View Full Version : Letters from the Cadets at New Market

09-08-2004, 03:05 PM
I will post a sample of the letters which can be found at VMI Cadets at New Market (http://http://www.vmi.edu/archives/Civil_War/cwnm.html) . While these Cadets were not "Campaigners" these letters may provide some insight into language usage and mindset of a young soldier and their families in 1864.

New Market
May 16th, 64

Dear Pa

I write you a few lines to let you know that I am wounded. I was in the battle fought here yesterday and was wounded was in the lower part of my stomach. It is a very painful wound but I do not think it is dangerous. The battle was fought in the vicinity of New Market between the forces of Genl. Breckinridge and the Yankee Sigel. We gained a complete victory, driving the Yankees about eight or ten miles, capturing some prisoners. The Yankees used their artillery very well and I was struck while going across a field by a piece of shell which knocked me about ten feet. I thought the wound was mortal, but I very soon found it was not by walking off the field. I am staying at a private house about a mile from the town but it very doubtful how long I will remain here, as I think the wounded will be carried to Lexington as soon as possible. The cadets lost killed (5), wounded (43) and missing 48, out of 230. Genl. Breckenridge, Wharton and Echols, complimented the Cadets very much. Norborne Lewis was not hurt although exposed to thickest of fight. Thom Crichton escaped without getting hurt. Send word to Mr. Lewis that Norborne is not hurt, got through the battle remarkable well. Also let Mr. Crichton know that Thom was not hurt. I will write to you again and let you know how I am.

Give my love to all
From your affect. Son
J.L. Merritt

P.S. don't be uneasy about me because if I was wounded badly I would let you know.

J.L. Merritt