Sep 4th 1862
You will no doubt bee surprised at my being at this [place] one hundred and seventy miles from where I was when I wrote you last.
We have been pushing on after the enemy for fifteen days making forced marches every few days. Gen Jackson caught up with the enemy at Manassus plains where the largest battle of the war was fough and give them the worst whipping yet. Hills army to which our Brigade belongs passed over the field day before yesterday. I never saw so many dead yanks on one field.
Our loss was light compared to theirs but still many brave boys have been sent to their long homes. Was a complete victory for old Stonewall. Some of the fighting was on the old battle field of July 61.
You would like to know how I stood the march. Verry well except my feet. They are completely worn out but I can sorter hoble along yet a little. Marched twenty miles yesterday but could not keep up with the Regt. Caugt up about two hours after they camped for the night. Feel rested this morning.
Took breakfast with Mrs. Van deventer. Verry nice. She put some biscuit, ham and buter in my Havre sack for my dinner. She is the Lady that we staid with last winter when sick.
We have had little to eat in the march. Often only one scanty meal a day. But not a murmur was to be heard. I lived three days on five biscuit and a little bacon. Marched fifteen miles each day.
The country is laid waste nearly all the way to Richmond. We will go into Mariland now if I am not awfully deceived. No enemy across the river opposite this. Gen Hill has forty regiments here and I can see nothing that he can do but cross and get in rear of Washington. Eery one is delighted at the Idea of going into the enemies land. That is all the talk this morning.
The people are crazy at our coming back. The Ladies especially. I never saw such excitement among citisens.
We have orders to march. Will give this to someone to send to the south; hope you will receive it soon. Jenks Boyd cought up with us at Rapid Ann. I put on the good nice clothes you sent me. Am verry proud of them. Have a change of clothes and one blanket with me. If we go to Yankey land we will carry nothing with us but one blanket.
You ask a good many questions that I have not time to answer. We are camped on our old camp ground. Our company numbers only forty men this morning. The most of them gave out on the road. Will catch up if we remain here long.
Give my love to all the friends and relatives and receive the very best love from your
Dont look for letters from me often.
Will write every opportunity.
God bless my love.
This is a fascinating letter that provides glimpses of the soldiers’ morale and the attitude of the local citizens. I assume this guy was in the 13th Mississippi writing back to his home state, correct?
Thanks for the comment, Scott, and for reminding me that I’d neglected to put the 13th in the tag, or any other tag on the post for that matter.
Newt Nash was a private in the 13th’s Minutemen of Attala, and a small farmer and slaveholder. He was writing to his wife, Mollie, at their home in Goodman, Mississippi.
All of his letters are good. You can find the ones I have included to date in the category listings under his name on the right side of the main page. There are more to come.