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Letter to Ellen B. Stanard (Taliaferro), 1864 April 24

Letter to Ellen B. Stanard (Taliaferro), 1864 April 24
Letter to Ellen B. Stanard (Taliaferro), 1864 April 24
Written from VMI, Lexington, Virginia. Letter regards finances, potential for battle, and a request to resign and join the Army.


  • 1864 April 24


From the File: 10 items (Folder 2)


V.M.I. April the 24th 1864

My darling Mother
Your long and interesting letter has been received and I have been intending for the last two or three days to answer it, but something has always interfered and prevented my good intentions. You say that you had begun to get uneasy at my silence, for fear I might be sick. Why I wrote two or three letters home but a very short time ago. I can’t imagine what became of them. I seems to me that I am always writing home but very seldom get letters from there myself. You all are not as good about writing as you ought to be. I am not alluding to you but to the other members of the family. I have not as yet heard a word from Hay and the $9.00. Am going to drop him a few lines this evening. I am dead broke at present, wish the check would hurry up and make its appearance. Had to borrow some money the other night to go up town and get some thing to eat. They are starving us out now. Don’t give us half enough bread, miserable rye coffee without sugar or milk (and it has caused an eruption to break out on a good many of the Cadets, I believe it is a prison) and for the last two weeks they have been giving us nothing but rotten beef. I declare it is perfectly awful. Old Spex has some 50 or 60 barrels of it put away and will keep feeing us on it. An old scamp, he has about ten or eleven barrels of molasses and won’t give us any. All the cadets are grumbling and asking him for it. I am glad to hear Bob has improved so much and is so well please with his place. Didn’t I tell you he would be. Hope he is up near [home] now. Mother you ask me why I don’t call Mollie Sister when I write. I was not aware before that I failed to do so. It was thoughtlessness on my part I can assure her and not for the want of love that I did not make use of sister instead of Mollie. Why I am sure my letters to her have always been very affectionate. I hope she will banish all idea that I meant anything by my manner of writing. Well Mother every body (or Cadet at least) has been right much excited today to join in the coming battle. You need not be surprised if I am one, if they raise a company I shall join. Remember I will be 19 on the 27th of this month and ought to be ashamed of myself to be here. When you are advised to keep me here as long as possible, people don’t know my age, and of course they would not tell you they thought I ought to be in the army. They are going to take us in service I expect in July out in the mountains here. But I prefer being with Lee. Mother I don’t want to desert or be shipped from here against your wish, therefore I beg that you will write me permission to resign, and I can then use my own discretion whether I will or not. If you give your consent, mention that it is concerned with family matters (except name) that prevents your sending me here longer. Mother I hope you will not let what I have written distress you. You should be more firm and patriotic and want me to be in the army, but this is an unnatural feeling for an affectionate Mother like yourself. When is the big fight to come off. Is there any chance of its taking place in Orange. I think the Yankees are going to get the worst whipping that they have ever gotten, and it will almost wind up the war. If Lee whips them, he ought to follow up his victory and drive them as far North as he can, the same time burning all their cities. Well dear Mother I have written you quite a long letter, and one I have no doubt you will be sorry to see. The mail will be taken up in a short while, so I shall have to bring my letter to a close. Wish I had something interesting to write about, and now darling Mother with love to all the family and oceans to your sweet self I must bid you good evening. Hoping what I have written will not cause you trouble and that I will soon hear from you
I am as ever your
own darling boy

I am in want of draws.

Repository Details

Part of the Virginia Military Institute Archives Repository

VMI Archives
Preston Library
Lexington VA 24450