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March 28, 2015

Letter from Thomas Christie to his brother telling of foraging successes and rebel encounters – March 28, 1865

Filed under: Civil War Daybook — Lori Williamson @ 9:00 am

In a lengthy letter from Thomas Christie, located in Goldsboro, North Carolina, to his brother David Christie, telling of his foraging successes and encounters with the Rebels.
A partial transcription of the letter:

Goldsboro, N.C. March 28th 1865
My dear Brother Dave:
[…] For the past 75 miles of our march I have been on regular detail as commanding the six mounted foragers of the Battery whose duty it is to supply the Company – 150 men – with food, as we draw nothing from the Gove. In that capacity I meet with a good many adventures and there is not a day that I did not ride 35 or 40 miles. […] We had gone perhaps a mile from the house and had separated to look for mules when I saw a Rebel coming towards me, mounted. He did not see me at first, but came along very leisurely over the plantation road on which we were, the distance being about a quarter of a mile. My man was not in sight but I knew that audacity would often win where numbers would fail, so unslinging my Breech-loading Carbine, (which, by the way, I captured in Columbia) and putting spurs to my horse, I dashed on Mr. Johnny with a true Yankee yell. He saw me, wheeled his horse, and ran as if a Regt was at his keels. While I was getting over a bad ditch in the field my comrade came in sight, and we both set out in pursuit. In front of us, a mile distant, lay the swamp, and as it was merely a plantation road we were on, I knew that we would have him there. On we rushed, yelling like Indians, the Rebel keeping his distance with hat off and long hair flying in the wind, and at every jump spurring his horse with the point of his naked Bowie knife. It was the most exciting steeple chase you ever heard of […] The Rebel disappeared at the end of the road and when we dashed up, there was his horse standing in the swamp, while he was, in all likelihood, up to the waist in water in the depth of the cypresses. We could not find him, and returned to our mule hunting with his splendid horse, saddle, and Blankets as trophies. […]
Write soon again and think sometimes of your
Loving Brother Thos. D. Christie

See entire letter here: 1865-03-28_Christie_combined

Citation:  March 28, 1865. Letter from Thomas Christie. James C. Christie and Family Papers. Minnesota Historical Society. [P1281, box B]

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