054. Willis Keith to Anna Bella Keith -- May 27, 1862?.

  • Image 01
    Army of the Potomac May 27th My Dear Mama, What a stirring time this is! Here I am tonight within two miles of the Chickahominy River, after taking a march of between 40 and 50 miles since Saturday evening. We have read with wonder of the privations of the men of the revolution, but I tell you what some of ours now very nearly come up to them. The baggage was sent on ahead of us, and most of the time we were actually without anything to eat. You may know it when we were delighted to obtain yesterday evening some stale hard biscuits, we were so hungry. Today we got a little piece of bacon to eat with them. Last night we spent on the ground by the[End Page 1] Rail Road in a continuous rain, with a blanket stretched by the limbs of some trees across our heads. The order came to us as of Saturday evening stating that as we had been some time near Fredericksburg trying to tempt the enemy away from his gun lots [?] without success, we must march immediately to join the great army on General Johnson, and position first in the expected grand battle. We left our camp fires burning to deceive the enemy and started at nightfall, and after three nights and two days here we are, expecting at any moment the great battle to begin. There has been skirmishing all day within five miles of us we heard the guns and expected every moment to be[End Page 2] ordered to take part in it. I hope that we will not be ordered out tonight as we all need rest. I intend to take a good wash before going to bed. I will get off my cloths for the first time since I started. Paris is now heating some water for me, and has borrowed a tub, so that I will steep in luxury if not arroused. It is delightful to see the spirit of our men, and we hear such glorious news of Stonewall Jackson today, that if it is only confirmed they will be still more spirited if possible. I do not know how to [illegible] to you to [illegible], so I will send to Charleston. Why do you not write? My hopes of getting a letter are every day disappointed. I have written twice to both[End Page 3] you and Papa since I have heard from you. In fact I have not heard from Papa at all, and only twice from you since I have no stamps, and therefore must send this as a soldier's letter. Last Sunday afternoon (as, [illegible] all that day, but [illegible] before that) I read over the afternoon service, and it was so pleasant to think that you were reading the same thing and praying for me, that it made me try to pray to be good. Do give my love to Papa, and brothers, sisters, cousins and [illegible]. Paris has brought me water and I must bid you good night. Your [illegible] affectionate [son?], W. If you see Mrs. Prioleau [?], tell her the Dr. is well. W. [End Page 4]
  • Image 01
    Army of the Potomac May 27th My Dear Mama, What a stirring time this is! Here I am tonight within two miles of the Chickahominy River, after taking a march of between 40 and 50 miles since Saturday evening. We have read with wonder of the privations of the men of the revolution, but I tell you what some of ours now very nearly come up to them. The baggage was sent on ahead of us, and most of the time we were actually without anything to eat. You may know it when we were delighted to obtain yesterday evening some stale hard biscuits, we were so hungry. Today we got a little piece of bacon to eat with them. Last night we spent on the ground by the[End Page 1] Rail Road in a continuous rain, with a blanket stretched by the limbs of some trees across our heads. The order came to us as of Saturday evening stating that as we had been some time near Fredericksburg trying to tempt the enemy away from his gun lots [?] without success, we must march immediately to join the great army on General Johnson, and position first in the expected grand battle. We left our camp fires burning to deceive the enemy and started at nightfall, and after three nights and two days here we are, expecting at any moment the great battle to begin. There has been skirmishing all day within five miles of us we heard the guns and expected every moment to be[End Page 2] ordered to take part in it. I hope that we will not be ordered out tonight as we all need rest. I intend to take a good wash before going to bed. I will get off my cloths for the first time since I started. Paris is now heating some water for me, and has borrowed a tub, so that I will steep in luxury if not arroused. It is delightful to see the spirit of our men, and we hear such glorious news of Stonewall Jackson today, that if it is only confirmed they will be still more spirited if possible. I do not know how to [illegible] to you to [illegible], so I will send to Charleston. Why do you not write? My hopes of getting a letter are every day disappointed. I have written twice to both[End Page 3] you and Papa since I have heard from you. In fact I have not heard from Papa at all, and only twice from you since I have no stamps, and therefore must send this as a soldier's letter. Last Sunday afternoon (as, [illegible] all that day, but [illegible] before that) I read over the afternoon service, and it was so pleasant to think that you were reading the same thing and praying for me, that it made me try to pray to be good. Do give my love to Papa, and brothers, sisters, cousins and [illegible]. Paris has brought me water and I must bid you good night. Your [illegible] affectionate [son?], W. If you see Mrs. Prioleau [?], tell her the Dr. is well. W. [End Page 4]
  • Image 01
