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Augusta: Robert Yates Ramsey to Unknown, August 31, 1864

Ramsey writes to an unidentified friend from a hospital, apologizing for some action which he believes has wounded their relationship. He discusses a few military campaigns and considers joining Mosby's famed Rangers after his recovery.

Wednesday August 31st 1864


My Dear Friend

To have the honor of being a correspondent of yours, would be a privilege, which, I feel assured, would afford me a vast amount of enjoyment. But since our last meeting, (on the 25th last,) I have been led to believe that you then anticipated but little real enjoyment, or satisfaction, from a correspondence with us being so unworthy of being so highly honored For this reason I feel a considerable delicacy in writing, and indeed the thought of not writing at all, forced its self upon me, so powerfully, that for a time, that it had well nigh gained the day. If it be true that you cherish such thoughts [and it may be, that they are only too true] [deleted: But] I think it

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nothing more, or less, than your duty, (and certainly no harm) to inform me of the fact. I censure no [illeg.] for speaking the truth, thought it be at my expense. It is only that we may fairly understand each other that I write to you now. I know that you are uncertain, as to whether I will write or not; but I think I hear you say you give yourself but little concern about it. Very well: that is all right speak it out boldly; and I assure you, we shall soon understand each other. It is far from being my desire to prolong a correspondence, which would be far from satisfying to you. And I hope you will pardon me, if [added: I] say it was to obtain definate information, in regard to this correspondence that caused me to make that very unappropriate demonstration, on the (ever-memorable) morning (to me) of the 25th of August. But let me ask you to pity me, when I confess that I was

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met by a force, so irresistible that I was Gallently repulsed, and obliged to retreat somewhat in disorder, and doubtless, leaving behind the wounded; and without gaining the desired information period. But I sincerely hope that there were no wounded, at least, none that were more severely wounded than I was: [unclear: just] remember if I was wounded, it matters not: I censure no one but my-self for it. But please pardon me talking this nonsense. I know [deleted: the]if you are looking for a letter from me, you are not expecting it to be made up, of this sort of material. - Probably I am [added: doing] wrong by expressing my thoughts in this way - I am naturaly of a rebellious nature; and these may only be rebelious thoughts that have been forced upon me; and have no foundation: I hope that this is all. I cannot blame [deleted: a] persons for ceaseing to bestoow his affections upon any one whom [deleted: they] [added: [deleted: he] ] [added: they] cannot like.

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I [illeg.] no hard feelings towards you. [unclear: But] on the [illeg.] [illeg.] they are [unclear: warm], and [unclear: gregarious].

But, allow me, (in conclusion, on this subject,) to say that though this correspondence may cease to exist; yet our relations towards each other, as true friends shall never cease. It is not my intention to wound your feelings by and of these abesurd expressions; - to touch the tender cords of your generous heart, would be an experiment, which I have no particular fancy and which I dare not attempt. I am declared here as a patient only, in the hospital, and do not dislike it as much as I had expected though it is rather lonesome to me, as I am not acquainted about here. I spend my time in walking and sitting about the streets, when I have no reading, writing, or other duties to claim my attention. I [unclear: intent] to appear again before the board as soon as it meets in our ward, if I can get a recommendation from the ward surgeon.

I guess we have no news except what you will have heard before this reaches you. Rumor says that Early has had a fight, and whiped the yankeys badly, and captured - - - prisoner[unclear: s] four or five hundred, and they say he is now at Bushers hill twelve miles below Winchester Lee, (I am glad to hear) has captured two thousand prisoners, and nine pieces of artillery, but the yanks still hold the Weldon railroad.

I had the wholesome pleasure of listening to two sermons last sunday; - and of drinking in the ward, or of "feeding upon the sincere [unclear: milds] of the word", as preached from the pulpit, of the Episcopal Church. - Excellent sermons; but not to be compared with that delivered by Mr. Preston, at Rocky Spring If possible, I

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would be glad to hear from you soon. A letter from a friend is always welcome by me, and never rejected - - direct to the care of Woods & Gilkeson

yours truly

Yates Ramsey

Sept. 1st
P.S. As I did not get this sent off yesterday, I will add a line, to say that I did not succeed in getting another leave of absence, but have improved so fast, that they consider me fit for duty, and I will start for the command tomorrow morning. There are some wounded coming in from down the Valley; and among those who came in this morning, was Col. Wm. L. Jackson. He has a right bad wound - look pretty [deleted: ] It is reported that what few men are left of the 25th Rg have got permission to go to other commands, untill the prisoners shall be exchanged. But I think it herdly

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probable that he would give them that privilege. In case it be true, I guess I will have to flank a horse and try and share some of the glorious reputation, attached to the 47th battalion

Should you think to confer upon me the honor, of receiving a letter from your hand please direct to Co. "D." 25 Va Inft.: Jones brigade Gordons Division; and to the care of Captn G. C. Merrill.

And now, as I am again banished from the gayeties, and pleasures of home scenery, and the associations attached thereto; and called upon to behold more lively scenes, in the field of activity, and strife, there to receive my dues in the way of suffering; you will allow me to close this very unwholesome epistle, by sayin to you,
Yours R. R. Yates

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