Confederate Soldiers’ Letter to Home, 1861

Oct 22@

Camp near Centerville

Dear Brother & Sister

I have the pleasure of writing

you a few lines to let you know

how I am getting along I

am not very well I have

had a severe spell of the camp

Colic[1] which I fell very weak

yet from it but I am able

to walk about I think I will be

able for duty in a few days

Brother Ed is well and hearty

But a hard looking customer with his

hair face and Mustache

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We had our whole line of pickets

run in last sunday they were

Stationed on the Lees burg and

Alexander Rail Road[2] for ten

miles we had one man killed

and one wounded Wm[3] Marse

was shot in the thigh with a

minie ball he belongs to our

Company[4] Wats was shot through

the head killing him instantly

Brother Ed was right by him when

he was shot most of our company

made a very narrow ecape the

yankeys sliped up on them

and fired on them before

they could make their escape

it is a great wonder that (they) were

not more of our men killed

Jack Thumes a member of our

Company had ten shots fired at him

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We have just received the

news from Leesburg that a battle

was fought there yesterday we

repulsing old banks and taking

five hundred prisoners and

six pieces of Artillery the

number killed not known

we had seventeen killed

we are expecting attack here

every day but it has been

raining here nearly every day

for week and is raining now

or perhaps the battle would

have been fought before this

time I saw your Brother

David a few days ago he

was well and hearty

Rufus & Ed were both well

when I saw them last

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Brother & sister I thought I would

have had the pleasure of seeing

you before this time But I have

been disappointed they will not

grant no Furloughs[5] now tell

after the Battle which I hope I

will be spared to visit my

family and relations again

But if I not permitted to meet

you all again on this earth I hope

to meet you with our loved

wons[6] which is gone before

us where they will be no

more parting Nothing more

But remain your affectionate


Benjn[7] Brugh [signature]

Please write soon



Date:             October 22, 1861

Subject:        Letter written by Confederate soldier to family

Author:         Benjamin Brugh

Keywords:   Edward Brugh, Benjamin Brugh, William Marse, Jack Thumes, Centerville, Leesburg, Civil War, Battle of Ball’s Bluff

Summary:      A letter written by Confederate soldier Benjamin Brugh, addressed to their brother in law and sister back home. In the letter, Benjamin describes their conditions and the action that occurred the day before. Edward discusses difficulties in trying to get a break from the war to visit home.

[1] Severe abdomen pain caused by intestinal gas or obstruction in the intestines, probably a side effect of malaria in this case.

[2] Probably referring to the Orange & Alexandria railroad in VA.

[3] Abbreviation for William.

[4] Benjamin Brugh was a sergeant and later First Lieutenant in the 2nd Regiment, Virginia Calvary, Company C. The 2nd Cavalry Regiment completed its organization at Lynchburg, Virginia, in May, 1861. Its companies were recruited in the counties of Bedford, Campbell, Botetourt, Amherst, Franklin, Appomattox, and Albemarle. During the war it was brigaded under Generals B.H. Robertson, F. Lee, Wickham, and Munford. The 2nd Cavalry saw action at First Manassas, in Jackson’s Valley Campaign, and at Groveton Heights, SharpsburgFredericksburgKelly’s FordChancellorsvilleBrandy stationAldieUppervilleGettysburg, and Shepherdstown. After the Bristoe and Mine Run campaigns, it was involved at The Wilderness, Todd’s Tavern, SpotsylvaniaHaw’s Shop, and Cold Harbor. It fought in the Shenandoah Valley with Early and later in numerous conflicts around Petersburg and Appomattox.

[5] Furlough: leave of absence.

[6] Correctly spelled “ones.”

[7] Abbreviation for Benjamin.


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