9 June 1861: “John, I must tell you now about the fight our Company had yesterday.”

Item description: Letter, 9 June 1861, from William Porter, of the 1st North Carolina Infantry Regiment, to his brother John Porter, Swannanoa, N.C. Writing this letter from a Confederate encampment at Bethel Church, Va., Porter details a skirmish that occurred outside Yorktown in which he fought.

Item citation: From folder 1 of the William Porter Letters #5338-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

June 9th day 1861

Head quarters Bethel Church Virginia

Dear brother,

I seat myself this evening to drop you a few lines to let you no that I am yet in the land amongst the living and enjoying good health as ever I did in my life hoping that these few lines may find you all enjoying good health.

John, I must tell you now about the fight our Company had yesterday. Two days ago we left Yorktown and marched in nine miles of Hampton where the enemy is encamped in large numbers. Yesterday the news came in camp that about one hundred Yankees was seen out in the county a stealing a rob[b]ing and roveing about houses and taking ever thing that they can lay their hands on. They are a miserable set of people. Well I must tell you about the fight yesterday. John, there was two companys ordered out to meet this rascals above mentioned and one Company went one way and our Company went another way and our Company marched right up in sight of the enemy and met the Yankees face to face and you ought have to seen the boys a shooting down the Yankees for about ten minits but they ought retreated and we took one prisoner and killed and wounded about 15 or 20 more and got off with out leaving or losing any man. The other Company that went out caught one Yankee too. John I must come to a close with my few lines as I must a [?] time and expect to march again for it is a [?] time here now about as it gets time. I will write again. Good by dear brother.

Until death,

W.Y. Porter

More about William Y. Porter:

[From a listing in the American Civil War Research Database]

– 30 years of age at time of enlistment
– Enlisted on Apr 24 1861 at Buncombe County, NC as Corporal

Mustering information:
– Enlisted into E Company, 1st Volunteers Inf (North Carolina) on Apr 24 1861
– Mustered out from 1st Volunteers Inf (North Carolina) on Nov 12 1861

Sources for the above information:
North Carolina Troops 1861-65, A Roster, (1993)


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