WILLIAMS FAMILY LETTERS- #17
Abiel to John
Charlotte, NC May 21, 18651
Some time has passed since I last heard from home so long that I have concluded that I must write to find if you are still among the inhabitants of this sphere of ours. You will see by the heading of this epistle that we have again changed our base_ We now rest for the time at Charlotte, NC where we are having a pretty good time. No fear of any fighting not much drill_ besides having a very pretty camp in a small grove of pines between two roads which lead from the south into town. And the inhabitants going in bring large quantities of strawberries for sale at .10 per qt. Also eggs .15 & butter .25 and milk for .10 cts. Per qt. Hoe cake is also quite plenty_ So all we lack is money to live quite well. I sent to you for some a while ago and expect to get it every mail. I have sent you a check for & 30.00 also an allotment check in the envelope have you received them yet and did you ever get my old warrant (sergeants) that I sent just before starting out the campaign.
This has been a town of some importance in times before the war. There was a branch mint here also a gold mine_ The rebs had also deposited all the flags or stands of colors taken by them during the war in one of the store houses_ Some of our Regt. were sent with them to Raleigh as a guard.
When they stopped at Salsbury Gov. Vance2 honored them by getting on the train. Word was just sent to the next station and when they reached there Vance found an escort awaiting him who took him to Raleigh_ If union loving people lead this state Holden of the Standard3 will probably take his place (Vanceís) at the capital. The people about here are not fairly whipped only overpowered_ they are not really willing to give up to the Yankees. The fact is no belligerent force of our army never went through this place and they donít know what war means as other portions of the state_ They feel very bad to about the freeing of the slaves and are afraid they will steal everything they have and that there will soon be fighting between them and the whites. And that they canít rule them_ I told some I was talking with the other day that if they were not smart enough to rule the niggers we would send them some whites from the north who could. Many of the masters have told their darkies that they were free to go where they choose and some of them do go and appear like a boy with his first pantaloons or at his first Fourth of July. They know there is something glorious happened for their sake and some of them are hardly able to understand what it is_ If you have not already sent some money I wish you would do as soon as you receive this that is if you have any by you that you can spare. I hope it is so that you have collected the checks by this time. There is no more appearance of getting government pay than there was six months ago_ Hezekiah Davis has been in the hospital but is better now_ as for me I have had canker sore throats but have gotten nearly over it. Please write soon especially if you send money and oblige.
Your aff. Bro.
A. P. Williams
(Written sideways on page 4)
Much love to all the folks. Greatly obliged for Maries picture
(Written sideways between page 2 and 3)
I suppose father is nearly done planting by this time. Wish I could be there to help him for that is if we soldiers are going to be going to be good for anything when we are discharged. I hear that we have such a moving habit that we shall immediately want to leave Idaho or Mexico but time will show.
1 By this time General Lee had surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox and General Shermanís Army of which the 25th was a part was marching through the Carolinas.
2 Zebulon Vance governor of North Carolina
3 William W. Holden editor of the Raleigh Standard worked tirelessly throughout the war to whip up political discontent and submissionist sentiment in North Carolina.