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Augusta County: James J. Martin to Thomas M. Smiley, June 4, 1861

Advises nephew to commit to Christ and advance himself by learning good horsemanship and the various duties of officers. Discusses mobilization at home.

June 4th 61


My Dear Nephew,

I have for some time intended to write to you, but have defered, until now. I think a great deal about you, your Perilous situation particularly in a moral point of view. The Camp is fraught with dangers more potent than even the Sword of the enemy. let your motto be to "watch and pray lest you enter into temptation". Set your face like a flint against sin; not in your own strength but Look to Christ for strength, to do your duty and withstand the temptations that beset you, in the tented field. Commit your all to Christ, And if you are called to contend, in mortal-combat, with our enemies; do your whole duty, and you may safely trust in Him. Be careful not to expose yourself mor than is necessary, particularly in the night air, rest when you can. Learn all that you can that will be useful. if you have an opportunity to learn horsemanship embrace it you will see good horsemanship I donot know whether you will have an opportunity of practicing horsemanship but if you have put yourself to inconvenienc to have th advantage of training under a riding-master. You are deficient in the art of riding and it is important now while you are young you should correct the defect. I want you to get Military books & studdy the Tactics withe a view of being fitted for any Command in the Army try to know every officers duty then you will know when they perform their duty; and when you are imposed upon It may be that some opening may Occur that you may get an office during your term If not you will be better fitted to act well your part as a private Soldier. I have this day headed a paper with my name the object of which is to raise a Company, to be independant of the call of the

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State but pledged to go any whare, Necessity seems to require; to defend our homes & the honor & interst of the state. Josiah & Lowrie are anxious to join a Company of little boys they are trying to raise at New- Port. A flag of the Confederate States now waves over NewPort on a pole 60 or 70 ft high Nearly all men & weamen are for defending The State against Northern invasion. We as a family are all in our usual health the boys are going to School & Sallie has obtained our consent to go tomorrow Lettie is Crawling all about & walking around a chair or when held by the hands. Your Fathers family were all well on Sabbath but I suppose some of them will write with Hite or Craig your Uncle John & Aunts Ann & Ellen were well yesterday. Tell Wm S Wright if you have an Opportunity that his Fathers Family are well except Nannie and she is at Mr Withrow's she has sunk very much since he left but for the last week has been better. I have not spoken but a few words to John Berry since his return & that last Sabbath he is somewhat reduced in flesh but says he has fattened some since he came home. We have had a dry time for some time until last night & to day we have had some fine showers. Corn & Oats has made a poor start wheat is looking pretty well. Write to me as soon as you can give as full an account of matters as you can. Daily prayer is offered for you & your Companions in Arms, & also publicly on Sabbath at NP Church Your Aunt Lizie & the Children all that can speak join me in sending love to you they talk a greateal about you ask a great many questions about you.

yours affectionly

Jas J Martin

Thos M Smiley

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