March 7, 1974, 25 items; Civil War letters (1863-1865) of Davidson County, N.C. Soldier. Loaned for copying by Mrs. F.O. Sink, Sr., Lexington, N.C.
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.
Felix Miller Papers (#256), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
- Loaned by Mrs. F.O. Sink, Sr.
This collection of Civil War letters centers around Felix Miller, his wife Elisabeth, his son Levi F. Miller and their activities during the war. On October 14, 1863, Felix Miller went into the Confederate Army and joined Company H, 48th North Carolina Regiment in General John R. Cooke's brigade. Miller's brothers were also in this regiment. Levi Miller joined the same regiment on January 27, 1864. Mrs. Elisabeth Miller managed the family farm and household in the absence of her husband and son.
Most of the correspondence concerns the family members trying to survive the war. Felix Miller writes of his need for food and clothing due to the lack of rations. He wonders why the government wants to enroll seventeen and eighteen year olds if they will only starve when the army cannot feed them. He comments on the tenth that farmers are expected to pay and about the government agent who will take nearly all that his wife has remaining on their farm. He is reluctant to take out a bond to pay the tenth.
Also important is correspondence on the war and camp life. Felix Miller mentions fighting at Manassas and his company's activities in camp near Orange Court House, Virginia, and on the Rapidan River. He reports that General Lee's troops prevented General Meade's troops from crossing the Rapidan in November, 1863. Miller also writes his wife about a speech Governor Vance delivered to the soldiers in April, 1864; in Miller's opinion it was poor encouragement. Levi Miller mentions waiting for the Yankees on the Rapidan. In a letter written in May, 1864, Levi reports fighting near Richmond and that his father has either been captured or is in a hospital. Throughout these letters there is mention made of deserters being shot, work on the farm, how the garden is doing, and the general decline in morals and religion in camp.