Special Collections. former McBryde building from Imagebase image number lh150

Isaac White

Letters, 1861-1938, 0.2 cu. ft., Ms97-013


Transcripts of Letters


Camp Washington
April 13th/63

My Own Dear Jinnie

I reached this place yesterday + am very agreeably surprised to find to find so many gentlemen + so many of my friends attached to this command; in fact I believe the entire regt is pretty much made up of nice gentlemen. We are not ----- ----- now but belong to the regular service. Alfred Woody Charly ----- + Alvin Bostable are members of this command. Alvin is Capt of a company + Alfred is 1st Lieutenant. Alvin is not here now but is out on a scout. Will be in in a few days I shall be very glad to see him; as you know he is one of my dearest friends. I find a great number that I am acquainted with, but who are strangers to you; they all were delighted to see me + have me with them. I find Dr Wells a nice gentleman + think we can get along very pleasantly. No doubt it will surprise you when I tell you the 31st and 25th will be here tomorrow so I shall have a number of my friends with me + hope we shall see our beloved N W ----- Majors two sons are here + Hosten + number of others. You must write to Ma + I will send it to her. To be in the army my dear Jinnie would be delightful + especially in this command if it were not that I loved you so dearly; but we can but hope that this war will soon be over + then my dear Jinnie I hope it will be in my power to make you happy; for your married life so far has been anything but a happy one. Write me how dear Miff is. Col Woodery is looking very well he says old aunt Dafney went with Bob but got tired + came back in a few days Agnis did not go My love to all. Write soon + and believe me your devoted

Isaac


Buckhannan Upshur Co Va
May 2nd/63

My Own Dear Jinnie

We took possession of this place day before yesterday; it really appears very remarkable for me to be here. I have seen a great many union ladies + some few union men; but they have succombed We are playing havock with the Pearpoint government Gen Jones has destroyed a hundred miles of the rail road up as high as Bridge port & he + Gen Imboden are now advancing upon Clarksburg. I hope we may capture every scoundrel of them. I have been left in charge of the sick I did not wish it; for it is a mingling of sorrow + pleasure to ----- + I think there is more of the former than the latter; but as it was my honesty selected me. I have seen dear Ma + Dick They are very well + I think Ma will be with you soon + I can assure you it is my hearts desire; for I know it will add to your happiness + any thing that will make you happy will have the same affect on me. I have gotten you a great many nice things + you can do as you please with them I have upwards of a hundred yards of Calico could make a fortune if I could get transportation for the articles I could get here I think if I were in your place I would sell some of the articles I send for they will bring a considerable amount. I would make some presents. I reckon I will send you upwards of $500.00 worth which cost me about $56.00; for I stole a great many articles. I may have sent you over $700 worth I want you to keep them all if you desire. All of Fathers Negros have gone pretty much. You can tell Miff that Ellen has left + old Major Aunt Poley is hear but Major has taken her children. All of Fathers have gone with the exception of Uncle Sam Parkes Henry + Rueben + two or three little children. The people in in this country are very tired of the war + think that the South will be victorious Tell Miff his father is well I have received two letters from you since I left you I know you have written often; but I cant get your letter now. I have much to tell you that you know you would take much time to write; So I should put it off until I see you. My love to one + all + believe me your devoted

Isaac


Williamsport Maryland
July 9th/63

My Own Dear Jinnie

Since I last wrote to you I have been through danger on every side have been through two of the hardest battles of the war but have escaped unhurt From Geddsburg we were ordered to Williamsport as a guard to the grandest wagon train I ever saw We had several fights on the way We had only been at this place about 2 hours when the enemy attacked us with a much larger force than ours; but we suceded in after 3 or 4 hours hard fighting in driving them from every position + gaining a glorious victory Our loss in the 69nd is very great We had 80 killed + wounded I have but very little time to write + therefore cant give you the particulars; but hope to be with you in a few days + tell you all; as we shall leave here in a few days (in charge of the prisoners) for Richmond + Col Smith has promised me a leave of absence in a day or so. You do not know how happy I shall be to see those I love once more. My love to dear father + mother + to one + all.

Your Devoted
Isaac


Harrisonburg Va
August 20th/63

My Dear Jinnie

I suppose ere this you have heard (through Dick) of the death of our dear father. I do not know any of the particulars; but I suppose it is true that he is dead though it comes in a round about way. I would not write you any thing on the subject; but that I know Dick has unless I knew positively it was so; but that I know Dick has informed you are this by letter. If it is so (+ I fear it is too true) you must remember it is a debt we all have to pay. It is the fate of the young + the old; but this you will say is no consolation. I know dear Jinnie it is not and neither do I believe it is the power of any one on earth to console you; but there is a higher power + you must look to it for comfort. I believe at this moment your father is an angel in heaven. As adversity is the test of character so is affliction the test of the Christians We want some comforting more substantial than earthly ones I believe dear Jinnie that you are a Christian + that you will take the death of him that you loved so dearly as becomes a Christian. I feel that I am unworthy to write as I have; but you may rest assured my dear Jinnie that every throb of my heart is a throb of sympathy for thee. I loved your father dearly + always looked with pleasure for the day to come that I might see him + enjoy his society once more but alass never again on earth will I have that pleasure; but hope to meet him in a better land. I have written to Dick to make every effort to have dear Ma brought through. My horse shall be hers. I am now in charge of the sick at this place but do not think I shall remain long. The common is about 5 miles beyond this. My love to all Kiss the little boy for his father + believe me

Your Devoted
Isaac


Original of Letter: page 1, page 2.

