Columbia, South Carolina
May the 7, 1861
I take my pen in hand to inform you I am well at this time, hoping this letter will find you all enjoying the same blessing. I have had a bowel complaint since I wrote you last but I have got well nearly again. There are some of the boys sick but not very sick. Mother, I want you and Eliza to send me some eggs and light corn bread. Henry Fuller has written Sealy and Hannah. Henry and me are messing together. I want you all to get a box and put my things and Fullers together and send to Columbia, S.C. in the care of Captain W.J.M. Jones.
Mother, I am going to have my likeness taken and send it to you all and let you see me one more time. Tell Eliza I want her to keep my likeness when I send it home. Eliza, I want to see you a little of the worst. Eliza, I want you to take good care of yourself and my little children. I will tell you and the rest about my dream the other night. I dreamed I was at home, I went in the house and Eliza and the children would not look at me hardly. I thought I got right mad, but if it had been so I don't think it would have been like my dream.
I remain yours truly until death,
Elizer Culbertson, Dear Wife,
It is with pleasure I seat myself this evening to drop you a few lines to let you know how I am getting along. I will say to you that I am about well at this time and hope when this comes to your loving hand it may find you enjoying good health. I do not know that I have anything very interesting to write you at present time. The camp is calm, yet there are some movements we do not precisely understand, but perhaps we will find out by waiting.
Elizer, I will say to you that there are two of our companys have been sent some two or three miles from our camp to take charge of a battery at Pineburg upon Pon Pon River, yet they may not stay there, and they may, we do not know. However we will find out by waiting.
It is said that we have orders to move all our heavy baggage away from camp up to Adams Run or at the Station, I do not know which. It is said by some we will move up to the railroad, so if the Yankees attack Charleston or Savannah we can go to the attack point. However we do not know about these matters, we only have the opinion of some of the knowing men on this matter.
We may be here some time, yet it is generally believed that the Yankees will cut loose somewhere on the coast in a few days. The future will only unfold this truth and we can wait for its development, then we will know.
I must come to a close for this time by saying to you, I remain yours truly, Y.J. Culbertson
Dear Father and Mother and Sister,
I take my pen in hand to let you know that I am well at this time hoping these few lines may come to your loving hand and find you all well and doing well. Dear Father, I received your kind letter that you sent me by Benjamin Coley by which give me great satisfaction to hear that you all was well and doing well. We was on the march from Fredricksburg to Culpepper when I received your letter and it is the first chance that I have had to write to you. I have no news to write you of importance. I can say to you that our calvary and the yankees calvary had a very hard fight on the 8th of this month. They cut our men up very bad but our boys run them back on the other side of the river. I reckon you all know Fate Turner. He killed a yankee. They all say he got the yankee gun and his pistol and his sword. They say it was the first shot that he ever shot at one. We lost several noble men. William Farley got killed in that. They wasn't any of our infantry engaged in the fight. We was in hearing of the fight. We was marveled very hard to get into the fight but it was over before we reached the place. We are in camp near Culpepper now, but I can't tell you how long we will stay here. I don't know how long we will stay here. I think that we will move up the river when we leave here. I fear that we will have some hard fighting to do before long. If we do, I hope and pray the Lord will be with us all in the contest. I do believe that we are on the right side and if we are we will be sure to gain the victory. I am say to you that I see Ben Coley every day. They are camped close to our camp. He is here now. He says to tell you that he is very unwell at this time with the bad cold. Dear Father, you wrote to me if I wanted anything that you would send it to me. You can send me anything that you wish to send me and I will gladly receive it and take it as a great favor. I want you all to write to me as soon as you can and give me all the news that you have in that old country. Duvall sends you all his love and best respects and wants you all to write to him. I want you to send me some onions if you have any big enough to pull up.
Dear Father, I will come to a close for this time by saying to you that I still remain your truly loving son until death.
Y.J. Culbertson to a loving Father
August 10, 1863
It is with pleasure that I seat myself this morning to inform you that I am well at this time and hoping when these few lines comes to your hand that they may find you well and doing well. Dear Sister, I received your kind letter and was glad to hear from you, and to hear that you are ok.
Dear Sister, you wanted to know something about James and how he was put away. He got shot directly as we went into the fight. He was shot in the leg and through the shoulder. After the fight was over we carried him to a house and me and 3 or 4 men stayed with him all night. He died about twelve O'clock in the night and we buried him the next day. He was put away the best we could do it. The grave had planks in the bottom of it and his oil cloth was put under him and his blanket was put around him, and there was planks put over him to keep the dirt off of him. There was a headboard put up and his name cut on it. He was put away as the best we could do it. Somebody got his knapsack, his hat and shoes but he didn't have anything in the knapsack. He appeared to be in a great deal of pain before he died, he died very easy.
Dear Sister, you must do the best you can for I know he has gone to a better world. He talked a right smart about dying. He prayed all of the time nearly. I think he went happy. Dear Sister you must take it all the best you can, I know it is very hard to give him up but it can't be helped. It looks like everybody will have to be killed before this war will end. I thought some time back that the war would end but it don't look like it will ever end. I hope and trust it will end before long so we can all come home and stay with you all.
Dear Sister I want to see you and the children the worst in the world. Dear Sister, I can say to you we see a hard time out here at this time. We don't get 1/2 enough to eat. When it gets so they can't feed us I think it is time to quit fighting, and the weather is so hot we can hardly stand it. It's almost like death to have to march.
Dear Sister you must do the best you can. I want to see Calvin and Wade and the rest of you in the worst sort.
I must come to a close for this time, you must write as soon as you can, So nothing more at this time I remain your brother until death.
H.J.Douvall to Eliza Culbertson