WAR-TIME LETTERS FROM SGT. JAMES CAMPBELL STEVENSON, COMPANY E AND POST-WAR SECRETARY OF "THE SOCIETY OF THE ROUNDHEADS"
Thanks to Mimi Fittipaldi, descendant of Sgt. Stevenson, who contributed these wonderful letters to the 100th Pennsylvania Website. Letters transcribed by the webauthor.
Blaines Cross Roads, Tenn
January 4, 1864
Miss Martha Stevenson
I have not written to you for a long time but I am very glad to get letters from you. It has been so long since I printed much that I am forgetting how. I expect you are looking for us to go home soon. Well if you look about a month longer you may see us. We have all re-enlisted a while longer and have the promise of going home to stay a month pretty soon. I think we will start the middle of January. It will take us about a month to go. I suppose you will have some chickens fattened up ready for us when we come. If you are busy going to school and studying your lessons; you can tell mother to knit you a couple of pairs of socks to give me. I will pay you for them when I get home. If Milton will get somebody to make me a pair of boots with very thick soles and very long legs I will pay him for them and give him enough of money to get a pair for himself.
Walker Rodgers, Henry Stevenson, Henderson McCune and all the rest of the boys are well. But it is getting dark and I have no candle so I must quit. Good Evening
From your Brother,
(Author’s Note: It was common for the time for people to use their middle name with family members and friends; i.e. James “Campbell” Stevenson, post-war secretary of Society of the Roundheads)
Port Royal Isl.
May the 1st 1862
Who is that sitting up there in her bare feet? It is not Martha. No it is too big for Martha. I wonder how big Martha is now. Well I’ll just get at and print her a letter this wet day, and ask her how big she is….how fast she can run, and how much she is learning. I wonder if Jack and Milton is tearing around after the cows, the pigs and grown hogs like they did last summer. That is another thing I will have to ask Martha. Then I will ask her if she and all the rest of the folks are well—if she has any school now, if they got my likeness and if Mr. Clark has sent her any visitors yet.
Oh yes, I will have to tell her about Walker and me gathering berries, and ask her how Harvey’s baby is getting along. I will have to get her to tell me how many calves there is, and whether they have any little colts. How many horses James has to feed, and whether Jane, Rodney and Charley are all at home. Then about the little lambs—how many there are and who helped Pap to wash and shear the sheep. I will have to write her a pretty long letter and tell her about the little black boys and girls, as big as Milton and Sarah learning their letters; and about the big men and women who work in the corn field with great big hoes; and who never went to school in their life, and don’t know a bit more than the little boys and girls. I will have to ask her where they planted the corn and potatoes and who planted the pumpkin seeds and beans.
It will be a pretty long letter she will have to write to tell me about all these things. I reckon she don’t have much to do but wash the dishes, feed the chickens, and maybe carry in a little wood. But then can she write? I don’t believe she can. I had better get Sarah or Rebecca to tell me about these things. I wonder why the folks don’t write more. I have not got a letter for two weeks from anybody. I expect they wrote, but there has not ___came to bring them. That’s the very reason I think about will come pretty soon. I wonder when there will be a big ship come to take us all home. I expect it will be a good while yet—maybe not till next winter.
I wonder if there is going to be lots of peaches and apples. I wish there would. There is going to be some peaches and lots of plums here after while, but no apples. I do believe I had better go and play ball along with Dave Book, Munson Forrest, Riddle Miles, Thomas Cross, Newel Glenn and the rest of the boys, and write Martha a letter some day again. I will have to mind and tell her about seeing Hugh Morrison, Henderson McCune, Samuel Moore and little John Glenn the other day. They are all well.
I guess near all of the boys are well now. We all like blackberries. I wish we had some cream or milk to put on them. Oh my how good they would be. How Milton and Martha would gather them if they were here—yes and eat them too, if there was plenty of sugar on them. They are pretty good without any sugar; but better with it. I have a notion to send Nancy a Camp Kettle (author’s note: 100th PVI Roundheads regimental newspaper). I believe I will send this to Martha and not write her a letter. I’ll do just that….
(Author’s Note: The letter had no signature by James Campbell Stevenson)
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