Camp 8 Miles Below Harrisonburg
Sept 7th/63

My Dear Jinnie

I arrived at this place last night. Since I last wrote you we have marched 2 or 3 hundred miles. We were ordered to go from Agusta to Highland to intercept the enemy (who I wrote you were threatning Staunton) but they did not pass in that direction. We then marched through Pindleton into Hardy for the purpose of capturing the forces that were at Petersburg + Moorsfield on the 3 about day we arrived in the vicinity of Moorsfield + under took to flank the enemy who had a very strong position + we would have done so had it not been that Gen Imboden imagined that our movement had been discovered (when in fact it had not) + marched us right down in sight of the town for the purpose he said of letting them see us + they did see us + shelled us for a quarter of an hour in an open field. He got out of the way + then we had to sit + take it in an open field on horse back but as luck would have it no one was hurt + I cant see why for they flew over us + under us We captured 10 prisoners (after skirmishes a little) and then left + we now know the enemy left at the same time. Wasnt it a brilliant affair You do not know dear Jinnnie how delighted I was to learn your dear father was still living. Fulton Coyner is not here but is in Richmond Has not been exchanged; but I have learned through Col Woody (+ he learned it from Jim Via) that Mr. Day is well + in fact went to visit John Shrives who was sent to a hospital near Philadelphia. Dick is a very imprudent man It was his letter that induced me to believe Mr Day dead.

My love to all Tell Mother to take care of that boy. I hope you are doing well by this Write soon

Your Devoted
Isaac


Camp 10 Miles N of Harrisonburg
Sunday Sept 13th/63

My Dear Jinnie

Since I last wrote you we have been on another expedition to Hardy Co. I wrote you we had been to Moorfield + that we went then with the intention of capturing the forces at that place but that we did not succed. A few days ago Capt McNeil dispatched to the Gen that we had captured the forces at Moorsfield + was then on his way to this camp; but that he was being pressed by the enemy hard + that without assistance he feared they would recapture the prisoners ; but before we could reach him he had thrown them back; but about 30 prisoners escaped He succeded in bringing out 139 of them 10 wagons + 2 ambulances He is certainly one of the greatest men we have + it is a shame he has not a larger force. I would think Imboden felt humiliated at the idea of McNeil capturing what he with his whole comand could not or rather did not; but maybe Imboden will do better next time. I think I can rest satisfied to remian in camp now for sometime for I am tired of marching so much at night I could not stand it last night as I had lost so much sleep so I crawled into some mans stable a portion of the regiment came on to camp + a very small portion it was for the men were nearly exhausted for the want of food + sleep + so a great many of them did as I it being dark would slip out of ranks to pleasant dreams but very few of them had as good bed as I for I never slept better in my life.

I neglected telling you in my previous letters that we were mounted infantry Have been mounted for about 6 weeks. I am the only surgeon in this command now one is a prisoner one gone to Richmond + Dr Wills is at home I get very few letters now havent gotten but 2 or 3 since I left home Tell Mother to write me I never want her to stop for wife or anything for her letters are always dear to me I weigh more than I have for a long time only185 hope I shall reach 200 Write soon + often + believe me. Your devoted

Isaac

Tell Warren I think he might write


Camp Near Dayton Va
Sept 30th/ 63

My Dear Jinnie

We are now in camp in four miles of Harrisonburg + about 20 miles of Staunton. I have not heard from Richmond concerning my promotion. I doubt very much my passing the board + dread it very much; but suppose I shall have to face the music. My clothing I am happy to say have been found + I feel very much relieved. We are all very glad to see that Bragg has a achieved a glorious victory. Major Long left this command about 2 weeks ago with from 80 to 100 men + has just returned with 35 prisoners + the same number of horses captured them in 11 miles of Beverly A right good thing was it not. I have no news to write much. If you will send me a letter to your Mother I think I can send it through to her. Write me when brother George has gone I may desire to write him. What have you concluded to do go to Mr Barnette or not I do not anticipate being home for a long time. This command I think is dwindling down to near nothing I do not believe we have now in the entire brigade over 650 men If it was not for being out near my home I should leave this army + go to some other. Wish I could see the little boy now + his Mother too but I fear it will be a long time ere I have that pleasure.

Write soon My love to all

Your Devoted
Isaac

PS
I have just received your letter of the 26th.
I think $70 as reasonable as you can get land So if you desire to go you can do so I think it would be best for the reason I gave in a previous letter

Isaac


Camp Near Dogton
Oct 6th/63

My Dear Jinnie

I went a few days ago to see old Mr + Mrs Kettle who you know have been down from their home. I never have seen people glader to see one than they were me. The old man put his arms around me + kissed me on the neck. They have a home of plenty kindly given them by Col Turk of Staunton He is a good man + will be rewarded for so kind an act. I would rather visit that old man + woman than the wealthyest family in Christendom; for there is no assumed kindness no deception but every thing in an humble state just as nature would have it.

I have my clothes at last. They felt very well + I hope will last well. You wanted to know what has become of my broad cloth. I have gotten ----- for it + I think I shall have it made up. What do you think of it? That would be dressing too fine would it not? I have at last heard from Richmond. The senior asst of the Brigade (if it is an independent command) receives the surgeoncy provided he proves himself competent by an examination I doubt whether Dr Wills will stand the examination It is certainly a strange way of promoting for if there is a vacancy in Gen Lee army the asst surg that has the oldest commission receives the surgeoncy so it will be a long time ere I am promoted I was determined thta no disrespect should be shown me so I wrote Mr Henry Day to see that no injustice was done me so he Dr Bland Col Woody Bronson went to see the Medical Director in my behalf I do not care anything about it now as I know if Wills is promoted it will be done by the rules + regulations + that will not be showing me any disrespect. I am a hornet you know when I think I have been treated badly. Alvin Bastable + myself stayed out of camp last night. I received Mothers letter last night She says the boy weighs 15 lbs He certainly gains rapidly Would like to see him very much Wish I was with him Write to me soon for it appears to me you do not write as often as you might

