Saturday, January 19, 2013

1863 January 4 Fredericksburg, Va.

[written on patriotic station depicting the Confederate flag with the verse
Gather around your country's flag
  Men of the South, the hour has come--
None may falter, none may lag--
  March to the sound of the fife and drum.

and a printed heading  Confederate States of America]

No. 8

Fredericksburg Va Jan 4, 1863
Mrs. E.B.J. Riley
Dear Wife: I have looked
in vain for the last 6 or 8 days
for a letter from you; & to
make the best of my disappoin-
tment, I seat myself, this
lonesome Sunday, in order
to communicate, through
this medium, a few words
to you; though I am so
harrassed in mind, that I
do not know but I shall
fail to sum up a sufficient
quantity of ideas, even of the
poorest class, to droll out any
sence Whatever. one long,
tiresome month, has rolled
round since I was fourced
to part from you; which brings
farward a New Year; the
proceedings of which God only

[page 2]
know; but I hope, that before
the lapse of the present year,
He (whose power it is) will
bring about peace & indepen-
dence, causing us to return
home in tranquility, to live
in plenitude, that we may
to enjoy the luxuries of sweet
home, as we have done in
time past, a retrospect of which
is very grievious to our present
deprived condition!
 Receive this as my first
token (in 1863) Greeting you
a happy time throughout
this year, at the close of which,
may you be able to say that
you have done your the most
imperative duty of a lady
during the past 12 mos.
As yet, I have not Rec'd
but one letter from you,
have written twice ( & this

[page 3]
is the third time) since I
Rec'd that one.  In No. 7 (which
I mailed Dec. 26 '62) I inclosed
to your care, & for your own use,
$50 in confederate bonds, which
I hope will reach you in
safety.  In this you find $7 in
one dollar bills. Whatever
you need, buy it, i.e. if it is
to be had for money.  the
Quarter Master of the 16' has
returned to Camp, & I suppose
we will draw money to-
morrow.  If so, I will be
able to send you about $150.
I am in good health, so is
my mess, the members of which
I informed you in a former
letter.  We came off of picket
last night about 11 O'clock, having
been on 4 days.  had a cold
time of it, though fair Weather.
My health, as I before said, is
fine: but I can claim no
rights to fine spirits, except
by spells.  the blues frequently
take possession of me, when

[page 4]
a letter from you would be
a sufficient remedy to purge
& arouse the "blue devils," which
have no right to my mental
faculties! I Recd a letter
from Ned & Ans'd it Dec. 30 '62
have written to Father twice,
but Rec'd nothing from him
& (as you may see from the
head of this No.) 8 to you;
making upon an avrage,
one to about every 4 days. I
have Rec'd only one from
you.  I have nothing more
at present worthy of your
notice, & probably some
items hat I have already
given place to are not
worthy you[r] attention; however
I hope will consider this one,
among many unworthy letters
from you dearest friend, & give
it a speedy reply.  May your
steps be guided by the power
of Divine Providence through
life! Your Husband, F. L. Riley
       Mrs. Balsorah J. Riley

MSS 7786-f

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