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SCHOOLBOY WRITES OF WAR

Hawkins Co Tenn Aug 24th 1861

Dear Brother

I received your letter a few days ago and will now proceed to answer it. I am well at present. I am going to school at Shilo meeting house. The teacher is a young man from Lee Co Va by the name of Woodward. I think he is a firstrate teacher, he teaches reading, writing, arithmetic, grammar, algebra, philosophy, astronemy and geography. I am studying grammar and arithmetic. Our teacher invited in the neighbors and parents to see how the students were getting along with their studies. There were several compositions read by the young ladies and several speeches delivered by the boys and young men. I delivered one on Decisive integrity and gained the applause of the audience, his school will be out the first of November, when we expect to have a large examination and exhibition (if we dont' have to go to war before then). There has four or five Co's making up to go to fight for the South, my principles are the same that they were when I left Va. I expect always to blame South Carolina with this war but I am living in the South and was raised in the South therefore if I have to fight I expect to fight for the South. You wrote like you thought I was coming back to Va. I have formed several new acquaintances since I been going to school. You wrote about small bill. Small bills if they are on banks that are good are as current here as large bills. I received the money you sent also. Tell A. J. Roland if can get small notes that are good it would be the best to send paper money, there would be less danger of it being taken out of the letter before it got here. Give my love and respect to all inquiring friends. If I never see you on earth any more, it is my desire to meet you all in heaven where wars and troubles never come. I would ask an inters in your prayers. yours as ever. L. W. Debord

To: Mr. Wm. Steward

Marion, Smyth Co.,Va

Letter fromWill Phipps to his sister Charlotte A. Phipps, Lyons Store. Hawkins County, E. Tenn

Camp Cummings, June 8, 1861

My dear Sister

I received your latest letter yesterday evening and was glad that you were all getting along well. I wrote to you a few days ago, and from the tune of your letter it appears like you have not yet received it. We are going to town to vote Tennessee out of the Union this morning. I don't know whether they will let me vote or not; I am afraid I will have no vote; but I think there will be enough without my vote. It looks like we are going to have war in our state without going to Virginia. The union men had a mass meeting at strawberry plane the first of this week near the railroad and there was some southern troops passing and the union men fired upon them, but injured none. The distance was to great to do any damage. Several of the hots struck the cars. Our Captain is going to resign from his office and runn for Major of the regiment. I don't know who we will run for Captain in his place. We have a man under guard and are going to try him for his live this evening. He was placed on guard and deserted, and left his post for home, but did not get father than twenty five miles before he was overtaken and brought back. Mr. Backman came down the first of the week and is still here. The company that he wanted to get into our regiment came down yesteday, and was mustered into service last evening. His brother John belongs to it but he does not. Dan is still on the mend. I have not seen him since last Sunday but I hear from him every day. Mr. Bob Powel joined our mess the other day and we will have to get a larger coffee pot or I will soon get poor but I still get three pints every meal. you wanted to know in your letter if I wanted any more cloathes. If you see a good opportunity of sending me a pare of pants I would like for you to do so, but if not I can get along very well with what I have got. Tell Butler to come down and go with us now is the time. We are ready to leave at any time. All we want is a call and we will be off at an hours warning. There is some probability of us going to Cumberland that being the only place throught which the black republicans can pass to get to Tennessee. Troops are passing by hundreds every day. There are hundreds of them at Lowden waiting for an empty train. They will soon be so thich in Virginia that they will have to step out into Tennessee and the other border states to turn around. The time for us to start to town is drawing near and I am obliged to cut my letter shorter than I like.

Give my love to all Write soon to your Brother Wm

Southern independence

is my sentiment

Liberty or death

Camp Near Sneedville

Hand Cock County State of Tenisee April 7th 1864

Dear wife - I am blest with riting you a few lines to let you know that I am well and I am truly thankful to almity god for all his blessings hopeing that these few lines will find you and family enjoying the same blessings (unable to read part of this) Since I left home I wold be very glad to here from you as you was not in when I left home. I found the Command at Obeys Creak. I did not get to the Command until the next day after I left home. I have nothing of interest at -- to riet to you the weather.. has been very bad for several day yesterday and today is vary nice forage is vary hard to get. I went in the lower end of this County yesterday after forage. We got plenty of corn and hay and we get plenty to eat their is no yankeys close as we know of it is said that their is plenty of bush whackers in this County (unable to read here) on of his horses. I past the place wher they held the horse but they never interrupted us. I saw a man rite from Dalton has he had left Dalton ten days last Sunday. He brings vary good news from their he said the --cys is in vary good health and in good sperits they whip the yankeys ---tunnel their a few days before he left Dalton it was reported when I was at -- that the yankeys was in possession of Dalton but I gave it the---armey in the west has genirely reinlisted. Col. Edmuson is in-- in & have a week ago----he went in. I wold like to know how you are getting alond with you farming get you corn plante as soone as you can take good care of you--and meat you wold do well to put it all away as cloase as you can give Father & mother my best respects. Send them the letter and better see if I cant get paper send evelope to Rite to all of you --I would like to see you vary well but I cannot tell when I will be permitted to see you and I cannot tell that I ever will see you in this life or not I hope to the Lord that the time is not fair distance when this war will over and you will have pease rite to me---after get this letter and let me know how you are getting along let me know how you wheat look. gives my best Respects to all --friends. I mus bring my lette to a cloas Somemore at present but remaines you loving husband until Death. Direct you letters to the 27 Va Battalen John Smith

