Search billions of records on
Setzer COA


Part 1     Part 2     Part 3     Part 4

At the close of the previous installment of the letters, early October, 1862, the 26th North Carolina was encamped at Camp French near Petersburg.

Camp French near Petersburg Oct the 12th 1862

Dear Father and Mother, Brothers and Sisters, i now take the opportunity of Droping you a few lines to let you now that i am well at this time, and hope theas few lines may find you injoying the Same Blesing. this makes the Second leter that i have Rote and received but one. i wood like to no what is the reason you dont Rite. tel what you ar doing, i think you have vacated Caldwell.

i have no nuse of interest to Rite at this time. it is raining to day we have had no rain hear in a long time. tell {illegible} them Boxes that Tom Setser started with hav never got heir yet, and i dont think they will. i want you to send me a pair of Slips {?} and Socks. the Boxes is at Weldon NC.

the Bois is all well and harty. their is a talk of the yankees making a nother attact on Richmond. i dont no my Self. things is our rageous. Shooes Sell at fifteen and twenty Dollars a pair, comon pantaloons ten to fifteen Dollars. the money i sent by Carell Moore, Bill Ballew hes got it. you can go to him and get it.

we have none to much to Eat, But plenty of hard workse to do making Brest works. i think we will Stay heir Some time. i wood like to come home to See you all, But thair is no chance now. give my respect to all the neighbors and keep a good part your Self. tell Mother and Columbus and Romulois that i wood like to See Some of their Riting. Harriet rote that Lum was sick, but i hope he is well. i have no mor nuse to Rite. our men has ben falling Back from the potamac for the last week. i dont now what their idea is, But i hope it is all for the Better. Rite as Soon as you get this later. So no more, But Remain your affectionate Son. Rite Soon.

W.E. Setser

The following letter, by Wesley W. Canon, is included in the Setser letters. Canon enlisted in Company F on October 1, 1861, at age 30. He transferred to Company H, 58th Regiment North Carolina Troops on May 1, 1862. The letter is written from their camp at Cumberland Gap to W. A. Setser, the father of W. E. (Eli) Setser

Cumberland gap Kentucky Oct the 15 1862

Dear Friend, I am happy to say to you that I am well and hearty, hoping this may find you well also. I must say to you that we hav to march again. we are going to lundon, Kentucky. (1) we hav got our provishions reddy for the march. we will leave today for lundon, about 75 miles from here.

we hav seen hard times since we left lenoir. we have crossed rough mountains, and now we have to go on picket gard every other day here all around the mourtain. you art to see how the yankees fortified this place. they built battaries all the war up the gap of the mountain plum to the top, but our men did not have to charge ther battaries, but they charged there stomach and cut ther stuffing off, and they vacwated and left here. (2)

our men is a giveing them fits now in Kentucky. our men has taken 10 thousand prisoners, and kill 4 thousand, and tuck 15 canons and lots of commissary stores, so the couriers brings news from there.

I wood be glad to see you here to take a view of the beautiful country from the top of the cumberland mountain. it is the pretty ist view you ever seen. I reckon it looks like I can see back home. this is a very pretty place. the yankees cleared a bout a thousand acres of the mountain off to see the rebels, as they call us, but they left without the sight at last.

captain dula (3) has not got here yet. our fair is good now. we get glower and corn meal and beef and bacon and rice and shugar and sheepe too. I want to no if you hav received any money from captain J R ballew (4) for me. I sent a power of attorney to him to draw may money what was due me ther up to my trasfer, and I also told him to send it to you. rite to me if you got it or not. I want you to keep all of my money and noters till I come home, if ever i do. if any comes in my name you are awthorized to take it for me, and keep till I call for it. I want you to give me all of the news in caldwell, good and bad, and whare Eli and Tom Setser is. rite soon if you please. tell your father and mother howdy for me, and give my best respects to tham, and also give my respects to the girls. I must close my letter. Northing more only I remain your friend.

W W Canon to W A Setser

Direct yours to Tazewll Po Tenn, Co H 58 NC regt in care of col palmer, and it will follow on after me. Miss H R Setser, I send you a Sheete of yankee paper and an anvelope.

1. The 58th N.C. entered Kentucky in the rear of Bragg's and Kirby Smith's armies. They proceeded but a little way before they met the invading Confederates in full retreat.

