This letter was written by Tillman Pullen (1837-1880), the son of Roderick Pullen (1792-1873) and Margaret Matheny (1810-Aft1870) of Brinkleyville, Halifax county, North Carolina. Tillman was married in 1867 to Zilpha Annie Ennett (1834-1915). Tillman enlisted in June 1861, mustering into Co. G (“Scotland Neck Mounted Riflemen”), 3rd North Carolina Cavalry.
Tillman wrote the letter to his friend, Joseph McCarrell Weller (1841-1898). Very early in the war, Joseph had enlisted in Co. E, 2nd North Carolina Volunteers which later became the 12th North Carolina. He was discharged for disability on 1 July 1862 after a little more than one year’s service.
Goldsboro, North Carolina
February 7th 1863
Your letter was received some time since and it would have been answered ere this but when I received it, I was on the eve of being transferred [to] Goldsboro & thought when I got here, I would reply immediately. But I was taken very ill again so that I could not sit up long enough to write a letter—therefore, had to defer it till today. I have been here 7 days and this is the first time I have felt like writing a letter.
Before leaving Tarboro, I felt nearly well but when I reached this place, I was tolerable bad off. It seems that this chronic diarrhea is a hard disease to get clear of.
If I remain here much longer, I intend to try for a furlough but I can’t tell how long I will remain here as Dr. [George Walker] Graves transfers some of the sick nearly every day to Wilson [Hospital]. He had my name on the transfer list the other day to go to Wilson but I begged off. He told me I could stay awhile longer. If he will send me off, I am going to try to get him to send me to Wilmington or Raleigh. I will not go to Wilson if I can avoid it.
The troops have all got back from Newbern but did not take the place though they got about 200 prisoners with a loss on our side of about 50 killed & wounded. Our troops got within half a mile of the town & found it so well fortified that they could not enter. Another great failure on our coast.
Why did you not tell me what lady that was you received a letter from the same day you got mine? Inform me in your next. Was it Jennie? I received the letter she sent to Ringwood for me & it was a nice one too. I tell you, Joe, I think her a very nice lady—worthy of any man who can win her.
I wsa very sorry to hear of the disturbance that took place at Alfred Moore’s and more especially to hear Joe Kimball was one of the participants. I would have been delighted to been with you at Jno. Hervey’s for I know I would have enjoyed myself exceedingly well. I suppose you had an agreeable time with P. A. W. I am glad to hear it. I am glad indeed to know she thinks something of somebody. Hope she will treat you well to the end. She looked mighty well at Rosser’s.
Yes, Joe, you have a pretty heavy tax to pay this load of poles surely, but you need not mind that as you are making so much money. You fellows can bear up under it very well.
Write me what they are doing with you discharged and substitute men in that section. Also let me know what has become of Tyree. I have not heard from him in some time.
Please show Billy this letter. I want him to come to see me next Saturday (if I don’t write to him before then) & help me out in getting a furlough. He will find me in the upper story of the hospital (Ward D) on bed No. 92. But if I should leave here before then for any other hospital, I will write him by next Friday’s mail. If he comes, you can answer this letter by him. If you do not write by him, you need not write till you hear whether I go from this hospital or not for fear I may never get the letter.
There are a few men here who are very sick—one in my ward who I don’t think can live much longer.
Please say to Mr. Lewis I beg him pardon for writing such a letter to him as I did some time ago. I did not intend such a rough one. It was done under a fit of excitement which sick in a frightful mood. I must close. Excuse this dull & insipid letter as my mind is very weak now. Present my regards to all inquiring friends & especially the female set &c.
I remain as ever your friend, — T. Pullen