In Their Own Words:
Letters of Samuel Hugh Wilds and
Anna Rosamund Ellison Wilds
letters to and from home during the Civil War

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[The following series of letters between Samuel Hugh Wilds and his wife Anna Rosamund Ellison, their children, and others cover the period of his military service to the Confederacy in Civil War. These letters were transcribed by descendent Scott Wilds -- all notations below are his. Some minor format changes, such as additional paragraph breaks, have been added for ease of reading on the webpage.]


Anna R. Wilds to Elizabeth Martha Peay,
1861 or 1862

how easily I am thrown off my balance & can attend to nothing at all. And though all these I mentioned are persons of acknowledged worth & experience & might have been a great assistance to see I dreaded to make the trial. And I am much obliged to you & Mary that I have the matter settled for awhile. Please ask her to come prepared to stay some time.

The children are well, I am as usual; I will look for you the latter part of this week. Give much love to aunt & Caroline I am glad her little Howel is so much improved, she has had a hard time with him. Give love to all & accept the same from

Your affectionate sister A.

You spoke of the honoarble position Mr. W. occupies he had the position of Col. in a Williamsburg regt tendered to him by Genl Harlee of Harlee's Pee Dee Legion, but preferred to be Capt of a comp. at home; he could likewise have been Lt. Col or major in another regt. but as that wd break up his comp. he preferred not he says his present position is responsible enough & he is not qualified for a higher one.

Anna Rosamund Wilds to Samuel Hugh Wilds

Darlington, April 10th 1862

My dear husband --

Again I take my pen to write a line to let you know how all are here. I wrote on Monday saying that Robert & I had been having chill or fever it is now broke on both leaving us weak & me feeling badly. R. had three & I four. All the rest are well Mary is rather uneasy about chill & fever & may not stay long Charlotte says she is not afraid.

Cousin John's overseer having gone into service he has to stay down at the plantation a great deal away from "honey" which goes very hard with him. I expect Mary will go to stay with aunt Peay & if C. can get a way of going home she will stay with me & then sister can stay at the plantation I wd much rather both of them stayed.

Every thing is going on pretty well as far as I can learn. I hope to hear soon of a great improvement in your health; but I have not had a letter in a week. I heard that Dr. Dargan said you were improving Dr. H. told me.

I must now close as it is late. The children all send love & kisses; accept the same from

Your affectionate wife

A. R. W.

Anna Rosamund Wilds to Samuel Hugh Wilds

Darlington April 16th 1862

My dear husband

I have only time now as it late to write a line to let you know we all are still pretty well; no return of chill yet & no measles. I kept Robert from school today to guard against chill & think I had better keep him tomorrow. Mr. and Mrs. Milling were here this evening & Mr M. says he had recd. orders to return to camp to prepare to leave for Charleston; I am very sorry to hear it for you may be placed in a much more unhealthy situation besides the chances of a hard fight there; but God can protect us anywhere if we only look to him in faith;

There is an excellent piece in the "Mercury" of tonight on the subject of courage in the soldier which I wd send by Mr. M. if the girls had read the paper, but I will send it soon, it says that the motives which insure courage under all circumstances are those which look directly to the approval of the Ruler of all things. And I wd. feel so much better satisfied oh my husband! if I could be certain that your trust & reliance in all time of danger & affliction was set upon the Rock of Ages.

I must close. The children are all asleep & M. & C. also.

My dear husband I remain

Your affectionate wife



Samuel Hugh Wilds to Mary Ann Wilds

Morris Island 20th Feby 1863

My Dear Daughter

I received your nice and welcome letter yesterday, And you cant tell how glad and proud Father was to receive a letter from his little Daughter, and to know she had learnt so well to write, as to write him a letter, And it was writen so well, you surprised me very much, He is glad you had so good and kind a teacher as Miss Cornelia is to teach you and you must be good and obedient to Miss Cornelia & give her no trouble for she is so good and kind to you and takes so much trouble to teach you so well.

You must tell the big sister she must be a good girl and take her physic. I am sorry to hear she is sick and hope she will soo be well if she will take her physic. And tell the little Papa if he takes my chair at the table he must behave like a man, how I would like to see the Baby runing all about and see him take his lesson in dancing. I can image how prety the little fellow would look.

Tell brother Willie and Robert I am pleased to hear they are working hard to get the Pony but they must study hard or you will get ahead of them. I doubt if they will write a better letter than you did.

Your little sum was well done and I am pleased to see you are learning so well. Father think[s] of you all every day and hopes you all will be good and obedient children to Mother, how that you please him,

Your Affectionate Father

S. H. Wilds

Samuel Hugh Wilds to Anna Rosamund Wilds

Morris Island, 20th Feby

My Dear Wife,

I received yours and Marys letters yesterday and I was very agreeably surprised to see how she wrote, I could hardly believe she could accomplish so much in so short a time Miss C must be gifted in bringing in children and Mary is certainly an uncommon child to accomplish to much in so short time with no previous opertunity.

I suppose you have received my last letter by this time as I wrote on the 18th. I have no news of importance to write, I hear that Sunday 22nd inst. the inauguration of President Davis will be celabrated by a salute from all the Batterys around the harbour, so you must not be uneasy if you hear the guns on that day, I received W & R letters today and will answer them next week, and I will try and go over to the City and have my likeness taken next week

Your affectionate husband


Samuel Hugh Wilds to Anna Rosamund Wilds

Morris Island 26th Feby 1863

My Dear wife,

I am surprised at your long silence, I think I have writen you two letters since I have hird from you, you must not think because the children have writen that will excuse you I am not satisfied without I hear from you yourself and I think you could write a few lines twice a week, but I must excuse you this time as you thought the children writing would do

I suppose you have all been surprised to find the City not attacked yet, and agreable so, I am of the opinion that all fears of an attack now can be banished. They know too well the strength of the fortecations around Charleston, and from the news we are receving every day, in the news papers, I think the prospect for peace is brighter now than ever; I think the prospect of French intervention is near at hand, and even if it was not so, the disaffection in the Yankee army out in the North Western states would bring the war to a close before long.

I see from the papers today, the hands are orde'd out again, one half of the road hands, now I do not know that they will require my hands to go, as one half of them have worked already. And I am not willing that they should go, unless other persons work in proportion to what I have done. I am more than willing to do my share, but I will not do more.

I must now close as it is late and I have writen to you W & R and I am more at a loss what to write to them than you, I send the address of Mrs Chevis to Miss Carrie tell her I would have sent it before, but I could not see him. Instead of drilling now the solders on Morris Island are all at work on the Battery, and they prefer it to drilling.

Give my love to all the family from your loving husband


(write often)

[on the same paper -- to son Robert]

Robert Ervin Wilds

Morris Island, 26th Febry 1863

My Dear Robert

Yours of the 20th inst. came to hand on last Saturday. And it afforded me much pleasure to receive a letter from you, And to see how well you had written it, if you continue to improve, and I know you will if you try, you will write a very prety hand before long; I hope you will apply yourself to your Books and learn fast now, and give Miss Carrie no trouble. As she is so kind to teach you so well. And that is the only way you will ever make a scholar. I am glad to hear you say, you intend to study more, and not play quit[e] so much, There is a time to play and there is a time to study, so when you play play with all your mind, and you will be sure to improve both body and mind.

I would like very much if it was so that you could come down to the Island, and I intend this spring or summer to bring you and Willie both down if nothing prevents, I mean if it would be safe to do so, I hope it will be so in a short time, It would be quit[e] a treat for you to see the iron clad Boats, the ocean and a great many other things that would be new to you, and it wold be a great pleasure to me to have you both with me in fact all the family. I must close as it is late, Give my Love to all the family

Your affectionate Father

S. H. Wilds

Samuel Hugh Wilds to William Ellison Wilds

Morris Island 26th Feby 1863

My Dear Willie

I was pleased to receive your letter on last Saturday. I think you have improved very much in writing since I saw your last writing. But I think there is room still for improvement, if you will exert yourself and keep trying you will write a good hand before long. & now is the time for you to learn to write well, I hope you will apply yourself to your books now and learn, whilst you have such a good teacher as Miss Carrie is; I am glad to hear you say you intend to study harder and still harder until you get the pony. That is the only way to get the pony and I know if you make up your mind to do so you will have him, I have not seen one yet that would suit you, but I will find one when you earn him, you need not be uneasy on that point.

I am sorry that the newspapers made you all uneasy last Sunday; The Yankees have not made an attack on the City yet and I do not believe they intend to make one, But if they should I think we will whip them badly. You say you miss me most at meal times, I miss you then, and at all other times. I join you in the wish that the war was over so that I could be with you all the time. You say you have some prety pigs take care of them and raise them, I will buy them from you. But you must not forget the pony. I wish to buy him also, and if you do not get him it will not be my fault.

Give my love and a kiss to all the family. Your affectionate Father. S H Wilds

Samuel Hugh Wilds to Anna Rosamund Wilds

Morris Island 3 March 63

My Dear Wife

I received your long looked for letter on last Saturday, I had almost come to the conclusion that you did not intend to write since the children had commenced writing, but you must not let such and [sic] idea as that enter your mind, for I must have at least two or three letters from you a week, besides I am glad to receive what the children will write, I am pleased to see that you are not so much disturbed about the safety of the City. I am of the impression that the Yankees will make no attack on her soon, and I doubt if ever, we are geting better prepared every day; And I have more confidence in our ability to hold the City now than I had a month ago, And I think the enemy are of the same opinion.

You mentioned that Maj Sam [?] was over to see about the exemptions of the overseers there is no necessity for that, for I see the Gov has exempted all those that were exempted last year when the employer is in service; without a new application.

You mentioned you were saving a piece of leather for me. I can do without it. And you had better use it for W & R, As I know they will need it more than I will. I wish you to have a pair of shoes made by Sam for Jacob if you have the leather and you can send them next Saturday by Warr a member of my company and I wish you to send also a couple of cotton Towels or any common towel as I have but one, I sent up last week one bushel of salt the freight paid on it

[missing rest of letter]

Samuel Hugh Wilds to Anna Rosamund Wilds

Morris Island 24th March 1863

My Dear Wife

I received your letter by J Hart, and would have answered it last Saturday, but the mail boat went over to the City on Friday evening, and there was no boat on Saturday morning so you could not receive my letter untill Sunday morning anyhow. Your fine presents also came safely for which I am much oblige to you and Miss C.

I assure you the mess did ample justice to the beef, we had three meals out of it, and harty ones at that, it keep well, and we were all sorry when it give out, the catsup was also fine, and we enjoy that now with oysters and my only regret now is that when I eat them I could not have you all with me to enjoy them. You mentioned I must take care of the baskets, but I think the plates are of more importance now

I received yours of the 19th inst yesterday the 23rd inst I do not keep it on the way so long. I was not satisfied with the likeness I mean the length. I wished it full length. The artist Cook fixed my hands in that position and not myself I think the face is good, that was the only way I could send the likeness by letter, I sent the hair in a brooch by P. Coggeshall for which I paid twenty-five dollars, I think it a very neat one, and hope it will please[.] The supply of such things are not good.

You mentioned Rhodes & Williamson were planting corn and Padget not. I am fearful he is not doing well, he had more to do when I left home in preparing his land than R or W. and old Monday knows I never allow manure to remain in the field uncovered.

You also say the boys are taking the hogs I hardly know what to say, if I was at home I would know what to do I would sell them forthwith, you had better take the meat from them and require them (those three boys) to guard to lot or hogs and if they take another hog I will order them down to Charleston and sell them or put them in Darlington gaol, and let them stay there untill I can sell them, for I am determined to sell them, and now is the time to sell for they are bringing a good price and I see I can not stay in camps and manage them at home.

I am pleased to hear you are getting on so well with the weaveing, that you wish another house put up for a loom I thought one loom would do all you weaveing, but if you think it necessary you can have a house built you could put Sam & Washington at it. And take the lumber from the old Milling house to build it with and there is plenty of brick at the Furman place to make the chimny with, nails are the only thing that would be scarce, if you build I would put up a good house, and it will not be amiss on the lot.

