Letter written by Sergeant John W. Wiggins of Company F, 39th NC Infantry, to Mr. J. J. Colvard, from a camp near Shelbyville, TN. Parts of the letter are illegible. Wiggins writes that he has heard from brother Joseph, who was in good health and heading home. He has heard rumors that Kentucky voted to leave the Union and the government has called thousands of troops to defend the state. He requests news from home, particularly wanting to know who is killed or wounded from Company A of Ashby’s Regiment. Wiggins expects the next move by Union forces to be on the Rappahannock River, though they may try again at Vicksburg.
Camp near Shelbyville Tenn
Feby 2d 1863
Mr. J.J. Colvard
Brother and Sister its with the greatest pleasure that I embrace the present opportunity of Droping you a line to inform you that I
[next 12 lines illegible, obscured by traces of purple surface transfer ink]
John Cross was taken prisoner I suppose… any how that is all of the boys that is gone only them that you have heard of [???] I Recd a letter from Brother Joseph and he was in tolerable health and was on his way home
There is not any news much here in camp & it is reported that to be true that the KY Legislature has voted out of the union and is now in arrest the Gov has called out (60,000) sixty thousand Troops to Defend the State of Ky this good if true you must write soon and give me all the news and if Joseph is at home tell him to write to me and write who of Co (A) in Ashby Regt was killed or wound we are not looking for the enemy to advance soon
Morgan and Wheeler is watching their movements daily I look for the next move the Yankees makes will be on the rapahannock they started the other day and the mud stoped them it may be that they will try Vicksburg again send my love to Nancy and Joseph and they boy tell Fathers folks that I am well Respectfully your friend until death
Jno W Wiggins Co (F) 39 Reg
John W. Wiggins, age 19, from Cherokee County, NC, enlisted in Company F, of the 39th NC Infantry, circa February 23, 1862. He is listed as a sergeant as of November 25, 1862, and was wounded at Stones River on December 31, 1862, but returned to duty the next day. He was promoted to 1st Sergeant of Company F on March 1, 1863. He was fatally wounded at Chickamauga on September 19, 1863, and died in the hospital on September 21st. He was twice reported on the Confederate Honor Roll for valiant service, at Stones River and Chickamauga.