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Letter from Eleanor More Douglas Branch in Lumberton, Robeson county, NC, to her son Private James Ervin Douglas
Lumberton April 27, 1862
I now seat myself to write you a few lines to inform you that I am well and I hope these few lines will reach you the same/ I have heard from you several times that you was well and a good boy and want you to remain so/ I have not seen your brother since the morning you left/ I heard from him and he was very poorly and I want to go see him but I thought I would wait until you would come and go with me/ I heard that you were coming home last week and you did not and I got very uneasy about you and I am in hopes you will come as soon as you can/ I want you to write to me if you saw my husband/ he left here last Wednesday morning on his way back to the camp/ Give my love and best respects to Addison, Utley, James Bethea and I want to know if Addison has been to see his Mother yet and I want to know how you like to stay in camp/ Give my best respects to William Tyner and tell him that I say for him to be a friend to you/ Dorsey McNeill [This is very likely Daniel McNeill, the son of Daniel McNeill and Celia Humphrey. He is seen in records as "Dawsey McNeill."] says he wants to see you very bad, that he thought as much of you as if you were his own son/ I want to see you very bad, the worst I ever did and I am in hopes I will see you soon/ I will bring my letter to a close/ Write soon. Eleanor Branch to Ervin Douglas
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Letter addressed to: Mr. James Ervin Douglas from Eleanor More Douglas Branch
May 27 1862
My Dear Son
I am permitted to write you a few lines to inform you that we are all well but George—he is not well but up. I am sorry to hear you are not well and I want you to get a furlough and come home and stay till you get well if you can get off/ and if you can’t come I want you to write to me. I will try to come to you for I see a great deal of uneasiness about you./ I heard from Mr. Branch yesterday and he was well and in Goldsboro. Anny sends her love and best respects and says if you have not seen no Yankees yet you must come home. Dorsey McNeill [This is very likely Daniel McNeill, the son of Daniel McNeill and Celia Humphrey. He is seen in records as "Dawsey McNeill."] gives you his best respects and says he wants to see you bad. I want you to write to me and tell me how you are getting along and how you are satisfied. You can get Henry Prevatte to write for you./ Old Mr. Tyner is not well and gives you his respects and wants to see you. Write soon. I remain your loving Mother, E. Branch
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Letter written to Eleanor More Douglas Branch from James Ervin Douglas
Smithville, NC July 17,1862
(This letter is very hastily and poorly written on very poor quality paper; the ink bleeds through to the other side and is very difficult to decipher.)
Dear Mother I now seat myself to drop you a few lines to let you know that I have got here safe and am well at this time and hope that the few lines may come safe to your hand and find you in joy, in good health and I am in hopes that I shall hold my health and keep able to live/ I say to you that I have not much to write to at this time but this—I can see the yankees closer(?) here every day that come and also we can hear shooting in the sea nary every day too/ The was on day here that we saw the Block cage (Blockade?) a shootin but we could not see what they was shootin at/ I want you to write to me if you have heard from your old man since he left there and also I want you to write how Brother is a getting along/ I want go to give my best respects to Mr. Branch and also all my friends about there. I want you to write to me how Jesse(?) Maynor(?) is a getting along and tell him to write to me/ I was in hopes I would get clear(?) but I don’t know as I will for I don’t (think) they will come (the writing is illegible at this point; it doesn’t seem to contain important info, but he closes with:) my paper is bad so I (close?)/ Your true son till death. Ervin Douglas
Direct your letters to Smithville, NC
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Letter to Eleanor More Douglas Branch from James Ervin Douglas
Fort Johnson July 20, 1862

Dear mother
I now take the pleasure of writing you a few lines to let you know that I am well at this time, hoping this to find you the same and I have not received any letter from you since I left home and I want you to write to me as quick as you can and let me know how you are a getting along/ We are not a fairing as well as we have been but we have (a) good house to stay in here/ We can live very comfortable as far as that is concerned and this is the pleasantest place you ever saw/ I want you to send me something when William Tyner comes back to the company/ We can see the steamers from here the paper is so bad that I can not write so I will close by requesting you to write soon. Ervin Douglas
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Letter addressed to Mrs. Elender Branch (Eleanor More Douglas Branch) at Lumberton, NC From James Ervin Douglas
Store of Kinston, NC,
Kinston, NC October 5, 1862

