of the boys and came back willingly he had been sick for a long time and was very timid and easy excited the doctor Moore signed a fourlough but the Colonel would not allow it Uncle Wyly has resigned his Surgeonship because he and the Colonel could not get along together he was very well liked by nearly all of the men I was not in camp when he started I want you to make me some mixed Jeans to make me a coat my coat is worn out and either make me a coat and send it by the first chance or send me the Jeans and I will have it made I do not care which if you make it the same fashion as Capt Moores as you can I do not want any other clothes a the present I must bring my few lines to a close at present but remain your affectionate son as ever

William C Penland

Zollicoffer East Tenn
65 NC Regt B
 
Joined
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Messages
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los angeles ca
#3
Nashville, Tenn. Fortified railroad bridge across Cumberland River (1864)
Original Source
View attachment 160873

Washington County Tenn Feb 16th 1863


To H. M. Penland
Dear Father and mother

I avail myself of the fineses opportunity to let you know that I am well hoping that these few lines may find you and all of the family & friends enjoying the same blessing (there was a hole in the paper) kind providence it is raining here today and is warm and pleasent James Crawford is still very very low but is a little better than he was the last time that I wrote but is not out of danger yet George Loyd is sick yet and I do not know what is the matter with him A M Cook has got into camp again and is a gitting right smart better Capt moore has gone to Knoxville and has been for several days I think that he will be in tonight he will come home in a day or two after he comes to camp cousin Robert Alexander is well and uncle Wyly is also the health of our Batt is tolerable good at this time Samuel Justice is sick but is a gitting better When I heard that you had come to Macon to see me I was very sorrow that I had not have stayed there a few days longer I could have stayed until monday if I had of tried to have done it We are a gitting a plenty to eat at this time and tolerable plenty for our horses there will be four or five men that will come with Capt Moore when he comes home but I do not know who they will be I do handly expect I will get to (hole in paper) I think I will come about fifth of this month I have been to (hole) today we have a chaplain now I hope that he will stay with and not do like the other one that we had He stayed until he drawed a hundred or two dollars and only preached one sermon but I do not think that the one we have got is a very clever man his name is Harris We have had preaching every Sabbath for three or four weeks as it is a gitting late I will bring my few lines to a close write soon and give me the news give my respects to all of the friends and relatives so no more at present but remains your affection son as ever Address letters to Jonesborough Tennessee 65th NC Reg W.C. Penland Our battalion has been turned to a Reg

W.C. Penland

Confederate camp AL.
View attachment 160874

Greasy Cove Tennessee Washington County March the 2nd 1863

To H M Penland
Dear Father

I seat myself to write you a few lines that I am still in the land of the living hoping that these lines will find you and all of the family in good health I am not very well at this time but have been well all of the time until a few days ago I have the bad cold very bad I think that I will be well in a few days we have been doing some very hard scouting we started one morning last week at two o'clock and walked all day until night over the mountains and did not get anything to eat until between one and two o'clock some of our boys went to the limestone cave and they got back and they got two bush whackers General Jackson is in this part of the country and a part of our men crossed Chucky to go with the general they are a going to give the mountains about the line a general scouting they killed one of the bush whackers yesterday they found three of them at a camp and they started to run and they shouted and they would not and they killed one of them and the others got a way there is camps nearly anywhere in this country where there is there is a thicket Arch Henson met with a bad accident the other day I believe it was yesterday morning he was going to get into a canoe had his gun on a rock and hit the cock on a rock and it went off and hit him in the back I do not know if it went to his hollow or not the doctor says that he will get over it I expect it very uncertain whether he will

March the 3rd

I feel some better this morning but not at all well Big Jason Ledford and Hezakiah Smith runaway a few days ago I recon if he went strait on he is at home today he did not tarry with us long I think that he just come after his money and not as he aimed to stay he is a true lover of money and at least he thinks more of money than he does for his character we a getting a plenty to eat for ourselves and our horses my horse is in a little better condition than he was when I wrote you last our men are very much scattered Lieut Barnard and about twenty four are here and there is a detail of fifteen with Lieut Feancher Lieut Anderson and all of the rest of the sick a way down below Johnson Depot and the last that heard of Lieut Cunningham he was in the Elizabethton area I do not know here James Crawford is now He was a getting better I have not got a letter from home for some time now the last one I got was from brother James H Penland I got a letter from Mr E M Scroggs he is well he says he thinks that the folks of Macon and Clay have forgot him I expect that would be glad to hear from you all at home I do not know when I can write again for we are all nearly out of paper and we can not get any paper in this part of the country we can get some by sending to Jonesborough or Greensville I want you to write me as soon as this comes to hand I must bring my few lines to a close give my love and respect to all the children and Mother and grandma and also Mr Sherman still address to Hanesville Washington County Tenn tell Uncle Charles and family howdy for me so no more at present but remain your affectionate son as ever


William C Penland

Note:Hanesville or Johnsons Depot is current day Johnson City Tn.


View attachment 160875
Washington County East Tenn

March 12, 1863

Dear Mother

I seat myself this morning to write you a few lines to let you know that I am well hoping that these few lines will find you and all of the family well we come in from the Greasy Cove yesterday to Johnson Depot there has been a good deal of rain here lately and the waters are very high we aimed to go to Zollicoffer but we can not get there until the water falls I was sorry to hear of Uncle Maturnic Moores death but it is a debt we all have to pay and there gone where there is no more war and distress there the health of our company is tolerable good at this time James Crawford is a little better the last time I heard from him I do think that he ought to have a furlough but he can not get it all I do not think it is said that he started to go home which I expect he did but it was when the small pox was reported to be in camp he met some of the boys and came back willingly he had been sick for a long time and was very timid and easy excited the doctor Moore signed a fourlough but the Colonel would not allow it Uncle Wyly has resigned his Surgeonship because he and the Colonel could not get along together he was very well liked by nearly all of the men I was not in camp when he started I want you to make me some mixed Jeans to make me a coat my coat is worn out and either make me a coat and send it by the first chance or send me the Jeans and I will have it made I do not care which if you make it the same fashion as Capt Moores as you can I do not want any other clothes a the present I must bring my few lines to a close at present but remain your affectionate son as ever

William C Penland

Zollicoffer East Tenn
65 NC Regt B
Interesting it appears near Greasy Grove,Tennessee there be lots of bushwackers in them hills. Not surprised. Cavalry men n both sides had to be heads up. Danger did lurk at every cornor.
Leftyhunter
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Messages
6,464
Location
Kingsport, Tennessee
#4
Nashville, Tenn. Fortified railroad bridge across Cumberland River (1864)
Original Source
View attachment 160873

Washington County Tenn Feb 16th 1863


To H. M. Penland
Dear Father and mother

I avail myself of the fineses opportunity to let you know that I am well hoping that these few lines may find you and all of the family & friends enjoying the same blessing (there was a hole in the paper) kind providence it is raining here today and is warm and pleasent James Crawford is still very very low but is a little better than he was the last time that I wrote but is not out of danger yet George Loyd is sick yet and I do not know what is the matter with him A M Cook has got into camp again and is a gitting right smart better Capt moore has gone to Knoxville and has been for several days I think that he will be in tonight he will come home in a day or two after he comes to camp cousin Robert Alexander is well and uncle Wyly is also the health of our Batt is tolerable good at this time Samuel Justice is sick but is a gitting better When I heard that you had come to Macon to see me I was very sorrow that I had not have stayed there a few days longer I could have stayed until monday if I had of tried to have done it We are a gitting a plenty to eat at this time and tolerable plenty for our horses there will be four or five men that will come with Capt Moore when he comes home but I do not know who they will be I do handly expect I will get to (hole in paper) I think I will come about fifth of this month I have been to (hole) today we have a chaplain now I hope that he will stay with and not do like the other one that we had He stayed until he drawed a hundred or two dollars and only preached one sermon but I do not think that the one we have got is a very clever man his name is Harris We have had preaching every Sabbath for three or four weeks as it is a gitting late I will bring my few lines to a close write soon and give me the news give my respects to all of the friends and relatives so no more at present but remains your affection son as ever Address letters to Jonesborough Tennessee 65th NC Reg W.C. Penland Our battalion has been turned to a Reg

W.C. Penland

Confederate camp AL.
View attachment 160874

Greasy Cove Tennessee Washington County March the 2nd 1863

To H M Penland
Dear Father

I seat myself to write you a few lines that I am still in the land of the living hoping that these lines will find you and all of the family in good health I am not very well at this time but have been well all of the time until a few days ago I have the bad cold very bad I think that I will be well in a few days we have been doing some very hard scouting we started one morning last week at two o'clock and walked all day until night over the mountains and did not get anything to eat until between one and two o'clock some of our boys went to the limestone cave and they got back and they got two bush whackers General Jackson is in this part of the country and a part of our men crossed Chucky to go with the general they are a going to give the mountains about the line a general scouting they killed one of the bush whackers yesterday they found three of them at a camp and they started to run and they shouted and they would not and they killed one of them and the others got a way there is camps nearly anywhere in this country where there is there is a thicket Arch Henson met with a bad accident the other day I believe it was yesterday morning he was going to get into a canoe had his gun on a rock and hit the cock on a rock and it went off and hit him in the back I do not know if it went to his hollow or not the doctor says that he will get over it I expect it very uncertain whether he will

