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July 28, 2009


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Dee, I was born and raised in Carter County, and it is God's country. But I never realized there were any Civil War battles near there. I'm not even sure what Mount Taylor refers to. I'd be interested to know if anyone has any information on this. Carter County was very divided during the war, and a lot of people wanted to avoid the war in general. There were so few slaves in that part of the country that it didn't really matter to most people.

i really love these letters tipper~the american civil war has always been of huge interest to me~i always wonder if any of my ancestors who emmigrated was involved?~and i love the idea of such personal history

I love these bits of history in his letter! Thanks for sharing Tipper :)


I have read and reread this letter. It is amazing but I hear no fear in this boy mayhap a little sadness but no fear. That is amazing given the terrible circumstances!
Reading his account I cannot begin to imagine living through that and he writes about it so matter-of-factly.

Dee from Tennessee

Oh that just fascinates me about David Templeton's grandfather...it's really hard to wrap my mind around. I can't imagine being a couple of generations removed. Wow! Thanks for sharing that!

My gr-gr grandfathers were in the war (opposite sides), and I've just recently obtained some photos of them and it truly makes me ponder. What I would give for some correspondence...

Forgive me Tipper but completly off topic..., but I was playing around on the internet the other night and stumbled upon a picture of my husband sitting on the airplane ready to leave Vietnam - thank you Lord. It was a bit surreal to click on that photo and there he was. 40 years ago this Sept. A photo can tell a story.

Just loved reading old letters and thank you for sharing this. How worried his loved ones must have been for him. Such a wonderful post. blessings,Kathleen

What a treasure you have found. Amazing that this family has kept these letters all this time.
I read a worried tone to the letter, even though he was trying to sound positive.

I always loved to read true life accounts of the life of soldiers in the war of Northern Aggression. My granddad had a letter his uncles had written from Tennessee. One was later killed and the other captured and sent to a prison camp in Ohio where he died. Pappy

I miss pen and paper. Well, actually, I don't, because if there were no keyboards, no one would be able to read my horrendous writing. But the fact that a man sat down and wrote such a long and newsy letter is a novel thing in today's world. What a piece of history!

Wonderful letter. He went into such detail about everything.

Tipper: Certainly a wonderful story about a sad time for our country. This man is truly articulate.

I love hearing these stories!

An incredible snapshot of what it was really like. Reading his letter makes feel the worry and heartache his parents must have felt. Just to survive during that time was a miracle. Those who fought and those who were left at home.

Good read Tipper, thanks.

This is a treasure and of great historical significance. Mr Penland was a very responsible and caring young man. He wrote with very mature and objective insight, especially considering the circumstances. Thanks for sharing this.

I have often wondered how I would have endured if I had been in the combat of a war. Many of my buddies, friends and family went to Viet nam. I didn't get sent there.

I would like to believe that I would have endured just as WC Penland did, but I do not know. He was a good and brave person and it is a fitting tribute to him and his legacy that the world can be with him, through your sharing of his journals, as he faced his call.

What a wonderful treasure you have in these letters.

By the way, my grandfather (not my great, great or my great grandfather, but my father's father fought with North Carolinians in the Civil War. He was well into his sixties when Dad was born in 1902 and Dad was well into his forties when I was born. That I am only a couple of generations removed from the Civil War amazes me. My grandmother, it follows (who was only in her teens when she took up with my grandfather) was one of the very last surviving Civil War veterans' widows.

Anyway, thank you for sharing a precious treasure.

Think about the boy's on both sides
of the civil war!!They had "hell".
no "c" or"k" rashions-no MRE'S-They
had to cook whatever they had on a
fire.the South had little to fight
with-biggest thing they had was a

Oh, I find it fascinating. THANKS for sharing. And I bet it was really cold too in Jan....it'll snow in Carter and Johnson County if no where else in Tn. I love history, esp. local history and Civil War history. They just had a reenactment in Carter County a week or so ago.

(I met some guys a million years ago when I went to school who were from Carter County...only they called it God's Country. It is beautiful.)

Such a treasure!

wow how amazing!

fascinating,sad and so nessesary for more people to read and appreciate the growing pains of our awesome Nation!
Thanks for sharing. hope all is well in your corner of the country :)

Thanks for letting me read this letter. I am very interested in the Civil War. I have some pictures on my blog of Fort Donelson and more of the Natchez Trace. Have you been to either?

One of my cousins has a book one of our ancestors wrote about the war. Are you related to WC Penland?

I read the first letter and how they were found, so interesting. I'm gonna have to go find the second letter.

It really breaks my heart to read them. It was such a sad time for our country. We have lots of Civil War history here in MO., more than most people think. The Civil War actually started in MO and we are represented by a star on the confederate flag. MO was the third most fought over state in the war.

I can't imagine what people went through at that time, it must have been horrendous.

Thank you for sharing this piece of our history.

What an interesting letter. The details are amazing, not just because they give us such insight to what was happening, but also because they tell you that he needed to share his experience with his parents and did so with what good news he could give. blessings, marlene

What a great treasure. It sort of makes me sad reading it as most of what he talked about involved bad stuff going down... deserters, sick and wounded, etc. Still, to see his insights was very interesting. I can't imagine not being more jaded about life during the war.

These civil war letters are really interesting. It reminds me of when I found out about my great great great grandfather Leander, he was with the 1st New Hampshire Calvary

I would have thought it might be a journal until the last thing he wrote when he said write soon and give me the news write to Johnson Depot.

I truly enjoy reading these letters, I have been a civil war buff ever since I hear about my great great great grandfather.

I do so love your blog. I love coming here and learning something new. About this land I call home.

I've missed seeing you much this summer. Soon I hope.

Mr. Penland went into great detail to his family. I'm sure his mother was afraid for him. She must have stayed on her knees in prayer. I love to get to look into the past and watch it come to life in the words left by this Confederate soldier. It was a very horrendous time for our nation. Thank you for sharing this with us. Blessings, Annie

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