The following letter was written by Daniel Case, a private in Co. B, 4th Virginia Infantry. According to his muster records, Daniel did not enlist until 15 February 1864—most likely conscripted into the service. He deserted on 8 April 1864 a month before this letter was written and must have arrested and returned to his regiment, perhaps to await punishment. There is nothing more in his muster records to indicate whether he served out the remainder of his time with the remnants of the Stonewall Brigade which was only a shadow of its former self by this stage in the war.
Nothing more could be found regarding Daniel and Elizabeth and their “little blue-eyed babe.”
Orange County, Virginia
May 1st 1864
I one more time take the opportunity of writing to you to let you know that I have not forgotten you which leaves me not well. I am better [than] I have been. I have done a great deal of travels and [seen] hard times since I have been here. I hope when these few lines comes to hand, [they] will find you all well and doing well.
I want to see you all. I can’t tell much about the war. There’s no fighting going on. The armies is gathering in here. Longstreet’s army is all here. They seem to think there will be hard fighting soon but I don’t know. I want you to write to me as soon as you get these lines and tell me all the news about times there and tell me whether the home guard and details is doing and what our corn and [ ] is doing and what the people think about the times.
I want you to be getting along about getting it plowed and how much corn you can plant, and how the wheat looks, and cows and hogs looks, and how the corn is holding out. And how much meat you have yet and if Johnny Winn paid you or not. And if you have got the stilling done or not. I want to know whether you got the letter I wrote the 15th of March. I wrote in it for you to get John Kendall to do it and to do your plowing if you can get him. If you can get anyone to plow, you had better tend the corn patch, but do the best you can. You know how to do it as well as I can tell you. I want you to get two bushels of Irish potatoes, red ones, and plant them in the turnip patch.
And write to us soon as you can and tell me if my blue-eyed babe can talk or not. God bless its heart. I want to see it and all the rest. I am in so much trouble, I can’t think of nothing. I will send all 25 cents. It won’t pay here. I will close by saying I remain your affectionate husband to death. — Daniel Case
to Elizabeth Case.