Jun. 26, 1863. J.M. Cannon to Malinda Cannon

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Camp Near vernon Miss  June the 26st 1863

Mrs Malinda Cannon      Dear wife & effectionate children

it is through the kind hand of proverdence that I am permted

one time more to seat myself in order to rite you a

few lines in ancer to yours of the 15th which I received on

the 25th of this Inst  which gave me grate satisfaction to

here from you & to here that you was all well these few

lines leaves me as well as comon & I truly hope that

these lines will come safe to your kind hand in due

time & find you all enjoying the Best of health I have

nuthing strange to communicate to you at this time only

that we are here in the woods as usual but I dont

think we will sit here much longer though I dont

know for somedays I here that we will . . .

day for some other place but we have not started yet but

I think we will leve here tomorrow or next day but

whare we will go I do not know we may go to wards

vicksburg or we may go some other way I dont know what

will become of us if we stay in this country for it is

the dryist place that I ever saw there is no water here

that is fit to drink that a private soldier can get

all the good water is in sisterns & we cant get it

so nomore a bout that.  you stated in your letter that

you wanted to know how William was & whare he was

I will say to you that he is dead he died the 8th of this

month he died with the fevor but I dont know what kind

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you stated in your letter that your cows had calvs which I

was very glad to here & I know that you get plenty of milk

& I wish I was thare to eat some of it for I feele like I need it

very much for it has bin a long time since I have had

a bate of milk I will say to you that I want you to keep

all your cows until I come home that is if I live ever to get

home or until I rite to you a gain for I hope you will make

something to feed them with next winter & if you dont I hope I

will git to come home to assist you in taken care of them

& I also want you to take as good care of the mare &

colt as you can & all the stock I hope I will get to come

home to help you tend to the things before a grate while

I got a leter from grama the same day I got that one

from you hur and sealy was both well & shee said

shee had roat to you & had nevr got no ancer from

. . . thinkes something is the mater

...els you wold rit to hur as she is very ancious to

here from you as often as she can;  I will say to you

that I have not got any thing to rite that wood interest

you only that I want to see you & the children as

bad as I can I dont think I cold want to see you any

worse than I do at this time & I am a frade it will

bee a long time before I will git to see you all

though I live in hopes that the time is not far distant

when I will be permited to meet you & the children once

more in this world for I cold tel you more in one

hour than I cold rite in a half a day for I am whare

I cant here much & whare I cannot get to rite much

 

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& so if I was thare I wold bee beter satisfide though I

hope & pray to god that if wee never meet nomore on

earth that we will meet in heaven whare parting is

nomore & whare trubles never come Malinda you stated

in your letter that when you got to studing a bout me that

it seemed like that you wood never see nomore satisfaction

I do not want you to greave after me for if you never

see me any more it will not bee my falt for if I

live & you live I will see you a gain so you may know

that if I never return it will bee the lords will to

take me off so I want you to enjoy your self the best

you can while I am a way from you; So with

these few I will come to a close for this time truly that you

rite as often as you can & rite all the news that you

have in that part of the country & let me know what prospect

you have for a . . .  this year so nomore at present only

I remain your most loving & effectionate Husband tel

Death; J.M. Cannon to Malinda Cannon

 

I will say to you to tel Mrs Dickert that her

old man is well & that he wants to see her very

bad & that if he cant get to see her that he wants

her to rite to him as he has not had a letter

from her in three months & he is geting uneasey

for fear there is something the matter I want you

to excuse this Bad rote letter & I will try to do better

the next time this letter was riten By

                                   Wm. H. Dickert

 

 

 

