Home, March 30 1862
My Dear Son
For some days past, I have been
looking for an opportunity to write to you
and have learned that Mr Myers will
go down on tomorrow or the next day; and
if no earlier opportunity offers, will
sent this to you by him.
Your letter by Mr Painter was received
and gave us great pleasure; as we
were extremely anxious about you. Not
having heard from you or your company for
some time. You did not mention
whether you had received my letter and
the articles by Mr Harmon. We sent you
by him a Turkey, a bag of Biscuits, 2 cans
of Fruit–Some Peach Leather, &c. Did you
We have no late news from Alice Irving
& their party–The indications are that they will
soon be hemmed in.
Gussie is still at Col Lance’s and we
have not heard from her since I was down
a month since–We are of course quite
anxious not only about her but about
all the Colonels family—We have heard
that they have lost their servants; but hope
it is not true.
As yet we have lost very few servants
immediately about the town. You have
heard of the general stampede in the lower
part of the County?
Jaquelin has had another attack of
Rheumatism; and has suffered terribly.
He is better–walking about. My health
is not near so good as when I saw you
last–The rest of the family tolerably well–
You have heard of the battle near
Winchester on last Sunday? A gentleman
passed here on yesterday who says the Federal
confess to a very heavy loss–as high as
1400–This is probably far too many.
There is great uncertainty as to the cause
of Jackson’s movement with such dispar-
ity of force. My impression is that he
must have been deceived by an artifice
of the Enemy–
If there is a suitable opportunity, I
will will[sic] send you your money with
this; and your Ma will send you a
Flannel Shirt–She says it is thin &
you had better only wear it while
your other is being washed.
You express the hope that you may be
able to spend your furlough at home.
I hope so indeed but greatly fear
not–If we can only see you alive
and well after this horrid war is over,
I will be fully satisfied–
Your Ma would hardly consent to
my leaving home now–(and indeed I am
almost too unwell to travel) or I would
go to see you once more at your camp–
Front Royal has only been visited
once by the Yankees–I did not see
them; but learn that they were very
polite & respectful. “Porte Crayon” was
the leader of the party–There is great
indignation towards him here–but I
hope he is doing a great deal of
good-by restraining the soldiers–It
is hard for me to believe he is a mere
hireling spy and informer as he is regarded.
Cousin [?] Cloud & Cousin Thos Buck (son
of Cousin John) have arrived from the West–
They propose joining Bowers’ Co.–I have
seen very little of them.
Your request about the articles in Ed’s
box shall be attended to tho’ I greatly
fear it has not been received–
All send their love–God blss you
My Dear boy–Truly your affectionate parent M B Buck
[on cover sheet]
Mr Richard B. Buck
Co B 17th Regt Va Vols
W. W. Richardson
Richard Bayly Buck, 1844-1888
“Porte Crayon” was the pseudonym of Virginia born magazine illustrator David Hunter Strother, 1816-1888. A cousin of Union general David Hunter, he remained loyal to the Union and was commissioned as a topographer in the Federal army due to his detailed knowledge of the Shenandoah Valley. He served on Hunter’s staff and ended the war as a brevet Brigadier General. After the war he travelled out west where he sketched Sitting Bull. President Rutherford B. Hayes later appointed him General Consul to Mexico City.