March the 3rd

I feel some better this morning but not at all well Big Jason Ledford and Hezakiah Smith runaway a few days ago I recon if he went strait on he is at home today he did not tarry with us long I think that he just come after his money and not as he aimed to stay he is a true lover of money and at least he thinks more of money than he does for his character we a getting a plenty to eat for ourselves and our horses my horse is in a little better condition than he was when I wrote you last our men are very much scattered Lieut Barnard and about twenty four are here and there is a detail of fifteen with Lieut Feancher Lieut Anderson and all of the rest of the sick a way down below Johnson Depot and the last that heard of Lieut Cunningham he was in the Elizabethton area I do not know here James Crawford is now He was a getting better I have not got a letter from home for some time now the last one I got was from brother James H Penland I got a letter from Mr E M Scroggs he is well he says he thinks that the folks of Macon and Clay have forgot him I expect that would be glad to hear from you all at home I do not know when I can write again for we are all nearly out of paper and we can not get any paper in this part of the country we can get some by sending to Jonesborough or Greensville I want you to write me as soon as this comes to hand I must bring my few lines to a close give my love and respect to all the children and Mother and grandma and also Mr Sherman still address to Hanesville Washington County Tenn tell Uncle Charles and family howdy for me so no more at present but remain your affectionate son as ever


William C Penland

Note:Hanesville or Johnsons Depot is current day Johnson City Tn.


View attachment 160875
Washington County East Tenn

March 12, 1863

Dear Mother

I seat myself this morning to write you a few lines to let you know that I am well hoping that these few lines will find you and all of the family well we come in from the Greasy Cove yesterday to Johnson Depot there has been a good deal of rain here lately and the waters are very high we aimed to go to Zollicoffer but we can not get there until the water falls I was sorry to hear of Uncle Maturnic Moores death but it is a debt we all have to pay and there gone where there is no more war and distress there the health of our company is tolerable good at this time James Crawford is a little better the last time I heard from him I do think that he ought to have a furlough but he can not get it all I do not think it is said that he started to go home which I expect he did but it was when the small pox was reported to be in camp he met some of the boys and came back willingly he had been sick for a long time and was very timid and easy excited the doctor Moore signed a fourlough but the Colonel would not allow it Uncle Wyly has resigned his Surgeonship because he and the Colonel could not get along together he was very well liked by nearly all of the men I was not in camp when he started I want you to make me some mixed Jeans to make me a coat my coat is worn out and either make me a coat and send it by the first chance or send me the Jeans and I will have it made I do not care which if you make it the same fashion as Capt Moores as you can I do not want any other clothes a the present I must bring my few lines to a close at present but remain your affectionate son as ever

William C Penland

Zollicoffer East Tenn
65 NC Regt B
Welcome back Mike ! Great post & photos ! Could they have been after "The Old Red Fox" Captain Ellis ?
 

M.Warren

First Sergeant
Joined
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Messages
1,436
Location
Watauga Settlement
#5
6039102a1ed01e1ec51f174c9876b66f--civil-war-photos-war-machine.jpg

Zollicofer Sulivan County East Tenn
March 18th 1863


Dear Father

I embrace the present opportunity to write you a few lines to let you know that I am well hoping that these few lines will find you and all of the friends well and enjoying the same blessing we are stationed about one half of a mile from Zollicoffer Bridge We have to guard there all of the time I was there a day and night day before yesterday the health of our company is good at the present there is no new cases of sickness at the present James Crawford is on the mend he is stouter than he as been since he came from home I think he will get well now soon he is in better spirits than he has been the cars have to cross the new Bridge today I do not know whether they will or not they have only been three weeks a making the Bridge I do think that they have made good progress there has been a good many Yankee prisoners passed up the road since we come here that were taken between Murforsoboro and Nashville Tenn I got a letter from Aunt Margaret Mantooth a few days ago she was well when she wrote the letter I also got a letter from Mr. Kenedy he is well I think that we will be stationed here for some time now but I do not know how long I have heard that Capt M N W Moores company is to be here in a few days I do not know when We are not getting enough of feed for our horses but I think that we will soon When they get regulated about transportation on the railroad we get a plenty to eat ourselves of meat and bread we are not a drawing any sugar and rice at the present John Sherman has gone to Jonesboro to forward Commissaries he is well we are a looking for some of our men in now ever day it may be that there will be another detail in there in a few days but I do not know it for certain I am not in the detail now it is made out and sent up for approval I do not know whether it will be approved or not if it is they will be at home by the first of April I can inform you that James Mathison has got into camp he came up on the last nights train he has had a considerable ride on the cars he went from Atlanta to Chatanooga and then to Knoxville and on here Big Jason Ledford has stared to go home once lately and met Mc Ledford and he told him about the Cavalry being in that part of the country and he came back I wrote that Uncle Wyly was gone home it is a mistake he started and did not get his papers fixed right and he had to come back I do not know whether he will go home or not I wrote to mother that I wanted her to send me a coat I still want her to have it made and send it to me the first chance for my coat is worn out So no more at present but remains your son as ever Direct your letters to Zellicoffer Sulivan County East Tenn C B 65th N C Regt

W.C. Penland

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March 23 (on envelope) 1863 Headquarters 65th N C Regt Zollicoffer Sulivan County East Tenn

Dear Mother

I seat myself this pleasant morning to write you a few lines to inform you that I am well hoping that these few lines will come safe to hand and find you and all of the friends enjoying good health I have nothing of much interest to write to you I can say to you that the health of our company is very good at the present time Uncle Wyly is still here but I do not know how long he will stay here his health is very good at the present he looks as well as I ever saw him in my life James crawford is a mending fast lately I think that he will soon be able for duty John Sherman is at Jonesboro to forward commissaries to the Regt He was well a few days ago I believe it was day before yesterday that some of our boys were down there I want you to have me that coat made and send it to me as soon as you can for my coat is nearly worn out and Jeans is so very high in this part of the country that I do not want to pay it nice gray Jeans is worth ten dollars per pound in Jonesboro if you can not have it made and have a chance to send the Jeans I can get it made very easy if there is anybody a comming that will bring the Jeans with them whether you have a chance to have it made or not send it to me for fear you do not have another chance to send it for I do not think that there will be much passing from here now for some time so no more on that subject James Crawford got a letter from John Crawford last week he is well I believe that I have nothing more to write that would interest you I will bring my few lines to a close so no more at present but remains your affectionate son as ever to his mother

William C Penland

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March 23 (on envelope) 1863
Headquarters 65th N C Regt
Zollicoffer Sulivan County East Tenn


To James H Penland

Mr James H Penland

I set myself pen in hand to write you a few lines in answer to your kind letter which came to hand sometime ago I have not answered it as soon as I would have but we have moved a good deal lately we are stationed here to guard this bridge I expect that we will stay here for some time my health is very good at the present and in fact all of company is in tolerable good all that were sick are on the mend the last account we had of Arel Henson he was a getting better we are not a getting much for our horses to eat since we come to this place it is a very nice day here today there has been a great deal of rain here lately we are not doing much riding lately but are not a feeding much I would like to be with you and talk with you but I can not do so and I will just rite I have not had a letter from any of you at home in a month I do not know whether you have not written or they have been miss placed I would like to hear from there now Uncle Wm Moores Company is to be here in a few days so I have heard but I do not know whether it is so or not we are a looking for the Yankees to make a rade into this part of the country but I do not know whether they will or not write to me as soon as this comes to hand and give the news in general give my respects to all of my friends and acquantances and especially to all of the family so no more at present but remains you affectionate brother ever

Wm C Penland

 

M.Warren

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#7
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Apr 22, 1863

I feel better this morning than I did yesterday M A Martin is in very good health Cousin Robert Alexander and the two Crawford are both well we will not stay at this place long I will send you one hundred dollars by Liut Cunningham I would have had more to have sent but I have been loaning some money I have lent one hundred and twenty five dollars Mother I want you to send me that coat or the cloth I do not know when you will have another chance to send it I also want a pair of pants That I believe is all that I want at the present I have heard that Daniel Woods has got to making hats I want you to have me a hat made and send it to me I want it to be made out of fur if it can possibly be got tell him to do his best on it but not to make it too powerful heavy ha I want you to write to me whether Big Jason Ledfords land is worth Seven hundred dollars or not He told me that he would take that for it if I would give I want you to write to me as soon as this comes to hand and tell me whether it is worth that money or not I will send you some envelopes also I would sent you more but I have not got them at the present I must bring my letter to a close I have said enough with it was better so no more at present but remains your affectionate son as ever

W C Penland


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Camp near Blontville Sulivan Co East Tennessee May 5th 1863

