Submitted by Sandra White Hinton: Letter Transcribed by Sandra White Hinton & Cheri Todd Molter; Edited by Cheri Todd Molter

A.N.V. Co. ‘A’ 30th NC Troops

February the 10th 1864

Murdock:

Dear brother: I am very happy indeed to be able to write you on the present accasion [sic]. This is a calm bright and cold day, indicative of fine weather the next three or four days at the end of which we may look for the rainy seasons to set in. The winter thus far has been mild in Comparison to last winter, yet during the next two months to come, we may expect storms and hardtimes [sic] on we poor soldiers who are exposed to the weather as it comes. Though I hope that we can remain in our winter quarters until the may [sic] showers begin to fall. While we were in reserve on picket last saturday [sic], the enemy advanced and drove back our pickets Capturing about 26 men near Morton’s Ford on the Rapidan river but very soon we reinforced our pickets and held the enemy in check until our forces could be brought up when late in the evening about dark a heavy skirmish ensued, when our men proving too hard for them caused them to recross the river with a loss of 17 men killed dead on the field and 46 men taken prisoners we lost four killed & seventeen wounded at a late hour that night the enemy carried off all of their wounded which was a great number from the blood that was seen in different places. There was at one time every indication of a powerful struggle but the enemy was rather fearful owing to our strong position, so they considered it best for them to make no farther advance. I am very sorry to hear that Thos. [Thomas] N. Culbreths child has the small pox [sic]. I am Conscious that it will cause much distress in his family as it may spread from one to another. I think it best for the whole neighborhood [to] be vaccinated without delay or many of you will see much trouble. I suppose that you have made all necessary preparations but it is best to be very cautious as that disease among young children is awful. you must go down and see father & mother and give them my best love & respects. tell them I have not heard from them in a very long time & as for Bro. James it does appear that I shall never hear from him any more [sic]. Probably he may have gone out to the western army as I can not hear of him about home. I hope the Lord will be with him wherever he may be. I expect that the reason that I do not hear from any of you at home is that you are all afraid to go to the office to mail your letters if such be the case, you can send them to Clinton I am very anxious to hear from home & why can not some of you write me. I shall come to the conclusion that you have entirely forsaken me as one of your relatives. Remember me to Ann & the little Boys. tell them I have not forgotten them I do not know when I can get an opportunity to go home

your true

Bro.

L. M. White

P.S. I have not heard from O.P.W. [Oliver White] in some time I expect that he has gone home on a furlough

Editor’s Notes:

“L. M. White”: Lallister “Lal” M. White was born in Sampson County, North Carolina. The author of this letter, Lal was the brother of James, Murdock, and Oliver White. On April 20, 1861, Lal, then a twenty-eight-year-old farmer, enlisted in the Confederate Army. He served in Company A, 30th Infantry North Carolina. On Sept. 3, 1863, he was promoted to First Lieutenant. On May 12, 1864, Lt. Lal White was killed during battle near Spotsylvania Court House in Virginia.

“Murdock”: (1822-1879) Murdock White was Lal White’s brother and a landowner/farmer. He lived in Sampson County with his wife, Ann Eliza Brown White, and their children.

“Morton’s Ford”: The skirmish at Morton’s Ford took place between February 6-7, 1864. It was fought between Union forces that were led by John C. Caldwell and Alexander Hayes and Confederate forces, led by Richard S. Ewell. The results of the skirmish were inconclusive for both the Union and Confederate forces.

“Thos. N. Culbreth”: Thomas Neil Culbreth (1827-1903) was a neighbor of the White family.

“father and mother”: Lal’s and Murdock’s parents were James Sr. and Martha White of Sampson County. They were also the parents of James and Oliver White, who are mentioned in this letter.

“Bro James”: James White Jr. (1829-1882) of Sampson County was one of the White brothers. According to census records, he lived at home with his parents, James and Martha White, in 1850 and was an independent farmer by 1860.

“Ann”: Ann Eliza Brown White (1838-1927) was married to Murdock White and was the mother of their two boys, Willie and Frankie White. To read an entry specifically about Ann, click the following link: https://nccivilwarcenter.org/ann-eliza-brown-white-1838-1927/

“little Boys”: The little boys mentioned were William L. White (1858-1924) and Frank Mallett White (1858-1924), the sons of Ann White and Murdock White.

“O.P.W.”: Oliver P. White was Lal’s brother, who was also serving in the Confederate army. He served in Company I, of the 46th Infantry (North Carolina). He surrendered with his regiment on April 9, 1865, at Appomattox Court House, Virginia.

Transcription with modern spelling a punctuation:

Army of Northern Virginia, Co. ‘A’ 30th NC Troops

February 10, 1864

Murdock:

Dear brother: I am very happy indeed to be able to write you on the present occasion. This is a calm bright and cold day, indicative of fine weather for the next three or four days at the end of which we may look for the rainy seasons to set in. The winter thus far has been mild in Comparison to last winter, yet during the next two months to come, we may expect storms and hard times on we poor soldiers who are exposed to the weather as it comes. Though I hope that we can remain in our winter quarters until the May showers begin to fall. While we were in reserve on picket last Saturday, the enemy advanced and drove back our pickets, Capturing about 26 men near Morton’s Ford on the Rapidan River, but very soon we reinforced our pickets and held the enemy in check until our forces could be brought up when late in the evening about dark a heavy skirmish ensued when our men proving too hard for them, caused them to recross the river with a loss of 17 men killed dead on the field and 46 men taken prisoners. We lost four killed & seventeen wounded. At a late hour that night, the enemy carried off all of their wounded, which was a great number from the blood that was seen in different places. There was at one time every indication of a powerful struggle, but the enemy was rather fearful owing to our strong position, so they considered it best for them to make no farther advance. I am very sorry to hear that [Thomas] N. Culbreth’s child has smallpox. I am conscious that it will cause much distress in his family, as it may spread from one to another. I think it best for the whole neighborhood [to] be vaccinated without delay, or many of you will see much trouble. I suppose that you have made all necessary preparations, but it is best to be very cautious, as that disease among young children is awful. You must go down and see father & mother and give them my best love & respects. Tell them I have not heard from them in a very long time, & as for Bro. James, it does appear that I shall never hear from him anymore. Probably, he may have gone out to the western army, as I cannot hear of him about home. I hope the Lord will be with him wherever he may be. I expect that the reason that I do not hear from any of you at home is that you are all afraid to go to the office to mail your letters. If such be the case, you can send them to Clinton. I am very anxious to hear from home & why can not some of you write me. I shall come to the conclusion that you have entirely forsaken me as one of your relatives. Remember me to Ann & the little Boys. Tell them I have not forgotten them I do not know when I can get an opportunity to go home.

your true

Bro.

L. M. White

P.S. I have not heard from O.P.W. [Oliver White] in some time I expect that he has gone home on a furlough.

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