These letters were written by Constantine Alexander Hege (1843-1914), the son of Solomon Hege (1813-1875) and Catharine Guenther (1813-1874) of Davidson County, North Carolina. Constantine was raised as a Moravian and was naturally opposed to the war, but he was never the less obliged to enlist in the summer of 1862 in Co. H, 48th North Carolina Infantry. He served for 14 months during which time he was captured at the Battle of Bristoe Station on 14 October 1863 and was confined in the Old Capitol Prison in Washington. While there he was visited by some North Carolina Moravians working in the capitol, and under their guidance, Hege decided to take the oath of allegiance to the United States. After his release, he went to Bethlehem, Pa., where he found employment in the iron works.
“In August 1865 Hege returned to North Carolina, but a few months later entered the Bryant & Stratton Commercial College in Philadelphia where, upon completing the course, he was employed by a mercantile firm. In the spring of 1867 he opened a small country store at Friedburg, N.C. A few years later he moved to Salem to start a small foundry. After acquiring a steam engine his business expanded, and in 1877 he obtained a patent for an improved set of works for circular sawmills. He then began manufacturing sawmills and wood-working machinery which he also invented. The sawmills produced at Hege’s Salem Iron Works were sold throughout the United States and in several foreign countries. The first sawmill in Alaska was one he gave to the Moravian mission there.
Hege was married in 1870 to Frances Mary Spaugh from an area near Salem, and they were the parents of Walter Julius, Ella Florence, and Rose Estelle. Following the death of his first wife, Hege married Martha Caroline Spaugh in 1895.” [William S. Powell, 1988]
Camp Holmes, Raleigh N. C.
August 8th, 1862
Dear Father, Mother, Sister and Brother
I now have the opportunity to drop a few lines to you stating that I am well at present—only I feel very weak. I hope that you are all in good health at home. We arrived at Raleigh this morning at half past 1 o’clock where we stayed until daylight. Then we marched to this place where we are now encamped. My tent mates are Hiram Everhart, Henry Chriesfezer, Christian Fishel, Hiram Painter, Thomas Cecil, Wesley Cecil and Costin Miller. It is supposed that we will go to Petersburg next Monday.
I enjoyed my ride tolerably well. I saw a great many things that interested me very much. I counted 14 engines at the company shops. I also saw the state house and many other fine buildings. We are now in Camp Holmes about 4 miles from Raleigh. We have good tents and a beautiful grove to camp in. There are also several wells of good water in the camp. We are guarded all round by stout looking guards with muskets well loaded.
I will now tell you what I think of camp life. I think it is a very hard life. We drawed 440 lbs. of flour for 4 days. We also drawed 3 skillets & 1 pot for about 20 men to prepare their victuals in. I do not like such fare nor I am not content at present. I feel very much downcast but I think that several of my tent mates are very nice men and I hope that I can after a while do better if I must stay in camp. So no more at present. Do not write until I write again or wait until you hear where we next move to.
Please remember me, and tell Elick and Evander that they shall be contented at home and not to wish to be a soldier. I still remain, dear father, your affectionate son until death.
Yours truly, — C. A. Hege, Camp Holmes, Raleigh, N. C.
August 13th 1862
I now have the opportunity of writing to you this afternoon stating that I am well at present, hoping that you enjoy the same good blessing. We arrived here at Petersburg today about noon and moved to the camp. There is a battle expected here very soon. They are a throwing up breastworks here very rapidly. It is supposed that the fight will extend from Richmond to Petersburg.
It fell to my lot to go in Capt. [John H.] Michael’s company. I there saw very many of my acquaintances which I had not seen for several months which revived me somewhat but I am not satisfied here. I do not like to hear of going to face the cannons and the muskets. I would be very glad if you could hire a substitute in my place because I cannot stand such a life with any enjoyment at all. I went over to see the flying artillery. There were 12 cannons there, and for a person to see them, it would make the cold chills run over anyone, I think. Therefore, I want you to try to hire a substitute and if you do hire one, get a competent man to bring him to Captain [John H.] Michael’s company, 48th regiment, N. C. troops.
We drawed each of us a knapsack, coat, cap, 1 pair of pants, 1 pair of drawers and shirt. I sent my carpet sack and my pants, shirt and drawers and several other things. Wesley Cecil, and Christian Fishel and I have sent our sacks to A. C. Hege’s store in Lexington and we want you to go and bring them home and pay A. C. Hege the freight if there is any to be paid and sent them home and Wesley Cecil’s wife will pay you for his and also send Christian’s home also.
We left Raleigh last Monday evening about 5 o’clock P. M. and came on as far as Weldon on Tuesday morning A. M. and staid there until Wednesday morning about 3 o’clock and arrived at Petersburg about 10 o’clock A.M. and remained there a few moments and then marched out to our camp about 3 miles east of Petersburg. We have very bad water here. It is said that the yankees are about 12 miles from here now. I saw about 300 Yankees from Salisbury on their way home at Weldon. I talked with several of them. They seemed to be as fine a set of men as are anywhere. I here send a few shells to Mary & Julius which I picked up on the field where we are encamped. There are a great many shells about here of different sizes and forms. I ate my first camp supper this evening.
Aug. 14th. We arose up this morning and went out to drill for our first time. We have to drill 4 times a day—twice in the forenoon and twice in the afternoon. I want you to write to me as soon as you can whether you will hire a substitute or not, but if you hire one, try and get one over 50 or under 18. He must be a stout-looking man; I want to know very soon all about it. Samuel and Emry Davis got substitutes from Richmond.
So I must close my letter. Tell all my friends to write to me. Please write soon. Please excuse my bad hand writing and bad composition because I have to write by chance. I remain your dear son until death.
