19 October 1862: “it is with a heavy and sorrowful heart, to inform you that I am at Richmond, wounded & am also in bad health…”

Item description: Letter, 19 October 1862, from William A. Collins, private in Company C, 48th North Carolina Infantry Regiment, to his parents in Statesville, N.C.

More about William A. Collins:
William A. Collins of Statesville, N.C., was born into a family of farmers on 21 August 1841. Although little is known about his education beyond the fact that he pursued a course of religious studies with his friend and pastor, Reverend J. M. Smith of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, it is worth noting that Collins had fine handwriting.

Like many of the young men from Iredell County, Collins enlisted on 26 February 1862 and his term of service parallels the early and, indeed, even the pre-history of North Carolina’s 48th Infantry Regiment. While serving in Company C, he participated in a series of engagements in and around northern Virginia. He was wounded in the leg and captured by Union forces at the Battle of Antietam on 17 September 1862. After being paroled, he was confined to Chimborazo Hospital No. 4 in Richmond, Va., where he died of gangrene on 14 December 1862.

Item citation: From the William A. Collins Papers #5095-z, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:


Richmond, Oct. 19th

Dear & Beloved Father & Mother,

It is by the mercies of an Almighty God that I am once more permitted to take my pen in hand though it is with a heavy and sorrowful heart, to inform you that I am at Richmond, wounded & am also in bad health but it is seems only to be the diarea and I think I am likely to get better of that soon. I was wounded the 17th ult. of last month at the Battle of Antietam in my left leg in the back part opposite the knee by by a piece of a burn shell but the wound has nearly heald up but my knee is very stiff yet but I can go on crutches. I will inform you that I was a prisoner with the Yankees untill 16th when we were brought acros our lines to Richmond. We were brought round from Baltimore on water to [?] landing and thence to Rich. they have a large number of our wounded that was not able to come. Dear Father and Mother the horrors of that days battle I shall not attempt to describe. Our Regt. was badly cut up. I will however make mention of some of our company who were killed and wounded. Lieut. Witherspoon Archabald Moorer Wm Hartline killed & David Clodfelter died of his wounds the next night wounded [?] Henry slightly, Wm. Cars[?] Henry Lippard & Elias Cowan Hoover Marcus, Hoover D A. T. J. Waugh all of these slightly, Amos Scroggs had his leg taken but was doing well when I heard las Daniel Clodfelter is is a prisner we was well when I saw him last and in good spirits Dear Mother & Friends. I know you have all nearly dispaird of ever hearing from me, but I hope and trust to God you may get this letter and it may releive you of your trouble once more I hope & trust to God that I will get to start home in a few days or at least the doctor says we will get to go. O that I only was at home now where I could get your kind treat ment but I will patiently wait may God grant my desire and wish. I am getting so tired I will have to close for this time by asking you all to ask God to bless and keep me under his protection. God is still my trust.

May he bless you all is my prayr for Christ sake amen.

Write to me as soon as you get this and fail not.

Wm A. C., Co. C. [?]

I will have to send this without pay for I have not got the stamps

Direct your leter thus
William A. Collins
McLaws Division
Richmond, Va.

P.S. Uncle Jesse was not hurt Milles nor Peter Lipp neither and were well when I saw them last.

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