1862 February 28 Winchester, Va.

Winchester Feby 28-62
My Darling Wife
I reached here day before yesterday and expected to de
vote yesterday evening to a letter home, but so soon
as I got pen & paper ready to commence we had
an order to change our camp. My ride here
was as pleasant as I could expect. The first night
I staid at Mr sprouts–The next at Dr Crawfords-
the next at Mr Williamsons & the last at Strasurg
reaching Winchester about 12 oclock–self and
horse both in very good condition. I found all
quite well at Mr Williamsons, Gilbert going about
and nearly recovered.

I doubt that you will hear any quantity of news
before this reaches you–that Winchester has been
evacuated–the enemy approaching in countless
numbers from all directions and Jacksons army
flying before him. All I can say is dont be
alarmed and make up your mind to
bear in patience whatever of good or evil
the future may have in store for us

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Try as far as possible to direct your mind from the
troubles of The country. The future is not as bright as
it was before our late disasters but we have yet many
strong arms and brave hearts in the field and
should not despair.

As to our situation here place no confidence in
the rumours which you may hear the enemy
yesterday entered Charlestown in what force
I do not know or for what purpose. It may be
to take possession of the Baltimore & Ohio railroad
and rebuild it, or it may be part of a force
intended to advance on this place. All I can
day is I think unless his force largely outnumbers
ours we should fight him–and if it is over
powering we shall evacuate the place.
I write darling in the open air and a freezing
wind & will bid you good-bye until my next–I will
write regularly so that my letters may reach you
on Sunday morning when you go in to church.
Should any thing happen [to] me I will have a letter
written to your father who will send it to you
Kiss the children for me and for yourself dearest
accept all that a fond husband can offer

Ever yours

E F Paxton

Elisha F “Bull” Paxton, University of Virginia alumnus and Confederate general; commanded the 27th Virginia Infantry and later the 1st “Stonewall” Brigade at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville.

MSS 658

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