Valley of the Shadow


Chacky writes to his brother Ed about fooling a provost guard into letting him on a train to Fishersville. Chacky was a member of Wharton's Division of the Valley Army of Virginia.


Head Quarters
Wharton's Division

Dear Bro Ed

I promised to write to you immediately after arriving at camp but have been pretty busy and have not done so untill the present time. After I left you I went up to the Provost-Marshall's office but found such a crowd then that it was impossible for me to get a pass in time to leave on the train. Consequently I went down to the depot with the the determination in my cranium to "run the block." When a arrived there I found this to be impossible for the guard was too vigilant for me. I then jerked out my letters from [unclear: Ted ] Smith directed to Col Smith and Gen Wharton and marching up to the officer of the guard told him that "here was dispatches from Gov. Smith that must certainly go up by today's train." He said he could not help it, no one could get on the train without a pass from the Provost- M. I then thought I must would have to [unclear: prolong ] my visit in Richmond another day. But just as the cars were about to start, the captain of the guard came to me in company with the officer whom I had solicited to let me pass and asked to see the dispatch which I had to carry. "Certainly said I you can see them." Now in the corner of one was the inscription "Through the kindness of Maj. Gen. Breckinridge." (It was the intention of Mr. Smith to send them by Gen. B. but did not get to do so). This inscription of course [unclear: added substance] to the subject, and the Captain said if I would bear all responsibility - he would let me pass. And as there he did not want to let the guard know anything about the affair he took out his key and let me into the ladies car - there being no entrance at that door. So I had a nice ride in the ladies car the whole way to Fishersville. Did you get off on the Petersburg train or did you have to walk? I felt very sleepy on my way up as I did not go to bed the preceeding night until one oclock. I tell you I made things " " with Miss Emma that night. But you do not approve of such things so I will refrain from giving you a description of the affair. We are having a reg. good time here now. Matters have been arranged so we do not have to go to Staunton any more. Another has come in, so we have little or nothing to do. How do you like your [unclear: birth ] by this time. Have they done anything with you for staying at home over your time? I am anxious to hear about this and you must write immediately. I have not heard from home since you left. Expect a letter daily. What do you think of Peace by this time? I think that before bright Spring shall unfold her sunny wings the [unclear: land toxin] of war will have [unclear: peaked] her clamor and peace and harmony will reign once more in our beloved land. At least this is my hope. Oh! would it not be delightful for us all to be gathered at home once more and pursue the peaceful avocations of life. You and I would again [unclear: devote] ourselves to our books and attempt to make ourselves men. You must write soon I will be anxious to hear from you. Tender my respects to Mr. Wirt and others of your mess-mates who may inquire after me.

A.M. Chacky