Matrilineal Monday: Juda Hill

Five generations back on my direct matrilineal line sits Juda Hill.  There’s me, my mother, then:

  • My grandmother, Wilma Mae Watkins
  • My great-grandmother, Juda Eva-An Taylor
  • My great-great-grandmother, Sarah Elizabeth Grant
  • My great-great-great-grandmother, Juda Hill

My great-grandmother Juda Taylor was named after her maternal grandmother, Juda Hill.  Juda Hill was the third child born to Aaron Hill & Elizabeth Wilson in Rutherford County, North Carolina.  There is some discrepancy is Juda’s birth year.  A few records point to 1835 but most indicate 1838 as you will see.  Her birthday was August 22 according to her death certificate.  This information appears to be provided by her youngest son.

Juda first appears  when she’s twelve on the 1850 census in Bills Creek, Rutherford County, North Carolina, with her parents, three brothers, and two sisters.  I have been unable to find Juda in the 1860 census.  She is not listed in her parents household or near them on the census.  According to the 1900 census, she and her husband, Thomas Grant, had been married 43 years.  That puts their marriage in 1857.  But I have not found them on the census.

By the 1870 census, Thomas and Juda are listed in Broad River, McDowell County, North Carolina with their children, Joshua (13), Jane (11), Andrew (7), my great-great-grandmother Sarah (5), and John (2).

The 1880 census for Chimney Rock, Rutherford County, NC lists:

  • Thomas & Juda
  • Mary, age 19-probably Jane from 1870 census
  • James A, 15-probably Andrew from 1870
  • Sarah E, 14
  • John A, 11
  • Wm Judson, 8
  • Augustus F, 6
  • Margaret E, 4
  • Roy Vaughn, 1

In 1900 Thomas and Juda are living in Fairview, Buncombe County, North Carolina with daughter Margaret (25) and a grandson Marion L Grant (13).  In 1910, Thomas and Juda are still in Fairview with 33-year-old daughter, Margaret.

Juda’s husband, Thomas, passed away in 1914.  She died 4 January 1917.

Juda Hill Grant death certificate

Juda Hill Grant death certificate

She was buried in Cane Creek Cemetery in Fairview, Buncombe County, North Carolina.

What struck me as I researched Juda Hill Grant is that my great-grandmother was 23 when she passed away.  Mamaw’s mother had died when she was nine, but her grandmother lived much longer.  I wonder if they were close?  I never heard her speak of her grandparents.  It makes you wish you asked more questions.

 

Military Monday: It Was the Worst of Times XIII

Courtesy of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Martha sends another letter to Francis after the Battle of the Crater July 30, 1864.  She shares exciting news that two of their children, Mary and Thomas, have “professed  Religeon.”

“Mcdowell Co August 19th 1864

Dear husband  I seat my self this evening to  write you afew lines to let you  know that we are all well at  this time ever hoping this will  Reach your kind hands and find  you in good health I thought  you would have sent me a letter by Louis  Walker but you did not and  I dident get none by Mail and  I could not help but cry I hope  Higgins will bring me one  Francis I hav some of the best news  for you there was a protracted me- ting at Trinity last week the greatest  Meeting I ever was at and Mary  and Thomas profesed Religeon  there on the 10 and will Join at  our next Meeting and be babtised  if nothing happens there was about 25 profesed Thomas  and James Cowen David James was  three of the happyest children I  ever saw I haint went to preaching  Much sens last fall sens it was sed  to me that preaching don me a heep  a good there is all ways a weight  on me when I think about going but  God made me to rejois last week  in his love God has answerd our  prayers for our dear children I  expect they will hav a protracted  meeting at the Baptis meeting house  the men says there is a great prospect  of peas now and I hope peas will be  Made so you can come home  I has a mess of simblins for supper  dont you wish you had some  they say that they went on with a row  of deserters tied two together as long  as from here to John Cowens I got a  letter from your brother Henry he  sed he wanted to see you and sed  for me to send you howdy for him he  is in 4 miles of you the Measels is  raging in this neighbourhood

“the baby has taken a start to grow  it is very pretty and smart  the children all dose very well