2. The Federals abandoned Cumberland Gap on September 17, when Kirby Smith's forces cut their lines of communication.

3. Captain Thomas J. Dula, company commander of Company H.

4. Captain Joseph R. Ballew, who commanded Co. F 26th N.C. when Canon was a member

[editor] In early November the 26th North Carolina was sent on an expedition into eastern North Carolina. On November 2, at Rawl's Mills in Martin County, six companies of the 26th successfully engaged a Federal force ten times their size.

Camp Near Tarrboro NC

November the 9th 1862

Dear father and Mother, Brothers and Sisters, i now take the opertunity of droping you a few lines to inform you that i am well at this time. i have had the chills and feaver, but have got over them. we have been marching for the last two weeks. We were marching all day yesterday through the Snow. the Snow was from five to Six inches deep. the Regiment has ben in a fight five miles from Williamston. i was not in the fight. the enamy is advencing up Ronoke River. i think we will have a hard fight Before long. you said you was coming to See me. i wood be mity glad to See you, but i dont want you to come tell we take up camp Some where, then i want you and mother both to come. we ar now two miles from Tarrboro. i do not no how long we will Stay hear. i wil haft to Bring my few lines to a close. i have not time to Rite. you neadent to Rite tell i Rite a gain. So no more at present.

W E Setser

Camp French near Petersburg

November the 15th 1862

Dear Father and Mother, Brothers and Sisters, I now take the pleasure of Riting you a few lines to let you now that I am well at this time, and hope theas few lines may find you injoying the Same health.

we have Back to .Petersburg after marching for three weeks. we have been all over the eastern part of North Carolina. i have had the wills and feaver while we were at Williamston. we have Seen a mity hard time style='font-size:12.0pt; font-family:Arial'>Since we left hear. we marched all day through the Snow. Some of our Bois wer barefooted. we come on the train from Tarrbobo NC.

i want you to come to See me. i think we will Stay hear a while. i want you to fetch me Something to Eat and drink. you wanted to no wether i could Sell five or Six gallons of Brandy, good Brandy Sells at five Dollars a quart. you can Brig it, i will Sell it for you. I want you to Bring me a pair of pantloons and a jacket and a hat. if you can get it, sind a pair of Socks, we ar camped at our old camp four miles from Petersburg. the health of our Regment if very good. the Bois is all well and harty.

their is Some talk of peace Being made. i hope it will tell Columbus that i wood Send him Some powder, But it is ten Dollars a pound hear. i want you to be shore and bring me Some chestnuts. By me Some and i will pay for them, i will pay any price for them. things is awful high here. i want you to fetch Mother with you. i want you to come Rite off, So no more But Remains your Son tell Death.

W.E. Setser

November the 15th 1862

Dear Father, i want you to Send me Something to Eat and drink. if you can get me Some chestnuts. i will pay for them and Some appels.

Joseph Setser (1)

1. Joseph Setser,. evidently a brother of W. E. Setser, enlisted in Company F at age 19, October 9,1862.

[editor]The Regiment was moved to North Carolina again in mid‑December, as part of the concentration of troops to oppose the expedition of Union General John Foster agains Kinston, White Hall, and Goldsboro.

Camp French Near Petersburg December the 31st 1862

Dear father and Mother, Brothers and Sisters, i now Seat my Self to Drop you a few lines to inform you that i am well at this time and hope theas few lines may find you injoying the Same health. i have nothing of interest to Rite at this time.

we Started to N.C. the same Day you left hear. we got to goldsborou the next morning By Day ligh. we went from their to Mosley Hall. We Staid their about a hour. we we not in the Battle of White Hall, Bud came very near it. we got back to Petersburg the day before Christmas.

i think we will Stay hear a while. their is Some chance of geting a furlow. i think i will get to come home Before long. we have Drew our winter clothing. Rite to me as Soon as you get this leter, for i am ancious to heir from home. So no more.

W E Setser

[editor] By February, 1863 the Regiment was back in Goldsborough, and in March it participated in the unsuccessful attempt of General D. H. Hill to take New Bern.

