The following is a Letter submitted by Compatriot Jerry Wells of the Clyde River Blockade Runners Camp #2168 Richmond, Virginia / Glascow, Scottland. Mr. wells submission signifies the bonds of friends , relatives and neighbors and is a sterling example of the true reason that Southerners took up arms from 1861-65. They answered a call to defend their homes from invasion, and when they fell in battle often friends and neighbors would fill the empty ranks.
Thank You Compatriot Wells for sharing this wonderful piece of history with us.
Thanks for your offer on CV magazine articles.
I have had a problem getting things published especially chartering two British SCV Camps in June 2008 and November 2009.
I head this up while I was instrumental in forming in Scarborough the Captain John Low, CSN Camp 2161.
I also had a letter from my GGgrandfather Booker Shorter who wrote a letter to his sons which I have tried to have published over the years to show the close knit unit the Co. I of the 21st Virginia Infantry was, neighbors and kin, one and all.
I guess my ancestors, grunts, one and all, aren’t the mold of the colorful Stuart, etc…
Bokker Shorter is my Great Great Grandfather, and Matt and John are my Great Granddad and uncle, respectively, and my Ggrand Matt’s father in law.
GGGrand was a school teacher and a Chaplain for Company I, 21st Virginia Infantry. Of course I would find it interesting as the other Confederates mentioned are alot of kin folk.
Four Shorter boys, my Uncles served, some died some survived, glad to say Matt and John came through that War as well.
Thanks ever so much
The Clyde River Blockade Runners Camp 2168
August 10, 1861
These lines are composed by B. R. Shorter, which you will keep and bring home with you;
To my dear John who has not gone to war, the dearest of all John that I ever saw; May God be your guide through the perilous ways, and prolong your life through millions of days.
If in contact with the enemy you should happen to meet, pray the Lord to help you stand on your feet; and use your weapons with the most acute skill, and the wishes of your father completely fulfill. Strew the enemy before you as you may have to go; with the help of Asa Wyat and Mr. Livermore;
If they are not enough call up Billy Core, for some say he is a good hand to bore. If his fists give out let him apply to the racks, and call in his brother Lieutenant John Core;
If that will not do lead again with the beams, and hand to your friend James Arthor Eanes.
And if Mat is standing by let him call on his brother John, and prostrate the enemy like they have old Mahon; then if you should say, “Upon my soul”, we must call upon our friend William B. Cole. Then if you should want to make a double file, remember in your company you have Mr. Lyle;
When if you should wish to gain a tree reason, call for Thompson , Allen , Morgan , Young and Camson; For Camson is the man many years ago, who slew the Philistines by thousands, you know, for God was on his side because he was right, and that makes me think he will help you to tight.
If you should lack weapons, make you a maul, and hand to your friend, Crispin N. Hall; if you should not then be in good plight , hand to your friend Lewis A. Wright.
If you desire to make the enemy slip, call for George Galloway and his brother Tip. Then if you should be so lucky to regain Kit Bell , I think you can drown them all in a well. There is Joseph Hankins and his brother Dan, would be good hands to make lead the van;
There is Vincent Swanson and Bone Allens Dump. Could take a Yankee by the heels and slap him against a stump.
I think your Captain William A. Witcher, is skillful enough to make a good fisher; if he has the skill to catch and kill men, I hope he will take them ten thousand times ten.
There is Oliver Smith I will not leave out, for I think he would be most useful out in the route; and along with the rest take Henry and Joe, then if you still lack there are a few more.
When this you read son do remember me, for now I am trying to be in a glee;
But trouble has already so weighted me down, that my body is ready almost for the ground but I pray for you to return to your Nancy, which seems to be all of the greatest of your fancy, and if I new that would certainly be, I would try to return to merriment and glee.
But I trust and I pray to my God above, to save the life of him that I dearly love;
And if you return to your wife and children three. Which would animate and liven your mother and me.
So farewell my dear son, farewell for a while, I hope the Lord will bless you with a sweet smile; and lead you home again through perilous ways, and with your beloved for millions of days.
With these lines of poetry I must shortly close; by saying your aquaintance everyone knows, that your dear hands have done so much for me, that it causes my soul to love and pity thee.
Remember your Father and poor old Mother dear, who hath cherished and nourish you for many a year; but your years that have past seem as minutes to me, I pray for your future happiness which I hope you will see.
(Transcribed from a Xeroxed copy sent from Dolly Vick, granddaughter of Martha Ema Shorter, who is daughter of Robert Walker Shorter and granddaughter of Booker R. Shorter)