Your devoted
Isaac


Camp 18 Miles N of Staunton
Oct 24th/63

My Dear Jinnie

We arrived at this place on yesterday after many of the hardest days + nights marching I ever saw We attack the enemy at Charleston Va + captured 455 prisoners We did this with very little loss on our side but in about an hour or so after capturing them the forces stationed at Harpers Ferry came upon us + fought us for 12 miles We lost during the time I suppose a 100 men killed wounded + prisoners The 69th fought like heros I never have seen men fight like them + the credit is due them + pretty much them alone We made a charge into Charleston which was the most exciting thing I have ever engaged in My position was in the rear but I could not stand that so Col Smith + myself went in front side by side amid the cheers of the ladies + waving of white hankerchiefs I feel as though I could charge through creation; but we came very near making our last charge + if it had not been for the ladies they would have mutilated the most of us they had gone into the courthouse + jail + had made port holes to shoot through at us as we came up the street We charged in a hundered + fifty or two hundred yards of it when we were informed of these whereabouts We had very little time to remain in the place I was invited to breakfast + had only been at the table when a young lady ran in + told me the Yankees were coming + you may rest assured I got away from there + just in time to save myself for I hadnt been out 3 minutes before the enemy were in the place Afterwards we had the hard fighting + I can say truthfully that the surgeons of this command are the grandest cowards I ever saw Not one remained with me on the field + I dressed wounds under shot + shell for the first time in my life I dont believe they stopped running under 12 miles; so I dresses all of their wounded for them The first place I saw them was at Berryville was about 12 miles from where the fight commenced + you may rest assured they had a number of excuses to offer me I shall never leave as gallant men as we have to suffer for the want of attention

I got a very good overcoat + 2 pairs of gloves + some socks + flannel shirts for myself I captured them + am more gratified to know that I have some 15 or 20 pounds of coffee for the loved ones at home I have 1 or 2 pairs of pants + 2 Yankee coats for dear Miff You do not know how much gratified I am that I have a little coffee for them all We had a hard time getting something to eat on our way to + from Charleston It cost me about 50 so you see I will not make much if we take trips often I have recieved your letter + am glad to know that you are at Mr Barnetts I would rather for you to be with sister Fannie if she was prepared to have you; but I know they have a hard time of it Wish it was in my power to help them Hope dear Father is still enjoying himself My love to dear Mother + to all

Your devoted
Isaac


Camp 14 Miles NW of Harrisonburg
Nov 18th/63

My Dear Jinnie

I wrote to Mother a few days ago + suppose she has sent you the letter. I wrote that I thought we would have a little rest; but that night we received orders to march to meet the enemy who were advancing up the valley. By making forced marches we arrived near New Market where we learned that the enemy numbering 1000 had been surprised by Major Whites Batallion who had been sent down the valley sometime ago as a guard. We are now encamped on Singerols Creek about 38 or 9 miles from Staunton I doubt very much whether we shall see any winter quarters this winter as we have a very extensive country to protect In fact I think it is more than Gen Imboden can do. We ought to have more troops. I have just learned that a hundred men belonging to this regt (who were sent out a few weeks ago together with McNeil camp have captured 250 horses 40 prisoners + good many wagons + will be here to day or tomorrow. One poor fellow belonging to Alvins camp was killed. I admired him very much for he was a good soldier + a noble hearted young man; but it appears to me that those who are noble generous and amiable are the first that are swept from existence. There have been too many noble hearts sacrificed too many precious blood spilt to have been spilt in vain. We must + will be revenged + nothing short of eternal separation from the love + the loss will satisfy us. I wish you to tell sister to have my coat made 4 inches longer than my measure that Warden Baker in Charlottsville has. I think I shall probably be with you the latter part of next month; but it is uncertain. Tell sister to have it made as soon as she can. If she does not return soon enough wish you to write to Phil Krise to send it to Warden Baker to get Mr Watson to write to W to have it attended to; for if he writes I know they would make it sooner than they would if I did so. I would like to have it by the 15th. Col Smith has ordered a scouting party from this regiment to go to Barber so Capt Johnson with his company will leave in the morning. Alfred you know is Lieutenant in his company he will go. I feel much better today than I have felt for sometime. Hope I continue to improve. Hope you will soon be well. Havent received a letter from you in some time nor one from Mother for 5 or 6 weeks

Love to all

Your devoted
Isaac


December the 8th 63

My dear Isaac

I have just learned that letters can be sent South by Flag of Truce in a few days, and I wait myself of it to write to you. But Oh! with what anguish and pain, of heart do I have to inform my dear children of the death of their dearly beloved father, but such is my distressing fate. He died in Cheslin Pennslyvania, some time in August last, and it is the first and greatest wish of heart to have his remains brought and buried by his little grand child. The Masons have kindly promised to aid me in this sad duty. My pen fails dear Isaac to describe what I have suffered on mind this summer. I walked miles in miles to get signatures to petition the gov for his release, sent on these three different ones largely signed by good Union men, but it availed nothing, and he is gone, and I am left friendlys and alone lamenting his fate, but I try to say Gods will be done, break these sad tidings gently Isaac to my dear Jinny and -----, for I know it will be almost a death blow to them. For they were truly devoted to their dear father. ----- little boy John Day, he will indeed be the darling of my heart. I would give the world to see you all. As winter draws on I found it impossible to make myself comfortable, and I thought it best to break ----- house. Sold off my furniture and am spending the winter with sister Va and Bettie. I find in them all that sisters could be for me. Sam Thesling has taken charge of my little home. Dafney and Agnys are strugling in the kitchen. Tell Tommy his Ma and ----- are married, took a bridal life in Baltimore. Now as I am restriced to write only half sheet I must stop . Give my love to my dear children, to the family, your father and mother. May God bless you my son shielded you from all harm, and bring us to meet again is the prayers of your devoted Ma

Mary B Day


Camp 5 Miles of Staunton
Dec 24th/63

My Dear Jinnie

We arrived here yesterday after the hardest tramps I have ever seen. We marched night + day trying to capture Averall; but he is has gone on his way rejoicing. If it had not been for Gen Early we would have captured him with ease. Gen Lee was in 25 miles of Covington the day before Averall arrived Gen Lee ordered him to go immediately in the direction of Salem. We marched as far S W as Fincastle + from there we went to Covington but got there 48 hours too late. The blame rests on Early. I dislike to think that all of our suffering was to no affect. I never have seen anything to equal it. Two men were frozen to death + at Jackson River (it being very full) one man was drowned + a number were washed down + came very near losing their lives. I was in 6 or 8 hours ride of you but did not apply for a leave for I knew it was no use. I have the promise of a furlough when we go into winter quarters; but I do not believe we will have any. We now have orders to march in the morning at daybreak. The entire yankee Cav is said to be marching up the valley. Gen Early is at New Market (20 miles below Harrisonburg) Dr Wills has returned but did not pass the board. Col Smith told me this morning that it was my turn next. I asked him to but grant me a leave for the same time that Wills had. Said he could not at this time. I do not know how I shall come out. If I could spell a little better I would have no doubt about my passing; but as it is I have a great deal. Dr Wills was gone 42 days. I suppose you all were very much frightened when the enemy were at Salem. Did they do much mischief I havent been able to hear. I received a very short letter from you about 10 says ago. Have not received one since. Hope I shall soon. Do not know when I sahll see you for I believe the enemy intends fighting all the winter. Where is brother George now I reckon he is prevoked at not getting a furlough. Being prevoked will not avail anything so I shall be patient. I am very sorry to learn of the insanity of poor Jimmy. Write to me soon. Love to all

