Submitted by Sandra White Hinton; Letter Transcribed by Sandra White Hinton, Cheri Todd Molter & Kobe M. Brown; Content notes researched and written by Sandra White Hinton, Cheri Todd Molter and Kobe M. Brown
Note from Sandra: Here are my ancestors’ letters. Please do upload them. All the Whites were educated, and they were all Masons, as well.
Information about some individuals who were mentioned in the letter:
James White Jr. (1829-1882) of Sampson County was a brother of Murdock, Oliver and Lallister M. White. According to census records, he lived at home with his parents, James and Martha White, in 1850 and was an independent farmer by 1860. The 1860 Census listed him as the owner of real estate valued at $5,000 and a personal estate worth $15,000. When he was conscripted to the Confederate Army, James was not happy about the situation and was trying to arrange for the army to allow for a substitute to take his place.
Murdock White: Murdock was one of James’ brothers. He lived in Sampson County with his wife, Anne, and their children.
“Brother Oliver” was Oliver P. White, Lal’s brother, and, when the war started, Oliver was a thirty-seven-year-old Sampson County farmer. He enlisted on March 10, 1862, as First Lieutenant. He served in Company I, of the 46th Infantry (North Carolina) of the Confederate Army. He surrendered with his regiment on April 9, 1865, at Appomattox Court House, Virginia (North Carolina Troops 1861-65, A Roster, 1993).
“Liet Pearsel” was 2nd Lt. Robert James Pearsall, Enrolling Officer. He was buried in the Clinton cemetery.
“Col./Capt. Mallette” was Col. Peter Mallett, who was the commandant of Camp Holmes, the head of the North Carolina Conscription Service, and kin to the White family.
“Lias Royals Jr.” was Elias F. Royal, a cousin of James’ wife-to-be, Susan Royal.
“Thomas H. Holmes” was an Aide-de Camp to Gov. John Ellis during the war. He was also an attorney who served as a representative for soldiers and families.
“Sue” was, as mentioned above, Susan Royal, the woman James married.
Regarding the term Principles of Substitutes: According to Robert C. Carpenter, the author of Gaston County North Carolina in the Civil War, the term was used to refer to the rules and processes involved with the practice of substitution, which was the finding and reimbursement of another man to take one’s place for military service.
Transcription of the original letter:
Camp Holmes July 16th 1864
My Dear Brother I Shall have to Call on you a gain [sic] to get me a way [sic] from here, though it is a hard chance on Principles of Substitutes if you will See the board and Liet. Pearsel & get them to write out a Recommendation Stating that I Should have an Appeal on my Petition and Send it up to Goldsborro [sic] to Capt. Mallette and he will Approve of it and Send it up to Col. Mallette and then he will allow me a new hearring [sic] I have no chance to go and See him my Self [sic] If Brother Oliver has time I would be glad that he would come up & Bring the Paper if not you must get Some person else to Bring it & if you cannot get Any Person you will [have] to send it by mail I would Rather Some person would bring it for the Post office is At Raleigh and he will not attend to Business at the Camp he Rides on by the Camp Evening and morning but does not Stop. you had Better not come your Self [sic] without you have got your Detail I want you to attend to this forthwith. they keep the light duty men here but they have not examed [sic] me yet So I do not Know what they will do with me they are down on substitute men I cannot get a furlow [sic] So I do not know what to do the officers cannot give me any iformation [sic] what to do Lias Royals Jr. is here and he cannot Advise what [to] do I want you to get Some Person to come up if Thomas H. Holmes has got back from Richmond perhaps you can get him. I want this attended to if it takes every thing [sic] that I am worth for I am here and have no Blankat [sic] nor nothing only what I have on, and they may keep me here two or three weekes [sic] they never give them any clothes not until they Send them off Lias Royal thinks as I have bin [sic] assigned to light duty they will keep me here I have bin [sic] here a day & a half & they have not called me to do any thing [sic] yet only answer to my name. I am well as Common give my love to Sue & tell her I would like very much to See her but there is no chance yet I close it is most night
Transcription with modern spelling and punctuation:
Camp Holmes July 16, 1864
My Dear Brother, I shall have to call on you again to get me away from here, though it is a hard chance on the Principles of Substitutes. If you will see the board and Lt. Pearsall, get them to write out a recommendation stating that I should have an appeal on my petition. Then, send it up to Goldsboro to Capt. Mallette, and he will approve of it and send it up to Col. Mallette. Then, he will allow me a new hearing. I will have no chance to go and see him myself. If brother Oliver has time, I would be glad that he would come up and bring the paper. If not, you must get someone else to bring it, and if you cannot get any person, you will have to send it by mail. I would rather some person bring it, for the Post Office at Raleigh, he will not attend to business at the camp; he rides on by the camp evening or morning but does not stop. You had better not come yourself without you having got your Detail. I want you to attend to this forthwith. They keep the light duty men here, but they have not examined me yet, so I do not know what they will do with me. They are down on Substitute men. I cannot get a furlough, so I do not know what to do. The officers cannot give me any information about what to do. Lias Royals Jr. is here, and he cannot advise [me] what to do. I want you to get someone to come up. If Thomas H. Holmes has got back from Richmond, perhaps you can get him. I want this attended to if it takes everything that I am worth; for I am here and have no blanket nor nothing, only what I have on, and they may keep me here for two or three weeks. They never give them any clothes, not until they send them off. Lias Royal thinks as I have been assigned to light duty, they will keep me here. I have been here a day and a half, and they have not called me to do anything yet only answer to my name. I am well as common. Give my love to Sue and tell her I would like very much to see her, but there is no chance yet. I close: It is almost night.