Courtesy of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

I will send you something to eat by  Jery Walker I haint got no eggs if  I had I would send you some  the two last letters you wrote  you commenced several things  and dident finish them and I  dont no what you ment  I want you to see Hamp Cowen  and rent this place for me and  let me know soon and by the  rent for me if you can Hamp told  me to write to him but you can  do better than I can I heard that  you had camp Measels  I think the crows & squirells  will eat up my corn  I looked hard for a letter by  Higgins but dident get it the  last letter I hav had was dated 25  July I know your are mad or you  would hav sent one by Louis or Higins  and I aint going to write no moor  till I do get an answer I did not  think of Making you mad  George Pinkney has had a sevear  atact of Croup this week but is  some better now I wish I had a  drink of your good coffee if any  one comes send me a letter if you  pleas and I will kiss you when  I see you oh Lord hav Mercy  on My Dear husband spare his  life to get home bless him with  health shield him from all harm  and danger I pray for you every  day and Night to be spared to  get home and I believe you  will live to come <r?>ight before  long I know that you see hard  times but put your trust in God  <???> able to save you and <he will?>  I beleive Martha Poteet to Francis Poteet farewell”

In this letter, Martha mentions that she knows Francis is mad because she has not received a letter.  From his next letter, we can guess we are missing letters in which he mentioned deserting again and she admonished him not to.  He writes that he will not desert if she doesn’t want her to but she doesn’t know how bad it is.  We cannot know what brought her to recommend against desertion when she has consistently asked him to come home unless she fears a second such act would lead to his execution.  Thank heavens he does not take the risk with the war so close to an end.

Francis does not fight in the Battle of Globe Tavern with the rest of the 49th as he explains in his next letter he is in the hospital, apparently with the Measles, which, as Martha mentioned, is also affecting McDowell County at the time.

Courtesy of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy of NC Dept of Cultural Resourcesto Francis Poteet  farwell”

“PetersBurg Va  August 21 1864   Dear Wife and children I seat  my self this morning to Rite you  afew lines to let you now that  I am only in Comon health at  this time but I doo hope that  these few lines may Reach your  kind hands and find you all  in good health you Rote to me  to not Runaway if it is the  will of my loving Wife I wont  Runaway god nows that it tis  hard times hear I want you  to send me somthing to eat  by sumbody if Pery Walker dont  fetch it you Rote that you would  all mose be on your head till  Higgins Come back Dont bee  uneasy for if it tis the will  of you that I Should stay till  the war ends I will stay if

“I live but you dont now how  bad that I want to see you  all I dreamed about you this  morning I thought that I was at  home and as well Satsfide as  I ever was in my life but when  I waked up I was laying on my  blanket if it tis god will I  will get home some time are  other but I dont know when  if you haint Sent nothing when  this letter comes to hand if  any body will fetch me any  thing I want you to send me  sum 5 are 6 Rosenyears I haint  tasted one this year and if tha  if you have got them I would like  for you to send me sum cewcumbers  I haint drew no money yet and  I dont now when I will I have  borrowed 10 are 15 Dollars to get

“me sumthing to eat but the  time is now when we cant borrow  if I was at home I think that  I could get

Courtesy of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

sumthing that could  eat tha are fighting now and  I dont now how our men is fares  I can hear ther guns as plain as  if I was in amile of them you  Rote that Mr Dickson and Mrs  Dickson sent me ther love and  Respects I had lefe the horspitel  the day bee fore Mrs Dickson come  down to see grason She sent me  one union and 4 June apels I  eat them but I dont now hoo  sent them to me I thank them  to doo so again if tha please I  got 2 thirds of aplug of tobaco with  this letter <suis?> Walker will  fetch me sumthing to eat I wish  you would send alitel with him  [added at top of page] Mary I want you to Rite plainer if you  can next time you Rote that you had  Rote once be fore this time if you did I dident  git it

