TMc: John Wesley CSA Letter May 1862 | Eastern North Carolina Now | My VN vet buddy, Hugh, allowed me to copy 30 CSA letters by his relative, young teenager Wesley. Most of the letters were mundane day to day sickness, winter camp, slow pay, asking for clothes, and the comings and goings of folks taking bodies home with KIAs and WIAs (Killed and Wounded in Action).

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    Firing a Civil War Rifle

    Civil War Cartridge Production

    My VN vet buddy, Hugh, allowed me to copy 30 CSA letters by his relative, young teenager Wesley. Most of the letters were mundane day to day sickness, winter camp, slow pay, asking for clothes, and the comings and goings of folks taking bodies home with KIAs and WIAs (Killed and Wounded in Action). Many letters were delivered by the homeward bound and returning soldiers.

    John Wesley is short on paper and ink in this letter to his brother and produces a summary of the whole war with a Texas Ranger battle victory, sickness, slow pay, etc.

    Conclusion: John Wesley's letters to family reveal he is frequently sick and often marching days at a time. In these early days of the war, food is not a problem but pay is already late and clothes are wearing out.


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( December 21st, 2018 @ 8:04 am )
 
These letters are as much a part of history as the memoirs of the Generals and Politicians. I note that the individual soldier was more concerned with the day to day challenges than they were with the broader issues. Nothing has changed in the intervening years.

While all of my letters to and from were discarded during the inevitable dissolution of my first marriage, I suspect that the tenor of the tone was almost exactly the same. My experience was that we were well supplied but often looked forward to the gift packages which often came full of popcorn as filler and other canned goods. It would be interesting to see current deployment letters from the average Grunt back home.

I do note that the pay seems to be somewhat elevated based on an Inflation Calculation. I am sure that the $22.00 figure is for more than one month's back pay. I seem to remember that my SGT E5 pay was somewhere in the neighborhood of $240 per month. It was sufficient since there was no where to spend it at the time.

Search copy and paste: : "this-is-how-much-troops-were-paid-in-every-major-American-war" for soldier pay in various wars.




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