Sunday, November 11, 2012

1862 November 11 Camp near Culpeper Court House

        Camp near Culpeper Co Ho Nov 11 1862
Cousin Charles
              Your recent letter has been duly recd
and I avail myself of the earliest opportunity
to answer it.  We have packed up twice within the
last three days to move but have again quieted
down,the Yankees haveing been gradually pres-
sing up with their Cavalry from Manassas and
Warrenton for the past week and on yesterday
Genl Stuart had quite a spirited skirmish with
them on Hazel River driving them back three
miles upon their Infantry at Amissville.  It
seems sometimes as if they intended to push on
until a general engagement is had or they force
us to retire to the Rapidan which is the only good
ground to fight on in this neighborhood.  If the ene
my get much farther up in this country and the
roads should get bad which they will certainly do
if it rains to any extent they will run great risk
of being cut up [ere?] they make a safe retreat.  I
think it utterly impracticable to advance along this
line to Richmond and whatever they do looking to
that object must be done in a very short time
or not at all this winter.  Genl Lee I am well
satisfied will be fast enough for McClellan and
as surely as this army again meets the Yankees
they will be whipped.  The forces in and around Wa
-rrenton are Siegels consisting principally of new
recruits, I cannot think a grand battle will
be fought on this line this fall unless the Yankees
wish to sustain a defeat.
                The news from the Northern elections    

[page 2]
would seem to indicate a great change in the pop-
ular will but whether it is to be for the war of
peace is hard to tell.  If the Congress lately formed
could go into Session in Dec. next we might
hope for better counsels to prevail but nothing I
I fear is to be hoped for from the present Republic
can congress [?] war to the knife.  If our country
can only stand the shock this winter I think
she will have nothing to fear unless the ene-
my again force their way down the Western
rivers and thereby gain a foot hold from which
it will be impossible to dislodge them without
gunboats until next summer.
    I fear from the best information we can
gather that Col Strange of our Regt was certainly
killed in Maryland I regret to hear it as he had ac-
ted very bravely in this war and leaves a large and
dependent family.  I called to see Jno Lewis a day
or two since and found him well.  He has a large
& efficient company now having 150 men or more
receiving many men from  some of the disbanded ar-
tillery Cos. You need not put yourself to any unnecess-
ary trouble about my overcoat as I can make out pretty
well yet awhile.  Whenever you can make a judi-
cious selection you may do so as the Qr Master depart-
ment is constantly receiving new additions to their stocks
I do not know how we are all to live every necessary is
high and rising. I fear much suffering will come a-
mong the poor at home and the soldiers families.  Present
my kind regards to Uncle P. Buck[?] & all with you.
                Very truly your frd & cousin--
                           John T. Ellis

Ellis's fears were well founded.  Colonel John Bowie Strange of the 19th Virginia had indeed been killed at the Battle of South Mountain September 14.  Ellis, himself, later became the Lieut Colonel of the Regiment.

MSS 2516

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