17 May 1862. N[athaniel] V. W[atkins], Henrico County, [Va.] to Nannie V. Watkins, Townesville, N.C.

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17 May 1862. N[athaniel] V. W[atkins], Henrico County, [Va.] to Nannie V. Watkins, Townesville, N.C.


Describes a miserable march and the manning of his gun; says that men stood the march well; says if he is made infantry he will attempt to transfer to another company; doesn't see how this force of eight or ten thousand can be whipped by any force. 2 pp. AL.

Including ALS, 18 [April] [1862], gives instructions of where to write him; expresses concern for those at home due to outbreak of fever.


Watkins, Nathaniel V.


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Henrico County [Virginia] May 17th 1862.

Dear Nannie – I am now, after a short, but very dis-
agreeable march, in the woods, in camp, about five or
six miles from Richmond. [Virginia] We left our camp in
New Kent [County, Virginia] Thursday night at 6 o.c[lock], and marched until
7 o.c[lock] next morning – the [struck-through] it rained all night and the
roads were much worse than any you ever
saw – We were attached to a field piece with horses
which [...ed?] every ten or fifteen minutes, & our
crew of five or six had to put their shoulders to
the wheels & push them out of mud holes & up
hills in mud sometimes over our knees – The other
boys had a better time, as they had better teams.
[and?][struck-through?] We made only 5 miles that night Yesterday [struck-through] [?]
[?] after a few hours rest continued the march over
the same roads, and stopped last night about dark – just
as we stopped Gen[eral] [Daniel Harvey] Hill came up and ordered
my gun & another to go back about one mile
on picket guard for the rear of the army. –
We went back and planted our guns and by
nine o.c[lock] had gone [...gly?] to-bed, the infantry being
detailed to guard for us. Just now we are
ordered to give up our light guns & move our
camp a few miles, so I must stop until
5 1/2 o.c[lock]
I can write again. (Camp 4 miles from Richmond ^ ) –
We were put as soon as we gave up our [?][struck-through]
guns, with the other three artillery companies from
Glo[uce]st[er] P[oint] [Virginia], in Gen[eral] [Robert Emmett] Rhodes [Rodes] Brigade – the detach-
ment of our company which were with the
guns have just now no arms, but will be fur-
nished soon I suppose with muskets. We hope
still that we will soon be placed in a heavy
battery near R[ich]mond, in fact one of our
artillery companies have already gotten a
battery, & we too would have gotten one
but for the effort our officers made to get a
light battery. All of our boys, have [gone?]
(I mean Doc, & Ron & Alex & Daniel & my)self)
have stood the march first rate – in fact have
rather enjoyed [?] – it was so new
though it was sometimes very hard. We [?]
with Gen[era] Hills division& under him, &
[?] see him very often while marching – also
[ ? ] Capt[ain] Baskerville once or twice on

[Postmarked Envelope]

Mrs. Nannie V. Watkins
Care Mr. Jos[eph] B. Daniel
N[orth] C[arolina]

Send by Sass[afras] Fork [North Carolina] Mail


every day,
the road ^ and the men of his company.
If we are turned into infantry we will make
an effort to be transferred to Baskerville’s com-
pany, or to Tom [?] Reg[imen]t. We could
sometimes see eight or ten thousand men
marching at one time – Infantry, artillery and
cavalry – it was a grand sight and it
appeared as if it was almost impossible
for so many men to be whipped by anny
force – We are now situated in a whortleberry
thicket only four miles from R[ich]mond
but in what direction or where abouts I
know not. Nor do I know what are the
plans of our Generals, but it is gen-
erally thought we will certainly make
a stand near here. (Sunday Morning 18th)
Had no time to write more last
night – This morning we are waked
up at 3 o.c[lock] to prepare to march. –
I will close this in order that you
may have from me – I feel
so uneasy about you all since
I have heard that you were
having the fever – Direct to
Richmond – care of Capt[ain] Bagley as
before – but not to care of
Col[onel] Crump – Dear Darling dont
be uneasy about me – They all
say I stand it first rate – The
greatest hardship I have under-
gone, was when I left you, &
the imposs[i]bility of hearing from you
Much love to all – write to R[ich]m[on]d
as soon as you get this & send
it immed[i]ately to Townesville or C.[larks]ville [North Carolina]
Your husband N[athaniel] V. W[atkins]

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