Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Frances Anderson Letters

The Anderson Letters
archive items #5, 6, 7, 14, 16

Frances "Fannie" J. Lumpkin Anderson
five letters
William Richardson Anderson
"State Hand"...and later...
8th Confederate Cavalry (conscript)

-- Archive item: #5 FLA I to WRA

March th/9
[Sunday] March 9th [1862]

Dear Billie
I recived your letter [1] day before yesterday I would have answered it yesterday but I was very busy with gardning the garden is done and nicely planted we have beded five bushels of potatoes Pa [2] said if I would send up there he would give us enough to bed Father [3] think[s] five bushels will not be enough I am going to send up there to morrow after some Billie, I was happy to here you arrived saftly [4] at Mobile but will be much happier when you have arrived saftly at home we are all getting on very well as far as I know the negres work very well as for my selfe I do the very best I now how Phelia [5] is staying with me the children [6] are very good to come over although I feel very lonely some times and think I would willingly give all we persefs [possess] if you could stay at home but there is no use in greaving over impossibility I am going to do the best I can with out you I have no news to write you nobody sick that I know of
Write soon and write often to your very affectionate Fannie

They commenced planting corn Wednesday

[1] ‘your letter’ refers to WRA to FLA dated 2/26/1862
[2] Pa refers to Fannie's father Charles Lumpkin
[3] Farther refers to William's Father, J.R.Anderson
[4] According to letter dated 2/26, William arrived safely on 2/25
[5] Phelia is thought to be a slave or nurse
[6] the children – probably Alexander and Lillis Eloise, who lived ½ mile away. The were her nephew and neice, William's youngest brother and sister.

-- Archive item: #6 FLA II to WRA

has original envelope
addressed as follows:
Mr. William R. Anderson
Overseer of State hands

[ xxxday] March th/15 [1862]

Dear Billie
I have received your seconed letter [1] I answered your first one but as I did not direct it in care of any one I do not expect you got it I am sorry to her you are sick If you get in bad helth you must come home Billie you wanted to now how I am getting on farming I do not have any thing to do with the planting of corn Farther [2] and Uncle Ellis [3] attends to that I see that your stock is all attended to well I make the Negroes get off to work early and that every thing is kept in its right place That is abought as far as I go I think we will make nearly as much as if you was her but the Negroes will steal it all…one night this week…someone broke in the smoke house and stoled one sholdir [shoulder] of meat We all have reasons to belieave it was [Shain or Shawn] [4] they went to Farthers and Mr. Childs some time ago I am afraid your corn will be stolen The hay is brought in regular though they have chances enough to steal it when they are feeding Billie I am going to stay her this year and do the best I can but if you care any thing for my happiness never ask it of me again There is so much passing about every night I can’t sleep Ben [5] come up on a Negro out her in the woods the other night with a bag of corn I have planted my garden If you come when the two months is out we will have some vegetables to eat Write me soon if you think you will come home then Shain [4] has finish[ed] all the jobs you left for him to do except the wagon shelter Write to me as soon as you get this and let me no if you want any clothing whin [when] I send your box
You must excuse this poorly written letter I no there is a hundred mistakes in it I have not bee[n] well since you left feel quite unwell to day
I had the bugy washed and sent over to Farther’s After it was washed I varnished it It looks as well as it did when you bought it I am going to keep a sharp look out for the box of oranges Do write to me soon and often You don’t know how much I appreciate them [6] Your very affectionate

There is no fish hooks in West Point [7]

[1] This letter is not found in the archive. It has been lost.
[2] 'Farther' refers to William’s father John Richardson Anderson
[3] Uncle Ellis – Ellis Carter, Mary Susan’s brother according to PA Yates, he lived with JRA & MSCA
[4] Sahwn is believed to be one of Anderson's slaves
[5] Ben was William’s brother Benjamin.Franklin. Anderson
[6] WRA’s letters
[7] a reference to WRA's request for fish hooks in letter dated 2/26/1862

-- Archive Item #7 FLA III to WRA

ink on blue

[Saturday] March 22 [1862]

Dear Billie,
This is the third letter I have written you I received your third letter [1] yesterday If it was not such a task for me to write letters I would write to you very often. I can always think of a great deal to write until I comince than I cant think of any thing . We are all getting on very well. Your crop is before any bodys else in the neighborhood. Your stock looks very good except the cows. Old Bossy has a beautiful little calf I had them brought in the yard soe that we could attend to them. The calf is a little tarrus [2] Uncle Ellis sold your colt for 235 dollars pade the Lovelace det with part of it. Farther has the balance. They finished planting corn last week. We have planted ground peas Farther says enough to make 10 bushels. We are going to have a nice water mellon pach My Garden is doing well if nothing happens to it I will have as many vegetables as Mrs any body Farther says you must not give your selfe any uneasiness about your crop. He expects to make as much as if you was her[e] Every body is mighty lowdown about the war They think the dark time is not far of[f].
When I wrote to you last I was not very well satisfied her[e] but am beter satisfied now. Phelia is staying with me. She seems to be enjoying her selfe finely. The children are very good to stay with us. If I could get well I think I think I would make out very well. There is no prospect of any baby. I do not have chills I am very weak and sick at my stomach all the time. Billie you must keep out of the war if you have to give every thing we have got [3] you do not [k]no[w] how much I mifs you write to me when you think you will be at home write soon
Your Affectionate Wife

[P.S.] I will send your box soon. Write often. Farther[‘s] family is well.

