This letter was written by David L. Hopkins who served as Acting Quartermaster (non-regimental enlisted men, CSA) with the rank of Captain at Lynchburg, Virginia. I believe he is the same David L. Hopkins (1827-1865) who was a merchant in Rockbridge county, Virginia, prior to the war.
The letter was addressed to William Dibrell Jones (1782-1874) of New Store, Buckingham county, Virginia. William served as a private in Capt. William Moseley’s 1st Virginia Cavalry during the War of 1812. In the 1840’s, William owned more than forty slaves.
In this letter, we learn that William offered the labor of one of his slaves—Peter—to support the CSA’s quartermaster department at Lynchburg but Peter was judged to be “too old to make an efficient hand” and sent back to his master, hand carrying the very note rejecting Peter’s labor. Almost certainly Peter was illiterate and could not read the note.
Addressed to W. D. Jones, Esq., Buckingham Co., [Virginia]
[Hand carried by] By Peter
January 12th 1865
W. D. Jones, Esq.
I return to you the Boy Peter. He is not such a workman as is required in our department and again is quite too old to make an efficient hand and Messrs Hall & Gilliam, my agents, both state that they did not agree to hire the boy Peter.
Very Respectfully, — D. L. Hopkins, Capt. A. A. Q. M.
P. S. I refer you to R. H. Gilliam in regard to the Boy.