N C Camp Near Golesborou Febrary the 25 1863

Dear Fathr and Mother, Brothers and Sisters, I now Drop you a few lines to let you now that I am well at this time, and hope theas few lines may find you well.

i got to camp the day after I Saw you, and found all the Bois well and harty. i found the Regm at Golesborou. i got my things along very well By paying the freight on my Box. it went very hard with me for a day or two, But I have got use to it again.

I dont think their is much chance of us geting to bo Back to Petersburg Shortly. we are Still in the old pine Smoke. I tried to get you that {illegible}, but their was none in Sallsbury. It was knight when we pas Raleigh, or els i wood a got Some their. I will go up to Golesborou this Eavning to See wether i can get any their.

I have no nuse to Rite except is Some talk of the yankes trying Charleston or Willmington Before long. me and Tom Sold our Brandy for Eight Dollar a gallon. they made it hop while we had it. you can tell Columbus that i can By him a coat for thirty Dollars, But i wodent have one of them it they was to give them to me. their is not much talk of peace Being made, nor i dont think it will in two years. i had Some hopes when i was at home of peace. Being made, But i dont think their is any chance now. i will haft to Bring my leter to a close, for i haft to go to driling. i wood Rite more it had time. Rite to me as Soon as you get this leter. So no more at present, But Remains your affectonate Son tell Deth.

Direct your leter to Golesborou in the care of Colonel Burguinn.

W E Setser

Greenville N C March the 24 1863

Dear Father and Mother, Sisters and Brothers,

I now Rite you a few lines to let you now that i am well at this time, and hope theas few lines will find you well. I wood have Ritten Sone, But I have not had time we have Ben marching for the last threee weeks nearly evry Day and knight through the mud and water. it has Rained nearly two thirds of the time, and Snoad one time. I suppose you have herd of our late fight at Newbern on the 14th of this month. their was Some three or four men kild in our Reg, and Some twnety wonded. I Shall not undertake to give you a full Detail of our march, for I have not time and it is Raining.

I will give you a Short Sketch now: we left goldsboro about the first of the month and went from their to Kinston, and from Kinston to Newbern, and from Newbern to Greenville, and from Greenville to within Eight miles of Washington. their we Staid five days.

we come Back to Greenville yesterday. whear we will go next I do not no. I am in hope we will get Back to Goldsborou Before long. we have no close a long, only what we have on. we ar tolerable Black about this time, But the Bois Seem to be in good har. Generall Hill {D.H. Hill} Says he is going to tent us through this Spring and Sumer. I tell you it is a hard way to Serve the Lord in theas low lands of {illegible}. I am giting tierd of Eastern NC. I had Rather be any whear Els.

I have Rite you about all the news. me and the Bois is all well. tell Columbus that I Recived his leter, But I have not time to Answer it. you can tell Mister Jones that if he will give me fifteen Percent on the Dollar, and pay it Back in State money that he can git it. Rite to me as Soon as you get this leter. your affectionate Son.

W E Setser

Direct your leter to Goldsborou N. C

[editor] The troops under D. H. Hill, including the 26th North Carolina, moved to Washington about March 30, and laid seige to the town. Federal reinforcements arriving by the Pamlico River forced Hill to abandon the seige on April 15, and the Regiment returned to the Kinston area.

Camp 26 Regt N Carolina Troops Near Washington April the 12th 1863

Mr W A Setser

Dear Father and Mother, Sisters and Brothers, I will rite you a few lines to let you know that I am well at this time and hope theas few lines will find you all well. I have nothing of interest to Rite the Bois is all well and harty. GH {illegible} is Coming home. he wants to Borow thirty Dollars. you can let him have thirty Dollars of my money when he gets home. let him have Confederate money. I have Rite you about all the news we have, for I tell you it is a dry time. While I am riting this I hear the Roar of Canons. Rite to me as Soon as you get this leter. So no more.

W E Setser

Direct your leters to Goldsboro

[editor] The following letter is from William Fleming, a kinsman of the Setsers, who enlisted in Company F at age 35, Jaunary 7,1863.

