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South Carolina
"but when I wake it was all as in a dream"
South Carolina

Private Young Hitch
Company I
Sixteenth South Carolina

"Richmond is a Hard Road to Travel"
Music by Dayle K.

Camp Means near Charleston, So.Ca. Feb. 9. 63
Dear Wife

I seat myself down to drop you a few lines to inform you that I am not well today. I have a very severe cold. And may be taking the measles but I think it is just cold. I got very cold the other night & suffered badly with the back and limbs aching. To day I have lain by the most of the day. Since dinner to day I have washed myself & put on clean cloths. I have been in that old jail untill I have got some of them nasty lice on my clothing. I want to have the cloths that I pulled of washed & maybe it will kill the nasty things. I hear last night that J.B. Edwards was in the hospital to day. A.J. saw him at the hospital he is better up on foot. It is thought that we will be disbanded on the 15th inst. If so we will be home the first of next week, if we are apared to be alive & able to make the trip. I think I am better this evening & hope to improve. I hope this letter will find you all in good health.

I write this in haste to get it ready for B.W. Knight to bear to you. I did not know that he was going home untill a few moments ago. I havent any news of importance to write to you. It is said that his place will be attacked shortly but I think it uncertain allthough there has been some heavy cannonadeing on the islands to day.

Mary you need not write again untill you see or hear from me again. I hope to see you soon. I have been home three times since I came to camp but when I awake it was all in a dream. A.J. is not well. So I bid you farewell, look not untill you see me at the gate.

To Mrs. Mary A. Hitch at home. J.H.E. Hitch

Private Young Hitch lived in Laurens District and enlisted in the 9th S.C. Reserves, a ninety day unit raised in the winter of 1862-63. This letter was written to his wife four days before he enlisted in Company I, Sixteenth South Carolina. He would serve until his death in the Atlanta Campaign. Again, we can see the Confederate Government being pushed to bring more men to the active fronts. Hitch would have little time for training for in July, a scant five months later, the Sixteenth would move to Johnsonís Army in Mississippi. Several things are noteworthy in this letter, including the use of a jail as a hospital and the fact that measles continue to be feared by the men in coastal service. Also the mention of the unwelcome companionship of Johnny Greyback is noteworthy. We will not hear from Young again until the end of the winter of 63 in Dalton, actually the beginning of 1864. The Defense of Charleston Harbor makes no mention of the cannon exchange mentioned by Young in this letter. B.W. Knight served in both the 5th State Troops and Company C of the Ninth Reserves. J.B. Edwards served in the 5th State Troops and Company D of the Seventh Reserves, he ended the war with Company E, Cavalry Battalion of the Holcombe Legion in Shank Evan's old Brigade. A.J. is unidentified at this time. Private Young Hitch would serve faithfully and well, he would fill all his obligations to his state, his family and his God. When he died he would no longer dream of home, for he would have found his way there. His wife and his two loving sons would, however, often dream of him. I have often considered the cost of failing to honor such things and when I do I remember the service of the men like Private Young Hitch, perhaps we all should.

Furnished by John Bigham
Confederate Relic Room
Columbia South Carolina
Donated to the Relic Room by the Givens Family

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