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SUBMITTED BY:  Mike Stroupe

WRITTEN AND TRANSCRIBED BY:  Cheri Molter

William B. Brown was born in Lincoln County, North Carolina in 1840. He was a farmer when the war started and twenty-one years old when he enlisted in the Confederate army. On October 25, 1861, he enlisted into H Company of the 34th Infantry (North Carolina). In April 1862, William was stationed in Caroline County, Virginia where he wrote a letter home to his wife, Margaret, in which he mentioned their baby, some war news, money matters, and a desire to see her again. [Please see attached photo and the transcriptions below.] Soon after he wrote the letter, William was taken prisoner but was exchanged on September 21, 1862 at Aiken’s Landing in Virginia. He returned to his company in February 1863.

William was taken prisoner again on July 14, 1863 at Falling Waters, Maryland. He was confined at Point Lookout, MD on Aug. 17th and held there until he took the Oath of Allegiance on January 25, 1864. Afterward, William “joined USA” and fought for the Union army (North Carolina Troops 1861-65, A Roster, [1993]). He was assigned to Company B, 1st Infantry. William returned home to Lincoln County, and Margaret and their baby, after the war.

Link to the letter:  1568929659-William-B-Browns-letter-to-his-wife-Margaret-1862 Stroupe story

Transcription from Original Document:

Va, Caroline Co Aprile the 4 1862
Guiney Station Headquarters
On rappahannok river

Dear loving wife
I seat myself on this day to drop you a few lines to let you no that I am well at this present time hoping theas lines m[a]y find you and the baby boath well & all of the rest that is thair I rec[e]ived your cind [kind] leter the 3rd of this instant & was glad to hear from you but sarrow to hear that you had bin sick but glad to hear that you is getting better I am glad to hear that money & hoke carpiner have to come to the war they maid thair brags so big that they wasn’t a coming a tall [at all] I recived the box that you sent me I was glad to get it but I would be heap glader to sea you then to sea the box but I can’t tell you when I will sea you [be…y] never hear on earth but if I don’t hear on earth I hope to meet you in heaven

I will tell you somrthing about Yorktown the Yankeys have got it from us that is the strate [straight] reports hear to our courier our m[e]n have come out 10 miles on this side I expect to be in a fight here be four I am too weeks older but if I am cill [killed] I hope to meet you in heaven whair watt fighting will be no mour I sent you 5.00 in leter I sent it to Lincolnton to be mailed & I want to no whear you have got it or not we march closer to the yankeys 5 miles closer tomorow morning so I must close so rite soon & give me all of the nuse so I remane your dear loving [husband] untill death. W.B. Brown

To Margret Set Brown
When you rite to me direct your leters to W.B. Brown in cear [care] of capt [Samuel A.] Hoey 34th ridg [regiment] NC troops Guiney Station Caroline Co Va by the of raligh & richmon

Transcription with modern spellings and punctuation added:

Va, Caroline Co. April the 4 1862
Guiney Station Headquarters
On Rappahannock River

Dear loving wife,
I seat myself on this day to drop you a few lines to let you know that I am well at this present time, hoping these lines may find you and the baby both well & all of the rest that is there. I received your kind letter the 3rd of this month & was glad to hear from you but sorry to hear that you had been sick but glad to hear that you are getting better. I am glad to hear that Money & Hoke Carpiner have to come to the war. They made their brags so big that they wasn’t a coming at all. I received the box that you sent me. I was glad to get it, but I would be heap gladder to see you than to see the box; but I can’t tell you when I will see you [be…y] never here on earth, but if I don’t here on earth I hope to meet you in heaven.

I will tell you something about Yorktown: the Yankeys have got it from us. That is the straight reports here to our courier our men have come out 10 miles on this side. I expect to be in a fight here before I am two weeks older, but if I am killed, I hope to meet you in heaven where what fighting will be no more. I sent you 5.00 in letter. I sent it to Lincolnton to be mailed & I want to know whether you have got it or not. We march closer to the Yankeys, 5 miles closer, tomorrow morning, so I must close. So write soon & give me all of the news, so I remain your dear loving [husband] until death. W.B. Brown

To Margret Set Brown
When you write to me direct your letters to W.B. Brown in care of Capt. [Samuel A.] Hoey, 34th Regiment NC troops, Guiney Station, Caroline Co, VA by the way of Raleigh & Richmond

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