I have no news of interest all is quiet around Charleston, there is hardly a night for the first week but what some steamer [?] run the blockade a great many goods are coming into the City and you see from the papers what prices they bring,

I am glad to hear the baby is getting on so well cutting so many teath. I hope the little fellow will get them safely for he has a hard lot.

Tell W I am sorry to hear he is not behaving as he should, Give my Love and a kiss to all the children I would like to see you all very much

from your loving husband


I wish you would send that old black hat of mine to old March. Jacob sayes he wish you would give Liner something I asked him what he sayed meat but I think he meant sugar.

Samuel Hugh Wilds to Anna Rosamund Wilds

Morris Island 8th Apl 1863

My dear Wife

I wrote you a note yesterday evening, but as there was no Boat going over to the City I could not send it, I [ ] you would see all the news in the paper, but you would like [ ] a note from me. But the best of the news happened today the [ ] their best Boat sunk today between [ ] and [ ] She was badly damaged yesterday, the only thing to be seen of her now is her [ ] The water was as smooth as

Charleston is safe.

You must excuse my hasty letter as we are all in a stir now prepareing to move I have been looking for a letter from you ever since my returne

You [ ] and a kiss to tell the children I remain your loving husband S.H.W.

Give my love to [ ] I received a letter from her and hird from you through her

would be the [ ] of

[ ] went up and

[May 1863]

Dear Father

I wish it was already time for you to come home we are going to try to study very hard that when you come we may have holiday I wish that the war would end that you may come home to stay. Mother heard that you were going to Tennessee We hope it is not true Do you think the Yankees will come back to Charleston? Cousin John James dined with us yesterday he told us Gen. S. Jackson had lost his left arm in battle

Samuel Hugh Wilds to Anna Rosamund Wilds

Morris Island 11th June 1863

My Dear Wife

I received your first letter of the 8th on the 9th and that of the 9th inst. on the 10th, From what you say you must have had quite and [sic] interesting time in entertaining the preachers, It is something unusual for you to have so many of that denomination of preachers at your house at once But I suppose with the assistance of Mrs. & Misses Ws you were enable to entertain them in style, with little or no trouble,

I am very sorry to hear Marys shoes were too small for I know it must have been a great disappointment to her as she had none fit to wear. If you will send them down I will try and exchange them. I do not recollect how much money I gave you but do not think I gave you but one 50 dollar bill.

The coat I saw that could be cut for Willy, is the one that has the pearl buttons on. I agree with you as to the color for the shirts, I think brown would be a much better color.

Tell J. J. James I did not see Styron at Florence as I came down but I would like if he could sell two or three thousand bushels of corn at the highest price he can get to do so, as I think I had better not keep it on hands any longer, As to cotton I will not sell for the present as I think there is no danger of the prise of that being lower but I rather think it will be much higher but if I change my mind I will let you know before the 31st of July. I do not know but what it would be better for me to pay the tax on cotton taken to sell now.

You ask which cow I wish killed first, There are five old cows I intend to kill and you can have them killed as they get in order I would rather not kill the steers.

I have no objection if you sending Jacob to the swamp if you wish Wa [?] work with Sam at Springville, it would be better for Washington to remain with Sam as they could get on better with the work As I doubt if they halfe work out there anyhow you had better make one of the overseers go out and see how they get on.

I had Anson sold last week. I got $2400 Twenty four hundred dollars for him I think a very good sale and he has gone out of the State. I think it would be very well for you to let the negros know, that he is sold. And I intend to sell the very next one that missbehaves.

I promised to let Jacob have a pig, so I wish you to tell Padget or send him word to give it to Lina one that is between 2 & 5 months old.

I have no news of import. Tell the children I am glad to hear they are all well and hope they are good & obedient to mother. Give my love and a kiss to all of them,

Your affectionate Husband


Samuel Hugh Wilds to Anna Rosamund Wilds

Morris Island 17th June 1863

My Dear Wife

Yours of the 13th ins did not come to hand until the 15th. As we had no mail from the City on Sunday last I did not receive it until Monday. The Mail Boat has been used to go to the wreck Ruby, which I suppose you have seen in the papers was wrecked on the beach of Morris Island or rather between Morris Island & Folly Island, And the soldiers have been going out for several nights and getting goods from her. They have been stoped now, as the last night they went out they were fired on by the Yankees but no one on our side was hurt, our men returned the fire but I cant say with what effect.

The Yankee picket and our pickets have been fireing at each other for several days, but no damage has been done as yet, and there is no danger to our picket if they will be on their guard, as they have rifle pits or rather an embankment to protect themselves while I write our batterys are now shelling Folly Island they have been doing that tho' for several days. We cant tell what damage we do them, but one thing is very certain we always silence their pickets wher we examine shelling, as they have had no battery that has reached our camp, but one day last week a gun boat came up (a wooden one) that threw a shell over our Camp but our battery threw a shot or two at her which came very near her, and sh[e] has not made her appearance since, and I doubt if she will try it again,

you seem to apprehend great danger from my being on Morris Island, but I think we are about as safe here as any where else, as far as the shell is concerned if we will be on our guard, we can always keep out of danger, I would much rather be here than in Virginia or the West, and if we were to leave here we would certainly go to one of those two places, so I have made up my mind to be satisfied. I do not think the Yankees have any intention of another attack on Charleston this summer if at all. And I know furthermore or rather I believe it. They have not the forces to (spare)Charleston by land and water at the same time, And they never will make another attack except it is confined one by land & water.

I received your letter today by A DuBose, and you seem to be in trouble about a false report that has got out, that the Yankees are about to make a raid, or rather have already made a rade into this State, and got as far as Abbeville Dist, on their way to Port Royal. I was surprised to hear such a report and asked A DuBose if he had herd anything of it he sayed not, And I know furthermore if there was any thing of it it would be [ ] in the City, and I know that we have forces in North Carolina and it would be out of the question for Yankees to come threw our state in that direction, so you may rest eary on that point.

I received Mary's shoes by A. Dubose and will send up another pair by the first opportunity. I hardly think it worth while for you to dye any cloth for shirts. As I doubt if [ ] would [ ]

You speak of sending some vegetables that would be useless as we had a fine mess of Tomatoes for dinner today. But we had to pay a good price for the $1.00 for nine or ten.

Give my love and kiss all the children. (write often)

from your affectionate Husband. S. H. W.

P.S. Jacob sends howdy to all of you and love to his family, & says he is much pleased to hear L. pleases you in spining.

Samuel Hugh Wilds to Anna Rosamund Wilds

Morris Island 6th July 1863

My Dear Wife

I received your of the 3rd inst. yesterday, and I was disappointed that I had not received it a day or two sooner as I was anxious to hear from home. From what you say you must have had some trouble in getting the Springville lot in order. I hope you will be remunerated for your touble, by both you and all the family, in enjoying good health and in spending a pleasant summer in Springville. I do not know that I could wish you any greater compensation for your trouble than that, and I have no doubt but what you would be well satisfide with that. I hope W & Sam have made the house passible to live in

I could not procure any Liverpool salt in the City, But I bought 17 Bushels of sea salt last Saturday, or rather J Hart did it for me, for which he paid $12 dollars a bushel, it is put up in three Bbls, freight not paid you will receive it this week.

As regard Mrs. DuPree notes she can have Rose until the first of January at $10 per month and no less, if you do not need her, and if she will not take her until January she can not have her a day, send her to the plantation I would prefer her to go there, than to hire for a shorter time.

The sample of cloth you send I think will make very good shirts, and sufficient for the present. So you need not to trouble yourself to make more than the two. You did not say a word about the wheat crop. I would like to know if it is damaged or not. I would like to know how the growing crop looks and whether the grass is flourishing much or

[remainder of letter missing]

Samuel Hugh Wilds to Anna Rosamund Wilds

Fort Johnson 9th August 63

My Dear Wife

I got to Charleston on Saturday night and I wrote to you on Sunday, or rather Monday & sent it up by George on Tuesday.

I left Fort Johnson on Monday night and went to Morris Island and did not return untill this morning at one o'clock, Sunday, we were over there five days and six nights. And came off without any casualtys in our Regiment. I got along much better than I expected, altho we had rather a disagreable time but the danger is not so great provided one will be careful and I have come to the conclusion not to expose myself uselessly.

Yesterday, the enemy bombarded the Battery for some time but did no serious damage to the Battery. Some six or eight of the Garrison wer[e] wounded, I am more confident the Battery will hold out now than I was some time ago. I understand Genl Beauragard is of that opinion. I hope he is correct. He is now on James Island. He came over this evening, I hird he sayed the Batterys that are being put up on James Island will hold Charleston even if Battery Wagner falls. I hope it may be so, I cant say how long we will stay at Fort Johnson. But it is likely we will be here eight or ten days.

I did not receve your letter untill my return to Fort Johnson this morning, As we do not receive the Mails very regularly on Morris Island.

Give my love and a kiss to all the children & tell them I was on Morris Island when they asked the question,

I remain your loving Husband


Samuel Hugh Wilds to Anna Rosamund Wilds

Fort Johnson 26 Aug 63

My Dear Wife,

I received your [illeg line -- torn] last night, The [ ] so uncertain coming to Fort Johnson that we do not receive our letters very regularly. I suppose you had not recd my letter of [Monday?] [ ] you were [ ] you are anxious to hear that I write this note I have but a few moments to write, I am geting on tolerable well I have had one good nights rest since my return to Fort Johnson and I am I feeling much better these [?] [torn line] [ ]ing charge Battery Wagner last night & were repulsed We could see the attack from Fort Johnson. It is [ ]ed thing made 6 charges that is all [?] [torn line] at Fort Johnson &

I would like to see her and all of you Give my love to all the Fam.

[Your] very affectionate Husband


Samuel Hugh Wilds to Anna Rosamund Wilds

Fort Johnson 28 Aug 63

My Dear Wife

As I have not received a letter from you since I wrote I concluded I would write you a line to let know know we are still at Fort Johnson and getting on tolerably well.

We have possession of Battery Wagner as yet but I cant say how long we will hold her [ ] still a [ ] and [several lines] but I [ ] It is the determination of Genl. Beauregard to hold her as long as he can

But suppose the enemy get possession of Battery Wagner Battery Gregg and Sumter the City is not theirs yet but I doubt very much if they get Sumter after they have taken Wagner and Battery Gregg. They [may?] burn the City but a great deal is to be done before they get possession of the City, I have not been over to the City but I understand the women & children are leaving I know a great many of them must [ ] very much, you mentioned in one of your letters that the soldiers were suffering in Battery Wagner for provisions that is a mistake for for we had a plenty of cooked provisions and great waste was made of it the last time I was there, we also had coffee and sugar.

It is really astou[nding?] [torn] what [torn] will t[torn] when [torn] abun [torn] I was over there and I have been over there one of of the time since the bombardment commenced.

I must close for I doubt if you can read my writing. I am writing on [ ] on a news paper with a short pencil, [several illegible lines, torn corner]

[poor copy, faint original]

Samuel Hugh Wilds to Anna Rosamund Wilds

Fort Johnson

5th Sept. 1863

My Dear Wife

I have not received a letter from you since I wrote on the 3rd inst, I have no news of importance to communicate. The enemy are bombarding Battery Warner this morning very severely, I can not say what the result will be, but from what I hear from there the Battery is as strong now as she was a month ago. Some of our Batterys on James Island & Battery Gregg are engaged in the fight If they (Yankees) do speake of Fort Sumter as being a heap of [ ] thing take very good care not to attempt to pass her,

The gun Boat Charleston has been added to our navy since I wrote to you last, She is a better Boat than either of the other Boats, I wish you to send by the first opertunity My two Flannel Shirts and another thick pair of drawers as you sent but one by [the?] boy. Jacob sends howdy to all and love to his Family & sayes he is quit[e] well. Give my love and kiss all the children.

Your affectionate Husband


Samuel Hugh Wilds to Anna Rosamund Wilds

Charleston 6th Sept 1863

My Dear Wife

Yours of the 4th Inst is at hand. I came over to the City yesterday with the intention of staying a few days, in hopes that a change would be of service to me, My bowels are very much better condition today than they were before I left Fort Johnson I had some fever yesterday but I am clear of it today, but I am weak and not able to go about much, I am at the Waverly House have a good room & Jacob is with me, If I find after staying a few days I do not improve I will make application to go home so you need not be uneasy

You mentioned in your letter Cousin H had sent corn down to exchange for salt, I think that you can effect the same arrangement you had better do it, You also mentioned she wished you to join in a [Beef Club?] I see no difficulty in your doing so, I received a letter from J. L. James yesterday giveing me a statement of the corn delivered 1790 bushels not half the amount I engaged He sayed he would hand the money to you as soon as Styron [paid him?]

