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Letter to Mary Derby Stancell, 1862 July 15

Letter to Mary Derby Stancell, 1862 July 15
Letter to Mary Derby Stancell, 1862 July 15
Written from "camp near Falling Creek, Chesterfield," Virginia. Letter regards family matters and a discussion of wartime devastation.


  • 1862 July 15


From the File: 9 items (Folder 3)


Camp near Falling Creek, Chesterfield.
July 15th, 1862

Dear Sister:
We are now about seven miles from Richmond on the turnpike leading from that place to Petersburg. I preceded the Col. By nearly two weeks. He is now with me and relieves me of a heavy responsibility. We reached Richmond at the very commencement of the series of battles. We then drew our arms. We have been in no engagement. We are gradually becoming well drilled. I have seen Mr. Graves twice since my arrival. More than a week ago I met him accidentally. Yesterday I sought him and found him. His camp is about three hundred yards from ours. Until last week my health had been excellent. I became slightly indisposed. On recovering fromt this indisposition I had a rising on my thumb; and now I have a dreadful cold. I met Pa and Henry in Richmond nearly two weeks ago. Henry had a furlough and was on his way home. The war seems to be dormant precisely at this time. How long it will be before it rouses from its lethargy I have no idea. My intimate friends and neighbors have suffered dreadfully. Many of them have been killed and many are dangerously wounded. It makes my heart sick to think of it. I am glad that Capt. Stancell is nearly well. The poor fellow’s face must have been horribly mutila-[mutilated] [based on end of sentence above, a page appears to be missing] Our Regiment have now a little breathing time. I have been thinking much of my poor wife and children. I have not heard from them since I left them. It is probable that we will remain here for some time. We now have our tents and this itself is an indication of permanency. In Richmond I met two of the immortal Pierces, who were particularly obsequious and polite. I cared nothing for their sycophancy. If I could hear from my family, I would be satisfied. My love to your family. With my afflicted hand and other ailments I find it difficult to write.
Lieut. Col. Chas. A. Derby
44th Reg. Ala. 3d Brigade
Huger’s Division
Richmond, VA

Repository Details

Part of the Virginia Military Institute Archives Repository

VMI Archives
Preston Library
Lexington VA 24450