SUBMITTED BY: Mike Stroupe
Written and transcribed by Cheri Todd Molter
(Click photos to enlarge letter)
Frederick Washington “Wash” Dellinger wrote this letter to Margaret Dellinger Brown, his sister and the wife of William B. Brown. Wash fought for the Confederacy, serving in Company I of the 11th Regiment of NC Troops. Margaret’s husband, William, had also fought for the Confederacy, but after being taken prisoner twice, he took the Oath of Allegiance in January 1864 and joined the Union army (See William’s letter to Margaret entry for more information). Wash was obviously responding to a letter that he had received from Margaret, so readers can conclude that Margaret was concerned about her husband’s transfer of allegiance and had confided in her brother. The “Nancy” Wash refers to is Margaret and William’s daughter, Wash’s niece, and she had recently recovered from whooping cough, or pertussis. “Jacob” is Jacob Riley Dellinger, Wash and Margaret’s younger brother and a fellow Confederate soldier.
Transcription of the original:
Aprile the 14 1864
In camp near orange county courthouse, va
Deare Sister it is with griat pleasure that I now take the preasant opportunity of dropping you A few lines to let you know that I am not well at this time, nore hant bin fare some time past but I hope that those few lines will meet safe conveyance to yore kind hand and find you injoying the best of health I have no news to rite at this time the[re] is no ware news to rite at this time that would be worthy of yore at tention I was sorry to heare that nancy had the hopping coff I don’t think you need to be uneasy About W.B. Brown I think about the time the summer campaign is over he will come back to dixey again You will pleas tell some of them to send me A baked chicken and A bottle of molasses not that I want you to send it but I don’t think that I will git the chance to rite again till Jacob starts back the health of the company the company [sic] is not as well as it hase ben fore some time past pleas rite soon and give me all the news and [I’ll] endever to do the same
So I will come to a close fore this time
from yore affectionate brother F W Dillinger
to his sister Margaret W B Brown
Transcription with modern spelling and punctuation:
April the 14 1864
In camp near Orange County Courthouse, V.A.
It is with great pleasure that I now take the present opportunity of dropping you a few lines to let you know that I am not well at this time, nor hant [haven’t] been for some time past, but I hope that these few lines will meet safe conveyance to your kind hand and find you enjoying the best of health. I have no news to write at this time. There is no war news to write at this time that would be worthy of your attention. I was sorry to hear that Nancy had the whooping cough. I don’t think you need to be uneasy about W.B. Brown. I think about the time the summer campaign is over he will come back to Dixie again. You will please tell some of them to send me a baked chicken and a bottle of molasses—not that I want you to send it, but I don’t think that I will get the chance to write again ‘til Jacob starts back. The health of the company is not as well as it has been for some time past. Please write soon and give me all the news, and [I’ll] endeavor to do the same.
So, I will come to a close for this time.
from your affectionate brother, F W Dillinger
to his sister Margaret W. B. Brown