14 January 1863: “I am for ending it at once by hanging every Yankee caught after this, dating back to 1st Jany.”

Item description: Letter, 14 January 1863, from D.G. Cowand to William S. Pettigrew.

Item citation: From the Pettigrew Family Papers #592, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

Hd. Qrs. 32nd Regt. N.C.T.
Near Goldsboro N.C.
Jany 14 1863

My Friend,

Pardon me for writing you again without having a letter from you. I had hoped to hear from you at Drewry’s Bluff, but was so suddenly called off that I could not do so. I got to this point on last Sunday week, left the Bluff Saturday morning before. Had rather a cold trip, but expecting to have to fight in my own nation state, caused all as well as myself to bear up under any trial. I should of written sooner, but when we arrived here we expected to go in to Kinston or Wilmington […?] had to stick down in the woods where we are now.

I am happy to inform you that our troops are very healthy, and in good condition. Our officers are confident that we shall be successful. We have troops as good as the Confederacy has & are determined never to yeald our soil to the invaders. Every man looks brighter and looks as if he was determined. Maj. Genl. G.W. Smith called on us yesterday & said he never saw such a Brigade, that all was confidence & determination and also that he could not & would not be whipped with such troops as he had at this point. We have plenty of Artillery. Maj. Rhett one of the best officers is in command of it here. All is action & preparation for the fight that will be on us in a few days. I am disposed to think Wilmington will be the first point of attack & if so we shall probably go. Direct your letter to this place though.

Mr. Pettigrew, it is indeed [?] to see how promising our cause looks. Yes, I often think the future to us will be a happy country. Peace will soon come I think. There are so many causes at work that some change must take place soon. I am for ending it at once by hanging every Yankee caught after this, dating back to 1st Jany.

It was a sad trial to hear of so many of our friends taking the oath. Dr. Hardison has taken it so I am informed. also many [?] I may say nearly all in our two Counties. I did think our friends were a little higher than taking such an oath.

I hope this will reach you in due time & find you quite well. I saw Col. D.D. Ferebee[?] a few day since, he sends his kind regards to you. Write soon with kind wishes & prayers for your future happiness & hoping soon to meet you in peace, I am your true friend,
D.G. Cowand

My kind regards to Miss Annie

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