1862 December 21 Caroline County, Va.

Camp near Port Royal
Caroline Co., Dec 21 ’62

My Dear Sister,
Your lit-
tle note of the 29th ult. made
its appearance  here about a week since
and it is unnecessary for me
to say that its reception gave
me unusual delight for it
was the first one that I re
ceived and I can assure you that
I prized it.  It was so long
before a letter came to hand
that I began to think you
were going to retaliate for
the treatment you received at
my hands last winter.
You can’t imagine my dis
appointment when mail after
mail arrived and no tidings

[page 2]
were received from my dear lit-
tle sister.  I think I wrote a-
bout nine letters before I rece’d
a single answer.  You must
excuse me for writing today
but Jno. Sayers is going to
send his boy Dave home to
morrow & I tho’t it would be
a better opportunity than to risk
it by mail. Our Brigade did
get engaged in the late bat-
tle as you have no doubt
heard; that is we did not get
to fire, we were fired upon
however & had a number of
men wounded.  We were order-
ed on the battle field about 12 o’-
clock on Saturday during the
heat of the battle.  Lieut. Col.
Gardner was wounded while
taking the Reg. on the field.
The command then devolved
upon Major Terry, who

[page 3]
as usual acquited himself with
great credit.  On Sunday we
moved down to the Railroad
& laid in a ditch all day–
that was my birthday &
I expected to celebrate it by
doing some hard fighting.
The Yankees were not more
 than five hundred yards
from us & would fire at
us whenever we showed our
heads above the Railroad track.
Your letter was rece’d just
after returning from that place
& you may imagine my feel-
ings upon received it.
We had only one man wound-
ed in our company, little Tom
Chatwell was wounded in the
foot whilst out skirmishing.
I suppose you have seen an
account of the battles in the
papers therefore I shall give

[page 4]
no further details.  Mitchell
has had a requisition made
on the Reg. for the purpose
of having me detailed, but I
haven’t much hopes of having
it put thro’.  Therefore I wish
you to tell Pa that I want
him to let me have Charles
if he can possibly spare him
if I succeed in getting off
it will not be much trouble
to take him back with me.
I also stand very much in
need of an oven, lid & skillet.
I suppose they can be procured
at some furnace, if not, please
send them from home if you
can possibly spare them.
If he sends Charles tell him
to bring an ax with him as
there none to had down
here.  I am very sorry to hear
of the depression of Cousin Fannie’s

[cross hatched on page 1]
spirits, can’t imagine the cause. Oh Nan I rece’d one of
the sweetest little letters from Cousin Titia the other day
that was ever my good fortune to rece’d–she was so
long answering it that I tho’t mine to her was another
ill fated epistle  I heard yesterday that part of the
Army of the North West was on its way to Richmond.
I was glad to hear that Trigg’s Reg. had been
sent from Wytheville–hope they will send his
Rangers off also.  I’m writing in a great hurry
so please excuse this letter.  I will write again
in a few days.  Your affectionate Bro. J.
My best love to all

James Graham Tate, Co. A. 4th Virginia

MSS 9232-n

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