Camp near Washington nc April the 13th 1863

Dear Cousins and family, it is with pleasure that I seat myself to drop you a few lines by which you may learn that I am well, and hoping these few lines may find you enjoying the same blessing. I have nothing of importance to write to you, only that we have been a marching very hard for the last 5 weeks, and have had some little brushes with thee yankees. but thank god, I have come through safe so fure. we now have washington surrounded, and old Hill says he can take the place without the loss of a man at anytime he wants too. but I dont know what is the reason that he dont proceed, for we are all tired of lying here and listening at the cannons every day. howdy H.R. Setser. write to me soon all the news you have up there. So I will close by asking you to write soon.

Wm Fleming to W. A. Setser

Camp 26 Reg near Hookerton April the 20 1863

Dear father and mother, Sisters and Brothers, I now Rite you a few lines in answer to your leter, which i Received yesterday. I was very glad to hear you was all well. I am well at this time.

I have no news of interest to Rite. the Rest of the Bois is all well. we have Ben marching very hard Since I Rote to you Before. we havent Ben in any fight yet, But Dont no how Soon we will Be. we have left Washington and ar camped in Twelve miles of Kinston. we come hear yesterday.

times ar very hard. we cant hardly Get a nuff to eat. I have Saw the Devil Since I come from home, marching through the mud and wading Creeks. my watch was Brok when I gave it to Joe Estes. you can git it fixt and take care of it tell i come home, if I ever do.

you can gell G H Hastin (1) that when he comes Back to come to Kinston, and if he wants to Bring any Boxes, that he can git them to the Regt: our waggons goes to Kinston evry two days. I wood like for you to Send me Something to eat. I am gitting ierd of Old Bacon and Crackers. William Fleming Sends his Best love and Respect to you.

I cant give you a full Detail of our late march in Eastern NC. we have had Some men kild and wonded in our Regt. I wood like for pease to be made, But I never want it made in this world in the yankes favor. I had as Soon live in Africa as to live under A Lincon Government. I have Rote you About all the news we have in camp. Rite to me as Soon as you git this later, for I have not time to Rite eny time I want to.

Your affectionate Son

W E Setser

William Fleming Died last Wedensday at Greenville Nort Carolina (2) W E Setser

1. Private Green H. Harston, who enlisted in Co. F in July, 1861. Wounded at Bristoe Station, and paroled at Appomattox Court House.

2. Eli is mistaken here. He is probably referring to James W. Fleming, who died in Greenville in late April of disease.

[editor] On May 1, 1863 the 26th N.C., with the rest of Pettigrew's Brigade, was moved to Richmond. From there it was moved to Hanover Junction, where it was used to guard the Richmond and Fredricksburg Railroad and various bridges.

North Anna River near Hanover Junction May the 13th 1863

Mr W. A. Setser

Dear Father and Mother, Sisters and Brothers, I now Rite you a few lines in answer to your kind and affectonate letter, which I very Gladly Recived some Time ago.

I have no news of importance To Rite. The Great Battle of Fredricksburg (1) is over. I tell you it was a Hard Battle. The trains have Ben halling off our wonded ever Since the Battle Comenced, and ar not Done yet. their was three thousand Prisoneers past hear this week, and more a Coming. our brave General Jackson is Dead. he died day Before yesterday. Our Soldiers Regret The loss of that Brave man. he has led them Through A many a hard battle. he was wonded in the Battle, which caused his arm to Be cut off. I dont no wether his Death was caused By that or not.

The Rest of the Bois is all well and in Good Spirats. I will Send Some money home as Soon as we draw. I want you to Bey me a mule or horse or Something Els with my money. Spend it Some Ho. Wheat Crops looks very well hear. we draw four ounces of meat a day.

I have Rote you all the news we have in Camp. Rite to me as Soon as you Get this leter, and direct your leter to Richmond, Pettigrews Brigade. We have Ben garding the Rail Road Bridge this Side of Fredericksburg across North Anna River. We ar Camped Some 25 miles north of Richmond on the Richmond and Fredricksburg Rail Road. I will try to Get them {illegible} for you as Soon as we draw money.

your affectionat Son

W E Setser Esq

1. The Battle of Chancellorsville, a portion of which is sometimes referred to as the "2nd Battle of Fredricksburg".

Campe 26 Regt. N.C. T Neair hanovergunction Va May the 21st 1863

Dear Cousen, I Seats my Self to drop you a few lines to lete you know that I am well at this time, and truly hoping when thees few lines Come to your hand, tha may fine you and famley well and a dooing well. I hav nothing of eny importance to write to you at this time, only I would like to See you all. but I Cante tell you when I will git to See you all a gin, but I hope before long. I think you have moste forgoten mee. you never write to mee nor Say any think at tall, whether you air dead or a live. I hav writen you too leters and hante got any anseer, and I will write this wone, and if you donte write this time, I will quit, but that is a nuf.

