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1861: Lucius C. Worley to his Cousin

This letter was written by Lucius C. Worley—a Virginian—who volunteered his service as an unpaid private in Co. D, 1st Battalion of Artillery, Army of the State of South Carolina as early as February 1861. He was most likely present during the bombardment of Fort Sumter though muster rolls suggest he was sick during a portion of these early months of the war. He appears on the muster rolls of Fort Moultrie, his muster-in date given as 17 May 1861. By June 13, 1861 he had been promoted to sergeant of Co. D, 1st South Carolina Battalion of Artillery.

Worley did not serve for more than a few months, however. In August 1861, he received a discharge for disability. In his discharge papers, he was described as being 21 years of age, a native of Augusta county, Virginia, who stood 5 feet 10 inches tall, with a light complexion and dark hair—a blacksmith by profession.

By this description, he appears to have been the same Lucius Worley who was enumerated in the household of 35 year-old brick mason Jesse J. Dickinson of Covington, Alleghany, Virginia, where he was employed in 1860 as a blacksmith. Indeed, Lucius mentions Covington in the following letter. The identity of his Virginia cousin has not been learned.


Fort Moultrie
July 23, 1861

Dear Cousin,

I have seated myself this evening to write you a few lines to let you know how I am getting along. It is but poorly. My health is very bad. I have not done any duty for two weeks and will not be able to do any very soon.

Everything is quiet down here. We get the news by telegraph every day from Virginia. I think there is pretty hard times up there too.

It is reported that our company is going to Virginia but I don’t know how true it is. Give my best respects to all my friends and relations. You may look for me home in a week or two—not longer I do not think. If my health does not improve, I certainly will be home once more. I think I will come by Covington but if I do, I will not stop.

Nothing more but remain yours respectfully, — Lucius C. Worley

So look out for me. I have not had nothing to eat since I have been in South Carolina.