    Army of the Potomac May 27th My Dear Mama, What a stirring time this is! Here I am tonight within two miles of the Chickahominy River, after taking a march of between 40 and 50 miles since Saturday evening. We have read with wonder of the privations of the men of the revolution, but I tell you what some of ours now very nearly come up to them. The baggage was sent on ahead of us, and most of the time we were actually without anything to eat. You may know it when we were delighted to obtain yesterday evening some stale hard biscuits, we were so hungry. Today we got a little piece of bacon to eat with them. Last night we spent on the ground by the[End Page 1] Rail Road in a continuous rain, with a blanket stretched by the limbs of some trees across our heads. The order came to us as of Saturday evening stating that as we had been some time near Fredericksburg trying to tempt the enemy away from his gun lots [?] without success, we must march immediately to join the great army on General Johnson, and position first in the expected grand battle. We left our camp fires burning to deceive the enemy and started at nightfall, and after three nights and two days here we are, expecting at any moment the great battle to begin. There has been skirmishing all day within five miles of us we heard the guns and expected every moment to be[End Page 2] ordered to take part in it. I hope that we will not be ordered out tonight as we all need rest. I intend to take a good wash before going to bed. I will get off my cloths for the first time since I started. Paris is now heating some water for me, and has borrowed a tub, so that I will steep in luxury if not arroused. It is delightful to see the spirit of our men, and we hear such glorious news of Stonewall Jackson today, that if it is only confirmed they will be still more spirited if possible. I do not know how to [illegible] to you to [illegible], so I will send to Charleston. Why do you not write? My hopes of getting a letter are every day disappointed. I have written twice to both[End Page 3] you and Papa since I have heard from you. In fact I have not heard from Papa at all, and only twice from you since I have no stamps, and therefore must send this as a soldier's letter. Last Sunday afternoon (as, [illegible] all that day, but [illegible] before that) I read over the afternoon service, and it was so pleasant to think that you were reading the same thing and praying for me, that it made me try to pray to be good. Do give my love to Papa, and brothers, sisters, cousins and [illegible]. Paris has brought me water and I must bid you good night. Your [illegible] affectionate [son?], W. If you see Mrs. Prioleau [?], tell her the Dr. is well. W. [End Page 4]
  • Image 01
    Army of the Potomac May 27th My Dear Mama, What a stirring time this is! Here I am tonight within two miles of the Chickahominy River, after taking a march of between 40 and 50 miles since Saturday evening. We have read with wonder of the privations of the men of the revolution, but I tell you what some of ours now very nearly come up to them. The baggage was sent on ahead of us, and most of the time we were actually without anything to eat. You may know it when we were delighted to obtain yesterday evening some stale hard biscuits, we were so hungry. Today we got a little piece of bacon to eat with them. Last night we spent on the ground by the[End Page 1] Rail Road in a continuous rain, with a blanket stretched by the limbs of some trees across our heads. The order came to us as of Saturday evening stating that as we had been some time near Fredericksburg trying to tempt the enemy away from his gun lots [?] without success, we must march immediately to join the great army on General Johnson, and position first in the expected grand battle. We left our camp fires burning to deceive the enemy and started at nightfall, and after three nights and two days here we are, expecting at any moment the great battle to begin. There has been skirmishing all day within five miles of us we heard the guns and expected every moment to be[End Page 2] ordered to take part in it. I hope that we will not be ordered out tonight as we all need rest. I intend to take a good wash before going to bed. I will get off my cloths for the first time since I started. Paris is now heating some water for me, and has borrowed a tub, so that I will steep in luxury if not arroused. It is delightful to see the spirit of our men, and we hear such glorious news of Stonewall Jackson today, that if it is only confirmed they will be still more spirited if possible. I do not know how to [illegible] to you to [illegible], so I will send to Charleston. Why do you not write? My hopes of getting a letter are every day disappointed. I have written twice to both[End Page 3] you and Papa since I have heard from you. In fact I have not heard from Papa at all, and only twice from you since I have no stamps, and therefore must send this as a soldier's letter. Last Sunday afternoon (as, [illegible] all that day, but [illegible] before that) I read over the afternoon service, and it was so pleasant to think that you were reading the same thing and praying for me, that it made me try to pray to be good. Do give my love to Papa, and brothers, sisters, cousins and [illegible]. Paris has brought me water and I must bid you good night. Your [illegible] affectionate [son?], W. If you see Mrs. Prioleau [?], tell her the Dr. is well. W. [End Page 4]
Title:
054. Willis Keith to Anna Bella Keith -- May 27, 1862?.
Creator:
Wilkinson and Keith Families
Date:
1862
Description:
Willis writes from the Confederate Army of the Potomac, two miles from the Chickahominy River, on the privations of camp [though he is accompanied by a slave, Paris], and the expectation of a large scale engagement. He is spiritied by news of Stonewall Jackson's successes.
Collection:
Wilkinson-Keith Family Papers
Contributing Institution:
College of Charleston Libraries
Media Type:
Manuscripts
Personal or Corporate Subject:
Confederate States of America. Army
Geographic Subject:
Chickahominy River (Va.), United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
Shelving Locator:
Mss 0111
S.C. County:
Charleston County (S.C.)
Internet Media Type:
image/jpeg
Digitization Specifications:
600 ppi, 24-bit depth, color, Epson Expression 10000XL scanner, Archival Master is a tiff.
Copyright Status Statement:
Digital image copyright 2010, The College of Charleston Libraries. All rights reserved. For more information contact The College of Charleston Library, Charleston, SC 29424.