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Sillers-Holmes Family Correspondence

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Document Type: Autograph Letter Signed

Author: William W. Sillers
Date: February 9, 1863
Place: Camp near Guinea Station, Virginia
To: Frances Sillers Holmes

Physical Description: Ink on lined paper; 4 pages (24 x 20 cm) on 1 folded sheet

Number: MSN/CW 5025-07

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 Guinea Station, Caroline Co., Va.,
Febr'y 9th 63. —

My dear Sister:

     Miles Draughen [i.e., Sgt. Miles S. Draughan, Co. A, 30th North Carolina Infantry] returned yesterday (Sunday). I was very glad to hear through him and by letter from you, that all are well at home. The very neat suit of homespun, for which I thank you, is all that I could desire, and is appreciated not only because it is a hansome present, but also because it is a present from my dear Sister. I could can only wish that I could have the opportunity to return my thanks in person. My only regret is that I shall not be in a condition to preserve it by attention to neatness in wearing. I am now well clothed for the residue of Winter, and the coming Spring, which I fear will be a prolongation of Winter. The sun is shining brightly today, and for a wonder, the little birds, the dear unknowing consolers of saddened hearts, are not silent in the few remaining trees left standing around our tents. Their sweet warbling is seldom heard amidst the bloody scenes of war. Pure innocents, they, like everything good by nature, and sent only as a blessing by the good Giver, seem instinctively to fly away at the approach of strife which things of Heaven never know. The sun and the birds and the soothing quiet of nature always, always carry

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my thoughts homeward. When I shut my eyes and hear the music of the gentle songsters, how like the sounds that fill the air around my own quiet home! Open them, and how sad the change! There is no dreaming here with open eyes. Dreadful reality is too near, and ever present. Thank God! for this beautiful day and the lived associations it, as all days like it, bring to mind, and this blessed rest from the weariness of actual bloody strife, if not from the preparation for the renewal of the bloody drama! I always feel better and stronger, readier to perform the wearisome routine of my daily duties, after hearing that all are well at home, and then having a beautiful day to bring to my mind a vivid a picture of scenes so dear. I thank you, my darling Sister, for the Copy of "the Journal", containing the tender and affectionate apostrophe to our "loved and lost" one. The author was Miss Norton, and my God bless her for her gentle words! What must have been the character of a child that could draw forth such a warm feeling tribute from its teacher! May the newly born and christened Annie Belle be like her, who is gone, in every way is the best prayer that I can offer for Jimmie's and Mrs. Anna's child! —

I am glad you have seen Jimmie Holmes. From him you have learned many of the details of camp life, which in the narrow limits of a letter, it is impossible to speak. At present we are faring tolerably well on

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beef and biscuit. — You didn't say anything about what Baldwin charged for my clothes. Please send me the bill, or Dr. can pay it out of the money in his hands. I owe considerable money and am glad the notes have been paid, as it enables me to pay off others that I owe. Dr. will please appropriate the money in his hands to the discharge of the following notes and accounts, paying off the small ones first. — 2 notes held by J. C. Williams; — 1 note (for sheep bought for me by Dr.) to Ashford estate; — Medical acc't with Dr. Bizzell for last year; — 1 note held by T. M. Lee; — 1 note held by Henry Moore; — 1 note held by Gabe Holmes; — 1 note held by Alworth King; — 1 note held by Lewis Johnson; — 1 note held by John A. McArthur; — 1 note (payable to M. J. Faison), held by John A. Oates. I should like to discharge as many of these as possible. You will find a list of the names of persons who hold notes against me, either in the book wrapped up with my papers in your hands or in the drawer of my table at home—among the loose papers. If any other persons wish to pay off their notes and the money will be received by those who hold notes against me, I should be glad to pay off all I owe. Confederate money is not a legal tender and some may prefer the notes to the money, and Dr. will oblige me by finding out who of my creditors will receive this money before collecting too much.

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I owe Mr. Owen Hargrove's estate for a small quantity of cotton, which I offered to pay for, when I saw him last, but he did not know how much it was. I also owe Matthew Faison for small amounts of cotton. These I should be glad to have paid immediately.
I wish Uncle Moses to prepare land sufficient to raise enough cotton for plantation use—land well manured. Aunt Fanny must plant me a large lot of onions—such as she can buy; and sow the seed of the "Silver-skins" (saved from last Spring) to make sets for the next year. I also want her to sow some of the same seed in the fall so as to have an early start this Spring year. If the few carrots, I had, come to seed this Spring, I wish Uncle Moses to save every seed for planting next Spring. The reasons why I am particular about seed is that I want seed from plants native to the soil—I think they will thrive better. — Give my love to all, and, say with my love to Dr., that he must collect enough money to pay himself all his accounts against me. Kiss the dear children for Uncle Willie.

Your devoted Brother,
W. W. Sillers

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

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