Your devoted
Isaac


Camp Near Dear Field Va
March 9th/64

My Dear Jinnie

I wrote you a few days ago from this place; but do not know that it has left the P.O. yet; as I am told the mail is very irregular and when regular it is seldom (only twice a week) I feel as though I was cut off from the world. We can hear nothing + see but very little but mountains + woods. It is wild + therefore romantic + the last is the only attraction it has for me.

I am very comfortably situated have a nice little tent with a good stove + a good bed + a boy you know to make fire. I could not ask for more in camp. I have bread + meat which you know are the substances of life have tried to get some vegetables; but but cannot. I can put up with the first very well + therefore shall not grumble but will return thanks for that. All I ask is that I may live to take care of you + my little boy outside of that life would have but few charms.

I shall write to mother to day. I suppose she is at Charlottesville. I desire to hear from Archer so much have not received a letter from you for a long time; but know you have written + the letters are now with the main army. How are dear Miff + the little children getting on. You do not know dear Jinnie how often I think of my poor dear sisters. I have no news to write + only write to let you hear from me. Love to all

Your devoted
Isaac


Mt Crawford Va
April 30th/64

My Dear Jinnie

I arrived at this place yesterday. Could have gotten here the day before; but as my regt was on the march to this spot I stayed in Staunton a day at Mr Waughs, Dr Waughs father. Dr Waugh had just been on to Richmond for promotion + came to Staunton on the same train that I did. He was not promoted + I cant see why for he is certainly worthy + more so than any young man I know. I never saw any one more cast down than he. He said he would have sooner lost his arm. I do not believe they will promote any one unless they bring some very great influence to bear; but Dr Waugh certainly had backing enough but it was no go. The Dr + myself went to see the Gen yesterday + he told us that not withstanding they had refused to promote us that he still had the utmost confidence in us + that he believed that we were far more worthy than the majority that they had passed + that it made no difference with him + then said he could take a law book + ponder over it for two days + pitch the most comment of his profession + that no one could remember the ----- of any profession.

I think we shall leave this place a few days for a long tramp. I do not know where we are to go. Yesterday the tents were brought in + stored away + orders were given that only two wagons would be allowed to one regt.

My regt is not here yet. I am staying with Maj Lock the chief commissary who is a great friend of mine. Sister was very kind to me + evinced more affection for me than I had ever seen her. I was delighted to see Dick doing so well. I believe he will make a very fine physician. He is a very efficient man + I think Dr Davis takes much interest in him. My love to my dear father + mother + to them all. I do not feel like writing to them all. I do not feel like writing to day but will write again in a few days.

Your devoted
Isaac


Camp Near Woodstock Va
May 7th/64

My Dear Jinnie

We are now 33 miles of Winchester; but I do not know that we shall go to that place. We had orders to move at sun up this morning but they have been countermanded + it is now 8 oclock + we are still here.

I do not know where we are to go. I understand there are about 3000 of the enemy at Winchester if so I suppose we are to attack them. The news we have from Gen Lee is that he is driving Grant. I hope it may be so. If it is so it is glorious is it not. If Imboden is not Lees right hand man he is certainly his left for every time he makes a move we move on his left. I suppose it will depend on Gen Lees success whether or not we move much further.

I have been threatened with one of my old attacks yesterday + to day owing I think to irregularity of meals.

We have beautiful weather; but very hot. I hope you all are getting along well. Would like to be with you so much this summer.

Col Smith has just come from HQ and says Gen Lee is still driving Grant + that we have captured 3000 prisoners + 19 pieces of artillery. Isn't it good news. How is my little boy getting along. Is he as bad as ever. I hope we may be permitted to live together some day + spend the remainder of our day in happiness. How is Miff doing. I hope he may prosper in farming. I found on my return to the regt 2 letters from you + 2 from Mother written some time ago. Our regt has been dismounted + all of those belonging to the 23rd + 18th that are without horses have been attached to this regt but I hope only for a short time. Andrew is in fine spirits + is doing better than usual. I hope Mr Langhorne has taken Sarah if not you must get rid of her. I do not want her to remain with you.

You must excuse this horribly written letter for I never felt less like writing + spelling.

Love to all

Your devoted
Isaac


Original of Letter: page 1, page 2, page 3

Newmarket Va
May 16th/64

My Dear Jinnie

In haste I to write you to inform you that I am unhurt. We have fought a series of battles for the last 5 days. Yesterday we were reinforced by Gen Brekenridge comm + we have succeded in driving Seigle many miles. I think he will probably make another stand at Martinsburg. It has certainly been one of the hardest fought battles of the war. The 62nd. I think a 125 killed and wounded. I never have seen such havock. Dear Alfred + Alvin are wounded. The former badly in the shoulder + leg but I hope not mortally. Alvin is woulded in the leg but not badly. When I got to them I knelt down + wept bitterly. The 62nd has the praise of every one . It charged battery after battery. I was in the field all day. The fight lasted about 12 hours. I think we have lost less than 5 or 6 hundred killed + wounded. We may have lost less but if of lost take over sight we have lost more. I have just sent dear Alfred to Harrisonburg + Alvin will leave soon. I am the most haggard looking being you ever saw. As we are pressing I must go to my regt. Alvin sends his love. May I be spared to meet you all again is the prayer of your

Devoted
Isaac

PS
Morris Longhorn is not hurt but many of those dear boys are killed + wounded one half I think
Isaac


Hanover Junction Va
May 20th/64

My Dear Jinnie

You will no doubt be surprised to see that we are at this place arrived last night. Will go on to Lee. I think to day or tomorrow. Would like to go to Bouregard. The 62nd is now attached to Whartons Brigade Brekenridges Division. When you write direct your letters to Richmond.

