Monday, October 31, 2011

1861 October 31 Camp near McLean's Ford

My Dear Wife
Again am I in receipt
of another of excellent letters, which has
afforded me much real pleasure.
This time your letter reached
me in three days after it was mai-
led. In my last I wrote you of my
being unwell; since then I have been
still more indisposed, but am thankful
to state that I am now pretty well
and hope soon to be more so. Having
a considerable cold when I was
last on Picket, my system was in
a condition to admit of more cold
upon the last exposure. Upon our
return to camp I had a slight
chill and soon fever afterwards.
I still remained on duty until

[page 2]
the 29th which day together with yesterday I
have been in bed. But for a little no-
account feeling, I am doing very well.
You will know the feeling after taking
Castor Oil and add to that quinine
powders and calomel, the latter of
course comes first. Many strange
rumors are now afloat in Camp.
Maj Woodward was to have started
for home to day, but was induced to
remain, he having received informa-
tion from those in Command that
within a few days there would certa-
inly be a great battle. It may
be that they are in possession of
information which would warrant
the putting forth of such a remark.
In the event of such collision may
the God of battles preserve us and
again give us the victory is my
prayer. I am very much pleased
with the programme you sent me

[page 3]
and only regret that I was not pre-
-sent to have [‘p’ lined out] taken part therein. I
think I might have contributed a
“fools” part. You know the extent
of my facilities in that line. I
could have at least told the “elephant
story.” There is so little going on (appa-
rently) and situated where we are, seeing
very little. I am somewhat at a
loss to lengthen this letter. If you
were in Camp now (and every one
looks forward to the fight at any moment)
you would not see the slightest change,
but when the “Long Roll” is beaten, which
is the signal to prepare for any duty
thus before us, then such a cheering you
probably never heard, as it extends
along the whole line. For such an
assembly as that (the “long Roll”) you
may imagine I might say from 75 to 200,000
men in motion, through woods and over
hills. I would be much gratified to
have you see such a sight.

[Page 4]
I hope we may live to get back home
before a descent is made upon our
coast. I do not know, but think as
it is so near home, we might make
a more desperate fight. As nothing
more suggests itself I must close
Give much love to all and accept
the purest affection
of your Sincere husband
Say to Mrs. Canady her son is
quite hearty, and the same to any one
who may inquire, as the boys are well
and doing well.
Capt Sheddin has not been sick
but you know what ___________
I believe you need not send her
the message in full.

James W. Phinney, Confederate officer from Winnsboro, S. C., in the Boyce Guards Militia and the 6th Infantry Regiment.
MSS 12661

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