“PetersBurg Va August 21 1864  Dear daughter I thank you for  Riting to me you Rote your letter  5 of Aug. I want you to prepare  to meat your god in pease if you  haint and I want you to pray  for your father and pray that he  may have his life spared and live  to get home once more to see  you all Dear wife if you can send  me sum sweete potatoes Remember  me in your potisions and ask  god to have mursey on me and  help me to pray aright to my  god I dident Rite to you last  week for I could not git to pen  and ink I am in the Bigade horse- pitel now but I aint very bad of  my brest and side hurts me sum  I am thankful that I aint in this  fight I must close by saying that I Remain  your loving husband until Death god bless  F.M. Poteet to M.A.E. Poteet you is  my prayer”

Military Monday: It Was the Worst of Time XII

Courtesy of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Finally, after over a month of silence, Francis responds.

“PetersBurg Va July 5th 1864

“Dear Wife and Children I Seat  my Self this evning to Rite  you a few lines to let you  now that I am well at this  time hoping that these lines  may Reach your kind hands  and fine you injoying the  same blessing you Rote to  that you would like to hear  from me and now whether  I was killed are not I  can in form you that I  am spared yet by the good  will of god we have bin  in the brest works about  one Month we are in them  yet and I dont now when  we will git out soon are  not tha are fighting every  day we have lost killed and “wounded in this Company  6 men 2 killed 4 wounded  it Seems like god is on  our Side the balls tha whistle  by our eares you Rote that  it Rained Somutch that you  Could not git to work your  corn it haint Rained to say  Rain in 6 weeks hear &  gardens is Runing hear it tis  mighty hot hear if this fight  Comes of Soon and this Company  lives and dont git wounded  nor killed tha are coming  home you Rote to me to Come home  and save the wheat I cant  Come I would like to Come  home and See you all once  more in this life and See my  Sweete littel baby I doo hope  and pray to god to live to

Courtesy of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

“git home to See it it seemes  like god has blessed every  thing that I have prayed  for and I doo hope that he  will bless me to live to git  home to See that littel <Babe?>  when I think of hit it seems  like it will kill me are  Brake my hart you Rote to  me that you had a mess  of potatoes the Sixteenth I  want you to tell mother  houdy for me and tell  her that I am well I have  to Rite so fast that I dont  now whether you can Read  this litter are not I haint  Slep one good night Sleepe  in two month I have to work  are Stand gard are picket  every night I am very nigh “broken down it Seems like  god has bin with me are  I could not Stoo up to hit  I want you to pray for me  and tell all of my friends  to pray for me I pray for  you and my littel Children  to Spare your lives and Sustain  you and thim in this life  I want you to Rite as soon  as this Comes to hand and  Rite me all of the newse  I have Seen Corn as high  as I could Reach you Rote  that your Corn looked very  well and your sweete potatoes  looked very well you dident  Rite whether you had planted  any tobaco are not fare well  Dear wife F.M. Poteet to his  loving Wife M.A.E. Poteet god  bless you is my prayer”

Francis’ second letter:

Courtesy of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

“PetersBurg Va July 11th 1864

Dear wife and children I seat my  Self this morning to Rite you afew lines  to let you now that I am well at this  time hoping that these lines may Reach  your kind hands and find you all injoy ing the same blessings I haint Recieved  no letter from you since the one  that you Rote in June it was dated  the 16 it gave me grate Satsfaction  to hear that you was as well as what  you was you Rote that three are fore of  you had the bowel complaint and you Rote  that you had a mes of potatoes I would  like to bin thare to eat with you  but I could not I think that if  god spares my life that I will eat with  you all once more I have Rote every  week sence I hav bin with the company  I dont now whether you git them are  not but I do hope and pray to god that  you git them so you can hear from me  and hear how I am gitting along  I would like to git your letters so I  could hear from you and my littel  children and hear how you are gitting “along I want you Rite to me whether  you got your wheat cut are not I could  not come if I could have come I would  you now I have bin in the intrenchments  about two month I haint bin Releaved  In 12 days we git very Durty in the  intrenchments we cant git to wash  our clothes I saw Bill West he come  to our company and staid there two are  three hours he is well he Said that  Wm

Courtesy of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Walker was well but he could not  see in the night  I want you to pray for me and all  of the people to spear my life to git  home I think that god has heard your  prayers and I hope and pray to god  that he will continu hearing and ancern  your prayers I pray day and night that  god will spear my life and yours and  our littel Children grate god hear  my friends prayers and ancer them  may the god of heaven bless you  all I heard that the Yankeys had tuck  camp vance and Robed the Bank and  kiled Avry F.M. Poteet to his lovin  Wife Martha A.E. Poteet god bless and save  you all is the prayer of your unworthy <????????>”

The Battle of the Crater lies ahead.

