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July 1861 Confederate Soldier's Letter Prior To First Manassas For Sale
At Camp Near Winchester, Va
Miss Mary H. C. Swanson
Ever fondly remembered Sister,
Your sweet letter of the 8th Instant has come duly to hand through the politeness of Mr.
Grigory and I assure you it gives me great pleasure to respond. I was much pleased to
learn that you were all well. You said in your letter that you all had received but one
letter from me. I have replied to every letter that I have received from home and written
several to which I have received no answer. I suppose that it was owing to derangements of the mails that you did not receive them. We left Richmond Tuesday morning and were delayed a few hours owing to a collision of the cars. But there was no damage done save, to a few of the coaches, which were removed and we arrived at Manassas, where we spent the remainder of the night. We left Manassas Junction about 8 O’clock A.M. and arrived at Strasburg early in the evening and would have marched to Winchester the same evening had it not been for a heavy shower of rain. We left soon the next morning and arrived here late in the evening after having marched eighteen miles. I stood the march better than I expected. My feet are very sore to day(sic) from the effects of yesterday’s march. There is no news of importance to communicate. Although we are within fourteen miles of the enemy, we can learn nothing definite concerning his intended movements, although there are numerous rumors with regard to his intended movements. Among which is one to the effect that the have been ordered to advance upon Winchester but I do not place any reliance in the report. I have not been able to learn the number of men stationed here. It is variously estimated at from 14 to 18 thousand and some even estimate it as high as 20 thousand. The number of federal troops is put down at 30 thousand. I will try and get a permit to go tomorrow to have my type taken but I do not know whether I can get a permit or not. Tell mother not to be uneasy as I do not think we will be engaged soon in a battle. Give my love to all enquiring(sic) friends and be certain to tell the young ladies in and around Swansonville that I think they have slighted me in not writing to me as there is scarcely a boy in camp who has not received a letter from some young female acquaintance. Tell Miss Beck she must be sure to fulfill the promise she made you as I am daily looking for a letter from her. You must all write soon. Tell father I will answer his letter Sunday as I think by that time I can write him something concerning the whereabouts of the enemy. Give my love to all' Kiss my Nieces and Nephews, Goodbye Henrie
P.S. Tell Bettie to write soon.
Direct your letter to Saml. A Swanson of the Whitmell Guards care of Col. Edmunds
(Samuel A. Swanson 38th Virginia Infantry KIA 5/31/62 at Seven Pines, VA. Letter written just prior to leaving for the Battle of Bull Run or Battle of Manassas. Swanson jokingly calls Mary “Henrie” as her middle name was Henrietta)
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July 1861 Confederate Soldier's Letter Prior To First Manassas: $187