20 January 1865: “more despondent than I ever was in my life”

Item Description: Letter dated 20 January 1965 by Robert W. Parker. Parker was a farmer in Bedford County, Va. He served as 4th Sergeant in the Virginia Cavalry for the Confederacy. He eventually was killed in action at Appomattox Courthouse, Va., on the morning of 9 April 1865, the same day that Robert E. Lee surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia to the Union Army.


Item Citation: Oversize Volume SV-5261/4, Robert W. Parker Papers, #05261, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Item Transcription:

Camp 2nd Va Cav

Near Cornersville

Orange CO Va

Jan th 20, 65

Dear Beck

I have been waiting for an opportunity to drop you a fiew lines and I guess I will not have a better one soon so I will try and give you a short note  This leaves me in usual health but more despondent than I ever was in my life prospects are so gloomy here we are sometimes with rations and some times without our horses I might say and tell you the truth starving I have not drawn a year of corn since I have been at this camp and but little of any thing else. The news also from Richmond and down south is also little of any thing else. The news also from Richmond and down south is also discouraging– and my watch stopped last night and wount run a tick and I miss it so much, and another thing that keeps me down in the month I have not heard or gotten a line from any of you since I left hearing from you and the children often is one of my greatest comforts in camp. I wish I could give you an interesting note but tis out of my power our company or whats here is in usual health thougt we have but 14 present more of those who left without leave home returned yet and a good many gone after horses are over time  I have been looking for alick buck for the past day or two but he has not arrived in camp yet

I guess ere this you have heard that co A has been detached from the regimen to procure rations in bedford wish it had been our company but we are unlucky. And as to disbanding thats out of the question and some who have been furlowed by general Russer Has been ordered back to their commands by general… Lee

I will try and give you a sort of list of the clothes I sent to A A belles by sargt Lee  I sent A cap rapped in my shirts and draws to mory also Two shirts Two pair of draws (two pair of socks cotton) two pair of Blue pants the largest pair mine th other pair Bob Johnson and a pair of shoes with my name on them are mine you will also take the jacket and take care of it for me The old Black had in my shoes is bob johnsons please take care of it for him or have it done for him  the shoes with black vamps are sargt Lee  The Rest of the things in the sack are bob johnsons and George Johnsons) besides the things I sent home I drew a good little tent and a good blancet which I have with me you can do as you think with the shirts but I think the draws are large enough for me and I wish to save you all the trouble I can so I drew every thing I could  all that were present in the compay made a good draw for clothing. The cotton socks I thought would last me a while next summer I hope the clothes have gotten to Pas ere this  I forgot to tell you the people of Albermare aimed to give our brigade a big dinner and it made quite a big show altogether but when divided out to the men twas rather a small meal I got plenty being one of the committie to receive it and devide it all in our company got 4 or 5 apples a piece (and meat and bread in Proportion)

Duck as John crantze will come back to the command on the train I want you tell ma to send me several little tricks I want (a piece of soap) (a little piece of talow) also some thread and a little snack if he can bring it and if alick dont bring my coat get john Krantye to Bring it.

he promised to Bring any little thing he could forme I must close for this time This leaves me in usual health  my love to you and the children and all. Remember your Promise to write to me twice a week farewell for this time

Devotedly yours until Death

R W Parker

This entry was posted in Southern Historical Collection and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.