Military Monday: It Was the Worst of Times XI

Courtesy of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Since Francis’ last letter May 31, Francis’s regiment has become embroiled in the Siege of Petersburg which will last ten long months.  The First Battle of Petersburg took place June 9 and little did she know, Francis was engaged in the Second Battle as Martha sat to write the following letters.  This battle took place June 15-18, 1864.

In these letters, Martha seeks Francis’s guidance regarding the wheat harvest, suggesting Francis seek a furlough to come home to harvest.  She writes that 15-year-old Thomas has plowed the corn.  She mentions their new daughter, born May 21, and asks what Francis wants to name her.  She mentions Francis’s mother, Susannah, and sister, Jemima (my third great-grandmother) had been to visit.  She also mentions that Governor Vance is scheduled to be in the nearby town of Marion to speak the following week, but that she wants her husband to vote for Holden of North Carolina’s newly formed “Peace Party”, not Vance.  This must have been due to a great desire to see the war end and her husband and many others come home so life could return to some semblance of normalcy.  (Holden won only 3 counties in the 1864 election-Johnston, Randolph, and Wilkes.  However, he was appointed governor after the war ended.)

“June the 16 1864

“Dear husband I cant get no  person to cut my wheat the  men says that they dont know  what will be don with the  wheat for there aint men to  cut it and if I dont get Mine  cut me and the children  will be bound to suffer I would  like for you to show this to your  Capt and tell him if he pleases  to let you come home a few  days the first of July to take  Care of it for me I have about 8  bushels sowed and no person  to cut a straw of it it rains  so much that we cant get  to work the corn scearsley and  the Mare has had the distemper  and scurvey but is better now  I had her bled and I want to  know what to do with hink

“M.A.E. Poteet to F.M. Poteet god bless you  [Postmark and addresses on page 2]  Privit F.M. Poteet Co.  A 49 Redgment N C   to M.A.E. Poteet  Dysartsville Po  McDowell County  N C  [Up-side down at top of page 2]  Remember me in love and I  will you Farewell dear Francis”

“June the 16 1864

“My Dear husband   I seat My self this evening  to write you a few lines to let  you know how we are Some  of us is not well me and Thomas  Francis Emer Susannah Amy Jane  has the bowell complaint I aint  Much sick but I do hope these few  lines May Reach your kind hands  and find you in good

Courtesy of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

health  My corn looks very well Thomas  will finish plowing it the second  time today we hav this side the  Creek to hoe My Neighbours says  that if nothing happens I will  Make a heap of Corn the sweet  potatoes is very prety and the  irish potatoes is the pretyest I ever  seen I hav a mess today I wish you  was hear to eat some with me I would  be so glad I would not know how  to behave I hav to live very hard  I haint nothing Much to eat but bread  and not Much of that if you was hear  I would not hav to live so hard nor  I woudent hav to work when I was not  able My baby will be 4 weeks old Saturday  Night she was born the 21 of May  write to Me what to name her  I had the best time I ever had and  I hav bin the stoutest ever sens I  haint lay in bed in day time in  two Weeks today I thank the Lord  that he has answerd your prayers  and mine beyon what I could expected  but he has all power I feel very  thankfull that it is as well with  you as what it is I hope that God will  bless us to be spared to rais our children  your Mother is well her and Jemima  Come to see me yesterday Grason  Dickson run away and got to Camp  Vance and had to go back I dont  want you to vote for vance vote

