These letters were written by Sumter Rowland to his father James Rowland who lived at Collins, Arkansas.  These transcriptions of the original letters were written during the Civil War while he was in service of the Confederate Army in Virginia as a private in Co. C, 3rd Arkansas Infantry.  He was killed in action at Suffolk, Virginia, on May 3, 1863.

Dear Father, I seat myself this morning to write you a short letter to send by Baker.  I am well at this time, hoping when this reaches you that it may find you in the enjoyment of the same great blessing.  We are still staying at this place, but God only knows when we may leave.  We may leave here in 24 hours.  We are held back as a reserve in case they should need our assistance in Newbern.  I think that an attack is anticipated very soon.  Archy can give you all the knews as well as I can write it.  Several recruits have arrived in camp and it looks very strange to see men drilling that never did drill.  They are so awkward.  Sister writen to send my picture and I would have done it but I could not get to town.  I will send it by the first chance.  You must all write to me soon and often.  Give my love and best wishes to Mr. Bulloch and family.  Write often.  Yours Respect—S. ROWLAND.

Camp Aligany Virginia
Aug. 6, 1861
Dear Father, I received your letter of the 13 ultimo which afforded me a great deal of satisfaction to hear you was well and that you had not entirely forgotten me.  We are now at this time about 160 miles from Linchburg in among the mountains and in about 8 miles of the enemy.  Their position is on Cheat Mountain.  They are about ten thousand strong and are well fortified.  We expect to attact them in a very short time, probably as soon as our scouts come in.  I with myself and several others have been very sick with measles and have been in the hospittle for some time untill yesterday, but am now quite well but verry weak.  The measles have been through our whole regiment and has been fatal to some who taken cold with it and turned to newmonia.  We hav reliable information stating that [illegible] Scott is dead.  Report says he died [illegible] battle at Mannassas Gap.  [illegible] whipped the yankeys verry badly it seems.  The [illegible] Sam Gaddy is dead.  He was killed from falling off of the cars as we were coming from Linchburg to Stanton.  He was sitting between the cars on the brake and the cars came uncoupled and he fell through and the cars ran over him grinding his legs into a perfect powder.  He died in about 15 minutes and was buried in Stanton.  John Bullock is dead.  He died at Richmond with measles.  We have received our uniforms.  It got here only a very few days ago.  The most of it is too small.  You cannot—Dear Father—imagine how very much I would like to see you and Moses, Sister, little Hattie and all but alas I fear I will never be permitted to enjoy the society of those who are dearer to me than the world besides again I think of you every day and hope that at some future time to see you all again.  But there is not much prospect of getting back.  The thunder of cannon will soon be heard and on the battlefield all or at least some of us fall.  If it is my lot to fall it is all right.  I do not believe I am a coward but believe I can face the music and am eager for the fray.  Close, S. ROWLAND.  Write soon and often.  I would write more but my papers out.
Camp Green Brier
Sept. 5, 1861
Dear Father, I received your letter a short time since which gave me great satisfaction to hear from you and to hear you was all well.  I am well at this time and am stronger, stouter than ever I was before in my life and have never been sick with the exception of contagious diseases such as measles—mumps—rosola etc. and they was very light.  You written to me and wanted to know some thing about my clothing, my diet, army regulations.  First I will give you a description of my clothing.  We have coarse cloths overcoat which are made of blankets, shoes with the sole about 3 inches thick, uppers to correspond, caps with brim about 2 inches wide and cover only 3 or 4 inches of head, pants made to fit tight as the skin under coats with two rows of brass buttons in front to fit very tight so that we will be as small a target as possible I believe.  I will now give you a description of our fare. Our bill of fare—first beeff, seckond flour, 3rd coffee, sugar, rice, and we draw candles, soap.  Our cooking vessels is a camp kettle oven frying pan coffee pot.  There is 9 men in our mess, wit: R. L. Tuggle, H. Ivy, W. Wade, Glossup, N. B. Collier, P. B. Collins, I. M. Flemister.  Phillips makes out our mess, he is the Captain.  We live very well if we had bacon, but I have eat so much beeff since I have been in camp that I am ashamed to look a cow strait in the face.  We have got to be very good cooks.  We do our own cooking and washing and have done it ever since we left home.  Autny has done nothing at all but we have had to wait on him all the time.  We have a very easy time now from the fact that it has rained so much and the ground is so muddy that we cannot drill.  You also wished to know the number of men at this place and the Gen. we was under.  There is about 8 thousand men at this place but we are under no Gen. at all.  Our regiment is an independent regiment, and I suppose it will remain so although there is some talk of our joining Lee.  But I do not believe we will.  Col. Rust speaks of taking us back to Missouria and if he does not we will go to Memphis to winter or that is the camp rumer at least.  I know that we cannot stand it here in the winter season for it is verry cold now.  I wish I was in Arkansas now eating peaches, watermellon, grapes, vegetables.  I have not seen a mellon in Virginia and peaches is not grown here.  There is a few apples here but if we get them they will put us in the gaurd house.  We are in eight miles of the enemy on the same road that they are on and would atact them but their position is such that it would be almost sure death itself to attact them.  They are on Cheat Mountain and the only road is only about 20 feet wide and they have their cannon planted for 4 miles down the road.  I given you in my letter a very lenthy account of our scout.  Our object then was to leave the road and attact them on the other side and if our guides had taken us to the right place we....  [last page missing]

