Camp near Fredericksburg Va
Dear Pappy. Ma. and Mit Decmb 17 1862
I again seat myself
This evening to write you A few lines
to let you know that I am well and
harty and I hope that when these
few lines comes to hand that they
may find you all enjoying the same blesing
of life I have just received two
letters from you and was more than
glad to heare from you all and to
heare that you all was well and was
sorry to heare that George Sattywhite [1]
is dead for I thought A great deal of
him but I supose he died A glorius
deth that he would die at home when
he died I wish that I would aseen
him once more but know I no that
I shall never shall see him again on
earth Thare has A great meny fallen
here but not from sickness but from
balls Thare has ben A tremendous
battle [2] here last friday wee left our
winter quarters and marched all day and
all night very near and the next day
wee marched to the battlefeild and when
wee got thare they ware fighting and
wee did not go in when wee first got
Thare so they repulsed the yankes
before it came our time to go in
although wee staid in reach of the balls
all the time The cannon roid [3] like
thunder like thun all the day long
and on sunday every thing was calm
except the cannons and that day wee
thought it would be A hard days fight
[page 2]
but the yankes did not advance They
charged no [4] our men three
times but wee drove them back faster
than they come and on Munday
morning our Division marched in front
of the yankes and all day it beat eny
thing I ever saw The yankes was in
about 400 yards of us and they had
up A flag of truce all day long and
they would come up and shake hands
with our men and our men would
meet them half way to swat [5] coffee
for tobackee The yankes was in A line
of battle and they would stand up
and looks it was A grand sight to look
at it was something that I never expected
to see to see our men and yankes
as neare together as they ware and not
to fight They come over to bury thare
They carried of about 75 and laid them
in A row and they did not bury nary
one of them and that night they retreted
over the river on mundy night wee
throwd up breast works with our hands
and bug up the dirt with our bayonets
and when it was light enough to see
wee ware looking out fer the yankes
but they ware gone Then our Colonel
told the pickets to advance They did
so they went to the river and they
took very neare 100 yankes whare
they had left one of our men took
6 yankes with thare guns in thare
hands when they come up wee asked
them how comes them over this side
[page 3]
and all the rest gone one said
he had steped out in the woods to
make him some coffee and thay
left him and he did not know
what become of the rest our men
was going to advance on them if the
had not ov lefe that morning so that
ends that now I will tell you
the los of men on both sides our
loss was 2500 the yankes loss was
10000 kild wounded and missing A
great meny more than ours our loss
was but few to the quanity of men
thare was 200.000 engaged in the
fight it was A tremendous battle
but none of our boys did not get
hurt they stuck up like men
I have not time to write eny
more fore it is snowing and I must
stop I will mention what I want
for winter I want A coat and two
pair of socks and A pair of Gambadoes [6]
and pair of shoes and my comfort
that will be enough for me at
this time you wanted to know
wether I would take 150 dollars for
dol or not that is not enoughf
you had better keep her for you
can get more than that for her
horses will be high A nother year
I want brother when he comes
to bring me some potatoes and some
other thing I do not know whare wee
will be I would like for pappy
to come with him for I reckond
[page 4]
that I will have some monney
to send home by that time I
expect to draw in A few days I
think it is time fr to give us
some money I will close Uncle
James Stone is well also Rial so
nothing more but remaining your
affectionate son and Brother
J. F. Coghill
you must write soon
and I will every chance I have
give my love to all of my friends
and take A good potion for your
sely [7] so good by for this time

J F Coghill
Miss A E Co [his sister Ann E. “mit” Coghill]

  1. Satterwhite
  2. Battle of Fredericksburg, December 11-15, 1862
  3. roid = roared?
  4. “no” mistake for “on”
  5. swat = swap
  6. leather leggings
  7. “sely” prob meaning “selves”
December 17, 1862


Company G, 23rd NC Infantry
Private to Corporal


Joseph W. Coghill's father
Jonathan Fuller Coghill's Sister
Name Variant: 


From State: 
From Municipality: 


To State: 
North Carolina
To County: 

Transcription/Proofing Info

Heather Cook
Transcription Date: 
May, 2011
Michael Ellis
Proof Date: 
June, 2011

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