[the first part of this letter is missing]
On his way to Manassas after having taken leave of
all the officers he was followed by his old body guard
each man with his sabre drawn as a mark of respect. It
was a very imposing scene. His old guard give him up very
reluctantly. Our regiment the Bloody 17th as it is called
will be well represented with the Gen. in Kentucky. Four
from our company Capt. Smith and the Major of our regiment
(Brent) who has been ordered to his staff.
Our pickett was a very disagreeable one as it was
raining and sleeting nearly the entire time we were out.
The rain would freeze on our clothes as it fell.
If you will ride down to cousin Elizabeth Richardson’s
tomorrow evening you will see a copy of the re-enlisting
act passed by the Confederate Congress which Willie will
send up this evening. I suppose Walter will re-enlist in
Cavalry again. I want to gent in a company with him next
time. I reckon though horses are very scarce in Warren and
high in proportion to their scarcity. I wrote to Walter the
other day by Harry Cline, have you heard from him lately.
I spent my birthday the twenty-eighth on Picket. It will be
long remembered by me. did you employ much force this year.
It does not look exactly right for me to be giving you
advice as you are several years my senior but I have better
opportunities for judging down here. I think the best thing
you could do would be to go into the stock raising. Prin-
cipally horses of good work stock and sheep. Horses are
going to be in great demand in the Spring and will be
enormously high. The Government will need a great number
of horses in the opening of the Spring and they must have
them, because the next will be a spirited campaign. You can
find hundreds of dead horses lying just around Centerville
by the time this War is closed. No good hourses can be found
in the country. Let me know when you write what you think
about it. If I was not enlisted and owned the Gardner or
(Barber) farm, with things in the present state I am sure I
could do something for myself and family in this business
with your assistance.
How has cousin Mount been getting along. I must close,
love to all at our house. Write soon
Ever your affec. son
P.S. I am very glad to hear Almond is getting better. Let
me know how he is when you write. Love to cousin Thomas and
the Bel Air family. Tell Jack I will send his bayonet soon.
Major George W. Brent
[Richard Bayly Buck, 1844-1888, was a member of the Warren Rifles, Co. B of the 17th Virginia. His letters were transcribed and typed by his son George G. Buck at an unknown date. Location of originals unknown]