Dear father & Mother

I now seat myself to write you a few lines to let you know that I am well hoping that this may come safe to hand and find you and all the family well the last account that I had from Uncle Chamberlain he was very sick I allowed to get a permit to day and go to see him but there was no chance to get a permit to day for there come orders to this place this morning for us to be in readiness to move to Knoxville in the morning at eight o'clock I have not heard from Uncle Chamberlain now for two or three days I would have went up there before now but our company has been out on picket below here all of Loves Regt but one company has left Zollicoffer last night Henrys company went with the Regt all of Walkers Regt left but one company also stayed to guard the Bridge I expect there is a fight expected down below some where I sent you a pack of envelopes by Thomas Setser He said if he did not see you that he would leave them at Fort Hembree C M Anderson and Thomas Setser went to take the remains of Lieut Anderson he died on the 28th of April He was a good officer and a noble Soldier he was well thought of by all of the men in this company he died and said that he was willing to die he had a tolerable long spell of sickness his death was much lamented by all who knew him W H Coleman is very unwell yet he is still at the home of one of his uncles M A Martin is in good health now R V Alexander is also well and John Sherman and all of the boys that you are acquainted with but A M Cook I got my coat that you sent to me I like it tolerable well it not quite long enough in the skirt Mr Bristol got with J N Ownsby at Knoxville and he brought it to me you wrote to me to know whether I wanted any other clothes as I want one pair of pants and I also want you to get some fur if you can and have Daniel Woods to make me as good a hat as he can make I do not like to wear a cap and a common cotton hat is worth $20 in this country and I do not like to give this sort of price my horse is a goodeal reduced on account of getting such short rations for him but he is shed of and in good spirits I have been offered $350.00 for him but I would not take I thought that I could not get a horse that would suit me any better We get a plenty to eat our selves such as it is and that is corn meal with Brand in it and bacon and some of the time we sugar and rice and peas so no more at present but remains your son as ever

William C Penland

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Camp near Clinton East Tennessee May 24th 1863

Dear Father

I now seat myself to write you a few lines to let you know that I am well hoping that these few lines may find you all well I was out on guard last night we have had to give up our tents there has not been any rain since we gave them up I think it will be a tolerable bad chance when it rains our mess has just a cloth but I do not know how long we will get to keep it I have heard the boys a talking that we had to leave our wagons I do not know whether it is so or not we are a going to start to Ky. this morning we have drawn list days rations of provisions and I mean we will certainly start to day we have not been a getting much to eat since we have been at this place but I am inclined to think that men will be healthyer in camps on tolerable short rations as far as I am concerned I am doing very well on what we get with a few exceptions James and Prator and Joseph McClure are at the hospital at Knoxville there is some few sick but none of them very bad off you can tell Mr Sherman that John is well and hearty at this time M A Martin is also well and R V Alexander and L C Harper are also well at this A M Cook is well also & James Wood Crawford we have been a pasturing our horses now for some days & feed a little on corn old Rubin Leatherwood's mare is gone and has been ever since yesterday I do not know what has become of her I would not be surprised if she was stolen for this is a bad place here for such as that we are ordered to Monticillo KY it is between one hundred and one hundred and twenty five miles from this place I expect that it is a tolerable scarce country of anything to eat and feed upon I have not heard from uncle Chamberlain since I wrote to you the three Ledford boys are in jail at Knoxville and I expect it will be a good while before he gets out of there I would not be surprised if they was to shoot Big Jason His trial has not come up yet I recon A E Pendergrass is home before this time I would advise him to come to camp himself as soon as possible I think that is will go easier than if he has to be gone after If they do have to go after him this time he will be apt to be brought in strings and it will be apt to go hard with him we belong to Pegrams Brigade and he and Moore are both in K.Y. at this time We are to join them Col Fains Regt is at this place now I do not know whether they will go with us or not Riley McConnell has the worst arm that I ever saw in my life it was lansed by vacination all of the rest of our company are well of the vacination I do not know how long we will stay in Kentucky I want you to continue to write to Knoxville and there will be a chance for us to get them through by couriers going through write soon give my respects to all of the friends and if I have any time to write I will write to you I will close

Wm C Penland

William mentions in this letter that the Ledford brothers are in jail and he wouldnt be surprised if they shot Big Jason. There were 4 Ledfords in the 65th. Jason W., Jason (Big), David, and Elisha Mac. Below is a picture of Jason W. Ledford on left; Elisha Mac Ledford on right.

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#8

M.Warren

First Sergeant
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#9
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July 19th 1863 Sweet Water Monroe Co. E Tenn

To H. M. & P. M. Penland


Dear Father and Mother I now set myself to write you a few lines in answer to your letter which came to hand some time ago but there has been a good deal of passing lately but they always started with so little warning that I did not have time to write I can say to you that I am well at this time and have been ever since I wrote to you There is a good deal of sickness at this time John Sherman, S. V. Ledford, Eli W. Lewis, J. P. Cherry are all gone to the hospital at Louden Andy Carson, J. M. Ownby and H. P. Ownby are all sick besides several others to tedious to mention Mark Auberry that was left in Kentucky sick came to camp yesterday morning the Yankees took him and parolle him he started home yesterday with A. L. McConnell there has been a talk of several of our men a getting to go home soon but I do not know whether they will get off or not there is a fine crop of wheat in Tennessee this year the citizens says that there is the best looking prospect for corn that there has been for some years my horse is a mending some now I will send him home the first chance that I have the boys that went yesterday took some horses and could not take any more or I would have sent him by them my mare looks very well at this time there is several of our company at Wattsburgh on picket and have been ever since we come from Kentucky Lieutenant Virgil Barnard & R. V. Alexander are there with about 16 men we are a looking for Samuel H. Allison to come into camp now every day he has been gone a good deal over his time now I would be very glad to see him come for I think that I will surely get a letter when he comes from home I am anxious to hear from there now for I have heard that there is a good deal of sickness in that country this Summer I want you to write to me what has become of A. E. Pendergrass it is a mistake about Big Jason being shot for deserting he was taken by the Yankees at Wattsburgh by the Yankees I saw Newton Gibson he stayed with us night before last a going to his command below Sweetwater I want you to have me a good pair of Boots made by fall and send them to me for boots can not be had here for less than 50 per pair and I do not expect that they are very hard to get there but I want them if they can possible be had I would like for you to come down and see us all and see how we are a coming on and if you can not tell Mr. Sherman or J. H. Penland one or both of them to come I forgot to state that J. H. Ledford was terrible bad off and has been for several days I will bring my few lines to a close by saying write soon and often give my respect to all enquiring Direct your letters to Sweet Water and as before excuse bad writing and composure So no more at present but remains your Son as ever

William C. Penland


PS write to me whether you know where Uncle Chamberlain is or not I have not had a letter from Mr. E. M. Scroggs now for a long time he did not answer my last letter I do not know what is the reason of it W. C. P.


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August 14th 1863 Camp Evenazer, Knox Co, E, Tenn

To H M Penland


Dear Father

I now proceed to write you a few lines to let you know that I am still in the land of the living hoping that these few lines may come safe to hand and find you well I have not been well now for five or six days but I feel some better this morning the talk in camp at this time is that we are a going to leave this place it is said that we are a going to Big Creek Gap but I do not know whether that is so or not we are a looking for our boys to come to camp that are at home we have heard that they was to leave home last tuesday Cousin R V Alexander is still at Wattsburg John W Sherman is still on the sick list I do not know that he is any better than he was when I wrote to you before James P Cherry and David P Queen are a going to start to the Hospital this morning I think that I will get well without having to go to the Hospital myself I haven't had a letter from home since Samuel H Allison come to camp If you have not started my saddle just keep it and do not send I bought me a saddle this morning it is the saddle that Little Abb Moore that John M. Owenby brought into the service I concluded that I had rather have a saddle at home than to have the and that my saddle was too good a saddle to ride into camp and ruin it I will bring my few lines to a close Direct your letter to Knoxville Co B 7th Battalion of N C Troops Write soon and please excuse my bad writing and spelling for I wrote this in a hurry So no more at present but remain your son as ever

W C Penland

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August 16th 1863 Coal Creek Tenn 31 miles north of Knoxville and 11 miles below Big Creek Gap at Joel Bowlings

Dear Father & Mother & Relations

I drop you a few lines to let you know that I am not well at present I have some simptons of fever But not Dangerously Bad at this time we was ordered from Ebineser to Big creek & I & doc McConnel Both Being unwell we have stopped at Joel Bowlings till we get Better When I rote to you I thought I was Getting Better but was taken worse the same day & father I would like you would come & see me if you can & if you come you come through a horse back come to Loudon & Campbell Station & Clinton & Jacksborough there is a few of our men at the hospital But not Bad as to the Rest of the Boys they are generally well we hear they are Bushwhacking sum in Cherokee & if so we would like to come up & settle the matter as we just could do that thing times over here is Quite now but we don't know how long will Remain so times is pretty hard here Money & provisions & co

Mr. H.M. Penland esq
Dear sir Wm is here & wants you to be sure come & see him we will take the best care of him thats possible in our power while he Remains here he is tolerable poor & he may be well in a few days or he may get worse I can't tell he wants you to come to see him & I would like to see you out here too if our Country was not tore up But you come any how & will do the best we can for you & Co

Say to Miles Mcconnell that Doc is here with Wm & unwell but not dangerously & say to Andrew Groves that Wm is here & is well & he ways that he eat the first beans for his dinner to day that he as eat this year Now he is in reasonable health Columbus is mending he can on his britches So I will not Rite no more as I hope I will see you soon yours as ever with Due Respect & Co

Wm C. Penland


"General Pegram set up headquarters at Camp Ebenezer near Knoxville. Various companies of Battalion 7 were then sent to Big Creek Gap for scouting and picketing the road to Kentucky. In his letter of Aug. 14, 1863 from Camp Ebernezer, Williams [WC] said he had been sick for five or six days. As the troops moved toward Big Creek Gap William got sicker. His next letter Aug. 16, 1863 was from the home of Joel Bowling at Coal Creek (now Lake City) Tennessee. Obviously he was sicker than he thought, since Joel Bowling had to complete the letter and send it. William was able to sign it. Three days later William died.

