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Letter 45 Mary Charlton to Martha William Wright Moody

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 25 Jul 1861 [unknown]
Location: Petersburg, Virginiamap
Surnames/tags: Moody Wright
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Wednesday Morning
July 25th 1861
My Dear Sister --------- I wrote to Laura a few days ago and told her to tell you I w'd answer your letter soon. But really I find nothing to write since All I know appears in the papers, and you see that as soon almost as I do.
This city is in a blaze of excitement and almost every hand is busy in ministering to the necessities of the soldiery. I go in an hour to church where we ply our needles all day long, on all kinds of coarse work from heavy tents to shirts & pants, indeed anything a soldier needs. The Manassas battle has fired or hearts & armed our arms, and while victory perches on our banner we feel equal to any emergency.
But the times of bereavement mingle with the smiles of triumph and two nations mourn their thousands dead and dying. Fathers only nephew is a commissioned officer in Hampton's legion and we eagerly search any paper for his name. He is our nearest relation in the army and a gallant soldier. He is Robert H. Keeling, formerly of Richmond. Several men engaged in the battle are here and confirm the newspaper reports of the awfully large number killed & wounded.
I saw yesterday afternoon the brother of a friend of mine, a Lieut from Brunswick, who was in John Pegrams command at Rich Mountain, and was lost in the woods for 4 days & nights with twenty of his company, and nothing to eat during the time but berries and the bark from trees. He is here to buy clothing for himself & men as everything they had was taken by the enemy and they barely escaped.
The war is thought by many to be just commenced and if this is but a beginning what must we look for at the end. But I fain hope God will interpose and this awful, wholesale slaughter cease. It is with Him to decide the cause of the South and thousands of humble hearts are hourly pleading her cause as the throne of grace. Our daily prayer meetings continue and I must say, it is the only hour of pleasant quiet I spend during the day. I wish you were here to go with me this afternoon. They are held from 6 to 7 oclock daily. We are talking about going out next month to make you a visit and if the Federals come here, we certainly will. Jennie and I will most probably go any way and Ma is thinking about it.
We have just had a very large watermellon sent us. Have you had any yet? This one came from Georgia. The cars are whistling and Soldiers coming. I cannot write more as I must hurry to church. Give my love to all at home and tell Will I've sent to Pattie this morning to hear about his straps. Is the camp at Garysburg broken up? I heard yesterday it was, but didn't believe it. How is little Minnie?
Extreme haste --- Fondly---Mary
[Written on the letter, possibly by Mrs. Hays: "evidently Mrs Lockhart (Mary Moody) to Mrs H.G. Leigh (Martha Alice Moody)"]
VLR (Virginia Leigh Refo)
I do not agree that the letter was written by Mary Elizabeth (Moody) Lockhart to her sister, Martha "Alice" (Moody) Leigh. I thought so at first, but this handwriting is that of Mary Charlton, and later letters in the same hand tend to show the beginnings of her insanity. Also JMM was an only child. The letter is from Mary Charlton in Petersburg to her half-sister, Martha William (Wright) Moody in Northampton Co. NC. Laura is Laura Moody, Martha's youngest daughter, who later married Nathaniel Gregory. Mary mentions "Father's only nephew", Robert H. Keeling, a soldier with Wade Hampton, apparently a child of Rev. George W. Charlton's sister. Rev. Charlton was Mary's father; Ma is Martha Robinson (Crump) Wright Charlton, her mother. She also mentions John Pegram, whose sister, Miss Pegram, ran a school in what is now Linden Row in Richmond. Jennie [Jinnie] is Mary's sister, Virginia Charlton. Will is her nephew, Dr. William Scott Moody, Martha and John Mason Moody's oldest son. Minnie is Martha' s grandchild, Mary Eulah Leigh, born 1860, daughter of Martha Alice (Moody) Leigh and Dr. H.G. Leigh. Minnie later married J.Willis Hays III, and transcribed several of these letters.


9 Dec 2021 (LEV)
The First Battle of Bull Run (name given by Union), known in the Confederacy as the Battle of First Manassas, Virginia occurred on 21 Jul 1861.



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