Oct. 26, 1862. W. R. Rich to J. M. Cannon

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Camp Lamar    S C                            Oct   the   26

                         Deare uncle

I seet my Self this Morning

to drop yew a few lines to

let yew no that i am well

at this time and i truley

hop at these few lines may

come saft to hand and find

yew all well and dwoing

well i havent any thing of

interesting to rite to yew

at this time times is hard

heare and it got worse every

week i am a fraid at we will

all persh to death yet jimey

can tell yew how we fare

heare but i will inshore yew

at he cant tell it no worse

than what it is uncle

John it was in the papers

at all to 40 years old would

have to got in camps but yews


Page 2


wont have to go and yew may

bee glad of that for yew dont

no nothing a bout hard times

unless yew was heare i want

yew to rite to mee how yew

are a getting on with your

tan yard and all other

things i have rote yew two

or three letters and i hant

never got nare line from

yew yet and i think at

this is the last line at i

low to rite to yew un till

i get anancer yew must

excuse my Short letter

and bad Splling and  riting

rite Soon and often so

momore at present only i

remains yours truley un

til Death      W  R  Rich


To Mr J M Cannon




Camp Lamar, South Carolina[1]   Oct. the 26th, 1862

Dear uncle,

I seat myself this morning to drop you a few lines to let you know that I am well at this time, and I truly hope that these few lines may come safe to hand and find you all well and doing well.  I haven’t anything of interest to write to you at this time.  Times is hard here, and it gets worse every week.  I am afraid that we will all perish to death yet.  Jimmy[2] can tell you how we fare here, but I will insure you that he can’t tell it no worse than what it is.  Uncle John, it was in the papers that all to 40 years old would have to get to camps, but you won’t have to go,[3] and you may be glad of that, for you don’t know nothing about hard times unless you was here.  I want you to write to me how you are a-getting on with your tan yard[4] and all other things.  I have wrote you two or three letters, and I haven’t never got nary line from you yet, and I think that this is the last line that I allow to write to you until I get an answer.   You must excuse my short letter and bad spelling and writing.  Write soon and often.  So no more at present, only I remains yours truly until death.

W. R. Rich   to Mr. J. M. Cannon



[1] Four months earlier, on June 16, 1862, Union forces attacked Charleston’s outer defensive line on James Island, hoping to capture the island’s forts and gain favorable position for bombarding the city or even capturing it.  Confederates at the Fort Lamar stronghold on James Island managed to repel the attack.


[2] James “Jimmy” Dyson Rich, born on April 4, 1844, was 18 when his brother wrote this letter.  Jimmy was the second of four sons born to William Rich and his wife Hulda Serena Cannon (John Milton Cannon’s sister).  Jimmy survived the Civil War, came home to Gordon County, Georgia, and married Sarah “Susan” Miriera Dugger.  The couple moved first to Tennessee and then to Anderson County, Texas.  They reared seven children—Alice E., b. 1868; William “Will” Carson, b. August 12, 1870; Cyrena Hulda, b. August 12, 1870; Cyrus Powell, b. January 19, 1873; John Alfred, b. April 19, 1875; Robert “Bob” Lee, b. March 30, 1877; and Thomas “Tom” Marshall, b. November 24, 1880.  Jimmy Rich died at the age of 80 on June 6, 1924, and was buried in Muse Cemetery, Anderson County, Texas.  His wife Susan died seven months later and was buried beside him.


[3] Although William Rich apparently thinks that his uncle is older than forty and thus would not be drafted by the Confederate Army, John Milton Cannon was born on May 28, 1824, and was 38 years old when this letter was written to him by his nephew.   By December,  John Cannon was either drafted or joined the army voluntarily and was sent to Charleston, South Carolina, as a private with Company B of the 8th Battalion Georgia Infantry.


[4] John Milton Cannon and his wife Ellender Malinda Cannon were partners in a tannery with a Mr. Mosley. During the Civil War, Mr. Mosely continued operating the tannery with help from Malinda.  



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