8 April 1863: “My leg is finished at last, and I have been using it for over a week. It is, I suppose, as good as they make ‘em,’ but it is a wretched substitute for the one that I left in Virginia.”

Item description: Letter, dated 8 April 1863, from Walter W. Lenoir to his brother Thomas I. Lenoir.

Item citation: From folder 151 of the Lenoir Family Papers, #426, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

[“Tucker’s Barn” is the new Norwood home at Lenoir, N.C., built after the old home was burned.]
[Note: Letter from Capt. Walter W. Lenoir to his brother Thomas I. Lenoir. During a Civil War engagement W.W. Lenoir was shot in the leg. It had to be amputated.] 

Tucker’s Barn Apr 8th 1863

Dear Brother,

When I wrote to you last I thought I would have been on my way to Haywood before this time. I have been disappointed, however, by the difficulty of getting any hauling done.  I have been offering a hundred dollars to get a light two horse load hauled to Haywood. I had determined to start this morning without my loading if I could not get it hauled at that price. It seemed so bad however to go on without my things that I determined to make one more effort, and I have got a man to promise to start with me next Tuesday (the 14th) with a two horse load, if I can not in the mean while get some one else to start sooner, of which I see no prospect. I fear I will be too late to graft those trees which you offered me, and which I am anxious to graft by way of starting an orchard; and my garden seed, of which I have an abundant supply, will be late getting into the ground. But I must try to be content.

My leg is finished at last, and I have been using it for over a week. It is, I suppose, as good as they make ‘em,’ but it is a wretched substitute for the one that I left in Virginia. It will take me a good while to become enough accustomed to it to know how it will do, as the skin and flesh where the weight is received will have to become hardened by degrees. At present I can’t walk near as well with it as I could with the one Rufus made me; but as I learned that others had the same difficulty at first in using such legs I will not get out of heart yet. I will have to make up my mind however to take very little exercise and to do very little work, which goes hard when I think how much I ought to do. I am greatly pleased to find that I can ride with ease, though I will have to have a gentle and sure footed horse to ride in safety. I can sit, too, much more comfortably with the new leg than I could with the old one.

I believe that I asked you to direct Andy to prepare a suitable piece of ground for a garden and I suppose you would have thought of it without my saying any thing about it. I could not get any cloth or no 10 or 12 yarns for Mrs. [Garritt?] at the Factory, but I got 3 bunches No. 5 and 3 bunches No. 8, in addition to the 22 bunches which I already had got for you and myself. So that I have now 28 bunches yarn and 7 bolts cloth, besides one bolt made up for me at the Fort. I have also 5 sides sole and 2 upper leathers, such as they are which I hope will make me an ample supply for next winter. I have two feather beds with pillows and bolsters and ticks for underbeds and one hair mattress with plenty of bedclothes for two beds in winter. Once I have plenty for me of house and kitchen ware and vessels, except things to cook in, of which I believe Andy took out a tolerable supply so you see I will come wonderfully well provided considering the blockade. It would be a hard task to reduce Ft. Defiance by blockade. All as well as usual here, and were at the Fort day before yesterday, except Gwyn who had been quite sick but was better. Love to sister Lizzie. Good bye,

Your affectionate brother,
W.W. Lenoir

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