Mar. 17, 1863. J.M. Cannon to Malinda Cannon

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J. M. Cannonís letter of March 17, 1863


Sessionvill S C march the 17th 1863          my Dear wife I

see my self this morning to Rit you a few more lines

whitch will in form you that i am well at this time

hoping they may Com safe to your handes and find you and the

Children all injoyen the same like blesing i have no newse to

Rit to you at thistime onley times is quiett and peasible hear

at this time and the helth is good hear now hit is giting prety

warm hear now the peach trees is in full bloom hear and the

grass and the weedes is all groing finley hear hit makes mee

want to Com home mity bad hit lookes like i art to bee thar

to go plowing and fixin to make Corn but i cant bee ther now

to give eny instruction mother you must do the best you

Can tell i Com i am goien to Com home in may some

time if i liv that long if we dont be fiting then and i dont

think we ever will bee in a fit hear at this place we have got

hit too well fixt and the yankes nowes hit mother you must

have the boyes to sprout out all the Clover lotes and dont turn

eny thing in them that will eat them litle apletrees up

mother do you think you will hav eny good sweet milk for

mee when i Com home you stated in your leter that hit had

bin too weekes since you had got eny leters from mee and

you said i had for goten you i have not for goten you yet for you

air the last thing i think ov at night and the firt thing

in the morning my mind is with you day and night

i hav rot one and too leters aweeke ever since i hav bin

hear i Cold say that you had forgoten mee but i dont hink

you hav for i now you cant rit the last leter i


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got from you was dated the 5 of march

you must rit as soon as you git this leter and tell mee

all the newse you hav got som times i think we will all

git to Com home by the first of June som of the boyes thinkes

the war will go on untel old abes time is out you must rit

whether you hav paid old barett or not and if you hant you must

if you hav got money anuff I will send you that salt as soon

as i Can git room on the Cars they wont tak eny thing now

when you rit you must back your leters in cear of lieutenant

                                                               R hase hee is in command

                                                               of the   Company


I must Close my leter for i hav to go to driling now when you

Rit you must giv mee the dat of the last leters you git

from mee and then i Can tell whether you git them all

or not so nothing more at this time onley i remaines

your true husband untel Deth


       J. M. Cannon   To

            Malinda Cannon  and afection children




Secessionville, S. C.             March the 17th, 1863

My dear wife,

I seat myself this morning to write you a few more lines which will inform you that I   

am well at this time, hoping they may come safe to your hands and find you and the children all enjoying the same like blessing. I have no news to write to you at this time, only times is quiet and peaceable here at this time, and the health is good here now. It is getting pretty warm here now. The peach trees is in full bloom here, and the grass and the weeds is all growing finally here. It makes me want to come home mighty bad. It looks like I ought to be there to go plowing and fixing to make corn, but I canít be there now to give any instructions. Mother, you must do the best you can Ďtil I come. I am going to come home in May some time if I live that long, if we donít be fighting then, and I donít think we ever will be in a fight here at this place. We have got it too well fixed, and the Yankees knows it. Mother, you must have the boys to sprout out all the clover lots, and donít turn anything in them that will eat them little apple trees up. Mother, do you think you will have any good sweet milk for me when I come home? You stated in your letter that it had been two weeks since you had gotten any letters from me, and you said I had forgotten you. I have not forgotten you yet for you are the last think I think of at night and the first thing in the morning. My mind is with you day and night.  I have wrote one and two letters a week ever since I have been here. I could say that you had forgotten me, but I donít think you have, for I know you canít write. The last letter I got from you was dated the 5th of March. You must write as soon as you get this letter and tell me all the news you have got. Sometimes I think we will all get to come home by the first of June. Some of the boys thinks the war will go on until Old Abeís time is out.[1]You must write whether you have paid Old Barett[2] or not, and if you havenít you must if you have got money enough. I will send you that salt as soon as I can get room on the cars.[3] They wonít take anything now. When you write, you must back your letters in care of Lieutenant R. Hays.[4] He is in command of the Company. I must close my letter, for I have to go to drilling now. When you write you must give me the date of the last letters you get from me, and then I can tell whether you get them all or not. So nothing more at this time, only I remains your true husband until death.


J. M. Cannon         To

            Malinda Cannon and affectionate children 




[1] Abraham Lincoln was elected 16th President of the United States on November 6, 1860.  He staunchly opposed the expansion of slavery into federal territories.  Before his inauguration on March 4, 1861, seven Southern states seceded from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America which resulted in the Civil War.  Lincoln was reelected during the Civil War and served as President until April 15, 1865, when he died after being shot by John Wilkes Booth the day before.


[2] Possibly, the reference is to George Barrett, a blacksmith in Silaquoy, Gordon County, Georgia, in 1860.  Silaquoy is not far from Sonora where the John Milton Cannon family lived.  1860 Georgia Census, Gordon County, Silaquoy.


[3] John Milton Cannon and his business partner Mr. Mosely/Mosley owned a tannery and used salt to preserve the hides and skins; Mosely/Mosley continued the business during the Civil War. With much of Georgiaís resources supporting the war machine, supplies became scare.  By the end of the war, salt cost $125 a bag.  To ship salt to Gordon County, Georgia, from the Charleston, South Carolina, area, Milton would have used several railroad lines including the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad which had tracks through Dalton, Georgia; the Georgia Central Railroad which cut across Georgia; and the Western and Atlantic Railroad which ran from Chattahoochee, Georgia, to Chattanooga, Tennessee.  Spurs connected some of the small towns to the main line.

[4] Richard Hays served as First Lieutenant, Company B, 8th Battalion Georgia Infantry.




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