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Read Family Correspondence

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Document Type: Autograph Letter Signed

Author: John Henry Read
Date: June 23-24, 1861
Place: Camp Garnett, Rich Mountain, Randolph County, Virginia
To: Martha White Read

Physical Description: Ink on paper; 4 pages (25 x 20 cm) on 1 folded sheet

Number: MSN/CW 5015-2

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Camp Garnett Rich Mountain 1861
Sunday Eve 6 P.M. Randolph County Va June 23rd
Dear Sister Mattie,

     I Recd your kind & ever Welcome letter last night (Saturday) and 4 others, and just Recd one from J D. Zirkle written 20th per mail. I Just Returned from Dress Parade, we do not Generaly go on dress Parade but did this evening on account of an appointment made this morning at Preaching, that Mr See of Augusta would preach this eveing at 4 P.M. but he did not get hear in time to to full fill his appointment he is your Preacher Revd Mr Miller of the Methodist Denomination Delivered quite an interesting Discourse, his Text was "Mark" 10 & 26 verse "Who Then Can be Saved" he had a large Congregation about 800 Hundred, and all very attentive, I was very much Disappointed in not having the pleasure of hearing your Esteemed friend Revd See. Dear Sister I still have the Testament and nothing could buy it from me, I make it a Rule to Read Night and morning I considder it the greates Treasure I possess it shall be with me in Camp on the Battle field, and if I should be so unfortunate is to fall by the enemys hand It Shall be with me then, and ever, our Company I suppose you know is divided at this time, one division is at Laurel Hill which is 17 miles this side of Phillipi [sp. Philippi], we were divided at Beverly we come on to the above place 8 miles of Buckhanan [sp. Buckhannon] we have thrown up all of our Batteries, we made Two Roads, I was

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appointed Boss over the Two Road 1 was 1/2 mile long the other Short we finished Saturday night, we are about though work now. We Intend to Drill on the Cannons Regular now, we can shoot 10 Times in a minuet now I exspect we will Drill the flying Artillery tomorrow it is a beutifull Drill Indeed the men are Scattered all over the Mountain there is one Company about 300 yds from our Camp, who have Note Books, and sing Regular and Sing good too oh there's a lively crowd hear singing & Laughing all the time all the Company had the Army Regulations Read to them yesterday evening they are these, a fine of 1 Shilling for every oath any man Caught Drunk is Court Martheald, and the 2nd time they are put in the Gauard House and kept there without out enything to eat for 1 or 2 Days, and if they are Caught asleep on Post they are Hung, there is no Whiskey in 50 mile of hear, and I never seen a happery set in my life our Col is a very Religous man, in coming from Staunton he went before, and had every bar Closed and, told them if they drink he would knock the head of every Barrel in, that was Good it is getting dark now I must hury though if you know of eny one Coming out to us, you will please go to J. D. Zirkle Esq, and get my Shaul and send it out to me, but dont send it eny other way Mr. Hackman our Bugler Started for home yesterday (Edenburg) I told him to tell Mr. Zirkle to tell mother to send me a

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Calico Shirt, dont send me it without sending it by Some Responsible person I am not much in need of a Shirt, but my Shaul I would lik to have, my hat is at Mr Zirkle you will plase get that, and take care of it for me untill I get Home it is on the Desk in the Counting Room in a box My love to Mr Zirkle, and Famley, and tell Mary Ellen I Rece'd her letter last night, and just before I Recd hers I wrote one to her, tell her to Answer it if She pleases, and I will wait for a Answer, and will answer it as soon as I get it. I must have wrote mine just a day or two after she wrote to me.

Monday Morning 6 oclock A.M.

     Dear Sister It is now morning Bright and Glourious morning everything around look beutifull the Scenery is Sublime and magnificent, the Glourious Sun is Shining in all it Splender which causes the highes Penickle of Rich Mountain to Show forth its Grandure, and magnifiscents, I must Stop the above Stram or I would fill the Sheet, and not have eny News atoll, the half of our Company that is at Laurel Hill will be hear to Day So we will all be together again, tell Bro' Zirkle he must considder this an answer for his letter to Mr Stoler in his letter that Bro had gone with the Malitia and every man in New Market between the age of 18 & 45 years So I dont supose there is more than 40 men left in New-Market now my love to Mary & Zirkle, and dont forget to tell her to answer my letter if She pleases, my love to father mother Bro. & Better and tell them to write to me often. I Recd

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Better's letter Saturday evening last, and I wrote to her Thursday before, tell her She must answer it Soon, tell mother I am getting along excelant, I never enjoyed better health in my life. I am fat I weigh 6th more than I ever weighed before in the Summer, I do wish I could see you all tell Father he must write to me and give me all the News, we never see a News Paper in this parts, so we dont what is going on in the Valley or any whear else, dont forget the Shaul, send by some person you know we have Crossed 20 Mountains since we left Staunton I never Saw Such a Mountanious Country in my life. I had no Idea it was so Tiger's Valley is a very nice place, the ladies had a very Sumtious Dinner prepaired for us in Tigers Valley I had the pleasure of seeing those two Ladies that Brought the News about Graffton, and also Receved a prisoner theres names were Miss Mollie McLeod & Miss Kerr they were fine looking Ladies you Could tell by there eyes that they were Heroines, I must stop my love to all my Friends and to Father Mother Sister Bro. Henry Tell Jinney & Cory I would like to see them so much also Edward, & my love to all, Reserve a large portion for yourself write soon and give me all the News about the war you must Excuse bad writing spelling &c I never have time to Read a letter over after I have written it all of our Boy's are in fine spirits, and anxsious for a fight. I exspect you will find this troublesome to Read, we are not [?] for writing, Just write on old trees or eny where we can write soon. I remain

your affectionate Brother
J. Henry Read

To die for ones Country Is the happiest and most enviable fate

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Bro Griff Said my motto must be Sic Sember tyrranus but this also is mine Liberty or Death

Direct to J H.R... Care Col Heck & Cap Rice Beverly Randolph City Va

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Transcription last modified: 01 Mar 2007 at 01:16 PM EST

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