Wednesday, July 27, 2011

1861 July 27 Richmond [Virginia]

My dear Mother

Through the undeserved
mercy of Almighty God, I have been
sustained & borne almost unharmed
through danger as great as mortal
man ever witnessed, and am now
able to inform you of my safety.
You have no doubt heard more of the
great battle than I could possibly
tell you now, as it would be impossible
for me to give you all the information
which wld be interesting to you other-
wise than orally, so I will defer talking
about the grand providential victory
till we meet--I was wounded about
3 oclk & after dragging along for about
a mile through the assistance of
Tom Godwin & some other kind friends
was enable to get in a wagon, in

[page 2]
which I rode to Manassas Junction
a distance of 4 or 5 miles--There Tom
Godwin got me placed in a crowded
boxcar where I spent the night.
On the next morning John Luster
& John Watson & others got me placed
in the baggage car of a train coming
to Richmond. In the car with me
were about a dozen wounded officers
& men--We were about 18 hours on
the way & suffered a good deal &
arrived at R about 11 oclock at night.
a gentleman named Bell went up to
Uncle Josephs a mile or two from the
Depot & informed them of my condition,
but in the meantime, I was kindly invited
by a Mr Harvie, who had another wounded
man with him, to go to his house which
was nearer than uncle J's. I accepted his
invitation, as his family were ready to receive
& attend to wounded men & I didn't wish to
arouse & keep awake all night uncle J's family,
who were totaly unexpecting, & unprepared for
persons or a person in my condition--

[page 3]
I received the kindest treatment
from Mr Harvie & family
Uncle Joe heard of me about 12 oclk
at night & ordered his carriage &
came after me. He found me at
Mr Harvies & immediately went
in his carriage & brought Doctor
Cunningham--He came after me
again with Dr Archer on the next
morning & took me to his house
Aunt Sallie, cousin Kate & the whole family
have been very kind to me--I only
fear I never will be able to return
it--I am quite well. Have an ex-
cellent appetite, & my wound though
at times painful, is getting better--
Our poor company has been very much
afflicted. Its dead are William Paxton, viz
(poor Calvin), bill, Bradley, Brooks
who died with fever of the brain & two
others whose names I havent learned
No death will cause more sorrow, no loss,
has been greater to his country & his friends
than the death & loss of poor Wm Paxton=

[page 4]
But I hope his gallant name
will be remembered by a grateful
country & will shine as a bright
example to his comrades acquain-
tances--"Falling ere he saw the star of
his country rise," pouring out his gallant
hearts blood in her cause, he cannot
be forgotten & Eddy Mitchell is
safe--I saw him only for a
few minutes at Gordonsville--
He was very [?] but very well--
Tell dear Anna to cheer up--All
is coming right after a while & then
our homes will be the more happy
because they have once been so sad-
I long to see you all--Hope to be
home in a week or ten days.
Much love to every body--
Your son
W. Alex. Anderson

William Alexander Anderson, 1842-1930, was a lawyer and politician, Attorney General of Virginia, and Rector of Washington and Lee University, 1914-1923, and member of its Board of Trustees from 1884 until his death. While a student at Washington College (now Washington and Lee University), he served in the Liberty Hall Volunteers as an orderly sergeant during the beginning of the Civil War, April 1861. He was seriously wounded at First Manassas on July 21, 1861, as part of the Stonewall Brigade, Company I, 4th Virginia Infantry. After being discharged, he entered the University of Virginia in 1863 and received his law degree in 1866.

MSS 2692

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