Knoxville, Tenn. Environs of Knoxville seen from south bank of Tennessee River; East Tennessee University in middle distance (Library of Congress)
Knoxville Tennessee October the 12 1862
Dear Father and Mother I take the present oppornituity to inform that I am as well at the present time as I ever was hoping that these few lines will find you all enjoying the same like blessing all of the boys from Clay County are tolerable well James Crawford has come up and is well Joab Crawford has had the mumps but is well William Waldrupe is agoing to take my saddles home Zoro will please take them home and pay him one dollar for hauling them it has been raining here for two or three days and is a getting tolerable muddy it was the dustyest time when we first got here that I ever saw they have been running soldiers here for several days that is ever since we have been here they are breckinridgees men going to Kentucky there is a great many soldiers about this place everything is the highest here that I ever saw sweet potatoes are worth five dollars per bushel everything else in proportion onions are bringing ten dollars per bushel we are getting tolerable plenty for ourselves and horses to eat but some of them are a ganting up tolerable bad my horse doing about as well as any of them Uncle Wiley Moore has come he got here late Tuesday I heard from Aunt Margaret Mantooth yesterday she is well we do not know when we will leave here but I expect before very long there was a battle at Corinth last week we whipped them on Friday and Saturday but they whipped us on Sunday but we retreated in good order the report that we lost about four thousand in the engagement there was a great many of the wounded passed up the yesterday evenings train tell Mr. Sherman that John is well tell Mary to write me I helpt to take some deserters to jail yesterday they had went home without leave but come and the colonel sent them to jail to give others warning be sure and write for I would be glad to hear from home every day be sure to have those boots made for me for shoes are worth $10 dollars per pair and boots $9 dollars I have not wrote much of interest as I did not have any thing to write give my compliments to all inquiring friends so no more but remains your affectionate son until death
W C Penland
P O Address Ft Knoxville Tenn 7 Battalion N C Calvery Co A in care of Capt W P Moore
I hope you enjoyed the first of WC Penland’s letters. Seems like it would have been a comfort to WC and the rest of the soliders to have the common tie of family and friends from Clay County. I imagine everytime one of them got a letter from home they shared the news with each other.