W.C. Stephens War Letters

William C. Stephens Civil War Letters - Madison Co, GA

These letters were transcribed from the originals by one of his decendants,
Jimmie Hallford and submitted by Charlotte Bond.


William C. Stephens was born 1839 and was the s/o Zadock D. & Elmira E. Carruth. They married 11-29-1836 in Madison Co. Ga. Zadock was the s/o Hailey Stephens.

Elmira was the d/o Alfred Carruth b. 1795, he was the s/o Adam b. 1774 in NC & died 1840 in Madison County. Adam was said to be the builder of the Carruth Mill which was still active when I was young.

William Stephens married Viney C. Carter on March 04, 1860. She was the d/o Webb & Elizabeth Ann Stephens Carter, They married Nov, 19, 1835 in Jackson Co. Ga.

Willaim C. Stephens was received at the Receiving and Wayside Hospital or General hospital #9 at Richmond, Va, Janurary 09, 1863 and died Janurary 16, 1863 of Typhoid Pneumonia. His effects contained a knapsack containing some clothing when he died. Since he didn't finish his last letter it is assumed that he became very ill or was engaged in another battle & perhaps someone else mailed it home. His body was not returned home.

William enlisted at Danielsville, Ga. as a private in Co. C, 16th Reg. Ga. Infantry under Captain John Newton Montgomery's Danielsville Guards on September 15, 1862. The Danielsville Guards were not a "stay at home security group" as many people believe. They were in most of the major battles in Va. There were 111 men in the group that left, 9 were killed, and 23 died of disease.

William C. Stephens fought along side of two of my g.grandfathers, William Watson Beard & Nathan Howard Williams He was one of the "Shiloh Locals", a group of young men who had grown up with each other, gone to church together, and one by one, each decided they had to leave their wives, children, parents and friends to fight a war they knew little about and William died without knowing what the fuss was all about. It certainly wasn't about slavery.

Charlotte Collins Bond

Here are some notes about the people mentioned in the letters:

1- John R. Stovall was a neighbor. Lived at present day Stovall Crossing on Hwy. 174. He & his wife, Margaret Jones were the parents of Sarah Stovall Beard Dean.

2- Thomas Stovall was the son of the above John R. Stovall, and brother of Sarah.

3- James E. Stephens is the 22 year old brother of William C. Stephens.

4- Robert Carruth is the son of James & Elizabeth Carruth of NC and probably a cousin of William since his mother was a Carruth.


Camp Lee Near Richmond, Va.
Oct. 5, 1862

Deare Viney,
     I set myself to inform you that I am well at this time hoping that theis lines will come salf [safe] to hand and fiend [finds] you enjoying the same blessens of God. I have nothing of importans to tell to you more than I want to see you the worst you ever saw any bedry [body] want to do any thing we have ______ ______ with here. I would give five $2000 dolars if I was worth it before I would stay from home. I would like to have some of them potatoes you got back there but I exspect it will be some time befor we will eat togeaure [together] but I hope that we will live to see that time agane Rite me as often as you can for I exspect that it will be hard for me to here from you all for I may be a moving all the time A must [almost] Pray for me and you self and if we ever meet agane there is a chuns [chance] to meet in heaven So for [fair] you well for this time so re_____[remember?] Your loving husband untill death [or then?]

W C Stephens
to V C Stephens


Camp Lee Near Richmond, Va.
October the 5 1862

Dear Pa and Ma & Sisters & brothers

     I set me this morning to let you know how I am Not well this instant all to the sore throte. And I hope that theas lines come safe to hand and find you all enjoying the same blessing of God I have nothing to you I wount [want] to see you all vary bad the worst that I ever did in my life. I think I am tired of the camps now and I would like to get out soon. I want to here from home vary bad I have not hered from home sens have sens I left being from home is not the thing that it is cract [cracked] up to be I am here and without any money and will soon without papers and invelopes and I will have to send you my lettter and you will have to pay the posting and I dont have ____to rite to you about _____ without I kew something about them but I want you all to do the best that you can with them and I want you to rite to me as soon as you can and rite all you now [know] about the crops and war and evy thing else that is new I sean W_____as I came to Richman and he told me that brother ______was well and at Rutchatlam [?] station We have hard living here Beef and wheat like bred is our dyreet [diet] Sometimes a litte bacon dyrect your letters to Camp Lee Va. unless you are informed beter before you get my letter I dont know nor have no ide [idea] when nor where we will be in a few days Must come to a close so for [fare] you well for this time so remorman {remember me?]

your son till det [death]W C Stephens

tell that old dadey and maney of mine over on the hill that I havnt forgot the yet and I will rite to them next I think and for them to think of me and my things that I have left in their care.


Camp Lee near Richmond, Va. November the 14 1862

Dear Viney,

     I set myself this morning to set you a few in answer to things I have just heard from you. I red with plasure that things are as well as they are and to inform you how I am. I am just tolerable well at the present I have been sick a few days with the bowel complant but am geting in the mend. I would like to see you very well but it is to fare [far] between us for me to far away I would love to come and have a meal We get enough in one day for a meal. I have not eat much but when I feel like eating I can eat it all in one meal that I get in a day and you also wanted to know the contract between me and John Stovall about the corn he was to tend the field for half the corn and fodder and I was to lent him one barel of corn and one hundered bundle of fodder and he was to pay me the same amont back in the fall when it was gathered the same of corn and foder I lent him and borrow a barel from R. Carruth and let him have it now and now he can pay me the one barel of corn and me pay Bob or he can pay it to Bob just as he pleases. He has got the hole barel so any how so if he is a man of his word and honor for that is the contract for there was my half nor nothing of the like mentoned in the contract at all. So this is just a plane as I can tell you about it. You mentioned you wanted me tosend you a name for our boy and you wanted one that was of the conection and name for him is Bishop Price You may give him that name if you chose I would like to be there to take a peke [peek] at him and I will send him a name and there [they're] glad there [they're] is a son in the Stephens family for they can never change his name by marring and I want you to take care of him and yourself till I return if the Lord promise I will return some time or another and if I live I dont think it will be very long untul this fuss will come to a close and I want you to take care of all the corn and if porke is a good price you may sell anuff to buy salt to salt the ____? If you are pushed to get salt and save the balace [ballance] till spring and if I don't get back you can sell what bacon you cant use and so I must come to a close for this time So I remain you affectionate husband until death

W C Stephens


Fredrieksburg, Va. the 25th December 1862

Dear Viney,

     I seat my self down this morning to inform you how I am I am not vary well this morning from the caus [cause] of having to lye in the rifle pits in the time of the fight at this plase and the wether being so cold and snow on the ground We has to stay in them from thursday morning till tuesday at noon day and night I cam thew [through] with out a sratch [scratch]. ther was 17 wounded in in the company and nary one keled [killed]. Thomas stovall was kiled I received a letter from you the other day whitch I read wityh pleacher to hear that you was well and doing well you waiented [wanted] to now [know] if I got my things that you sent me or not. I got them all______and you wounted to her [hear] from Brother James I have not herd from him sens I came to the Redgment He is at gardinasville yet I was glad to here that you had got salt aplenty to do you for I was a fread that you would be pesterd to get salt and if you and your Pa's folks gets along well you ought to be as happy and thankfull to the Kind hand of Providens that you are doing as will as you are for I tell you that the souldire [soldier] sufers Now that is the _________[truth?] and the longer this fucus [fracus] {southern slang for war, fight, etc.} goes on..........................................................