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Augusta County: Thomas M. Smiley to His Aunt, February 11, 1862

Smiley discusses troop movement through the Valley on the way to winter camp. Describes the town of Romney after it was sacked and burned by the Yankees, including torture of a civilian.


[1862 Feb 11]

Camp Gollicoffer Feb 11

Dear Aunt

I seat myself this morning to write you a few lines to let you know that I am well and hope you may be enjoying the same blessing. I have written to you some four letters since I was at home last summer and have not received an answer from you yet but I suppose It is owing to the irregularity of the mails. We have had a [deleted: f] very wet winter

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here so far but I think we will have some good weather now as the past few days have been clear and warm. We are still in our tent but we have our hut built and had expected to move into it yesterday but the wether is so fine we concluded to stay in our tent a while yet; the tent is much warmer than a house would be We have a stove in our tent and it keeps us very comfortable. We have had a very hard time

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since we left Centreville and came into the Valley almost all the time on the march and that throug a mountainous country On the road to Romney and at that place the Yankees destroyed everything that came in their way There was one little town about fourteen miles from Romney that they burnt the houses down and killed all the stock that that they could find they shot one man that was engaged in government works and only wounded

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him; they then took him and laid him before the fire and roasted him slowly until he died; then burn him up in the house. In some places they killed all the horses Cattle and hogs and piled them up in one pile along the roadside. This will I think be visitited on their heads in a tenfold proportion Enlisting is going on rapidly in the regiment there has 8 or 10 of our company enlisted for the war and more of them talking of doing so I have not done so yet and will not until I hear from home. But as my paper is about out I must close by asking you to write soon. Give my love to Aun Ann Uncle James family and receive as large share yourself

T M Smiley

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