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Letter of Joseph J. Hoyle to Sarah Hoyle, May 23, 1862


Letter of Joseph J. Hoyle to Sarah Hoyle, May 23, 1862


Lieutenant Joseph J. Hoyle's letter to his wife Sarah told of his love for her during the Civil War. They were married in 1860, a mere two years earlier. This separation was difficult for both Sarah, in Cleveland County, and Joseph, with the 55th North Carolina Regiment. He wrote of the fiddling, playing, singing, and praying that occurred at camp as a Confederate soldier. He specifically noted how often he and his fellow soldiers prayed. Prayer was an act by which Joseph and the other soldiers placed their faith in the Lord. He wrote Sarah from May through September from North Carolina; however, as October arrived the regiment began preparing to make way for Virginia.


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), 53-54.






Wake County, North Carolina

Original Format



Camp Mangum, N.C.

May 23rd, 1862

My Dear Wife:

I received your letter a few minutes ago, and you can not imagine what joy it gave me. Oh how it raised my heart to read a few lines from one whom I know loves me and the little hair braid inside, dear Sarah you are so kind. But this is not all. I feel your love is with me. I know your heart is near mine, though we are many miles apart. Dear Sarah, God will take care of you. Love him with all your heart. Love him more than you love me for He is the great giver of all good.

I find myself moderately well this morning. I feel better this morning than I have since I arrived here. I enjoy camp life tolerably well. Of course I would rather be at home with you, but since my country demands it, I will have to be content to stay here. But pray that the war may end, so that we may all return home again. We have prayer in our tent every night. We are trying to serve the Lord the best we can, though there is so much disturbance that it is a hard matter to compose one’s mind. We drill four hours every day, besides dress parade and guard duty. We have plenty to eat. We have flour, meal, bread, bacon, beef, peas, and rice. John Willis and Patterson Bigham came in this morning. But I must close for the present. Write soon. Your loving Husban,

J.J. Hoyle

S.A. Hoyle

When you send letters by mail direct them thru

J.J. Hoyle

Company --- * 55th Regt N.C. Troops

Camp Mangum, Raleigh, N.C.

Care Capt Mull

You will please excuse this short letter. As soon as I get a favorable opportunity. I will write you a more lengthy letter. There is so much noise an confusion about here that it almost runs one crazy, some are singing, some are playing, some are suffering, some are fiddling and every ting else that you could think of.

But I am getting somewhat used to it.


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Joseph J. Hoyle, Letter of Joseph J. Hoyle to Sarah Hoyle, May 23, 1862 , Civil War Era NC, accessed July 14, 2024,