STORY AND SUBMITTED TRANSCRIPTIONS BY:  April Price Havens (edited by Cheri Todd Molter; modern transcriptions written by Cheri Todd Molter)

Andrew Joseph “Joe” Price, my great-great-grandfather, was born August 1, 1837 in Union County, North Carolina. In 1862, Price joined the Confederate Army. According to his letters, Price spent two years as a member of Mallet’s Battalion under Captain James McRae. Later, he transferred to serve under General Johnston for a time, and then was at Atlanta when it fell. His service ended near Meridian, Mississippi, where his commander surrendered. After being released from service, Joe Price began the long walk back to Union County, North Carolina. He arrived home around June 1, 1865 with fifty cents in his pocket.

The following is a transcription of a letter written by Andrew Joseph Price to one of his daughters while she was teaching in Catawba County (Carolina Genealogical Society XXIII, 3 Winter 1986-87, pg. 48-50.):

“When the war began I was living with my young wife and my mother and we owned a few slaves. My brother had volunteered at the beginning of the war and there was no white man to stay with my mother and wife, and I promised them that I would not leave until the laws of my country called me. So under the first conscript act I bade my wife and mother good-bye, and joined the army at Statesville, under Captain James C. McRae. During the first two years of soldiering I belonged to Mallett’s battalion and soldiered mostly in this state, hunting up deserters, etc. I was at Camp Vance, near Morganton, and hunted up deserters through all of the western counties.

I was in Catawba County a great deal. Several of the Catawba boys were with me and I stayed all night with them. I have forgotten most of their names, but I remember some of them. I stayed all night with Messrs. Icard, Little, Drim, Christopher, and Yants. The soldier boys with me from Catawba County were Christopher, Drum, Little, Whesanthunt and Sattlemire.

Although we got through the work hunting up deserters and bushwackers, our battalion was disbanded and the most of us Union county boys and some from the upper counties got a transfer to the thirty-ninth and twenty-ninth regiments in the western army and were with General Johnson in western Georgia down to Atlanta; then with General Hood until Atlanta fell, then we went to Nashville Tenn. There we got whipped and were driven out of Tennessee. Then we marched through western Alabama, down and through Mississippi and into southern Alabama to Mobile. Our division was left there under General Dick Taylor. Our last fight was there, defending that place. The enemy captured Mobile and we retreated to Meridian, Mississippi, and there surrendered. We got our paroles and set out on foot for home. I got home about the first of June 1865.”

Andrew J. Price also wrote the following letter to his wife, Emily Price, on February 9, 1863 (the original letter is in the possession of the submitter and transcriber, April Price Havens):

State of North Carolina Wake county Camp Holmes Neare Raleigh February 9th, 1863

Dere wife I take my pen in hand to drop you a few lines by letter to inform you that I am well at present hoping that these few lines may find you enjoying the same good blessing I wrote a letter to you yesterday morning and maild it I expect that you will think strange of me writing again today but Im cooking to day and havin got much to cook and nothing elst to do. I thought that I would write some Brother Hampton went through Raleigh yesterday. I did not see him my self Joseph Harvey and Henry Kiziak was out there and saw him he sent me word that he intended to come to do me (??) but he was detained so long on the road that he had not time to stop. I received them sheathing that he brought for me and a letter from Milton Reid, I have got as much clothing as I want Milton stated in his letter that you was at Mothers the day before he rote his letter and that you was well I was glad to hear that you ware well I have not received a letter from you in some time, You stated in a letter some time back that some of the men had paid up their bills and you had more money on hand than you wanted I suppose that it is a bad time to leave money out and I wish that you would not receive any more until I come home unless you need it. I would rather have the notes on the men than to have the money on hand You will have to do the best you can until the war is over then if I am spaird I will come home and I will come home sooner if I can get the chance I hope the time is not far distance when this old war will stop so we can all get back home to our wifes and more, I must bring my letter to a close write soon. Excuse all mistakes

I remain your Husband until death A. J. Price
To my loving wife E. J. Price

Transcription with modern spelling and punctuation:

State of North Carolina
Wake County
Camp Holmes, Near Raleigh
February 9, 1863

Dear wife,

I take my pen in hand to drop you a few lines by letter to inform you that I am well at present [and] hoping that these few lines may find you enjoying the same good blessing. I wrote a letter to you yesterday morning and mailed it. I expect that you will think [it] strange of me [to be] writing again today, but I’m cooking today and haven’t got much to cook and nothing else to do. I thought that I would write some. Brother Hampton went through Raleigh yesterday. I did not see him myself; Joseph Harvey and Henry Kiziak was out there and saw him. He sent me word that he intended to come to [see] me, but he was detained so long on the road that he had not time to stop. I received the sheathing that he brought for me and a letter from Milton Reid. I have got as much clothing as I want. Milton stated in his letter that you were at Mother’s the day before he wrote his letter and that you were well. I was glad to hear that you were well. I have not received a letter from you in some time. You stated in a letter some time back that some of the men had paid up their bills and [that] you had more money on hand than you wanted. I suppose that it is a bad time to leave money out, and I wish that you would not receive any more until I come home, unless you need it. I would rather have the notes on the men than to have the money on hand. You will have to do the best you can until the war is over; then, if I am spared, I will come home, and I will come home sooner if I can get the chance. I hope the time is not far distant when this old war will stop so we can all get back home to our wives and more. I must bring my letter to a close: Write soon. Excuse all mistakes.