Camp Green Brier, Nov. 7, 1861
Dear Father, Brothers, Sister, I received your letters a few days ago and was verry glad to hear from you.  I am well at this time hoping this may find all in the enjoyment of the same blesing.  We are at this place but hope we will leave here.  It is very cold and raining at this time and is verry disagreable to write but I will try and write as much as possible and as interesting as the times will admit of.  As far as fighting is conserned we had a skirmish with the enemy pickets.  We killed a 6 day before yesterday.  We are well fortified at this place and are lying here waiting for an attack but I do not believe we will be attacted here any more.  If the yankeys do attact us they will have some hard fighting to do if they whip us.  Report says that they are all leaving Cheat Mt.  How true I am not able to say.  We would have left here before now but we had orders to stay as long as we posably could.  We are going south to winter probably to [illegible] or New Orleans.  I think the fighting in this part of Va. will stop for this winter.  I must draw my short letter to a close.  My hand is numed and I have to close. Give my love best respecks to all inquiring friends particularly to Mr. Bulloch and family.  Write soon and often all of you, Sister, Moses, Pa, all.  Tell Viola she must make haste and learn to knit and knit me a pair of socks.  Kiss little Mattie for me.  Tell Jim Ben to grow fast and make haste and get big enough to kill yankeys.  You must write at least wonce a week remember me in your prayers.  S. ROWLAND.

Frederick County, Winchester, Dec. 9, 1861
Dear Father, I seat myself this morning to write you a short letter.  Great changes have taken place since I written my last letter.  We left Green Brier on the 21st of Nov. and arived here on the 8th.  We are now about 150 miles from Green Brier and in quite a different county from the one we was fortunate enough to get away from.  This is a beautifull country and is one of the greatest grain raising states or countrys in the world.  We had a very hard time during our march.  We had a very hard time but none minded that all were anxious to leave the mountains.  On our march the people treated us with great kindness.  We could get anything we wanted on the road.  We would call in at a house and inquire if we could get something to eat.  The answer was yes, come in, and they would throw open their parlor doors and invite us to enter.  I almost felt like I was out of my lattitude.  I saw some very pretty girls on the road.  We are still fighting yankeys yet.  We are now in about 36 miles of the yankeys.  They are at a little town Romney.  We expect to advance on them in a few days.  We had a battle at Manassa every day.  They will certainly fight soon.  I am getting very tired of camp life.  Hope the war will soon close, but there is not much prospect of is closing unless we can succeed in starving them out in Washington.  We received information from some yankeys prisoners taken near Romney that wood in Washington Citty was worth $40 per cord and that the soldiers eat only one meal per day.  This knews I presume is reliable from the fact that there is a railroad torn up from which they get the most of their supplies.  I think the war will close when Lincoln administration is out not before.  There is not much sickness in our company at this time.  Our clothes came to hand a few days ago, all safe and sound.  I was verry much pleased with my gloves and indeed all my clothes, but particularly my gloves.  R. L. Tuggle expressed a wish that we could both be where they was knit.  I think of you all every day and don’t want you to forget me.  Write soon and direct your letter to Winchester, Frederick County, Va.  Your son, SUMPTER ROWLAND.

Winchester, Va., Dec. 18, 1861
Dear Father, hearing that Mr. Wolf would start home in the morning, I concluded to write you a short letter.  I am well at this time hoping when Wolf or rather this letter reaches you it will find you all in the enjoyment of the same blessing.  As regards the movements of our Army in this secktion of Virginnia, Jackson’s Brigade left here a few days sine for Martinburg and he expecks to break a dam somewhere on the Potomac and our brigade has had orders to keep one days rations ahead.  For if Jackson needs reinforcements we will be ordered to his assistance amediately.  This is a verry pleasant place where we are now staying.  Our guard duty comparably speaking is verry light and we can buy anything here we want.  They are expeckting a fight at Manassa every day.  We are stationed about 25 miles from Manassa, and about 40 from Harpers Ferry and about 40 miles from Romney.  The yankeys are in persession of Romeny and are well fortified and have several pieces of artilerry and their pieces are very large ranging from 64 to 24 pounders.  And the place will be verry hard to take.  And if we do not go to Martinsburg we will be ordered to Romney.  We will not stay here long.  Some decisive movement will soon take place.  I think that there will be one more generally fight and if we are victorious which we will be certain to be they will then cave in.  We are getting innured to the hardships and privations of a soldier’s life and if we stay in this war much longer we will be verry good soldiers.  R. L. Tuggle is well but has very sore eyes caused by the smoke of our campfires.  Give Merrice my best respecks and also Mrs. Merrice and tell them to write to me. I must close.  I would write more but there is two fellows in this tent playing poker and they bother me so it is impossible for me to write.  Answer this as soon as you receive.  Your son, SUMTER ROWLAND.