To Mrs. Elen Smith

(Letter written to Pvt. Henry C.Graves, I Co., 43rd Confederate TN Infantry

Charleston (Tennessee) Apr 29th(no year given)

Dear Henry,

I had come to the conclusion that you was sick in bed as I had not received a letter from you since last Feb. but my mind was greatly relieved by seeing a letter yesterday from Jack Hood to his mother he mentioned that you was well. Hope to see you before long as Gen. Johnston has surrendered. Sam and Doc Henderson was at New Market above Knoxville on Thursady last mo. Steve Hanbright tell us we are looking anxious for the happy hour. I know you are looking with pleasure for the enjoyment of home, sweet home be it ever so humble there is no place like home. Tom Steel has got in several of the boys with him. We heard from Lawrence a few days ago he intended leaving Charlottsville in a few days for the Virginia Institute. He is the same. I was sorry to hear it. Do not know that he will come when the rest comes as he is going to school. Henry you and Jack see if you can take the oath an come home. Vaughn disbanded his men and told them to go when they pleased. We have Mr. Knox and wife living in a part of our house. They are a good deal of company for us. She is a perfect ladie. Amanda and children are well. Rufe is selling goods. Your father is very feeble, is scarcely abel to do anything. I have kept up very well relieing upon God of mercies that he will never forsake those that Trust him. My constant prayer has been that your lives might be spared through this war. Henry you must not get disheartened. I close with the hope of hearing from you soon.

your affectionate Mother, Alcey A. Graves

Laura and Charles will write soon.

Letter Written 1865 By Mother To Son In Countryís Service

The following letter was written in 1865 by a mother to her son, Preston C. Walker, a Union soldier. The letter was brought to this office (ROGERSVILLE REVIEW, June 17, 1943) by Mrs. Duncan Walker of route 2, Bulls Gap, who has a son, Pvt. Edward Walker of California, in the service of his country. Pvt. Walker is a great, great grandson of the writer of this letter:

Hawkins County, Tenn.

March 18th, 1865

Dear Son:

I seat myself this evening to drop you a few lines to inform you that your kind letter came to us the 15th of March, dated 2nd of February, which found us in the enjoyment of good health. We was exceedingly glad to learn that you was well with the exception of your wound and it was still mending. You would like to know how we are getting along. We are doing as well as could be expected. We made corn and wheat enough to do us. We wrote you a letter the last of January. I want you to write as to whether you received it or not. I received a letter from John dated the 18th of November; again another one dated the 18th of December; both stated that he was well and at Columbia, South Carolina, and Capt. E. Beal with him. Tell J. F. Self that his family and Mr. Couches is well. They have received three letters from Mr. Self, two of them stated that you was with him. I want you to write to us about each other, so if we donít get one of your letters we will the other and that will give us a chance to hear from you both. Your connection and friends is generally well as far as I know. Your pap and Thomas is at home. Times is tolerably calm here now; all the boys is at home that donít belong to the army. Your uncle Thomas has bought the Creech farm and has moved to it and has also joined the dunkards and your uncle Frank Berry has brought the Isaac White place. He will probably move to it shortly. If nothing happens Isaac is going down about the Plains. The children would like to see you one more time in this life. Thomas is near as large as you are. I want you and J. S. Self to get a furlow together and come home to see us. Write soon as you get this and tell how you come to get wounded and also I want you to be a good boy and make that necessary preparation for death and great Eternity. Remember we are all passing away...death is thick throughout all the land and rides on every breeze and if you die unprepared you must go down to the dark regions of eternal misery and undone, for evermore.

Also I heard that your Regiment was at Wilmington, N.C. Henderson Berry sends his love and respects to you and would be very much delighted to see you again. I have nothing more to write that is interesting or would attract your attention. A word more, be sober and remember my counsel, so no more at present but remain your father and mother till death from

E. Walker

(Preston C. Walker was in the Eighth TN Vol Infantry Regiment - USA. He was wounded by a shell in the right shoulder, November 29, 1864 at Columbia, TN. He was discharged May 1, 1865 at U. S. Gen. Hospt., Jefferson Barracks, MO.)

Camp Sweetwater July 4th, 1863

Dear Father I seat myself to inform you that I am well, hoping these few lines may find you all well. I would like to see you all in the best kind of way but I cant get to come home, Lt. Anderson wont come up and Lt. Eitson being captured I cant get off to come home. I want you to send John and Thos (Larkin's brothers who were also in Co F) back as soon as you get this for it they stay over their time they will be reported as deserters and punished. I sent for a pare of pants by Thos when he come home, I havent got none attall. The report is that Brag is falling back from Tulihomy & if that be so we will have to fall back from East Tennessee & then we will not get to come home.

(This letter from Larkin D. W. Moneyham, 2-Lt. 16th TN Cav. BN, F Company, CSA. The letter was written in pencil. The balance has faded out and it completely illegible.)

(From: Brady Carr, TN, 2005)

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