I wrote you soon after the letter of Newmarket that dear Alfred + Alvin were wounded the former badly. I saw him as I came through Harrisonburg he was in good spirits + I think will get well, but he is dangerously wounded.

The 62nd went into the engagement with about 500 men + lost killed + wounded 240 nearly one half. Our entire loss in the division was 550 so you see our regt lost nearly one half. I do not think our stay will be permanent down here; but I would much sooner be with Wharton than Imboden.

I saw Mr Longhorn + Miss Nannie in Staunton. Did not see Sister or Dick as I came through Charlottesville; but saw Mr Watson. I hope this war will soon be over + think it will if we can only fail Grant in his efforts now we will soon be an independent people. I had to pay $165 dollars in Staunton for a pair of boots. We are now in 27 miles of Richmond. My little horse I suppose will be down today. I received a letter from you written on the 8th day before yesterday. So it has been 12 days since I have heard from you. You wrote that George Briggs would be with me soon but he hasnt arrived. Seven company commanders were either killed or wounded in this regt at New Market. The colors were shot down 4 times. There is not a more gallant sight in the service than this.

This is a beautiful morning + you do not know how much I desire to be with you. The yankees lost at New Market. 162 or 3 killed that we counted on the field our losses in killed I think was abou 45. Write to me soon. My love to one + all

Your devoted
Isaac


Hanover Junction Va
May 27th/64

Grant has recrossed the North Anna + is now making his way to the Chichommany. We are on the march.

My Dear Jinnie

I was up to see Archer + brother George yesterday. They are about 3 miles from my camp. They are well + doing well (much better than I) We have much excitement for the last 5 or 6 days. The enemy are skirmishing now + have been for many days. This morning it has been quite -----. It lasted last night until 11 oclock. We may have a general engagement at this place but I doubt it. I think Grant knows better. This division I think will move this morning or tonight. I suppose you have heard of the death of poor John Higginbothem. He was a noble fellow + a dear friend of mine. I think we will whip Grant badly if he attacks us here. The last letter I received from you was written on the 8th. You must direct you letters to the 62nd Va Regt Whartons Brigade Brekenridges Division Army of N Va.

Love to all

Your devoted
Isaac


On the Battlefield
June 3rd/64

My Dear Jinnie

We have had a very hard fight today + the slaughter of the enemy is terrible. We have repulsed them at every point. We have had only one nights sleep out of seven. We are all very much prostrated + I am sick enough to be in bed with the Dysentery; but have not left the field for fear some one might say I was cowardly. Asst Surg are here as other officers as regards danger pretty much. We are compelled to be on the field all the time. I am now in 75 yards of my sight (entrenched) We fortify as other troops. Our division has been engaged every day since I wrote you + through the blessings of God I am still alive though I have been in danger on every hand. Oh it is terrible to hear the constant roar of canon + musketry + to know that we are in so much danger but I hope through blessing of God we may be permited to meet again. The balls are still flying in every direction but it is called a skirmish here. The enemy may try it again but if they do will meet with the same fate. The slaughter of to day is said to be greater than it was at Spotatsylvania Court House. I received a letter from you yesterday.

Love to all

Your devoted
Isaac

PS
Strange place to write a letter


Charlottesville Va
June 8th/64

My Dear Jinnie

Breckenridges division is now on its way to the valley it passed through here today. I got off + have reported to the Hospital Col for treatment, Have the privilege of going to Mr Watsons to stay for 10 days; but hope I shall be well enough to go to the regt ere that time expires. I am very feeble + am thinner than I have been for 10 years. Want rest + something good to eat. I have been affected with Dysentery + Cholmorbous for the last two weeks. Hope I shall soon be well. I am broken down That is about all Love to all

Your devoted
Isaac


Charlottesville Va
June 12th/64

My Dear Jinnie

As Anderson is just going home I wrote you a few lines. Sister told me that I could take Charlie (her little servant at the White Sulphur Springs) in the army with me + that she would not charge me anything for him. I desire you to have him sent down with Alfred. It is reported here that the enemy have cut the RR at Arrington + that Houston has defeated Sheriden near Gordens - ville Take 1000 prisoners + many niggers.

I leave here today if possible every thing is is in a state of excitement here. I am writing in great haste as I was not sure that Andrew would go. I have no money to pay him

Your devoted
Isaac

PS
I am in the Hospital with Dick + Alvin. They send their love


Camp 4 Miles of Salem
June 22nd/64

My Dear Jinnie

I am now very near you + would like above all things to see you but cannot. We have pursued the enemy to this point. Captured yesterday 12 pieces of cannon + they have gone on. helter skelter toward Lewisburg. The news from Richmond is very encouraging it is reported that the enemy charged out brestworks 27 times + that we repulsed them with great slaughter killed + wounded 30000. The prisoners that we have taken seem to think that the engagement at Lynchburg to have been a hard one but we looked upon it as a skirmish if they had only waited until the next morning we would have shown them how to fight. A great many of them are N W Virginians + have never seen much fighting. It is now late in the day + we have not moved + I hope we will not. (Yes we are going to move) I think we are going to make a sweep through the N W Good by

Your devoted
Isaac


Camp Near Staunton
June 27th/64

My Dear Jinnie

After much hard marching we have arrived at this point. You know we have been afoot for a long while; but the boys are delighted to know that they will be again on horseback in a few days. Gen Breckenridge said to Col Long yesterday that he disliked to give us up (or rather disliked too see us mounted) said he had not served with as gallant regt during the war. We will now act as mounted infantry under Imboden + I am sorry for it for this regt will have to do all of the fighting + Imboden has lost all of his reputation (if he ever had any) We are to be on Maj Gen Ransoms Division Breckenridges Corps. I do not know where we are to go. I have seen war in reality since I left home. I think our prospects are fine more so than ever. The Yankee Gen Hunter has gone I think in the direction of Lewisburg where Gen Early is going I cant inform you. We have about 27000 men. I have not heard a word from you for a long time nearly six weeks.

