25 April 1864: “I will let them rot and not disgace this Sheet by a recital of thier traitorous iniquities”

Item description: Chauncey Brunson Welton (1844-1908), a soldier in the 103rd Ohio Infantry Regiment, U.S. Army, wrote to his mother, Julia A. Welton, from camp at Bulls Gap in eastern Tennessee. His letter relates how his regiment had recently left camp with only their tents and blankets for a 107 mile trip up into Virginia to destroy the salt works. Regrettably, Welton was under the weather and stayed behind. His frustration may have fueled his closing excoriation of Congressman Alexander Long and other “Copperheads” who opposed the war and favored Confederate independence. Long had given a pro-peace speech in Congress on 8 April 1864.

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Item citation: folder 5, Chauncey Brunson Welton Papers #3368, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

Apr 25th 64

Dear Mother.

Your kind and welcom letter in which Emilias was incloased was received yesterday and as usual its contents Brought with it mutch pleasure as it told me you was all still well, and to drive away the cares of dull and lonesom camp life more than you eaven anticipated while writing, for the regment has all gone and left a few of complaining ducks here to lay around and almost hate ourselves to death because we are not with our comrades, where we would mutch rather be than laying here. I have been a little under the weather for a day or tow but to day I begin to feel a good deal better and if I thought that there was any prospect of catching the regment I believe I would Start out after them, I have just heard that they have gone up into Virginia to destroy the Salt Works, which is about one hundred and Seven miles (107m) from here they onely took thier Blankets and tents leaving thier knapsacks and all baggage behind I think they will come back here as soon as the work is accomplished If they go up there I would not miss being with them for a good deal, it is the first time that I have been behind Since we have been in East Ten- and I should not have been this time if they had went one day earlier or laiter. You have not wrote any thing about getting that money that I sent you or the recipt either I sent forty ($40) dollars by the state agent I am afraid that father has been and is working to hard tell him that he must not do to mutch. What is G. Waters doing now what does the copperheads think about thier leaders and teachers in congress (Wood, Long & Co) now that they have come out and declaired themselves Seceshionest. But I will let them rot and not disgace this Sheet by a recital of thier traitorous iniquities But I must bring this to a close. do write often Yours Truly


 Mrs Julia A Welton

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