Download Full Text (2.7 MB)

Date Original

1861 May 19


Letter from William A. Crawford to Sarah Crawford about his trip from Arkansas to Camp Davis in Virginia. Crawford tells her about the weather, crops, and the multiple regiments in the camp.


[Page 1] Camp David, near lynchburg VA
Sunday May 19th 1861.
My Dear Wife and children,
I seat myself
by my trunk to drop you a few lines, which
is the first since we lef[sic] Memphis. I have [missing word]
verry[sic] buisy[sic] ever since I left home, and could scarsly[sic]
get time to write to any of my friends.
We reached Lynchburg on yesterday morning
after a verry[sic] tiresome trip of some 1500 miles
we all stood this trip remarkably well,con-
sidering the rapidity with which we were
hurrid[sic] through[.] my Company are all well, with
exception of 4 or 5 who are complaining with
colds, and John James who has a prety[sic] severe
attack of measels. The men are generally in
fine spirits, and eager for a fight. We were
mustered into the service of the Confederate
states to day. I cannot say when we will
leave here[.] some think we will remain here
2 or 3 weeks for the purpose of drilling etc.
I do not know to what point we will be
marched from this place. I am told we are
destined for Harper's Ferry. Where an attack
is antisipated[sic] from Lincoln's army there is
no more war news here than is in Arkansas
and I believe hardly so much, There are some
six or seven thousand troops here at this time[.]
a great many have left for Harper's Ferry.
There are two regiment[sic] here from Tennessee[,]
one company from my old county (Rhea)
I have not had time to visit their camp yet
but have no doubt I will meet with some of
my aquantances there. I will go over this
[Page 2] This is quite a pleasant country, though
it is rather too cool to be pleasant now,
crops are at least six weeks later here than
in our country, wheat is from half leg to knee
high, a great many farmers are just now
planting corn, They have the finest stock here
I have ever seen[.] the beef we are using is a
great deal better than we ever get in Arkansas
I think my health will improve in this climate
I was not well while we remained at Little
Rock, but I feel very well now, we have good
tents, though not quite enough of them yet
we had some confusion in camp
caused by the company from Drew county
refusing to be mustered into the service[.] they
broke up in a row(?) and refused to go further
so our Regiment now lacks one company of
being full, but I am happy to say that in this Saline
company, not a man backed out.
I need not tel[sic] you how much I want to
see you all, though I do hope you are all
geting[sic] along well. Keep in good heart[.] I will
be back after a while, Sarah, take good
care of all the children, they are hardly ever
off my mind, write to me often. Laura has
nothing else to do, is Dick talking plain?
write about him, and whether Mary Lydia
has been brought home. Keep the little
girls at their books, your brother Will
is quite well, he has gone down to the City
this evening. Lynchburg is a city of about
12000 inhabitents, and is one of the healthiest
cities on the continent[.] it is one of the old
cities of Virginia[.] it is a state on the west
[Page 3] bank of the James River let the children
find it on the map.
I cannot write about all the boys but you
can say to their parents they are doing very
well[.] try and see them all, tel[sic] the Brents
Jack looks verry[sic] soldier like[.] tel[sic] Mrs
Wylie, Mrs Young, Mrs Norris, Mrs Laymon,
Mrs Kirkpatrick and all others who have young
sons here, that I will never
leave the boys until I see them safe home if
we all live
I wil close this letter and write again
soon, tel[sic] Mrs Emerson that the sergeant
still holds on to his old mottos, "Long my
Bullies hang"
When you write address
Capt William A Crawford
1st Arkansas Regt. Ark. Volunteers
If I should be gone the letters will be
forwarded[.] get Shoppach on some one
else to back your letters give my
regards to all,
kiss the children for me
Affectionately yours
Wm. H. Crawford
Sarah H. Crawford

Physical Description

Letter, 3 pages, 12" x 7.5"


Correspondence; Civil War; Military life


William A. Crawford




SMC.00056.013, Series III, Item 2

Resource Type



Small manuscript collection


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

Letter, William A. Crawford to Sarah H. Crawford, Small manuscript collection, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.


Use and reproduction of images held by the Arkansas State Archives without prior written permission is prohibited. For information on reproducing images held by the Arkansas State Archives, please call 501-682-6900 or email at


image preview
Letter, William A. Crawford to Sarah H. Crawford