— C. A. Hege
Direct your letters to C. A. Hege, Petersburg, Va., in care of Capt. [John H.] Michael, 48th Regiment, N C. Troops
Sunday morning, August 17th 1862
I now have the opportunity of writing a few lines to you stating that I am well at present and hope that you enjoy the same good blessing. We left Raleigh last Monday evening about 5 o’clock and got as far as Weldon about two o’clock on Tuesday morning and staid there until Wednesday morning about 3 o’clock when we started again and arrived at Petersburg about 10 o’clock the same morning. We then marched to our camp which is 3 miles east of Petersburg. We were then divided off in different companies. I fell in Capt. Michael’s company [H]. I there saw many of my acquaintances. But I do not like the camp life. I would a great deal rather be at home a working than to be here. We fare tolerably well but our water is bad. We have to drill 4 times a day and some of the company stand guard of a night.
There is a massive breastwork a being thrown up about 3 hundred yards from our camp. It is said to extend 50 miles in length. Nearly all of Wake’s Brigade were called out last night to go out on Picket guard about 6 miles east of this camp.
I have been thinking about old Friedberg a great many times this morning, I have been wishing that I was there again as I usually was on Sunday morning. I will now tell you how Sunday is spent in camp. In the morning we are waked by the sound of the drum, then the roll is called, and about eight o’clock we get our breakfast. I now hear some singing, some reading, some playing marbles, some walking to and for as if in a deep study, while there are some cursing and swearing, some working, and they have the closest inspection of arms on Sunday morning. I have better hopes of the people in camp then I expected. I find a great many devoted Christians in camp whose voices can be heard at night in prayer and songs of praise. There is prayer meetings held in the camp at night and also preaching on Sunday.
We now have a very bad chance for reading or anything of that like, but I have been a studying the bible some and a reading tracts and trying to pray, but I have not attended half to my duties as I should have done, but I am agoing to try by the grace of God to live more of a Christian life.
We have not tents enough yet for all of our men but we expect some more soon and when we get divided off in tents, we can have a better chance for devotional exercises but the way we now are, the tents are crowded full and then some have to stay out.
If you get to see my father, tell him that I am well at present. I was at preaching today in the camp. Rev. Mr. Johnson, the Presbyterian preacher of Lexington preached. His text is found in second Timothy, Chap 2.2, “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” He preached a very good sermon. He urged Christians to take heed and not to become backsliders but to be the more watchful and prayerful lest they be overcome by the wicked one. He also admonished sinners to repent and believe the gospel of Jesus Christ because they know not what moment death will overtake them.
So I must close. Please remember me in your prayers. I remain your friend and brother in Christ and if I never should meet you on earth, I hope and pray that I may meet you in heaven above where all is peace and where there is no more sorrow nor sinning.
Yours truly, — Constantine A. Hege
Direct your letters to Petersburg, Va., Company H, care of Capt. Michaels, 48th Regiment N. C. Troops.
Please excuse my bad handwriting and bad composition.
August 19th 1862
I am not very well at present but I hope you are all well. I want you to try to hire a substitute for me if you possibly can. I would rather be at home and work like a negro than to be here in camp. We now have to leave here in a few minutes and we do not know where we will go to. Now you can guess how one feels in such a case. Try and get on until the last of this week if you can. You have no idea how one feels. Get Joseph Delap or somebody that understands how to manage and bring him on to Petersburg and there you can find out where we are.
Your affectionate son, — C. A. Hege
August 26th 1862
I now take the opportunity of writing a few lines to you stating that I am well at present and hope that you enjoy the same good blessing. I wrote three letters home to you and have not received any answer yet. Therefore, I would like to know what is the reason that you do not write to me because I want to hear from home very bad. I would like to know whether you have any notion of hiring a substitute for me or not. I would be very glad if you would hire one, but do just as you think best. I will do just as you say. If you think it best for me to stay, I will be contented with my lot for I believe that Providence will carry me through safe. I am a little better satisfied than I was at first, but I have not learned to love the camp life.
One thing I like and that is that we have preaching in camp every Sunday and prayer meeting once or twice a week. I believe that there are a great many good Christians in camp.
We left the camp near Petersburg last Wednesday morning and marched about twenty-five miles to a camp about 3 miles east of Richmond. We left there on last Saturday morning and marched about a mile farther to another camp. But we now have marching orders again and we do not know where we will go to next. When we march we have to tote a large musket, bayonet, bayonet scabbard, cap box, cartridge box with about 30 or 40 cartridges, blanket and haversack full of provisions for to last 3 days. All the above named articles we have to tote when we are on a march. We had nothing but crackers and fat meat to eat from last Wednesday until Sunday morning. We then drew about a half a gill of molasses apiece.
So I must bring my letter to a close for we have to march soon. Please write as soon as you possibly can for you know that I would like to hear from you all very much tell my friends and relations to write. If we never meet here on earth anymore, I hope and pray that we may meet in heaven.
Your affectionate son, C. A. Hege
Direct your letters to Richmond Va., in care of Capt. Michael, 48th Regiment N. C. Troops. If we leave here, our letters will follow us. Therefore, direct them to the above-named address.
August 30th 1862
I now have the opportunity of writing to you stating that I am well at present and hope that you enjoy the same good blessing. I received your letter of the 21st instant on last Tuesday evening. I was very glad to hear from you once [more] and you said that C. Spaugh and J. Miller were a coming to see us and I would be very glad if you would come along.
We left Richmond last Tuesday about noon and started for the cars for Gordonsville. We arrived there about midnight and stopped awhile and then came on about 20 miles further where we [have] taken up camp on a high hill near the Rapidan river and we are here yet. Yesterday afternoon the 15th Regiment came here and camped about 200 yards from where we are camped. I went to their camp and there I saw nearly all of my old acquaintances. I saw Daniel Wilson and talked with him and I was very glad to see them all. He is well. Ephraim Weasner is well. Solomon Tesh is very much worsted, but he keeps with the crowd. Henry Weaver is sick. George Tesh is sick and a good many more of my acquaintances.
