A Letter from the Battlefield of the Civil War

Waiting for James Henry


Written by James Henry Triplett

Ship Point, York Co. Va.

September 4, 1861

My Dear Mother and Sister,

I received both of your kind letters late last night and was indeed very glad to hear from home again. I have had a bad spell of Bilious fever since we left Yorktown and am very week (sic) yet. If I take proper care of myself I shall be as well as ever. I think that this may be a healthier place than Yorktown, but the water is very bad, mudy (sic), and salty. We are encamped on a point of land on the Bay, covered with pines. We have pine poles for a bed, pine poles for a table, and pine poles to cook with, and have to make a smoke with pine brush in front of our tents at night to keep off mosquitoes. I received the oil cloth and drawers that were sent and like them very well. I do not know whether to send for my overcoat or not but I will need another blanket pretty soon. If you have any chance to send a small box I would like to have some paper & envelopes ink & pens,(jsp?) I would like to have some butter too, but you need not trouble too much. We can get plenty of fish and sweet potatoes here and a few chickens, by exchanging our bacon.

 

Our regiment has never been paid off yet. We have not seen anything of the Yankees yet except ships, we see vessels sailing down the Cheasepeake (sic) everyday and one of the Blockade Steamers is constantly in sight. Jim Young, Bob Coleman, (not sure of this next name) Stringler or Stringles or Dringles or Dringler; and several others were out scouting last night. They caught a Tori Verginian (sic), near fortrep Munroe; who was keeping a light house on some point there, for the Yankees. He was sent to Yorktown this morning.

Gen Hill is here looking well as ever. We can hear heavy firing here almost everyday, and our chance for a fight are pretty good.

I would like very much to be at home now, to eat apples & peaches.

Our time will be out about the 18th of Nov. The I will be home to spend the winter as soon as I get there. Give my love to all the family. I want to see you all very much. Give my love to all my friends, and write again soon.

Yours Affectionately

James

This is all the paper that I’ve got and it is borrowed, so I wrote to both of you at once. James

James Henry Triplett

Born: November 3, 1843

Died: July 1, 1863 ( Died in the Civil War in the Battle of Gettysburg)

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Forgive me for it being over 200 words. I was going to write a story about a mother, sister, or wife waiting for their soldier to return home from war. I remembered the original letter that I have which was written by my distant cousin to his mother and sister. I felt this might be very interesting to the other participants and readers of this challenge.

As a footnote, James Henry’s sister and another brother, died the same year as his him, 1863.