Sunday, June 6, 2010

Nathaniel Peed writes home

Today at Brandy Station: June 6, 1863

Below is a portion of a letter from Nathaniel Peed of the 9th Virginia Cavalry to his mother. Peed in his letter mentions Jimmy and Phil Peed. Probably brothers, at least cousins. Nathaniel and Phil would survive the war. Jimmy would be wounded in the thigh and taken prisoner on September 13, 1863 at Culpeper. Jimmy would die at Point Lookout, Maryland on December 22, 1863.

What makes this letter interesting is that Nathaniel discusses his attitudes of members of his company and the politics of promotions.

The letter is from the collection of Robert Luddy.

Camp near Brandy Station June 6, 1863
Dear Mother
I intended writing to you sometime ago but failed to do so. Jimmy got to camp yesterday morning safe. He somewhat surprised me for I made sure that the Yankees had captured him. His horse stood the ride very well. All to his feet they got very sore. But he has had him shod now. We had a grand review today of five Brigades of cavalry & Hoods infantry Division. It was a grand show. The general supposition that Longstreet is to threaten Washington this way & Lee to position the front at Fredercksburg. ...
Jimmy is a little poorly. He has slight chills & fevers very slight temp. I suppose you heard of the death of poor Georgie McClanahan. He was poorly when earlier I had left. But not sick enough to go to the hospital. He left camp and went to a private house Monday morning & died the next morning. I was never so surprised when I heard in my life for I thought he had nothing but a cold. How is Jeb getting along? Tell him we are fairing very well now.
We get half a pound of bacon, peas _____ & sugar & molasses. Sometimes Joseph Billingsley [Billingsley went AWOL in May] is our company commissary. The men are not at all satisfied with him. He tried to use too much authority with the men for a private...Capt. [John A.]Billingsley is very unpopular with the men There is usually a man who likes him. He tried to be strict but he don’t know how to carry it out... I thought I have no right to grumble for he treats me as well as he can. He headed the company very badly about the selection of officers.
Bob Coakley had been elected as Sr. Second Lieut., because they would not select [Sgt.] Phil Peed. He had him appointed ahead of Bob Coakley. The company is very much dissatisfied. We had the right to elect our officers & we wanted to use it. The company to a man wanted Jim McKinney Billingsley kicked up a fuss about Coakley being elected we didn’t want... He got ¾ of the vote of the company. Harrow got 3 votes.
Phil Peed & I don’t speak we had a falling out about a month ago. He was in fault. He cursed me & ordered me not to speak to him any more & I inclined to fulfill his orders. He is the second man that I have ever had a fuss with since I have been in camp.
Mother, The first chance you have send my carbine as I have use for it. Don’t forget it. Our horses was valued again yesterday. Jims was valued at $500 dollars, mine $5?? ...Saddle. Write soon.
From your dutiful son
Nathanial P.
PS I write in a hurry
& for fear you should
Understand about the
Election I put again before
You Phil Peed appointed Senior Second
Lieut. Coakley Junior Second
Nathaniel Peed, Co. I, 9th VA

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