A letter1 from Powhatan Bolling Whittle, an officer of the 38th Virginia Infantry, to his brother James Murray Whittle in Pittsylvania Courthouse (Chatham), highlights soldiers' financial uncertainties two and a half months after the war's first engagement at Fort Sumter.
The 38th Virginia Infantry included local companies A (Capt. Daniel Townes Co.), B (Pittsylvania Vindicators), C (Laurel Grove Rifleman), D (Whitmell Guards), E (Cabell's Guards), H (Secession Guards), and K (Cascade Rifles).2
June 22nd 1861.My dear Brother,
Cook & Davis3 arrived here safely. I thank you very much for getting the saddle for me. I have not been very well for the last two days. The weather has been so hot. Carrington4 is well — he has not purchased a horse yet. He will probably get one in Richmond. We have now seven companies — The Cabell's came down yesterday. I will go to town this evening and look at the horse which you mentioned in your letters. Can you lend me some money until I can get some pay from the State? I have had to buy uniforms & go to much expense. I hear that we will be paid at the end of every month but don't know that it is true. Tell Mary & Matoaka,5 with my warmest love that I will write to them before long. I can't write more now. We look for Mr. L___6 tomorrow.Your affec. Brother
Powhatan B. Whittle
A further annotation on the document, in the handwriting of James Whittle, says, “… sent $150 ….”
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