Dec Sept 4th 1862
Dear Wife I am well at this
time and hope that this will
find you and Willie both well
you rote to me to rite to you all
about our trip to kentuckey
at your request I will try
the day after Jack left us we
started and went through the
gap called mockerson gap [1] this 
is a gap betwixt two of the
raggerest mountains that you
ever seen the rocks hung over
us as we traveled on to casel [2]
woods over the mountains a turn
pike rode we pased through
some deep cuts they are deeper
than my head and
me standing up in the wa
gon we went on to the river [3]
it was about needeep and
them that was walking had
to wade it and then up
the worst road and we
went no [4] to guesses station [5]
[page 1]
and that night about ten
oclock I had to hitch up my
horses and go back five miles
by my self after a wagon
that was broke down the
next day we went up guess
es mountain [6] it is four miles
up it we got to pound [7]
saturday night and next
morning they drumed a
man out of camps his name
was Setman the way they
drumed him out was they
took a board and rote on
it thief and put the
Battaline in one rank in the
road and marched him
by them with the board
on his back and I seen
him no more the people
was generally ignorant
and bear footed they in
quiered what a negro
was they are ignorant
[page 2]
we went on to the
gap called pounds gap
at this place general mar
shal had a battle his
breast works are there
yet we went down the moun
tain and camped they
told us that the yan
kes was near and at two
o clock that night I wa
ked up and sutch a
fiering of guns I never
heard before what
to do I new not I had
no gun orders was given
to geer up the horses I
geered up my horses as
quick as I could the
fireing still continued
one man undertook to
geer his horse and re
took the collar and went
to the horses tail Jerked
it up and told the
[page 3]
horse to hold up hold
up I tell you but the
horse did not hold up
for he had holt of his
tail in place of his head
another man put two pare
of geer on one horse
when we come to find out
it was a fault a larm
the next day it rained
on us all day and the night
afterwards and it was coad
the next day we got to
rock house and a blind
woman come to our camps
and when she heard that
a doctor was there she want
ed to here him talk
and she heard him she
listen to him with as mutch
attention as if he had bin
a king we went on up a mo
untain we went down it
by letting the wagons down with ropes
[page 4]
we went on and come to a place
where the ground was burning
we went on and come to a spring
that boiled just like it was
hot but it was cold and it had
oil on it about like gass tar
we come to the Sulper springs
we passed over mountains after
mountains down c[r]eeks and up
ceaks and went on day after
day untill we come to haysle
green the day we went on and
about twelve o clock our pick
ets was met by two of the yan
kes pickets one of the yankes
Jumped off of his horse and
took to the woods the other tur
ned a round runed off and
our pickets took the horse
we went on to a steen [8] mill
and camped there and there
was about three thousand yankes
in a few miles of us and that
[page 5]
night the Major got orders
to report at Abingdon as quick
as he could and next day we
went back to haysle green and
we went the same road back
to Abingdon you wanted to
know how I fared I got a
plenty to eat but we had
to eat flour with out bolt
ing [9] one day it snowed on us
all day and a part of the
night the snow was 6 inches
deep and the way it was
cold is a fact we got to Abing
don one month and one day
from the time we started
I have given afew anaccount
of afew things that happened
on our trip if it interest you
I will be glad if not for
give me for my misimprovement
of time I remain yours until death
J. A McMurtrey

  1. Moccasin Gap
  2. Castlewood in Russel County, Virginia
  3. the Clinch River
  4. no = on
  5. Guest's Sation in Wise County, Virginia
  6. Guest Mountain
  7. Pound, a community in Wise County, Virginia
  8. steen = steam
  9. bolting = being sifted
December 4, 1862


Company B, 9 GA Infantry


Wife of James A. McMurtrey


From Note: 
N/A [Jeffersonville, VA?]


To State: 
To County: 

Transcription/Proofing Info

Melody Hargiss
Transcription Date: 
April, 2011
Michael Ellis
Proof Date: 
December, 2012

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