Volume 5, Number 4, Summer 1974
Civil War letters to Mr. and Mrs. Abner M. Sherman by their son who became the grandfather of Eva B. (Hopper) Bruner
Sunday Sedalia, Mo.
Oct. 10th 61
Dear Father and Mother, I received your letter and one from Kate, and was glad to hear from you as they was the first that I had since I left Camp Ellsworth. I am well, and hope this will find you the same. Tell Kate that she need not anything to me, as the Regiment has gone on with the main Army, 1000 men left here this morning, and 400 men of Cavalry, and 2 batteries of flying artilery. I am left in the rear to guard our provision with 20 men; we will probably be here a month or until the baggage waggons can return, they are going on to the Kansas line, they are going with three thousand men to clean out that army that was in Lexington. They have left Lexington. We have got two secession spies here in camp, and a niggar that knows where there is a lot of guns and waggons and mules and other things, and says that he will tell me where they are if I will go with him and take some men with me. I think that, we shall see a fight soon. I know not where I shall be when I write the next. Frank Crowell will be here in the morning, so I shall see all the boys from Burritt (Ill.) I meet some of them everytime that we move.
Direct to Sedalia, Mo.
N. W. Ri. Regt. From your Son J. E. Sherman
Civil War letter writen by the great Uncle of EVA B.BRUNER
April 2, 1864
In camp at Columbia
Well Mother, I thought I would set down and write you a letter to let you know that I am well. These few lines will find you the same. I received a letter from you which Webster fetched me. I am sorry to hear that Father is so low. I am sorry to hear that James isnt leaving you any money. I understand that James is married since he has been at home, is he a fetching me a pair of boots or not? I would like to know if William Bryant is at Woodsville. Allabama Cap., Got a letter from him the other night, wants me to write to him, there was a citizen came in here this morning and said that they was a going to come in on us, they have sent Company B. and Company J out to meet them.
Well Mother I will finish this letter, I am on picket today at the V Ford, we have got a good camp here, we are on the Holston River I am on Picket today. I received a letter from James and sister Kate the night before we left Louden, and more from Victor Prondfit. Tell sister Kate that I will write to her in a few days, there was a soldier drowned here a few days ago trying to swim a horse across the river and it was too deep. We couldnt find his body. There are refugees coming in here all the time from North Carolina, we have to fetch their things across the river in a canoe and their wagons the same way. I have written all the news at present.
Edwin Manchester Sherman
4 Feb. 1896 Gradyville, Ky.
Dear Nephew, I tonight seat myself with great pleasure to writ and try to answer your very interesting letter I received today, I was glad to git it and to once more hear from you. I had come to the conclusion that you was dead or had moved away and that I wolden hear from you anymore. So when I got your letter today I was mighty proud. But I was sorrow to hear that your eyes had been sore and while I was glad to hear from you, haven so much bad luck for I think I know it by experiece and know how to sympathize with a man who has had bad luck. But it is true as you say that we must humble submit our selves to what may com up on us. Well Creel I know that you can writ the most interesting letters that I ever read. I know that I woud love to be with you for I know that you would be interesting to hear you talk. Well if I was young I wold love to be in them mountains you wrote about I know I would enjoy it. Wold like to see them deer and bear. I wold go a hunting, as old as I am I can shoot pretty well yet. I go rabbit hunting, bird hunting, with the boys and I cankill as many of them as any of the yong boyes, that is all the game we have in this county now, there is a few squirrel in the woods out in the hills but they are skirse. I would want a good gun so I could shoot at the game if I were there. Well Creel, I will tell you that we have had the cold winter this winter we have had in years, it turn cold in Nov. sumtime aboot the 15 and it staid cool till Christmas then it turn bitter cold, the ice was 14 inches thick on the creeks and was thicker on the ponds. ALL THE ICE HOUSES IN OUR LITTLE TOWN WAS FILL UP, there is 8 icehouses in the town and they are all full of ice, so I guess we will have plenty of ice next summer; the wether for the last two havt ben quit so cold and I hope that it wont be anymore ascold wether as we have had. Well Creel I dont recollect wether I wrote you anytime about Gradyville or not, I will write to you that it is where William Grady use to live. I dont know if you can recollect any time about it or not, the village of Gradyville has got a hundred and twenty five inhabitants in it thir is 3 dry goods stores, 2 churches, one schoolhouse, one blacksmith shop, one stone shop, on undertaker shop, a rolling mill, one cording machine and stone shop, a tobacco manufactory, that is what I work at, we put up two grades, and we call Big Creek and one grade that we call Gradyville. So if you use tobacco, if you will come out to see me I will give you some mighty good tobacco. Well Creel I will tell you that we have a heap of sickness in this naborhood this winter, thir has been several death in the last few weeks, mostly old people; there was 4 coffin went from here last week. Well I owne and have six acres of land and I ten (D) a garden and work in the factory. I havt able to work on the farm. I work at the carpenter trade sometimes but I am getting so old and fat that I cant git a bout on a horse like I could. I didnt use to weigh but 140 pounds, but I weigh 180 now and I dont feel as well as I did when I weigh 140. But I am getting old and I cant expect to feel like I did when I was yong. I was 49 the 15 of last month (Jan.) and I am gitting mighty gray. Well Creel, Gradyville is 1/2 mile of where your mother (Isaphena (Hopper) Hopper) was born and raise. The place is nearly wore out there is sum good land on it yet; the man that own it raised $150. worth of tobacco last year. The land in this country is about one 3rd. wore out and wont bring anything, most all of the timber is gone, there is a few poplar trees a standing yet but they belong to men that wont sell at no price, a good poplar tree wold sell for $15. out here, now there is sum white oak timber yet but all of the