Confederate Letter from the Famous Stonewall Brigade – 2nd Virginia Infantry – Great Content: Belle Boyd, the “Independent Greys Band” & the 1st Virginia Richmond Band!
This letter 4 ¼ pages (4 full pages and finishing on small ¼ page) is written in pencil. It is written by Thomas C. Hunter of Company D, 2nd Virginia Infantry. He signs the letter “Tom” but there is internal evidence that makes his I.D. 100% certain. Tom’s brother was the Captain of the Company, Robert W. Hunter. How great is it that Benjamin R. Boyd, the father of Spy Belle Boyd was also in Company D! If you are a fan of the Stonewall Brigade, this letter is for you… or, if you love Civil War music, the letter refers to 4 war time songs being played by 2 of the most famous Civil War bands: The Independent Greys from Baltimore and the Richmond band of the 1st Virginia. Here are some of the great parts:

• “…we came up here the day before yesterday and are now camped on the edge of the village of Centreville, surrounded by over 30,000 troops. The "advance backward" was general, the object we do not know nor care to inquire. We leave all of that to the powers that be. Ben Boyd's wife and Miss Belle (Benjamin R. Boyd, Co. D) came down to camp and are living in Centreville.”

• “The Captain (Thomas' brother, Robert W. Hunter) came back from the Junction yesterday & brought me the two shirts you made. They had been put in the Captain's box by mistake. I was delighted to get them, and if I had you here, you should be kissed & teased well.”

• “It is so hard to have person after person reaching here from Martinsburg & bringing letters to all but me. I don't care about things being sent. I want nothing but the few words penned by one of the loved ones.”

• “We have not been paid yet. The scene from the hill where we are encamped is of rare novelty and grandeur. The view extends to the Blue Ridge, and the whole shape of valley between is filled with troops. Long lines of tents as far as the eye can reach are visible & it seems one immense city. The Federals are destroying all the property in the barren country which we have just left, but will not advance in a body or in any number.”

• “I have just been on the hills having a look round and our line of battle shows out beautifully. It is raining lightly but is warm. Which Regiment is Willie Piet in? We have the 1st, 4th, 5th & 17th Va. Regiments around us. The "Tigers" go to Aquia Creek it is believed. They are desperate outlaws. Lambert (Lambert McMullen, Co. D) is standing at my tent door. He is well & sends love to you all.”

• “We heard that Ashby has routed the Federals at the Ferry. The Maryland Regiment is camped on a neighboring hill & has a band which is one of the finest in the South. Mother will remember it in Baltimore as belonging to the "Independent Greys." Many of whom are here. You can imagine that I am not worth much for anything when music is going on. The Band has just ceased playing "Ever of Thee!" & it carried me back to many a happy hour.”

• “I have just heard that Miss Boyd goes tomorrow now. Now I must go to the woods & cut timber for a bedstead. We can't afford high possessions.”

• “Well, I started for the woods, but a sentinel stopped me as he has orders not to permit anyone to pass out of the lines, and so many circumstances without a written pass from the Captain, signed by the Colonel of the Regiment! Well, we can sleep on the ground and imagine we are in clover. No one expects a fight here, but rumor says we may get a chance at them near Union Mills, about ten miles from here, towards Leesburg. We hear this morning that only two thousand of the enemy advanced & only as far as Springfield, below the Accotink Creek you will find on the map where we were on picket last. Has Mother yet learned how to hold it so as to make out our position? I suppose colored ones will be issued soon.”

• “Night. The moon is so brilliant and candles so scarce that I am penciling this by moonlight while sitting on a hill with twenty miles of valley filled with the glittering campfires of thousands of troops. The Richmond Band attached to the 1st Va. Regt. has just ceased playing and all around is still and quiet. "Kathleen Mavourneen," "The Mocking Bird" and finally "The Cottage by the Sea" were exquisitely played and the singing made the whole enchanting.”

• “Saturday morning, Oct. 19th. Foggy, damp and Novemberish! Quite a contrast to last night. By the way they held service in our company last night, but music had more charms for me and I slid. We have commenced fortifying our hill in front with a twenty-fication on either wing. Negroes are employed to throw up embankments and and dig trenches. They say they are "Pick and Shovel Black Guards."

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