My Dear Father:
Your letter of the 5th Inst.
came to hand to day, and I hasten to
reply. My application for authority
to raise a company of Light Artillery
has not yet been heard from, and it is
not in my power to ascertain whether it
has been forwarded to the Secretary of War.
Col. Garland approved it and gave it
through his adjutant to Genl. Ewell on the
2d Ult., and beyond that I know nothing,
and will be unable to learn anything
reliable. There is another scheme how-
ever by which I hope to be successful.
Captain Henry ]Grey Latham yesterday applied for au-
thority to raise a battalion, and he as-
sures me that if granted he will
assign me to raise one of the Compan-
ies, as he will have the right to do.
He conversed with Genl. Johnston on the sub-
ject, and the Genl. gave his approval
and promised to forward the paper at once.
It will probably be sent to Richmond
by the same mail that conveys this, and
will I think receive the favorable consideration
of the Department. Capt. L. told me this
morning that he would write to you & Mr. Bo-
cock this evening requesting your aid
in his enterprise, and should he be success-
ful, I shall be likewise. He is not very at-
tentive to such things, and should you not
receive his letter, I would be glad if you would
do all in your power to aid him. It is cert-
ain that his document will reach the Secre-
tary during the present week. The exact
day cannot be ascertained. I am partic-
ularly anxious to get this thing done as
soon as practicable. If done at once I
can organize a company of select men.
The men are anxious to get a furlough
at once, and this will induce them
to enlist rapidly. Should I fail to get
the Commission to organize a Light Artillery
Company, I think the next best thing would
be to get one for service with one of the
heavy batteries on the Potomac. That ser-
vice is popular, and affords ample
opportunity for meeting the enemy.
I shall [be] glad to hear from you as
soon as you can conveniently write, as
I feel greatly interested in the present
design, and would rather be success-
ful on it than in another I have yet
I am glad to learn that the mare works
well in harness, and will answer the
purpose which I proposed. I should like to
have her sent down at once, and shall
write Mr. Ryan to that Effect.
I can but feel renewed gratitude
to you for the kindness with which
you provide for my wants, and indulge so
in my wishes. There is nothing now
that I need. I am surrounded by comfort,
and convenience, and can but feel re-in-
spirited & determined to stand up to my
post when I think of the kind friends
who provided them for me.
Our wing of the battalion will go on
picket next Friday the tenth, and return
on the Monday following. I will write you
however again before I leave for that
duty. Snow fell to the depth of
several inches night before last, but
since then the temperature has moderated
considerably, & it is now raining
with the prospect of continuance. We are
all however very well protected.
A sad death occurred amongst us
night before last. Wm P. McCorkle a citizen
of Lexington, and a private soldier in our Com-
pany died suddenly in the hospital from overdrinking.
He was a man of fine parts, intelligent,
educated, and gentlemanly. He was once Editor
of the Lynchburg Republican, but has long been
a wanderer, and an outcast. He died from
dissipation having indulged so freely in liquor
that his system gave under and he perished
from Exhaustion. His death casts a gloom over
all, for he was a man of very fine talents,
and was highly esteemed. It is a sad Com-
mentary on the use of intoxicating drinks.
The Army is perfectly quiet at present
but three days rations are by order of Genl.
Beauregard held in constant readiness in
case of an attack.
A theatre is being created in Centreville for
the purpose of furnishing amusement to
Genl. Longstreet’s division during the Winter.
A regular Company from Richmond will I
believe lease it.
I continue in excellent health.
All well at home at last accounts except
Cance & she I learn is better.
With much love I remain
Most affectionately Your Son
Jno. W. Daniel
[transcription by Mary Roy Dawson Edwards with comments by Robert K. Krick]
[“Full name of the dead drunk was William Philander McCorkle. His CSR says he died of “Pericarditis”. “ –Robert K.Krick]
John Warwick Daniel, 1842-1910, disabled in the Battle of the Wilderness, later a University of Virginia law graduate, U. S. Senator and famous orator, known as the "Lame Lion of Lynchburg."