The part of William's last letter written by Joel Bowling leaves the impression that Joel Bowling and William's father, Harve Monroe Penland, were friends. They probably were, for Joel Bowling had previously been postmaster at Fort Hembree in Clay County, N.C. This also explains why William, and Doc McConnell, both sick, were taken in and looked after by the Joel Bowling family."

Last Letter Information Source.
 
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#10
View attachment 160905
July 19th 1863 Sweet Water Monroe Co. E Tenn

To H. M. & P. M. Penland


Dear Father and Mother I now set myself to write you a few lines in answer to your letter which came to hand some time ago but there has been a good deal of passing lately but they always started with so little warning that I did not have time to write I can say to you that I am well at this time and have been ever since I wrote to you There is a good deal of sickness at this time John Sherman, S. V. Ledford, Eli W. Lewis, J. P. Cherry are all gone to the hospital at Louden Andy Carson, J. M. Ownby and H. P. Ownby are all sick besides several others to tedious to mention Mark Auberry that was left in Kentucky sick came to camp yesterday morning the Yankees took him and parolle him he started home yesterday with A. L. McConnell there has been a talk of several of our men a getting to go home soon but I do not know whether they will get off or not there is a fine crop of wheat in Tennessee this year the citizens says that there is the best looking prospect for corn that there has been for some years my horse is a mending some now I will send him home the first chance that I have the boys that went yesterday took some horses and could not take any more or I would have sent him by them my mare looks very well at this time there is several of our company at Wattsburgh on picket and have been ever since we come from Kentucky Lieutenant Virgil Barnard & R. V. Alexander are there with about 16 men we are a looking for Samuel H. Allison to come into camp now every day he has been gone a good deal over his time now I would be very glad to see him come for I think that I will surely get a letter when he comes from home I am anxious to hear from there now for I have heard that there is a good deal of sickness in that country this Summer I want you to write to me what has become of A. E. Pendergrass it is a mistake about Big Jason being shot for deserting he was taken by the Yankees at Wattsburgh by the Yankees I saw Newton Gibson he stayed with us night before last a going to his command below Sweetwater I want you to have me a good pair of Boots made by fall and send them to me for boots can not be had here for less than 50 per pair and I do not expect that they are very hard to get there but I want them if they can possible be had I would like for you to come down and see us all and see how we are a coming on and if you can not tell Mr. Sherman or J. H. Penland one or both of them to come I forgot to state that J. H. Ledford was terrible bad off and has been for several days I will bring my few lines to a close by saying write soon and often give my respect to all enquiring Direct your letters to Sweet Water and as before excuse bad writing and composure So no more at present but remains your Son as ever

William C. Penland


PS write to me whether you know where Uncle Chamberlain is or not I have not had a letter from Mr. E. M. Scroggs now for a long time he did not answer my last letter I do not know what is the reason of it W. C. P.


View attachment 160906

August 14th 1863 Camp Evenazer, Knox Co, E, Tenn

To H M Penland


Dear Father

I now proceed to write you a few lines to let you know that I am still in the land of the living hoping that these few lines may come safe to hand and find you well I have not been well now for five or six days but I feel some better this morning the talk in camp at this time is that we are a going to leave this place it is said that we are a going to Big Creek Gap but I do not know whether that is so or not we are a looking for our boys to come to camp that are at home we have heard that they was to leave home last tuesday Cousin R V Alexander is still at Wattsburg John W Sherman is still on the sick list I do not know that he is any better than he was when I wrote to you before James P Cherry and David P Queen are a going to start to the Hospital this morning I think that I will get well without having to go to the Hospital myself I haven't had a letter from home since Samuel H Allison come to camp If you have not started my saddle just keep it and do not send I bought me a saddle this morning it is the saddle that Little Abb Moore that John M. Owenby brought into the service I concluded that I had rather have a saddle at home than to have the and that my saddle was too good a saddle to ride into camp and ruin it I will bring my few lines to a close Direct your letter to Knoxville Co B 7th Battalion of N C Troops Write soon and please excuse my bad writing and spelling for I wrote this in a hurry So no more at present but remain your son as ever

W C Penland

View attachment 160907
August 16th 1863 Coal Creek Tenn 31 miles north of Knoxville and 11 miles below Big Creek Gap at Joel Bowlings

Dear Father & Mother & Relations

I drop you a few lines to let you know that I am not well at present I have some simptons of fever But not Dangerously Bad at this time we was ordered from Ebineser to Big creek & I & doc McConnel Both Being unwell we have stopped at Joel Bowlings till we get Better When I rote to you I thought I was Getting Better but was taken worse the same day & father I would like you would come & see me if you can & if you come you come through a horse back come to Loudon & Campbell Station & Clinton & Jacksborough there is a few of our men at the hospital But not Bad as to the Rest of the Boys they are generally well we hear they are Bushwhacking sum in Cherokee & if so we would like to come up & settle the matter as we just could do that thing times over here is Quite now but we don't know how long will Remain so times is pretty hard here Money & provisions & co

Mr. H.M. Penland esq
Dear sir Wm is here & wants you to be sure come & see him we will take the best care of him thats possible in our power while he Remains here he is tolerable poor & he may be well in a few days or he may get worse I can't tell he wants you to come to see him & I would like to see you out here too if our Country was not tore up But you come any how & will do the best we can for you & Co

Say to Miles Mcconnell that Doc is here with Wm & unwell but not dangerously & say to Andrew Groves that Wm is here & is well & he ways that he eat the first beans for his dinner to day that he as eat this year Now he is in reasonable health Columbus is mending he can on his britches So I will not Rite no more as I hope I will see you soon yours as ever with Due Respect & Co

Wm C. Penland


"General Pegram set up headquarters at Camp Ebenezer near Knoxville. Various companies of Battalion 7 were then sent to Big Creek Gap for scouting and picketing the road to Kentucky. In his letter of Aug. 14, 1863 from Camp Ebernezer, Williams [WC] said he had been sick for five or six days. As the troops moved toward Big Creek Gap William got sicker. His next letter Aug. 16, 1863 was from the home of Joel Bowling at Coal Creek (now Lake City) Tennessee. Obviously he was sicker than he thought, since Joel Bowling had to complete the letter and send it. William was able to sign it. Three days later William died.

The part of William's last letter written by Joel Bowling leaves the impression that Joel Bowling and William's father, Harve Monroe Penland, were friends. They probably were, for Joel Bowling had previously been postmaster at Fort Hembree in Clay County, N.C. This also explains why William, and Doc McConnell, both sick, were taken in and looked after by the Joel Bowling family."

Last Letter Information Source.
I had relatives on both sides from Monroe County. Dangerous pace to be during and after the war !
 

M.Warren

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#11
Below is another letter written by Private Agustus Benfield, Co.H 6th Battalion NC Cavalry to his wife Louisa explaining the conditions they were living in at the time of W C Penlands death. The letter was written on July the 10th 1863, just over a month before Sgt. Penland died.

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Big Creek Gap, (Campbell) County, East Tenn. July the 10th 1863

My Dear Wife I again take my pen in hand to drop you a few lines to let you know that I am a live yet and in common health and do hope thefew lines will come to you in due time and find you & the children all well & doing well & satisfied. I want you to live contented & to do the best you can till I come home if it is the Lords will for me to ever get there & if I live I am coming home someday or other before very long (?) better I can tell you than we have suffered anuff in the last three weeks to kill anny set of man in the world(.) they have kept us running all the time pretty near & give us nothing to eat hardly only as we could by it & beg it along the road(.) we have to spend all of our money for something to eat & then half starve to death I tell you we are nearly starving we are nearly getting so weak we hant able to do duty but we have it to do. I tell you men cant stand it mutch longer nor they wonts do it(.) thare has ten run away out of our company and eight or ten days & that hant all that will go if they dont feed them better(.) our hole Bertalon (battalion) tuck ther guns & all march up to the majors quarters & stacked our guns up in a pile & told him we wouldent do no more duty till we got something to eat & ( ) we shouldent till we got something to eat and he started some men out and got something to eat in a short time and they have done a little better since that time & if we have to stack our arms again we will all go home the next time & I think that will be before long I tell we are seeing hard times hear now I can tell you we have run our horses down I had my mare right fat and could have got four hundred Dollars for her & sins them yankees come in hear and we had to run our horses so & got nothing to feed our horses on but a little grass till our horses has fell away till they hant hardly able to go (?) I can tell you I have been in one fite with the yankees & if it is the lords will I never want to be in neary nother. I have heard some folks say that the yankees culdent shoot but that is a lie I (k)now for they shot at us an they shot in a hurry & close to us so I dont care about trying them no more if I can keep out of it I tell you thare hant no fun in being in a fite when the balls is flying around your head as thick as hornets around ther nest I tell you it must be the murcy of god that saves a mans life in a fite(.) I had no idea of coming out of it a live but I come out safe but I tell you they shot close to me so I will close that subject(.) you must excuse me for not writing before now for I hant had the chance(.) I received two letters from you the other day & one from Wm. Winters(.) one of them was dated June the 5th & the other June the 21st(.) tell W.m. I will write to him soon ( ) will close for this time.

