THE SETSER LETTERS
edited by Greg Mast
Hibriten Guards", Co. F of the 26th Regiment North Carolina Troops is
perhaps the most famous company of the most famous North Carolina Regiment.
Company F suffered 100% casualties at Gettysburg,
all of its 91 members present at the battle either killed or wounded. This
remarkable fact, apparently the only example during the War of an entire command
being wiped out, was repeatedly brought to the attention of the public by the
Company's articulate Captain, Rev. Romulus Tuttle in numerous post‑war articles
Little has been known about the rank‑and‑file members of this command beyond the
published roster. We are therefore. particularly grateful to Mr. David Setser
of Hildebrand, N.C. for permission to print this collection
of letters written by members of the Setser family, most of which pertain to
Indvidual letters written by Confederate soldiers are not particularly hard to find;
whole collections such as this are very scarce. Most of the letters are written
by cousins W.E. Setser and Thomas W. Setser to W. E.'s father, W.A. Setser.
They are by turns humorous and poignant, chronicling war‑weariness and a
persistant confidence in ultimate victory. If you are moved by the experience of
our Confederate ancestors, you may both laugh and weep in reading these
Like most Americans of the mid-nineteenth century, the authors of these letters
spelled words the way they prounounced them. To preserve the flavor of the
originals, spelling and capitalization are unaltered. The letters are totally
without punctuation and paragraphing. These have been added by the editor.
Occasional clarifications have been inserted into the text with brackets.
Individuals and places are identified by footnotes located at the end of each letter,
however such identifications are usually made only the first time the person or
place is mentioned.
In order to place the letters in context, some connective narration of the history
of the Regiment and Company is included.
A particular debt of gratitude is owed to member Greg Vaughn who located,
transcribed. and typed the letters.
These letters were
published in 1989 in the Company Font newsletter, as a 4 part series. The
copies I received were hard to read because of the type and they were in 2
column format. I find this format hard to read on a webpage because of
having to scroll up and down to read a page. I have changed all the type to 'arial
font' and re-formatted to 'single column'. All other formatting and spelling are
as they were originally edited and printed. I have kept the letters as the
original 4 part series.