we air in virginia. we lefte North Carolina for fredericksburg, but the trains run to gather (1), and that thodes be hine the time. So we couden git thair till the fite was over, but it warnte the train we was on, but Some of the brigade. and we was Stop twenty five miles frome Richmond at hanovergunction to gard a bridg a cross North anna river rail road bridg. it is a very perty plase her. we the beste of water to drink and git a plenty to eate. I had a heape druther Stay her than in the estern parte of North Carolina in a mong them frog pons, if it is farther frome home. but I think this sumer will close the war, So we all can home and Stay. you donte now how tired I am of this war.

it hante my worth while to try to tell you eny thing bout the fite that was at fredicksburg, for I wante thair, and all the neuse that I har is frome the papers, and you now as much as I doo, if not moore. I have Seen a grate meny wouned Soldiers pass her on the train, and the yankees prisners pass her some five or six thousand. So I will quit this Subgect. all the boys is well at this time, only John Crump is Sick, and has bin for the laste week. So write Soon, if you plese. So fairwell for this time.

T.W. Setzer to W.A. Setzer Esq

1. A portion of the Regiment was involved in a train wreck on the journey to Virginia, resulting in several fatalities.

Camp near hanover Junction va May the 31st 1863

Dear Cusin, I Seat my Self to Drop you a few Lines to inform you that I am well at this time, and I hope when theas few Lines Comes to hand that they may find you well and Dooing well. Cousin W.A.S., I shold Like to See you one time more and Spend Som more time with you at home a hunting Squirls, and to Eat Som of you meet and Bred and to Drink Som of you Brandy. I have no more to Rite to you at this time.

I am Say to you that I have Seen hard times Sins i saw you. we had a hard march to nubonn {New Bern} threw the coald and threw the mud and water, then a march to Washing{ton}, then we saw hard times, and now we ar campt cloase to North Anna River in a very pretty place. we have good water to Drink. we ar throwing up Brest work her, But I cant tell how long we weill Stay her. I hav Sean a heep of yankees going to Richmond. they was took prisners at the fight.

W. E. Setser is well and Stout at this time. ale{also} the Rest of the Boys But Georg Powel, he is not very well at this time, But not Dangerously Bad.

I have Rot you a few lines Before ths Letter, and I hant no latter from you, only a few Lines in W.E.S. letter, and I want you to Rite to me as Soon as you git this Letter, and gave me all thew news you have. and Rite how wheat Looks, and the Rites of Every thing in Caldwell, County, and Rite what a poal tax is, and give me all the news a Bout hard times.

up her hour Rashing a day is a half pound of meat, and a pound and a Eight of flower, and Som Little Sugar, But not very mutch of hit.

Cousin Lizy I Shoulda like to see you. the time Seem Long Sins i Saw you, But I hope this unholy War will Soon end, So i can Come home to See you all. houdy H.R. Setzer. I Should like to See you and have Som more fun with you. houdy Betsy, houdy and all the Boys. H.R. Setzer Rit to me all the good news you have, and Rite how all the girls is. tell them I am wel. So i wil close By asking you to Excuse my Bad Riting and Spelling. Rite Soon.

From William Fleming to W.A. Setzer Esq.

[editor] In early June Pettigrew's Brigade, including the 26th North Carolina, was moved to Hamilton's Crossing and was assigned to Henry Heth's Division, A.P. Hill's Corps, Army of Northern Virginia.

Fridericksburg va

June 9th 1863

Mr. W A Setser

Dear Father and Mother, Sisters and Brothers. I now rite you a few lines in answer to your kind and affectionate letter which I very gladly received some time ago. I have no news of interest to rite.

we have left Hanover Junction and ar in line of Battle Below Fredericksburg, expecting the yankes to adavance evry moment. we came hear last knight. we have Ben at Hamiltons Crossing, and we orderd hear last knight. we ar 8 miles below fredericksburg, on the Rappahanock. We ar in about a mile of each other. Our pickets and the yanks ear in two hundred yards of each other. they talk and quarel with each other. We changed Some harpers {Harper's Illustrated} with them yesterday. We have orders to not shoot at each other unless eather Side advances. I think their will be a nother hard Battle hear in a few days.