My Dear Mother,
I now take the pleasure of writing you a few lines to let you know that I am well at the present time hoping this to find you the same. Tell the Old Man and George that I am well at the present time. We went to hunt the Yankees the other day but we could not find them. We went about twenty miles on a march to where they had a little fight where the Yankees ran our pickets away from the Cane Creek Bridge/ But now we are ordered to Petersburg, Virginia and then I don’t know where to then, but I expect it is to Stonewall Jackson. We are fairing very well now except when we go on a march when we can not carry enough provision(s) to last us till we get back to where our provision is but when the orders came here it is not like it was at Smithville when we was riding up and down the river on the old boat. I got the stamps that you sent me and that pair of socks that you sent to me and was glad to receive them. It is not any use in talking about coming home for there is no chance to come. You must write as soon as this comes to hand and let me know how you and George is a getting along. As I know no more news worth your attention I will close my letter by requesting you to write soon. Yours truly, Ervin Douglas
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Letter addressed to Mrs. Elender Branch (Eleanor More Douglas Branch)
From Private James Ervin Douglas
Camp Campbell, NC October 24, 1862

Mrs. Elender Branch
Dear mother I once more seat myself to drop you a few lines to inform you that I am well at this time and these few lines I hope to reach you and find you well and in the best of health. I have no news to write you only I received a letter from you and I was more than glad to hear from you and you was well/ I got them things that you sent by Mr. Hughley(?) and I was glad to get them/ I want you to write to me and let me hear from George and you and how both are and how George is getting along/ There is some talk of getting money but I don’t no whether we will get it or not/ They say that the quarter master, they go it now, but I don’t know whether it is so or not/ Give my best respects to Miss Ann Branch/ So I close and remain your true son until death. J.E. Douglas
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The following letter has two Confederate States stamps of 5 cents each on it, stamp-postmarked “JULY 27 CHARLESTON S.C.”. It is addressed to Mrs. Elender Branch, Lumberton, Robeson County, NC.
Enclosed in the letter is a metallic (aluminum?) commemorative medal struck most probably at a much later date than that of the letter containing it. The medallion is in the form of a bookmark, heartshaped, and has the wording “Gettysburg 1863” imprinted in its center.
The envelope has printed on its side edge: “Man’td. by W. & J. Bonitz, Goldsboro, N.C.” On the left side of the front of the envelope is printed the image of the flag of the Confederate States of America, unfurled, with only ten stars visible on it. Beneath the flag is printed a poem, its type centered:
“Stand by that flag, men of the South,
Of noble patriot sires,
Your cause is just, you’ll safely pass,
Through Abolition fires,
Dim not a single star that decks,
The Southern flag o’erhead,
And let its light n’err cease to glare
But wider LET it spread!”

The letter is addressed to Mrs. Elender Branch, Lumberton, Robeson county, N.C.
Charleston, S.C.
July the 26th, 1863

Dear Mother,
I seat myself to drop a few lines to let you know that I am well at this time hoping these few lines to find you the same and mother I have been in a big fight on Morris Island on the 18 of this month/ I came out safe and sound but there was 6 of our men got killed—S. Clemons, S. Spivy, W. Boon, A.C. Baxley, S. Lock, and Jepsy Henderson/ I should like to go home very much at this time/ I want to see you all worse than I ever did in my life/ We will have to go back to that island again/ I expect it/ So no more at present. Write soon. Tell Mr. Tyner that I am well and George and W. Tyner is well. So I can’t set down more at present only I remain your loving son until death. J.E. Douglas
Write soon direct to Charleston SC Co. F 51st Regt NC Troops
In case of capt(ure) W.S. Norment, Clingman’s Brigade
Write soon if you please.
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Letter from James Ervin Douglas to his mother Eleanor More Douglas Branch
Camp Hill near Petersburg, Va, February 9, 1864

