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Various [Letters of Mitchell Pugh, Byrum Hesh, Thomas Mitchell & Eli Pugh, D company, 50th regiment, Virginia, infantry] [decimalized]

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC03135.06 Author/Creator: Various Place Written: [various places] Type: Header Record Date: 1854-1887 Pagination: 29 items

Collection of twenty-nine letters, twenty-two of which are war date, from various individuals: Mitchell Pugh, Byrum B. Hesh (or Bryam D. Hash), Thomas F. Mitchell and Eli Pugh of Co. D, 50th Virginia Regiment; A. Pugh of Co. C, 16th North Carolina Cavalry, and William T. (or L.) Perkins. There are also letters to E. L. King, D. Pennington, and Kate.

The majority of the letters are addressed to L. [Liendema?] D. Wood. Common topics both before and after the war include crops, health, and family news. War-date letters mention skirmishes in Princeton, West Virginia (#3 and #4); Pack's Ferry, Virginia; and the Kanawha valley (#7). There are also references to the prison at Johnson's Island (#8 and #9), and soldiers left behind at Petersburg, Virginia (12). Later war-date letters mentions girls at home, Eli Pugh's rheumatism, and lack of supplies. Other letters (#23 and #24) discuss bushwhacking, burning, and stealing. Several postwar letters discuss the murder of Matt Davis by Jones Greer, including a detailed account of the murder (#25), and news of the trial (#26).

The Pugh family, of Grayson County, Virginia, had at least three members who served in the Civil War. These included Ambrose Pugh, who enlisted as 1st Lieutenant in the 50th Va. Infantry in June 1861, and was dropped from the muster rolls in May of 1862; Mitchell Martin Pugh, who enlisted in as a Private in the 50th Va. Infantry at the same time as Ambrose Pugh; William Eli Pugh, who also saw service in the 50th Va. Infantry, though the dates of his enlistment and discharge are unknown. Members of related families who also served the Confederacy were David Pennington, of the 50th Va. Infantry and C.S. Navy; Byron B. Hash, who enlisted as a Private in the 50th Va. Infantry, but died a prisoner of war in 1864 at Point Lookout, Maryland; and Thomas F. Mitchell, also a Private in the 50th Va. Infantry, who was killed in the war sometime after January 1864.

[28 May 1862, Mitchell Pugh]
"We had a battle on the 17th of May at Princeton We had 280 Men in the fight and fought 900 of the enemy We had one Man killed and 5 wounded We killed A Bout one hundread of them and Wounded and took A Bout two hundread of them and if we had had any general We Could have taken the hole army Marshall Was in Command We Went to help him and they Came in in our Rear But they Did not stay Long till they had to go Back in Doubble quick…"

[11 August 1862, Mitchell Pugh]
"They had A Litle fight Down at Pikes ferry on the 6th inst and Whiped out the Yankees completely and has got Back to camp Again the Yankees destroyed all they had and Left the Patch they Lost Several men and we have one slightly Wounded and then on the night of the 7th there was A Bout 50 of the Yankees Slipped in to Mercer and Burnt up the Salt Works and Run off with out Being caught…"

[18 September 1862, Byram B. Hash]
"by a very wearysom march of four days brought us to Fayette court house finding the enemy there they was strongly fortified there whorton got round in rear of them & general Williams in front and attacted them tha made several despert strugles to fight through they fought bravely till dark … we then marched to Chareston we over took the enemy there our regiment made a charge the distance of a mile through town the cannon of the enemy playing on us all the time but they done us no injury until we got in reach of their small arms the firce a heavy volley of musketry at us…the hole amount of property captured is estimated to be worth three millions of dollars"

[25 September 1862, Thomas F. Mitchell]
"There are about four hundred Virginians here without any officers but myself. their officers have left them to get to their respective the best way they can. so it makes it prety hard on me. long as I have been from home and the loved ones and bad as I wish to see you, and [inserted: every] minute that I am delayed is like an age, I cannot forsake my duty as a soldier. I cannot forsake those brave men who have sufferd with me in prison for our glorious cause of freedom, if I did, I would be unworthy of you and would bring disgrace upon our little son who is dearer to me than life. I rejoice that I am again free from the [strikeout] clutches of the enemy, but sorry and greaved that the remains of one of the brave boys who were captured with me rests in the land of our most bitter and uncomprimising enemies. I would if it had been the will of God that he had died in the arms of his friends with a doting mother to administer to his wants and still his whirling brain with her parental hand and [inserted: a] sister's tears to mingle with his sleeping [chest], and with delicate hands plant the weeping [2] willow and the ephermal rose to watch over the sleeping heroe. he did not fall on a [strikeout] renowned field. he did [inserted: not] fall coverd with wounds that would immortalise [inserted: his] name. but he died like a heroe by the treachry of the enemy."

[6 March 1863, B. B. Hash]
"I got to the company last monday eavening I found all of the boys with the company except John adams & Abram soop & fedrick Sheets Sheets & soop was left at peeters burgh william pug has bin there sense and he says the both have got the small pox we had a long hard march and suffered a heap with cold hit raind and snowed on us several days all day long the wether is cool hear we had a small [skift] of snow hear the other morning but it was soon gone this is a leavel country but I dont like to say hear for when a cannon ball starts hear hit neaver sops til hit gets out of breath"

[27 April 1863, Eli Pugh]
"we are in sight of the yankees tents and can see them go up every day in ther Bulloons general Lee says if they wont come over the rhappahanock to Him that He will go over to them But I want Him to wait till we come back to South Western Va I suppose Lee said He would send us Back in three or fore weeks I am in Hopes it will Be so allthough we are doing very well down Here But we are so far from Home we cant Here from you all as often as I want to I Have never Done a Days Duty yet on the account of my Being Cripled With the rheumatics They pain me rite smart this morning But not as Bad as Comon I think...Lieut Mitchel said that Him and gone told the Capt He must try and get me A Discharge for they was no use in keeping such men Here I told the Capt that I wanted A Discharge and He said I would have to go to the Doctor and if the Dr would give one He would assign it the Doctor Has Been mad ever since I havnt said any thing to home A Bout it yet I Dont no whether I will or not tell or get Back Closer Home for it taks A week Here to go to all the officers to get any Paper fixed Before they Can get out of the Lines"

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