Thursday, November 8, 2012

1862 November 9 Camp near Front Royal

Camp near Front Royal Nov 9 1862

My Darling Wife –

I have received your two last letters

since mine was written to you. As you had not mentioned

him in your letter before these I had hoped that dear

little Gala had gotten well, and am very sorry to learn

from your last letter that he is still sick. I trust he may

continue to improve and soon be well. He is a sweet child and his

loss would be very sad indeed to me.

I do not remember what was done with the receipts to which you

refer. They were probably left in the bookcase. I will write to

Wm White to settle bills for the seed – wheat to Tutwiler and

Johnson. I am very glad indeed to hear that you have finished

seeding. The next thing will be to get the wheat in the mill as

soon as practicable. As to what mill it should be sent to, will

depend upon which will promise to grind it first and guarantee

superfine flour. It should be ground as soon as possible so

as to get the offal for feeding the horses and cows this winter.

Write a note to the Miller at the Point, at Leyburns Mill, and

at Poagues to know when they will grind it, and then send

it to the mill mill [Paxton repeats] which grind it first and guaranty sup-

erfine flour. When the wheat is gotten to the mill I should

like as much ploughing done before Christmas as may

be possible of the ground which you intend to plant

in corn next spring. There may be some good weather

and your corn crop can be gathered when the ground

is frozen. I had a jeans shirt which Rachel gave me last

winter. I wish you to line the new one you make with that

if it is not too late. There will be enough by using it to make

the new one double throughout. If you will pack the trunk and

leave it at some place of your fathers in town it can be sent

to me by the first wagon that comes to the army. I should like

if the material can be bought for you to make and send

me three pair of flannel drawers and another flannel

undershirt. Call upon Tom White for any money you want as

he has collected the money for the hay.\

[page 2]

The day before yesterday we had a snow and the weather

is now quite cold. Winter seems to have set in and it

finds us sadly prepared for it. A large number of our       

soldiers are entirely barefooted and very many without      

blankets. Living in the open air without tents and with

a very small supply of axes to cut wood for fires, there

is much suffering. Those of our people who are living

at home in comfort have no conception of the hardships

which our soldiers are enduing. And I think they manifest

very little interest in it. They are disposed to get rich

from the troubles of the country and exact from the

government the highest prices for everything needed

for the army. I trust the Government will soon take

the matter in hand, fines its own prices and take

what it wants of the army.

Everything here indicates that we move to morrow; where

there is no telling. But I trust we may soon find ourselves

settled for the winter. If active operations were suspended for

the winter our men could soon build huts and make them

selves comfortable. If however we have active operations the

sufferings [of] our men must be intense –

So you growl about Sunday letters. They are written on that day because

all work in the army is suspended on that day and I always have

leisure then. They are not interesting you say. I am sorry

for it. It is because I have but little to write about that

would interest you. They always tell you I am alive &

doing well. Isn’t that always interesting intelligence?

You never mentioned in your letter which company White [The letter is in ink. This section is

Williamson is in – Let me know & I will go to see him. Give lined through in pencil.]

my love to Martha and tell her I say she has good quarters in

Lexington and she had better stay there.
Our army is a

moving concern and there is no telling where it will be a month

hence. Possibly we may be here but quite as likely at

Richmond – You speak of the army as my idol but you

never were more mistaken. I had a good deal rather live in a

house than in a tent, though I can bear the change as there is no

helping it. I had good deal rather be with you and the children, than

with my idol the army your opinion to the contrary notwithstanding

And now Growler good-bye. Kiss the children for me

and try to be better natured – Goodbye

Ever Yours E F Paxton

[Written in the top margin on page one:]

Since this was written I have received an order giving me to the title of Brigadier General

and assigning me to the command of Jacksons old brigade. I made no application

for it and if I had consulted my own inclination should have been disposed

to remain in my present position.

Elisha F. "Bull" Paxton, University of Virginia alumnus and now commander of the Stonewall brigade.

[Portions of the above letter are included in Civil War Letters of General Frank “Bull” Paxton.]

[transcript by Mary Roy Edwards Dawson]

MSS 2165

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