I have just received notive that we are to go on expedition to what place I know not. We are not permitted to take any thing with us scarsly. I take my saddle bags + the coat I have on which is the dustiest thing you ever saw. I am in great haste + may receive orders at any moment.

Love to all

Your devoted
Isaac


Camp Near Strausburg Va
July 22nd/64

My Dear Jinnie

I am once more in Va + have a little time to write you a few lines. Our horses are now saddled + we are awaiting orders. I have been in the saddle for 20 or 30 days + many nights. We are very dirty + weary. My ambulance that contained my clothes was captured a few days ago + I am now without a change. (I only had a shirt + pair of drawers in the ambulance) Have since that time been compelled to pull off my shirt socks + drawers wash them + wait until they were dry enough to put on. Did you ever think I would come to that; but I look at that as nothing much in comparison to what we have under gone since we left Lynchburg. I have stood the trip remarkably well am in fine health. Charlie Westonlake was wounded very seriously a few days ago. I hope he may recover. Poor George Kittlie was killed (son of Mrs Kittlie) poor old lady this makes the second son she has lost in the last two weeks. The 62nd has but very few men left I have many things to tell you that I havent had time to write. I suppose you have ere this heard of the death of dear Alfred poor dear fellow he was my true friend + much do I grieve for him. I think this expedition surpasses anything that has transformed during the war. We have lost some of our glory in the last few days. The enemy captured on the 16th 40 or 50 waggons but they were compelled to burn all but 15. It was a piece of negligence. On the 20th we lost 400 prisoners of Ramseurs Division. (It is said he was drunk) His men hadnt their guns loaded + marched his men into an ambush.

I had some 6 or 8 quires of paper some soap envelopes + in the said waggons that were captured. I have in my saddle bags some 30 or 40 spools of thread many combs hair pins diaper pins a pair of shoes for Mother (if they are not too coarse) + some few other articles. The authorities would not allow us to buy unless the merchants desired to sell. So the trip did not avail me personally much.

We have had much fighting in the last few days on the 19th the enemy charged so near me I could have knocked them off their horses with rocks. Some of our boys did rock them like all creation. Our forces are now in line of battle but I think we will have no fight. I think Gen Early will go to Lee in a few days. I have never seen anything like the dust sometime it is so great one cant see the man in front of him. I am I reckon the dirtiest being you ever saw

Love to all

Your devoted
Isaac


Camp Near ----- Jefferson Co Va
August 9th/64

My Dear Jinnie

Since I last wrote you we have been here there + everywhere. We are now encamped in about 9 miles of the Potomac. We will march this evening but I think not far. Our army has returned from Maryland + is now encamped near Bunkershill. I do not know why they returned so soon but I suppose Early knows what he is about. The enemy are at Hopersferry which is about 10 miles from this place. They appear to love their den as they will not venture out. This is a lovely country. I saw a spy shot yesterday + not withstanding he was a Yankee. I never felt more for anyone. He appeared so humble. We were all much pleased to learn that Grant had again been defeated + likewise Sherman + that Stoneman + portions of his force had been captured. The Lord think is on out side + I hope he will soon put a stop to the diffusion of blood; for I + all of us are tired of it + desire peace (honorable) I suppose you have seen an account of the burning of Chambersburg. I am opposed to burning; but I supposed they deserved it + if they desire to retliate we can play that game with them + play it well but I do hope such warfare may cease. The ----- Battery has at last seen a little war. They were in that stampeed near Winchester + so were all of those troops from the NW I am glad to know that they have heard the whiz of a bullet.

I am at this time the nicest looking fellow you ever saw. I have no socks on my drawers are quite holy + my shirt my only shirt is about to take wings + my coat + pants I only wish you could see. Well it all goes in ones life. I have a great many sympathizing friends which you know is a great consolation. I suppose I will be granted the privilege of going after my clothes when I become naked. I do not desire you to think that I am the only one in this fix for there are a few more of the same sort here + I can stand it as well as they. I do dessire so much to see you all + have a little time to rest; but I think it will be many months ere you see me. It has now been nearly 3 weeks since I have received a letter from you. I wrote to Mother a few days ago.

Write Soon

Your devoted
Isaac


Camp 8 Miles Above ----- August 11th/64

My Own Dear Mother

Again God has seen fit to affect us + a great affliction it is to one + to all of us. God only knows how deeply I feel. Oh what a shock it was to me (yesterday morning) when on the battle field I hastely opened the letter informing me of the death of him I loved so dearly. I was not aware of his illness + time + again did I think of him with all the kindness of a brother's heart + wish that we were together. I would have been willing to have died for him. I cannot write with any composure.

His dear wife + little ones are twined around my heart. I will love them more dearly than ever. It appers to me it would have been for better had I have been taken + he left for he was more worthy to live than I. My dear Mother you must remember that God has seen fit to take our idle from us and there is wisdom in all of his acts but it is hard. Oh yes it is hard to see wisdom in the death of one we were all so much devoted to. If earth had have been filled with such men it would have been a heaven. I desire to be with you all for it would be a great consolation. We must all die + that soon for life is short at best + then dear Mother I hope we may all ----- those that have gone before us. I know dear Way is ----. When I think of her + those dear little ones I am completely consumed.

I shall make an effort to come home as I feel very little like -----. May God bless you all is the prayer of one that loves you

Isaac


Camp Lurray Vally Va
August 17th/64

My Dear Jinnie

I wrote you a few days ago after having received the shocking indulgence of poor dear brother's death. No one know but God how deeply grieved I am. Would that I could now be with thoses whom I love if it was only for a few days for here I see no sad faces to answer mine. This is a world of grief + as I wrote dear Mother that the longer I lived the more convinced I was that the only happiness in this world was in the hope of heaven. I have ----- to live a better life for the last six months. Poor dear Way I do feel for her so deeply may God alleviate her grief. I have thought so much about my dear old father I know he is a Christian + will try + ----- this affliction in a Christian manner. I do not feel like writing + only write a few lines knowing that you desire to hear from me. I believe that pretty much the entire army of Sis's will be here in the Vally) We have already ----- a number if his troops here (at Strausburg + Front Royal) . We are ----- ----- but very few -----. I desire very much a few days rest.

