Fascinating 1862 Confederate Civilian Letter - Stonewall Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley - G. D. Camden to Kate E. Fulkerson, Sister of Colonel Samuel Vance Fulkerson, 37th Virginia Infantry

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Fascinating 1862 Confederate Civilian Letter - Stonewall Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley - G. D. Camden to Kate E. Fulkerson, Sister of Colonel Samuel Vance Fulkerson, 37th Virginia Infantry

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Item No. 8397856

A fascinating May 1862 Confederate civilian letter written and signed by a G. D. Camden, possibly Gideon Camden who served in the Confederate general staff, to friend Kate E. Fulkerson in Abingdon, Virginia. Miss Fulkerson, a teacher at Martha Washington College, was the sister of Colonel Samuel V. Fulkerson of the 37th Virginia who fought with Stonewall Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley Campaign and was mortally wounded in June at Gaines’s Mill. Camden wrote about Jackson’s victories against the various Union forces in the Valley, including the thousands of prisoners and mountains of loot taken at Winchester, Front Royal, and Martinsburg. Camden also reported on the safety of Colonel Fulkerson, who had been wounded and fell into enemy hands, but was liberated at Winchester. Another brother, Abraham Fulkerson, who was Colonel of the 63rd Tennessee serving in the western theater, is mentioned as having returned home, perhaps on a furlough. Captain George T. Antrim of the 5th Virginia, who was wounded at Kernstown, is also mentioned. Miss Fulkerson lived in Abingdon with her sister-in-law Selina Johnson Fulkerson (Abraham’s wife) and a slave, Aunt Lou. These three women are likely the “trio” that Camden refers to in his letter. It reads:

Staunton [Virginia]
30 May 1862.

Miss Kate E. Fulkerson
Yours of 21st inst. has been rec’d and I would have written to you before now, but I have been waiting to learn more of the particulars of Genl Jackson’s victories in the lower [Shenandoah] Valley, but even now they are quite meager as to the casualties among our friends. I have not been able to learn anything in particular as to your brother [Colonel Samuel V. Fulkerson]. I did go, but from the fact that we have not heard that he was injured, I feel confident that he is safe. Had he been hurt I feel sure that we should have heard of it. There is no doubt but what our victories have been triumphant. They have captured at Front Royal, Winchester & Martinsburg about 4,000 prisoners, vast numbers [of] arms, large quantities of ammunition, stores of every description, 300 or 400 waggons & thousands of horsed and driven the scattered forces of Banks over the Potomac, taken possession of & destroyed the Rail Roads and with good prospects of taking most [of Union Colonel Robert] Milroy’s forces. I was truly glad to hear of the safe return of your brother Abraham [Fulkerson, Colonel of the 63rd Tennessee], it does my soul good to think of the rejoicing that follows among the inmates of the quiet homestead on the banks of Wolf Creek. It is heart churning to know that for a time at least that seriousness that hung upon the faces of those who have been so kind to me & for whom I feel so kindly, was dissipated and God that it may never return. To hear that I was worthy of being recollected by the trio was quite gratifying. My short stay with you during life be recounted with pleasure. My wife & Daughter would be gratified to make the personal acquaintance of the trio and join me in sending kind greetings. We have returned to our former place of abode and I trust that it will not be necessary for us to leave it again. I remained in Richmond several days to witness the great fight that was daily expected, and if necessary to aid in defense of the City. I think with you that the determination to defend Richmond is entitled to great praise, and I feel certain that its streets will never be desecrated by the tread of the Northern robbers. I trust that the dark war cloud which has been hovering over us, is tasing away and that Southern independence is at hand. I will write again when I have more of the particulars of the Victories in the lower Valley and the safety of our friends. Capt [George T.] Antrim [5th Virginia] of this county who was wounded at Kernstown was released by our troops in Winchester and returned on yesterday, but I did not see him. I entertain hopes that Capt Vance [possibly James Vance Fulkerson, a Captain in the 37th Virginia] was also released but have not been able to hear any thing of him. I feel certain that he was, unless he was sent off before our troops reached Winchester.

With much respect
Your friend
G. L. Camden

P.S. I have not heard of any one from your section being injured.

The letter was written on four pages of a stationery sheet measuring about 4 1/2” x 7 1/4”. It is in excellent condition with few signs of its age. Very legible handwriting. Creased where originally folded.

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