Thursday, May 24, 2012
1862 May 25 3 miles from Richmond,, Va.
Camp 3 miles from
Sunday May 25/62
My Dear Wife
A week has passed
without the usual and ever welcome
letter having reached me. I wrote
a few lines when in Richmond a
day or two since enclosing some money
which I hoped has reached you before
this. Our Camp has been changed since
I last wrote to within 3 miles of
Richmond. We are in daily expectation
of a great battle which may commence
at any moment. . Such an one as it
will be no can conjecture, but we
earnestly hope that a death blow
may be struck, to the invaders of our
soil. I have been much worried
since I returned to camp. Upon
leaving for home I was requested
to leave my India Rubber Coat and
and blanket. Upon my return I was
to my utter astonishment told that they had
been lost. Cureton promised me surely
that he would take care of the
blanket. I find the only sure way
to do in Camp is to look to
yourself. All my officers are sick
and have been since my return.
This makes duty a little harder
on me. A fight occurred yesterday
within seven miles of Richmond, but
we cannot learn any particulars.
I do not at all fancy our new
Colonel. He thinks from the way he
acts that there never was such an
officer before. Every “dog” will certainly
have his day.
I wish I could spend
the pleasant Sabbath afternoon with
you and the children. Nothing would
so revive my feelings, as the presence
of the loved ones.
I am truly sorry
to hear of the death of Jimmie
Elliott. When in Richmond I could
learn nothing of him or his father.
The news reached Camp last evening
which is the first that we have
known of him within a month.
The health of the Company is still good
but I am sorry to say that another
inconvenience has arisen in Camp.
That is the body “buggers”. My Company
is nearly or quite rid of them since
the new clothing has been received.
I hope you will not have spent all
your funds before the new supply rea-
-ches you. Hoping to receive a letter
soon, I will close, Give much love to all
home folks and friends and accept
much pure affection from
Your true and loving husband
Write me all the news
[This is the last letter written by Captain James M. Phinney. On May 31 he was killed at the Battle Seven Pines]
[transcript by Mary Roy Dawson Edwards]