Letter. William Lafayette Barrier, Camp W.S. Ash near Centreville, Virginia, to Mathias Barrier, Mt. Pleasant, North Carolina
Barrier wonders why he hasn't received a letter from his father. He reports good health for himself and, on the whole, for the regiment; while a number of men have died from sickness, none of the men in Barrier's company have succumbed: "Truly it may be said that Providence has very much favored our company." There is little war news of interest: "The grand battle that was expected is no longer looked for," and the regiment is about to remove itself to the vicinity of Manassas for the winter. Barrier then recounts the Battle of Dranesville, "a hard little fight, near our picket line" on 20 December. A mixed force of infantry, cavalry, and artillery led by General Stuart went out to protect a group of foraging wagons and encountered the enemy, "a large drove of yankey, about fifteen thousand." A firefight ensued and ended when the wagons were able to withdraw to safety as the sun set. 41 Confederate soldiers were killed, with over a hundred missing and wounded. The Union suffered "two hundred and eighty killed besides wounded and missing." Barrier heard the battle from his position on the picket line a few miles away. In closing, Barrier asks if Cabarrus County has paid for the overcoat he'd requested his father have made for him and assures him that, if he hasn't yet been compensated for it, he will be. He mentions that he wrote Rufus about the "grand Yankey chase" at Vienna on 26 November and that their next camp will be near the location of the Battle of Manassas. He regrets not hearing from his sister or Daniel Moose, his brother-in-law, wondering if they are in good health.