Dear mother I this day seat myself to drop you a few lines to let you know that I am well at this time hoping that these few lines may reach you safe and find you well/ I received you kind letter which gave me pleasure to hear that you was well/ I was also glad to hear that Mr. Branch was well/ Mother, we have just returned from being down about New Bern and you better believe we made them git further and I am ready for them again if they feel like it/ We did not loose but a few men. We are looking for another fight in Va and if the Yankees comes the 51st will be pretty apt to get around at them/ I will close for this time/ I want you to write soon/ I remain your true and loving son until death. Ervin Douglas to his mother Elander Branch
Give my respects to all the girls/ I will come to see them as soon as I can/ When This you see Remember Me though many a Mile apart we Be. Ervin Douglas
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Letter addressed to Mrs. Elender Branch (Eleanor More Douglas Branch) Lumberton, N.C.
Petersburg, Va March 17, 1864

Mrs. Elender Branch
Dear mother I this day seat myself for the purpose of writing you a few lines to inform you that I am well as...I have no news to write at this time only we are here at Petersburg yet/ but there is some talk of us leaving here but we don’t know where we will go yet. I got them things Mr. Tyner brought and I was glad to get them. Tell George and Mr. Tyner that I am well and hardy. So I come to a close by saying I remain your obedient son James Ervin Douglas to his mother Elender Branch
William Tyner writes a note on the back of this letter to inform his family he is alive and well, and adds at the bottom: “J Odum wishes to be remembered by his friends, if he has any.”
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Peter McArthur Letter
Addressed to Miss Maria Jane McArthur
Philadelphus P.O. Robeson county, NC
From Private Peter McArthur
Co. C 7th Batt. of Reserves
Postmarked: Wilmington, NC but written in Smithville, NC Sept. 1, 1864

Maria (PRONOUNCED Ma-RYE-ah) J. McArthur
Dear Sister
I received your letter day before yesterday and I assure you that I was glad to hear from home. I am not so well today as I have been. I have got a very bad cold. I have a little head ache not-at-all dangerous. I have not had the Diarea yet. No telling how soon I will take it. Well Maria I would have liked to (have) been at home when Kate Powers was there but so it is/ I am doing very well down here if I can just keep my health and I have taken a fair start to keep it. I can eat all I get. I have never refused a meal’s victuals yet. Anyhow, you wanted to know how I faired eating and sleeping, and how I stood my big coat this hot weather. I don’t wear my coat at all. I drew a round-about at Raleigh and I wear that all the time. I drew a coat and pants, drawers, cap, shirt, socks and a pair of shoes and a knapsack at the Camp of instruction in Raleigh and a blanket, haversack, cap box, carterage box and gun in Smithville. And as to the eating part, we get enough, and we have a very good cook—that is the main part of it. Elious Davis is our cook and a brother to Mother’s good boy that came to the mill two or three times before I left home. Me and a fellow by the name of McRae and one by the name of Willis and Glover stay in a tent together but McRae got sick before he got here and got a sixty-day furlough, and Willis was toted to the hospital yesterday very sick so that leaves nobody in the tent but me and Glover. There’s about half of the Battalion sick. Now we have to go on guard every other day, and I tell you it keeps a fellow pretty busy to keep his gun clean and go on guard every other day. Tell George he must try and fatten up the horses by the time I come home so I can ride big. I had like to forgot—Mother wanted to know about my washing. I got a mulatto to wash 2 shirts and 1 pair of pants and 1 pair of drawers for $1 1/2 and I washed 2 pairs socks myself. And about the money—all I have is new issue but I had to lose 2/5. Old 5 dollar bills only count $3 gold. Must come to a close as I am corporal of the guard today and it will soon be time to post my relief. You must write just as soon as you get this and tell me all the news of home.
Your affectionate brother, Peter McArthur