Valley of the Shadow


J. Milton Crawford describes to his parents about the status of rich and poor citizens near Appomattox, where General Lee had just surrendered his army the month before. He also writes about the poor conditions for Union soldiers.

Appomatox Station Va

Dear Parents

I received your letter of the 6th about one week ago but had no chance of answering it. there has been no mail come nor goes from here the rail road is not fixed this far yet, we are stationed where Lee surrendered I don't know how long we will stay our Brigade is scatered all around this country there is one Regiment in Lynchburg The rich people of this country went around among the poor and took every thing they had there was some ration of flour and such things gave to the poor when our army went back after the surrender and there was bands of eight or ten went around and took it all and the old horses that were left they took from the poor. you don't know any thing about poor people up ther poor people here are worse off than the slaves I received a letter from Mariah before I left Petersburg they were all well

Cyrus Baughman is the only one that is along from Fayetteville the rest are all at dismounted camp Forage is very scarce we only get about five quarts of oats a day and no hay and for grazing there is no grass. I don't see how the people keeps their stock the corn looks pretty well and that is the only thing that does look any thing like. there will be any amount of Peaches in this country. this is a dull place we cannot get any papers nor any thing else when you write I want you to send me some stanps for I can't get any here. from the time we broke up winter quarters till we got here was forty seven days and out of that time we marched thirty three days, so you may know we were traveling a good bit. I must close for this time write soon

your son

J Milton Crawford