Tell Uncle Christian that I saw Theophilus and that he is well but I did not get to see Emanuel nor Augustus. Theophilus said that they got sick on the march and could not keep up and they have not caught up yet this morning and he knows not how they are, nor where they are. They left their sick men here for to be taken to the hospital at Richmond while the balance of the 15th Regiment went on another march and it is supposed that they are going to Stonewall Jackson.
I can tell you that it went hard with us to see our friends leave us so soon again because we were just enjoying the company of our friends. They have been marching for 3 days and had only 3 biscuits and a little meat to eat and they had a heavy luggage to tote, and when they came here last night, they were very nigh all run down. And this morning they started again on another 3-day’s march. And how they will stand it, I do not know. They said that some fell down dead on the march and a great many are a getting so that they cannot go much further because they are run down. They said that they wanted me to write and to let their friends know where they are and how they are so then you can tell their friends that I saw them very near all and that they nearly all started on the march this morning except the sick [ones]. But I do not know how long they will hold up.
So I must close my few improper lines, giving you my best wishes and hoping to return home again. Please write as soon as you receive this letter, write a long and interesting letter, and tell Mary to write me a long letter also and write all the news about home. I remain, dear father, your obedient and affectionate son, — C. A. Hege
Direct your letters to Richmond Va., in care of Capt. Michael, 48th Regiment N. C. Troops, Co. H.
Near Martinsburg, Virginia
Sunday, September 21, 1862
I now have the opportunity of sending you a few lines stating that I am well at present with the exception of a very bad cold and several boils, but I hope that you all enjoy the blessing of good health. I wrote a letter to you yesterday but I did not know whether you received it or not and therefore I thought I would write today again because I can send it with Mr. Jackson Stafford and I also thought that you would like to hear from me.
I received a letter from you day before yesterday dated August 30th which I was very glad to receive and to hear from you. I wrote some about the battle [Battle of Sharpsburg] which I was in last Wednesday but I will tell you something in this letter also, and also something about our march.
We have been marching for about 20 days and sometimes we have [had] to march all night. We crossed the Potomac River four times and over into Maryland. The first time that we went over, we staid 2 or 3 days and came back safe. And then we went to Harpers Ferry and there we had a very hard bombing last Monday, but we whipped the Yankees without any musket firing except from the pickets. We captured a great many wagons and cannons and taken about 800 prisoners. We then marched over into Maryland again on last Tuesday evening and on Wednesday morning [17 September] about nine or ten o’clock, we were marched in the battlefield and we made a charge on one of the enemy’s batteries. But when we got [with]in about 75 or 100 yards of them, we were bound to retreat because they were too strong for us, and a great many of our men were killed and wounded. There were about twenty wounded in our company. Jackson Koontz was killed. Augustus Bryant was mortally wounded and died. 1
I will not write about the horrors of the battlefield at present, but I hope that Providence will spare my life to return home again and then I can tell you something about the war because I cannot write the hundreth part of the horrors of the battlefield.
You said that I should tell you if I heard from Daniel Wilson’s crowd. I saw some of the 15th [North Carolina] Regt. last Thursday and they said that nearly all of the 15 Regt. was killed, wounded, and taken prisoners last Sunday [at Crampton’s Gap] and Daniel was in the crowd, but I do not know whether he got hurt or not—but I hope not. And you said that I should tell you who my tent mates are. We do not stay in tents. We have to lie out in the open air, rain or shine, and therefore we have no tent mates but I am with Mr. Pleasant Murphy very near all the time. I march and sleep with him. He is a very fine man and also a Christian. He lives near Thomasville. You said that I should tell you whether Cecil’s boys ran away or not. They run away when we were at Petersburg and Nifong’s boys and William Hill and Henry Mock and Alex Mock left when we were on the march near Leesburg.
I would be very glad if you could come to see us when we get back to Richmond. I will write to you as soon as we get there and then I would be glad if you could come to see us. We now are about a mile from Martinsburg, Virginia, but we will have to leave in the morning and I do not know where we will go to. I am tolerably well satisfied at present. We get nothing to east excepting fresh beef and slapjack cakes unless we buy it sand my money is a getting scarce.
So no more at present. Please write as soon as you get this and tell Mary to write also and I want you to write once every week whether I write or not because I have a bad chance to write.
Your affectionate son, — Constantine Alexander Hege
Just direct your letters to Richmond, Va., in care of Captain Michael, 48th Regt. N. C. Troops
1 The 48th North Carolina Regiment was commanded by Colonel Robert C. Hill. It brought around 400 men to the field and lost 50% casualties in fighting near the Dunker Church. According to the field marker for Manin’s Brigade: Manning’s Brigade reached Sharpsburg on the afternoon of September 16 and was held in reserve until daybreak of the 17th, when it took position opposite Snavely’s Ford on the Antietam, one and a half miles from town. Between 8 and 9 A.M., it moved to the left and supported McLaws in his attack on the enemy in the West Woods. Arriving on the rise of ground 300 yards west of this point, the 3d Arkansas and 27th North Carolina formed to hold the open space between the West Woods and the left of D.H. Hill’s Division east of this road. The remainder of the Brigade advanced on the right of Ransom’s Brigade to and beyond the road at the Dunkard Church, where it was repulsed. The 3d Arkansas and 27th North Carolina co-operated in expelling Greene’s Division from the woods about the church, after which they crossed the road and advanced through the fields to the east, but were repulsed and resumed their original position and were not again engaged.“
October 7, 1862
I now have the opportunity of writing a few lines to you stating that I am well at present and hope that you all enjoy the same good blessing. I received your kind letter dated September the 11th last Saturday evening. It gave me very much joy to hear from you and I also received 3 dollars in money which I was very glad to get because I began to need money because I have to pay very high for everything that I buy. I have to pay 10 cents a sheet for paper, therefore when you write, I want you to fold up a blank piece of paper large enough for me to answer your letter with.
