December 17, 1862

Phoebe Pember's Chimborazo Hospital, Richmond, Virginia

My dear brother Abraham,

An angel of a nurse is writing this down for me, as I was shot in the right arm during my last battle. I am well enough, though I'm bound to this prison of a hospital like a common criminal.

I cannot believe how much older you sounded in your last letter. How old are you, really? Fifteen? Sixteen? Before I know it, you'll be marching twenty miles and eating mush every day along with the rest of the men.

I wish I could write with news of more glorious victories and solid Yank whoopin'. But alas, I may write of victory, but not of glory. When you get this letter, you will have heard of the Confederate victory at Fredericksburg—the Yanks lost nearly twice that of the casualties we suffered. But the battle, Little Brother, was something to be seen! Scores of Yanks floated down the Rappahannock River right in front of us. Remember when we used to shoot squirrels and doves out of the trees with my slingshot? It was exactly like that, Brother.

But then those goldarned Yankees tried to climb Marye's Heights. You should have seen their faces when we were there waiting for them! I shall imitate them exactly when I see you next.

Another nurse has just come with my grits, so I leave you with my fondest farewell. Give my love to Mama and Father, kiss my darling Sarah for me, and take care to read my letter aloud to them. A very Merry Christmas to you all!

Your loving elder brother,

Lt. Willie Lowe of the 21st Louisiana Regiment