“for Holden vance is to be in  Marion next Monday to speak  James Neal has bought 500 bushels  of corn for this County but it haint  come yet and he says that when they  eat it they may die and go to hell  Louis Walker and Tery Walker is at  home wounded your Mother says tell you  howdy for her and the children sends you  howdy and tell you that they hav to  work very hard and wishes you was  hear to help them <??????????????????????>  this evening I would like to hear  from you to know if you hav got  hurt I am very uneasy about you  I do hope and pray that God will shield  you from all harm

Courtesy NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy NC Dept of Cultural Resources

and danger and  spar your life to come home to me and  your little children I know that you  want to see your sweet little baby  I would be very glad to see you if  I could but I cant nor I dont know  whether I ever will or not God knows  I dont you dont know what a hard  time I hav I am ruined if you dont never  come home I cant work another year  as hard as I hav this if the children  was not as good as they are I dont know  what I would do the Lord has blessed  us and I hope he will continue to bless  us while we are separated and bring  us together agin in this life  pray for us my Dear that we dont  perish thread is 100 dollars Cotten is  two dollars apound I dont know what  I am to do but I will do the best I can  and trust in God for help all of our  help comes from him  write to me soon wen I can hear fom you  and hear that you are well it dos me  a heap of good May the lord bless and  save you is the prayer of your desolate  Wife farwell my Dear husband

“M. A. E. Poteet to her loving husband  F. M. Poteet God bless and save you”

“the sise  of the babys hand”  [Transcribers Note: The image is significantly larger than the actual cutout of the baby's hand.]

Courtesy NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Military Monday: It Was the Worst of Times X – Castle Thunder

Courtesy NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Welcome back readers.  I took a break for the holidays and return just in time for Francis to be released from jail in Weldon, NC.  He is sent to Richmond, Virginia and it is likely this is the first time he has ever been outside his home state in his life.  When he got to Richmond, he may have prefered to be in Weldon, as he would now be housed in the notorious Castle Thunder, a former tobacco warehouse on Tobacco Row, then used as a Confederate prison.  

Castle Thunder {{PD-US}}

Castle Thunder {{PD-US}}

“Richmond, Va.  May 4th 1864

Courtesy NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy NC Dept of Cultural Resources

“My Dear Wife  This leaves me well  and I hope it will find you  and the children in good  health I left Weldon  yesterday and arivd hear this  morning I have writ three  letters Since I Recevd one from  you the last I Recevd from you  was dated April the 7  I do not know how long I  will be kept hear or what  will be don with me but  I may be Sent to Salisbury  I would like to See you all  but I donot know when I will  hav that prevelage but I hope

“it will not be long before  pease is made and that we will  all get home once more  I Seen Washing Mooney this  moning but I did not get to  Speake to him I also found your  Brother Thomas hear he is as  well as usual and will write  you afew lines in this letter  I want you to write to me as Soon  as you get this letter and write  me all of the news and how  the people are getting on  let me know how your Wheat  looks and what is the prospect  of the Wheat crop janerally and if  the fruit is killed By the  late cold – tell Comadore  Grist family that he is hear  and as well as usual I know  nothing moore to writ at

“this time I mearly write  to let you know whare  I am write as soon as you  Recieve this

“Yours Truly  F.M. Poteet  Dirict Your letter  F.M. Poteet  Care of Capt Richerson  Castle Thunder  Richmond Va.  Room no. 8

Courtesy NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy NC Dept of Cultural Resources

“My Dear Sister  I will write you  afew lines in Franks letter  I am as well as usual and I hope  you and the

children are well  I was very gald to See frank  He look as well as I ever Seen him  I hope we will stay together till  we are permitted to come home  and I do pray it will not be

“long before this Cruel war  is ended and that we will  all git home to our family  and friends  I know nothing new to writ  you times are very hard  hear  tell Sally that I am   and that I am expecting a  letter from her this week  and that I will writ to her  Your loving Brother  T. M. Hendley”

From Francis’s next letter it appears he did not stay at the prison more than five days before leaving for Camp Bermuda Hundred, Virginia.  He writes his next letter May 31 and states he has been out of prison twenty-two days, since May 9.  The 49th NC was engaged in the Battle of Chester Station (May 10), Proctor’s Creek (May 12-16) and Ware Bottom Church (May 20). Francis does not specifically mention the battles to Martha, perhaps to spare her feelings or to keep their letters unscathed by the realities of war, but he does begin again asking her to pray that he makes it home.  Martha, for her part, has written Francis in the meantime and sent him a

Courtesy NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy NC Dept of Cultural Resources

plait of her hair.

