Search using this query type:

Advanced Search (Items only)

Letter of John Garibaldi to His Wife, September 3, 1863


Letter of John Garibaldi to His Wife, September 3, 1863


These are the letters (from December 30, 1861, to April 12, 1864) of a Sergeant John Garibaldi, who served in the 27th Virginia Infantry. The letters are addressed to his wife Sarah. In them, he talks about life in the army during the fighting. This includes his feelings about the war, as well as typical correspondence between loved ones.


John Garibaldi


John Garibaldi Civil War Papers 27th Virginia Infantry, Stonewall Brigade VMI Archives Manuscript # 284





Original Format



Camp Stonewall Brigade

September 3, 1863

Dear Wife I received your letter of the 8 of August last from which I understood with great pleasure that you and the rest of the family were all well, but sorrow to hear that you had been sick. This leaves me well at present and hope that when these few lines will come to hands they may find you enjoying the same blessings. I haven't much news to tell you at this time, only that we are laying here in camp yet doing nothing but guard duty. All the boys are well in general. Thomas M. Arrington's [leg] is breaking out again the same one that he got hurt last fall coming home on the cars. Henry Gilliland was shot in the breast, and he never spoke a word after he was shot, he fell forward and died in an instant. He got killed early in the morning in the first charge, he was left in the field unburied because the yankees fell in possession of the battlefield on the left in which we were fighting. But of course he was burried by the yankees, as it is the rule that the party that falls in possession of the battle field burries the dead.

John R. Hepler, Joseph Reynolds, and David Pence are prisoners at Fort Delaware. John R. Hepler and Joseph Reynolds were both slightly wounded and they were taken by the yankee in a raid made on our wagon as they were crossing the south mountain in Pennsylvania coming from Gettysburg. Lee Gilbert is dead, he died in two or three days after he got wounded and David Gilbert got well. The last time we heard from there he was walking about. James A. Rawlins our regimental hospital steward who stayed behind in Pennsylvania with doctor Sayers to take care of our wounded, just lately came through the lines under flag of truce brought the above news about the Gilberts. You seems to be anxious about my coming home on furlough but there is no chance for me at present. I would like to come home myself but I don't think I'll get chance to come till next winter unless they get to grant the furloughs more numerous than they do now. I think you may look for me next winter.

I saw Brother George about a month ago and he was well at that time. I don't know where he is now, because he was marching at the time I saw him nor does he know where I am now because we have moved the camp since, and I can't get out here to go and hunt for him, for I may have to hunt for several days before I'll find him, and I can't get a pass for that long time to get out of the camp. He told me that he is hardly ever sick and that he enjoys his health in the army as well as when he was out of the army and that he thought he wasn't made to be killed or die in the army. But I will try get a pass for twenty four hours as soon as I can and look for him and will tell him to write home.

You will please tell George Kemper that William P. Kemper is with his regiment and he is well. He has been seen by George Gilbert about nine or ten days ago, and by Arrington about two or three days ago, and he was well at that time and with his company. I would go over and see him myself, but they are so strict on us that we can't get out of the camp without a pass from our Major General and they wouldn't grant but one pass a day out of each company.

I expect there is soldiers at home all the time on furlough, but there is no soldiers at home now in Alleghany from this army except they have been wounded and unable for duty except one from our company, whose name is Charles Gilliland and lives with Major Haynes and three or four of the Alleghany roughs, who received a furlough for fifteen days. And if there is any others at home besides them that I mentioned they are at home on French furlough, that is I am now speaking about this army, but from the army of North Western Virginia they can come home almost any time as they are allways in camp and close enough home to go and back in days and they generally keep at a pretty good distance from the enemy, therefore they can come home almost as often as they please, because their presence in the army is not so strictly required. But here in this army we have too much fighting and marching to do to be absent from our command and we are therefore kept under strict discipline.

I will finish writing by giving you my best respects and remain your affectionate husband untill death.

John Garibaldi

Give my best respects to Mother and Russia and to all the neighbors. So good by.


Copy the code below into your web page


John Garibaldi, Letter of John Garibaldi to His Wife, September 3, 1863, Civil War Era NC, accessed April 17, 2024,