I have now wrote 4 letters since the Battle [of Sharpsburg] and therefore I thought it not worth while to say anything in this about the battle. We are still resting about 4 or 5 miles north of Winchester, Virginia, but I call it very poor resting because we get such bad fare and the weather is a turning cold and we are so scarce in blankets that we can hardly make out. There have been a couple of right smart frosts here. I hope that we will soon move from here to Richmond. We are between 4 and 5 hundred miles from home and also very near directly north and so you may suppose that the weather is a getting colder.
When we get back to Richmond, or wherever we get stationed, I will then write to you what I want and I want you then to come to see us and bring them along with you. But I do not want you to come before I write that we are stationed and where we are stationed. Tell mother that I want her to make me another haversack and also another book sack out of strong cloth and make them a little larger then my others were because these are nearly wore out. I toted them on all this long march and you know that they cannot last much longer. Send them with Pap when he comes.
There are very dull times now in camp but the soldiers are in hopes that it is for the better. It is a general enquiry through the camp, “What’s the news? whether good or bad, or whether it be for war or for peace. And it is thought that there will soon be peace and that we will soon get home. There has been but very little fighting a going on since the battle over in Maryland and I hope that the war will soon entirely close and that peace and prosperity may soon reign supreme.
I have been spending a part of my time when at leisure in reading the Bible and in writing letters for myself and for others. I have read the New Testament about nearly through and learned the 91st Psalm by heart since I have been out. I have not much news to write at this time except that I will tell you how things sell. Apples from 25 to 50 cents per doz, peaches 25 per doz, honey $1.00 and $1.50 per lb, butter $1.00 per lb, bacon 75cents per lb, light bread $1.00 per loaf, and everything else in proportion.
I want you to write whether you know where any of uncle Christian’s boys are, and also whether you hear anything from Daniel Wilson or not. There are none of them with the Regiment any more. And also write whether Solomon Tesh got home or not and any other of the neighbors.
You said you wanted to know what I done with my medicine. I take several packs in my pockets and the rest I was obliged to leave in my knapsack which was left at Richmond. We rest very bad at night and as to avoid exposure is a matter out of the question because we have to be out in the open air day and night, rain or shine, wet or day. But I do the best I can. I sometimes make me a shelter of brush and a bed of straw when I can get it and lie down to rest, trusting in Providence as to the issue. I have enjoyed tolerably good health so far and I hope and pray that Providence will spare my life and health through all this war and bring me safe home again.
A few words to Mary and Julius. I want you to save all the good peach and apples seeds that you can and get Pap to plant them for me in some rich spot of ground and I want you to dig my ground peas and grass nuts and send me a few of them when Pap comes to see me. I want you to be obedient and smart children and to write to me as soon as you can and write a real long and interesting letter. Tell Elick and Sam to be smart because they know not how good they have got it. So no more at present. Please write as soon as you get this.
From your affectionate and obedient son, C. A. Hege
Direct your letters to Richmond Va. in care of Capt Michel 48th Regiment N.C. Troops
October 17, 1862
I now have the opportunity of writing you a few lines stating that I am well at present except a very bad cold, but I hope that you all enjoy the blessing of good health. I received your letter last Thursday dated September 28th. I was very glad to hear from home. You cant imagine how glad it makes me [feel] to get a letter from home and therefore I want you to write once a week at least and as much oftener as you can. I have a very bad chance here to write to you because a letter cost so much here. Paper sells at 10 cents a sheet, envelopes 5 cents apiece and so a letter will cost 25 cents with the stamp. I would be very glad if you could send me a few dollars in a letter or else by hand if you can. I received a dollar in a letter some time ago which I soon answered.
We are still camped about 4 miles north of Winchester, Virginia, but it [is] thought by some of our officers that we will go back to N. C. before long and I hope that you will then come to see us and bring me some clothing and other things that I have wrote for. I do not want you to try to come to us before I write where are. We are stationed near the railroad. We have been a tearing up the Winchester & Harpers Ferry Railroad for about 12 miles. I had to help to take it up last Sunday. We are here in a very scarce part of the country both for food and water. We have to take our water nearly half a mile. Our rations are nothing but slapjack cakes and beef, and sometimes there is no salt for the broth nor beef and we can scarcely buy anything at all.
It seems to me like as if the head men of the war had any sympathy for human beings that they would stop this war. It is thought that there is some prospect of peace before long and I hope and pray that the Almighty will interpose and stop this war. So no more at present. Please write and soon as you get this. I remain your affectionate son, — C. A. Hege
Direct your letters to Richmond Va., in care of Capt Michael, 28th Regiment N. C. Troops.
October 17, 1862
I now have the opportunity of writing you a few lines. I received 2 letters from last week. The one was dated September 28th and the other September 6th. You do not know how glad I was to hear from you. You said that Augustus Staugh was dead and Emanuel was sick but you did not say any thing about Theophilus.
I can tell you I have learned a great lesson since I have been in the army. I have learned to eat such as I can get. Dear mother, you do not know how much good it would do me to get to eat one breakfast prepared by you and to sleep on a soft bed one time more. But I hope and pray that the Lord will spare my life and health and permit me to return home again to enjoy the blessings of a comfortable house and home. I have not the time nor paper to write much at present but I hope to return home again before long and then I can tell you more. Please write soon. With much love, from your affectionate son, — C. A. Hege
October 17, 1862
Dear Sister & brother,
I received your letter last week and I was very glad to receive it but all I regretted was that you did not write more. I want you to be good and obedient children to your Parents and be smart and help all you can and learn your books. I want you to send me some grass nuts & ground peas when Pap comes to see me. Tell Sam I want him to be a good boy and be smart and to catch all the rabbits that he can. Tell Elick that I would be glad if I was at home with him a plowing. Tell him to be a good boy and smart and I hope that we will all be permitted to return home again before long. October 18th. I finish this, this morning. We have orders this morning to be ready to march at day light, but I do not know where we will go to. So no more. Please write soon. Your affectionate brother, — C. A. Hege
Received this the 25th October
Tuesday, 28 October 1862
I now have the opportunity of sending you a few lines stating that I am well at present and hope that you enjoy the blessing of good health. I received 3 letters from home the 20th of this month—the one from you, one from mother, and the other from Mary. I was very glad to get them and to hear from you once more. I have not had the chance to answer them any sooner because we left Winchester last Wednesday morning and came on here across the Blue Ridge to Upperville where we have been several days. But it is thought that we will soon go on to Culpeper Court house. I received a letter this morning from Theophilus Spaugh. He was at Culpepper Court house in the hospital the 15th of this month when he wrote his letter. He thought that he would soon go to his regiment.
