25 December 1861 Letter

Erasmus J. Allton Civil War Letters

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Western VA. 1861
Fayettsville Fayette Co. Va.
Dec. 25th Christmas 1861
 
My dear Catharine we have finished our journey at last after marching six days. We had very nice weather to march but we had a very hard time while on the march. We left Sutton heights on the 17th at 9 o'clock in the morning and after marching two and a half days we arrived at Summerville at 11 o'clock stayed there until the next morning three o'clock and started again and arrived at Gauley at sun down and crossed the river and camped at the foot of cotton hill and the next morning we started for Fayetteville at about 2 o'clock we arrived here in good health and very tired.
 
We had plenty to eat on the road but no time to cook the bacon we had to eat our meat raw which was hard to do for it was side meat and very fat at that but it was good to a hungry person and no person could have stood it but a soldier. We are now at Fayetteville a very beautiful country only it has been over run by thousands of soldiers and fences are burnt up and houses torn to pieces and families all chased from their homes and the country appears desolate and forsaken altogether by every body except by soldiers. There are about three thousand soldiers here now and three cannons and one battery of four guns and we are building a fort and throwing breast works all around us and we have been cutting down the timber and leaving it lay so the rebels can't get to us. We are expecting to be attacked by 900 hundred cavalry men and 2000 infantry and we are preparing to meet them when they come. Some of our boys have just got a furlough and have started home. There were four of them and there will be four going home every week until we leave here or we all get home. for my partI'd not expect to get home until the war is over let that be long or short although I would like very much to see you for I am almost impatient for the war to close. But there is no prospect of the war closing for another year yet. But I hope that the day is not fardistant when I can have the privilege of embrasing ou once more and that too never to part while life is spared us. Catharine write soon and direct to E.J. Allton in care of Capt. J.W. Fowler Co.D. 30th Rgt. O.V.U.S. et, Fayettesville Western Va. and accept these few badly written lines from your true love, E.J. Allton
 
Miss Catharine Shick
I hope these lines will find you as well as I am.
E.J. Allton
Fayettsville