View Full Version : Letters to Ma

09-12-2006, 09:54 PM
In trying to learn more about any family I might have had serving either Army during the ACW, I found that my uncle (by marriage not blood) had an ancestor who fought with the 4th Texas Regt Co E.

His name was Charles Samuel Worsham. In order to prove his service when filing for a pension, his wife submitted his letters to the State for proof. I asked my uncle's family for copies of these letters to see what he wrote about.

Here is the first letter:

Gen. J.E. Jonston's Division
Near Dumfries VA Camp Texas on the Potomac
4th Texas Regiment
Nov 29th 1861

Dear Ma

Your kind letter dated the 8th came to hand this morning and found us all three in as good health as can be expected in this cold and cheerless climate where nothing surrounds us but high bleak hills and dead pine trees. But thank God we won't have to stay here much longer as Col. Hood says he intends to quarter us in some town where those who are suffering from disease my be comfortable and kindly cared for.

We will all send you some more money soon as we are paid which will be shortly, that is in the course of three or four days. I am very glad to hear that clothing is on the way for us as we will need all we can get when snow time sets in which you know (perhaps from experience) is very severe in this State. Brother James received a letter (from) Electra Force today in which she speaks of hard times and sickness in the family. I believe with all their spiritualism they were true friends of ours. You will learn in a letter written before this that I have been transferred from the 2nd to the 4th Texas Regiment so that I could be with brother James & Ed. You may now address Manassas Junction in care of Capt E.D. Ryan, Lone Star Guards 4th Texas Regiment, care of Col. John B. Hood.

That Davis set are making tarnation fools of themselves about their would be lovely daughter who if she can get a man to support and protect her will be doing blamed well. As for me (C.S. Worsham individually), I don't want her and to tell the truth never did, for after I found out the mean and contracted souls they possessed, I had no further use for them. I only wrote one letter back to Miss Jenny and that was a very polite and friendly greeting. Now if they bother me I'll expose the whole crew and prove forgery in their teeth. I can speak of no probable period for our return. I think though (as all do) before spring, for the Yankees are about to give it up as a bad game. If you see Abe Swearingen, he has a letter from me all about the fight he will let you see it as I told him to do so. Jimmy and Ed unite in sending their love to you and wish you to write when ever it is possible to do so. Give my love to Mr & Mrs McLane and return my kindest regards to Mrs. Force for her love she sent me, and to all enquiring friends about the poor Soldier boy now struggling in the cause of right and Southern Independence.

And Believe me your most
Affectionate Son
C.S Worsham

To Mrs E.G. Worsham
Orange Tex

There are 6 letters total, and if anyone is interested, I will post the others as I type them up to share with my own group.

09-12-2006, 10:13 PM

Good stuff!! Please do!!

Two years ago, a couple of the Texas Brigade camps outside Dumfries were still relatively intact. I'm not sure, but the 4th Texas may still be somewhat untouched by development, although most certainly threatened by it.

A side trip taken ....... (http://www.authentic-campaigner.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5729)


09-13-2006, 01:35 AM
Please post all the letters,

Thank you,

Gwen in l.a.

Lone Guard
09-13-2006, 02:00 AM
Yes please post the other letters, I'm really interested to read them.

Chuck A Luck
09-13-2006, 09:54 AM
...I think though (as all do) before spring, for the Yankees are about to give it up as a bad game. If you see Abe Swearingen, he has a letter from me all about the fight he will let you see it as I told him to do so.

Wow -- there's a name I've not heard much outside of HBO's excellent Deadwood series!

There are 6 letters total, and if anyone is interested, I will post the others as I type them up to share with my own group.
Yes, definately -- encore!

09-13-2006, 10:29 AM

Good stuff!! Please do!!

Two years ago, a couple of the Texas Brigade camps outside Dumfries were still relatively intact. I'm not sure, but the 4th Texas may still be somewhat untouched by development, although most certainly threatened by it.

A side trip taken ....... (http://www.authentic-campaigner.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5729)



Thanks for the link about the side trip.

I will post the next one in the series tonight, and the others as I get a chance to type them up. Usually this waits until my son is in bed so I can focus on the writing.

09-13-2006, 10:05 PM
Here is the next one in the set.

Camp of the 4th Texas Regt near Winchester, VA
Oct 25th/62

Dear Mother,

Since last writing to you, the army has been perfectly quiet and no battles have occurred in Va. The weather here is becoming cold and rainy and we are all suffering from the inclemency of the weather. Shoes is the most important thing among us all, at present not more than one third of the army having good comfortable shoes and a great many without clothes. Our Regiment is suffering though not like a great many who threw their old winter clothes away. We had ours boxed up and sent to Richmond under the care of a man who was detailed for that purpose. Consequently all of our bed clothing and etc. are saved for this winter. They have not arrived yet but will be here in a few days, besides a nice grey suit of uniform which our Q.Master procured for us in Richmond. So don't be uneasy about us on that score.

