William B. Carden [also Cardin], Company H, 16th North Carolina Infantry Regiment

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William B. Carden [also Cardin], Company H, 16th North Carolina Infantry Regiment

A 16th Infantry Regiment's Soldier's Letter

William B. Carden [also Cardin], Company H, 16th North Carolina Infantry Regiment, stationed in Pocahantus County, Virginia [now West Virginia], writes a letter to his cousin William Beezley, October 6-7, 1861. Carden discusses military actions in the vicinity of Cheat Mountain, illness among the troops, camp life, a religious sermon, and the lack of optimism for a peaceful settlement of the war.

W. B. Carden of Macon County, North Carolina, was 23 when he enlisted in June, 1861 (North Carolina Troops, vol. 6, p. 76). William Hicks became a Chaplin in the regiment in September 1861 (North Carolina Troops, vol. 6, p. 11). The General Jackson mentioned in the letter may be General Henry R. Jackson (North Carolina Troops, vol. 6, p. 1). Letter is courtesy of Hunter Library, Western Carolina University.

Pocahantus County V.A. Camp Lee oct 6th 1861
Dear sir I seat my self this morning to
let you know that I am shering A Reasonable
portion of health At this time I hope these
few lines may come to hand And find you the
same we are wating hear for A movement of
some sort or nother our genrel has gone with
the most of our army to assist Wise they have
had sevrel fights sence our Army has gained
the victory evry time they have killed and
taken prisners large nos Jackson has whiped
them out on cheat mountain we are kep hear on
the Acount of sic[hole in page]s [sickness?] we
are lisning for A call every day there was
only 30 men in our company this morning Able
for service our Redgment has done most All the
service thats ben done in this Army it has
went before all the time we was at Valley
Mountain one month before we had Any help
when we had our little fight we was in front
and center 2 company flanked on the left while
our company and the Buncom company flanked on
the rite we was kept there 5 days the fire was
kept up nearly all the time they fired on us
with there cannons throwed Afew burns (?)
they done no good we fought there picets
11 miles run them in to there trenches
taken som[hole] [some?] provisins some of arms

while we was engaged our officers was looking
round And saw there condition Genrel Lee
said he could take them with the loss of 1000
men but he said he would not give 500 men for
Northwestern V.a so he called of his men And
quit the drive. this country is well situated
for wood And water though very coald
we have plenty to eat such as flour
Bacon pork and Beef sugar & coffee rice
we have plenty of clothing we have had 2
suits of uniform & A good overcoat and can
get more if we want them shoes is hard
to get. I will tell you A little joke about 2
Irish. we had some Irish out on picet one
of them went into A [_______ ? / hole] potato
patch to get some potatos when he got there
there was another they did not know
but what they boath belonged to the same
Army after they got ready to start our
Irish said to the other what redgment
do you belong too he said the 7th Indiannah
faith and be Jasus and you are my prisner
so they went at it after A long fist
and skull fight he fetch him in and
he is now at Richmond where we
send All our prisners we Are now
Blockading the road tom is overseeing
A company of Irish he gits extry pay

Crops is good in this country all the way we came
though they rais but very little About hear
we had A good sermond to day delivered by the
Rev Wm Hicks for the first I have heard
since I left home the text was this therfore
be sober and watch unto prayer for the end of
All things is at hand: the congragation
give good attention we will have preaching
from this time on. we have lost All hopes
of peace. we dont expect piec untill we get it by
the mouth of the cannon the malitia has all
ben called out hear long ago we expect some
hard fiting to do and if we do I hope we will
whip the yankees every time that is what
we came hear to do and if we dont do it we
will be disappointed there is no doubt but
this will A protracted war if it is them
that comes first will fare the best we can
be at home when others will have to take
our place it is true it is harde that wives
and husbands should be separated but it
cannot be hape I often think of the time
when I could be at home with my Dear wife
and sweet little Baby it was more pleasure
to me than every thing besides but I am
deprived of that enjoyment now though I hope
it will not be long tell I shall see them
Agane whille I was writing it begane to rain
and wet the paper I fear you cant read it

I cannot tell where we will take up winter
quarters yet if we get neer the railroad I will
come home if not I will as soon as my time
is out Larks boys is well as comman (?)
Hem is in the hospittle though he is on the
mend ____ [? Liege ?] is not able for duty
Jackson and the yankees had Anther fight
yesterday I have not heard how they made
it we heard the fight they was fiting
while I was writing this letter we have
heard Wise and them fight sevral times
I could tell you many things about the war
if I had time but as I have not I must
shortly come to A close [hole – I?] want you
to write to me fail not give me all the
news of the country then I will write
to you give my best respects to will
tell him I would be glad to see him but
dont no when that time will come
I send howdy to Ant Nance and you allso
so I will close my scattered remarks
Nothing More At present

Remains yours & c
Wm Beezley
Wm B. Carden

october 7th 1861

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