A Benfield to L.C. Benfield

W C Penland mentioned the 65th NC Cavalrys raiding in Kentucky and that men had been lost and captured by union soldiers while taking part in those raids.

Note: According to the official regimental history of the 65th NC state troops written by Cpt M.V.Moore A.Q.M, Many of the men weren't aware of the consolidation of the 5th and 6th Battalions, forming the 6th Battalion 65th NC state troops, and noted the confusion on the reassignment of the companies. For some time even on the official records of the confederacy there were listed two company A's, and two company F's, etc, so its no surprise the enlisted men were confused as well. This confusion is reflected below on both the Confederate records and Union roll of prisoners of war.

According to the remarks written on Private Benfields official record:

"Captured about the first of August 1863 whilst on raid in Ky. Under Col. Scott".
(Confederate)
B | 5 Batt | NC
Alfred Benfield
Pvt. Co. C, 5 Regt NC Batt

Appears on a Roll of Prisoners of War
Received at Camp Douglas, Ill.

Where captured: Somerset, Ky
When captured: Aug 1, 1863
When received: Aug 22, 1863
When transferred:
Remarks: Discharged June 16/65 [1865]
Camp Douglas, Ill., Register No, 1; page 192
T.M. Weaver, Copyist

Appears on a Roll of Prisoners of War
At Camp Douglas, Ill., discharged June 16, 1865,
In accordance with General Orders No. 109, A.
G.O., Washington, D.C., June 6, 1865.
Roll dated: Not dated

(Confederate)
B | 5 Batt | NC
Alfred Banfield [Misspelled and is noted with an ‘x']
Pvt. Co. C, 5 Reg' NC Bn [Battalion]
Where captured: Somerset, Ky
When Captured: Aug 1, 1863.
Remarks: Burke Co., NC
Number of roll:
200; sheet 1
W F Spencer, Copyist.

Roll of Prisoners of War released June 16th, 1865.
Number of roll:
351; sheet 1
Camp Douglas, Ill.
R.B. Duncan, Copyist

(Confederate)
B | 6 Cav./5 Batt | | NC
Alfred Bofield [Incorrect spelling noted with an ‘x']
Pvt. 5, NC B
Name appears as signature to an
Oath of Allegiance
To the United States, subscribed to at (date and
Place not stated).*
Place of residence Burke Co, NC
Complexion fair; hair brown;
Eyes grey; height 5 ft. 11 in.
Remarks: Morganton, NC

More letters of enlisted men of the 6th Battalion NC Cavalry to come.
 
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M.Warren

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#12
Silas Stepp, a Confederate soldier in the Civil War was born ca. 1823. He was the brother of Azor, Elizabeth (a twin of Azor), Joshua, Fidillia, and Joseph. Stepp was married to Eleanor Nellie Fortune, who was born March 3, 1825. Her brother Ben was also a soldier, and her sister was Lydia Fortune Brown. Stepp and Eleanor had five children, Joseph, Ellen, Billy, Mary, and Silas Jr. . Thomas Stepp, was the grandfather b. 1853.

At the time of the 1860 Federal Census, he and Eleanor were living on their Swannanoa farm with their five children (the last name is spelled "Step" in the 1860 Census).

On April 27, 1863 in Buncombe County, Silas Stepp enlisted in the Confederate army in Company D, 7th North Carolina Calvary Battalion. During the war North Carolina was the only state that did not provide clothes for their soldiers, and all Confederate troops had to provide their own mounts, upon entering the Battalion Stepp brought a horse from home. On August 3, 1863 Stepp was transferred to Company C, 6th North Carolina Cavalry Regiment (65th Regiment State Troops). In early 1864 Silas asked his brother-in-law, Ben, to take his place in the war. Ben had been discharged earlier due to unknown reasons, and never returned to the war.

Credit: D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville.


There are 17 letters written by Silas Stepp during the war, I intend to post here so that there are as many letters from the 6th Battalion NC Cavalry together as possible for anyone interested in studying the unit in the future. After over 30 years of trying to find information on this unit I've discovered it one of the hardest to follow through the war during my experiences.

(Letter 1.)
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Greenville Tennessee May 9 1863

To Eleanor Stepp

Dear wife I now take my pen in hand to rite you a fiew lines to let you now I am well I hope this will find you all well and dooing well I am about one mile below greenville tennesee wee are on amarch to knoxville wee went close to Zolicoffer and wee herd the command was at buffalo ridge wee turned ther and before wee got ther wee herd they was at Jonesborough and when wee got ther they was gone to lime Stone Station 13 miles above greenville there wee over tuck them friday evening to day wee march here on our way to knoxville and they Say from there to clinton wee are going to <ahot?> country Jim and ben and thos allison is all well it raind on us amost all the time wee laid by ahalf day it raind so hard I dont now where for you to rite to unles you rite to knoxville 65 fifth Ridgment in care of capt galaspie I wood like to bea at home but alas that cant bea now Jim says hee will rite in afiew days they was 50 yankie prisoners in the cars lastnite going on to wards richmond I am riting on my nee in the woods I hope to here from you soon god save the people of this sinful world I must close

Silas H Stepp
 
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M.Warren

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#13
(Letter 2)
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Kinston N.C. March 23 1864

To Eleanor Stepp

Dear wife and children i Seat my Self this morning to rite you aline to let you now i am well i hope this will come safe to hand and find youall wel i receive your kind letter las nite of the tenth i was glad to here from you but sorry to here elen was Sick and sow bad off i hope She is better if i had node it i wood of stayd at home tel i wood of sead how She would of got i am verry uneasy about her i think they ort of let me anoad of it before i left wee have hard times down here our ridgment has to picket on a line about 10 miles long at diferent points wee have had rite Smart of Snow twice it has bin raining hailing and snowing 2 days and nites it stop this morning i was on the post 24 hours of it all nite without fire set on my horse every 5 and 6 hour of the time and wee get 2 bundles of fodder aday to the horse and one half galon of corn aday wee get verry little to eat times is quiet here but wee are looking every day for the enemy to advance it is reported wee will go back to tennesee i hope is is Sow Some Say wee will Stay here i want to leave here i dont like this country down here i want you to rite onst a week all the time if i dont maby i will get some of them i like to here from home often this is the first time i have herd cence i left i ant satisfide here and i am sow oneasy about home i have rote to F Fortune this is 4 letter to you it is freezeing cold here now apple trees and peachtrees is in bloom here isaw peas up yisterday in the Snow i wood like to see pore little elen but that cant bea now i was on the <???> line 2 weeks now i am about 16 or 17 miles below kinston report here is Wm P fortune and wm gillam and wm Stepp is all kild rite if it is Sow i hope it is false if wee goto east tennesee i will come home i want you to take care of your Self and do the best you can rite soon give all the news i will rite again in a fiew days rite every week i will close here is houdy to you and all the children i remains your offection husban tel death

S.H. Stepp.
here is the way to back your leters S. H. Stepp kinston 6 N C cav in care of capt folk [Capt. James S. Folk]

(Letter 3)
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Kinston N.C. April 8 1864

To Eleanor Stepp

my dear wife and children i rite you aline to let you now i am well only a bad cole i hope this will come safe and spedy to hand and find you all well i have nothing strange to rite you times is quiet along our lines i receive your kind letter last nite of the first of this inst i was truly glad to here from you and here you was all alive and well i am sorry to here bille has them spels yiet i think hee had better wash his head 2 or 3 times a day in cold water you nead not bea uneasy about mee thinking hard of you about your letters they was along time beginning to come but they come in every week now it is a great satisfaction to me to here from home i rote one to your father one to my father one to mary and lydia one to wm Stepp i aint got the Scratch of a pen from them yiet i think Some of them mite of rote rite to mee how the baby is if it can croul or Stand up or if it can Say papy yiet i aint for got the little pet yeit if i was there i wood soon have it to cry after [the rest of this line and the next four lines crossed out] <it?> is my hand houdy my dear wife [picture of a hand] when this you see remember mee though many miles apart wee bea you rote about the money i will tel you what i think of it you now the confederacy was bound for it and they have kild it they say the new money will bea good if they can make laws to kil the money they can make laws to kill the bonds they say new money will bea founded on two weeds of the confederacy that is tobacco and cotten now if the confederacy cant make it good how will them 2 weeds <if?> it make it good you nead not bea oneasy about mee going to richmond i dont expect to go there there is aheap of this ridgement never will go there the report is wee will attack newbern in a fiew days i dont think Sow my reason for it is wee aint got troops nor arms enough down here when the thing <??> all gets rite i expect to come to the blue ridge there is no inducement to mee to stay here i aint satisfide here nelly i tel you there is now where with mee like home i hope to here from yow Soon give mee all the news give my respects to all
of my friends receive a ful portion to your Sef

Kinston NC S. H. Stepp



Credit: D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville.
 

