Pvt. Nimrod Newton Nash of the Minutemen of Attala was apparently recovering at the Carter’s Mill camp from his slight wounding at Ball’s Bluff on Oct. 21 while the rest of the regiment remained at Fort Evans:
Carter’s Mill, Nov. 10, 1861
[Her brother] Charles arrived at Leesburg on Thursday evening in fine health. He passed in fifty yards of me and did not know that I was here. I heard through Ive Shelby that he had passed on but thought certain he would come back the next day to get his clothing, but was mistaken.
I was anxious to hear from home so I started to the regiment yesterday (eight miles) in the rain just to hear from you and other dear ones. It rained on me all the way and the walk tired me verry much.
When I got there, Charles was on picket at Edwards Ferry four miles from Camps. I borrowed Col. Barksdale’s horse and went to see him, riding without any saddle which played the wild with my setting place, but I don’t care for that as I got to hear from you.
It rained all day and [I] could not get back last night. [Charles] had a pretty rough time of [it] last night as it was quite wet and cold. I arrived here about twelve today and am quite by myself this lovely Sabbath eve.
I am glad to hear that you are getting along so well at home. And glad to hear that we had made a fine crop of corn and potatoes. Oh, I wish I was at home to eat some of those big yams. I wish you would put all the year-old hogs in the corn field and let them have the run before you commince feeding corn. I want all killed that will make good meat, as it will be a good price, and we have plenty young hogs for next year.
Let the Sows and the Shoats run in the woods as they will do as well there and stand the next summer better than if they ran on the pea field. I think it is high time we were having more pigs. It has been nine months since the sows had any. Write me how many meat hogs you have, how many pigs, how much corn, how much peas picked, how much cotton out, how many potatoes and every thing that concerns us write me all about. From the dogs up to the horses.
For the most trivial thing that you write about interests me. You wrote me about the comforter. I thought you meant a cover but have since concluded it was the neck rag you sent me, since you wrote of sinding me the old family blanket, which is verry acceptable.
I have plenty clothes to do me until I come home if I can keep them, which I will try and do as I have learned something since cold weather set in, and have plenty bedding to keep me warm the coldest night that comes by splicing with some one, which can be done when in camp. I am glad to learn that Emma came through [her delivery] safe and is doing as well as could be expected. Charles seems to be verry proud and I hope it will have a good effect on him. It seems it would have to me.
Capt. Fletcher, Mr. Farrish, Sam and Thad Jennings have gone home. Sam [a third lieutenant] is going to resign. The rest have gone home on furlough. Sam Young has gone home also. One day he said he was going to stay with us, the next he started home.
I do not know who we will elect in Sam Jennings place. I have some idea of running for the office as I need the money as much or more than any man in the company, and I know I am qualified to fill the place. I expect Charles will offer his services. In fact half the company will have their favorites run for it. There will be several that will run, if requested by their friends. Then the longest poll will nock down the posimmons.
There is no prospect of a fight here soon, hence everything quiet, and the boys seem to take advantage of the quietness and rest themselves. They have nothing to do but stand picket and guard the encampment.
When I went to see Charles there was three Yanks with him. They came over on a visit. One of them is quite an intelligent man. He published a paper in Troy, N.Y. They are verry anxious for the war to come to a close, for they have nothing to fight for but thirteen dollars per month, and they don’t like to risk their lives for that. They would have staid with us willingly but we let them go back.
Rumor says there is verry great excitement in Washington and Baltimore. The cause of it I do not know, but suppose there is a disposision on the part of some to have peace and some are for continuing the war. Hence the excitement. I hope they will fall out over there. I am a little inclined to think there will bee something done soon toward making peace, at least I hope so.
If I can get money enough I’m tend comeing home this winter if I can get off. I think it would pay me to come home and stay a month just to take care of my hogs and bee with you a while. If I had the money to spare I would not hesitate to do so. You need not look for me until you see me comeing. I want to bee home in hog killing time so as to assist you with that irksome task.
Tell Charlie I often think of him. That he must take care of you till I come home. The boys think he is verry smart, and so do I. He will soon write a good letter. He must write to me again.
I have nothing more to write. Oh, yes, Sister E. sent me some paper and envelopes for which I am much obliged. Have plenty writing material how [and] will use it. Will write her tomorrow but expect by the time the letter reaches her she will bee with you as she spoke in hers by Charles of visiting you.
Any love to all the family, and believe me your ever devoted husband. Good Bye. Remember me in your prayers.
(You can make photocopies of Newt’s letters to Mollie at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History in Jackson, MS.)