Date Original

1861 May 24


Letter from William H. Woodruff telling his mother about the camp at Fort Randolph, Tennessee. Woodruff mentions guards sleeping on night watch, attempted suicides, laughs, and wishes to hear from his family.


[Page 1] Ft. Randolph Tenn
May 24th 1861
My Dear Mother
I am know[sic] trying to
write you a few lines after reading the 38 & 39 Chapters
of the book of Ezekiel[.] it makes me feel very sad but
I trust that we may all met again on earth if
not in heaven. I am confident if we pursue the right
course[,] we sing hymns[,] read the bible and pray every night
we are preparing know[sic] for our enemies[.] we are throwing up
breastworks[.] they had me at it yesterday[.] they put Mr. Fortune
at it this morning and he come[sic] to me and said if I were at
Mr. Nicks shop making Thresher frames that he thought
he could make it [illegible] better than throwing up breastwork[.]
it made me laugh right hearty I did not feel like it
but he said in such away[sic] that I could not help it. we had
out picket guards last night and two of them from the
Dire Company went to sleep and there guns were stolen from
them[.] they were brought up this morning[,] tied like
runaways[.] they will be tryed to day[.] I expect they will
be punished very severly[sic] I expect I will tell you in my
next letter all about it. I hear the signal
[Page 2] I must go to drilling in the manuel[sic] of arms, will now
I will proceed. A member of one of the companys[sic] shot
himself the other day because he said they did not feed
him enough and another cut himself for the same
thing and one fell off of the boat to day and got
drowned and several sick but I am [illegible] sturing[sic]
there is no telling how soon I may be laid up and I
don't think there any prospect of it yet I think
camp life agrees with me[.] the boys says[sic] I am
fatening[sic] as fast they ever seen any one in so short
a time but if it wasent[sic] for Mr. Walke, I would
loose[sic] my weight fast[.] he is such a good cook and
such a fine fellow[.] he is so nice in every thing. tell
John and James I want to see them so bad I don't
know what to do with myself[.] I get to studying
about them sometime that I cant be stil[sic]
I want to be with them so bad[.] tell them both to
write to me and all of you. I wrote to you a few day[sic]
ago and I have not received any answer yet[.] the reson[sic] why
is because I forgot to tell you to direct it in the
care of Cap. J.R. Fentress and I never will get one
[Page 3] until you direct it to the care of Fentress[.]
nothing more[.] only give my love to all and great
portion of for you self[sic] so good by[sic] one and all
Your affectionate
son W.H. Woodruff
I forgot to tel you if Couison[sic] Jim went in
the Cavelry[sic] or not.
H Randolph

Physical Description

Letter, 3 pages, 9.75" x 15.5"


Correspondence; Civil War; Military life


William H. Woodruff




SMC.00021.003, Item 1

Resource Type



Small manuscript collection


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

Letter, William H. Woodruff to his Mother, Small manuscript collection, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.


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Letter, William H. Woodruff to his Mother