There is a man sent home from each company this morning to get clothing and blankets for the soldiers and if any acquaintances wish to send anything, they can do so. I would be very glad if you could come yourself and bring me the following articles but if you cannot come, send them with Lieutenant Smith when he comes. I want a blanket, hat, 1 pair shoes if you can get them, 1 vest, 1 pair stockings, 1 pair drawers, 1 pair gloves, 1 pair pants, a cravat for round the neck, a haversack, book sack, 2 large strong handkerchiefs, some cotton and woolen patches, a woolen shirt if you can and then I want a box of provisions: viz, onions, garlic, pies, sweet cakes, a little butter, and a little tin bucket of apples, peaches, sody, a small blank book, some No. 3 Perfect, a small coffee pot and some coffee, grassnuts, ground peas, chestnuts and some dried fruit of different kinds and any thing else that is good. I want you to bring these yourself if you can and if you cannot then do the best you can. Your affectionate son, — C. A. Hege
I have no time to write much. Direct your letters as usual.
Culpeper Court House, Virginia
November 3, 1862
I now have the opportunity of sending you a few lines stating that I am well at present and hope that you enjoy the same good blessing. I have not had any letter from you for about two weeks. The last letters that I got from you I received the 20th of last month. Then I got 3 letters—one from you, one from mother and the other from Mary. We came here to Culpeper last evening awhile before sunset and we expect to go on to Richmond in a few days. We have had some very bad weather since we left Winchester. Last night a week ago was a very windy, cold, and rainy night and it commenced hailing the next morning and we were all wet and cold. We were camped on the side of a mountain near Upperville, Virginia.
I sent a letter to you with Lieutenant Smith who is gone home after some clothing for us and there I mentioned what I want you to bring to me yourself if you can come, and if you cannot come, send them with him or some other person that is coming to the regiment. Tell mother to send me a pair of goulashes, some soap and a little sody if she can, and anything else that is good. When I wrote my other letter, I thought that perhaps we could draw sloes at Richmond, but I have heard since that we cannot and therefore I want you to have me a large strong and able pair of shoes made and have Rapers Michael to put irons on the heels and send them as soon as you possibly can because my shoes are about wore out.
I would be very glad if you could come to see us. I think that you would not begrudge your trip. I think that we will be at Richmond in a few days. When you come, come on to Richmond and there you can find out where the regiment is stationed. Tell mother and Mary that I cannot write to them at present because the paper and ink is so scarce, postage so high, and I am very scarce in money but I want them to write to me the oftener. Send me some postage stamps if you can, and also some money. We have not drawed any money yet. So I must close by giving you all my best wishes and respects. From your affectionate son, — C. A. Hege
Direct your letter to Richmond Va, in care of Capt Michael, 48th Regiment N.C. Troops, Co. H.
Please write soon.
Madison Court House, Virginia
Saturday, 15th November 1862
I now have the opportunity of writing you a few [lines] stating that I am well at present and hope that you all enjoy the same good blessing. I received a letter from father last Sunday dated Nov. 2nd and I also received a letter from mother last Thursday dated October 26th. You said that you started 20 dollars in a letter to me the 20th of October, but I have not received it yet. But I hope that I will get it yet because I am in need of money. I think that it would be safer if you could send money by hand, than by mail, because we move so often that it is a hard matter for the letters to follow us. You need not to send my overcoat yet because I have a load to carry without it. I will write when I want it. We drawed 8 dollars of our money wages. I have been borrowing several dollars and that takes all of my wages to pay my debts. We are obliged to buy something to eat if we want to live like human beings because it would be hard living to eat nothing but light bread & beef.
I like the army life a great deal better than I did when I first came out, but I can tell you that it is a hard life anyway that you take it, but I can enjoy myself tolerably well by reading, writing and talking with my friends, and sometimes by walking about and viewing the mountains and all the surrounding country. But there is one thing that I do not like and that is the battles which are dreaded by all.
I got my knapsack the 7th day of this month but I lost all of my medicine, 1 pair pants, 1 pair drawers, and several other little articles. I would be very glad if you could send me some No 6, some composition, and some other medicine as you think I need and also a box of ointment because I am pestered very much with boils.
We have had some very cold weather. We had a right smart snow the 7th of this month, but it has been very pleasant weather the last week. We now are here at Madison Court House close to the Blue Ridge. We came here this day a week ago and we do not know how long we will stay here, but I think that we will go to Gordonsville in a few days.
Elijah Scott is dead, he died the 6th of this month near Culpeper about 3 o’clock in the afternoon and was buried about 5 miles on this side of Culpeper Court House. So I must close my letter by giving you all my best wishes and respects and hopeing that you will remember your son in your prayers. Your son, — C. A. Hege
Please write as soon as you get this.
Dear sister and brother, I will send you a few lines to let you know that I received a very interesting letter from you last Thursday dated Oct 25th which I was very glad to receive. You said that Daniel and Solomon Wilson were taken prisoner. I was very glad to hear where Daniel was because I could not hear anything from him since the Maryland battle. I want you both to be good children, obey your parents, be smart and be thankful that you have a good warm house and home to stay in and comfortable bed to lie in the cold and rainy nights, while we here have to lie out in the open air with nothing but a blanket or two. We now sometimes have some tents but not half enough for us all. Tell Elick and Julius that I have a present to send to them as soon as any one comes to see us from that neighborhood.
From your affectionate brother, — C. A. Hege
Direct your letters as usual.
