1861: George William Moyers to Susan E. (Henkel) Moyers

This letter was written from Gordonsille, Virginia, by George William (“Billie”) Moyers (1837-1905), the son of Michael Price Moyers (1812-1884) and Susan Melone (1809-1877). Billie was married to Susan E. Henkel (1843-1918) on 10 April 1861. Susan was the daughter of Dr. Samuel Godfrey Henkel (1807-1863) and Susan Koiner (1810-1905) of Stanardsville.

Confederate service records indicate that Billie enlisted as a sergeant on 17 April 1861 (one week after his marriage) in Co. C, 13th Virginia Infantry. He stood 6 feet tall, had blue eyes and light hair, and gave the occupation of “machinist” when he enlisted. He mustered out of the service on 17 September 1861.


Addressed to Mrs. S. E. Moyers, Stanardsville, Va.

Gordonsville [Virginia]
December 22, 1861
Sunday night, 8 o’clock

My Dearest Sue,

I guess you are wondering what has become of me as I have not written before this. But really you must excuse me for it. Several of our hands have taken the “fever” and we have two here now very sick though improving, and I have just had a little more than my hands full to keep the shops going. It will be entirely out of my power to come over during the Christmas. I shall have to go to Richmond the last of next week and shall not be able to leave here when I return until the “sick ones” can leave. But if nothing happens and I don’t take it “myself,” I think I can come over about the middle of January as we shall not open the shops again until the hands are all well. I am sorry to hear that John is sick. Hope he is improving. You must give him my very best love and tell him I wish him a speedy recovery. I am very “sorry” indeed that I can’t be with you all this Christmas. But you know it always was an unlucky time for me — especially “last Christmas” for instance. Well I am having all such bad luck now and after awhile I’ll be one of the happiest little fellows (over the left) you ever saw.

I suppose old man Rich. Yancey intends to try the Bliss of matrimony. I should like so much to have gone to his faldal but can’t possibly do so. I suppose they will have a jolly time sleighing around this Christmas. Well, if you prefer marrying just before Christmas, we will postpone ours until next fall & maybe our Old Dad will be better satisfied. What say you to it? You need not be uneasy about my seeing your mother. I do not intend to slight her by any means & you may tell her so if she says anything about it. It was not my fault that I did not see her when I was at your house last.

Well, you think somebody certainly did read my other letter. If your post master is mean enough to do so, let him help himself. I guess you will find this one sealed. I received a letter from Jose some time ago. She spoke of coming over some time during the Christmas. Suppose you come over with her. I have not heard from Lige for some time. Tell Bettie to tell the “Old Rascal” to write to me. Well, I suppose you have paid your visit to M. Cs-ter this and she is a good old friend of yours again. Sue, I tell you beware of that Little Devil.

I have no news of interest to write you more though I have a “few” to tell you when I see you. I received a letter from Billie Weiseger a few days ago. He sends his respects to you. I never hear a word from Ch. White.

Now Sue you must excuse this short and uninteresting scribble and please write to me soon. Now don’t fail. I want to hear from you very soon. I will write again before very long and if I don’t take this awful fever, I hope to see you before many weeks.

God bless you. Good Bye. — Billie

My love to B. & F.

One thought on “1861: George William Moyers to Susan E. (Henkel) Moyers

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