27th Virginia Infantry soldier, in Stonewall’s Brigade writes letter on Dec 21, 1861

Camp Stephenson (near Martinsburg, Va.) 12/22/61. Middleton writes aunt pert to Dam No. 5 campaign & battle, pitched tents at at Big Spring near Martinsburg (WestVa.), marched to river at Dam No. 5 (C&O Canal) which is a mile below Little George Town, “had hardly laid down till General Jackson sent for our company to go down to the river and occupy a large stone mill (known as Honey Wood Mills) to protect a lot of hands that were tearing away at the dam. (The object was to stop the hauling of coal on the canal).
The General took us down himself and told us not to re at the Yankees unless they redat the workmen. They kept quiet all night, but early next morning they seen some of our boys at the mill windows, when they red upon us from the canal and some houses where they had taken position during the night. … About the middle of the day they commenced shooting at the hands, when we red upon them, running them to their covers where we kept them all day …  
Just after dark the  ring stopped onboth sides (the distance across the riveris three hundred yards), everything was perfectly quiet all night. So we thought they were xing for us, which proved to be correct, for they planted two cannons on the hill opposite during the night, one 12 pound ri e piece and one Howitzer. General Jackson hearing of it sent us word to leave the mill when the men left the dam (which was before daylight); the Capt. being asleep, Col. Ashby told a couple of the boys to tell the Capt. when the men left the dam. …
Just as we were coming out the enemy fired a volley of fire ball at us.  And we concluded that we would have to stay there all day. Just then we heard a cannon fire, the ball passing over the mill. In an instant another ball came clear through the mill passing through both walls and making everything quake. … A whole regiment of rie-men  red among us, the balls tearing up the ground all around us. They shot grape and shells among us, the shells exploding right among us, but (fortunately) we were so scattered they did not damage. Poor Joshua Parks was shot by a minie ball near the top of the ridge. It was a miracle that we were not all killed. …
The next night the 27th Regt. was ordered on picket, our company had just xed to lay down when Jackson sent for us to go down and take a position on the bluff, while some hands went down to n-ish breaking the dam, which they did about 2 o’clock next morning. There was not a shot red at us that night…. Banks came to Williamsport yesterday with  fteen thousand men to keep us from crossing. I hope it will give his men such a ducking as they never have before.” 
This letter was in the summer 2018 catalog of:

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