About this Letter

Levi’s Capture

M. W. Green wrote a letter to his parents on July 7, 1864, informing them that he received their letter 2 or 3 days earlier. He mentions that his brother Levi is a prisoner, but he himself is all right. He describes the hard battle they’ve been in, and advises his parents to read the New York Herald to learn more about it. Green mentions that they’ve been on a raid, destroying the railroad and burning cotton and tobacco. He also mentions that their enemy took their guns, but he survived as they didn’t get close enough to him to harm him. Green concludes the letter by telling his parents to write back soon, and signing off as “M. W. Green to his parents, brothers and sister.”

Letter Transcript

Levi’s Capture


Dear parents I recieved your letter 2 or 3 days ago. But have not answered it for I wanted to see whether Levi would get in or not But he has not. he is tacon prisner I get out all rite We have had a hard Battle here I tell you. You can get the New York Herald and that will tell you all about the rade. We have been out 12 days a taring up railroad and Burning cotton and tobaco that is all that I can tell you about the rade. Ievi is all rite only he is a prisner Well ma you spoke of getting the barn put up. Well you had aut to had it put up Before this time you get it up as soon as you can. I will stand the damage. Levi will soon Be out again and then he will have 8 or 10 months due him. Well ma I will tell you the rebs took all of our (big?) guns that you dremp of your dreams did not come out Right. as you drent it they did not come up to me to shake hands but to kill me. But they did not come. if they got with in ten feet of me and hallowed halt you yankee Son of a Bitch But I could not see the point of halting Write Soon as you get this Good By this from M. W. Green to his parents Brothers and sister

Editor’s Note: Battery “K” 1st Regiment of Artillery was a light artillery unit in the Union Army during the American Civil War. It served in various locations including Eagle Pass, Fort Duncan, and Fort Taylor before moving to Washington, D.C. in January 1862. There, it was attached to different units including the Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac, and Horse Artillery. The battery fought in several battles including the Battle of Antietam and the Battle of Gettysburg. After being moved to Washington, D.C. in July 1864, the unit participated in Sheridan’s Shenandoah Valley Campaign. The battery was involved in various battles and reconnaissance missions until August 1865.

Researcher’s Note: It is believed that Levi was captured during Wilson’s Raid on the Southside & Danville Railroad at Staunton River Bridge or Roanoke Station in June 1864, a military operation conducted by Union General James H. Wilson during the American Civil War. It took place from June 22 to June 30, 1864, and aimed to disrupt the Confederate supply lines in Virginia.

The raid was part of a more considerable Union effort to isolate the Confederate capital of Richmond by cutting off its rail connections to the south. The Southside & Danville Railroad was a crucial rail line that connected Richmond to the Confederate-controlled areas in southern Virginia and North Carolina.

Wilson led a force of approximately 12,000 cavalry troops on a fast-moving expedition that covered over 200 miles in just eight days. The Union forces captured or destroyed supplies, railroads, bridges, and other key targets, disrupting Confederate supply lines and communications.

The raid was a success, as it forced the Confederate army to divert significant resources to repair the damaged railroads and restore their supply lines. It also provided a boost to Union morale and had a significant impact on the outcome of the war.

Wilson’s Raid on the Southside & Danville Railroad is considered one of the most successful cavalry raids of the American Civil War, and it is still studied today as a model of fast-moving, mobile warfare.

Location of the Battle: 36° 53.62′ N, 78° 41.84′ W. Marker is in Randolph, Virginia, in Charlotte County. The marker is at the intersection of River Road (County Route 607) and Mulberry Hill Road (County Route 641) on the right when traveling west on River Road. This marker is located in front of the Randolph depot. Click for the map. Marker is in this post office area: Randolph, VA 23962, United States of America. Click for directions.

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