November 29, 1862
I now have the opportunity of writing you a few lines stating that I am well at present and hope these few lines may find you enjoying the same good blessing. I received a letter from you the 16th of this month dated October 20th containing 20 dollars in money, and I also received a letter from you last Thursday dated Nov 11th and 25 dollars in money which Lieutenant Smith brought. I hope that you will not think hard of me for not writing sooner because we have been on a march for 5 days and then after we got in camp, there was no chance to send a letter out of the camp unless by hand. And now I have an opportunity of sending one and therefore I thought that I would write.
We are here about 5 miles south of Fredericksburg. We came here today a week ago and I do not know how long we will stay here. We had to march 4 days through the mud and water and rain. The 15th N. C. regiment joined our Brigade this morning, I was very glad to see them. I saw George Mock, Leander Mock, John Hartman, Alexander Weaver, Alexander Scott, George Tesh, Franklin Rominger, and a great many more of my acquaintances but Daniel Wilson was not with the regiment. They do not know where he is. If you know where he is, I would like if you would write. The boys are all well.
William Swain, Esq., was out here to see us last week and he said that Mrs. David Weasner left my box at Gordonsville and I am afraid that the pies will spoil before I get them. The clothing that was sent to the company was left at Richmond and I therefore think that we will go there before long. It is now reported through the camp that we are ordered to Weldon N. C. to take up winter quarters. Our fare is bad. We get nothing but bread and beef and we sometimes draw pickled pork and that very scant rations. We draw 1.25 lbs. flour and 1.25 lbs. beef to the man for a days rations. Things sell very high here. Apples 1 dollar per dozen, pork 50 cents per lb, sugar 1 dollar per lb, and everything else in proportion so that we cannot afford to buy much. I am very thankful to you for sending me some money so that I can buy me something to eat.
Tell Theophilus Spaugh to write to me when he is coming back to his regiment. Tell him that his regiment is now in our brigade—namely (General Cook’s brigade) and that we will be close together from this time on. Tell him that I was over to see the regiment this morning when it came in and talked with several of the boys and that they were well. I have not much news to write at present. I would be very glad if you could send me some postage stamps because I cannot buy them here. So I must bring my letter to a close by giving you all my love and best respects and if I never meet you on earth anymore, I hope to meet you in heaven above where there will be no more parting nor pain.
Please write soon and write a long, long letter. Your letters are never half long enough.
From your affectionate son, — C. A. Hege
I sent a cartridge box, cap box, gunlock, and several other little things that I brought from The Maryland battleground that I hope you will keep until I come home because I hope that Providence will spare my life to return home.
Tell Alexander Craver and Julius my brother to take each of them one of them caps. I sent them with William Swain, Esq.
Near Fredericksburg, Virginia
Monday afternoon, December 8, 1862
I now have the opportunity of writing you a few lines stating that I am well at present and hope that these few lines may find you all enjoying the same good blessing. I received a letter and some medicine last Friday which you sent with Charles Perriman. But I have not received my box of clothing yet. I have tried every way that I knowed how to get them but failed and I asked Capt. Michael what to do about it. He said that I would better write to you immediately and he said that you would better come out here yourself and bring me some more clothing, &c., and if I should get my box yet, you could then take some back if I had more than I needed. I need shoes & pants very bad because I am about barefooted and I lost 1 pair pants and therefore have but one pair left and they are nearly wore out.
And now I will tell you what I want you to bring to me; viz: my overcoat, 2 pair pants, 1 woolen overshirt, 1 cotton shirt, 1 pair of stout cotton drawers, 1 pr socks, 1 pr gloves, 1 large cravat, 1 hat and 1 pr shoes if you can get them because I need them very much. And I would be very glad if you could bring me some molasses or honey, some butter, some good old ham, a little salt, and some sweet cakes for Christmas and some ground peas, grassnuts, chestnuts &c. and anything else that is good that you think I need. I want you to bring them as soon as you possibly can because I need them very bad. Try and come before Christmas yet if you can come when Solomon Tesh comes, if you cannot come before. We are here about 5 miles south of Fredericksburg, Virginia, and if we leave here we will go to Richmond. So I must close. Please write soon as you get this and write whether you will come or not.
I remain your affectionate son, — C. A. Hege
Direct your letters as usual.
Near Fredericksburg, Virginia
Thursday morning, December 18, 1862
Dearly Beloved Parents,
I now once more have or take the opportunity of writing a few lines to you to let you know how affairs are here. I am somewhat unwell at present. I was taken with a chill and then a pain in my side night before last, but I feel right smart better this morning. I think that it was just a bad cold which I taken because I have nothing but old pieces of shoes on my feet. My toes are naked and my clothing are a getting ragged. I have not got my box of clothing yet and I don’t know whether I ever will get them or not because the boxes are very often robbed at the depots. I wrote to you to bring me a box of clothing as soon as you possibly can and come with them yourself so that you can be certain that I will get them because I need them very much.
There has been a very hard battle fought here last Saturday and our regiment was in the hardest of the fight. I did not have to go into the battle because I am so near barefooted. The Colonel gave orders that all the barefooted men should stay at the camp. I can tell you I was glad then that my shoes did not come because I would rather loose a hundred dollars than to go in a battle. There were a great many killed and wounded it is said that there were ten thousand Yankees killed during the battle. I do not know how many of our men were killed but I know that there were a great many wounded. There were 19 men wounded and one killed in our company. The human suffering, the loss of life, and above all, the loss of many a precious soul that is caused by war. Would to God that this war might close off this year and that we all could enjoy the blessing of a comfortable house and home one time more. I never knew how to value home until I came in the army.
It is thought that we will go on to Richmond in a few days. Tell Mr. Rights that I would be very glad to get a letter from him. Tell uncle Christian that I would like for some of them to write to me and I want you to write oftener and do not wait for me to answer every one of your letters before you write I have not received any letter from you since Charles Perriman was out here. We have a very bad chance to write out here because we have to drill twice a day in general and then we have dress parade in the evening so I must close by giving you all my best wishes and respects and if we never meet on earth, I hope to meet you in a better world above.
