SUBMITTED BY:  Michael Stroupe (introduction and modern transcriptions written by Cheri Todd Molter)

Author’s Note: I’d like to thank Patrick Ruppe for providing the details of Charles Dellinger’s and George Dellinger’s Confederate military service. The original draft of this story did not include that information, and it has been much improved by its addition. Since I was able to locate Mr. Ruppe’s source, I used it to find more information about Capt. C. Poindexter, too. The History Center appreciates your contribution, Mr. Ruppe.

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Charles and George Dellinger were brothers, and their parents were Adam and Anna Faulks Dellinger. They grew up in Lincoln County, North Carolina. The following are the transcriptions of the letters that they wrote to their cousin, Daniel Henry Dellinger, the son of their father’s brother, Peter Dellinger. Charles and George served the Confederacy during the Civil War: They were landsmen on the CSS Artic (Cape Fear River, North Carolina) in 1863 and, in 1864, they were on the steam gunboat CSS Raleigh, which sailed in North Carolina and Virginia waters (ORN 2, 1, 278 & 302). George’s letter situated him on the “Raleigh gun boat” in Wilmington in 1864.

Daniel Henry Dellinger: Daniel Henry Dellinger lived in Lincoln County and served in the Confederate Army: He was in the Senior Reserves, serving in Company K of the 73rd Infantry (North Carolina).

Carter Braxton Poindexter: Charles’ letter mentioned a “Capt Poindexter,” who was most likely Carter Braxton Poindexter. Poindexter, a resident of Virginia, served in the United States Navy from November 16, 1831, to April 18, 1861. Poindexter entered the Confederate States Navy on June 10, 1861, as 1st lieutenant. In 1862, he commanded the CSS Bienville, and in 1863, he commanded the CSS Arctic, Wilmington station. He served until the surrender in April 1865. After the war, according to the 1880 U.S. Census, Poindexter was a widowed farmer who resided at Washington, Virginia, with his three children. (ORN 1, 9, 798 and 2, 1, 275, 318 & 322; ORA 1, 6, chapter 16; Register 1863; M1091; 1880 U.S. Census)

1. Charles Dellinger’s Letter to Daniel Henry Dellinger 2022:

I take my pen in hand to rite to you all to in form you all that I and George hant been well for some time. I have had chills with fever and so has George, but we have got some better. I hope we will git well in a few days. Dear cosins, we want all to rite as soon as you can. D. H. Dellinger, I want you and famly to rite to me and George. Dear Cosins, we see hard times, but if I was only well I wouldent care. I want you to rite to me how you like your trip. Direct your letters to Wilmington, in care of Capt Poindexter,

Charles and George Dellinger to D. H. Dellinger

Transcription with modern spellings and punctuation:

Dear Cousins,

I take my pen in hand to write to you all to inform you all that I and George have not been well for some time. I have had chills with fever, and so has George, but we have got some better. I hope we will get well in a few days. Dear cousins, we want all to write as soon as you can. D. H. Dellinger, I want you and family to write to me and George. Dear Cousins, we see hard times, but if I was only well I would not care. I want you to write to me how you like your trip. Direct your letters to Wilmington, in care of Capt. Poindexter.

Charles and George Dellinger to D[aniel] H. Dellinger

2. A Letter from George Dellinger to Daniel Henry Dellinger with an added Note to George’s Aunt Margaret (Daniel’s Mother: Margaret Haines Dellinger):

April 17 [1864]

Wilmington, NC

The Raly [Raleigh] gun boat

Dear Cosin,

I seate myself down to drop you a few lines to let you know that I am this tolerable well at this time. I hope when these few lines comes to hand they will find you and all of your family well and doing well. Dear Cosin, I hante got mutch news to write you at this time.  Only all of the Riddment [Regiment] is ordered away about here to go to Richmond or some other place. I cant tell you where, but I think they will be some fiting done be fore long. I would be glad if the war would stop. I am a giting tired of it. Dear Cosin, it look hard for me to stay her and be punished the way I am and I have got a home and some to eat at home. Dear Cosin, I can say to you that I am bad dissatisfied her. I would like to be at home. Dear Cosin, if you was her, yew cood kitch as many fish as you want if you had nothing to dew. I could have had the libery but I hant got hit.

I must come to a close by asking you to rite soon and often.

George Dellinger to D. H. Dellinger

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A Few to Ant Margaret Dellinger

Dear Ant,

I seat myself down to drop you a few lines to let you know that I hant well, nor hant satisfied. I have to live hard and I have to be away from home. If I only could be at home I wouldn’t care. Dear Aunt, I don’t expect ever to see you any more. Dear Ant, I must come to a close by asking you to rite soon and often.

George Dellinger to Margaret Dellinger

Transcription with modern spellings and punctuation:

April 17 [1864]

Wilmington, N.C.

The Raleigh gun boat

Dear Cousin,

I seat myself down to drop you a few lines to let you know that I am this tolerable well at this time. I hope when these few lines come to hand, they will find you, and all of your family, well and doing well. Dear Cousin, I haven’t got much news to write you at this time. Only all of the Regiment is ordered away about here to go to Richmond or some other place. I can’t tell you where, but I think they will be some fighting done before long. I would be glad if the war would stop. I am a getting tired of it. Dear Cousin, it is hard for me to stay here and be punished the way I am when I have got a home and something to eat at home. Dear Cousin, I can say to you that I am bad dissatisfied here. I would like to be at home. Dear Cousin, if you were here, you could catch as many fish as you want, if you had nothing to do. I could have if I had the liberty, but I haven’t got it.

I must come to a close by asking you to write soon and often.

George Dellinger to D[aniel]. H. Dellinger

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A Few to Aunt Margaret Dellinger

Dear Aunt,

I seat myself down to drop you a few lines to let you know that I ain’t well, nor ain’t satisfied. I have to live hard, and I have to be away from home. If I only could be at home, I wouldn’t care. Dear Aunt, I don’t expect ever to see you anymore. Dear Aunt, I must come to a close by asking you to write soon and often.

George Dellinger to Margaret Dellinger

3. A Letter from Daniel H. Dellinger to “Mary Dellinger,” who is either Mary Frances Dellinger, George’s sister, or Mary Spake Dellinger, George’s wife [Undated]:

Dear Cosin Mary,

I take great pleasure in stating to you that I am in tolerable good health at this time and trust this may reach you and find you in good health. I have no news to send you that would interest you.  Times hear is hard and no prospect for better. I have one request to maik of you and that is I want you to wright to me and let me no how your git along and when you heard from Georg and if he was well when you heard from him and let me kno where he is.  I hope you will regard this as the respect I have for you.  Nothing More

D. Dilinger to Mary Dilinger

Transcription with modern spellings and punctuation:

Dear Cousin Mary,

I take great pleasure in stating to you that I am in tolerable good health at this time and trust this may reach you and find you in good health. I have no news to send you that would interest you.  Times here is hard and no prospect for better. I have one request to make of you, and that is I want you to write to me and let me know how you’re getting along and when you heard from George, and if he was well when you heard from him and let me know where he is. I hope you will regard this as the respect I have for you. Nothing more.

D[aniel] Dellinger to Mary Dellinger

 

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