Oak Bowery, Alabama|
February 2, 1862
This is the Sabbath. It has been raining nearly all day. Could not attend church nor the Bible class this evening so I thought I would spend this evening writing letters. I have written Nat and Willie this evening.
Lt. Havis came home a few days ago. Nat and Willie are well. They are in Richmond now. Col. Judge regiment suffered a great deal at Evansport. About 200 of his regiment had died; only 266 are fit for duty now. The sick are improving, they are fixed very comfortably at Richmond, have good home and cooking stoves. They were to guard Yankee prisoners there . . . Nat sent Mollie and Susie a ring apiece that the prisoners made out of beef bone, they look like ivory. He had their names put on them. Mr. Havis says Nat and Willie make good soldiers. Nat weights 170 pounds and Willie is not far behind him.
Columbus Avery is only one of the O. B. boys that have died, several of the others are in the hospital though dangerously sick. Mr. Havis has come home to get recruits. Col. Judge has sent out two men from each company recruiting. It is the opinion of many that there will be a draft soon. Capt. Harrington brought his son home dead about two weeks ago. He will start back Wed. 10 of his company have died. Mr. Havis said that he saw Sue Ingram (3) at Loganport. Dick (3) was at the hospital . . . It is getting dark I will finish tomorrow . . .
This is a gloomy morning we have had a great deal of rain recently. The weather has been warmer than usual this winter. Ma has peas ready to pick, cabbage up and has sowed nearly all kinds of seed.|
I'm sorry you can't get cards. They are scarce everywhere I hear from. Sometime ago there was some in Columbus selling for $5 a pair. I heard that Aunt Permelia sent to Virginia to get her some . . . I guess that they are as scarce in Virginia as they are elsewhere. Ma has two pair and an old pair. She could let you have a pair if it was near enough to get them. Come to see us and she will give them to you. I do wish you could collect your money so you might come to see us.
Cousin Albert must visit you often. I recon he talks bigger than ever now. What ever became of Cousin Carrie ? You mentioned all the family but her. Cousin Sid Harper (4) and his wife visit Aunt Lizzie Cole (5) frequently. They live near Cotton Valley. Aunt Lizzie was here Christmas. She came to see Aunt Rebecca (6) married. She married December 31 to a widower by the name of Patillo (6) from Macon Co. seven miles below Auburn. He has 8 children, 1 son and 7 daughters. His son belongs to the same company Jimmie Sharp does. They were at Ft. Tallow near Kentucky the last time we heard from them. Camp life agrees with Jimmie finely.
I must finish telling you about Aunt R's wedding. She was married at twelve o'clock and stayed at home until the next day. He brought two of his daughters up with him. Aunt Susan and Josh went home with her. She likes her home very much as he is in very good circumstances, is a good provider, and a local Methodist preacher, very good looking and 45 years old.
Aunt Maria (7) was up Christmas. Uncle William (8) still lives at Society Hill (9). Uncle Wesley (10) lives at Lafayette, at Dr. Hardson's old place. I have been to see them once since they married. He is proud of his little daughter. He has bought him a plantation 8 miles from Lafayette. He is still selling goods. He has a few on hand yet. Mr. Williamson sells goods here. His is the only store we have here. There has not been a yard of calico in this place for several months. The ladies that had money bought all the summer dresses before Christmas. I heard that the Jews in Lafayette had some for 30 cents per yard. We have had to do without a great many things we used to have and I expect will have to do without them for some time to come. There is not much probability that the blockade will be lifted soon.
Mr. Hughey went down to Columbia last week and bought all the sea island domestic in the place and that was only two bolts. He gave 2 cents a yard. Everything is high, the farmers are asking 15 cents per pound for meat. There was not much sold as people do not have money to buy. Tom gave $10 per sack for salt, I understand that it is $20 now. Corn is $1 per bushel and wheat $1.50 to $2 per bushel.
Hudson (11) is staying at grandma's now going to school. Uncle Wesley (10) told Ma he would pay his tuition if Ma would let him stay there. Grandma (12) still has those spells she told me to tell you she is anxious to see you, says she always claimed you as her girl (13). Aunt Susan (14) speaks of going to Greenville soon. I told her to visit as much as she pleased and I would stay with Grandma and to marry, too if she got a chance. (15).
I have just read a letter from Aunt Mary (16) and Aunt Rebecca. Uncle Ellis (17) has had bad luck, his house and tan yard burnt with a $400 loss. They have the best and sweetest little babe in the world. Aunt R. is still delighted with her new home. I will send you a piece of her wedding dress . . . it has a small flower embroidered in yellow and green. It was a bridal present from Uncle Wesley's wife, priced $32.
You wished to know who my sweetheart is: Robert E. Park (18) of Greenville, Georgia. He is in Virginia, near Manassas. I received a letter from him the other day he wants to marry me when his time expires next June. I haven't told him I would, I have no objection to him, he is younger than I am. He was going to school in Auburn and would have graduated in June if he had continued going. He is a brother of John Park who used to teach school here you remember he boarded at Dr. Thomas'.
Dr. Brockman has married Mollie Hall--Jan 2nd (1862). I believe that I wrote you that Capt. Erwin married another of the Miss Sims. Hr. Hightower's daughter is married. Mr. Williamson is station mastor?--West Point. He has not moved there but goes down each Saturday. Mary, his oldest daughter, is teaching school five miles from here. Tommie, attends to the store, and Mr. Hester, teacher in the Mile School, are the only young men in the place, there is one old bachelor, Mr. Griffin. Josh (19) is the only boy Ma has at home now he assists Tom in the shop and carries the mail from here to Dudleyville. I am trying to teach Mollie (20) and Susan at home and it keeps me right busy with the work I have to do. I have done more work this winter than I have done in a long time?
I must tell you how much knitting I have done this winter-knit 6 pairs of socks, two pairs of stockings, 2 soldiers caps, 1 comforter, 1 pair of gloves with gauntlets. Our society has done a great deal of sewing for the governor: have finished 100 jackets.
Uncle William still keeps meat. Melia has 3 children at home
I believe I have written all I know what to write about. I expect Lizzie (22) will be writing [me] soon. Mollie and Susan send their love to her.
John, I would be glad to hear from you soon.
Accept the best wishes of your sister,
(P.S.) I did not get the letter you said you wrote just before this one.
From Don Havis of Texas:
All comments, suggestions, additions and CORRECTIONS are appreciated!