J. L. James also asked me to look after a boy of his John who is sick and send him home Tell him I sent Jacob out to inquire after him He saw one of cousin H's boys and one of Sals [?] who say He John is not much sick but they all expect to go home this week so I did not think it worth while to send him home I wish you would see John James or send him this message as he is anxious to hear.

7th Sept 1863

I am much better today my bowels are checked & I have had no fever since I came to the City Dr. Roberson has just left me & thinks I am doing very well, I think I will be able to return to duty in a few days I think the change of place & water has been of more service to me than any thing else.

I have just learnt from Dr. Robertson that our forces evacuated Morris Island last night, with the exception of three companys of the Eutaw Regiment, who were captured by the enemy, And that is much better than I expected, for I understand we had from 1500 to 2000 men on the Island. I hear that our guns were all dismounted & spiked but the bombproofs & magazines were not destroyed. Taking everything into consideration I think we come off remarkably well. Charleston is not taken yet, Remember me to all enquiring friends, kiss the children and tell them I am always glad to hear they are well & are good children.

your affectionate husband


Samuel Hugh Wilds to Anna Rosamund Wilds


and 19 officers are said to be in the number and the captain of the Ironsids is said to be one of the officers, I should judge he is worth having, he must be and important officer to command the Ironsids, our big gun is mounted and she is ready for action, I have hird of no danger in shooting her or you have been rongley informed, I have no other outside news. You will see the news of yesterday in the papers.

Tell Padget to give Flander a good whiping for going home. I shall go to the Island tomorrow or next day Give my love and kiss all the children

Your affectionate Husband SHW

Samuel Hugh Wilds to Anna Rosamund Wilds

Charleston 12th Sep 1863

My Dear Wife

Yours of the 8th Inst was received on the 10th. As I had just writen to you I did not Answer it immediately as I had no important news to communicate at that time. But I am sorry to inform you that our Big Gun was bursted on yesterday, I learn she was not properly loaded, but I cant say wether that was the real caus or no, No one hurt that I hird of. I understand the match to the Big Gun is on the way to the City. I hope they will be more [ ] with her. I hear Genl Beauregard has no doubt about holding the City this is outside sucksessful [?]

You ask what Warly was missing [ ] F. F. Warley of Darlington. He is in the hands of the Enemy wounded, but I understand not a dangerous wound but a painfull one.

I am pleased to hear you are enjoying yourself driving the sugar to & from the C. H., And I think you could add to your enjoyment & health both by riding Horseback a little but not as far as the C. H.

I am improving gaining my strength fast, I have some idea of going to the Island today, but may not go before Monday, I must close. Give my love and kiss all the children for me.

Your loving Husband


Samuel Hugh Wilds to Anna Rosamund Wilds

Fort Johnson James Island

6th Oct 1863

My dear Wife

I think I have writen you the last letter but I look for one from you this evening And I am almost sure I will not be disappointed. Therefore I concluded I would write you a few lines, altho I am just off of drill and do not feel much in the [ ] . But it is always pleasant to think of you and home maters. At the same time my thoughts are running on home maters and I am not thinking on things here that would be interesting to you, that is one reason that my letters do not give you as much news or are as interesting as you could desire, and another is, you generly see as much or more in the papers than I can give you,

The only news I hird today is that the Torpedo Boat went out last night and bursted a seventy five pound torpedo under the new Ironsides. but I cant say what the damage to her was, but I hope it is considerable, if we could destroy the Ironsides the fleet of the enemy would not be so formadable, no doubt but they consider hir their best ship. Our mail has just arrived and I have received your wecome letter.

I suppose you are in Columbia by this time, I hope you will enjoy your trip, but I would not be surprised if you do not have so much trouble.

Wednesday morning 7th Oct

I have just returned from the beach this morning at daylight to our shantys. And had a much more pleasant night than you would suppose. I did not find it cold or disagreable last night, rain at night is the only thing we dread much as we have no good shelter, Give my love and kiss all the Children from your Affectionate Husband


Anna Rosamund Wilds to Samuel Hugh Wilds

Darlington Oct 19th 1863

My dear husband

I rec'd your welcome letter on yesterday morning & was much pleased at the good news of your improved health; I am in hopes you will continue to improve until your flesh is restored & with it your full strength. I have been very busy all this morning & now have no time to write but will hasten to do what I can. I woke this morning with a headache which I attribute to anxiety of mind, I was dreading all day yesterday my business today which was various & multiplied.

J. James has been here & Williamson & Padget. he (J.J.) proposed to me privately to offer them $200 and 300 lbs of meat which was what he gave his overseer. I told him we could not spare that much meat; & he seemed very much at a loss to know what would suit you; but decided to offer them both $200 & no meat. W. accepted the offer & agreed to do what he could at the swamp & Ervin place when required.

John had not asked him what you gave him this year when he spoke to me; but ascertained afterwards it was $175 but said the attending to the two places wd make a difference in his wages. I do not think he ought to get as much as Padgett & now to get more than he was getting this year is not much like coming down from full price; as soon as John went out & proposed it he accepted right off. I wish you had been at home to decide & arrange the matter yourself. John has gone up street to see Padgett & the cars are come so I can tell you no more.

Mr. Anson made his appearance on the plantation yesterday & staid all day & when Rhodes came home instead of taking him up he sends word to me what to do with him & of course Anson could not be found I have not seen R. but hear he did not get him All well.

Your affec wife

Samuel Hugh Wilds to Anna Rosamund Wilds

Camp Dubose James Island

20th Oct 1863

My Dear Wife

I received one of your letters on Saturday evening. and the other one yesterday evening. You would have recd my letter a day earlyer than you did but there was no mail on from the Island on that day, I have writen one since, I suppose you recd it on Saturday night, so I think I have writen as many as I usualy do, and I think you have done very well for the last week or two. I will not complain,

So you have been to Cheraw and returned home, I would have much prefered H. Ervin had gone up with you, I do not think Lynch made you a very fair offer, for when bacon was selling at 20 & 25 cts shoes could be bought for $1,50 And that was before the war, But if you think you have the meat to spair I would be willing to exchange some 6 or 700 lbs with him that would get forty or fifty pair of shoes, but I would not deliver the meat to him until I received the shoes. And if you sent up, I would get the mens shoes first, as they will be more exposd than the women, in fact the women could be employed mostly in indoor work, and not be exposed in very cold or damp weather, I would like to know your prospects for clothing them this winter.

You mention the government will be impressing the horses. I hardly think you horses will be troubled, as they work in the crop and haul wood. but my sadle horse will likely be taken, if you find that to be the case, I wish him sent off and sold as he would bring four times as much as the government will give, I think I could get 2000, dollars for him in the City. I hope they will get a sufficent number of horses before they come to Darlington as I have none to spare.

If Dr. Hart will not give Eli proper attention call in Dr. Flinn & if he will not go call in Dr. Player, as I wish him to have good attention for I value him as much as any boy I have. (Oct. 27th 1863) The enemy were shelling Fort Johnson Sumter & Moultrie yesterday but I have not hird what damage was done

[missing remainder of letter]

Anna Rosamund Wilds to Samuel Hugh Wilds

Oct 31st 1863

I am now going to finish my letters, I must try & get to church & feel very unwell besides or wd write more I am very "weary" & have an aching pain through my chest & shoulders & a confused weary sore head.

I did not send you all the things in your box which I hope you've recd; I expected to hear from it before this; but I remember you wd not return from picket before this morning. I found that the box wd not hold the things at the last moment & had not time to get anything else ready. I was much hurried in getting up the box. I will send the other things by the servant. I will get the gloves ready as soon as I can the Withers are helping me; if I had the wool ready it wd not take long. Miss C. thinks silk will make them pleasant & warm too mixed with the wool & is ravelling some & it will help to give the black sheep's wool a better color; it is a process requiring time to dye the wool as I must make the natural color answer. I will send a pr of socks by the box, colored ones. Do you not want your woolen head dress for picket duty? I have time only to glance at one or two things now.

Rhodes came back on Wednesday, & I am not at all satisfied at the way he managed. I am trying with all my power to get the negroes clad; since I came from Springville I am having the wool attended to as I have time by the yard servants; I have no one from the plantation at it London is still at the Wilson place to see the rice finished.

Mr John Muse [?] called yesterday & wished me to receive $500 on a land debt; I was very much at a loss whether to take the Confederate money but he said he was going in the army & wished to settle his business & said he knew "the Col" wd be glad to know him able to pay & that Mr. Woods had recd his payment on the Dargan estate share I told him I did not like to do business for another that I did not understand whether it wd suit, but I took it & gave him a receipt. he promising if it did not meet yr approbation to to take the money back if I heard in time before he left home. Children all well

Your affectionate wife. A.

Anna Rosamund Wilds to Samuel Hugh Wilds

Darlington Nov 3d /63

My dear husband

I have just recd your of the 1st as the mail was detained by the cars taking fire at King's-tree I have now only time for a short letter as I must finish shutting up the barrel & send it. I could not write yesterday as I wished I was very unwell & also very busy. I recd your note on Saturday or Friday night. Am glad you got on so well on Picket but I believe you do not tell me much about the real case.

I find the socks have run on washing & wd wash them over, but have not the time. I did not think the dye would have run so as it was well washed in the yarn. Tell J. Leina wants him to get her some pins; his family are pretty well now two of his children have been sick Susy & Pleasance. I am glad you enjoyed the breads I overlooked the hams or I wd have sent one at any rate in the box.

I have had the potatoes in front of the house dug & am preparing the ground for wheat, I intend to sew the whole wheat I raised in the garden there for seed. I think we well get through planting this week as Williamson has six hands from hire to help.

I wish you could be present when the children are baptised; I wd much prefer it. Miss Carrie has taken Hugh for a while in place of W. We found it necessary to make a change for his good; I hope it will be of service to him, but it is a severe tax on me. I am not able to attend to all that [devolves?] upon me; but I am not one to give up unless compelled.

I must close though I could write much more if I had time. Children are all well & send their love to father wd like to see him very much. Georgie says "Fa gone war." How do you like the name of "Ernest" for him?

Your loving Wife


Anna Rosamund Wilds to Samuel Hugh Wilds

Darlington Nov 6th /63

My dear husband

I commence my letter to night fearing I may not have time tomorrow & as I expect to receive one from you in the [even?]ing. I have not heard since Tuesday & will be much disappointed if I do not get a letter. I hope the barrel went safely, I took much pains in trying to have it mailed securely.

You have never mentioned whether your white gloves answered or not. I am afraid they do not fit, from yr not saying anything. I wish to know, for I have no guide in knitting except some old bought white ones & trying it on my own hands & Willy's.

Mr. Rhodes wrote me word that Dr. Hart had told him he was exchanging 1 bushel of wheat for a bushel of salt & 1 sack of flour for three of salt & if I wished I cd get some in that way & Rhodes' note ended with "see Hart & he will tell you about it." So after waiting several days I wrote to ask him if he would give me information telling him what Rhodes said & he wrote to say he was sending to Conwayboro 23 miles from the coast & giving 1 bushel of wheat for 1 of salt & in Marion he exchanged 1 % of wheat for 1 of salt, If I have any wheat to spare wd it not be well to get salt.

I wd be glad to see Rhodes in the army too for I have now a contemptible opinion of him. He has not been honest in the Factory business & I am afraid he has been going on the same way all the time from what I hear. But I am cautious in speaking of it as I do not wish to injure any one's character by speaking of their faults unless it was a matter of necessity. And it is not worth while to make an enemy of him now that he is going to leave & will remain in the country.

John James he told him he was to pay his own tax & Edward was to give him $250.00 so he did not tell me the truth. He will make it all out of somebody else. I've no doubt, or he will help himself all in his power. He came back without a bill of anything he bought at the factory or the Iron either although he said six months ago he wd get papers for every thing if he went for any body, & I charged him to do so before he went. yet he clean forgot to get a bill in his hurry. & felt might bad about it.