Their is no Chance for me to come home and help you to save your wheat. I want you to Send me my watch and Twenty Dollars. I can swop it by giving some Boot, and get me a good watch for 50.00 dollars. Send me the watch and the money as Soon as you can.

I have Saw all of the Boys in the other Company and Lawson Corpening. they are Generaly well

Rite Soon and Darect to Richmond Va. you affectionate Son

W E Setser

[editor] The above is the last letter written by the Setser boys prior to Gettysburg to have survived. In July W. A. Setser, father of W. E. "Eli" Setser received three letters.

July the 14 63

Charlottsville Va

Mr W.A. Setzer

Dear uncle, I can say to you that I am tolerabe well only as I suppose you are aware that I hav bin sick for some time. I can onley say to you in gard to Cousin Eli is wounded. (1) I saw G W Hood (2) this morning. he says Eli has his thigh broken near his body. he was left hear the battlefield, as he was not able to be moved. ther was 14 men killed in our Company, to wit JB Holloway (3) JB Littljon (4) JH Coffey (5) C Coffey (6) J Taylor (7) B Braswell (8) M Townsel (9) W Philips (10) J Philips (11) J. Luis (12) J Gragg (13) TJ Cosort (14) J Curtis (15) W Tomson (16) r Carswell (17). T. W. Setzer is wounded (18), also W Flemine (19), George Arney (20), Neal Crump (21), T Crump (22), ST Powell (23), and in fact all the company but few. I forgot to say that Dan Cortney (24) had his leg broken. Tell Sheriff Tuttle that I left his son John in Lynchburg. (25) he was nealey well. I cannot tell whar he is at this time, he may be in richmond va, as a grate many went down thar to defend the Town. I hope this may find you well. from your nepew

Geo. L. Powell (26) to W A Setzer

1. Private W. E. Setser, 19, was wounded in the thigh on July 1, 1863 and died on July 4,1863.

2. Private George W. Hood, 22, was wounded in the hip on July 1, 1863. Returned to duty and was mortally wounded at Bristoe Station

3. 3d Lieutenant John B. Holloway, 29, was killed on July 1, 1863.

4. Private J. B. Littlejohn, 22, was wounded on July 1, and died on July 3 1863 of wounds.

5. Private J. H. Coffey, 23, was "shot in the breast" and killed, July 1, 1863.

6. Private Cleveland Coffey, 26, was wounded on July 1, and died on July 3, 1863 of wounds.

7. Private A. John Taylor, 20, was killed on July 1, 1863.

8. Private Robert Braswell, 29, was "shot in head" and killed, July 1, 1863.

9. Private M. L. Townsell, 22, was killed on July 1, 1863.

10. Private W. E. Phillips was killed on July 1, 1863.

11. Private Joseph Phillips was killed on July 1, 1863. Joseph and W.E. Phillips were twin brothers.

12. Private John C. Lewis, 24, was killed on July 1, 1863.

13. Private Jackson Gragg, 23, was killed on July 1, 1863.

14. Private Thomas J. Cozart, 22, was killed on July 3, 1863.

15. Private Joshua Curtis, 23, was not killed at Gettysburg, but was captured in Maryland on July 14, 1863.

16. Private W. M. Thompson, 18, was killed on July 1, 1863.

17. Private Robert H. Caswell, 35, was killed on July 1, 1863.

18. Tom Setser was wounded on July 3, 1863.

19. Private William Fleming, 35, was killed on July 1 or 3, 1863.

20. Private George Armey, 36, was wounded and captured at Gettysburg. Right leg amputated.

21. Private H. C. Crump, 18, was wounded in the arm at. Gettysburg.

22. Private Thomas Crump, 21, was wounded on July 1, 1863. Died of wounds about July 8, 1863.

23. This is probably Private Pidkney Powell, wounded in the head July 1, 1863.

24. This is probably Private Henry C. Courtney, wounded in the right thigh on July 1, 1863.

25. Tuttle was not present at Gettysburg, but missed the campaign while ill in the hospital at Lynchburg.

26. Corporal George L. Powell was apparently not present at Gettysburg. He died on May 12, 1864 from wounds suffered at the Wilderness

[editor] This letter to W. A. Setser was written by 2nd Lieutenant William A. Tuttle of Co. A, "The Caldwell Rough and Ready Boys", 22nd Regiment North Carolina Troops:

Camp Bunkerhill Va July 18 1863

Dear Freind,

as I an now at leasure a little, I will drop you a few lines to let you know that Bill is yet alive and well, But it was by the Protection of a Divine Power that I am Safe.

