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South Carolina
"our days are days of war and blood shed"
South Carolina

Lt. R.T. Benson

"Brass Mounted Army"
Music by Dayle K.

Camp Lorach Adams run, S.C. Sept 27, 1862
Thursday Night
Mrs. Sarah A Benson
Dear Wife
It is with great pleasure that I seat myself to wright to infrom you that yours of the . Came to hand on tuesday last and by a perusal of the same I found that your health was improving very fast which afforded me much pleasure to learn. I was happy to learn that the rest of the family was enjoying good health Sis I have enjoyed good health ever since I came back to camps my hand was cured up inside and is doing tolerable well it is a swolen a right smart on the back I am not shore if it wont have to be lansed on the back before it gets well it has pained

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To day it feels a little easier to night andI am in hopes that it will soon be well and sound. O Sarah if peace was only made and I onley could be permited to spend the remainder of my days at home in peace with you and my two lovely little boys O how happy I would be but lovely wife and children the time when we shal be permited to mingle our voices together at home in peace I am a fraid will not come soon perhaps never with us we are unfortionate for our days are days of war and blood shed but I have often heard that the darkest time of night Was just before day so the day may come when we least expect it. I have not bin examined yet neither do I know where I will be, OP Sarah I wish I could get one sweet kiss from you and the children. Sarah kiss them both for me. Lt. R. T. Benson S.A. Benson

Our Days are days of war & blood shed...
Thanks to Randy Hawkins for copies of the Benson Letters

Lt. Benson was a new Lieutenant, freshly elected he awaits his examination. He will live to father many more children, other than the two boys he missed so badly this September evening so long ago. His letters will soften and become less and less formal as he follows the Sixteenth and the Confederacy toward its zenith and demise. All of that is distant, but even at this early date, a time of victory for the Army of Northern Virginia, there is the knowledge that it will be a near thing, should his Confederacy survive. His journey will carry him to far off places. The forbidding heat of Mississippi in summer, the long struggle back to Atlanta and finally to Franklin and Nashville. It is outside of Nashville, one cold distant day, in the not too distant future, that Lt. Benson will be captured. Hood's dying army will struggle back toward the Tennessee River and somewhere in the flotsam and jettison of retreat, near Pulaski, Tennessee, Lt. Benson will be the last man out. From there he will go to places he cannot imagine on this day, he will survive Camp Chase in that distant land of Ohio and journey across the north to Point Lookout for exchange. In fact, when this war ends Lieutenant Benson of Reedy River Community, Travelers Rest, South Carolina, will have seen most of the states both north and south that do war on each other in this year of our Lord 1862. The wound to his hand that pains him so deeply on this day will by forgotten as deeper more lasting wounds replace those to his hand. Like many of his brothers, who wear the Grey, these new wounds of the soul may heal on the outside, but will never heal and can never be lanced to the core. For you see the men like Lieutenant Benson will no longer be free agents of choice but rather men who are part of a nation that is not their own, for they are members not by choice, but by conquest. For them, there will be few days of peace for the rest of their lives. The camp where the letter was composed is Camp LaRoche at Adams Run, S.C. located between Charleston and Beaufort, South Carolina.

To Return to the Letters Index, follow General Gist; to go home, follow the flag.