1865: George R. Adderton to Adline Norwood (Kearns) Adderton

I could not find an image of George but here’s an unidentified Rebel believed to have been a cavalryman (Larry Lingle Collection)

This letter was written by Pvt. George R. Adderton (1830-1893) of Hills Store, Randolph county, North Carolina. He enlisted on 23 March 1863 and mustered into Co. K, 5th North Carolina Cavalry. George experienced periods of time when he was not able to do duty due to sickness and others when he was without a horse. As far as we can learn, George was otherwise with his regiment during their very active campaigns in 18663-65.

Though he could not know it at the time, war’s end was just around the corner even though he yet held out hope for a Southern Independence. For George, any prospect for peace was “knocked in the head” when the Yanks made it clear that slavery would be abolished. Presumably George was with his regiment in their last few battles at Five Forks, Scott’s Crossroads and Battle of Namozine Church. Only 5 of the enlisted men actually surrendered at Appomattox; most of the cavalry cut their way out and escaped surrender.

[Note: This letter is from the personal collection of Richard Weiner and is published by express consent on Spared & Shared.]


Camp near Stoney Creek, Virginia
March 2nd 1865

Dear wife, It is through the kind Providence of God that I am permitted this evening to drop you a few lines to let you all know that I am well at present. I hope when these few lines come to hand, they may find you all well at home.

I hant got any news to write. P. T. Kearns is well and hearty. I hant had a letter from home this week. I want to hear from you all. I hear that all you in North Carolina are all scared to death about the Yankees. I don’t think there is much danger. I recon the home guard is scared to death but I think they will hear the elephant bellow before before this war comes to a close.

I hear there is a good many desertions in Randolph county but I think they will be caught and punished. The times look gloomy but I think we will gain our independence yet. You wrote something about the slaves. They have knocked that in the head. They aren’t going to take out.

I have drawn a very good overcoat. In closing, write soon.

— G. R. Adderton

2 thoughts on “1865: George R. Adderton to Adline Norwood (Kearns) Adderton”

  1. Very many thanks and congratulations for transcribing the March 1865 letter from George R. Adderton of the 63rd NC (5th NC Cavalry). Four or five years ago, I found a partial transcription of this on the Olive Tree Genealogy website, but I was unable to locate the original. I have a letter from Adderton in my own collection and have scans of two others, so am pretty familiar with his writing. I would therefore make a couple of small corrections to your otherwise excellent version; near the end, Adderton is saying “you rot [wrote] something about tak the slaves”, rather than “you know something” and then, at the end, “in close”[i.e. in closing]”, rather than “in clothes”. The mention of the slaves is presumably a reference to the Confederacy’s belated plan to arm them in exchange for freedom. Best wishes, Charles Priestley


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