The Battle of Gettysburg no doubt was the Bloodyist fight that ever was fought on the Continent. I lead 3 companes into the last charge made on the Enemies works. I saw them falling on my Right and left, but Still on we went untill half our number had fallen then we had to fall back, the Enemy mowing us as we went. Liut Dickson was lost on the Retreat.

I hope to God that noe of my freinds will Ever look on such a sight as that field was. I will Stop about it. I hope I will git home and Desmember it all. I am in Command of the Regt. I reckon you think it is a poor chance when Bill Tuttle commands a Regt.

Eli requested me to write to you. I was the last one of his friends that saw him. I went by and saw him as we fell Back. I Dont think he will ever Recover. his thigh was shivered close up to his hip. He may be, But I have no idea that he is alive yet. he told me that he was willing to Die and that he hoped to meet me in heaven.

It was hard for me to leave the Boys, and If I had not been an officer I would have been taken with them. Jo Setser (1) lay close to Eli with his leg amputated above the nee, and Dan Courtenay lay near them with his leg broke below the nee. these were all that were together. the Rest of them was about a mile at a house. I told them I must go, that the yankees was coming and with a heavy heart I took their hands, and a tear fell from our eyes and we parted.

If I never see you any more think of your neighbor Boys that fell in Defince of their Country.

Your Sincere Friend

Leiut W. A. Tuttle

To W.A. Setser esqr.

1. Private Joseph Setser, 20, brother or cousin of W.E. "Eli" Setser, died on July 17, 1863 of his wound.

[editor] And finally a letter from Cousin Tom Setser.

Tice Institute horsepital Raleigh NC July the 29th 1863

Dear Cousen, I Seate my Self one more time to drop you a few lines to lete you Know that I am it a live and well whiles hundreds of my fellows Soldiers has fell lifeless Corps all a round mee, and I was spaird but I cante See how it was, but I truly hope when thees few lines Come to your hand tha may find you all well and a dooing well. I hav nothing of mutch intruste to write to you at this time, onley I would like to See you all, but I donte See eny Chance to git to See you all at Tall, for tha wonte lete mee Come home. tha wonte giv eny furlows her.

I would like for you and father to Come down and See mee. I could tell you a heape, but I know that you air buisey in your crop, and So I wounte insiste on your Coming, but I would like to See you all.

I am Sorow to tell you that Cousen Eli was lefte behine in a bad condistion. I hate to tell you what he Said, but he requistted mee to tell you all how it was. I Stade with him all that eavning after he was wouned, and all that knite and nex morning at day lite I put him in a ambulance, and tha was the laste that I Seen of hime, and purtneer the laste word he said to mee, Tom tell my folks how it. was. he Said that he was a going to die and he node it, and Said he was wiling to die and he wanted mee to tell you how it was. he was shot in too or three places in the arme, and one or too holes threw his Coate, and one Came wente threw his thie and broke the bone all to pecis, but I hav Some hope that he is a live Some wher it, and will git over it and git home.

We hav See a heard time Sence we Croste over in pennsylvnia. we pass threw wone little town after a nother till we Come to Gattiesburg when we run a gin the yankees, and you may talk of this big fite and that big fite, but tha hante bin now Sutch fiting as was dun over thair for the firste days fite. I could all but walk over the field on dead and wouned. I never hav Seen the like before no herd the like. wher our Rigmente fought the yankees was on a hill, and {the Yankees} had three lines and the {last} wones was a Shotiting over the forreste wones, and tha was all a firing, but we run them back a mile.