Camp near Vernon, Mississippi                June the 26th, 1863

Mrs. Malinda Cannon

Dear wife & affectionate children,

It is through the kind hand of Providence that I am permitted one time more to seat myself in order to write you a few lines in answer to yours of the 15th, which I received on the 25th of this instant, which gave me great satisfaction to hear from you & to hear that you was all well.  These few lines leaves me as well as common, & I truly hope that these lines will come safe to your kind hand in due time & find you all enjoying the best of health.  I have nothing strange to communicate to you at this time, only that we are here in the woods as usual, but I donít think we will sit here much longer, though I donít know, for some days I hear that we will . . . day for some other place, but we have not started yet, but I think we will leave here tomorrow or next day, but where we will go I do not know.  We may go towards Vicksburg, or we may go some other way.[1] I donít know what will become of us if we stay in this country, for it is the driest place that I ever saw.  There is no water here that is fit to drink that a private soldier can get.  All the good water is in cisterns, & we canít get it, so no more about that.  You stated in your letter that you wanted to know how William[2]  was & where he was.  I will say to you that he is dead.  He died the 8th of this month.  He died with the fever, but I donít know what kind.  You stated in your letter that your cows had calves which I was very glad to hear, & I know that you get plenty of milk, & I wish I was there to eat some of it, for I feel like I need it very much, for it has been a long time since I have had a bite of milk.  I will say to you that I want you to keep al your cows until I come home, that is if I live ever to get home or until I write to you again, for I hope you will make something to feed them with next winter, & if you donít I hope I will get to come home to assist you in taking care of them, & I also want you to take as good care of the mare & colt as you can & all the stock.  I hope I will get to come home to help you tend to the things before a great while.  I got a letter from Grama[3] the same day I got that one from you.  Her and Sealy[4] was both well, & she said she had wrote to you & had never got no answer from . . . thinks something is the matter . . . else you would write to her as she is very anxious to hear from you as often as she can.  I will say to you that I have not got anything to write that would interest you, only that I want to see you & the children as bad as I can.  I donít think I could want to see you any worse than I do at this time, & I am afraid it will be a long time before I will get to see you all, though I live in hopes that the time is not far distant when I will be permitted to meet you & the children once more in this world.  For I could tell you more in one hour than I could write in a half a day, for I am where I canít hear much & where I cannot get to write much.  And so if I was there I would be better satisfied, though I hope & pray to God that if we never meet no more on Earth that we will meet in heaven where parting is no more & where troubles never come.  Malinda, you stated in your letter that when you got to studying about me that it seemed like that you would never see no more satisfaction.  I do not want you to grieve after me, for if you never see me anymore it will not be my fault.  For if I live & you live, I will see you again.  So you may know that if I never return, it will be the Lordís will to take me off.  So I want you to enjoy yourself the best you can while I am away from you.  So with these few [lines], I will come to a close for this time [asking] truly that you write as often as you can & write all the news that you have in that part of the country & let me know what prospect you have for a . . .  this year.  So no more at present, only I remain your most loving & affectionate husband Ďtil death.

         J.M. Cannon    to Malinda Cannon

I will say to you to tell Mrs Dickert[5] that her old man is well & that he wants to see her very bad & that if he canít get to see her that he wants her to write to him as he has not had a letter from her in three months, & he is getting uneasy for fear there is something the matter.  I want you to excuse this bad wrote letter, & I will try to do better the next time.  This letter was written by

               Wm. H. Dickert[6]

 


 

[1] On May 14, 1863, Union forces won the first Battle of Jackson, Mississippi, forcing Confederate forces under General Joseph E. Johnston to flee north to Madison County, Mississippi.  (Canton and Vernon were both small towns located in Madison County).  On May 15, 1863, Union troops under General William T. Sherman burned and looted the city of Jackson, a strategic manufacturing and railroad center for the Confederacy.  The Union forces then left Jackson and turned west to engage the Vicksburg, Mississippi, defenders.  The Confederate forces reassembled in Jackson, built defensive fortifications encircling the city, and prepared to march west to Vicksburg to break through the Union lines laying siege there.  Confederate forces marched out of Jackson to break the siege of Vicksburg in early July 1863.  Unknown to them, Vicksburg had already surrendered on July 4, 1863.  General Ulysses S. Grant dispatched General Sherman to engage the Confederate forces approaching from Jackson.  Upon learning that Vicksburg had already surrendered, however, the Confederates retreated to Jackson, thus beginning the Siege of Jackson, which lasted from July 9-17, 1863.  Union forces encircled the city and began an artillery bombardment.  On July 16, 1863, Confederate forces slipped out of Jackson during the night and retreated across the Pearl River.  Union forces completely burned the city after its capture this second time.

 

[2] William Russell Rich, 1843-1863, was the nephew of John Milton Cannon.  Williamís mother was Hulda Serena Cannon Rich Powell, 1823-1894; his father was William Dyson Rich, 1819-1849; and his step-father was Cyrus Powell, 1825-1893.  Like his uncle, William enlisted in Company B, 8th Battalion Georgia Infantry.  In his letter of June 2, 1863, John Milton Cannon had written that William Rich was in the hospital at Canton, Mississippi.

 

[3] ďGramaĒ is Elizabeth Cannon, the mother of John Mitlon Cannon.  Elizabeth, b. 1806, South Carolina.  When the 1860 Georgia Census , Gordon County, Sonora, was taken, Elizabeth, her daughter Celia, and her son Wiley lived two households down from the John Milton Cannon family, so his children would have known his mother as ďGrama

 

[4] ďSealyĒ is Celia E. Mary Cannon, the sister of John Milton Cannon.  Celia, b. 1840, Georgia, did not marry William Roe until 1866, so she was undoubtedly living with her mother in 1863 when this letter was written.

 

[5] Alpha Powell, b. 1824, South Carolina, married William Henry Dickert on December 17, 1848.  By the date of this letter in 1863, the couple had at least seven childrenóMary F., Evaline Frances, Sarah Gladys, James A., John H., Mildred, and Cyrus.  In 1863 Alpha Powell Dickert and her children were living in Gordon County, Georgia, as were Malinda Rich Cannon and her children.

 

[6] William Henry Dickert, b. 1826, Georgia, was from Silaquoy in Gordon County, Georgia.  William and John M. Cannon were approximately the same age, enlisted in Company B, the 8th Battalion Georgia Infantry, and had served together for the last two years.

 

 

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