This letter was written by W. W. Edwards, who served in a coastal heavy artillery company early in the war and later as a private in Co. I, 40th North Carolina Infantry. He wrote the letter on behalf of Lt. Stephen Wiley Brewer (1835-1897) of Pittsboro who later served as the captain of Co. E, 26th North Carolina Infantry. At the time Edwards wrote the letter, Lt. Brewer was suffering from the measles and not well enough to write his own letter. Edwards addressed the letter to Lt. Brewer’s brother-in-law, Richard Bray Paschal (1820-1870) of Pittsboro and sheriff of Chatham county, North Carolina. Richard later served for a time in Co. G, 43rd North Carolina Infantry.
At Gettysburg, Capt. Brewer led the 11 men of his company in the July 3rd Pickett-Pettigrew Charge at Gettysburg. He was wounded in the charge but made it back to the Confederate line only to be captured near Greencastle, Maryland, on the retreat from Gettysburg. He was imprisoned at Johnson’s Island until near the end of the war when he was released in a prisoner exchange. When he returned home to Chatham county, North Carolina, he became the sheriff of the county.
See: Brewer and Paschal Family Papers, 1817-1991. Collection No. 04609
[Note: This letter is from the private collection of Jim Doncaster and is published by express consent.]
Carolina City [North Carolina]
September 14th 1861
Mr. R. B. Paschal, Sheriff
I now seat myself to write you a few lines to let you know how we are all getting along. I am well myself. S[tephen] W. Brewer is very sick with the measles but I think he is some better than he has been. He has been very sick for several days. He is at the hospital. I am waiting on him. We have abundance of sickness in our camp. We have the rise of 30 men in the hospital. All of them have the measles, or the principal part of them, [and] a few cases of the fever. I recon you have heard of one of our soldiers dying by the name of James Andrew.
As for a fight, we are looking for it everyday at Fort Macon. There was some few guns fired this morning. I can not tell you anything about what was doing. No damage as I heard of. I have just come to the hospital today. Six sick men came with me. It is not worth my while to tell you who they are. I will tell you some of them—M. Ellis, H. Perry, L. Smith, J. A. T. Phillips, & Sheriff, I heard from Yorktown yesterday. I did not hear anything about John Edwards. J. M. Fox is very sick. The doctor says he will not get over it until he goes home. I hope that he will go home. His is all of any importance.
I shall have a very hard task. I had to wait on some 8 or 10 men. I shall have half tomorrow. Sheriff, I want you to come to see us as soon as you can.
We have got a large hotel for a hospital—a very nice place. Please write us a letter as soon as you can and tell us when you can come to see us. Tell my folks I am well. Yours truly, — S[tephen] W. Brewer
By W. W. Edwards
Back your letter to Morehead City.