A fascinating early-war Confederate letter written by Lieutenant James H. Brown of the 4th Alabama Infantry.
Writing from Entrenched Camp Norfolk to his father back home, Brown described the tediousness of waiting for the federals to attack. Wool had taken over command of Union forces at Fort Monroe from General Benjamin Butler, Brown wrote, and an attack was soon expected. He also wrote that a friend, Zach Deas , had gone home to become Colonel of a new Alabama regiment, and another friend named Nott (3rd Alabama) was going to join him.
That regiment would become the 22nd Alabama Infantry. Deas encouraged Brown to come as well, Brown wrote, but through records it appears that brown remained with the 4th Alabama throughout the war as part of the Lees Army of Northern Virginia, was promoted to Captain on July 2, 1863, and surrendered with the regiment at Appomattox Court House in 1865. It gave me great pleasure, my dear Father, to receive yours of the 12th Inst. Sisters of the 7th also came to hand safely, but has not been answered yet.
I do not write as often as I used to from the fact that there is very little to write about. We have had a great deal of rain and wind. Very much resembling our August storms. It would not surprise me if the next news from Mobile brought an account of a blow there.I see by the Mobile papers that you get all the news of the war about as early as we do, and fully as correct. Butler at Fort Monroe and it is now reported here that he will make an attack on this place in a very few days. Some suspicious changes have certainly taken place here in the last few days, such as moving troops, guns, &c. But we feel very little dependence on reports. There are so many false ones. It is reported that Gen. Wool only has about 10.000 men under him at present. Withers alone has about 5.000 who could keep back twice Gen. There are between 10 & 12.000 troops in the vicinity of Norfolk. If these are all as ready as we are, I do not fear the result whenever an attack is made. Deas Nott leaves here in a day or two for home. He has gotten his discharge for the purpose of joining Zack [Colonel Zach Deas, who would be Colonel of the 22nd Alabama] in some capacity or other mentioned in my last, that Zack had received an appointment of Col. With the authority to raise a Reg.
He immediately sent word to me, advising me to get my discharge from this Co. Of my own, and join his Reg. I have not decided yet what to do, but may make up my mind at any moment. He will write to me more fully from Montgomery, and if this present expectation of a fight here blows over, you may see me soon. To take advantage of an opportunity of sending this to town, my dear Father, I must close this hastily.My love to all at home. The letter was written on the front and back of a very thin sheet of paper measuring about 7 1/4 x 9 1/4. It is in excellent condition with little toning. There are two tape repairs to the back, where evidently some minor separation occurred at the folds. Very clear and legible handwriting. Please see my other items for more interesting Civil War letters, documents, and images. The item "Confederate Civil War Letter 4th Alabama Awaiting Attack at Norfolk 22nd AL" is in sale since Wednesday, October 24, 2018. This item is in the category "Collectibles\Militaria\Civil War (1861-65)\Original Period Items\Correspondence, Mail". The seller is "iron-horse-sales" and is located in Champaign, Illinois.
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