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January 29, 2010

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Honey, it's great of you to do this!

I thought it was interesting how he called that boy out for loving money more than honor and character! Very cool to hear more from him!

Good to hear from W.C. again. My wife and I are going to be in WNC the last half of March and we are going to meet my Dad there and do some family searching in Transylvania County, Jackson County, and Clay County.

As I have gotten deeper into research on family history, I am more convinced that we owe it to our ancestors to learn as much as we can about their lives and pass it along. They sacrificed so much in so many ways to make a life for us possible. W.C. was the brother of my great-grandmother. He didn't live long enough to have a family of his own, but he deserves to be remembered. I am glad that the letters got found and are being shared.

Tipper: I guess what hit me most if that Civil War was going on today we would be on opposite sides. Instead, even though we are from different side of the line, we are friend and fellow people from the same mountain range.

Such history in these letters. It's really incredible. My mother-in-law has civil war letters and diaries from an old trunk that they found in their family home attic in Connecticut. A civil war uniform as well. Incredible stuff.
The thing that stood out in the letter to me was the few lines about the men who ran away. Wondering if they made it back home to their families and what the repercussions of being a deserter were.

There was so much in this letter. His being ill, his horse doing better, Arch Henson's accident. Did he recover? His mention of a paper shortage may have served two purposes, a) don't worry if you don't hear from me and b) add a sheet or two in your next letter.

The term, bushwhacker, jumped out at me so I looked it up. Not only did they have to fight against the Union army they also had to fight locals who sympathized with the other side. "Bushwhacking was a form of guerrilla warfare during the American Civil War that was particularly prevalent in rural areas where there were sharp divisions between those favoring the Union and Confederacy in the conflict." and "In some areas, particularly the Appalachian regions of Tennessee and North Carolina, the term bushwhackers was used for Union partisans who attacked Confederate forces."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bushwhacker

I wonder what the "hollow" is in the back of that man who shot himself. Didn't say if the bullet was removed. Medicine and medical treatment was so iffy then. JC's cold could be a serious thing.
Yes, the paper, we take our instant communication for granted!
Overall this breaks my heart. I can feel lonely desperation.

Hi everyone, great letters Tipper. Many of my kin were in the war, mostly on the Confederate side but also some within the Union side as was often the case. One family member, David Moad was a Confederate and captured at Vicksburg on July 4 1863, ironic hey, considering it was a day of to celebrate freedom. I have always been a Southern sympathiser so I guess I would have been on the side of the Confederacy. I dont believe in slavery, but then the war was not about slavery at the start. It was about unfair taxes. Slavery became an issue only when the North were losing and they needed to gain support from the people in the North.

I love these old letters! Every one I read makes me more appreciative of all we have today and of all the hardships our families had to survive. We take so many things for granted - they had to work so hard for everything they had then. I'd never even thought about paper being scarce! I am so thankful there are letters like these left, that someone before us treasured them enough to save them and that we have an outlet to share them with the world today. Thanks, Tipper!

Dee from Tennessee

1. "true lover of money"

2. lack of paper

3. the location -- two of "my" drs are located in Washington County. We go to Johnson City all the time, and when I think of all the history....

Our county has more Civil War history than many realize, including myself. It's only been very very recently that I learned -- after all these years -- that two of my great(s) grandfathers were in the war. One for the South and one for the North --- they are buried at little country cemeteries 3-4 miles apart. If these hills and hollows could talk....

That war was "hell".You know why it went on for so long? The south had a cause,the north had a war!
There is a lot of diferance.

Tipper,

I enjoy these letters so much. I immediately wished that he had more paper to write home and very sorry he was so sick and had to continue on without medical attention. I imagined he would be feeling very loney with no letters from home and could almost feel his saddness.

Thanks for sharing.
Blessings,
Mary

I really do enjoy reading the letters. It's has a habit of bringing back in time. A time to when my great great great grandfather lived and took part in the war.

My ancestors fought in the Civil War and how I wish I had some of their letters. The thing that puzzles me is how did the letters get through. I don't imagine they were close to a post office.

He seems very lonesome but trying to keep his spirit up for his family in his letter. That had to be hard.

In the eighties we lived in Vicksburg, MS in the old Civil War battleground. I often thought of the soldiers who had fought on what was now our property. We went to several reenactments and one fourth of July saw Grant take the city. Not a good day for Vicksburg when Grant rode in.

Sam

What sticks out is the line, "he is a true lover of money" our W.C. Penland says it as if it is the terrible thing God says it is. To Leford and or Smith, money meant more to them than their very own character. My heavens that is saying a lot and it is said well.

Thanks Tipper for sharing more of these letters, makes history such a personal thing.

What jumps out to me is the names referred to in the letter of people and towns....some names I've heard my parents speak of in NC and TN...some very prominant!
..you can almost see the area and neighbors of this person...the reference to thicket reminded me of the laurel hell thickets usually on the north side of the mountains and valleys..My Dad said you could hide in one of those thickets forever if you had any food or water!....I can't imagine what those folks really went through during the civil war...The hunters and the hunted!

One of the things that stuck out for me that there wasn't any paper. How much paper do any of us throw away on any given day? My, how things have changed.

This is wonderful -- what a treasure.

These are the lines that jumped out at me:

I think that he just come after his money and not as he aimed to stay he is a true lover of money and at least he thinks more of money than he does for his character

He is lonesome for home and family-and I think things are not as well as he lets on. He loves his family so much and he doesn't want to worry them.

All the things you mentioned. And I love the fact that he also updates them on others from his area.

I think more letters like this need to be made available so that we can see what our soldiers go through during our wars. It also made me think of the "skirmish" that happened just feet from where I'm sitting now. How many people pass by today and don't know what happened in their own towns.

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