M.Warren

First Sergeant
Joined
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Messages
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#14
(Letter 4)
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Near New Bern N.C. May 2 1864

my dear wife and children i rite to day to let you now i am alive yiet and is well i hope this will come to hand in due time and find you all well and dooing well as could bea expected i Supose our men has retaken washington N C and pleymouth it is reported in camps wee will move down to new bern in a day or two wee are ordered to cook 3 days rations to day all is quiet along our lins wee had a bust up yisterday in company D there was a order for every one to take his horse to a Stak and curry him now body done it that was disobaying orders ther was 34 of us arrested last nite about 11 oclock wee got to head quarters to day wee was tride wee all come clear only come clear [escaped punishment] 1 man hee has to go to Jail his name is ben glazner i tel you company D is high up i hope it will all war away i aint much to rite you i am looking for a letter every day the last one i got was rote april the 16 day i rote to you april 8 the 15 the 18 the 24 i aint got any anser from them yiet i wood bea glad to here from you rite how you are getting along with your work and how the stock is dooing and how the grain looks how williams and melton is getting along let mee now if you have truck enough to doo you give all the news in that country i dont now how long wee will stay here there is sow many reports in camps that aint so our rations is slim wee are in a great confusion here to day our trial is all over now damage done i wood bea sow glad to see you all and talk with you that 1 man come clear now i tel you this Scrape wont bea forgot soon i tel you there is now Satisfaction here let mee now hoo was conscrpt there and where all the troops is in that country i wood bea sow glad to bea at home one more time i will rite again before long you must excuse my bad riting iaint in now fix to rite i am nervis to day every one will get there rites some day i will close by saying i hope to here from you Soon your affection husban tel death

S. H. Stepp to Eleanor Stepp
Houdy to you all Direct as before


(Letter 5)
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Near New Bern N.C. May 7 1864

my dear wife and children i rite you aline to let you now i am yiet alive and is well i hope thesefiew lines will come To hand and find you all well and dooing well i have bin on a rade i have Just gotback to camps i was out 5 days i will give you a sketch of my trip the first nite wee campt next morning wee left at day lite we marcht all day and nite tel about 2 oclock Just after dark wee Struck a swamp about 2 oclock wee Start to rest Some place the mud was belly deep wee rested tel day light wee march again about 10 oclock wee got acros the Swamp and struck the railroad wee tore it up and burnt it cut the telegraph wire down there was 2 or 3 ridgements of us all cavelry wee struck a fort on the road there we had a fite wee scirmished some time they sheld us heavy Several Shells struck close to mee the nearest about 8 or 10 feat one bal about 20 steps it bonce and come rite towards mee i spurd my horse out of the way of it wee flank round dis mountid and fired occasonly wee got the fort surrounded our company and gashes company advance on them wee fit some time and our men demanded surrender they surrender on condition that was if wee cold let them keap there money and close they had 2 negroes to cook they wanted them not abuse if wee wood doo that they wood give up wee did it wee got 51 prisoners there now body hurt on either side one horse kild on each side wee tuck one block house 5 or 6 mile above there there was 3 or 4 kild ther i was not in that fite it was all about the same time this was done below newbern we expected to fite at newbern we was redy to fite there wee had 22 thousand men around here the nite before wee was to fite 3 dispatches come to the gineral to go to rich mon and wee all retreated back i expect wee will go to va before long but i dont now wee made a sucesesful rade and all come out Safe i tel you the shels and bauls flue thick over us close by wee was protected by the ruler of all things i am thankful it is as well with us as it is i have Just receive 2 letters from you and one from F Fortune one of 24 and one of 29 and for tune of 27 i was truly glad to here from you all and here you was all well and getting along the best you can i wood bea sow glad if i could See you all one more time i expect wee would of tuck newbern if orders had not come to left when orders come wee had to leave i was close enough to here the drums wee had 60 or 70 battries along i am glad to escape all Such fites my horse looks tolerable well Fidoren [his horse] hee dont looks as well as hee did when i left home i am that tired and Sleepy i cant hardly rite my health is good and has bin all the time what a great blesing it is our men whipt the enemy at deap gully above new bern a fiew miles a fiew kild there i am sow glad to here from home i was oneasy about home it [has been] longer this time between letters then common they come in to gether the time appears to me long to bea away from home i wood bea glad if i had some little things to eat from home but it is now use to talk about it if i could see you i could tel you more then i can rite i will rite to F Fortune before long when i have the chance the officers here ses our ridgement has done twice the duty sence wee have bin here that any other has done wee have a hard time of it if i could bea at home in the morning to take breckfast with you i wood give my horse i tel you i am tired of the war and country the water is sow bad i am tired of living this way i must close as it is late and i am tired and sleepy i hope to here from you soon giv all the news i have rote this to you as it is i could say more about it this is the substance of all the scrapes if i could strik hands with you one more time i wood bea sow glad i must close


S. H. Stepp to my dear wife Eleanor Stepp
houdy to you all i hope the good beaing will restore mee back to you one more time


Credit: D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville.
 
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M.Warren

First Sergeant
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#15
(Letter 6)
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Near New Bern N.C. May 14 1864

my dear wife
i rite you a line this evening to let you now i receive your kind letter yisterday i was on post ihave got to camps now it was rote the 6 i was truly glad to here from you and here you was well it found me well this leaves mee well i hope this will find you all well and dooing well i have Just got one from B. F. Fortune i am glad to now you are all well i cant tell yiet about things hee rote about how it will bea i will come if i can all is quiet on our lines now i supose thare fiting a heap in va now wee fair as well now as could bea expected wee git bread enough and a little meat i aint much to rite this time i tel you i want to see you and the children you dont now how bad i am glad to now you are geting along well with your work let mee now if you have your wool carded yiet and what you have done with your beef hide and how the clover looks and how many lambs you have my horse looks tolerable well hee dont look as well as hee did when i left home this hard rade wee had hurt him some the health of our ridgement is perty good now
as far as i now wee are scaterd very bad now over [over = turn the page over] i will send mary a little book i got in the fort wee tuck they cauld the fort couaton i will send it in a envalop i tel you my dear i am tired of Staying here and living the way wee doo i am tired of sleeping among a gang of men on the ground like hogs i tel you no place is like home with mee the talk here is that peace will bea maid this summer i hope it may bea sow if i could see you i could tel you more then i can rite i am in good health but i am getting verry lean i nead little things to eat to ceap up my flesh but i cant get them here i went 5 miles yisterday to get a mess of kale i think father mite rite to mee i have got 3 or 4 from your father i have ansered all i got from him it is a satisfaction to mee to get a letter from any of my friends if they dont rite to me i dont expect to rite much to them wee pay e and 10 dollars a quire for paper 4.5. and 6 for envalops wee have fine growing wether now i will doo the best i can you must doo the same i will close by saying i hope to here from you soon i rote to you 8 of april you aint sed any thing about getting it i sent you the picture of my hand in it iwill close houdy my loveing wife

S. H. Stepp to Eleanor Stepp
direct as before
(Letter 7)
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Near New Bern N.C. May 17 1864
my dear wife and children i rite you a line this morning
to let you now i receive your very kind letters of
the 10 and 12 of this inst they found mee well i
rote to you and ben i have rote 2 to ben i hope this
will find you all well and dooing well i am dooing
as well as could bea expected i have no war news
to rite you i hope the i hope the rangement you rote
about can bea maid i want to come to the mountains
to summer there is a detail made our know to go home
to get horses drew burnet is coming with them to
get John and fetch him here they start in the morning
drew rile powers will allison J. C. davis and two others
Six in all they will be gone 25 days drew is on post
now if hee comes i will send a fiew litle things by
him you need not send send mee any clothin i have
got enough to doo mee this summer let me know
if you have got the cow from copelins and how
she done i sent a little book in a letter to mary
rite if you got it i think i have got the most
of your letters you rote to mee some times it is too
weeks betwen then they come in close to gether
it is about all the Satisfaction i see to get letters to
read from home and to rite to you them and
my little old book is a satisfaction to mee i hope i
will get to see you before long i cant tel yiet
have all done you can with way you rote about i will
give anything that i have here to get to come to the
mountains i have talk to capt folk about our names [Capt. James S. Folk]
he says he will have it stopt rite off if hee dont
i will give what hee ort to have col folk is good [Col. George N. Folk]
to us capt is better to us then hee has bin the
row wee had coold him dont bea uneasy about mee
i will try to take care of my self the best i can
i sent you half quire of paper some envelop some indigo seed some
butons a belt and cap box with caps in it 2 papers of catridg my
gloves and cap one bottle of pouder 2 pen pints 10 stamps
one hammer i sent them in my dirty habersack send it [haversack]
back by him if you pleas i aint time to fix up any
thing hardly i hope to here from you soon i must
close