Winchester, Va., Dec. 24, 1861
Dear Father, I embrace the present opportunity of writing you a short letter.  Mr. Lewis will start home in the morning and I will send it by him.  I am well at this time hoping this may find all in the enjoyment of the same great blesing.  We are still in our tents and have taken no permanent winter quarters and I think it is extremely doubtful whether we will or  not.  We have built chimneys to our tents and are now verry comfortably situated for soldiers who have traveled over Cheat Mt. and have seen as many hardships as we have seen.  Our forces on Alegany have been in an engagement since we left.  They were attacted, soon after we left but were again victorious.  They completely whiped the yankeys killed and wounded several and taken 3 pieces of artilerry.  Our loss was 30 killed and several wounded.  Tomorrow is Christmas day.  Our officers are preparing for a ball at Winchester.  Our Christmas in camp will undoubtedly be verry dull compared with yours in Arkansas.  Our brigade is getting up horses wagons and I hear it rumored in camp that we will leave here in a few days for Romney which is distant about 40 miles and is in persession of the yankeys.  [illegible] or not I am not able to do so but one thing is verry certain we will have fightting to do soon.  As it is getting dark I must draw my letter to close.  Give my love and best wishes to all inquiring friends and retain a double for yourself.  Write often.  Respectfully your son, SUMTER ROWLAND.
You wished to know something about Milton Calhoun being wounded in the battle at Green Brier.  He was wounded but slightly is now well.  Robert Tuggle is well and sends his best respecks to all.  H.C. Ivy is well and is the most plesant fellow you ever saw.  Give my kindest regards to Ben Collins and tell him to write to me.  Yours, S. R.
Henry Ivy has taken to pedling on potatoes oneons chickens and make it verry proffitable.  He has grown several inches in hight since he left.  He now measures 7 feet 10 inches.
Dear Father, I seat myself down this morning to write [illegible].  I am well at this time with the exception of my feet which are very badly swolen from the effects of cold.  I  [illegible] and [illegible] since I will [illegible] been in one battle and three days without blankets [illegible].  I will try and give you a [illegible] description of our [illegible].  We started from Winchester the first day of this month and commenced our march in the direction of Bath, a little river town some 40 miles from this place, and was in posession of the enemy along.  Still [illegible] in the march our waggons broke down and the snow commenced falling so we were out without tents, blankets, provisions and almost without fire for [illegible] days.  We were about this time worn out but we were ordered to make the attact that night so as to take them by surprise.  Our collum advanced on when reaching Bata [Bath].  Found it deserted.  The yankeys hearing of our approach had deserted the town, leaving several things of value commasory stores and blankets [illegible] and several other things to tedious to mention.  The next thing on docket was to [illegible].  [illegible] have completely whipped them.  There is a great deal of sickness in camp.  Our men are dying up dayly and unless we leave here soon our regiment will all die.  We have lost ten from our company.  Hector Dikes is dead.  I must bring my short letter to a close for it is time that me and Bob was getting dinner.  Give my love, best regards to all inquiring friends.  Tell sister, Moses, to not forget me and to write.  Tell Sippy Bulloch to write to me and you must write at least twice a week.  Tell Hatie, Jim, Ben, Viola to eat a watermellon for me.  Bob has made a fire so we must commence cooking.  Always direct your letter to Monterrey, care of Capt. Mutentin.  Farewell your son, SUMPTER ROWLAND.
[Note: Last letter received]
Richmond, Va. Aug. 25, 1862
Dear Father, [illegible] this morning to write you a short letter as I will have a chance to send it by Chidester the mail contact.  I received your letter of the 9th ultimo, was very glad to hear from you.  I am well at this time, hoping this may find you in the enjoyment of the same great blesing.  I have nothing of much importance to write but will try to write as much as possible and be as interesting as I can.  Our Rgt. is at this place about one mile from Richmond.  Our grand Army that was stationed around here [illegible] gone to Jackson who is about 100 miles from here near [Fredricks?]ville.  His force will amount to at least 250,000 men and he is now in pursuit of Pope’s yanky forces who [illegible].  Our victorious Army is advancing on the yankeys at all points and they are falling back and I hope the day is [illegible] when we will again be free.  McClellan’s Army is on James River, are all gone to reinforce Pope and as soon as he arives a bloody battle with Jackson will be inevitable and when [illegible] fight in always whip them in [illegible] than 30,000 men around here who [illegible] back [illegible] there is severall [illegible] Regt. here and I have severall of my [illegible] that I knowed.  Boll Sloan is first [illegible] in the 2 Miss. Regt. all the [illegible] are along.  I hope this war will soon close and I will get back again, but there will still be some hard fighting.  Lincoln has drafted [illegible] men but I am glad to think that they [illegible] only we have men enough to fight battles as many as can will be used.  You written Hatty had got her arm broken but you did not write how she broke it.  You must remind her of her only brother and not let her forget me.  Give sister, Viola, Jim, Ben my love also any inquiring friends and in your next letter give me Moses post office so that I can write to him.  I will close.  I will write more [illegible]  have next time.  Your son, SUMTER ROWLAND.
P.S.  Tuggle and all the boys send their love to you.
I will give you a description of our guns.  We have the improved musket which is a verry good gun and will shoot 600 yds.  They have percussion locks and are sure fire.
We had a slight brush with the enemy on grand gaurd and killed three men  and captured their horses.  Knews has just come into camp that [illegible] that we must leave here soon.  We will smell gunpowder in less than twenty four hours.

