Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Camp Family Letters : Christmas, 1862

"A Husband and Wife Separated By the War, 1862", Thomas Nast
source: Wikipedia commons

For a Confederate soldier, Christmas was about like any other day.  Thoughts always turned to family back home.

Camp near Dalton, Georgia

Dec 25, 1862

My Dear Mary,

[Your letter] came to hand on 21st … much satisfaction [to have] a letter from you … I am destitute of words that can express them, and if I could see you, I could not tell them to you.  I wish it was in my power to be with you in Christmas times, but I cannot.  I feel like I was ready to protect you at all times and under any circumstances.  That is one of my first duties … to protect the ones that are near and dear to me.  And when the time comes that my dear ones cannot be protected at home, I feel that it will be my duty to go and attend to them myself.  And how long before that time will come, I cannot tell.  As to the end of this war I cannot see.  You and our children are all that I need to protect.  ...

I am very sorry to hear of so much sickness in your settlement [among] the settlers [and] friends].  ….. very anxious to hear from you …. I’m sorry but don’t be uneasy.  ...  Keep on the watch all the time.  Keep everything close.

... Write how much more money you will have to have.  I have drawn three month wages, $40, and will draw again the first of January.  ...  I will close for the present.  May God bless us is my prayer.  Write soon.

This is on Yankee paper.

T L Camp

* This letter is part of the "Camp Family Papers, 1858-1877" which are housed in the Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL) of Emory University in Decatur, Georgia.  The letter was transcribed using Transcript freeware.  Some of the spelling, punctuation, and syntax were corrected in this post for ease in reading.  ... is used to indicate portions of the letter which were omitted in the post.  [ ] indicates a word or information I have inserted for clarity.

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