So without saying anything to him I wrote for a bill & recd one yesterday morning, & find he has not dealt truthfully or honestly, for the man writes that a bill was given at the time to Rhodes And he has not rendered back in that transaction [ ] by 40 odd dolls & I have no means of knowing whether he was straight in the iron purchase or not. He bought 121 lbs at $1.50 pr lb Mr Chisolm, Sally's overseer, told me there was Iron at three places & prices, one for $1.50, one 1.85 & one $1.00. Rhodes said all was sold out except at the one place.

J James' advice was that it is better to say nothing about it as you are not at home & I thought I ought to let you know at least. I am very sorry to discover meanness in any human accountable creature.

Nov 7. I recd your welcome letter this morning am glad you like the socks, as to the gloves I thought you particularly wished white ones for dress parade, & so I took a remnant of bought thread, the nicest & whitest I had for them. I must close. I will answer your letter on Monday if nothing prevents. The children are well & send their love & kisses.

Your affec wife A.

Anna Rosamund Wilds to Samuel Hugh Wilds

Darlington Nov. 11th 1863

My dear husband,

I have looked in vain for a letter this week, I have rec'd none since Saturday morning; I wrote & sent a letter off on that morning promising to write again if I could, which you know wd have been an extra one that I did not owe. But I could not write, & now I scarcely think I can send this today for I ought now to be hearing Willy, but I thought Id commence one at least.

They finished the wheat a B. Swamp last Saturday & we are nearly done here. I had Monday helping Evans, & have had Dick & a parcel of little ones here ever since they commenced planting to pick the white wheat. Mrs North the lady who is staying at Mrs Charles's; applied to me last Sunday to rent the Springville house if they should be obiged to bring up their servants & furniture from the city, as Mr. Woods house was rented & every other. I promised her to let her have it if you are willing.

You ask respecting baptism I do not think that sponsors are required in the Presbyterian church & the father & mother always together whether both are members or not no one objects to it & they say it looks better; Dr. & Mrs. Washington had their infant daughter baptised lately & some of the members were speaking on the subject of his or any other father standing & all thought it right. I thought to have our children either privately at home or at prayer meeting in the session house.

I should be sorry to know of your having to do without coffee & think you ought to have all the helps & comforts possible for you need them more than ever before in your life for you have to endure privations enough I am sure, & I will not be satisfied without dividing with you.

I forgot to mention to you that I saw the president in coming from Cola. as the trains passed each other he showed his face at the window & was cheered at little.

You will be 45 years of age this month & could now resign; I only remind you that if you could your business is suffering & Willy also is needing a father's hand & I am needing help; but if your services are necessary in the army I have nothing to say, I have heard you wd not be up willingly. I must close; recollect this is two to your one. The children send their love & kisses.

Your affectionate Wife A.

Anna Rosamund Wilds to Samuel Hugh Wilds

Darlington Nov 16th 1863

My dear husband

I rec'd your very welcome letter on Sunday morning (Saturday night rather) & must try & answer it though very busy; for if I wait for time I would not write at all, for I am always as full of business as possible. I get up in the morning at daylight & have been for some time & begin right off so see about everything, & so on until I go to bed; so you ought to write two letters to my one, but I shall maintain I am one ahead of you at present for I wrote two on the same day & have not yet heard from my last.

You are right about my having trouble about the wheat, for I took much pains in soaking it in different ways, in copperas & salt (sisters receipt) & in maure water [marked through] liquid manure & rubbed some of it in strong ashes as cotton seed is done; but the worst trouble was I could not get it planted as I sent word & I sent for Williamson himself at last, & he refused to come but wrote a note instead which did not answer the purpose at all. Well I had to put up with it as he planted & I hope it will do well; but I offended at his presuming not to come when I sent for him.

These overseers are troublesome people: I have taken the liberty of keeping your note to Rhodes until I hear from you, he will think I have been writing to you & will give me the credit of it; & as you are not at home & there are not many men in the country perhaps it wd be well not to offend one of them. He will perhaps talk about me & I have no doubt will find some to uphold him so I merely suggest those things to you; & wish your advice. He deserves all that you have said & more. I wish he was gone, for he does no good but harm.

I made London stay & have the rice finished thrasing & the syrup finished there wd have been much more of that but the cold spoiled it. There is between 130 & 140 bushels rice; & I have a good mind to send L. to gather my ground nuts, I can make some excuse for it. but I expect he will be offended at any rate & I have been going out oftener lately & he wont like being overlooked more than usual so perhaps it wd offend no more to him your note. I will seal it up first; but will not give it until I hear from you.

I hear the Yankees are going to make a general attack on James Island & at Pocotaligo & will try to run in to the city at the same time. & I am very uneasy about it. I hear that our authorities are trying to prepare for it. Do write me word of it

The children are all well & send their love to father & baby sends a kiss, he is a sturdy little fellow now. Do you wish the men to get the wool for jackets or the children? I am having it spun. There is some sickness among the negroes I have sent the Dr out a good many times this fall; or sent them to him. I find it very difficult to attend to the sick my self I have so much to do. There is one little child scalded yesterday Minda's

Your affectionate wife A.

I hope your message to Willie may do him good. I am out of envelopes.

Anna Rosamund Wilds to Samuel Hugh Wilds

Darlington Nov. 21st 1863

My dear husband

I rec'd yours on yesterday morning & now must write a line as I do not wish to put off until Monday, not having written, anything in my last except a bare statement of business matters.

I will deliver your note to Rhodes, but I beg you to remember there is a great difference between your being here now & the probability of your being home at some future time; & he could talk about me & I never hear of it.

About the business of the wheat & Will[ia]m[son] after Moses had been up the second time & could give me no satisfaction, I sent him down the next morning by, day or before for W & he came back at breakfast he came in saying I couldnt get him to come Miss, I try to persuade him, & I asked why & he said, he believed he had a sort of a sore on his arm; in his note he said he missed a hog & wanted to look for it, but Moses said he said that he didn't want to come. I did send London out having made an excuse & I hear that he is getting a good harvest of ground nuts. R. had said he (Rhodes) wd get 8 or 10 bushels, but I heard he (London) had got 8 the first day & expected to get 8 yesterday & wdnt get done digging until some time next week; London says the hogs were not fat enough & the Wilson place this week & the weather burned off warm. I expect to kill next week if cold enough.

I have had the pleasure of a visit from my relation William Boggs who is just ordained to preach the Gospel he is very pleasant a true Christian gentleman, the children were delighted with him. Lotty has lost her husband & came to me to get leave to take his shoat & keep it for his children as some one might steal it if left on Mr. Milling's place I told her to take it home & I wd let you know perhaps you wd buy it from her or raise it & give her half or some way.

The children are well & send their love & kisses to father the ladies also ask me to present their best respects they frequently ask after you & said this some time ago but I forgot until Willy reminded me of it. Many pesons inquire kindly for you frequently. I must close.

Your loving wife A. R. W.

Anna Rosamund Wilds to Samuel Hugh Wilds

[about late Nov 1863?]

[The first page of this letter is lost.]

Your uniform is very nice but too dark for the pants I send some souse composed of feet & Ears & noses of the hog; if you dont like it somebody else may. I wish now I had used only the feet & taken the big bones & put them in a large tin bucket while hot so as to pack well & no seasoning except vinegar.

I was puzzled what to put it in. The bucket with butter I though[t] you might find useful but if not send back by Albert also the biscuit can if you dont want it. Sally McIver has sent no eatables not having time to prepare any she sends the bottle of red pepper, the soap, & the coffee (I heard you get coffee enough & did not prepare any). I must close as the waggon is waiting.

The children all send love & kisses, your messages to them do them good, all are well except Louis with a bad cold. Mary Ann is sitting with the baby & says he says, "tell father I'm a good boy & grown fat he wont know me except by knowing he left a baby here." The negroes all are constantly enquiring after you & seem to feel your absence very much, some of them. The shoes have not come yet; some need them & others have good shoes.

I had attended to having hogs killed before you wrote, on Tuesday week, which was nice weather, the first killing; & Wednesday night small killing at the swamp & here which I was afraid wd not do so well as the weather changed but think it is safe. I did not feel able, but the weather was good & hogs fat. I thought I'd [make?] it, I left it all pretty much to London, who did very well. Leina & children are well she was here hog killing time & got a good share of fresh meat & some sugar also before Jacob's word came. I promised to write for her to J. but have not had time yet.

Sam is working at the Ervin place I expect he will attend to fires I will find out & write next time. Leina asked me to send a kiss in the letter for her. Do write often.

God bless & protect you is the prayer of

Your affectionate wife A.

Anna Rosamund Wilds to Samuel Hugh Wilds

Darlington Nov. 25th 1863

My dear husband.

I rec'd your very welcome letter yesterday morning but had no time to answer it. I must now try to write if only a few lines. J. James said he wd ask Styron if he was willing to take money for the corn & sacks that was lacking; you must know, S. paid for all the corn he had engaged; and did not haul it all away at once, he left 90 that had been filled, besides those stolen ones which Rhodes says are 20.

In regards to the school, the people are waking up to the importance of getting a good boys & girls school & are making efforts to get good teachers & wish to make up a certain number of scholars who are willing to pay a good price. I do not understand for what period the sixty dolls. is pay but it may be a quarter I will inquire.

I will use my option then in regard to Rhodes's note & if I am not satisfied with his management I will give it. He has changed his course I think as far as I can judge a good deal since his return from the factory & is more attentive; he feels guilty as you say, & sees that I am noticing everything more attentively than formerly. But he had no business to let the negroes pull down that roof & never say any thing about it. I have not seen him since I heard it.

I am rejoiced to know the enemy have been disappointed so far as their fell attempts to destroy our city & her defenses; let us give all the praise to Him who rules in Heaven & on earth & who does not always give the battle to the strong. I hope your health improves now that you are not obliged to be exposed.

I am anxious to send your gloves & socks to you but can hear of no opportunity. I hear that young McCall will be home until January how is that when he is not sick. I will send your other socks also; I asked if you needed your woolen cap but you have not said. Old March & Sie have sent me their measures but I don't think I can give them shoes from Lynch who do you say I have to refuse old M shoes altogether. Sy ought to have. The children are well & send their love & kisses.

Your affectionate wife A.

I made a present of the hams to J. J.

Anna Rosamund Wilds to Samuel Hugh Wilds

Darlington Dec 3d '63

Thursday night ½ past 10 o'clock

My dear husband

I wrote to you a short letter yesterday & think I had better write again now, particularly as you are not well & are so much engaged during the day & I suppose have no opportunity of writing at night, I am sorry to hear of youre indisposition but hope you are better.

I sent by S. McIver's Ben today your gloves & 1 pair of socks, I have another pr here but thought you wd not need them. The gloves are very nice, & will be very comfortable; I wish you had them this last cold weather. I was rather dubious about sending them by Ben, thinking he might be careless & lose them, & this evening I am more sorry as I heard from Henry DuBose that he is going down on Saturday I thought I wd not delay today as I might not get an opportunity again soon; I took so much pains in with the gloves have knit them carefully & pressed them all nicely in good shape with a hot iron after damping them. & to have them lost and be too hard but Ben declared he'd not lose them unless he lost himself. I & Mrs. W. were saying we were afraid the silk be put in them and be thrown away in camp. wd not be of use or appreciated; but Miss Carrie who prepared it for your gloves, cried out against that & said it must surely go in with the wool & it has made them much nicer in color & feel too, it disguised all the rusty red black of the wool.

I am very much disposed in common with others at the shocking disaster at Chattanooga the worst of the war. It makes my heart ache to see the accounts in the papers of the destitution of the men in the army as many without shoes or the spread of a blanket & I do not think it right in the people to be shoeing their negroes comfortably throughout & leaving their army of white defenders to perish from want & cold. There is an appeal to the people in the last paper from Georgia (Braggs men) imploring them to send shoes socks &c.

I hope to hear from you soon; let me know as soon as you can if you have recd. the gloves & socks. Children send love & kisses to father.

