Friday, January 11, 2013

1862 December 25 Camp near Fredericksburg,

                             Camp near Fredericksburg
                               Dec. 25, 1862
My Own Darling,
                                         I wrote you that
time would assuage the poignancy of your dis-
tress at our separation, and that learning to
take interest in various employments, you would
think of me in other and more pleasing aspects
than as far removed.  I trust that this is al-
ready your experience; but in my case another
lw has operated.  The hurry of my departure,
the efforts to rally my spirits, the excitement of
travel and new companions, the greetings of
old friends in camp and the thrilling scenes of
our recent victory, relieved the pain of absence
from my beloved.  But now that I have be-
come settled in a daily routine, I long for the
sight and voice and embrace of my dear wife,
and feel that it is too sad and desolate to be
without you.  You must not think, however, that
I am discontented or gloomy.  that would be too
ungrateful, when I have such abundant
cause for rejoicing and praise in the goodness of God

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who has blessed me with as sweet and precious
a wife.  Yet there are attacks of a wearisome born
of our separation and a painful longing to be with
you which I resist with difficulty now and then
I write this, although this morning completes only a
fortnight since I left you; but these two weeks
are nearly half of our wedded life.  As this
day the preachers proclaim, "Peace on earth
and good-will toward men," God send into the
hearts of our enemies  that sincere and wise de-
sire of peace which will end the bloodshed
and ravages of war, and restore us to t hose we
love!  You see by extracts from their papers how
sever and humiliating was the late defeat, and
the source of what dissensions.  We should thank
God to-day for the bright prospects of our Confed-
     I have been quite busy this week.  Mon-
day Dr Thornhill and I visited Fredericksburg,
now a "finished town" in a new sense.  It did
not, however, fill Dr. Lee's description of a desolate
town.  In addition to officers and soldiers, citizens
and females were in the houses and on the streets,

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having returned to pack up and carry off their furni
ture.  A few remained during the days of fighting
and found safety in their cellars.  Some houses are
destroyed; many are injured, yet so that they
may easily be repaired.  But great damage was
done to the furniture, and the food provided
by the families was destroyed by the Yankees.  We
were entertained by a Mrs. Bradley who told us
much about the invaders, and hospitably treated
us to a pitcher of rich milk--about all she
had in the line of victuals.   Gen. Longstreet has
requested all the commanders of his corps to open
subscription-lists for the many sufferers of the town
We succeeded in the main object of our trip, in
the purchase of a stove.  Soon we expect new tents
and then we will have one for a chamber, and
a second for a sitting room; the latter warmed
by the stove.  Will we not be stylish?  I have
never been more comfortably situated in camp
A good tent, a stretcher with a straw-filled sack
and plenty of bed-clothes, wholesome food and a
number-one appetite, books, pen, ink and paper
and a pleasant mess-mates--what do these

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leave to be desired save the society of my darling?
Oh! that is a lack nothing else can supply.
Tuesday, I wrote on my tract; and at night preached
to the regiment.  The weather over mild; two large
fires were kindled, and logs for seats arranged
around them; many serious and eager faces were
turned to me.  I enjoyed the services, and trust
that they were not without profit.  Wednesday
I was under headway on the tract, when we
were ordered to move our camp about two miles
to more abundant woods.  We are in a hollow, sur-
rounded by hills on all sides--a warm & good place.
Early this morning, hallows and firing of guns an-
nounced that Christmas had come.  I hope that
the ardent is too scarce for much drunkenness
among the troops.  The day is beautiful and mild.
It is now time for you to start to Trinity, there
you may glorify God for the gift of his own Son.  I
try to do so in my heart.  My merriment this morn
is in the hope of getting a letter from my precious
wife this evening--a Christmas-gift I will highly
prize.               Stealing is the order of the day--
or of the night.  Several weeks ago, it was ordered

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that soldiers without shoes should make for them-
selves moccasins out of raw hides.  A few nights
since, it is said, a pair of boots and shoes were
stolen from Gen. Kemper, and moccasins left in
                          in our regiment
their place.  Last night ^ a rogue was grabbed
in the act; he escaped, but the boots were dropped
and his torn clothes remained in the hands of the
man he was attempting to rob.--  Bro. Wag-
goner called to see me Monday while I was in
Fredericksburg.  He left next day on a two months
leave of absence to get up clothing for his regiment.
Nearly all the companies in my regiment are well
clad, Bro. August[?] is now in this division; but
I have seen little of him. -- I will cease wri-
ting now, and resume after I get your letter this
    After Noon.  The letters have been distributed
but my heart is not made glad by one from
my Ella.  I put the blame on the mail, for my wife
must have written me since last Friday. Well,
I will try to be patient another day, and live on
ope.  But it is sad to be disappointed; it
produces or increases the feeling of loneliness Be

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sides, in these days of small pox I desire frequent
assurances of your health. God keep my darling
in safety and quiet of mind beneath his wings!
After writing this morning, I took a long and soli-
tary walk, and lay down on the bank of a little
stream, thinking of my wife with whom my heart
is always, and aiding memory (not that it needs
aids) by gazing on ear face as represented in
the ambrotype.  On my return, read the papers of
the day, and ate a first-rate Christmas dinner:
boiled ham, dried peaches, pickles, baked apple
dumplings with sauce of butter and sugars. Tell
sister Crew she must try the baked dumplings:
all of us agree that they beat the boiled "all hollow"
as the boys say.  Not having received permission from
my wife, I did not join in the eg-nog frolic, though
pressed to do so.  Sending kind remembrances and
wishes to the family of bro. Crew, I close with yet
another assurance of devoted affection to my sweet
wife, the light of my eyes, the joy of my life.
                                        Your husband
                                         J.D. Granberry.
P.S.  If you come across an
Advocate with list of appoint-
ments, cut it out and send me.  If you prefer one chapter to
two in the New Testament, substitute it, and let that be your
lesson for the night.

[in  top left margin of page 1]
Friday morning.  Well ad
cheerful "Hoping that it will
find you enjoying the same."

The Rev. John Cowper Granberry, formerly a chaplain at the University of Virginia, and later a Bishop in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South

MSS 4942

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