As a new year began in 1864, Edney Hoover, a farmer from Lincoln County, was stationed near Orange Court House, Va. as he fought in the Civil War.
At the time of Hooverâ€™s January 3, 1864, letter, the war had been going on for almost three years. Conditions for the Confederate soldiers had become increasingly harsh, particular in regard to available food. Hoover tells his wife Mary that he would give anything to be back at home on the farm so that he could raise something to eat.
Once again, a familiar phrase appears in Hooverâ€™s letter â€” â€œWhen this you see remember me.â€ However, this time Hoover adds â€œtho amin amile apart.â€ (Though a many a mile apart.)
On the reverse side of the paper, Hoover writes a small letter to his mother and father as was customary for soldiers during the war.
The spelling and dialect of the contributed letters is left completely intact, unedited by the Times-News. In some cases, the newspaper staff may include a corrected version in parentheses to assist readers.
January the 3 day 1864
Camp near orange Cort house Va
Dear wife I take the present opportunity to rite you afew lines to let you no that I am well and I truly these few lines will com safe to your kind hand and find you and my dear little son injoying the best health that this world can afford you I can say to you that I received them things that you and my mother sent to me and I was very glad for it and I thank you very much for it for it eats so good but you need not truble your self so much to send me something to eat for I will try and doo the best I can and I hope I will not perish I can liv like the rest of the poor soldiers I can say to you that we get corn meal and flour torable plenty now but we dunt get but a quarter of a pound of meat a day and some days ruin and some of it is that poor that we cant fry it it sticks fast to the pan. I can say to you that we drawed some meat yesterday and it was that poor that I cold count the ribs through the mid lins you may think that I am ajoken but it is so I can say to you that we hav had pretty wether for the too last weaks but we hav had some of the coldest wether out here this winter that I ever felt in my life
Dear wife I can say to you that I wold bee the gladest man in the world if I only cold bee at home with you and my little baby to work and rais something to eat but I hope it is gods will for me to get home
I still live in hops and wate with patience I dunt think that war will last much longer so I must bring my few lines to alcose (a close) by saying to you rite to me as sone as you can and tell me how you and my little baby is agetting along and how your horse and cows is adoing so nothing more at present only I remain your effectionate husband forever
Edney Hoover to
Mary C Hoover and Johney
When this you see remember me tho amin amile apart
Dear father and mother I take the present opertunity to drop you a few lines to let you no that I am well and I truly hope these few lines may com safe to your hand and find you all injoying the best health that this world can afford you I can say to you that I received your kind letter and I was glad to hear for you all to hear that you was all well and getting alon well I received them things that you sent to me to eat and I thank you all very much for it so I must bring my few lines to aclose by saying to you rite to me as sone as you can so nothing more at present only I remain your son forever
Edney Hoover to
and Elizabeth Hoover
MARTHA K. SEAGLE, Staff Writer