Your loving wife


Anna Rosamund Wilds to Samuel Hugh Wilds

Darlington Dec. Wednesday [1863]

My dear husband

I think you will like to hear & I write a few lines to let you know how all are. How did you stand the trip? I am afraid not well, for you must have missed your lunch. I have not been able to forgive myself yet for not thinking of it; I did not find it out until after I got home at 2 oclock & it was then too late to send it as you leave Florence at 3 o'clock but I wd have sent it by a boy & horse if I could. I was so much concerned & disappointed that I could not eat my dinner with any relish; I am sure I had much rather have gone without two days & if I had a choice than yours to be left. But I hope you found something on the road & after you reached the city that you could eat & sustain your strength.

Padget's child is dead & to be buried today. I think he ought to go right out & take the keys at the Furman place. I expect things on in a precarious condition there. The house I think ought to be well cleaned before Williamson enters it or their children might take the disease if it could be white-washed it wd be better but it should be scoured all over. Padget some time ago put Harriet to minding the little negroes & now she with Alice & Rilla with the little ones, what do you think about the arrangement

I hope you have recd your gloves &c. I hear Williamson is now come with the salt I must go out & see about it We had a very alarming time yesterday the old school house was burned down & the flames very near spread to Mrs. Dargans their negro house was on fire but the united exertions of my negroes & others saved them. The flames spread with a fearful rapidity the green [pines?] even burnt like tinder; the wind was blowing & there was great danger. It was some carelessness leaving fire I heard & there was cotton in the cracks round the hearth & the fire rolled out, & the school house was locked up & before it was found out it was too late. All well here. Write soon

Your affectionate wife A.

Anna Rosamund Wilds to Samuel Hugh Wilds

Darlington Decr 12th 63

My dear husband

I recd your most welcome letter yesterday was glad to hear from you tho' the news is not so cheering that you are so unwell. I hope that you will soon be relieved of all your bodily troubles, but it really seems as if you ought to have staid at home. Have you had your plaster well melted & put on again?

I am pleased to hear that you like your gloves & hope they may be serviceable. Mrs. W. & Miss C. were pleased to heare so good an account from the cheese. I was very much suprised & very agreeably to receive your very thoughtful & nice present by Mr. Spain; you have indeed returned me good for evil, for I let you go without thinking of your lunch & you thoughtfully provided for my wants. I took it as quite a rebuke. I had forgotten to speak to you of a pound of tea I bought in the summer at 12 dollars & 3 lbs of sugar at $3 pr lb. & lately I let Mrs. Greene have 20 lbs of ham for 10 of pretty fair sugar that answers very well for tea & I let Miss Cornelia have 5 lbs at $3 for lb. if you have no objection I will offer her some of what you sent at the cost; as I have some besides.

London tells me this morning that some negro or other has been killing the Furman place hogs in the field; no one minds them in the field & they did not get all last night, & L. says he turned about 15 out of Mr. Bell's field were some body & put them & he found where they had killed two, L. says so many runaways are in the woods that hogs are nothing; what ought to be done?

Padget says he will move today, sent to me for the keys. I told him I did not have them.

The children are well & send love & kisses to father. Write soon to let me know how you are. I am always glad to hear & to get long letters from you.

Your loving wife


Anna Rosamund Wilds to Samuel Hugh Wilds

Darlington Dec 15th /63

My dear husband,

I replied to your letter on Friday or Saturday & this makes three since you left home. I have tried the tea & find it very nice. Miss Cornelia examined it when it first came & pronounced it good; she says the smaller the leaf the younger & better it is, as young Hyson [?] is the best. I have not offered her any or any sugar; from what they said last night they would not be willing to bring at that price except in case of sickness. Mrs. Simmons got nice young Hyson in Wilmington for $12. Well I must take good care of it.

I hope you are much better in health than when you left, it makes me sad to see you looking so badly. If you are taken from me I will desolate & helpless indeed now in these times of great trouble.

Dr Player called yesterday to see about getting help towards fixing up the building for the school he had a paper with names subscribed who had pledged themselves to fix it, but if more help was given the work would fall lighter on them he said in conclusion when I had spoken of my views that they would wait until I could hear from you & I had better write immediately. he said if I withdrew the name I had put & sent no scholar that it would make no difference that the school can easily be made up indeed they will not be willing to take all that wish to come. The teacher a gentleman & his wife from Limestone is now here to see the prospect & the lady particularly is said to be an excellent teacher, but we are interested in the man.

I wish to ask if you are willing to send W & not R? R is learning so well & takes such an interest in his studies that it would be a pity to take him from Miss Carrie who has won him to apply himself, who has fostered in him an interest in learning & also to please whom R studies on account of his attachment to her. And they are of dispositions so different that they will not be more together if they went to school together; they do not seek each other now although much encouraged to do so. And it wd be a pity I think because W. has to go to school to send Robert whether or not. Do let me know if

[page missing -- the following is written across the front of the first page:]

Anson is said to be the one who killed the hogs in the day time on the field with one of Mr Bells men run away.

Samuel Hugh Wilds to Anna Rosamund Wilds



I will give you the names of the 13th inst [three illegible words ] did not not mention whether men I wish you to send to the Charleston & the order I wish them to come if you have received my letter before that to send so many, Evans & Homer if you wish to send them first, Albert John Flander & Andrew & if you have to [have to marked through] send more than six Furman place Dick and Edmun, And I think you had better give them 4 or not 5 lbs of meat each. And tell them to take care of it, as it will not be so plentiful down here

Anna Rosamund Wilds to ?

[fragment, 1863 or 1864?]

July 2nd

I must not send my letter off without mentioning the Great Victory that has been granted our army of Richmond; we have reason to rejoice & congratulate our selves indeed & to render to God the glory due unto his name; but oh have we not cause to mourn & so feel strictkin to the earth at the awful carnage of our fellow countrymen. Southern independence will be hard earned if gained at all. But thank God our prospects are brighter.

Our ladies are trying to establish a hospital here, I was at a meeting yesterday for the purpose. Mary is very proud of her flowers they are looking very pretty, she thanks aunty & cousin M. for their kindness in giving them and & planting them & also thanks auntie for her aprons & drawers [?] & sends her love & kiss[es.] W. & R & Hugh send their love & kiss they say to all & wish to see you all very much; are the poppies the medicinal kind if so, I will save a little apie[ce?]

Yours A. R. W.


Samuel Hugh Wilds to Anna Rosamund Wilds

Camp du Bose James Island February 18th 1864

My Dear Wife

I received your welcome letter on yesterday & glad to hear you are all well; and are pleased to hear you have had the children all baptised and went off so well, I judge from what you say, you have been dreading it, And I am glad that you got Harriet Ervin to go up with you, for you could not have made a better choice. But I am very sorry for her she takes the death of her son so hard, and I regret very much I did not go to see her when I was at home. Give her my love when you see her and tell I did not go to see any of my friends when I was at home or I should certainly gone to see her besides I was unwell all the time I was at home

On last Friday evening our Regt was orderd to Johns Island, we marched five miles to Fort Pemberton on this Island and there we learned the enemy had left the Island so we had to march five miles back to our camp. I suppose the enemy hird the 21st Regt was ordered to meet them so they evacuated the Island. I have no more news than the papers, the enemy seem to be quiet around the City with exception of shelling the City a little. I think you had as well pay J. James the amount of Styron's account. I will return the account to you we do not know wether Rhodes [illegible line]

I wish you to have me a pair of drawers made and sent by the first opportunity as one pair of mine has given out Give my love and kiss all the children and tell them I hope they are all behaving pretty & giving Mother no trouble

Your affectionate husband


Samuel Hugh Wilds to Robert Ervin Wilds

Secessionville 11th April '64

Dear Robert

Your letter of the 28th March came to hand some days ago But I have been [illegible line]
since, that I have not had sufficient time to reply, and I am not very well today, as I was on Pickett last night, and did not sleep any. You mentioned the day you wrote was very pleasant, that is not the case here for we are [ ] most every day of [ ] or two, but we have had snow. it is rather unusual to have much snow near Charleston, but a plenty of cold weather, or rather I have found it so for the last two winters.

I would like very much to be home to enjoy those pleasant days with you and the rest of the family. And I suppose from what you and your Brother say, you have had some sport in catching birds. I have no doubt but what you enjoyed the mode of takeing them much better then shooting them. I am very glad to hear you value your Bible and read it every night. I hope you will continue to do so, and I wish you to try and remember what you read in the Bible, for it is the best book of all books.

I do not think you have improved in writing. I hardly think your last letter is as well written as the one you wrote before. But I know you are out of practice and that is some [ ] . But you must practice every day. practice makes perfect. I am sorry to hear your Aunty is not coming for I know it is a great disappointment to all of you. Kiss Mother and all the children. Tell them it is from me.

Your affectionate Father

S H Wilds

Samuel Hugh Wilds to William Ellison Wilds

Secessionville April 11th 1864

Dear Willy

I received your letter a few days ago, but had not time to answer it immediately. I think you have been a long time answering my letter. From what you say, you must have had fine times during the snow, catching birds. I judge from your catching them you have no powder and shot. I am very sorry to hear you have lost your sow, but if you will be very smart , and learn your books well, I will give you another one, when I go home.

You mentioned that you wished me to get a knife for you from the Bee [?] company. I wrote to your Mother to get you one at McLees as the Bee company had none. You ask my permission to ride Hestus, and you say you rode him several times. I have not objection if you are careful, be on your guard. And you must not ride him fast.

I do not think you have improved in writing, since you wrote me last, you are out of practice. I know, you must practice every day, for practice makes perfect, and now is the time for you to learn to write a good hand and you will never regret it, when you grow to be a man, It would please me very much to hear you were studious and learning fast. I hope you will read your Bible every day and try and recollect what you read. that is the best way to keep it.

Give my love and kiss to Mother and all the children

Your affectionate Father

S. H. Wilds

Samuel Hugh Wilds to Anna Rosamund Wilds


April 15th [1864]

My Dear Wife

I received your welcome letter of the 13th inst [three illegible words ] did not not mention whether you have received my letter before that or not. You mentioned I had not answered all the questions you had asked I do not recollect now all of them. I was in Fort Sumter at the time, must be the reason I did not answer them.

The state tax return I wish you to make if you can but I doubt if you can pay it. I wish you to let me know if you can not pay it. And I will attend to it. I have no money but will have to sell cotton. As regards the sugar cane I think you had better have it planted at the Ervin place have some 2 or 3 acres planted of good land.

I sent up that large box you you sent me, by McCalls boy yesterday with 2 pr of cotton cards & the jar that lard came in. There were no wool cards or stockings in the Bee house. I gave $25 dollars a pr for the [ ] cards. You can make Sie put them on old [racks?] first then on and then tack them.

I think I have answered all the questions I can think of if not you must remind me of them again. I have no good news to relate. An order came from Richmond the other day stoping all Furloughs, which is very [hard on?] the soldiers; and I think is very impolitic.

The enemy are quiet around Charleston at this time. I hope they will remain so. My cold is much better & I am getting much better than I was a week ago

Kiss all the children for me

Your affectionate Husband


Anna Rosamund Wilds to Samuel Hugh Wilds

Darlington April 18th [1864]

My dear husband

I recd your welcome letter on yesterday morning. I think I have acknowledged all the letters I have recd from you, perhaps not that one enclosing W's & R's. They were very proud of their letters. I will try & have them answer them shortly.

I do not at this time recollect any question I asked you excepting one about the burial lot in the grave yard every one has been exercised about the yard & choosing lots for their families

I asked you in my last & was anxious to hear whether you wd take the hat it is waiting on your decision; I think Willy can make out with his old one. these hard times. The hat is valued at 5$ to be paid for in provisions at old prices; if you conclude not to take it do let me hear so that Miss C can dispose of it.

I am sorry to hear furloughs are stopped but hope it will not last long. There must be good reason for doing so or it wd not have been ordered, hardly I hear that 13 regiments from the coast have been ordered to Va. lately; troops must be scarce down there. I hear Mrs. Zimmerman was much pleased with her sojourn in camp & quite in love with her Cousin Sam. I suppose you & Mr. Hart gave up your best bed &c to her I wonder how you made out. D. Z is much better nearly well they say I suppose it is nearly time for my gentleman Homer to come back; did he get his letter? he sent Jane some time ago a letter with 10$ & she came to me to answer it. I am afraid the boys will gain little or nothing at school.

