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Lafayette County Va Oct 27th 1861
Miss Sallie Thomas,
My Dear Friend

I deem this as the most favorable opportunity of writing you a few lines. I have not had the opportunity of writing sooner. I have nothing of great interest to write. I overtaken the company a few days ago. They were following the Yankees. Monday evening we overtaken the enemy. They were camped at Gauley River. Our cavalry got into a skirmish with them. Three of our side got wounded and one killed. They say they killed several of the enemy. From the looks of the Yankee tents there must be several thousand of them. We are expecting a fight with them every day. There is several of our company behind sick. Four died F.Davis, Sam London, William Satterfield, and Gilbert Parker. Western Va is a cold sad and gloomy country to me. I was in hopes that we would take our winter quarters on the coast of Georgia this winter but I donít know now where we will stay at. I wish I could have the pleasure of staying in Lumpkin this winter where I could see my Dear, Dear Sallie every day. Remember me. Beare in mind a more trusty friend you cannot find. You must write on the receipt of this. You must excuse my paper & bad writing. Write soon.

Your most true friend
J. M. McDonald

[NOTE: Jesse Marion McDonald served in Company E, Phillips Legion, "Blue Ridge Rifles," C.S.A. and later married Sarah "Sallie" Thomas, listed above. He was the son of Jonathan A. and Harriet M. (Davidson) McDonald of Cherokee CO, NC.]

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