Friday, September 10, 2004

Civil War: George R. Adderton, 1865, Virginia


Dated March 2, 1865 at Camp Near Stoney Creek, Virginia.

Adderton was from Guilford County, North Carolina. He enlisted on March 23, 1863 and mustered into Company "A" NC 5th Cavalry. His regiment was involved in the Sappony Church or Stoney Creek Depot Battle in June 1864. It is unknown whether Adderton survived the war. He was listed on the rolls in October of 1864, but after that, who knows?

Though he didn’t know it at the time, George Adderton wrote this letter when the war was soon to draw to a close. On March 25, 1865, the last offensive for Lee's Army of Northern Virginia began with an attack on the center of Grant's forces at Petersburg. Four hours later the attack was broken. On April 2, 1865, a mere 30 days after Adderton’s letter was written, Grant's forces began a general advance and broke through Lee's lines at Petersburg. Confederate Gen. Ambrose P. Hill was killed. Lee evacuated Petersburg. The Confederate Capital, Richmond, was evacuated. Fires and looting break out. The next day, Union troops enter and raise the Stars and Stripes. On April 9, 1865, Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered his Confederate Army to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at the village of Appomattox Court House in Virginia.

Adderton writes his family regarding the Yankees and the slaves. The letter states in part (Spelling and Grammer corrected):

"I hear that all you in North Carolina are all scared to death about the Yankees. I don’t think there is much danger. I recon the home guards are scared to death but I think they will hear the eleventh bellow before this war comes to a close.[I believe Adderton is referring to the 11th Battalion North Carolina Home Guard here.] I hear there is a good many ? in Randolph County, but I think they will be caught and punished.

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