Additional Personal Papers Collection (1861-1865)
The additional personal papers collections include the letters and diaries of men and women who wrote about Augusta County or shared experiences with Augusta County individuals. Several of these collections were not written in Augusta and were not written by Augusta residents, but reveal the experiences of many men and women from Augusta County. Most of these collections were written by soldiers who served in regiments with Augusta County men and had similar military experiences. Other collections were written by visitors to Augusta, either soldiers or civilians, who commented upon conditions on the home front.
This correspondence primarily concerns the courtship between Brand and Amanda Armentrout, whom he married after the War. Brand also discusses his combat wounds and military hospitals in Virginia.
This diary documents the movement of the 1st Virginia Cavalry, in which several hundred Augusta County men served. It reports on the regiment’s movement through Virginia and includes discussion of engagements at Chancellorsville, Petersburg, and Winchester. It also details the ways in which the regiment’s soldiers passed their leisure time in camp.
In this letter dated February 6, 1865, A.M. Chacky writes from Augusta County to his brother, Ed Chacky, 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.
William Clark Corson did not live in Augusta County, Virginia, but he served in the Virginia cavalry and saw action in the Shenandoah Valley. In this letter, he writes his fiance about his journey through the Valley to join his brigade and his life at camp. He mentions a “Free negro” and describes a poor white family who housed him on his journey. He characterizes camp life as one of deprivation; even the soldiers’ horses went without feed. He closes his letter by expressing his dedication to his fiance.
In this letter to his wife Ellen, Ervine describes the route followed by his regiment when marching in Virginia. He talks about civilians' kind treatment of the soldiers and describes a battle in which a few Confederate soldiers held off a large force while on a bridge. The letter also touches on the value of horses in his company and on the friends he has seen while in the service.
In this wartime letter dated February 21, 1862, Hubard writes to his uncle from Staunton about a variety of topics, including the chances of victory for the South, Confederate policies, the low status of nearby women, the polite and refined character of local “Negroes,” the folly of empowering the “rabble,” illicit trade in horses and whiskey by refugees, and enlistment prospects in his regiment.
In this wartime letter dated November 22, 1863, Hull writes to a friend about his desire to leave Winchester. He also mentions a furlough he received on account of his typhoid fever, and talks about how hard it has been for the Confederacy to succeed militarily. Hull was a member of the 4th Virginia.
H.C. Kendrick, a soldier in the Confederate Army camped near Culpepper, Virginia, writes to his mother about the conditions in camp, and the likelihood that the army will move into Union territory soon. Kendrick discusses what he feels would be justifiable retribution, including burning homes, against the North for the damage wrought in the Confederacy during the war.
The Jarrett family lived in North Carolina. W.R. Mobley and John Jarrett, brothers-in-law, apparently enlisted in either Virginia or North Carolina regiments, serving in Virginia. In one letter from this collection, W.R. Mobley writes to his brother and sister in North Carolina while passing through Staunton. John Jarrett writes a series of letters to his wife, Mary Mobley Jarrett, from the hospital in Staunton.
Jacob Kent Langhorne’s letters trace his evolution from a student at the Virginia Military Institute at the beginning of the war to a soldier in the Wise Cavalry Troop by the end. His letters home to his family describe his activities throughout, and in them he includes commentary on his safety and on various family matters. Recipients of his letters include his mother and father, John Archer Langhorne and Margaret Kent Langhorne, his sister, Lizzie A. Langhorne, his aunt, Nannie E. Kent, and his brother, James Henry Langhorne.
A man named Burr describes Staunton, Virginia. He also writes that “laggard” officers should be forced to duty.
William Nelson Pendleton writes to his daughter and tells her to trust in the Lord for their protection. He describes the movement of northern troops around Staunton and mentions the death of General W.E. Jones.
William Proctor Smith, a Confederate engineer stationed in Staunton in Augusta County, Virginia, wrote to a Confederate officer, Edward Flood, a member of the 6th Louisiana Regiment. Smith’s four wartime letters primarily discuss supplies and equipment.
In a letter to Colonel G.Q. Tompkins, Smith ponders the nature of war and analyzes the current state of military affairs. He fears Richmond will fall, and he discusses the activities of Confederate and Union forces in Virginia, as he reviews the strategies of several Generals, including Jackson, McClellan, Fremont, and others. Smith also discusses the difficulty of communicating with his family.
In this letter dated March 17, 1863, Snider, a member of the 14th Virginia Cavalry, writes to his sister, Kittie Snider, about bad weather and the high food prices in camp.
In this letter to his wife, George A. Sommers discusses transport of goods along the railroad, the positioning of troops, his ability to buy and mail goods other than military goods, and his inability to visit at home. The Sommers were possibly residents of Madison County, Virginia. The letter contains a brief mention of citizens leaving for Staunton.
An aunt writes to her nephew of his family history, including references to the McNutt, McCorcle, Trimble and Porter families.
John Wise was born in Augusta County, Virginia, to a farming family. Both his father Michael Wise, and his grandfather, John Wise, lived in Augusta, though they later moved. He settled in Highland County before the war. During the war, he served in the 11th Virginia Cavalry, from his enlistment in March 1862 until his death from wounds in April 1865. In this collection of three wartime letters, Wise details camp life and battles in the early years of the war. The Trotters, the recipients of one of these wartime letters, were related to Wise and lived in Augusta County. You may also read two postwar letters (1868, 1871) of the Trotter family.