Your affectionate son — C. A. Hege
Please write us soon as you get this. Direct your letters as usual. I want you to come as soon as you can with my clothing.
Near Fredericksburg, Virginia
Sunday morning, December 21, 1862
Dear Father and Mother,
I this beautiful sabbath morning have the opportunity of writing you a few lines to let you know that I have been sick a few days with the chills and fever and a pain in my side and headache, but I am better and think that I will in a few days be well again. I think it was just a bad cold which I taken from having bad clothes and from being nearly barefooted. But I hope that you all enjoy good health.
I received a letter from Mary last Friday night dated December 7th which I was very glad to receive but I was very sorry to hear that father had the typhoid fever. But I hope and pray that he may soon get well again very soon. I heard that the small pox was about home. I am very sorry to hear that but I hope that the Almighty will stop it before it goes very far. But I don’t believe it. It is also said that it is in the 15th N. C. Regt., but I hope that it may not be spread among the soldiers any further.
I have not yet received my box of clothing, &c., and I am afraid never will because I can’t hear anything about it anymore and I am afraid it is stole. I wrote in a letter some time ago for you to bring me another box of clothing and provisions and also to send my overcoat and I want you to bring them as soon as possible because I need them very much, but I am afraid that your health will hardly permit you to come and if you cannot come, send them with a man that you will be certain that he bring them to me and will leave them again at some railroad station to be stole or lost. I want you also to send me some dysentery cordial, some blackberry cordial, and some more No. 6. So I must close by giving you all my best wishes and respects, and hope and pray that I may come home before long.
Your son, — C. A. Hege
Please write soon.
I have heard since I commenced this letter that the boxes have been broken open and the things stole and therefore I will write for some more things. I need a hat very much. I want some dried peach fruit, peach leather, a large piece of hard soap because I need that very much, blanket, a knife, fork and spoon. a strong sack that will hold about a bushel, haver & book sack &c., some spice, black pepper ground. Tell Julius & Mary to send me some chestnuts, grassnuts and ground peas and pies. I hope that you will not think hard of me for writing for more clothing &c. because I need them very much
Near Fredericksburg, Virginia
Sunday morning, December 21, 1862
Dear Sister and Brother,
It is with pleasure that I take my pen to answer your letter which I received a few days ago, but it was with greater pleasure that I received and read your letter and it would still give me a great deal more pleasure if I could come home and go to preaching and more especially at Christmas and New Year. I have been thinking this morning of the many sabbaths which I spent at Friedberg, and as you said of the many times that you and I used to walk to Friedberg. And I have also been thinking of the many times that we used to get angry with each other and quarrel; that was very wrong of us and I hope that you and Julius do not do so now. I want you to be good and obedient children and do what father and mother tells you to do.
There has been a very hard battle fought here at Fredericksburg, Virginia, the 13th of this month and our regiment was in the hardest of the battle. But I was not in the battle because I was too near barefooted and therefore I staid at the camp and kept out of the battle. There were a great many killed and wounded on both sides.
You wanted to know whether I received my money. I received 45 dollars. You also wanted to know whether we will have to be out all winter. I cannot tell how about that. It is said that we will be taken to N. C. before long and there take up winter quarters. Tell Julius that I am glad to hear that he has caught a possum and 12 rabbits and tell him to catch all the rabbits and partridges that he can, and tell Sam that I have not forgot him yet and I hope to be back before long with him on the farm. So I must close. I hope you will all remember me in your prayers and pray that this war may soon stop and peace be made and that we all may return home again. Your Brother — C. A. Hege
Direct your letters as usual.
Near Fredericksburg, Virginia
Christmas morning, Thursday, 25th December 1862
I take up my pen this beautiful Christmas morning in order to write you a few lines to inform you that I am well again and hope that when these few lines come to hand that they may find you all enjoying good health. I received a letter from you last evening dated December 15th which I was very much pleased to get to hear from home. But I am very sorry to hear that you and mother are sick. But I hope and pray that the good Lord will soon restore you to health again.
There is a great deal of sickness here in camp such as pneumonia, jaundice, and various other diseases. Alexander Weaver is a going to the hospital this morning. He has been sick for several days. I have not yet got my box and I expect never will get it because I got Capt. Michael to go to Gordonsville and Hanover junction to search for my box, but he could not see nor hear anything of it, and therefore I expect it has been stole because it is a very common thing for boxes to be robbed about here. And therefore I think it is useless to depend upon getting that box any longer. I am very sorry that it is lost but I can’t help it.
I got to stay out of the battle here at Fredericksburg, Virginia, by being barefooted and therefore I think that it was ordered by Providence that I should not get my box, because if I had a got my box of shoes and clothing, I would to a have went in the battle. I would rather loose the box than to go in a battle.
Christmas has come once more and it is a very beautiful morning here. But Oh! how changed the scene to what it was last Christmas. Here I am in the army today and today twelve months ago I was at home where I could enjoy the blessings of a comfortable house and home of parents and friends and of religious worship, but this Christmas I am surrounded by warriors, cannons, guns, and all kinds of unusual sounds and actions to which I never was accustomed to. But I hope and pray that the good Lord in His tender mercy may soon bring this state of things to an end and restore peace and prosperity to our beloved country again, and turn the hearts of the rulers to peace forever instead of war.
Dear Father, I want you to bring me another box of clothing like the first and do not grieve because the other box was lost because it may have saved my life. I want you to try to bring it yourself and bring it as soon as you can. So no more at present. Please write soon as you get this letter and write once or twice every week. Be assured, dear parents, that I remain your affectionate son until death, — C. A. Hege
Direct your letters as usual.