I suppose I shall soon see dear Arches but Oh you do not know how it grieves me to know my dear brother will not be with him. Write to me often. I do not get but very few letters. Remember me kindly + affectionately to all

Your devoted
Isaac


Camp Lurray Vally Va
August 17th/64

My Dear Mother

I wrote you a few days ago after having received the sad news of my poor dear brother's death. I hope you received the letters. You do not know dear Mother how sad I am + how deeply I feel the loss of him we all loved so dearly. This would be a world of trouble + there is but little pleasure in living. The longer I live the more convinced am I that there is no real happiness in this world without the hope of heaven. I have tried for the last six months to live a better life + I hope that God will aid me in the effort + that when it may please him to take me that I will have nothing to fear. You must remember Mother that you have five children left yet to comfort you + compare your condition with that of other Mothers who have had all taken. Tell Lucy that she must remember she has two little children to live for. I know her affliction is too deep for utterance + deeply deeply do I feel for her. She + her little ones are dear very dear to me would that I could do a fathers part by them. I have applied for a leave of absence. Col Smith approved it but Gen Imboden said he had received orders not to honor applications for furloughs as they would not be approved. It would be a great pleasure to me to be with you especially at this time. I suppose dear Archer will be home soon as it is reported that Pickett's Div will be here. I shall be delighted to see him but oh how much I shall miss seeing my dear lost brother. I think the seat of war will be transfered to this Vally. We have already many troops near Strawsburg and Front Royal. I hope that we may soon have our independence established. Write to me soon + remember me kindly + affectionately to one + all

Your devoted son
Isaac

PS
When I write to you I intend it for my dear father too. I suppose he is at the Springs. May God bless him + prolong his days is the prayer of one that loves him

Isaac


Camp Near Front Royal Va
August 19th/64

My Dear Jinnie

Day before yesterday while on the battlefield three letters were handed me. I hastely opened one of them hoping to hear good news from those I love. And oh what a shock. I there saw an account of my brother's death. I was not aware of his illness. God only knows the sorrow of my heart. Oh I was perfectly devoted to him. Oh my brother my brother. Many are the tears I have shed over thy sad fate. It is too much in six short months I have been deprived of my dearest Sister and my idolized Brother. The day I received that letter informing me of the death of him I loved so dearly ----- -----. I had but little fear if it had not been for you + my little baby I would have turned on my heal for life. For well I know my dear old Father + Mother + to see them taken is more than I can endure. How deeply I feel for poor Way + her little ones. I desire to come home + have made the effort as you can see + failed. It would be a great consolation to be with you all at this time. Write to me soon. Love to all

Your devoted
Isaac


Camp Near Smithfield Jefferson Co Va
August 24th/64

My Dear Jinnie

Since I last wrote you we have been as high up in the vally as New Market ----- those only a day or so + then returned to the main army. We are now near this little town (Smithfield) which is about 19 miles from the Potomac. The enemy are between this + Harpers Ferry. I judge the most of them are on the Maryland Hights. we will certainly not fight them there.

I desire a little rest very much. Since the 12th of May I have been going constantly. I went about two weeks without socks. Col ----- then gave me a pair of old ones. He likewise gave me a shirt as I had to throw away mine; but the one he gave me is just sticking together + I shall throw it away in the morning as Alvin is with the command now + says he will let me have one as soon as he can have it washed. I think I can manage to get along . I have enough goods to make me two shirts; but it is at Bridgewater. I shall have it made up as soon as I can; but I fear that will be a long time. I sent my little horse back in a broken down condition about 6 or 8 weeks ago. The one that I am now riding I got in Maryland + he is about to give out. I think I can get a detail to go up the country after the other one soon + then I shall have my shirts made. I received yesterday from you a letter written. I suppose the 4th of this month as you did not date it + as you were not aware of my poor dear brother's death I had not heard from you for a long time. I likewise received a letter yesterday from dear Archer. He says that Col Giles had send him a letter that he had written to the Army Gen asking that I be appointed Surg of his regt. I am very grateful to him for his kindness + would like very much to be attached to that regt as dear Archer is there + I would like to be with him. Our family is not a large one now + God has seen fit to take 3 of the most amiable from our little circle it appears to me three of the list have been selected. Can it be possible that my dear brother George is dead. Shall I never see him on earth again. Oh, it is too true. I shall never see him on earth again but may I not meet him in heaven; Yes I hope so; for he was more fit for that place than earth. He was the purist man I ever knew. Oh my sorrow is too deep. I am bowed down with grief. ----- to confront my dear old Mother + father. Jinnie tell dear Miff to do so too. Would that I could be with you at this time. I have a few to ----- for yet; but Jinnie I am cast down. Write to me as soon as you can. Love to all

Your devoted
Isaac


Hisker's Hill Near Strausberg Va
Sept 22nd/64

My Dear Jinnie

I suppose one this you have heard of our disaster at Winchester. We were badly whiped. Many able fellows were sacrificed for nothing. I think we must have lost from 2 to 3000 killed + wounded. The 62nd suffered much. So did our other brig. but ----- ----- command ------ shamefully + broke helter skelter through ours + never stopped until they got through Winchester. Our Brig. then charged the enemy + drove them but when they saw McCoustin's command fleeing they ----- + came with force to our one against us + we were compelled to give way but not like McCoustin's. Our Brig. has been complimented for its galentry it called on McCoustin's men to stop + suppast them but there was no use. They would not stop. I told them it was shameful + ----- one you were going to stop running. This was on the left of our line of battle about the same time our infantry gave way + then such a ----- retreat I have ever witnessed. The blow inflicted upon the enemy must to have been great or they would have pursued us with more energy. I thought at one time we were whipping them badly but in a few moments after the tide turned against us. Our troops are in fine spirits as much. I think is remarkable + if the enemy fight us here they will be badly defeated. They ----- to brake our lines yesterday + were driven back 4 times. All of our troops are now in line of battle. Cav have been dismounted + their horses sent to the rear as there is no place for Cav to ----- here. Our line of battle extends from one mountain to the other which is about 3 miles we are pretty well fortified. I fear the enemy are thinking to flank us in the ----- of Lumay Valley. Lee's Cav one up these + I have artillary now. It is now ----- easily in the morning + are skirmishing pretty much all along the lines but I do not think they will forget us it this place. War is horrible. Oh how many sad hearts has the battle of Winchester produced. You do not know how often I thought of it even during the excitement battle. It is all over now + we must try + look upon the bright side (if one presents itself).

