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42nd Virginia Infantry - Wounded 3 Times to include Gettysburg

Item CON-8665
November 13, 1862 Peyton B. Gravely
Price: $650.00


Original Civil War soldier's letter. 4 pages, written in period ink.

Camp 5 miles West Winchester
November 13th 1862

Dear Joe,

As we are tolerably quiet at this time, I will drop you a few lines to give you the points. I reached my regiment about 10 days ago. It was then 7 miles southeast of Winchester, near the Shenandoah River. A few days after reaching it we were ordered on the Romney Road to picket in that direction and have been in our present position ever since. We are very pleasantly situated being in a very fine body of timber on the left of the Romney Road. Our division is scattered in every direction. The 1st Brigade is on the Charlestown and Martinsburg Road. The 3rd Brigade is on the Pugh Town Road and the Louisiana or 4th Brigade is on the Berryville Road. So you will discover we are considerably scattered. I saw your company the day I reached the division. The boys are all well and made a great many inquiries for you. Jesse Carter looked very sad indeed. I told him that John Brown’s wife looked really lovely at the affair and best of all, I told him she was offered $40,000 for her property in Richmond just a few days before her marriage. That made him open his eyes. He said by God he had no idea she was that well off.

It is currently reported upon good authority that the Yankees are coming up the Baltimore and Ohio Rail Road from the Relay House to Wheeling. And are opening another road from the Relay House across through the upper part of Maryland to Pittsburg. That looks like a considerable change in the Yankee Programs. I think the Yankees intend to change their base of operations for the winter campaign to an entire new quarter. A great many are disposed to believe that the removal of the rail road is an indication of daylight dawning and that they intend to let us slide. I hardly know how to credit such a supposition. Hope it may be true but one thing certain, the removal of rail road indicates a change in some way.

A considerable fight was expected last Sunday below Berryville. But the Yankees discovered that Longstreet was about to get in their rear and they made a clean skedaddle and thus changed the aspect of affairs in this quarter.

The Yankees are falling back now in every direction. They certainly have smelled a rat somewhere. I wish the darned villains would let us alone. For I want to see Miss Lou once more before spring. And as they are tormenting us, I can’t get an opportunity of leaving here. Well I certainly called on her on my way to Danville. She looked better by a darn sight than I ever saw. But still, I do not intend to torment myself much about the woman no way. There are plenty of them. And it is a darn foolish thing for a man to torment himself about one when there is half a million in the Southern Confederacy.

I had one of the richest times with two girls on my way from Staunton to Winchester that I have seen in a long time. They were Star Gals and as agreeable as a hot cup of Rio coffee. I made myself as much at home as you ever saw a fellow and it proved very agreeable. I escorted them to their domicile locations and got a nice lunch of cakes and wine, heard some of their sweetest music I’ve listened to since I left Danville Headquarters. If it had been her fingers running over the notes, I think I could have enjoyed it much better.

Well, I’m truly glad to find that you are driving those deserters out of the country so rapidly. Hope you may put the last cursed one of them in jail. I understand you had shelled out Compton and some others a short time ago. That is the way to manage them. Make them travel in a hurry.

I must apologize for not sending your coat by Flournoy Barrow from Danville.

I remained at Old Decatur’s so late that I did not get to Danville till dark and had to leave at 5 o’clock the next morning. You will please excuse my negligence, but I told Flournoy to see Spot and try to get it for you. Hope he does so.

When you pass down that way, give my Duck a call and present her my imaginations. When you see John Choice, tell him not to forget the bargain we made in Richmond. For I will do my best to comply with it and tell him not to mention it to anyone. Present my compliments to Charley Moorman when you see him and tell him I hope he had a nice time after I saw him in Danville.

Present my regards to all your Pa’s family and all who made inquiry after me. I should like very much to come home again about Christmas if possible. I have a darned strong notion of dancing out from the darned war this winter if possible. But I believe it will end by spring anyway.

Write soon and give me the news. Tell old man Miller to send me about a gallon or so of peach brandy by the first opportunity.

Direct to Winchester.

Your best friend,

P. B. Gravely