“God bless and Save  you and our littel children   Camp Burmuda Hundred Va   May 31th 1864

“Dear Wife and Children  I Seat my self Down to Drop  you afew lines to let  you now that I am well  at this time hoping that  these lines may Reach  your kind hands and  find you all  Doing Well I Received  your kind letter that  was dated the 20 and  was glad to hear from  you and hear tha you  was well I got the plat

“of hear that you Sent [plait of hair] me I left your Brother  in Richmond Monday  Eavning he hated to  See me start I had  to get to My Redgment  and he had to go to  his When I got to my  Redgment I got that  other letter that had  the plat of hear in  hit you Rote that you  had got your corn over  the first time I was  glad to hear that you  was getting Along as

“you are I have praid  for you and my littel  children all the time  and praid that you  might have A good  time I loud that when  I seen the back of your  letter that you had got  through but when I  Red it I found out  that you hadant we  are in line of battel  Now and <e?????> Whisant  was

Courtesy NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy NC Dept of Cultural Resources

<sh????ed> yesterday  and I met the men taking  him out to the amanabus [omnibus] to take him to the horse  pittel I want you to  pray for me and tell

“all of my Friends to  pray for me to Spear  my life to git home once  more to See you all again  in this life I doo hope  and pray to god to  Spear my life to git  home once more to See  you all and find you  all well G.W. Mooney  is with me he Said that  he would Rite I have  bin out of prison 22 days  I think that your brother  was the gladest to See me  When I got in prison  that I must close by  Saying Rite Soon

“F.M. Poteet  to his loving Wife M.A.E. Poteet”

This is leading up to the Siege and Battles of Petersburg.  I wonder, with you, how much more Francis will go through before the war ends.

Courtesy NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Military Monday: It Was the Worst of Times IX

Courtesy NC Dept of Culturual Resources

Courtesy NC Dept of Culturual Resources

Francis’s next letter arrives mid-March 1864 and finds him still in jail.  The increasing desparation of the times is evident in both his and Martha’s subsequent letter.  Francis has not written because he has not had paper to do so.  He also had to sell his razor and coat to purchase food and was praying for something to eat when Martha’s next box arrived.  He reminds the children to be good for their mother and work hard.

“Weldon, N.C. March 17th 1864

“My Dear Wife I Seat my Self  down this morning to let you now  that I am well at this time hoping  these lines may Reach your kind  hands and find you injoying the  Same blessings this is the first time  that I hav had the chance to Rite  to you in any satsfaction I hate to  Rite you the truth bit I must I  had to Sell my Raisor and my coat  to git Sumthing to eat and then  have to doo with out Sumthing to  half of my time when I got that  box that you Sent me I was  laying down and praying to my  god that I had Sumthing that  I could eat and tha was A box  Come and tha Said it was  the 49 Redgment and tha formi t up and called James Poteet

“he brokit it open and show the  gard that tha was no weapon in  it and then he fetched it in and  I got up and went and looked  on the lid and I told him that  it was my box I told him that  it was no harme  I doo hope and pray that this  Cruel war would come to a close  so that I could come home and  Stay with you till death but I  dont now when I will See you  all Again but if I live I

Courtesy NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy NC Dept of Cultural Resources

think  that I will see you Again god  nows but I dont I want you to  Send sumthing to eat if you can  and send me sum unions if  you pleas for I think tha saved  <my?> life before if you hadant  <of?> sent them I could not eat  <any?> thing but when I eat <????>

