There was a song during the War Between the States with lyrics “I’ve gone away for to stay a little while, but I’m coming back if I’ve gone ten thousand miles”. Sometimes that happened (remember Cold Mountain?) but that was not always the case.

Take the letter my good friend Jean sent to me, from her ancestor in Texas who wrote  her niece in Alabama. It is dated August 13, 1861. She writes “When I receive a letter from any of you it is pleasure and grief mingled together and when I sit down to write…I cannot force back the tears when I think of friends, relatives and all departed never to meet again, for you must know that I can never return, and the prospect of any of you coming here is quite gloomy.”

She goes on to tell about the times. “Times are growing hard…goods, groceries, everything is very high since the Maniac Lincoln (her words not mine) placed his Man of war in our parts…I wish we had a Navy that we could just blow them there to the four winds…England and France will join us if the difficulty is not settled soon. Our Gov. in his proclamation ordered all men having Northern sentiments to leave”.

Later in the letter she says that McCulloth from Texas had about 600 Cherokee Indians with him. She said they could “put 10,000 Yankies to flight”! her spelling of yankees) One of this lovely lady’s nine children was named Jeff Davis. Of course!!! I would not have expected anything else.

She sounds like a feisty one. Told about how they hung a man for horse stealing and said that he hung there until…wait, I don’t want to go into that one – just had lunch! Well, my friend Jean, like so many of us, came from sturdy stock. No wonder Jean is such an amazing person. I look forward to meeting her relative when I get to Heaven!!! Can’t wait to ask her some questions about living through The “WAH” !!!