I wonte in the fite the firsts day. I was in the thrd day. we lade in twenty Steps of our batters, and the hole grown Shuck {whole ground shook}. the yankes kill five horses rite in fronts of Mee at wone Shot, and I cante tell how meny Casearns {caissons} tha blode up, but then when we made the Charge when tha Kill So meny of us, the yankees was behine a Stone fence. I will Close for I now that you air tired of reading, So write Soon and give Mee all the nuse that you have and direct your leters to General horsepital 808 Raleigh NC

So nomore at this time, only I remain your Cousen until deth from

Thomas W. Setzer

To Mr. W. A. Setzer Esq


Calvin Collier, They'll Do to Tie To: Hood's Arkansas Toothpicks

Captain Collier's account of the 3d Regiment Arkansas Infantry from enlistment to Appomattox is a good one, far above average among regimental histories.

The 3d Arkansas, along with the 27th North Carolina, made an all important flank attack on the Union breakthrough at the Sunken Road during the Battle of Sharpsburg. These regiments, along with two guns of the Washington Artillery, probably saved the Army of Northern Virginia from disasaster, buying time with their blood while Lee and Longstreet restored the shattered Confederate center.

After Sharpsburg the 3d Arkansas, together with the 1st, 4th, and 5th Texas, became part of the famous Texas Brigade. Their exploits have been somewhat overshadowed by their association with this Brigade, composed except for themselves entirely of Texans. At Gettysburg the 3d Arkansas fought on the left flank of the Brigade in Rose's Woods and Devil's Den. they were part of Longstreet's devestating breakthrough of the Federal center at Chickamauga. They were at the head of the Brigade when it saved Lee's army from a destructive Federal attack at the Wilderness. This was the famous "Lee to the rear" incident.

The Regiment, with it's Texas comrades, gave worse than it got at Spotsylvania, but its numbers were by now very much diminished. They joined the Army of Northern Virginia in 1861 with 1500 men; fielded 600 at Gettysburg and 400 and the Wilderness, but at Spotsylvania could muster no more than 150. From Gettysburg to Appomattox they were the largest regiment in the Texas Brigade. They surrendered 143 at Appomattox, out of 476 for the entire Brigade.

The account by Collier does justice to these brave men, and makes for good reading. I recommend it highly. it does suffer from a few errors: .

‑ there was no "sunrise attack order" from Lee to Longstreet on July 2 at Gettysburg.

‑ the Round Tops were not there "for the taking" in the morning hours of July 2. The better part of three Federal Corps were swarming in the vicinity all day.

‑ the 3d Arkansas fought hard and well in Rose's Woods and Devil's Den, but contrary to Collin's account, they did not attack Little Round Top. That action was handled by the 4th and 5th Texas and Law's Alabama Brigade.

‑ Collier maintains that their first issue of new uniforms since joining Lee's army came just before the Wilderness battle. This is wrong

‑ the Texas Brigade marched to Gettysburg in new uniforms, and was even issued kepis. They received new uniforms from Zeb Vance before Chickamauga, and new uniforms again before the Wilderness.

These mistakes did not diminish my enjoyment of the book. It was first published in 1959, and much information has come to light since. The book is full of interesting facts and vignettes about this fine regiment, and is often cited by subsequent historians.

The 3d Arkansas was commanded during much of its existance by North Carolina born Colonel Van Manning.

‑ Cole Eunson

Reid Mitchell, Civil War Soldiers New York: Viking, 1988. 274 pages.

Since the late Bell Wiley's The Life of Johnny Reb and The Life of Billy Yank, there have been few books that attempt to describe the common soldier of the War. Civil War Soldiers has been advertised as one of the best on the common soldier in the last 30 years. I don't agree, as I find two major problems and several minor faults that greatly reduce its usefullness.

First, this book was originally a dissertation. I have no objections to the publication of dissertaions, but I have yet to read one of an historical bent that was not molded to the author's biases, to the exclusion of presenting conflicting views. While the extreme pro‑Northern or proSouthern viewpoint is not present here, Mr. Mitchell does have his own prejudices on events and the mindset of the people during the War, which he expresses with a vengeance.

The second problem is somewhat related to the first. In the preface Mr. Mitchell states: "I have been called a 'post‑Vietnam' historian . . . if I

The Setser Letters. Part III

Part 1     Part 2     Part 3     Part 4