Tuesday, February 5, 2013

James Price Becomes Ill, Recovers, and Talks of Getting Discharged

James wrote out the words to a favorite song "Weeping Sad and Lonely"
To hear a modern rendition of this song click here.
     James became truly ill with Typhoid Fever from November of 1862 through February of 1863, never going to the hospital but staying in a nearby home where he was nursed. He managed to send a few letters home during that time, mostly replying to Melissa’s letters and trying to help settle matters and attend to the requests of the family of his recently deceased friend, Robert Wilson.
     Finally, in March of 1863, James was well enough to return to his unit, and his thoughts immediately turned to finding a way to shorten his time of service. He has two methods in mind: he might volunteer to go out to the front because he has heard that men who do so can get discharged sooner. James also mentions that three different surgeons have promised him a medical discharge which he thinks he is certain to be granted.
     This is the final letter we have from James until September of 1863. In that time there will be many changes, many battles, some cause for pride, and enormous tragedy in James’ life.

Camp Halls Farm, VA 
March 5th ‘63 
Dear wife, 
Once more I am about to indulge in the pleasure of writing to you although I have received no letters from you for more than a month. I received one from Louisa and she said you had wrote that your letters have been miscarried. The last letter I received from you was dated January 26, 1863. 
Meliss I am thinking about going out to the front again. There is a detachment going out in a day or two and if I do not get worse than I now am I will go along and I presume I will receive all your letters that you sent when we join the regiment. Meliss I think I will get my discharge but it will be sometime yet before I get it. They do not do that kind of business here in a very great hurry. Meliss do not mention this to any of my brothers or sisters or anybody else for fear I do not succeed. The reason I am going to the front is because I think I can get my discharge sooner than if I stay here. There has been several cases of small-pox in this camp. Three died yesterday. Meliss I suppose Leon is pretty good company now, Louisa wrote me that he was running around. 
Meliss you may look for me home before many months for I have been promised a discharge by 3 different surgeons and I think I am sure of getting it. 
There are no war news of importance to write that I know of. I sent $20.00 to you a month ago and I never heard whether you had received them or not. You need not write until you hear from me again, Nothing more at present. I remain 
Your ever aff. Husband 
James F Price 
Friday March 6 
A cold windy morning, snowing, raining and sleeting. Oh how I feel the want of a comfortable home. Answer this as soon as it comes to hand. 
Meliss if you don’t get time to write be sure and send a letter. 
Hoping this many find you and Leon enjoying the blessing of health, I will draw to a close. 
Still your Aff. Husband 
James F Price