There have been some very bad big boys of whom Willy Player is one of the worst who have kept up a disturbance in the school all the time; & had a bad effect on all, a short time since W. P. was expelled & was taken back again & the very next day helped to

[rest of letter lost]

Samuel Hugh Wilds to Anna Rosamund Wilds

Secessionville 20th April 1864

My Dear Wife

I received yours of the 16th inst on Sunday, last, and that of the 18th inst today. You say all are well but did not mention particular how you were yourself. Altho you were complaining in your first letter. I hope by your silence as to yourself you are very much improved in health.

From what you say McCall's boy did not give your very cheering news from camp. Some portion of his statement is correct the Regt is not well pleased at the move. but the water is much better than we had at the other camp. And I doubt very much if there is much danger here of a fight soon. I think the Enemy have taken away a good portion of their forces around Charleston. And I think it more than likely that our Regt will be sent to Va or N.C. if troops be still wanting in Va or NC. but I cant see at the same time how any more troops can be spared from Charleston

I am willing but not anxious to go my great objection would be, the distance from home But I believe the great battle of the war will be fought in Va this spring. And I hope the decisive one in our favor for I am truly anxious that this war should come to an end. And we have our independence for that is the only way that [ ] even if we had years to fight yet for it, But I have no doubt of our success for we have the best army that has ever been seen in battle, and under the best Genl the world has ever known and our cause is a good one, and God has been with us from the beginning of the war, or we would have been crushed long ago by the overwhelming [ ] being against us. I think by taking every thing into consideration we can safely come to the conclusion that the war is obliged to end this spring or summer, and at the furthest this year. God grant that it may be this spring, for I am truly anxious to get home and stay.

As to the burial lot in the graveyard you can select that to suit yourself as I am not particular about it, If you think the Hat would suit me I would be glad to have it.

I am glad to hear my cousin Caroline was so well pleased with me. She was not more so I judge with me than I was with her. for we were all delighted with her, J. Hart furnished her with his mattrress and one blanket I with two blankets & I suppose she used them for sheets as they were a little whiter than Harts. You would be astonished at the color of some of the blankets in camp that were once white. J. Hart and myself slept in a shanty with Wilds Williamson & M C Coll. Wilds furnished me with a blanket and 1 hat and overcoat and shawl so I fared very well.

I received letters for Homer[,] Evans and Phlander. they were very proud of them. Albert could not believe Phlander's name was on his letter. I saw Albert John & Andrew on Sunday last. A said Homer was complaining but not much the matter with him. I saw the overseer the same day & I said to him I wished him to make Homer work, he said they had tryed him for a cook but he would not do at all.

I expect they will all go home this week. the overseer said he did not think Evans had the mumps. He Evans had gone to the City.

I wish you to have me some socks knit I would prefer the colored ones And I wish them knit wide at the toes, as the last thin pr of colored ones is rather narrow in the toe

Give my love and kiss all the children & remember me to inquiring friends

I remain your affectionate Husband


Samuel Hugh Wilds to Anna Rosamund Wilds

Secessionville 28th April 1864

My Dear Wife

I have just time to write you a few lines to inform you that the Regiment received orders last night to be ready to move this morning we are to go to Goldsborugh NC and from what I hear a very pleasant place it is . I would rather stay in the state but if I have to go out I would rather go there than Va or Tenn. I think we will be better satisfide with the move than we apprehend now. my great objection is the distance from home.

I wish you to inform Padget and Williamson not to give up their exemption papers as overseers when they enroll themselves.

Enclosed I send you fifteen dollars that Jacob wishes you to give to Lina with howdy and love to her & children.

The order to move came a little too soon for me for I had made arrangements to go home for two days next week so I am very much disappointed but I hope I will go some day soon yet. I doubt if we go beyond N. C. Give my love and kiss all the children. Tell them then to be good & dutiful children to Mother.

Your affectionate Husband


[on the reverse:] Enclosed I send you two Notes on A. T. Dargan one for $55. and the other $2000.

Samuel Hugh Wilds to Anna Rosamund Wilds

Camp near Wilmington N. C. 1st May 1864

My Dear Wife

I wrote to you from Sessionville on last Thursday morning about 2:00 in the morning. We received orders at 12:00 that night to have four days rations cooked and be ready to move at daylight to NC or as soon as we would be relieved. We were relieved at 8, and left at ½ past 8 for the City and left the City at 1:00 & arrived at Florence at 10c in the morning. We remained at Florence some two or three hours, left for Wilmington at 5 o c in the morning and arrived here at 12 oc that night.

We then marched some two miles and a halfe to our camp. And I am agreably disappointed in our situation for it is rather a pleasant locality but the water is not very good but I have for my company very good quarters shanties rather better than any we have ever had. I have a good shanty with a chimny and also a kitchen so I am much better fixed than I was on James Island. But I do not fancy the idea of being so far from home or rather it seems so as I am out of the state for I can go home as quick from here as or almost as soon as I could from Charleston.

It is generly thought we will remain here for some time, held as a reserve I suppose to be sent werever our services may be needed. Our Regiment cannot complain for it is the first time we have been out of the state, and nothing more than right that we should take our turn with the other troops, in fact I have hird of other troops complaining that they were always sent off and we were allowed to remain. At the same time I know we have done good service in our state and very hard service at that, but we have been very fortunate in having but little marching to do and that is certainly a very important consideration in an army for where you have to march much you are deprived of many comforts that you would have if you were stationary in the first place.

Your baggage is rendered, only a change of clothes is allowed, and men can not be as cleanly as they should be even for health much less for comfort for I find it necessary sometimes to remind them of cleanliness even when stationary. But even after all we have got out of the state I hope we will not have as hard times as we were fearfull we would have. Most of the men seemed willing to go and some were even anxious to go altho fifteen of my men left the cars before they got to Florence I do not think they intend to desrt & will return in a day or two. and to my surprise some of the best men I had good soldiers. I am satisfide they will return as soon they reflect on the impropriety of the step.

I would have liked very much to have gone [several illegible words] town, but I said nothing about it for I knew it would not do for most of the company would have left. But if I had of arrived to Florence I would have got permission to return to Florence after I passed the NC line. I did not think you would get my letter in time.

I was sadly disappointed when I hird you were down & I had missed the chance of seeing you. I did not see Davis & Grifin but H. Sanders said saw them & they were telling him about seeing you & Capt. Davis of the 21st Reg was also telling me of seeing you. He thought you must be my second wife as you looked so young. I would like very much to see you myself did you bring any of the children down what a treat it would have been for all of us to have meet at Florence Give my love & kiss all the children

Your affectionate Husband SHW

Direct your letters to Wilmington N.C. 21st Regt. S.C.V.

Samuel Hugh Wilds to Anna Rosamund Wilds

Lines near Richmond

6th June 64

My dear wife

Having an opportunity of sending you a note by Mr Zack Elerbe and hearing the mail was not going south at this time I concluded I would write you a line as I supose you do not hear from me any oftener than I do from you and I have not hird from you since the letter that was sent by George. I have been very uneasy not hearing from you and letters come almost every day from Darlington. I wish you would write a short not every day or every other day I am much better satisfide when I can hear from you day or two.

I have no news worth relating the enemy have charged our lines every day or two but they have always been repulsed with great slaughter. I think our caus is brightning every day. The old soldiers in Va say the enemy become so demoralised after making a charge that they never make a second charge. If that be the case I think their army will soon all be demoralished. We have a very large army in Va I cant tell you the number but I think it equal to the enemys. I am getting on tolerable well my bowels trouble some yet but I think I am improving The health of my company is good with exception of bowel affection. M & W McCall are both well. And all those from the Village are well.

Give my love and kiss all the children from you Loving Husband


Samuel Hugh Wilds to Anna Rosamund Wilds

North of Richmond in Lees Army
10th June 1864

My Dear Wife

I wrote you a note on the 7th which I expected to send by Mr. Elerbe but as he did not go And I am not certain that any mail goes from Richmond but I concluded I would send one today. I receved yours today by W. D. Zimerman and it is the first I have had from you since the one by George. I must conclude that you have not writen as others have recd Letters from home. I hope you will write every day or two And I am more anxious now since I learn from M McCall that the children have the whopin cough and I am very anxious about them.

D. Z did not bring the box only to Richmond but it did not make any diference as we get a plenty to eat and the soldiers have been geting sugar & coffee in Va for the last six months so you see we are not doing so badly after all. on the line where our Right is stationed for the last four or five days has been very quiet. We have had little or no fighting. As regards the army if you recd the papers you know as much as I do for we do not recd the papers regularly. I am getting on prety well. Jacob is well. One of my men name A garner was killed on picket on Thursday the others are all doing well. Love and kisses to all the children.

Your loving husband


Samuel Hugh Wilds to Anna Rosamund Wilds

11th June 1864

Dear Wife

I wrote to you yesterday but I did not bet my letter off. I [ ] this note to informe you all quiet to day. nothing new. I am getting prety well. We had green peas for dinner to day we gave $6,00 a pint we are [fixed?] much better for provisions in Va. than we did in No. Ca. Remember me to all & do write often. Your loving husband


[Written on envelope addressed in ARW's hand:] Capt. S. H. Wilds, Petersburg Va, 21st Regt. S. C. V.

Samuel Hugh Wilds to Anna Rosamund Wilds

One mile of Petersburg in line of battle

17th June 1864

My Dear Wife

I received your of the 11th yesterday And the first since George left. Your letters certainly can not come threw for most every one gets letters from home but me. I was very glad to receive that altho I must say I was not looking for it as I had looked so long in vain. You mentioned in your letter the children were all doing well I was very glad to hear it for I was uneasy to hear they had the whooping cough. You also said Mrs. Dargan wished the the Spingville house you san say to Mrs. D that I would like to accomodate her but I do not know when the family would like to go there even for a night which I think would be of service to them And I would therefore not be willing to let any one have it and besides I do not intend hereafter to rent it to any one [ ] allow any one to stay there. You did not say wether you were going out or no.

And you did not mention wether the Ws. were with you or not. I would like to know if you sent any hands to Charleston or not I know we have worked over the time and I am hopes you did not send any. Bill [ ?] is taking advantage of me because I am not at home he knows very well I have sent my full number of hands and Brockington saw I sent five hands over my number.

You mentioned that you hird Genl. Hokes division was in a fight it was so but our Brigade was not in it. We have four Brigades in our Division that is Hagoods Colquit Martins & Clengmans. A portion of our Divn. was engaged yesterday that is Colquits & Martins Brigade in which we were victorious capturing some 700 to 1500 prisoners & killing a great many and recaptured a battery that the enemy had captured from us before we came to Petersburg, we got down to Petersburg on last Wednesday evening. We have been following the enemy from above Richmond all the way down [?] untill we have got below Petersburg and every time we have got below Petersburg and every time we have had an engagement we have whipped them.

The enemy are so demoralize that Grant is not going to give us a general engagement. I hope they will continue to get more and more demoralised untill they will give up altogether. for I am so tired and [ ] with the army that it would be a great relief for me to go home and stay and enjoy the comforts of my family for I have never new how to appreciate all the comforts of my family & home untill now.

Altho we go a plenty of provisions and fare well in that respect but the marching and a great many other privations too numerous to mention that I can not get accustom to and I am coming to the conclusion fast that I am too old to be in the army but as long as my health will hold out it is my duty to remain but I stil hope that God will not let this Civil War last much longer. We are giving our best blood for their hirelings and I understand they have a large [ ] of Negro cavalry in our front. Our bridgade is very anxious to meet with them. I have but little doubt but what they have the most of their avalable men in the field and from their great losses I am confident their army is not much [ ]

We meet with a great luxery occasionly in the shape of ice. Most all the county houses have ice houses And they give to the soldiers without price. You mentioned I had been promoted to Major. I have been recommended by Genl Hagood for promotion but I have not been promoted yet, altho I would prefer to be a company officer to a field officer. I would much prefer to be a private at home than a field officer in the field.

I must conclude as I doubt if you can read my writing.

Give my love and kiss all the children tell them I would give anything to see all of them. Write every day or two wether you hear from me or not.

