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Letter. William Lafayette Barrier, Hanover Court House, Virginia, to Mathias Barrier, Mt. Pleasant, North Carolina
Barrier confirms his receipt of his father's letter only the day before, "the first time that I have heard from home since I left there," and reports that he has not received Rufus's recent letter. Though Barrier was unwell when he last wrote his father, his condition has improved and he is, along with most of his regiment, in good health. He notes the death of Edward Hill, a member of his company; Hill passed away in hospital in Kinston. While his regiment has been out on picket duty for the past two weeks, Barrier's recent illness prevented him from joining them. They have been involved in skirmishes with the enemy around Malvern Hill, and several of the regiment have been wounded or taken prisoner. The prisoners taken from the regiment during "that grand charge upon the Yankey Army" have been returned; one was taken from Barrier's company, and one killed. "The one who was killed," Barrier says, "was a noble young man. He was a son of Colonel David White." (The reference is to Pvt. Marshall White, killed when the 1st North Carolina Cavalry was ambushed at Willis Church, Virginia during the Seven Days Battles, 29 June 1862). The returned prisoners say that they were badly treated. The letter turns then to the topic of "Jackson's late victory," at which several Union officers were captured: "They had the pleasure of wearing some of the handcuffs which they brought to Manassas, a little over twelve months ago, to put upon the hands of the Rebels." Barrier expects that soon Stonewall will have a great and definitive triumph. Barrier speaks of his brother, Rufus, who, he understands, will soon be exchanged, along with his company. Barrier welcomes the news that they will return to the field of battle; he believes that the glory of the Confederacy depends on immediate action. He wishes to go home, but not before the work of the war is done: "A long pull, a strong pull and a pull all together and we will doubtless soon see the independence of the Confederacy acknowledged." He regrets that, in the fighting before Richmond, "North Carolina lost many noble sons." Finally, he remarks on the news that Colonel Zebulon Vance has been elected governor of North Carolina. "I think that he will make a good governor," says Barrier.