These letters were written to Joseph E Artz while he was at Manassas fighting for the Confederacy. Joseph was killed in action at the Battle of Antietam in 1862. His parents were Henry and Julia Priest Artz. Joseph was with Company C of the 33rd Virginia Infantry.
Words in these brackets  are to be used for informational purposes and were not in the original letter.
The letters are presented here through the generous donation of Jim Artz.
August 20, 1861
I have again taken my pen in hand to write you a few lines to let you know that we are well, and hope these few lines may find you enjoying the same blessing of God. I received your letter of the 17th and was glad to know that you were well and that you had received the box that I had sent you, but you did not say whether or not you had got the box and bag I sent by Trout. [Henry III, local guard; ab] Your pap is at home now. He came home on Sunday and sent a substitute this morning. He gives him $1.00 per day and whatever wages the state may pay. He got your letter after it had lain there a week and says that he thought it would be too late then to write about the money, but thinks if you have not now got your pay already that it would be best to take (money and rest) of the bonds and send it home as soon as you can well, so that it can be making something here. I shall send you what you wrote for with the exception of the Jamaica ginger and the watermelons. The ginger you left had been used and I could not get any in town as Schmidt was in Winchester, and his store was locked, and he had the key and there is none anywhere else in town, and the watermelons are not ripe yet. Some person was in your patch Sunday morning pulled and plugged the largest, but as soon as they get ripe you shall have some if you can succeed in getting them. We will send them anyhow but you must try and send the boxes and pots back, or I cannot send you anything, as boxes are hard to get. I have to send you my stocking box now, and pay 30 cts. for taking it down; but send it back and the one that Sam [Bowman, ab] brought down and you shall not lose anything. We cannot get a box in town for love or money. A young fellow that can make pies ought not suffer for something to eat; Joseph, I do not want you to neglect the sick. Divide with them of such as you have that they can eat, wait on them whenever you can; do not let them suffer for any attention that you can pay to them; show a willing mind to do what you can and if you get sick do not go to the hospital if you can help it but try and get home, if you have to run away. The Muhlenburgs are stealing their sick out of the camp and fetching them home. There are several at home sick. The wounded are all doing well I believe, with the exception of Sam Bowman, he is poorly yet. Tobias Snarr is well but is waiting for some one to come after him. Getz is running about and Abram Hottle is well enough to go whortleberrying. The diptheria is right bad in town. Ed. Mankin is right sick. I do not know what is the matter with him. You must write to Son Fant, as he is looking for a letter ever since the battle. I will try and send you a pair of socks as soon as I can; I must bring my letter to a close. The family join me in sending their love to you. Give my love to Lewis Hamrick when you see him and tell him to write to us. Joseph, I want you if you fall in with any Alabamians to try and find out something about cousin John Smith. I think they are from Tuscaloosa City. Their father was named Thomas, and if you find out anything about them let us know. Do not forget what I have said before; try and resist temptation to sin. I will send you some ground ginger. You can use it by putting boiling water and a little sugar with it and drinking it. Nothing more, but remain
Your mother till death
Julie J Artz
Woodstock, Sept. 9th, 1861
When I wrote you before I thought that G. Copp intended coming down on Sunday but he altered his arrangement to suit Abram Hottle. You will find the melons, such as we have; the hogs spoiled the vines so that we got no watermelons of any account. I have sent you a pot of pickles, one of butter and a can of tomatoes. I thought perhaps if I sent them whole they might get mashed. You can open the can by turning it up to the fire or laying something hot on the top of it; likewise some raw tomatoes to slice or cook as you like. Those in the can need no seasoning but a little butter and the bread as you like it. The others if you cook them will have to have a little salt. Those your Aunt Fannie sent you, also the large soft peaches and the large apples. I send you some of the different kind of peaches about the house and some of yours in the garden also some grapes you must give Sam some of the grapes, peaches and melons. Your blanket and two pairs of socks, sweet oil, sandpaper, tacks No. 6. Some small change if you wish to pay any postage. I want you to write occasionally to Aunt Sibert's girls and them some of the news. They'll be delighted to hear from you. Your Aunts Fannie and Elizabeth says you must give them a little more particular news about what you see and hear. We have established a hospital for the wounded and sick soldiers in Woodstock. The Seminary, Academy and Courthouse are the buildings to be used. I intend having you and oilcloth overcoat made if I can have it lined so as to make it warm unless you would rather have another kind of one, if you would , let me know. We have no school nearer than Copps schoolhouse and none of these children are going to school. We had preaching last Sunday a week at our schoolhouse. Wm. Clymer preached Mr. Cave's child's funeral there. The house was full and a good many outside. I send you some potatoes and a head of cabbage, you can fry or make slaw of it if you like it best and some roasting ears Sally sends you. They are of the sugar corn. You must try and send the box back and pots and can when you get them empty. I think you could send them back if you would be a little particular. Perhaps the Captain would let you go to the junction with it yourself it you would ask him. Be persevering in trying to get I ton the cars you may send the socks that you have if they are worn out. Hushour's trunk has not get here yet. If you want anything, do not hesitate to write for it. You did not say whether you got the letter that Peter and Sis wrote. It was backed to Centreville. Let us know in your next. Your pap has not commenced seeding yet. He has to work very hard, as hands are scarce. I will close by subscribing myself your affectionate mother
Julie J. Artz
NB You or Sam must write to your Aunt Fannie whether you received the box she sent down.
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