Civil War Letters of William (Billy) A. Elliott
The following was provided by Pat Elliott, the owner of the letters:
The following letters are reasonably accurate transcriptions of handwritten letters from Billy (William A.) Elliott to his father, Dick Elliott (Richard W.), during the Civil War. Billy Elliott was my father's great uncle, the brother of his grandfather David Elliott Sr. On July 7, 1862, shortly after his 19th birthday, Billy enlisted in the 11th Regiment, Company A, of the North Carolina Confederate Troops. He was killed at the Battle of Gettysburg on July 1, 1863.
Billy's 19 letters home were written between September, 1862 and May, 1863. I'm emotionally touched by this twenty year old boy writing to his "Pa" during the year before giving his life to the history of our nation. The cause for which Billy fought and died has been harshly judged by history. From the Confederate perspective, however, their discomfort and suffering was as noble as that of their Revolutionary War forefathers nearly 100 years before. One must understand that Billy came from a family, my ancestors, who were not Plantation masters but pioneers of the Carolina wilderness who fully believed that theirs was a cause against a Northern Revolution intent on tearing apart the fabric of their history and freedom. The written history of my family and these letters from an ancestor allow this life-long Yankee to judge the Confederate spirit and conviction in a little more even-handed manner.
Family lore tells that the day before Billy was killed at Gettysburg he gave his pocket comb and New Testament to his cousin, Cyrus, and said, “Take these to Ma because I’ll die tomorrow.”
Letter #1 Top Sails Inlet 21 miles below Wilmington, North Carolina, September 11, 1862 Letter #2 South Hampton, Virginia, October 13, 1862 Letter #3 November 25, 1862 Letter #4 Franklin Depot, Virginia, December 9, 1862 Letter #5 Franklin Depot, Virginia, December 13, 1862 Letter #6 Magnolia Dauplin County, North Carolina, January 23 1863 Letter #7 Camp Neare Tarobor, Edgecome County North Carolina Letter #8 Pitt County Greenville North Carolina, February 22, 1863 Letter #9 Dauplin County Magnolia North Carolina, January 27, 1863 Letter #10 Greenville North Carolina, March 25, 1863 Letter #11 Camp Ten Miles Below Washington North Carolina, April 8, 1863 Letter #12 Camp near Hookerton North Carolina, April 27 1863 Letter #13 Camp near Kinston North Carolina, April 30 1863 Letter #14 Halafax North Carolina, May 2 1863 Letter #15 Richmond Virginia, May 5 1863 Letter #16 Hanover Junction Va, May 10, 1863 Letter #17 Hanover Junction Va, May 19, 1863 Letter #18 Hanover Junction May 25, 1863 Letter #19 Camp near Hanover Junction Va, May 25 1863
This page last updated 12/19/06