Thanks to Deidre Goode of Boston and Washington, D.C, who braved the inclement weather to make copies of these letters.
Letter of James Jefferson Asbill, approx. age 30. Company A, 19th Regiment SC Volunteers; Library of Congress, Civil War Manuscripts
Right side of some pages obscured by Library of Congress stamp!
Corinth [Mississippi] May 11, 1862
I once more embrace this opportunity of writing you a few lines to let know that I am well [and] hoping to find you the same. I have seen a right amount since I saw you. We have been on picket since we have been here. We was (sic) out on picket this time last Sunday (1). We was (sic) about seven miles from camp and it a’raining. We came near being cut off from the camp. We was (sic) in a thicket when we was (sic) ordered back, but we all got back safe, thank the Lord. For we should look to him all the time for____. Our regiment has been on duty all the time nearly since we have been here. Last Friday (2), we was (sic) ordered out on picket but I missed the fun if you call it fun. I was on guard at _____, so I could not go. They saw the monkey? for they run about of seven or eight thousand yankey (sic). We had the same ___they so we____in General Tra____? Brigade. It was “Price? that ran a ____ of them. The fight lasted about three hours. I don’t know how many we kil’d. We took in eight hundred prisoners; the rest ran so fast that it was no work at all. Our Brigade just got there as they was (sic) out of sight. Some of our boys ______. The Yankeys (sic) left all their things. I am writing on yankey (sic) paper now. It writes fine. Alfred got several little things. He got an oil cloth and lots of yankey (sic) letters. I will try to get one of their envelopes to send you. Rufus Derrick (3) got a suit that he sold for twenty dollars and a repeater that he was____twenty dollars. They say that if they had known that ____they [were] coming back to camp they would have loaded themselves but they thought they would pursue them. But they came back.
I would [have] been glad to have been there, but it may have been the best as it is for _____ I am in for the war. We elected officers yesterday. We had to reorganize all that _____underage, that is all that is under thirty-five. Horne is Captain. We have moved today. We moved in about half mile up _________. You must write soon as you get this. You must not wait for me [to] write_____. Write all the news and may God bring us together once more in peace and love. I am doing very well. I want you to write where___ George and Hill (4) is (sic) doing. We have to go out to the entrenchments this evening. Write soon. Nothing more but remain your loving husband until death.
J. J. Asbill.
Direct your letters to Corinth Mississippi Colonel Lythgoe 19 Reg S.C.V. in care of Capt. ?Perry?. Tell Jimmy to stay with you. Tell Bob (5) that there is a heap of little mules here. He must write how his colt come on .
1) The 1862 Calendar shows May 11th, 1862 to be a Sunday. This time last Sunday would have been May the 4th.
2) The 1862 Calendar shows May 11th, 1862 to be a Sunday. Last Friday would have been May 2nd. The 19th and 10th SC Infantry Regiments merged in Corinth, Mississippi in 1862. From the Rolls and Historical Sketch of the SC 10th Infantry Regiment, by C.I. Walker says the following: “On 2d May, the Brigade was on picket duty nine miles in advance of Corinth. The entire picket line of the army, with the exception of this Brigade, was driven back some four miles, and we had narrow escape from capture, not retiring until we received orders.
3) In the History of Edgefield County, by John Chapman, Rufus M. Derrick is listed as captured at Missionary Ridge. Rufus M. (R.M.) Derrick has a write-up in the UDC SC remembrance book.
4) He had a brother named Hillary per George Bennett family history.
5) Ancestry.com shows J.J. in the 1860 census with a 3 year old son named Robert. He also had a brother named Robert per George Bennett family history.
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