Your loving Husband


Samuel Hugh Wilds to Anna Rosamund Wilds

One mile of Petersburg June 22nd 1864

My Dear Wife

As I can not receive a letter from you I thought I wold write you a line. I am still in the same position now that I was when I wrote to you last, the enemy has gained no advantage of us Our Brigade had a fight with them on the 18th inst in wich we slaughtered [them?]. They made a charge with three columns of infantry against us we repulsed them handsomely our Regt fought well. We didn't lose a man. We fought from behind bust works, which gave us greatly the advantage.

I lost one man from my company on Monday last Killing a sharp shooter his name was A Isgate and he was a good soldier. I regret very much his death he leaves a mother with several small children his death was caused from exposing themselves. We yet often loose men by exposing themselves to sharp shooters. Major McIver received a [ ] altho not a dangerous wound on Monday last. I understand he is going home and will likely be gone for 40 or 80 days. I am in command of the Regt. and I am the only captain in the Regt. for duty. We have had two killed three wounded and the others are sick in fact we only have some 18 officers for duty in the Regt.

I will endeavor to take as good care of myself as I can, I am in hopes Col. Graham will be back in a few days. his furlough was only for 45 days and he was wounded on the 7th of May, several of the officers have said to me they did not know what they would do if I should be wounded or taken sick and have to leave the field, it is true that is gratifying to me. I know that they wish me to command them at the same time I would much prefer someone else to have the responsibility for I am not anxious to be a field officer for the higher you go the greater the charge or responsibility. I have been acting field officer in the Regt ever since the 7th of May either as Lt Col or Major.

Gen. Lee was in Petersburg on last Sunday but we are under the Command of Genl. Beauregard I hope and trust by the assistance of God and such Genls as we have we will go through this campaign triumphantly, and soon have peace for I know no one that would rejoice more than I would when it comes, it really seems an age since I have been home and I am so far from home now that I can not [ ] more than once or twice a month. You can not imagine the great difference it makes in my feelings in being in Charleston & in Va for then I could go home in a day and hire it [takes?] from two to three to go and there I could hear all the news from my state and now I can only see a paper about once a wekk from Charleston. I ordered a Petersburg paper sent to you for a month but you did [not] say wether you received it or not

Muldrow McCall was slightly wounded on the arm by shell a few days ago. I understand he will report for duty in a day or two. Walter McCall has bowel affection but not very bad. I think the health of the Regt is better now than it was a week ago. My health is improving. The army is getting a plenty of sugar & coffee I assure you [illeg line at paper fold] [illegg] the men can [ ] the trench [ ] worth with safly than the sharp [ ] using a breast works is a bank [ ] throwing the dirt [ ] [ ] a ditch 8 feet [ ] and 4 feet deep which makes very [good?] protection [ ] we all sleep in the ditch [ ] no [about 7 illeg lines] difference now [ ] a man

Remember me to all enquiring friends [ ] and kiss all the children tell them I hope they are good to mother & give her no trouble as she has so many things to trouble her now.

Your loving Husband SHW

Samuel Hugh Wilds to Anna Rosamund Wilds

Near Petersburg 29th June 1864

My Dear Wife

As there has been no communication with the south for some days as the Rail Road has been taped [?] and I have an opertunity to send you a line by Majr McQueen who is going to Florence. He having received a wound on last Sunday week. It is severe altho not dangerous one. I am now left in command of the Regt. I mentioned the R R was taped but will soon be repaired. I understand Genl Lee says his army is as strong as Grants and that he can move them at any time, it is very gratifying to hear such news from him and I have no doubt but what it is so for the enemys loss has been very great. I have no doubt now of the result and that soon I would rejoice if was settled today and I was on my way home

Our Regt was engaged in a fight on last Friday the 24th inst our loss was very great. I send you a list of the casualtys taken from the paper which is a correct statement. And I have the mournfull intelligence to write you that Segt Alfred DuBose of my company died in the Hospital this morning at 5 oclock. He died of fever and sore throat. He is truly a loss to the service for he was as brave and as good a soldier as was in the army. My company has lost some its best men since we have been in Va.

I saw your cos Buggs yesterday and I found him very pleasant. He spoke of you and the children and what a pleasant home I had and desired to be remembered to you all when I wrote, we are not very far from each other now and we will see more of each other I have not been very well for several days, and I am now in the rear to rest a few days. I hope I shall soon be well.

The box you sent was very acceptable and I have enjoyed the catsup & pickels very much and the hams were fine & the cake was quite a treat but I regret much you sent the sugar & coffee as we are and have been getting a plenty of both and I know you have not much to spare. As to the shirt you can send that by the first opertunity I can do a while yet without them & I would like to have another pr of thick socks and a pr of drawers not as long as those you sent and make them draw up well in the waist as I have moved buttons and I can make them small enough in the waist. I am thiner now I have been in ten years but I am in hopes I will soon be well as I am under treatment now and I shall remain in the reat until I improve it is the first time I have.

I have been off of duty since I have been in Va. Altho my friends advise me to come but long before I came. And I am in hopes the Brigade will be ordered to the rear in a day or two for all of the men are in need of rest for our dutys have been very arduous in the trenches.

I am very anxious to hear from you. The last I received was written the 3rd of June. We received good news [ ] Gen Johnson this morning.

Give my love and kisses to the children and tell them I think of them every day and hope they are well I remain

your loving husband


Jacob wishes to be remembered to his family. He is quit[e] well. I do not know how I would do without him.

[Upside down at the top of the page:]

I doubt if you can read this letter after you receive it.

Samuel Hugh Wilds to Anna Rosamund Wilds

Trenches near Petersburg, 26th July 1864

My Dear Wife

I received your letter just as I had finished writing to you & I was much pleased to hear you were all well. As you say you have been blessed in having a healthy family since the war commenced. And I am much rejoiced to hear that it is so for I do not know what you would do if you had much sickness in your present state of health. And so many other things are on your mind I would be more than happy to be at home to share your troubles and tryals with you. And I still hope it will not be long before that day will come when I will be able to go home and stay. I long for the time to enjoy the pleasures and comforts of home and to know at the same time the war was over we had permanent peace & independence and would have no more war in this country for I hope our children will never have to go thru with what you & I have.

I am very glad to hear that Anson is taken at last I had no doubt from the first but that he was harboured by his family, and I had made up my mind if ever I got home I would sell his mother Lotty and some of the others, for I have no doubt but what the plantation would be much benefited by their absence. If I ever do live to get home I think I will be oblige to get clare of some of those that have been a constant trouble and injury to the plantation.

I am sorry to hear your wheat turned out so badly from what you say I doubt if you will have any to spare. I hope you will have it all ground up immediately as that is the only way to make good flour. I would take the hands & put them at & not stop untill I got it in order & send it to mill if you have any to spear of course Cos H should be the first to be supplied. I am thinking your sugar cane will be rather tall. I am sorry to hear it did not do well at the plantation as I suppose it will be our only dependence for Molasses another year, even if the war should close the sugar crop would be short this year. I hope the corn crop will come out good as you have good seasons now, or rather some weeks back as the crop is very backward from what I hear there will be a chance yet for it to improve.

My health is tolerably good just now my bowels occasionally get out of order but they are much more managebly now than when I first came to Va. I have improved much in flesh in the last week or two. My duties are not so arduous now. As they have been. I go out to the rear once a week to spend the day take a good wash in the Appomatox river & return in the evening much refresh. I think the health of the Regt has improved lately. From all I can hear the Dar[ling]ton soldiers are improving. M. McCall is well & I hird from Walters yesterday he is improveing I did not hear from Gus Law. I do not hear from those in Richmond often.

I have no news beyond what you see in the papers. It is reported that Grant & Butler are both dead but I put no reliance in the report. You can not imagine what a number of reports we heare almost every day and no foundation for them. I wish when you send my silk shirts you would send two cotton handkerchiefs. As those I have are almost gone. Give my love and kiss all the children. Tell them I hope they are very obedient to Mother & give her as little trouble as posable but do all they can to please her & that will please father.

As ever your loving Husband


Anna Rosamund Wilds to Samuel Hugh Wilds

Darlington Aug. 18th /64

My dear husband

I recd yours of the 11th on Tuesday I think; I wrote you on Monday & wished to write again on Wednesday but felt too unwell & fatigued in the afternoon to write. I went out to the Ervin place & was in the heat of the day coming back & was besides quite feeble all the morning. But at the same time I must say that my general health is better this summer than for some time, though I have nothing now to boast in the way of strength; yet I am fleshier & my appetite & digestion is better; I can eat & enjoy more fruits &c; but enough of my self.

I wish you could come home now & recruit & enjoy the cider &c; we are making plenty of very good cider. I thought it wd be better to keep the childrens horses here only part of the time as we have to keep them entirely on corn here & at the Ervin place at least they go in the field (pea) all morning. No two of them suit to draw on the wagons so well as Festus & Richmond. How would it answer to send Festus to the Ervin place & have all the hauling done from the plantation as the mules are all idle now, & when any little matter is to be done use Bob & Black or any two. As it is the hauling has been done all along pretty much from the plantation.

I was at the Wilson place this morning & rode over part of the crop on horseback; it looks upon the whole better than I expected, but on the Furman tract there is not much good corn; all trifling excepting part of the field near the negro quarters, that is a great deal of it has been poorly cultivated & very little account; & a good part is passable.

P. said he had 120 (I think) up in the lot of hogs & about 30 more he wanted to kill next winter; I think upon the whole he has managed pretty well he seems all anxiety to please. he is now cleaning out fence rows & ditch banks & has some men in the new ground & some raking soil & straw & hauling in the lot; said his hoes were in the Wilson bay & when out of that he would stop hoeing. I thought he ought to go on & hoe some of the grass out of the peas but he was afraid it would injure the corn; I told him I thought he couldnt hurt some of it much more than it was already but he said "I'd be surprised" how much it wd make yet. His potatoes were looking a good color & luxuriant but grassy; he said he was going to make them pull it out with their fingers.

I sent for Williamson today (or left word for him to come as he was at the Swamp yesterday when I was out there. I want him to put up the sows running out at least at night & keep them up long enough to feed them in the morning with medicated food, they have only been fed at night heretofore, & have been dying; one poor creature with

[rest of letter missing]

Robert Ervin Wilds to Samuel Hugh Wilds

Darlington Sep 6th 1864

Dear Father

I hope your wound will get well enough so that you can come home. We were all very anxious about you before we heard about your being wounded. I was very glad that it did not [ ] the bone. O hope that you will come as soon as you are able to travel. We need you here very much. I want you to come to stay [illegible line] when you are not here but when you are here I feel that all things are safe. We have just pulled some of our last and best water melons and if you come in time you will get some of them. Mother has been trying to save some of the cider for you [ ] think it is very nice. The sugar cane is beginning to taste. There is some very good sugar cane at the Furman [rest of line illegible] my chickens and got some money to buy some [ ] I got one

hundred and twenty for five dollars I raised a good many chickens [ ] I have [ ]

pigs one of them have died [and] two of them are sick They [look?] as if they were getting some [ ] [ ] mong [th]em [ ] love and kisses.

From your affectionate son

R. E. Wilds

Anna Rosamund Wilds to Samuel Hugh Wilds

Darlington Sept. 10th [1864]

My dear husband

I have sent to the depot for three or four nights & sat up for you but have been disappointed. I dont mean that I was so anxious for you to come this week for I was rather relieved to find you have not yet ventured on the fatigue of travelling but I have not heard from you since Tuesday & I am fearful you may be worse; the silence & not coming make me feel badly

I went up street today to see about getting a syrup mill made or rather some one to work on ours & Col. Charles's Ben is to come if he gets done at Mr. E. Lide's in time I may get Adam from cousin Harriet, I was in hopes you wd be at home in time to see about this but you are not yet here. I must attend to it as the cane is ripening fast.

I saw Horace Wm. he told me I had better let you know of your nomination for the legislature so that you might accept, he said you wd be elected though at any rate. Cousin T. Lide said you must accept. I have seen as much as I could to the stripping of the fodder to get it saved right. I believe they are getting on pretty well with it. I see there is a call for ½ the road hands to go to work for the fortifications on the 27th I think, I hope you will be at home by then.