I remain your Husband until death,
A. J. Price
To my loving wife, E. J. Price

The following is a transcribed letter, which was written by A. J. Price to his wife, Emily, on March 13, 1863 (the original letter is in the possession of the submitter and transcriber, April Price Havens):

State of North Carolina Wake county
Camp Holmes Neare Raleigh March 13th 1863

Dere wife I take my pen in hand to drop you a few lines by letter. I am well at present, and I hope that these few lines may find you enjoying the same good blessing I received that letter that you sent by Mr. Clark and also that Box of provisions. I was glad to get it

Cousin Joseph Howey is at the Fair ground Hospital sick he is done better this morning than he has been. Thomas Fizah and Andrew Shanon returned back to camp this morning and Thomas Davis got back day before yesterday it looks like the men that has bin home all winter on sick furloughs was getting well and returning back to camp I haven’t any more news to write there is no fighting any where here off we have some pretty cold weather at this time last Night was a very cold Night I haven’t got any thing more to write at present [something scratched out] Tell Maggy that I am very much oblight to her for them egs that she sent me. I must bring my short letter to a close by saying write soon

I remain your affectionate Husband
Andrew J. Price
To Emily J. Price

Transcription with modern spelling and punctuation:

State of North Carolina
Wake County
Camp Holmes, Near Raleigh
March 13, 1863

Dear wife,

I take my pen in hand to drop you a few lines by letter. I am well at present, and I hope that these few lines may find you enjoying the same good blessing. I received that letter that you sent by Mr. Clark and also that box of provisions. I was glad to get it.

Cousin Joseph Howey is at the Fair Ground Hospital sick; he is doing better this morning than he has been. Thomas Fizah and Andrew Shanon returned back to camp this morning, and Thomas Davis got back day before yesterday. It looks like the men that have been home all winter on sick furloughs are getting well and returning back to camp. I haven’t any more news to write; there is no fighting anywhere [near] here…We have some pretty cold weather at this time. Last night was a very cold night. I haven’t got anything more to write at present. [something scratched out] Tell Maggy that I am very much obliged to her for the eggs that she sent me. I must bring my short letter to a close by saying write soon.

I remain your affectionate Husband,
Andrew J. Price
To Emily J. Price

The following is the transcription of a letter, which was written on June 26, 1864 by A. J. Price to his wife, Emily (private Manuscript Collection, N.C. State Archives):

Kennesaw Mountain, Near Marietta Ga.

Dear Wife, I take my pen in hand to drop you a few lines by letter to inform you that I am well at present hoping that these few lines may find you enjoying the same good blessing. This is the second letter that I have wrote you since I have bin here but I do not know wheather you got the other letter or not. We got to our Regment yesterday was a week ago they ware fighting when we got their they ware line fighting more or less ever day since. We fell back to this mountain las night was a week ago and have helt our position ever since we are on the top of the mountain and the Yankees are at the east of it. We can see them every day and here them talking. We have not had a regerly engagement in our Brigade since we have got on this mountain we have bin under heavy cannons rading all the time. Several of the men kiled and wounded by burn shells. They have bin fighting hurt and was left but I do not know how the fight went.

Regiment was on Pickett one day & night we ware in a pretty hard place while we ware one pickett we had four men wounded in our company yesterday while we ware on pickett and I am sorry to say that two of the men was men that come with us from Camp-Holmes. One was that Mr. Thompson that you saw at the hospital at Raleigh his foot was struck by a shell and tore all to peaces his leg had to be amputated the other one was A.S. Caddy from union county he was struck by the same shell on the foot but I think that his foot can be saved. The balance of the union boys is all well but Rone & Mar’s they are sick at the Hospitle. I am very well pleasant with our offersers our Captain cant be but in the Confederacy I feel thankfull to my god that I have escaped the Balls so far. Nothing more at present write soon I remain your Husband A.J. Price Direct to Atlanta Ga.

Transcription with modern spelling and punctuation:

Kennesaw Mountain, near Marietta, Georgia

Dear Wife,

I take my pen in hand to drop you a few lines by letter to inform you that I am well at present [and] hoping that these few lines may find you enjoying the same good blessing. This is the second letter that I have written to you since I have been here, but I do not know whether you got the other letter or not. We got to our Regiment, yesterday was a week ago. They were fighting when we got here. They have been line fighting more or less every day since. We fell back to this mountain—last night was a week ago—and have held our position ever since. We are on the top of the mountain, and the Yankees are at the east of it. We can see them every day and hear them talking. We have not had a regular engagement in our Brigade since we got to this mountain. We have been under heavy cannon [fire and] raiding all the time. Several of the men [have been] killed [or] wounded by burn shells. They have been fighting hurt and was left, but I do not know how the fight went.

[My] regiment was on picket [duty] one day & night. We were in a pretty hard place while we were on one picket. We had four men wounded in our company yesterday while we were on picket [duty], and I am sorry to say that two of the men were men who came with us from Camp Holmes. One was that Mr. Thompson who you saw at the hospital at Raleigh; his foot was struck by a shell and tore all to pieces. His leg had to be amputated. The other [man] was A. S. Caddy from Union County; he was struck by the same shell on the foot, but I think that his foot can be saved. The balance of the Union boys is all well, but Rone & Mars are sick at the Hospital. I am very well pleased with our officers: Our Captain couldn’t be but in the Confederacy. I feel thankful to my god that I have escaped the [cannon] balls so far. Nothing more at present. Write soon.

I remain your Husband, A. J. Price Direct [your letters] to Atlanta, Georgia.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This