This letter was written from Camp Walker near Manassas Junction, Virginia on the 18th of June, 1861 — just about one month before the Battle of Bull Run. It was authored by Pvt. George Weintz, a member of Co. C., 18th Mississippi Volunteers. The captain of this company, which was originally called “The Confederates” was former State and US Congressman, Otho Robards Singleton — a lawyer from Canton, Madison County, Mississippi. Most of the soldiers serving in Company C were recruited from Madison County, which is where I presume Pvt. Weintz was from though I could find no record for him before or after the war. Enlistment records suggest that he was 19 years old when joining Company C in June 1861.
Once at Manassas, the 18th Mississippi was brigaded with the 17th Mississippi and the 5th South Carolina and placed under the command of General David R. Jones. This Brigade served on the extreme right of the Confederate line at Bull Run. The 18th Mississippi sustained 38 casualties in this first major engagement of the war.
Manasses Junction, Va.
June 18th 1861
Dear Mother and Sister,
Again I prepare myself to write you all a few lines to acquaint you of my whereabout, etc. though in rather an uncomfortable position for writing which is the only position I can occupy whilst writing. I’ll try to manage to do the best I can.
I received your letter the morning I left Corinth, Monday 15th inst. Consequently I could not answer it sooner. On Sunday the 9th inst. we received orders to prepare ourselves for our departure for Richmond by next day 10 o’clock which order was received with cheers. There was considerable stir among the men during part of that night and early next morning in getting their provisions for the journey. Monday morning at 8 o’clock fund us all ready, packed and prepared to go. At about half past 8 we were marched to the depot where we waited for about 2 hours until the cars were brought up when we got aboard and soon after were speeding off the road like two-forty. At Huntsville, Alabama the worthy proprietor of the Annable House gave us a supper which was heartily relished by us soldiers. Very early on Tuesday morning we arrived at Chatanooga, Tenn. where we changed cars and proceeded on our way through Tennessee to Virginia. In Tennessee we saw a number of Union men and in one settlement it was rumored that the Union men were going to burn the bridge several miles farther up and precipitate us all into the river, but that rumor did not at least alarm us for we knew it would be madness for men to attempt such a thing in Tennessee. We were three days and three nights on the road from Chatanooga to Lynchburg, Va. stopping at night.
We all had a bath in the Tennessee River on Wednesday morning. We were ordered to remain in Lynchburg to await the arrival of the balance of our Regiment which came the morning after us. I forgot to mention that there were two other companies besides ours on the train we came on: “The Benton Rifles” [Company B] and “The Hamer Rifles” [Company D].
On Saturday evening we were ordered at once to proceed to Manasses Junction and left Lynchburg Sunday morning and arrived here at night. We are stationed here now subject to the order of Gen. Beauregard who is now our Commander. I cannot give any news of the camp further than that we are all yet in fine health and spirits and anxious to meet the Yankees. I know of nothing more to write at present but I remain your affectionate
Son and Brother, — George Weintz
When you write again, direct to:
Capt. Otho Robards Singleton
Confederates [Company C]
18th Mississippi Regiment Volunteers
Manasses Junction, Va.