On Sept. 9, 1864, Daniel Boyd wrote his two sisters. Mary Jane Hall, whose husband Fenton was lost in action at Willtown Bluff about forty miles from Charleston, South Carolina and Sarah “Sally” Boyd.
He related to them about the part the 7th South Carolina played in the Battle of Berryville, Virginia six days earlier on the third of September.
We had three bregaids of our division engaged in fight. It lasted about one hour. Our bregaid had to charg the yanks breast works. We took them with out eney trouble. Our loss in our regment was very light.
We lost 5 or 6 wounded in the regment one in my company. Rastes olliver was wounded and died the next day. He was the only one that was kild in regemnt. Jeneral Humphrey of Mississippi was wounded. His bregaid suffered severly. We drove the yanks about half a mile.
P. Erastus Oliver was one of the original members of Captain Samuel Hester’s Company D, having enlisted at its formation on the McCaws Farm near Diamond Hill in Abbeville District on April 15, 1861 along with Daniel and Presley Boyd and their best friend James H. Alewine. He had been wounded in the left foot at the Battle of Sharpsburg on Sept. 17, 1862. James Alewine was also wounded at Sharpsburg. Unlike Alewine, Oliver was left behind as a prisoner. He was paroled from Fort McHenry, Maryland on Oct. 13, 1862 and sent to Fort Monroe, Virginia for exchange. From there, he spent a number of months in hospitals in Richmond (Chimborazo) and in Columbia, S.C. then at home recovering. Records seem to indicate that he did not return to the war until late May of 1864. That was his second stint in a Confederate hospital. The year before on Aug. 22 until Sept. 16, 1861, Oliver had battled the measles in the General Hospital in Charlottesville, Virginia. Then, as Daniel’s letter indicates, he passed away on September 4, 1864 from his wounds received at Berryville and was buried in the Stonewall Cemetery in Winchester, Virginia.
Daniel also told them that the Northern army was burning all the wheat and everything ahead of them in an attempt to starve the army. He also expressed that the soldiers were no longer able to buy anything using Confederate money, “They wont hav eney thing but yankee money.”
The Military Writers Society of America Gold Medal for History 2012.
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