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Letter to Eleanor Stuart Brooks

Andrew Brooks discusses the possibility of his receiving a detail from the service and describes the preaching he heard in camp.

ALS .pp March 17, 1863 Andrew Brooks to Eleanor Stuart Brooks, March 17, 1863 Notes

March 17th 1863

Camp Winder[1]

Dear Ma

Your letter by Jimmy
Burns[2] was received this evening.
Charles' letter came yesterday, after
looking for a letter for a week. I had
begun to think you had forgotten me, it
was so long coming. He mentioned
that Johny had gone [deleted: to] somewhere (but
didn't say where) except that I would no
doubt see him before I got his letter.
He didn't tell me what he had gone for,
or anything about it, nor did you except
that he sent to Genl Lee a recom[added: m]endation
for my detail. What[illeg.] sort of a thing is
it and who recommended me. I suppose
he was in Richmond and took the contract to
the war office. I havn't gotten the letter you
say he wrote me and have never gotten
but one letter from him since I left. I have
been very anxious to hear from him, and
know what is doing at the Furnace. It will
now soon be time it was put in blast.

[page 2]

When I commenced writing I had just
returned from preaching, which we have
every night. Dr. Hoge[3] and Mr. Lacy [4] are gone.
There is a chaplain with each regiment of
the brigade, two Presbyterians and three
Methodists. Lieut Culton[5] has resigned -
unable to stand infantry service. I dont
know who will get his place, if his resignation
is accepted. We heard considerable firing
across the river yesterday, but havent heard the
cause. Wednesday morning, I will get
the box today -am very much
obliged to you all for it -I am not
much afraid of it being much like
what [deleted: y] I get here, there is but one place
I ever saw that I got such rations.
I am sorry Miss Sue Harden is about to
leave the neighborhood -young people
are sadly scarce there. Emmett is on another
trip to Uncle John's, wonder if he will get ther
this time. I heard Mary Susan [6] was to atttend
a small party at Dr. Dold's -a kind of farewell
to Jim[7] I suppose. I am very well. Love to all
the friends.

As ever your son



[1] The Stonewall Brigade constructed Camp Winder for their winter quarters in December of 1862. Located in the forests of Moss Neck, Camp Winder was easily accessible to the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad and offered good drainage, wood and water supplies (Robertson, The Stonewall Brigade, 175).

[2] James Burns (1841-1864)of Augusta County enlisted in the 52nd VA Infantry, Company B, in July of 1861 as Third Sergeant. He was elected Second Lieutenant in May of 1862 and promoted to First Lieutenant in June of that same year. Burns was wounded in action at Sharpsburg on September 17, 1862. He is listed as absent on leave in February of 1863, during which time he could have received a letter from Eleanor Brooks to deliver to Andrew. During the Spring of 1863, he was involved in arresting deserters. Burns commanded Company B in the Fall of 1863 and again in August of 1864. On September 19, 1864, he was fatally wounded in the stomach at the battle of Winchester (Driver, 97).

[3] Dr. Hoge refers to Moses D. Hoge, of the Second Presbyterian Church in Richmond. James White mentions Dr. Hoge in a letter to his father-in-law Colonel Reid, on February 17, 1862 (Turner, 93). Dr. Hoge was also featured in an article in the Republican Vindicator, October 20, 1863, telling of his safe return from England through the blockading ships. See the "Valley of the Shadow" newspaper index (http://cti.itc.Virginia.EDU/~ela/newsnews.html).

[4] The Staunton Spectator ran an article on the Reverend Mr. Lacy on November 17, 1863. Reverend Lacy had spoken about the religious revival among the Confederate soldiers, attributing it to General Stonewall Jackson's influence. See the "Valley of the Shadow" newspaper index (http://cti.itc.Virginia.EDU/~ela/newsnews.html). Bean mentions that a religious revival swept through the Army of Northern Virginia during the Spring of 1863 (135).

[5] James B. Culton was elected Third Lieutenant upon his enlistement in the 4th VA, Co. I in April of 1862. He was promoted to Second Lieutenant on August 30, 1862; however, as Andrew indicates, he resigned on March 16, 1863 (Robertson, Fourth Virginia Infantry, 47).

[6] Mary Susan Brooks (1841-1915) was the Brooks brother's sister. See Andrew's letter, January 23, 1861 and William's letter, July 8, 1861.

[7] Captain James A. Dold (1838-1864) enlisted in the 52 VA, Co. H in 1861 as a Second Sergeant. Advancing rapidly through the ranks, Dold was eventually elected captain on December 19, 1863. He was killed in action at Bethesda on May 30, 1864. In the present letter, Andrew may refer to Dold's leave of February, 1863 (Driver, 108). James's father was Addison Dold, who is listed in the 1860 census as a farmer. He may or not be the "Dr. Dold" whom Andrew mentions.

Works Cited

Bean, W. G. The Liberty Hall Volunteers: Stonewall's College Boys. Charlottesville: The University of Virginia Press, 1964.

"The Civil War Artillery Page" Chuck Ten Brink. Visited April, 1998

Crenshaw, Ollinger. General Lee's College: The Rise and Growth of Washington and Lee University. NY: Random House, 1969.

Denney, Robert E. The Civil War Years: A Day-by-Day Chronicle of the Life of a Nation. NY: Sterling Publishing Co, Inc., 1992.

Driver, Robert. J. 52nd Virginia Infantry. Lynchburg, Va: H. E. Howard, 1986.

Lankford, Nelson D. "Alexander Robinson Boteler." Encylopedia of the Confederacy. Ed. Richard N. Current. NY: Simon & Schuster, 1993. I: 197-8.

McMurry, Richard. M. "Joseph E. Johnston." Encylopedia of the Confederacy. Ed. Richard N. Current. NY: Simon & Schuster, 1993. II: 859-61.

McPherson, James M. The Atlas of the Civil War. New York: Macmillan, 1994.

Robertson, James. 4th Virginia Infantry. Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1982.

—. The Stonewall Brigade. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1963.

Sublett, Charles W. 57th Virginia Infantry. Lynchburg, Va.: H. E. Howard, 1985.

Turner, Charles W. Old Zeus: Life and Letters (1860-'62) of James J. White (Professor of Greek at Washington College 1852-1893, Captain of the Liberty Hall Volunteers 1861-'62). Verona, VA: McClure Printing Company, Inc., 1983.

Wallace, Lee A. 5th Virginia Infantry. Lynchburg, Va.: H. E. Howard, 1988.

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