Monday, April 25, 2011

1861 April 23 Madison Co. Va.

Dear Father

The excitement
in this county on account of
the state of public affairs is
so great that every thing
like a business has come to a
stand almost. I have dis-
missed my school, and joined
the Richardson Guards who
are now drilling every day
at the Madison C. H. and every
day expecting an order from
the governor to march.

No one abhors war more than
I do but when our rights
are in danger I think it
is the duty of every young

[page 2]
man especially to take up arms
in defense of his country.
I have no other news to write
as this is almost the only
thing that is talked of now
I will leave my trunk at
Capt. Wm Thomas'. His wife will
take care of the key. So if
I should be among those
whose lot it may be fall
in defence of my country
you may know where to get
my papers. I have paid all
my debts except a balance
of 10 or 12 dollars which I
owe cousin Frank, and a
bond of about five dollars
held by Finks & [Kelso?] in this
neighborhood. Let your prayers
daily ascend to God that I
may be preserved against

[page 3]
those vices so common among
soldiers, that I may hold on
to my Christian integrity. For
I feel my weakness and need
of help from him who has
promised to help all who
may call upon him with a
pure heart. Give my love
to all inquiring friends
and to the children

Your Son
James H. Watson

Watson, a 1st Sgt., Co. A, 7th Regt. Virginia Infantry was killed September 14, 1862 in an engagement at South Mountain

MSS 7130-a

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