Near Petersburg, Virginia
Sunday noon, January 11, 1863
Dearly beloved Parents,
I this beautiful sabbath day have the opportunity of writing to [you] once more to inform you that I am well at present and hope that you all enjoy the same good blessing. I have not received any letter from you for a couple weeks and I thought that I would write to let you know that I received my box of clothing, apples, onions, shoes &c., which you sent with Mr. J. Rominger the last time. I was very glad to get them and I am very thankful to you, dear parents, for being so kind to me as to send them because I was very much in need of them. I have not heard anything of my first box you sent to me. I think it was stole.
We are now here about 3 miles northwest of Petersburg, Virginia. We left Fredericksburg yesterday a week a go and marched on by Hanover Junction and through Richmond and came on here last Wednesday and it is thought that we will go on to Goldsboro or Wilmington in a few days. We have had some very bad weather here lately. We had a right smart snow last Friday and yesterday we had a cold, rainy day.
Solomon Tesh came to his regiment last Tuesday and he brought me a pair of pants, haversack, and book sack. Ephraim Weasmer has also returned from the hospital to his regiment. He is well. He is here in our tent now. Mock’s boys are well. Leander saw Henry Mock at Petersburg in the Hospital. He is nearly well except his old complaint and he thinks he will get a discharge.
We fare a little [better] in the way of eatables now than we did some time ago. We drawed for tomorrow cornmeal, pickled pork, rice and sugar. It seems to me a little more like home since the 15 N. C. Regiment has come in our Brigade. I now can see some of my friends and acquaintances every day. I hope when we get to N. C. that you and Mr Weasner will come to see us. You need not be afraid to come because you will not be interrupted and you need not be afraid to ride on the cars. Tell Theophilus Spaugh to write to me. Tell Mary and Julius to write to me. So I must close by giving you my best wishes and respects and hope that the time may soon come when peace will reign supreme and when we can all once more enjoy the blessing of a comfortable house and home. I never knew what home was until I left home. Please write as soon as you get this.
Your affectionate son until death, — C.A. Hege
Direct your letter to Petersburg, Va., care of Capt. Michael, Co. H, 18th Reg. N. C. Troops and the letter will follow the regiment if we move.
Near Petersburg, Virginia
Tuesday, 13 January 1863
Dearly beloved Parents,
I now have the opportunity of sending you a few lines to let you know that I am well at present and hope that you all enjoy the same good blessing. I received two letters yesterday from you—the one dated January 4th and the other December 31st. I was very glad to get them because I had not heard from you for some time. Mr. J. Rominger came to our camp last night. I received my pack of clothing last Friday night. I got all that you sent. I was very glad to get them because I was in need of them very much. Mr. Rominger said that he found my box which you had sent with him before he found it at Gordonsville. He sent it on to Raleigh, N. C., and is a going to send it home. I have as many clothing as I can carry at present, but I would be very glad if you would bring me a box of provisions before long. Your shoes that you sent me are rather small and they will hurt my feet when I have to march. I will wear my old ones out first and save your pair and if you come out I would be very glad if you would bring that pair that is in my box if they are larger.
We are still here about 3 miles northwest of Petersburg, Virginia, but it is thought that we will soon go to N. C. near Goldsboro. I have sent a small pack of nonsense to Julius which I have picked up. Tell him to save the screw drivers for me and the powder bullets and lead are for Father. I send you a Yankee ball which you can take in 3 pieces.
You wanted to know how we fare. I will tell you. We have hard times. We have no winter quarters to stay in and we have to shelter from the rain and cold the best way that we can. Some build themselves shelters with poles and cover with leaves and dirt; others stretch up blankets in the form of a tent, but the officers and the big men have tents and some have stoves in them. I and my mess have a fly to stay under at present and we build a large fire before the fly and lie with our feet toward the fire and cover with our blankets and we then keep tolerably warm.
As to our rations, they are very scant. We draw a little over a pint of meal or flour to the man a day and about a pound of beef a day. We sometimes draw a little sugar, rice and molasses and sometimes a little pickled pork or bacon but it is all very scant and a person is obliged to buy something more if he wants to have enough to eat.
I drawed my $50 bounty money on Christmas day. I have also drawed $30 monthly wages, but it goes very fast because everything sells so very high and a body will buy before they will go with a hungry belly.
So I must come to a close by saying please write as soon as you get this letter and write all the news and I want you all to write to me because I like to hear from you all. Write longer letters and more of them. Tell Julius I received his letter. Your affectionate son until death. Remember your son, — C. A. Hege
Direct your letters to Petersburg, Va., Co. H, 48th Reg. N. C. Troops
I here send all of my old letters home because I have no way to take care of them. I want you to save them all until I come home because I hope to get home before long. I also send my hymn book home because I just spoil it here.
Near Goldsboro, North Carolina
Saturday, 17 January 1863
I now have the opportunity of writing a few lines once more in N. C. to inform you that I am well at present and tolerably well satisfied and I hope that you all enjoy good health. I feel more now like as if I was at home since I got here in N. C. than I did when I was in Virginia. We left Petersburg, Virginia, last Thursday afternoon and came on to Goldsboro last night and we then came out to a camp about 2 miles south of the town (Goldsboro). I can tell you, I am glad that we are away from the Mountainous Regions of Virginia and back again in the pleasant valleys & plains of N. C. and I hope that you and Mr. Weasner & Uncle Christian and all of our old neighbors will now come to see us and bring us boxes of provisions, &c. You need not be afraid of the distance now because it is only 150 miles from here to Lexington. You can now take the train at Lexington and come on all the way here without changing cars. I want you to be sure and come to see us now and bring me a box of provisions as soon as you can because we may leave here in a couple weeks. I want a hat and a pair of socks, ink, &c., pint cup, tin plates, coffee pot, knife, fork, & spoon, sody, shortened biscuits & several pounds of butter, pies, dried peaches, &c. &c. and anything else that is good.
So I must close by saying write as soon as you get this and write when you will come. Your son, — C. A. Hege
Am too cold to write much. Direct your letters to Goldsboro, N. C., Co. H, 48th Reg. N. C. Troops
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