Letter – Edward Hendren, 13 February 1864


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Letter written by Private Edward B. Hendron of Company I, 26th NC Infantry, C. S. A., to his parents, from camp near Orange Court House, VA. Hendron is writing to let them know that he is alive and well, and to thank them for a box of clothes and shoes that they sent to him. He is camped near the Rapidan River and doing picket duty. He describes how the Union forces advanced on them a few days prior, mentioning picket fighting and cannonading. Hendron writes that he has grown weary of the war, and that many men from the 26th NC Infantry were refusing to reenlist. He himself hopes for peace so that he may return home.

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February 13th ‘/64

Camp near Orange C.H. V.A.

Dear Father – and Mother through the kind mercies of God I am once more blessed with the opportunity of writing to you informing you that I am tolerable well at present for which I feel very thankful and truly hope these times may find you all blessed with good health and doing well I received your very kind letter last evening that you sent by Mr. Millsaps and was very glad to hear from you once more. I am sory to inform you that I did not Receive the box you you started to me by Mr Stephenson and the one that was started by Mr. Millsaps was left at statesville he said he thought it would be at

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Orange today and I hope I will get it for I need it very bad. I received the shews that was sent to me they fit me very well and I was very glad and thankful to get them although I did not need them very bad I had bought me some leather and got an old pair of shews and mended them and made me a firstrate pair of shews. I can inform you that we are camped near the Rappidan river and doing picket duty our picket lines are along the river the yankees advanced on us last sinday I was one on the front post Saturdy night and the Regt. was marched in to the breast works at dayligh and stayed in line of battle all day there was picket fighting and canonading but no general engagement.

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Febr 16th ‘/64

I will finish my letter as I did not get to conclude my letter the other day. I went to Orange Saturday to see if my box had come I was on picket Sunday and I went to town again yesterday but I have not got my box yet but some of us will go to town every day till we get them if they come there there has been a great many boxes brought to camps this winter and I have bought something to eat of them when I was suffering. i have always been tired of this war and I am so yet they made an effort to get the men of the 26th to reenlist last sunday and there was nary man enlisted in Co F. ther was none from Co. C and only about 60 officers and all in the Regt

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The men are generally getting very tired of the war and a great many of the old vol. say they are going home when their time is out in the spring I do hope providence will so rule that we may be blessed with peace in our country once more I hope the people of N.C. will do something to relieve us if they have the privilage of voteing for a convention I must close by saying I want to see you all very bad and enjoy peace and liberty about my native home once more

Please write as often as you can so I remain yours as ever E.B. Hendren

To J. Hendren

Edward Bunyon Hendren was from Statesville, NC. He enrolled at age 23 on September 23, 1862 in Company I of the 26th NC Infantry. He was wounded at Gettysburg. In November of 1863 he was listed as a deserter, but returned to duty January 1, 1864. He was captured at Burgess’ Mill, VA on October 27, 1864, confined at Point Lookout, MD then paroled March 28, 1865. He was transferred to Boulware’s Wharf, VA on March 29th, 1865 and received by Confederate authorities the next day. Hendren lived as a farmer in Wilkes County, NC. He was a prominent citizen, representing the county in the state legislature in 1898 and passed away from a heart attack in 1909.

Letter – Wesley Langs, 15 May 1864


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Letter written by Corporal Wesley Langs of Company F, 6th NY Cavalry, to his brother William, from Malvern Hill, VA. His regiment crossed the Rapidan River, and have been marching towards Richmond. He describes destroying the railroads and how they charged the Confederate fortifications at Richmond and held them for a day before being forced to leave. Langs has heard news of the Army of the Potomac, and how General Hancock has captured thousands of Lee’s men. He describes the massive casualties suffered since crossing the Rapidan, and how after one day of fighting he “saw the ground covered with dead Rebels.”

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Malvern Hill, Va    

May the 15  1864

Dear Brother as it has been a long time that you have not heard from me and it being the first opportunity that has presented itself to me I thought I would write and let you know that I am still alive and well I suppose you thought that I might be dead when you herd about the movement of our cavalry which I will give you a detail account We crossed the rhapadan [Rapidan] May the fourth and have been marching and fighting every day since Our movement has been on to Richmond We got in the rear of Lees army and distroit [destroyed] the rail roads which caried his supplies with all the supplies and ammunitions.

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We came on a guard that was takeing three hundred of our men to Richmond and recaptured all of them On the twelfth we came to the fortifycations of Richmond and charged the works and took them We held them untill the next day when we were obliged to leave them We had a hard fight before we gave them up Now we lay on the old battle ground of Malvern Hill where we were two years ago – about six miles above Harrison’s Landing We herd this morning that the Army of the Potomac was driving the enemy and that General Hancock had captured twenty-five thousand men all of old Stonewall Jacksons Division We have lost some good men since we crossed the rhapadan. James Chilson is wounded He was struck in the shoulder with a ball

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We do not expect to stay here any length of time The Gunboat is up here and General Smith is at Petersburg Everything is on the move We never saw [such] fighting before It is horible We fought in the woods one day and the next day I was over the same place and saw the ground covered with dead Rebels I want to see the end of this war as soon as posable [possible.] There has been blood enough spilt If we can get hold of the right ones we will soon put an end to such carnage As far as I can learn our armies are doing well I have not time [to] write all the news this time You must write often as you can and dont wait for me Direct as before Good by this time                    

Wesley Langs

Wesley Langs enlisted at age 25 on December 27th of 1861. He was promoted to corporal on November 1st, 1862, sergeant January 1st, 1865, and was captured at Trevillian Station, VA on June 11, 1864. He mustered out sometime in 1865.