S H Stepp to Eleanor Stepp



(Letter 8)
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Near New Bern N.C. May 21 1864


my dear wife i rite you a line this morning to let you now i am well i hope this will come to hand in due time and find you all well and dooing well times is quiet along our lines i rode 10 miles a long them last nite and back this morning i here a heap of news from v a the report here is our men kild wonded and captured 40. or 50. thousand .31 ginerals they dont say any thing about our loss i aint much news to rite you i rote a letter to you by D burnet i sent Some little things by him to you i sent my gloves and cap i hammer 1 bottle of powder i belt and capbox and caps 2 papers of cotridge Some indigo seede one case knife half quire of paper and some envalopes and Some ons but one dollars worth of stamps 2 pen points i sode them up in my habber sack i hope hee fetched them to you safe i give him five dollars to take them home i sent a little book to mary in a letter tel mee if she got it the last letter i got from you
was rote 12 i rote 2 to ben to swap for mee if he can i will give my horse to boot if i can get to Stay amoung the mountains this this Summer there was 6 men and one lieutenant detaild to go home after horses D burnet A B ward frank citten gim wheelon rile powers will allison thare to bea back in 25 days Some of them as good as give there Stock away to go home let mee now how you are getting along with your work and how the stock is dooing and how the truck looks tel mee how dock looks and how his hoof is let me now how mr. williams and mr.melton is getting along with there work it is a satisfaction to mee to rite home and here from home wee had a prar meting in camps yisterday the most of people about here thinks peace will bea made this Summer i hope it will i will bea glad to see the
time come sow i can come home and enjoy my self with you as i onst did i often think of the pleasure wee onst saw together i hope the time will soon come that wee will meat again rite what they have done with crage give mee all the news wee fare as well as could bea espected you now times is hard you nead not send mee any clothing by burnet i have got enough to doo mee this Summer i must close i hope to here from you soon houdy [bottom line crossed through]

SHS to ES

Credit: D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville.
 

M.Warren

First Sergeant
Joined
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Messages
1,436
Location
Watauga Settlement
#16
(Letter 9)
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Near New Bern N.C. May 29 1864


my dear wife i seat my Self this morning to rite you a line to let you now i am yiet alive and on the land of the living my health is tolerable good i aint bin very well a fiew days my bowels has bin runing off some but they are getting better i am able for duty i hope this will find you all well i got your letter yisterday of the 22 i was glad to here from you and here you was all well i aint much news to rite you all is quiet on our lines i Supose the enemy loss in v a is about 75 thousand and ours is about the same pore men how they suffer i am Sorry to here times is sow hard in your section i am oneasy about you and the children i hope people wont pres on you too much sow you will have to suffer wee get bred plenty and a little meat some times it is Just bread i have rote 2 letters to ben to swap for me if hee can if he aint got them you can let him now it i want to come one man died our of our company the other day by the name of Shown from tennesee wee have hot [Pvt. J. B. Shown of Co. C] wether here and bad water i tel you my dear you dont now how bad i want to see you and the children i tel you it is hard for a man to bea drag away from his family i wood give any thing i have got to get home and stay with you the rest of my days i will do the best i can you must do the same i hope wee will see each other again i wood bea sow glad to strike hands with you i tel you my dear i am pestered nearly to death Some times it is now wonder if you could Just see how wee live and do you dont now much a boutet it is enough to make a man think of home all the time wee will have preaching to day in camps it aint often wee here that i am sorry to here the wimmen and children is Suffering for bread tel mee if you have got enough and how your truck look i am sow oneasy about you i can see now peace here that is any satisfaction to me i often think of old times that wee have had together i wood bea glad if i was there to day you must excuse my bad riting when i go to rite i cant hardly rite i hope to here from you soon give me all the news rite if you ever her from F. M. Stepp or J. M. Stepp i cant any thing of them houdy my dear wife

.S. H. Stepp .E. Stepp


(Letter 10)
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Near New Bern N.C. June 1 1864


my dear wife i rite a line this morning to let you now i am well i receive your verry kind note yisterday of the 26 i was truly glad to here from you and here you was all well i have now news to rite you all is quiet along our ines there was a yankey come to us the other day from newbern Several has come to us cence wee have bin here they are runing away as well as our men i am verry Sorry to here the things wee sent by D burnet is lost i hope you will
get them it is very uncertain about getting them me and the allisons boys paid drew $40 dollars before he started to take them home i think you had had better have the barn field corn thind out to one grain in a hill and all the rest in the porest spots it will ear better i am
afraid you put in more then you can tend well i wood bea some glad if i was there to help you i rote you along note when wee got back from newbern i aint got no ancer from it yiet i have rote 2 to your fother i have got now ancer from i dont now what is the reason of it he mite of never got them i have bin looking for one from him 2 or 3 weeks wee are fairing as well now as could bea expected that aint very good i expect we fair as well as any soldiers does i never got any ancer from the one had the picture in if ben comes to Swap for me after he Starts dont rite any more tel you now whither i come or not if i get away i dont want any more of your letters to come to the command if he dont come rite on my dear i often think of you tel me if you have got any young calves and if you get milk enough and if you have many young chickens i want to come home and help you to eat some i dont now whither that ever will bea or not i hope it will soon rite if my name is in the henderson times yiet i have talk to Capt. folk tuice about it he sed he would have it Stopt matt goodson is a trying now to get a furlow to come home he has bin grunting ever cence wee got back from newbern he aint done no duty cence he looks well and eats harty my dear dont grieve because people wont do nothing for you mabey i will get back some time you now how i had to do last winter that is forgot now i recon it appears to me that i never wanted to see you worse in my life then i do now if i never see you any more on this earth i hope to meat you in heaven whare there will bea no more parting of friends nor sickness nor trials nor trouble felt nor feard any more this is Just a world of trouble and pain houdy my dear wife

S.H. Stepp to .E. Stepp
rite soon

(Letter 11)
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Near New Bern N.C. June 6 1864


dear wife it is with pleasure i seat my Self this morning to rite you aline to let you now i am yiet alive and is well i hope this will come to hand and find you all well and dooing well as could bea expected all is quiet along our lines a report come to camps last nite they was fiting in v a wee have now [= no] particulars yiet wee fair perty well now wee get meal and
flower and meat and peas and some fish wee fair better now then wee have cence wee have bin here the health of the company is tolerable good some is complaining a little i am sorry to here you have had such a hard time and has bin pestered sow much i wood bea sow glad to bea there to help you you must bare it the best you can i tel you i often think of you i hope
the time aint fur off that i can come home and stay with you the rest of my days that i have to stay in this troublesome world i tel you it wood bea a great pleasure to me to see you one time more i receive your kind note of the 28 i was truly glad to here from you but sorry to here billy has them spels yiet i rote a note to you and put apiece in et what the doctor sed to do with him you never told me if you got the note you got that had the picture in i never got ancer from i rote you along note the nite we got back from newbern i aint got now ancer from it it was rote 7 of may i think i rote all about our trip and fite you mite of never got it i rote 3 letters to your fother i aint had one from him in more then a month he mite of never got his i dream last nite of seeing you how naturel you was you rote to mee something i dont understand you must tel me what it is and all a bout it you rote you wish i could bea at home you wood rite somthing but you was afraid rite what you pleas and fasen it up good if you get this before drew starts you can send it by him tom allison got a note yisterday from his wife his things he sent by drew had got home i hope you have the things i sent you rite about things in gineral i think mary and lydia mite rite to me i rote to them and i know they got it as i have rote often to you i aint much to rite this time you must excuse my short note rite to me any thing you want to i will close i hope to here from you soon give my respects to the friends receive a ful portion to your Self houdy my dear wife tel me how the baby is dooing and ellen


SHS to ES



(Letter 12)
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6-12-1864b.jpg

Near New Bern N.C. June 12 1864


my dear wife i rite you a line this morning to let you now i am well i hope this will come to hand and find you all well and dooing well drew got to camps nite before last i got your kind note you sent by him and a habersack and 15 or 20 sweete cakes i was truly glad to get them i wood of rote yesterday but i had to go on picket i have Just got back to camps i have Just receive your kind note of June it aint dated it was maild the 7 day i was truly glad to get it and to here you had grain enough to do you i hope you will have enough to live on to not suffer i have bin verry oneasy about you this last note i got is a great satisfaction to mee i dont want you to bea oneasy about me i will do the best i can wee fair perty well now better then common i am glad to here the people is hauling corn for the wimmon that is suffering above all keap the wimmon and children from starven all is quiet along our lines they are fiting in v.a. you here more about them then wee do i aint never got no letter from ben yiet you sed J wanted the belt[his son Joseph] i sent home he may have it and he may have the Six little yellow buttons to go on a Jacket i have Six more of another sort for billy i got them cence drew left any thing that is there you want to use use it as you think best it is raining here now it raind on us all nite on post wee go 4 miles to post wee Stay a day and nite at a time our ridge ment pickets a bout 15 miles long from nuce river to trent river i will tel you a little about the insects here when wee are on post wee sit on our horses all nite and fites the nats and musketers when we lay down on the ground to Sleep the frogs is jumping over us when we go through the brush wee get full of ticks when wee go to eat wee cant hardly keap the flys out of our mouth you never saw the like of such things in your life i tel you my dear you dont now how bad i want to see you there is no talk about here of concriptten anny more men i dont think that report is sow down to 16 [down to sixteen years of age] truck looks perty well here grain is about ripe here i have got a present for you i got it after drew left here i expect you want to know what it is i have got you 2 nice silver rings maid i wood like to fetch them and see how they fit i wil have you and mary some more maid i will send them the first chance i have i am afraid to send them in a note you mite never get them if i get home i will make your fingers shine with silver i wish i had you by the hand now you dont now how i think about home and all of you give me all the news i hope to here from you soon