poplar, walnut, elm, ash, hickory, is all gone and things of the past. Land average from $2. to $100. a acre, the land on this creek is worth from $10. to $50. a acre, the land clost to Gradyville is worth from $50. to $100. a acre. I own 6 acres in Gradyville, but sum of it is cliff. Well Creel, I will give you the prices of something outside of land and trees. Corn is worth 40 cents a bushelwheat is worth 70 cents, oats 35 cents, flour from $1.50 to $2.25 a hundred. Hog light 5 cents heavy from 5 1/2 to 6 cents a pound grose and 8 cents net. Cattle, milk cow from $10. to $40. stock cattle light 2 cents a pound, heavy 3cents. Horses for $25. to 300 dollars. Mules from $75. to $125. Young mules is low, they lower than they have been since the war, thir hant any demand for them in the south like there was and there used to be a demand for heavy mules, sugar mules they call them. They use to pay $200. for them but I haven hear any body wantin any of them lately, and there use to be a demand for good draught mules in this country when the lumber excitement was up high. But all the lumber is gone and no more timber to make any more, and thir no demand for draught mules or horses; there is a few little mills out in the hills that are sawing up the small timber. They generally saw in
the winter, and then they make syrup in the spring and summer and they take thir mills and thrash wheat in the fall. The big mules have left out. There was a heep of timber (lumber) and spokes hall out of this country the nearest railroad to this place is Greenburg, Green Co., is is 18 miles from Gradyville. It is due north of here. Columbia, the county-seat of Adair Co. is 8 1/2 miles east of here. It is 18 miles from Columbia to Cambleville, Taylor Co. Camberville is qo the Greensburg and leclom railroad and there is a piler from Columbia to Cambleville and all the merchants in this place git their goods by the way of Cambleville in the winter time and all the lumber is hall (ed) there in the winter. But in the summer they all to to Greensburg. Green River is between here and Greensburg and the wagons cant crost in winter or when the water is up. Well you wrot(e) that you in the grist mill business. Well I always did think you wist that you would love to own a Grist mill, but Burres Grindin(g) in this country is a thing of the past. There is a Burres mille on the creek yet, but they dont do no grindin. Some old men want thir wheat ground the old way, then they say it dont look as white as the rolling mill flour. It is better but I will take mine from the rolling mill. The mills that is in Gradyville grinds corn on Burres, but the mill in Columbia dont, they grind corn. The mill in Gradyville is small, it only cost $45. the one in Columbia cost $1000. Well, I cant keep those mountains (Missouri) off my mind while you wrote about them still I want to ask you some more writtian or some information; I want to know whether it is cool on top of them in winter, I want to know what state they are in and how far are they are in and how far are they from where you live, and how close to aay railroad run to and also I want to know what land is worth and everything else, and how far to Boone county from where you live in Taney Co., Mo., also how far is Boone Co. Ark. from Ballinger co. Mo. whether there is a railroad in Boone co. or not. I am thinking of going to Ballinger co. Mo. next summer, my daughter live in that county, and she write to me that she know I would like that country. There is several family living in that county that went from this county and there is a man that live in this town now has sold out is aim in to gitt off by the end of March and three other familiys is aimin to go next summer. I dont know what I will do when summer come. I can sell out any time I want to for a good price, my house and lot and that isabout all Ive got. Well I want to know whether there is a G.R.A. frost out there where you live and also if you gitting a pension or not, all the old soldires out here are gitting pensions, but it hurt some people to seem them drawing a pension. They say that it will be stopped now or will be pretty soon. But I think that they will find that a pritty hard thing to do. Well this is Sunday night and I will try to finish this letter and lett go off tomorrow. We have mail every day if I go to Columbia one day and down to Edmonton the next day. Well Creel I will write to you about the connection; well brother Welliam (HOPPER) is living in Erath co., Texas. He has been there 16 years; he has 3 children, they are all married and left him; Will has been preaching ever since he went to Texas. His older son is preaching too; his post office is Dublin, Texas. I got a letter from his daughter the same day I got your letter; they was as well as common. Will is a very small man, he dont weigh much over a hundred pounds, his oldest boy is very large so he write. Well brother Harrison is dead, he has been dead 8 years. He has got 5 children; they live in this county; the two older is married; his wife died 3 years ago. Meradia lives in this county, he has got 8 children.. all boys but one; his two older boys are over sixt feet tall (high), his second boy is married, the rest is all single. Sister Mary (HOPPER) is living in Illinois; she has got 5 children all boys, the older is married the rest is aal single, they are about grown; her postoffice is Felter, Green co., Ill. Sister Manerva is dead, she died 3 years ago; she was living in Ill., she has got 5 children all girls, the two older is married, they are living in Christian co. III. Taylorville is the postoffice. Your uncle Tom family all living in Indiana; I havent heard from them in some time, I dont know if all his children are living or not. His older son was preaching all of his time the last I heard from him, and the man that married the youngest girl was a preacher. One of your aunt Marcias sons live in this county, the rest of her family live in Cumlian co., Ky. Well Creel this leave me & my family all as well as common and hope you and family well and your eyes are well., it takes good eyes to reed my letters. Give love to wife and children, send pictures and Ill send mine. Well Creel if we never meet on this earth, I hope we will meat in Heaven where partings will be no more.
Your uncle S. A. Hopper (Stephen Anderson Hopper)
Copy of letter in possession of Eva B. Hopper BRUNER (letter written to Creel Hopper from gg. uncle of Eva B. Bruner to g. uncle Creel Hopper)
Copyright Ó White River Valley Historical Quarterly
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