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Letter of Joseph J. Hoyle to Sarah Hoyle, July 28, 1863


Letter of Joseph J. Hoyle to Sarah Hoyle, July 28, 1863


Isaac and Rufus are two names that were mentioned in the letters. These men go by the last name Self which makes both Isaac and Rufus the brothers of Sarah Hoyle. It was the duty of every soldier to lookout for and keep tabs on the whereabouts, safety, and health of their relatives away at war. Thus, Lieutenant Hoyle checked in frequently to find out the status of these two young men. Ultimately both Isaac and Rufus passed away during the war. The reverse also took place often. Where the soldier would write a letter to a specific individual at home and expected that person to share the latest personal and war news to close family and friends.


Joseph J. Hoyle


Jeffrey M. Girvan, ed., Deliver Us from this Cruel War: The Civil War Letters of Lieutenant Joseph J. Hoyle, 55th North Carolina Infantry (Jefferson, NC: McFarland and Company, 2010), 133-134.






Wake County, North Carolina


Near Culpeper,Va.
July 28th 1863

My Dear wife:
I take the pleasure this morning of dropping you a few lines informing you that I am still unwell, though I think I am a little better this morning. And if I could have the gentle hand of a dear wife to wait upon me, and speak kind and sympathizing words to me I know I should feel better. But alas! My dearest earthly friend is far away, and I have to be alone in my sick hours. But I have a heavenly friend that will always be near me, and I lean on him for support. The religion of Jesus supports me.
Dear Sarah be not too uneasy, for I hope I will get well after a while. I have no news to give you. Every thing seems quiet with us now. I do not know where the Yankees are or what they are doing. But there is no sign of fighting, for we never know of a fight till we are almost into it. I can not give you any further news of Isaac or Rufus. You can tell mother’s folks how I am, for I am so feeble that I do not feel like writing to them too now. If I do not begin to mend in a few days I am a going to try to get to go to the hospital in Richmond, and if I get a chance of course I will come home. As ever, yours in hope and love.

I have received no letter from you for some time, but I am looking every day.


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Joseph J. Hoyle, Letter of Joseph J. Hoyle to Sarah Hoyle, July 28, 1863, Civil War Era NC, accessed April 23, 2024,