7 July 1863: “Our sky seems to me now to be brighter than it has ever been heretofore.”

Item Description: Letter, 7 July 1863, from James Augustus Graham to his mother located in Hillsborough, N.C. in which Graham describes, among other things, the losses suffered by the Confederates at Gettysburg.

[Item transcription available below images.]

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Item Citation: From Folder 2 of the James Augustus Graham Papers #283, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Item Transcription:

Camp near Richmond Va
July 7th 1863

My dear Mother,

I received your very welcome letter of June 30th a few days ago. Also my vest and boots sent by Mr Hall. The boots are rather too large, but I will make them do. The vest fits pretty well.

We are having a plenty of rain now and I am afraid that it is rather too much for the wheat crop. We had a very heavy shower all yesterday evening and my tent, which is in rather a low place, was a perfect mudhole, almost as bad as a how pen; but I kept tolerably dry as I had my bed up on some poles. The sun is trying to shine this morning and I hope it will soon be dry again.

The news from our army everywhere is very encouraging. Judging from the Yankee accounts, which are all we can get now, I think that Gen Lee has given the Yanks a sound thrashing at Gettysburg Pa. Our loss of officers, as usual, seems to be very heavy; six Generals killed or wounded, among the latter Gen Pender of N.C. Tree N.C. Cols are reported killed viz Bennett, Parker, & Avery. I do not know which Avery this is whether the Col of the 6th or the 33rd, but heard that it was Col J.E. Avery of the 6th N.C.

From all accounts that I can hear the Old North State bore her part as nobly as ever. It was reported last night, but I expect it was all a hoax, that Gen Stuart had entered Washington City with his Cavalry while the rest of the army was engaged at Gettysburg last Friday. I wish that we were with the army in Maryland and Pennsylvania, for I would a great deal rather be there with the main army than to be here running after the Yankees every now and then. But somebody has to be here to defend Richmond and, as it has always fallen to our lot, I must be content with it.

This is my birthday and I wish very much that I could spend it at home in peace and quiet as I did three years ago, but it cannot be. I think though that, if our arms continue to be crowned with victory, as they have been lately, we will have peace long before this time next year. Our sky seems to me now to be brighter than it has ever been heretofore.

I wish you would send me two pairs of yarn socks by the first opportunity for my socks are nearly all worn out.

I need not write you the news, for you will no doubt get the papers as soon if not sooner than this letter. I send you several photographs of our generals which I wish you would keep for me.

Love to all. Write soon to

Your affectionate Son
James A. Graham

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