This letter was signed by a Confederate soldier named “H. Hall” but he doesn’t give his regiment and there is no accompanying envelope to aid in his identification. The letter was written from Camp Gregg which was located some eight to ten miles below Fredericksburg on the Rappahannock river. It was a large Confederate encampment during the winter of 1863 with multiple regiments. The letter was addressed to a Mr. Atkins, also not further identified.
My hunch is that the letter was written by Henry Hall who served in Co. H of the 18th North Carolina Infantry. Henry enlisted in 1861 in Columbus county, North Carolina. He was wounded at Fredericksburg and spent January and most of February, 1863, on furlough recovering from his wound. Henry was with his regiment for the next few months until Gettysburg where he was wounded and taken captive. After having his leg amputated, he died on 22 July 1863.
Again, I have no proof this letter was by the aforementioned Henry Hall but the circumstances of the letter seem to match Henry’s circumstances and the 18th North Carolina was one of the regiments at Camp Gregg at the time of this letter.
Camp Gregg, Virginia
February 20, 1863
As I have thought for some time I would write to you as I have a few leisure moments today I could not spend my time any better than writing to you. I have nothing new to write to you nor nothing that would interest you in the least.
The health of the regiment is very good and the health of the company is very good. Mr. Atkins, I don’t think that we will have any more fighting here but if we do have any more fighting here, it won’t be until the fields get so they can run artillery in the field. I tell you that we have a heap of mud down here.
Mr. Atkins, I tell you that I feel very lonesome since I came back to the company for I enjoyed myself so well while I was up home on a furlough. And now to be confined to camp life. It goes hard. One reason it goes hard is that we only draw half rations now and you know that a hungry man don’t enjoy hisself well no place. But I don’t care for that if I can only gain what I am fighting for.
So I will bring my short and uninteresting letter to a close. This leaves me well. I hope this will find you and all your family well and hearty. Give my kindest regards to your family and to all inquiring friends—if there be any—and reserve a portion for yourself. Write soon.
Yours truly, — H. Hall