Ned looks dispirited sometimes, but never likes for me to see him so he tries all the time to appear cheeful. Him and I manage to keep ourselves well clothed in spite of the hard times. We have plenty to eat. The government feeds us well, such as pork and beef, flour and cornmeal, sometimes little extras.

Enclosed in this letter you will find $15 and Ma, try and keep your feet from the ground. I know you can get clothes to wear, but I am uneasy about your feet, and these spells you have every winter. We will send you more next draw day or at the earliest opportunity when we can see someone returning to Texas. If you hear from sister, let me know as they have never answered my letters.

Ma, I have been in five heavy engagements- West Point, Gaines farm, Manassas No 2 in Va., and two in the Maryland Campaign, Boonsborough gap and Sharpsburg. In them God has protected me. Oh Ma, pray that he may protect in the future, should I again be exposed, for I sometimes feel he has spared me for your sake. When I think how many good and gallant boys of our company have fell dead and dying around me while I passed on through the blaze of bombs and crash of musketry unharmed and lived as the pride of my country, the Lone Star State, while her sons by their gallantry and heroism have won for themselves the proud title of the bravest of the brave and the best troops in the world. The little brigade alone captured 18 pieces of artillery at Manassas and several pieces at Sharpsburg. Gen Lee says he couldn't part with us, no way he could fix it.

Ma, the only way you could fix to get letters would be to write your letter, pay the postage on it, place it in another envelope and forward it to E.H. Cushing, Houston, and ask him to send it as he is our agent and by that means we will get.

Give Leroy and Puss my love and kiss the little, learn to speak about Uncle Sammie so that when he comes home it can call him by name. Tell Lee he is a good scribe and might write often for you all. We would be so glad to get them. Tell Lee to name his next boy after me and I'll make a military man of him.

Ma, write often to us. We will write every opportunity. Ed sends his best love to all.

God bless you is the prayer of your sons
E.L. & C.S. Worsham

Company E, 4th Texas Regt
Care of Capt J.C. Billingsley
Hoods Brigade near
Winchester, Va.

09-13-2006, 11:41 PM
Well, I can't wait for the next four...thanks so much for posting these letters.

Lone Guard
09-14-2006, 12:02 AM
Thank you for posting another letter. I really enjoy reading the soldier's letters, nothing beats 1st person accounts.

09-26-2006, 09:44 PM
This is the 3rd letter of the set.

Camp of the 4th Texa Regt.
near Culpepper CH Va Nov 15th '62

My Dear Mother,

Having another opportunity of sending letters to Texas I concluded to pen you a few lines if nothing more to let you know that brother Ned and I were still alive and still enjoying uninterrupted health. No more battles have taken place since Sharpsburg Maryland except a cavalry skirmish between our Gen Stewart’s forces and Col Stone’s of the yankee forces. We are still living in the woods having no chance to go into winter quarters. The yankees saying they intend to make us go through with a winters campaign, in that they can make nothing off of us for we are as well prepared as well prepared as (sic) they are. They now make their boasts that if they can’t whip the d—nd rebels that they will starve us out, but that is a vain hope, we have plenty to eat, such as it is.

Ma, I sent you $15 dollars sometime ago in a letter. Write to me if you received it or not as I am anxious to know. Also whether or not you received the $30 dollars sent to you while we were on the Potomac. We each sent ten dollars then – the last time I sent ten, Ned sent five. It was sent by Hon. Guy M Bryan in a letter which was to deliver at Liberty. We have not heard a word from James. Since he left us he has acted shamefully, as he promised faithfully to write when he bid us adieu at the Capitol of the South – and from that time until this no reliable intelligence has been received concerning him.

Leroy is a good pennsman. Why can’t he write his letters, to be gratefully received and answered with dispatch.

Tell Puss I will bring the baby something if I should be so fortunate as to return to my adopted home. Tell her when she writes to give my love to all of her family and ask them to write, for I don’t care who it is from if I can only get a letter from Texas. I am an officer in the company now, consequently I get more pay and perhaps will be able to send you more money soon. Try and keep yourself well clothed Ma, and have no uneasy thoughts about me as I will take care of myself, feeling confident that I can now do so.

We all mess in numbers varying from four to ten. Ned is captain of our mess and old man of the family, and all get along like brothers. They all unite in sending you their respects.

