Harpers Ferry April 19th 1861
As I promised to write
to you all as soon as I could, I will now do
so as I have time now. I commenced preperation
early this morning for writing, but was called
to duty & could not find time to write until now.
(4 oclock P M) We had a right rough time of it coming
over. We were detained at Gordonsville until 10 oclock
that night. I met with Uncle James, Thos. & wife,
all of the girls & Cousine Cary. Met with Cousine
Will ^‘who was’ bound for the same destination as myself.
We passed through Culpepper CH next morning, about
day, Will Ashby got on, but, I did not see him
until that evening about 2 oclock, then could not
speak to him before night, as I was in the line.
Also m met with Jno. Daaniel, Jno Hunter,
Jas Heiden & good many other acquaintances.
Expected to have met Pen, but was disappointed.
There are a great many here from the University.
We arrived at Lawsburg, a small Town in Shannodoah
Co, about 11 Oclock yesterday, & had to from where
we had to march on foot to Winchester, a distance
of eighteen miles, but I believe no one went the
whole Journey without ridi^ ‘n’g some, I walked 12 miles
on a stretch, and good could stand no more, so my
I got into a Baggage wagon & rode the balance.
We arrived saf ^’e’ly at Winchester about 80 eight Oclock
that evening, where were very hospitably [received] by the Citizens.
We were allowed three quarters of an hour for eating &c.
We again took the cars, & arrived here at day break.
We then marched to our quarters, & were soon afterward
calledon to duty. I did not get any breakfast until
about 12 Oclock, & of course was right hungry when
I did get it. We are very well quartered, in a part
of the Gun Factory.
I’ve Just returned with a party, who has
been out hunting for arms, of which we found about
20 very good improved arms. I suppose you
have heard of the Armory here? It was burned
the night before we, or any other Company arrive,
the great part of the arms were burned, & that
part which was not burnded [burned], were carried away by
the Citizens, some of whom are no better than
those who set the Armory on fire. The whole
party escaped, with the exception of one,
who was taken prisoner. The gun factory
was also set on fire, but was put out
without injury. There was a great rejoicing
here to night amongst the Soldiers, at the
success of the Baltimoreans, over the Lincolnites.
I suppose you will hear of it tomorrow.
Th We have between 15,00 & 2,000 Soldiers here, &
a good many more expected. It real[l]y looks
like War about here now, Soldiers marching
every which way. & cannon planted on the
top of every neighboring hill. Hyman Levy
told me to tell you, that if you were here
you would laugh a little & be cheered a little
I’ve just eaten my supper, & a soldier’s supper it
was, Bread & coffee without either sweeten or milk,
nevertheless I enjoyed it very much of course.
I occupied “Old Jno. Brown’s” room today on
guard, looked out of his port holes &c.
Well it is about time for me to quit. I don’t think
I’ve slept more than an hour since I left home,
didn’t sleep the first night any at atall & very
little the second, but we will make up for it
to night. We are all well & hearty as ever
Tell Cousine Julia not to be uneasy about
her Old Man, I’ll take care of him, I saw him
grinding the coffee to night & Mr. Culen Bilen [boiling]
it. I dou[b]t very much whether you can
read this, for there is such a confusion in
our Camp, that I hardly know what I am
about, I can hardly see by my little Tallow
candle & a very bad pen, so you must excuse
bad writing &c. you all must write very
often & I’ll do the same. don’t be ueasyy [uneasy]
about me I’ll try & take care of myself & behave
myself. Joe has gone to bed. so I must go.
Best love to all. I’m ordered to bed.
so good bye. from yr aff
Thursday evning 8 ocloc[k] P. E. Jones
John William Jones, Francis Pendleton Jones and Philip Edloe Jones during their service in the Confederate Army in Virginia. All three brothers served in the Louisa Blues, 13th Virginia Infantry. John W. was later famous as the author of Christ in the Camp.
[transcribed by Mary Roy Dawson Edwards]