3 August 1863: “Nearly all the houses have been struck by their shot and shell and a great many doors are broken in and windows smashed.”

Item Description:  Letter, dated 3 August 1863, written by James Augustus Graham, stationed in Virginia, to his mother, residing in Hillsborough, NC. James Graham served in the 27th North Carolina Infantry Regiment, Confederate States of America and lived until 1908

[Transcription available below images.]

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Item Citation: From Folder 2 of the James Augustus Graham Papers, #00283, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Camp near Fredericksburg

Aug 3rd 1863

My dear Mother

We left our Camp near Taylorsville last Friday night and marched to Hanover Junction, remained there till Saturday evening and then took the cars for this place. We were at first placed in some of the unoccupied houses in the town and remained there all day yesterday; but as it was so hot in the town we moved out here in the woods this morning. There is hardly a single house in the whole town, that I saw, that did not show marks of Yankee rascality. Nearly all the houses have been struck by their shot and shell and a great many doors are broken in and windows smashed.

The churches seem to have been especial objects of their meanness, for every one I saw had a good many holes shot through it. I expected to see the town a good deal torn to pieces, but had no idea it could be as bad as it is.

The weather for the past two days has been oppressively hot and last night it was so hot in the town that we could hardly sleep at all.

It is a little cooler tonight. but still very warm.

We had several rumors yesterday that Yankees were advancing on this place, but I believe it all turned out to be a hoax.

Lieut Walker Anderson who married Miss Rebecca Cameron has been appointed Ordnance Officer of our Brigade. He arrived here today.

There is no news at all.

Love to all. Write soon to

Your affectionate Son

James A. Graham


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