“I Rote you A letter yesterday but  I got to send this by hand to  morganton by James Poteet Wife  I cant send you such A letter by  male I haint Received no letter  you dated later than the 5 I  looked

hard for one this week  but I dident git it I want you  to Rite every Week and I will  Rite when I can I cant Rite every  week if I could I would Rite  oftiner I cant git paper nor  invellopes with out money  god has blessed me to git paper  to Rite A letter if I live to git  out of the gard house I thing  that I can Rite when I please  but I cant hear I hope that  god will Bless you and my  littel Children till I git home  I want you to Rite whether

“Johnthan Walker is at home  are not he has acted very  cleaver with you tell him that  I hope that god will bless  him for leting you have the land   A line are too to the Children  I want you to bee good to your  Mother and work as hard as  you can I want you to ciss the  littel children for me for I cant  ciss them now May god bless  and Save you all is my preyr for  Christ Sake.  I Reckin that you think that  I have for got you I dont want  you to think Such A thing About  Me for I think of you at any time  in the day

“F.M. Poteet to M.A.E. Poteet  I hope and pray that the Lord <will?>  Bless and Save you and my <littel?>  children is my prayer for Crist Sake”

Courtesy NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Martha’s response arrives a few weeks later.  She and the children have been sick again, but she has managed to plant and has plans for more.  She writes of her current financial situation, having 3 “old state money” dollars and 2 Confederate dollars but mentions how expensive or unavailable things are and  the thieving going on the community.  She also writes of the soldiers being moved from Camp Vance to Asheville, leaving them unguarded from Yankees who could come anytime.  In a moment of sarcasm perhaps, Martha asks why would they want to for all they would find is “a parcel of half perished women and children.”

“Mcdowell Co N C April the 7 1864

“My Dear husband I seat My self this Morning  to write you a few lines to let you know  that we are only tolerable well we have  very bad colds I am so hoars that I cant hardly  talk and sis has had the Croup this week  but I do hope these few lines May reach your kind  hands and find you well I haint had no letter  in two Weeks I would be glad to hear from you  I have got 2 bushels of sweet potatoes and planted  them I planted 7 & 33 hills and I have to pay 100 [$1.00?] dollar per bushel I haint planted Corn yet  I want to plant next Week if it dont rain  last week somebody stold two of Allens  horses and left two old poor no count ones  in there place and last Monday Night some  body stold 20 peices of bacon from him  the rest Joints last Monday all  the Men was ordered from Camp Vance to  Ashville they say that the yankeys can  come here at any time

Courtesy NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy NC Dept of Cultural Resources

they please but  they dont want to come for there aint  any thing to come for but a parcel of half  perished women and children half of my  time I dont have nothing for breakfast but  Cornbread and bran coffee it is hard living  but I hope it wont be so all ways I cant  buy one mouth full of nothing to eat  and thread sells for 3 penny weights of gold  for a bunch and I cant get non I hav fifty  cents in confederate salt is one  dollar a pound they have quit keeping  goverment salt at the X roads I give  three dollars old state Money and two  confederate dollars for 8 lbs of salt  how I am to get along God knows I dont

“they are looking for Marion Higgins home  and I will try and get him to take you  somthing to eat I

am sorry I could not send  you somthing before now but you know  that I would if I could I have had a many  a tear about it I aint able to bring it  My self and I cant get no person to take  you somthing to eate and if I was able to come  I dont think it is aplace fit for women  except it be in case of sickness then I  would come if I had to beg my way to you  I want to see you very much but I cant  come to you but I hope that your head  man will let you come to me before long  you must do the best you can put your  trust in God fear not what man can do they  can but kill the body but fear God that  can kill both sole and body pray for me  dear husband that I <my life?> may be spard to  to take care of my little children for I  am in a helpless condition no one to look  too for help but God alone but he  is able to save all them that put  there trust in him I trust in him and  I try to pray for you my self and our little  children and for peace so that you all  can come to your friends but if I see you  no moor in this world I hope to meet  you in heaven where we will be  separated no moor but if it is Gods  will I would be glad to see you in this  life May God bless you and save from  harm and danger is my prayer farwell

“M. A. E. Poteet to her loving husband  F. M. Poteet farwell my dear Francis  please gard give this to

Courtesy NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy NC Dept of Cultural Resources

my husband”