SHS to ES
houdy Sweet pink


(Letter 13)
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Kinston N.C. June 17 1864

my dear wife i rite you a line this evening to let you now i am well i hope this will come to hand in due time and find you and the children all wel and dooing well as could bea expected i have now news to rite you that will intrest you all is quiet about here as for all i now wee have move to Kinston the other day a company relieve us we have bin on picket a bout six weeks tel wee come here the swannans boys is all well i got your kind note of the 11 day i was truly glad to get it and to here you was all well and geting along well with your work i dont want you to bea oneasy about me i am dooing as well as could bea expected in our situation dont bea oneasy about me i wood bea sow glad to see you all and bea at home that
cant bea now you sed Joseph want the belt i sent home he may have it and the six little yellow butons to go on a jacket i rote in in my other note to you i will rite it gane for fear you dont get it i have six for billy of another kind i have a present for you i expect you wood like to now what it is i will tel you it is 2 nice silver silver rings i will have you and mary some
more maid i will send them the first chance i have i am afraid to send them in a note for fear you never will get them i wood like to fetch them and see how they fite your fingers i often think of you and the time that has past with us to gether and the satisfaction wee have had but it is all done away fore awhile i hope wee will meat agane on earth if wee dont i hope wee will meat in heaven where wee will bea at rest to part now more i think you had better have states hide drest and black for upper leather you must arrange things best you can to your own notion i am sorry to here the grain is sow sorry i hope you can make out some how to not suffer i want to see your lettle pet tel me if you have got many cherrys or many apples iam glad to here the boys is geting along well with there work do you ever here from Jones melton and John some thinks wee will go to va i dont think sow yiet we are drillen infrantry drill that is nothing when you get pasture plenty you had better get up your sheep i think but you can tel best do as you like with them i wood like to bea there to go about with you and have some pleasure with you i aint had a note from your fother in about 2 month only one burnet fetch i have rote and rote to him i hope there is nothing rong between us give me all the news i hope to here from you soon yours truly tel death


S.H.S. E.S.
when this you see remember me though many miles apart wee bea
houdy my sweet pink



Credit: D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville.

 
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Messages
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#17
Thanks for posting. I had a Grandfather in the 65th NC. McCoy Johnson, Co H i believe. Will have to go back and research since i have forgotten but i believe he transferred from the 53rd NC Infantry around 1863.
 

M.Warren

First Sergeant
Joined
Dec 14, 2014
Messages
1,436
Location
Watauga Settlement
#18
(Letter 14)
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6-23-1864b.jpg

Kinston N.C. June 23 1864
Camp 132nd Regt N Y Vols
Bachelors Creek, Camp Clawsen


This letter is written in a hand other than Silas Stepp's

Dear Wife
I am now a prisoner with the Yankees, I was taken on Tuesday night at Jacksons Mill. while on a Scout I would say that i am not alone there is some 40 or 50 of the 6th north Carolina. also the Col. and two or three Lieuts we are going to New Berne to day, so far I have been treated first rate, and I find the yankees right smart fellows. I am well and hope I shall continue so. You must do the best you can. Do not write until you hear from me again. Do not be uneasy about me.


From your affectionate Husband
S. H. Stepp

(Letter 15)
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Union prison complex in Elmira, New York. July 13 1864

This letter is also in a hand other than Silas Stepp's

Prisoners' Camp Barracks No 3.
Ward 25. Elmyra New York

July 13. 1864

My dear wife:
I am still
among the living and enjoying tolerably good health. I am now a prisoner of war at this place. The Yankees captured me at Jackson's Mill N. C. on the 22 d of June last. They brought me first to New bern N. C. where I remained four days only. They then brought me to
Fortress Monroe where I tarried one day only. They then took me to Point Look out in the state of Maryland where I stayed eight days. They then took me to this place where I have ever since remained. My brother F. M. Stepp is here with me. His health is good. We are treated as well as prisoners of war Could expect to be treated. I do not know how long I shall remain here. The Yankees say the will not exchange any more until the war ends. I do not presume that I could get off on parole. Consequently I Can not Come home, however ardently I desire to see you all once more and enjoy your sweet and agreeable society. I am extremely anxious to see you and hear you Converse. I can not be happy when I am thus rudely deprived of the society of all those loved ones at home. I send you my love and a thousand kind wishes for your welfare and happiness May you live long on earth and be happy. Kiss all the children for me and say to them that I love them as fondly as ever. When you write to me direct your letter to Prisoners Camp Barrack no 3. Ward 25. Elmyra New York. Put a United States Postage Stamp on your letter. Direct it in Care of Major Could

Your devoted
friend and affectionate husband
S. H. Stepp

(Letter 16)
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Union prison complex in Elmira, New York. September 6, 1864

September the 6 day 1864
prisoner camp Elmira New York
barrix no 3 ward 25

my dear wife it is with pleasure i rite you a line to let you now i am well i receive your kind note to day i was truly glad to here from you and sorry to here you was not well i hope you are better i am glad to now the children is all well i receive your note of the 9 and 24 of august i rote the 31 of august brother aint verry well he is about Jessee and pres wadkins. J. C. evans tom goodson james kyles charly morris is all here and in common health i wood bea sow glad to see you and the children and engoy the Sweete conversation as i onst did i hope the lord will Spare our lives that wee may all meat one time on earth if not i hope wee will all meat in heaven thare to rest and remain to gether where friends will part no more you must bare these troubles the best you can dont get out of hart the lord will help in time of nead give my love to the children receive a full portion to your self

SHS to ES


(Letter 17)
10-16-1864.jpg

Union prison complex in Elmira, New York. October 16, 1864


prisoner camp Elmira, N.Y
berrix n 3 October 16, 1864
ward 25

my dear wife i receive your kind note last nite of 29 of sept i was truly glad to here from you and here you was all well i aint verry well i am about i am better then i have bin i had the ganders i hope this will come to hand and find you all well youre note gave me a heap of satisfaction i think you done verry well with my horse and things do what you think best brother and pres wadkins tom goodson left here 11 of this inst for the South .J.C evans Jessee m wadkins James kyles C morris is here in common health i aint herd of John harris patison is dead britton and grag tuck the oath and went out tel me if you have got your hogs yiet that was gone i want you to plant 10 bushels of potatoes nex spring plant 7 bushels in the gim field where his patch was 4 of the red ones 3 of white ones and 3 of white ones at home the boys may have the <wesly?> patch for tobacco do with the land what you think best melton was to give 20 bushels of good corn rent tel me where you soad grain i hope the lord will spare our lives that wee may meat one time more on earth if not i hope wee will meat in heaven i must close

October 16
S H S to E Stepp



On June 22nd, 1864 Silas was taken prisoner at Jackson’s Mill, North Carolina, while scouting the area. He was sent to New Berne on June 23rd for four days, and then on to Fort Monroe. A day later he went to Point Lookout, Maryland for a week and then ended up in Elmira Prison in New York.* His brother Fidillia was also imprisoned with him in Elmira. In his letters from prison, Stepp reported that he was in good health and that he was being treated well, however, his health deteriorated and he contracted pneumonia and chronic diarrhea which led to his eventual death in prison. He died on January 2, 1865 and was buried in Elmira. His brother Fidillia survived the prison and the war.

*Note:
Conditions at Elmira were very poor. The prison, only used for two years, was designed to hold approximately 5000 prisoners but during the peak of the incarceration, the prison held some 9400 soldiers. Health conditions quickly deteriorated and before its closure, some 3000 soldiers died while imprisoned.



Credit: D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 16, 2016
Messages
324
Location
Southeast Michigan
#19
Thank you so much for posting these. My 3rd great-grandfather, John Bumgardner was a Private in Co. A, 6th North Carolina Cavalry (previously Co. F, 7th Battalion-North Carolina Cavalry).

If you don't already have it, invest in a copy of '5th and 7th Battalions North Carolina Cavalry and the 6th North Carolina Cavalry' It's a part of the Confederate Regimental History Series and authored by Jeffrey C. Weaver. Probably the best and most thorough study done on the regiment.
 



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