You do not know how glad I am that you dear Mother will soon be with you. I know you are delighted + therefore so am I. Poor woman I do pity her. Yes I pity all in affection. I received a letter yesterday written on the 7th of this month. I know you have written since that but I have not received it. I received a letter from dear Miff a few days ago + desire you to thank him for it + tell him I desire + try to live a Christian's life + that I hope through the prayers of those I love + my own that when it pleases God to take me I may be ----- to go in peace. There is so much fighting going on I cant write.

Your devoted
Isaac


On Picket Near Port Republic
October 2nd/64

My Dear Jinnie

I received to day a letter from you written on the 15th of Sept. You say you write often if so I never get your letters. I have not received the letters written by sister nor have I received one from my dear Mother for a long time. I suggest it very much for it is about the only pleasure I have (hearing from those I love) You say I never think of my little baby. I often think of him + desire to see him very much. I write to you with often under the circumstances about once a week. It is not always in my power to procure paper + we are ----- but but very few hours at a time. We are now advancing on the enemy who are near Mt Crawford tomorrow I think the fight will take place + I am very ----- of success. The enemy have desolated this country burnt nearly all the ground + barns. It is horrible. I have never seen any thing to equal it. I do not know what will become of the people. They must suffer. We cant subsist in this Valley this winter. We are now only having a half bb of ----- as a ration per day; but this I think will not last long. I have three pairs of draws + four shirts now (with Capt Callhoon's) so you see I am well off. Many thanks to dear Mother for having one made for me; but I am not in need of it now so she had best give it to some one of the negros. One of the shirts I have I got for ----- on App. + like wise a pair of draws. My love to dear Lucy + tell her to desire to ----- from her little children + tell her that I will do all in my power to add to her hopeness + her comfort. Remember me to dear Mary when you visit. I often think of her. This is written in the dark. I hope dear Ma is with you love to her + to one + all

Your devoted
Isaac


On Picket Near Newhope Va
October 6th/64

My Dear Jinnie

I saw a few days ago in the Richmond Whig the greatest prose of injustice I have ever seen. Someone writing for that paper blames Imbodens command for the disaster at Winchester + says that this command was badly stampeded. it is all false from beginning to end + the many dead + wounded are proof of it. The command acted elegantly + was complimented by all that saw it while McCoustins acted shamefully + is the command that the writer of the piece in the Whig thought was Imbodens. There is no excuse for such a mistake + I hope that the auther of it may yet get his deserts. Col Smith who is + has been commanding this Brig has replied to it + pronounced it a lie + ----- him a ----- ----- going over there is no ----- by every one for so doing (Not is in a fighting line) I do not know what Gen Ealy intens doing both ----- our yet stationary + from all I can see one likely to ----- so. My nice sort of clothing are in the lines of the enemy at George Benkins. I do hope the enemy may not get them. It has been a long while since you last wrote to me + at last since I received a letter. The last I received was written on the 15 of last month so you see it has been 21 days since I heard from home. I have not received a letter from Mother for a long time only one since the death of my poor dear brother. I would like so much to know whether or not my dear brother thought he would die + if so had he a hope in heaven it would be consoling to me above all things in this world to know that he is now in heaven for heaven would have more charms for me if I knew my dear brother was there. I feel that I have a hope in Gods wand though I am tempted often to doubt the existance of such a being. Is it not strange that one should ever doubt his existence. Common scorn should teach us better. I am ---- a corrupt man fond of the pleasures of this world but often all what one they that one should forget his God for them. Our stay in this world is very short at last I feel this memory that I can say " Thy will oh God not mine be done." I do not believe I shall have the pleasure of seeing you all for a long while it may be many months. There is no such thing as getting a leave of absence now. I have endured many hardships since I last saw you + danger has threaten me on every hand + still I stand whilst many far better men have been ----- from existence. I can say I believe truthfully that I have become to a great degree acustom to danger. I am delighted to know that you have dear Ma with you. (I suppose she is with you) My love to her + tell her not to spoil that boy. How is my dear old father + Mother getting along it appears to me it would be the happiest moments of my life to be with them even a short while. I wrote to dear Archer a few days ago. Where is ----- + how is dear Mary. I often think of her. I hope dear Lucy is still with you would that I could see her. I wrote you to thank Miff for his kind letter. How are those dear little ones of his getting along. I love them + pitty them. I am greatly attached to miff for he was always kind to my dear Sister + has been a brother to me. I suppose Capt Calhoon is now at home + as I understand he has ----- Mrs Calhoon is delighted no doubt. The Capt was looking very badly when I last saw him. I shall lways remember him for his kindness to my dear Sister + to us all. I am glad he is at home. Present my regards to him likewise to all in his household. I am sorry to him that Dr Christian is doing so badly. I hope he will make a -----. 0h for just a little ----- + ----- + some Mother's nice warm bread + a little butter. I wish you would get another bad ----- as the one you have is not long enough for me. I did not rest well when I was at home last. Write to me soon + remember me kindly + affectionately to all

Your devoted
Isaac


Mt Dr -----
October 20th/64

My Dear Jinnie

I am now on my way to Beverly. We have from 200 to 250 men + are going for the purpose of surprising + capturing the garison stationed there. It will be done in the night. The enemy number about 400. I hope we may be successful. The troops that are to make the attack are the dismounted men of the Brigades command by Capt Hill of the 62nd Va Regt who gave ----- surprised the enemy + capture them stationed at Huttonsvill some few weeks ago. I know we shall have a cold time of it + shall have ------ + that a ----- from Highland. I shall be gone 2 or 3 weeks. I hope we may capture them + if we can only get between their pickets I am sure of it. This is written in haste

Love to all

Your devoted
Isaac

PS
I received a letter from you written on the 10th + was glad to learn that dear Archer was with you + wish very much it was in my power to be there too.

Isaac


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