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Sillers-Holmes Family Correspondence

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Document Type: Autograph Letter Signed

Author: William W. Sillers
Date: January 28, 1863
Place: Camp near Fredericksburg, Virginia
To: Frances Sillers Holmes

Physical Description: Ink on lined paper; 3 pages (24 x 20) on 1 folded sheet

Number: MSN/CW 5025-06

Transcribed by: Paul Patterson and George Rugg, 2004-06

(Please click on our Technical Details button at left
for more information on transcription conventions,
image scanning conventions, etc.)

Page 1      Images: 150 DPI100 DPI72 DPI

Camp near Fredericksburg, Va., Jan' 28th, 1863.

My dear Sister:

     I thank you for your letter of the 20th inst.,—containing Doctor's also. I cannot say how much I owe you for the interest and comfort it afforded me. I shall always treasure it as the simple story of the last moments of our lost darling. I well know that none can feel this loss as you feel it, and can therefore make no estimate of the severity of the struggle it has cost you to give her up, and say "Thy Will be done!" How sweetly unconscious she was of the great sorrow she was about to bring us by her death! So unsuspecting of the approach of the destroying Angel, because so innnocent! You spoke in your letter and have often before spoken of her resemblance to myself. I have never said much about it before; but in losing her, it seems to me as if some part of myself were gone. In what respects she resembled me, I believe I know most thoroughly, and it does not become me to speak of them. In what she differed from me, I believe I also know, and feel that the difference was all in her own favor. May God make me as true and pure as she was! Poor dear little Johnnie! "Sister's in Heaven"! Happy child not to konw what he has lost.
One feature of your letter gave me unbounded satisfaction—its tone of meekness and resignation. It is an evidence of a depth of feeling, which many cannot appreciate, for

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but few can claim to possess it.
Her little grave will be to us a hallowed spot, and how I long to visit it! As the coming years glide swiftly past and one by one we fade away, may we severally take our places by the side of our "loved and lost" in the grave and in Heaven!

The whole earth is white with snow that has been falling since the middle of last night. The weather is very cold, but I thankful to be as comfortable as I am. My tent has a daubed chimney to it, and this chimney affords me great comfort. Sitting here at night, I think of you all at home very, very often, and wish to be with you; but that cannot be now. How long it will be before I can go home, it is impossible to say. Lieut. Col. Kell [i.e., Lt. Col. James T. Kell, 30th Virginia Infantry] is not likely to come back any time soon; and it cannot be said when Col. Parker [i.e., Col. Francis Marion Parker, 30th Virginia Infantry] will come. Until they come or at least one of them, by the orders in force now, I cannot go home. So you must not look for me, dear Sister, until I come. We are looking now every day for an advance of the enemy. I hope we shall be able to repel his advance, and in addition punish him for his temerity. If he shall attack us on our line of breast-works, the odds are very much in our favour, although he may, as no doubt he will, as he has always done, outnumber us greatly. The rains of the last few days and the present

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snow and rain will put the roads in such condition, that it will be almost impossible to move wagons and artillery with any rapidity, if at all.

I have ordered "the Southern Cultivator" and "the Southern Field and Fireside," both published at Augusta, Geo., the former monthly, the latter weekly,—to be sent your address, and will be glad, if you will file them away for me, whenever you read them through. I value them for their Agricultural information. I shall also order to your address "the Southern Illustrated News," a weekly paper, and "the Southern Literary Messenger," both published at Richmond, Va., to be sent to your address, for your excluisve use and pleasure.
Kiss the dear children often for me. Give my love to Dr., with many thanks for his letter. I am truly glad to hear that he is at home with you, and hope that he may be able to remain. Give my love to all the family.
     May God bless you all!

Your devoted and affectionate Brother,
W. W. Sillers.

Transcription last modified: 28 Feb 2007 at 05:04 PM EST

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