All are in our usual health at present the children are getting over their coughs My own health is not so good as it has been but I get along & keep up. May the Lord be your helper, & bring you safe through all your difficulties.

Your loving wife


The negroes are all anxiously inquiring after you & some send howdys they seem to feel for you and be troubled about your wound.

[Caroline Ellison Jones to Anna R. Wilds?]

Sumter Dec 9th 1864

Your letter Dear Friend has only been 6 day making the [ ] from Darlington to Sumter[ ] Congratulate going on having yr Sisters &[ ] with you My darling J [ ] is well pleased with his little cousin & Willie Robert & Mary perfectly happy

I hasten my reply to yr letter to answer yr questions respecting the Jseoamine's m---- u [ ] has undoubtedly been [delivered?] by it She can ride & without suffering 4 p---- one great disadvantage & age in [ ] times however It gives too good an appetite I have tried it for pain in [ ]and twice have most happily been relieved inless than one hour after taking it The dose 10 drops. Nilla [?] for her back began with 5 drops taking it three times a day regularly for a fort night & during that time a tea spoon ful of Brandy each day about dinner time. Since then she has not found it necessary to take it constantly but has increased the dose taking the[ ] it to 10 drops. If the pain continues two hours after taking the first dose she taks 10 more & as yet has not needed a third I would advise you to begin as she did

You have a copy of Mrs. Forster's letter which you can refer to for a more professional advice for myself I fancy I would make a better lawyer than Doctor[ ] is a[ ]disappointed as has about the [ ]she says she was guided by the pattern I wish you could [ ] of the pretty things we have been making for the soldiers Christmas time or [ ] the [ ] the process is to big [?] thing Tell Mary Niller I believe has discovered of her almost [ ] during the part for [ ] W have determined not to go to Mr G--'s & my visit to Moaltrie only a pro--- for the first time I can [ ] away

Of course I hope & expect to see you [ ] even if not for my own pleasure to save my self a scold from them good folks My lady Mother's made [ ] Nilla W all have cold. Mine wretched with its ugly cough I went to see a Charleston acquaintance yesterday so he tried his best to dose me but I assured him h-- was the only [ ]so then she was[ ] on my taking it at ownly she seemed to think I [ ] something but I spent the day in the fresh air & army b--- today

Tell Willie he may have a job on [ ] for I actually saw her fix my fighting children for the Christmas tree Ma Ma & Nilen say if their bed was as large as when with you they would have to beg for Mary to see the Christmas Tree When will this horid war be over & give us our own dear house we [?] have found friends every where but home sweet home what could make up for its loss I[ ] Miss [ ] a bout the man who he thinks we are sure to catch I tell him [ ] is not a true Yankee if we take him I heard yesterday from Charleston the [ ] was being removed to Cheraw Rember to Mrs. l--ss Pott Louie to you all & Pray say to yr Sisters & Nieces it would have given us pleasure to meet them I did not think Miss[ ] was with you at the time you wrote but nice enought to see herafter A kiss to Lou & Georgy for -- Carrie

Anna Rosamund Wilds to Samuel Hugh Wilds


[Fragment -- narrow strip - light colored]

after taxes are paid there will be any to spare. If there should be any what had I better do? let the friends have it? or exchange it for salt? J James sold his corn too closely. Cicero says their mules look wretchedly they are getting no corn at all I believe. Wm told me today that some people had been out of corn for horses ever since June. They say they give the mules 7 or 8 ears of corn now twice a day. I told him I thought he might give less, he said yes, but Mr Wilds always told him to feed well. The James's [?] are in distress for corn Cicero says they hadn't even corn for their carriage horses. I wish you were at home now to get cider & water melons & cantelopes we have aplenty & nice vegetables. I am much obliged for the Virginia papers you are so kind as to send me they are interesting. I hope you are still improving & I will hear from you soon. The children all send love & kisses & say they are very anxious to see you home. Yours A


Anna Rosamund Wilds to Samuel Hugh Wilds

Darlington Ap 14 1865

My dear husband,

I wrote you to Washington city having heard you were there, though indirectly & uncertainly, still I ventured a letter, but as I heard afterwards from Dr. Smith of the 21st you had been removed to Fort Delaware & am afraid you did not receive it. My anxiety respecting you was a good deal relieved by Dr. S's letter, as he informed me you were well at that time & had experienced some help & kindness.

My prayer for you is constantly that God will raise up friends for you & that He will provide for & protect you. May He be your Almighty Friend comforting & sustaining your soul! And very thankful am I to have this opportunity by making dilligent inquiry, of letting you know we are all well. The children frequently speak of father very affectionately, They now send love & kisses.

I understand that there is to be or is a general exchange of prisoners & hope you may be even now trying to make your way home; but I will write until I either hear from or see you. Willie & Robert have not long returned from their Aunt's in Fairfield where I thought best to send them for a while.

Your affectionate Wife

A. R. W.

[Reverse of letter:] Mrs Wilds will forward etc.

Samuel Hugh Wilds to Anna Rosamund Wilds

Fort Delaware 16th June 1865

My Dear Wife

As I have an oportunity of sending a letter to you by Jesse Alford who is going to Darlington and the first opertunity I have had. I had the pleasure of receiving your letter of the 18 & 14 of April one month after they were writen (threw Miss Thornton)

I assure you they gave me much pleasure to hear you were well but you did not stay wether Shermans army had passed threw our town or not but I infered from what you said they did not and that was great relief to me we should be very thankfull if they have not and I assure you I am, for I have been more concerned about your situation than any thing else

I was very forunate just before I received your letter my good friend Col. E. W Charles wrote to his brother in law in Newark NJ to furnish me with money or anything els that I should need. he has been so good as to let me have one hundred dollars, a suit of cloths, in fact just whatever I write for give the Col my best respects and tell him he is a friend indeed.

My health is very good much better than when I was captured. And I think I shall be home by the first or 10th of July, the prisoners are being released every day, but the field officers will be the last, and think they will get off next week or the week after, we all go by New York & it will take us one week or more to get home, I am deli[ghted?] by the idea of seeing you all once more & hope to see you all doing much better than I anticipate. I received another letter from W. L. since the one I mentioned in the letter I wrote and did not get off, he [ ] I expect he will be home before I get there. Remember me to all of my friends, Tell the negros I think of them often & hope they are behaving themselves. My love & kisses to all the children from your loving husband


Samuel Hugh Wilds to ?

[poor photocopy and probably poor original]

[illegible lines]

to hear [ ] all well but you did not say wether Sherman [ ]

some three officers from the 21st Regt and good friends of mine so I am [ ] them. I was at Washington [when?] I received a letter from W. James [ ] month ago to write to him but I have received no answer he was well & very anxious to hear from his wife as he had not hird since [ ] 15th Feby. [My kind friend?] Col. E. W. Charles has been so [thoughtful?] and good as to write to one of his [ ] in New Ark to furnish me with [money?] or anything I should need. I recd a [ ] from him (Mr. Gray) last week with a check for one hundred dollars which [ ] much as I was so very dependant [ ] for I had spent the money. I sold my [ ] I left Washington. Please give Col. C my [ ] and many thanks for his kindness. My health is good & I am in hopes I will [ ]

[Next page -- about 12 illegible lines]

I was captured on the [12th Feb?] in command of the 11th SC Regt. at the time. No other officer in my Regt was captured at the time. I have meet with three offiers of the 21st Regt at Fort Delaware from Darlington. I have not heard positively that Sherman passed threw any portion of our Dist. except Society Hill. It is reported a [ ] party [went?] to Florence fromm Georgetown. I have received a [ three or four illegible words ] since I have been a prisoner. I have written two letters for money [ ] month ago, but I have received none as yet. Hoping we will soon be home, I remain yours Truly [bottom of page torn]


Charleston Thursday morning


We are felt very very sad dear friend when we had really parted for who can feel assured of the future [?] God grant [ ]many must again & render happy [ ] Nilla bore the journey patiently though even [ ]suffering, & today looks wretchedly & is in constant pain Our friend ans are [ ] & kind & attentive & everything has been done that can contribute to her comfort, but it will take her some time to rally

The trip was uneventful except to myself & I call upon this houshold at large for sympathy yet I do need it geneuine sympathy for I have lst The back of my dress or spencer beyond all recovery! it defies me to [ ]it & grieves at me through it fringed lips having released my imprisoned shoulder blades at a most inauspicious time so I arrived in Charleston very [ ]& tattered truly The carriage was waiting & we were anxiously expected all seem to think it was quite time to return but we miss you all so very much & my little darling's sweet, sweet kisses that I fear we do not look so glad as they could wish. We have had a happy time together & I hope a useful season too & if I do not find words to thank you for all your kindess it is because I believe you know that from the heart we each & all have & do appreciate it.

Yr ride to Florence with us was very gratifying & though I had so little of y r company yet I was glad you were there Martha [?] & Nilia [ ] Monday it was most comforting to them Yr letter has arrived I did not need the reminder but am so glad you have written We felt anxious to know if you found all well with the wee ones I was writting but company I fear will make me to late for the mail today & a most unusual thing for me my head really aches Tell the Boys [ ] for the Yankees have behaved very well M--- has not heard one of the screaming shells yet there have been only fourteen thrown at the city yesterday & reached only the d---- portion They are over attention to Fort [ ] What think you of the prospet for Mobile? M'ma & nilea join M-- love to one & ll Ask my little Darling if he will give a kiss to each for Miss Carrie You must [ ] & destrcuction [?] to my scrawl otherwise I cannot [ ] Your affectionate

Carrie [?]

[ARW to her sister?]

Please send Mary's apron, one of the my [ ]calico crepes the one I got at old Frank's in exchange for black calico, one of the smaller peices of calico for [ ] Marys blue flannel skirt & the low necked [ ]flannel baby's & her spencer white under body to wear with it I need my large cloak & if my black silk covering went with Charlotte (I cant find it) though I intended to keep it here,

If the boys are with you & come with Jacob of course I wd like for all my things to come except perhaps my satin cloak. I would send a small trunk by J. but as he will or may in all probability have to walk from Camden he could not carry it. Do wrap up the things carefully on the towels I send if you had a box or little [ ] trunk convenient I would be glad to get the use of it to bring my things home in, if you please, if I had only [ ]we would have fared so well in this place as to be subject for a while to a raiding party of Kilpatrick cavalry who were driven off by our men too soon to do much mischeif, as I mentioned in my former letter to you I wd have kept them.

If you have no trunk or box, please put the things in the children's carpet bag. Do let me know how it went with Winston [?] & [ ] the school (Wells) is still in operation? Do you get any newspapers? we do not get one we hear some military news from N. Carolina that is encouraging but do not know the truth exactly; it seems we have gained considerable advantages, the cavalry that came through this place have been captured, whereof we are glad, & it is said [ ] were shot on [difficult to read.....]

is said Mrs. Gibson's Have you begin ga[ ] anything

yet? Dont [ ] I think you had [ ]one from

encouragement than [ ] for haveing [ ] so

much they will hardly think it is worth while going back where as we fully expect [ ]had forbid those horrid negroes troops of Forsters ever [ ]Poor [ ]we

hear very bad account from these & Georgetown. If the boys are with you tell them to be obedient & dutiful to aunt & uncle & try to work & be [ ]W and John [?] have ploughed; you should make good use of the horses if you had them

I will state the case plainly. If W & R are with you & if Jacob thinks he can bring them & horses & baggage without Sy's help by the cars if you & cousing J think it advisable, then let them come But if they do not come, I wish you to help Jacob back to Camden as quickly as possible & my clothing that I
[illeg line]
can carry easily in his hands, so as not to lose it, send me word about W & R & I will send back for them.

If I could know about the Winsboro school I think I would like to try & send W there. Give my love to all & Charlotte if with you I regret very much that her marriage has taken place under such times & circumstances & that I could not have given her a party & [ ] present, that you know the [ ] will not admit if [ ] would have given her more pleasure I am anxious about her & Mr. [ ] taken also as we [ ] as the boys I didnot likee her going on the road in such times. Miss Carrie & Miss Cornelia send their love & an [ ] about her They had two little keepsakes for her but in the haste of going off they did not think of giving them to her.

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