Ma, send me some keepsake – a little bunch of crull flowers, a braid of hair, a miniature – anything to keep in sweet remembrance of her I love better than all else I in the world. Write to me what became of Smith and his bride and what they are doing and all about them.

Ma, I have nothing more to write that would interest you. You know we are all well and doing well which makes you feel better satisfied. I will write often in fact by every one I see returning to Texas. Our love to all. And believe us, as ever your affectionate sons,

E.L & C.S. Worsham

Company E. 4th Texas Regt Texas Vol.
Care of Major Gen J.B. Hood
Richmond Va.

Lone Guard
09-26-2006, 10:03 PM
Thank you again for posting another letter.

10-26-2006, 10:09 PM
Camp of the 4th Texas Regt
Near Fredericksburg, VA Dec 6th/62

Dear Mother

Your kind and affectionate letter was received yesterday. You can have no idea how glad we were to get it. I was absent from camp when it came, and got back about dark and could hardly eat my supper until it was read. I was glad to hear that James was well and had such good luck with his company. Tell him whatever he does, never bring them to Virginia, for we are suffering here a great deal. We have plenty of clothing and most of the time we have plenty to eat, but the winter is going to be awfully severe and we will suffer for want of shoes and socks. The Yankees are now separated from us by the Rappahannock and are only about five miles distant. We expect a battle every day and will give them (as the old woman said) “a derned good thrashing” should they attempt to cross the river. Our Regiment looks finer now than it ever did, all of them having a fatigue uniform and a dress uniform. Everything is awful high. Sugar sells for $1.25 per pound and crackers 50 cents per pound, which I think is caused by the currency of the Confederate States depreciating so fast.

If I can possibly get a furlough this winter I will do so and come and see you all. I think it can be obtained when everything becomes quiet and settled. The weather is so disagreeable and rainy that it will be almost impossible for them to fight this winter, being unable to bring up the Artillery on account of the mud. Ned’s wound is cured up but has left an ugly scar, the flesh growing to the muscle. He was wounded in the fleshy part of the thigh, the ball passing through in a slanting direction, almost grazing the bone. It pains him yet when he has to walk a great deal upon it.

Ma, you must not be uneasy about us, we will do the best we can. We do not expect you to do anything for us. It is us that should try and do for you, and kind providence permitting, we will. Ma, you must excuse this short and hasty letter, as I am hurrying it so as to send it by a gentleman returning to Texas.

Ned and I have made arrangements with an old gentleman here in Virginia to make our clothing, so you need not be uneasy about us, for we will fare (?), shoes being the main thing. Ma, we will write often, every (crossing?) we will send letters by them. Give our love and write often.

Your affectionate sons,
E.L. & C.S. Worsham

Comp. E 4th Regt Texas Vol.
Genl Hood’s Brigade
Richmond, Va.

Anyone know what he means when he was talking about a dress and fatigue uniform? Did the Texans have a frock and maybe shell jacket in their possesion?

10-27-2006, 01:00 PM
comic sans ms

How wonderful to have these letters. When is the next installment?

Pvt Peck
11-02-2006, 02:14 AM
Top Drawer! Thanks for sharing these with us. I wish my great, great grandfather (John Marion Childress Co A 1st Georgia Infantry) had left letters for posterity, as his widows claim for a pension for him was denied! I'd sure like to know about those "dress" uniforms as well....

Ted Parrott

11-02-2006, 11:56 AM
comic sans ms

How wonderful to have these letters. When is the next installment?

I hope to have it up in the next day or so. It takes to around March 63.

11-02-2006, 09:40 PM
Camp of the 4th Texas Regt near
Richmond, Va. March 31st 1863
finished on April 12th on account of having to march.

My Dear Mother,

Nothing afforded me more delight than did the reception of your letter this morning. I received one also from brother James, dated at Houston Texas stating that he was then on his way to Morgan (Tenn./ Gen?), where he would try and do something for me which I think he has sadly neglected, knowing as he does my situation under Capt. Billingsley, who has reduced every non commissioned officer to ranks that was wounded at the Battle of Sharpsburg simply because we stayed in the Hospital two months under the direction of the Surgeon in charge, who would not have allowed us to return had we desired to do so. I submit with the meekness of a lamb. The rest are appealing to a higher authority and will be reinstated because they were not guilty of disobedience of orders and will be upheld by a tribunal of Justice who are compelled to attend to their case.

