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Read Family Correspondence

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Document Type: Autograph Letter Signed

Author: Martha White Read
Date: June 13-15, 1862
Place: Augusta County, Virginia
To: Thomas Griffin Read

Physical Description: Ink on paper; 4 pages (15 x 10 cm) on 1 folded sheet

Number: MSN/CW 5015-11

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Friday evening, June 13.
My dear Husband,

     I cannot wait any longer without writing to you as I can hear nothing of you. Early Monday morning I learned through Cous. B. Stuart that you were at Mr. Gongiver's & intended staying two or three days. I wanted to go right down there, but Papa said it would be best for him to take a horse for you and bring you up here. Well of course I thought that would be best. He got to Mr. G's that evening & found you had left, but some one told him that you were seen coming this way from Mt. Meridian that day. I was in hopes you would get here after all. Papa met bro. James [i.e., 1st Sergeant James A. White, Company H, 52nd Virginia Infantry] on his way home. He was shot in the shoulder, a right severe, though not serious wound. Dr. Morrison, an Army surgeon was here night before last, he said that if the ball had entered an inch further forward than it did it would have gone throught the right lung. Oh how thankful we ought to be for such a kind Providence. We are to dress it only with cold water. We

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had not seen Jas since the 4th Sept. We have two refugees here, one from London, Mr. Janney, and Mr. Harris from Frederick. John [i.e., John Henry Read] has been here since last Saturday. Mr. Bowman came along this morning & John went with him to see some of the New Market men, who are staying above here. I was a good deal disappointed when Papa came without you. Had your clean clothes laid out for you. Last Sunday [i.e., the battle of Cross Keys] was the first-time the sound of hostile cannon ever assailed my ears. All went to church but me, & I could not stay in the house. I never had such feeling in my life, not knowing but that the one dearest to me on earth, & my dear, only brother at that time lay cold & lifeless on the field of battle. Jas. was wounded just as the regt. was being drawn up in line of battle. We have no correct estimate of our loss, but did not lose as many as the enemy. Several wounded men have been taken past here. All have been sent on to Charlotsville [sp. Charlottesville] from Waynesboro. We hear now that the Yanks are below Harrisonburg again. I don't feel atall elated about that; they can soon come back again. I only hope Jackson [i.e., Confederate Major General Thomas J. Jackson] will not follow him too far. They have more men now than we have, still they run, when they hear of a few reinforcements. Truly they are a brave crew. There was sort of a panic about Waynesboro last Sund. when we heard that Jackson

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was cut off. I did not believe the half of it, for I knew he never before had got into place without leaving a hole to creep out. I did not atall think his men would be captured, but I knew that in deadly conflict, many brave men must fall. Many have fallen, may their memory ever be green. "God bless our gray coats, if they are dirty, so they are gray." Oh I was so tired seeing the blue clad Yankee prisoners. There are about 3000 of them. I saw them at Waynesboro. Did not exchange words with them, nor would I have done so unless compelled. I would not taunt nor insult them. I have a spirit above that, besides it does no good.
Emmet Brooks went to the army today to bring Moffet [i.e., Moffett Brooks, Company I, 4th Virginia Infantry] home, he is sick. I did not know he was going, or should have asked him to enquire for you. I am so anxious to know how you are. I just think about you all the time. Henry has been at Fishersville, I have not seen him. I am anxious to hear how the Yankees behaved at New Market this time. In a late paper I see a remedy for diarrhoea. It is simply sage tea, with a little red pepper stirred in it. I will send you some the first opportunity, but write about it now, so that if you should need it, you

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might get some from some one, as there is sage in almost every garden. I will send you some, and you might use it sometimes, instead of coffee & it might prevent diarrhoea. I would be so glad if you could get home when your time is out. If you could stay at home and recruit awhile, I think you could stand the summer better. Are you going to re-enlist in the same company? Did you see Cous. Sally V. as you came up? John said she had got two letters from Lem [i.e., Lemuel Vawter, Company I, 33rd Virginia Infantry]. I do feel so sorry for Aunt Ann, wish I could go to see her. I wrote her a long letter, but it did not get there in time. "Be strong and fear not," my husband; God will bring us through at last. Trust in Him at all times. You can repose safely in his protection, "in trials fearful hours." I sent a letter to you by Mr. Killian last Sat. Mrs. Harrison Koiner was buried this morning and Old Mr. Emanuel Kindig this evening. I was at Mr. Koiner's all day yesterday, and sat up there last night. Good night.
Sunday morning. Dear T. I will finish this to send by Dr. C. Henkel. Do write soon. I hope you will enjoy this beautiful Sabbath. God bless you.


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I wish you would try & get a furlough, when your time is out. Heaven keep you dearest is the prayer of your wife.

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Transcription last modified: 01 Mar 2007 at 01:36 PM EST

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