The following letter was written by Benjamin Hyatt to his parents, B. C. & A. Hyatt, of Monticello, Arkansas, mentioning the death of Sumter Rowland and others.

Bivouac near Richmond, Va. May 7th ‘63, 8 o’clock P.M.
Dear Parents, It has been a long time since I wrote or heard from home. I last wrote by Mr. Jones of Union from Petersburg.  Since that time I have not had an opportunity to write.  I shall not attempt to give you a detailed account of all that we have done, and suffered since I last wrote.  I should not attempt to write at all, but I have an opportunity to send a letter by hand across the river, and we are under orders to march at day light in the morning to meet the enemy towards the Rappahannock, I suppose.  Our Regt. is cut in two—five companies are mounted, and Col. Manning has gone with them to hunt some Yankee cavalry, who are making raids near Richmond and in rear of Lee’s army.  I expect the other five companies will be mounted in the morning and sent on to Col. Manning, I hope so at least.
Well to commence:  We left Petersburg on the 8th April and march immediately in front of Suffolk near 80 miles in four days.  Formed in line of battle under the guns in forts and gunboats doing very heavy duty until the 3rd of May, when Genl. Law’s Ala. Brig. and our Regt. were partially engaged in heavy skirmishing with a large force of the enemy, who sallied forth under cover of heavy batteries across the Nansemond River and the gunboats, we repulsed them in every attempt to leave the river and held them in check until night, when Genl. Longstreet drew off his army across Blackwater having accomplished his object that was to get the meat and forage out of that portion of Va. and N.C. in the hands of the enemy it is said we got enough to feed the army of N. Va. sixty days.
Our Regt. lost in the fight or skirmish six (6) killed, six wounded and seventeen missing, supposed to have been captured when we fell back.  Co. C had three were wounded by one canon ball, all the right leg cut off Carpenter, Sumpter Roland and Geo. Patton.  Carpenter died before they could get him to the ambulance, the others died in the course of 8 or 10 hours.  Roland died in the ambulance, I think they were neglected in the hurry getting off the wounded.  We left the line of battle last Sunday night at 8 1/2 o’clock P.M. took up the line of march for [illegible] Station on the Petersburg & Norfolk R.R. 20 miles.  There we took the cars in the train came to Petersburg.  Then Genl. Longstreet pressed enough horses to mount five of our Co.’s who came on to Richmond last night.  We came on in the cars today.  Our Divn. will hasten on to-wards the Rappahannock.  Genl. Lee has whipped the yankees again in another great battle.  The enemy’s loss is estimated at 26,000 killed wounded & missing.  Our loss was heavy, fighting desperate, so that we have not full reports yet.  Genl. Jackson was wounded, arm amputated.  A. P. Hill slightly wounded.  Genl. Paxton of the Stone Wall Brig. was killed.  I believe will drive Hooker out of Va. if he does not mind—more anon.  I saw Jno. Crook yesterday in Petersburg.  The post-Prisoners are maning the fortifications around Richmond—N. N. L. is well—have not seen him.  Lt. Col. Taylor has just been exchanged, was captured while crossing the Miss. River.
It is getting late—will be up by four in the morning, have had but a few hours rest since Saturday night.  We are placed under lasting obligations to the citizens of Richmond.  They gave our bare footed men some 15.00$ worth of shoes today while marching through the capitol.  Love to all my friends and all the children.  Why did you not write by Ed, Wm. Vick or Col. Taylor.  BEN.

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