Poor Ned, he has long since been sleeping beneath the cold silent sod, and the heart once beating big with patriotism is pulseless in the chamber of death. I never knew how I loved him until now he is gone and I miss him from my side in the carnage and strife of the red battlefield, where his cheering words were always heard “Sam, aim low and stick to your company.” And when he left me lying on the battlefield at Gaines Farm, he was so true to duty that he merely sighed and went on, but to fall in a few moments himself, while bearing two of the Enemie’s flags from the field. Poor fellow, his dream of ambition and fame is over. Sleep noble born boy, sleep in Peace.

I am not with the Regt. at present, being on detached service attending to the sick that had to be left behind.

I have so much to attend to that I can scarcely find time to write. I will write you a good letter in a day or two. Good bye, Ma, God bless you is the prayer.

Of your affect. son
C.S. Worsham

Company E. 4th Regt. Tex. Vol.

11-03-2006, 11:45 AM
"Capt. Billingsley, who has reduced every non commissioned officer to ranks that was wounded at the Battle of Sharpsburg simply because we stayed in the Hospital two months under the direction of the Surgeon in charge, who would not have allowed us to return had we desired to do so."

Three cheers for Capt. Billingsley. What a turd!

Very interesting letter... thanks,

11-27-2006, 09:26 PM
Here is the last letter I have from C.S. Worsham to his mother.

Camp 4th Texas Regt. near Chattanooga, Tenn. Sept. 24th 1863

My Dear Mother,

Having an opportunity of sending a letter by a gentleman going to Texas, I hastily pen this by the light of a campfire. I have passed through a great deal since my last was written. We have had a great battle here a few days ago and defeated Rosencrans the Yankee Genl. with the loss of 5000 killed and wounded and 7000 prisoners, 40 stands of colors and 37 pieces of artillery. Our loss, killed, wounded, and missing is about 8000. We are expecting an engagement here tomorrow but I hardly think it will come off as the Yankees are too much panic stricken to make a stand this side of the Tennessee River.

One of your letters came to the Regt. for me while I was absent and was lost by my messmate on he field of Gettysburg, Pa. Texas has been as a land of dreams for the last five months, for during that time no news has reached me of its shores.

Our little Regt. that came out numbering 900 men now only musters 137 muskets – a sad reduction indeed. If they can entirely (rout?) Rosy and Grant and establish communication once more, they intend furloughing the Texas Brigade. I am right here at my old home, but I was so small when I left here, you know that my recollection entirely fails me. I intend any way to make inquiries about some I recollect. Do you ever hear from Sister and Bro. Will? If so, write me how they are and what they are doing, also about Bro. Lee. I have been unable as yet to learn anything of Bro. James. I cannot tell where he is.

Ma, I am a different boy now to what I was when I left you. I have been Baptized by our Chaplin and am trying to be a Christian Soldier Boy. Oh may all my brothers strive to do the same for their Mother’s sake.

You must not wait for me to write, but send letters by any one coming to our Army for oh, they are always Messengers of Joy to the weary hearted Soldier.

If you ever hear anything of Cousin Lou again, ask her please to write to her poor forgotten Cousin who welcomes her missives as the thirsty traveler welcomes the sight of some refreshing stream.

And now in conclusion, my own dear mother, let me say in conclusion, pray often for your absent soldier boy, that his life may be spared and that his may be spared (sic) and he be allowed to return in safety to your arms. God bless you.

Good bye, Your affectionate son
C.S. Worsham

Address: Company E. 4th Texas Regt.
Hoods Div. Gen Bragg’s Army

12-05-2006, 09:27 PM
Note: Letter submitted with application from Charles’ mother Elinor G Bryan Worsham, to her other son James; it was hard to read. Some punctuation has been added and spelling corrected for readability. No date on letter. She refers to her son Charles Samuel Worsham as Sammy.

Lee has the last letter.

Dear James,

I have sent you all the clothes you have here and one pair of socks. I have no wool socks knit but I will knit you some as soon as I can, and if you have no warm pants I made some (?) for myself, but I can make you a pair of pants. It is dark woolen cloth. Write to me how I could send it. I have spun fifteen yards of cloth, nine of cotton and six of wool. I work harder than I ever did. My health is bad yet I want to try and see if you can get me some (tar?) and (liver wort?) and I will send you the money. Ask the price of balsam (?) of wild cherry and tar (?). They sell it here for two dollars and a half a bottle. Write and I will send the money.

God bless you my child. Lee is sick in the hospital with a cough. Write often.

E.G. Worsham
Sammy is wounded. It is in the paper.

12-15-2006, 10:14 PM
I apologize but someone had sent me a PM asking if they could post the letters on their webpage, but the PM's were lost in the last crash. If that person could PM me again, I had some more information to pass along.