University of Notre Dame
Rare Books and Special Collections
Return Home
Topical Collections
Personal and Family Papers
Military Records
Letters and Correspondences
Anderson-Reavis Correspondence
Cicero R. Barker
Mary Bettle
Caley Family Correspondence
William Combs
Mary Crowell
Henry S. Figures
M. A. Harvey
Ora W. Harvey
John M. Jackson
James B. Jordan
Henry H. Maley
Christopher C. McKinney
Meek Family Correspondence
morgan Family Correspondence
James Parkison
Peed Family Letters
G. Julian Pratt
John Pugh
Harrison E. Randall
Read Family Correspondence
Samuel T. Reeves
Harrison E. savage
Shriver Family Correspondence
Shriver Family Correspondence
Sillers-Holmes Family Correspondence
Taylor Family Correspondence
Thomas Family Correspondence
Herbert Benezet Tyson
Isaac Ira White
Diaries and Journals
Miscellaneous Manuscripts

  (transcriptions only)

Technical Details
Manuscripts of the American Civil War
Sillers-Holmes Family Correspondence

< previous letter |  index  | next letter >

Document Type: Autograph Letter Signed

Author: William W. Sillers
Date: July 31, 1863
Place: Near Madison Court House, Madison County, Virginia
To: Frances Sillers Holmes

Physical Description: Ink on paper; 4 pages (20 x 13 cm) on 1 folded sheet

Number: MSN/CW 5025-11

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 on Robinson River,
near Madison C.H., Madison Co., Va.
July 31st, 1863.

My dear Sister:

     We have left the Valley, from which I last wrote you. I did not write often, because I did not have the opportunity; and did not feel as if the letters would ever reach you. Our mail arrangements are very poor; but the best that can be made under the circumstances. — Our whole army is now between the Rapidan and Rappahannock. Of the enemy I know nothing. Last Thursday was a week we skirmished with him in Chester Gap in the Blue Ridge. After night we retired through Front Royal by the Lauray Road, and crossed the Blue Ridge at Thornton's Gap. We are now here awaiting his (the enemy's) advance. I suppose he is moving upon us slowly but with confidence. God only knows what the result will be. His late great successes have no doubt in-

Page 2      Images (pages 2 & 3): 150 DPI100 DPI72 DPI

spired him with renewed confidence in his ability to finally subdue us. I trust in God that we may be able to arrest his further progress into Virginia. The signs everywhere around us but here in Virginia are very gloomy. I hear that John A. Cameron is an unconditional peace candidate in North Carolina. Traitors at home are making all our efforts in the field abortive.
I haven't been well for about two weeks. Sometimes I feel tolerably. I long very much to see you all, dear Sister; but the prospect of having this desire gratified is very remote indeed. The remainder of the Summer and the fall campaign will be very active. I hope the end will find us in much better and the enemy in much worse condition that we and he are now. The comments of the English press on the news of our invasion of Pennsylvania was of a decidedly encouraging character. Our brief stay there, and the result of the battle of Gettysburg as it will be recorded in

Page 3      Images (pages 2 & 3): 150 DPI100 DPI72 DPI

Northern papers will not make a very favorable impression. I doubt the policy of going beyond the Potomac and attacking the enemy in very strong positions. We could have made him attack us, and it seems to me that was what ought to have been done. But the disaster has come upon us, and it is now too late to repine.
I suppose you were all very much frightened by the Yankees on their raid to Kenansville and Warsaw. I would be very glad to have an account from you of the incidents of this affair. For the present there may not be much danger to you all in Clinton. But it seems to me if the People in Clinton and throughout Sampson Co. are wise they will put their houses in order and prepare their guns for work. It is impossible for the Government to protect them from these raids. They must protect themselves. It can be done easily. There are enough able-bodied men in Clinton to check almost any common number

Page 4      Images: 150 DPI100 DPI72 DPI

of raiders. They only need to be attacked—almost anywhere—to be routed. I do hope that the people of Sampson will organize to repel these plundering parties. Once let them know by meeting them promptly that you are on the lookout for them, and you will enjoy security. Those places that feel most secure are generally the first visited. A sense of security without any vigilance or preparation is a dangerous condition. Let the people save themselves. —
Let me hear something from Johnnie and Bessie and Willie. Dear little prattlers, it has been so long since I have heard their musical voices. When shall I hear them again?
You are all luxuriating in peaches and milk and apples and water-melons. How my mouth waters to think of them.
Give my love to all the family, to Dr., and with many kisses to the dear children. God bless you all!

Your affectionate Brother,
W. W. Sillers.

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

< previous letter |  index  | next letter >

  Related Collections:   Colonial & Revolutionary America Early National & Antebellum America American Civil War Modern America Sports

Rare Books and Special Collections

University of Notre Dame
Copyright © 2006, 2009, 2011

Dept. of Special Collections
University of Notre Dame
102 Hesburgh Library
Notre Dame, IN 46556
Telephone: 574-631-0290
Fax: 574-631-6308
E-Mail: rarebook @