This letter was written by Andrew R. Yoder (1836-1895) of Co. D, Mallett’s Battalion (Camp Guard), North Carolina. Muster rolls indicate that he served as a musician in the Camp Holmes Battalion. Whether Andrew remained at Camp Holmes as he hoped is unknown. Nothing further was found in his muster roll records after the summer of 1863. Most likely he was a conscript like the others who reported to Camp Holmes which was a camp of instruction near Raleigh, North Carolina. Typically, after being uniformed, equipped and drilled, the conscripts were sent on to fill the vacancies of regiments in the field. It may be that because Andrew was a musician (presumably a drummer), he was allowed to remain because he was not deemed to be fit for the field and/or because a drummer was needed at the camp for daily drills.
Andrew was the son of John Abel Yoder (1795-1870) and Sallie Whitener (1793-1869) of Jacob’s Fork, Catawba county, North Carolina. He wrote the letter to his olde sister, Mary M. (“Mollie” Yoder) Hawn (1833-Aft1870), the wife of Amzi Alexander (“A. A.”) Hawn (1833-1864) who is mentioned in the April 1863 letter as having just been sent to Co. K, 35th North Carolina Infantry. Amzi is reported to have been killed and left on the battlefield at Petersburg on 17 June 1864.
Andrew and Mollie had an older brother, John Abel Yoder, III (1820-1864) who served the Confederacy in Co. F, 23rd North Carolina Infantry. He was killed in action at Spotsylvania Court House on 10 May 1864.
Andrew married Sarah Catherine Hawn (1838-1885) in the late late 1850s and had one child when he was drafted into service. He survived the war and lived out his days in Catawba county.
Camp Holmes, North Carolina
April 7th 1863
Dear loving sister,
I drop you a few lines to let you know that I am well. I hope when these few lines come to hand, they may find you all well. I am sorry to tell you that A. A. is already gone. I sent that letter to him. I was sorry to be parted from A. A. He was one of the best [friends] I had in camp. I am sorry to be parted from him. If I could stand marching, I would [have] went with him but the way I am situated, I expect to stay here as long as I can.
There is some talk that there will be another detail. I don’t know whether this is the case or not but I am in hopes to get to stay here this summer if the war does not close.
You wrote that you wanted me to take care of his things that he could not take along. I will do so. He left his honey jug & two tin cups & one pack of envelopes with me to send home to you. His shoes he left with Saddlemire. I had no room in my bag just then. I had my provisions in my box. I will send those things the first chance I have.
I am glad that he got to go to the 35th Regiment. I hope and pray that he will be treated well & that he may be blessed with health & life to return home again. We sent our trunks with T. S. Hawn. I would like to know whether you got them and I hope you did get them. I must close. I hope this cruel war will end before long.
I remain your brother till death, — A. R. Yoder
To Mary M. Hawn