Letter – William Bracewell, 15 August 1863

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Letter written by Private William S. A. Bracewell of Company G, 49th GA Infantry, A. P. Hill’s Corps, from a camp near Orange Court House, VA. The first part of the letter is addressed to Bracewell’s mother. He inquires about Private Wiley K. Bracewell [Co. G, 49th GA Infantry], who was wounded and captured at Gettysburg. He asks her to pray that the war may end soon, so that they may see each other again “this side of the grave.” Bracewell writes that the army is demoralized and many men are deserting. The second part of the letter is addressed to Bracewell’s brother, J. F. R. Bracewell. William updates his brother on the current state of several of their friends from home who are fighting, one of whom was killed at Gettysburg.


-Page 1-

Camp near Arange courthouse va

Aug 15th 1863

Dear Mother thru the tender mercies of god I am spard to write you a fiw lines that will in form you that I am well at this time and you dont no how glad I was to hear from you and to hear that you ware well and you cant tel how glad I was to hear from Wiley I wanted to know where he is and when you write to me let no all that you about him I hope that he will soon be paroled and if he is I think that he will get the chance to come home and stay

-Page 2-

Tel he gets well and I want to no whether his thigh was ambutated or not I hope it was not I hope it will get well with out being ambutated My Dear Mother you sed that you and all the chill dren wanted me to see me verry Bad Mother I no that you dont want to see me any wors than I do want to see you and I want you to Pray for me and also for the close of this cruel war that we may be spared to meat you all a gain this side of the Grave and if we never meat on earth that we may meat in heaven Dearest Mother you ast me to write you all the

-Page 3-

nuse that I have I cant tel half of it as it is tho I will tel you that our aRmy is demarilised wors than it ever has bin and the men is a desrten evry knight more or les and you can think of things as they are and now that that it is bad times here Mother I must close for this time by remaining your son T[i]ll Death, W.S.A. Bracewell

Dear Brother J.F.R. Bracewell it is with great satisfaction that I am permited to writ you a fiw lines that will in form you that I am well and I hope those lines

-Page 4-

may reach you well and enjoying your sefrelll [several] I had lik to have forgot the request a bout the boyes Jackson Spell is well and at his Co. Wm Spell was kiled at gettysburg, PV, and left on the battle field and I hope that Washington Spell was gone home and James Brantly I dont no where he is and Tel unkle Seburn that I havent herd from [Jesse?] in some time and I want him to remember me in his Praryres to the god that permits us to Live and Josiah you must be a good boy so that if we never meat on earth we may meat in heaven [???] Good Bye, W.A. Bracewell


William S. A. Bracewell, from Laurens County, GA, was one of several brothers and relatives who enlisted in Company G, 49th GA Infantry. He enrolled as a private on May 16, 1862, and was wounded in the left knee and captured at the Battle of the Wilderness, May 6, 1864. He is listed as hospitalized at the Union 2nd Corps Hospital as of that date. He was later paroled and sent home, where he was discharged April 15, 1865.

James W. Bracewell, age 24, enlisted in Co. G, 49th GA Infantry, on March 4, 1862. No further record.

Jesse A. Bracewell, age 18, enrolled May 16, 1862 in Co. G,  49th GA Infantry. He was wounded on July 2, 1863 at Gettysburg, captured April 3, 1865 at Petersburg, VA, and released June 15, 1865 at Hart’s Island, NY. He died in 1916.

John C. Bracewell, age 20, enrolled March 4, 1862 in Co. G, 49th GA Infantry. He was discharged for wounds on February 11, 1864 at the Richmond, VA hospital. Listed as wounded in the left arm on June 26, 1862 at Mechanicsville, VA. He died in 1920.

Wiley K. Bracewell, age 22, enrolled March 4, 1862 in Co. G, 49th GA Infantry. He was mortally wounded in the leg on July 2, 1863 and left in the hands of the Union army where he subsequently died.

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