[1] This letter is also lost
[2] Taurus, or bull calf
[3] At this point in the war, William was a civilian 'state hand', helping to build fortifications around Mobile, Alabama. He was later conscripted and spent his time and energies trying to get home.

-- Archive Item #14 FLA IV to WRA

6 5/8” by 5/4 “
ink on white lined paper
folded folio

You must excuse your box ~ We have had to fix up two one for you and one for Jack [1]

[Friday] May 16th/62

Dear Billy
I wrote to you last but I expect to write every chance I have and want you to do the same. I was over home yesterday left there yesterday morning. We went by Farther’s [2] and took dinner. We found all well at home. Wesley [3] is behind with his crop but you know you left him that. PA [4] says he thinks you will make 40 or 50 bushels of wheat. He says it is the best he has seen this year. I am going down to Farther’s next week to stay. I shal stay at home the most of the time. if things don’t go on right I will go back and stay all the time. Kate and Fannie [5] will stay with me. Billy don’t trouble your selfe about thing[s] at home ~ they may not make quite as much as if you was there but we will not loos [lose] much ~ I will try and keep things going on when I am there ~ I have no news of interest to write. All we her is war news and not half of that – true. Every body in fine spirits thinking we will whip the yankeys yet. Billy if you get sick do come home if you can. Don’t do like a great many of them that get sick stay there until you can’t ~ you just ought to be her to se[e] what a nice bunch of hanks [6] I have spun. I am almost equal to a machine. I am going to have you a nice suit of janes when you come home. You must take good care of your selfe and Julien [7] and don’t let the yankeys get you. The family joins me in love to you
I am ever yours
[P.S] I will send your box by William Mosley [8] as Cap Pinkard [9] is sick and it may be some time before he leaves. I [will] send you two prs of cotton socks. I have not had time to knit yarn ones. I believe I have sent you everything that you wrote for except the pen shaft which I forgot to get when I was at home
Good by write often

[1] Jack probably refers to William's brother John R. Anderson, a member of the Ben Hill Volunteers (see related letter) John was killed at the first Battle of Gaines Mills a little over a month later..
[2] Pa refers to Fannie's father, Charles Lumpkin
[3] Wesley is either foreman or sharecropper[?]
[4] Farther refers to William's father—JRAnderson
[5] Kate and Fannie – WRA’s sisters Valinda Lucas Anderson (Mrs. P. Lanier) and Frances Anderson (Mrs.____)
[6] homespun handkercheifs
[7] Julien – probably his personal servant
[8] William Mosley [see bio]
[9] Cap Pinkard [see bio]

-- Archive Item #16 FLA V to WRA

Response to his letter dated xxx/xx/1862
Black ink on blue paper, 7 7/8”x 9 7/8”
1 sheet, front and half of back

At home June 6th/62

Dear Billy
I received your letter a few days ago ~ would have answered it immediately but it seems useless for me to write as you never get my letters ~ I am now at home ~ Kate and Fannie is staying with me I am not as lonely as I thought I would be but if it was not for your request I could not stay her[e] ~ I cant enjoy my selfe her and you gon[e] the place is dreary one to me ~ you don’t know how much I wish you was her[e] ~ Billy why don’t you try to get a discharg ~ you cant do your country good and you sick tell Co Bell if he will [give] you a discharg he may have Phela when he comes back her ~ one of the name will do as well as the same ~ you can get a substitute by paying a thousand dollars as for my selfe I had rather give haugh [sic] we have got than for you to stay ther ~ when you write agone tell me wat you would be willing to give one ~ I have herd that Randolf was fool of them I expect you could get one cheap ~ I have just taken a walk through your crop some of your corn is very pretty some is small ~ they have all worked will since I have been her as well as if you was her they are some behind yet Wesley says if it will just rane he will come it yet ~ Mrs Harelson has not been her since you left I don’t think she will trouble any thing her our far is just hard enough her ~ we have no sugar nor coffe nothing but meet and bread but we aught to bee satisfied when we can get that ~ Billie what have you done with your Bible don’t throw it away which a great many of the solgers do ~ William Harper has lost his two oldest girls with the Dip[theria] the health of the neighborhood is good at this time Farthers family is will Mother toled me to give the best respects to you ~ Kate and Fanny says if they could see you they would kip you excuse this badly written letter and write often
Fannie L Anderson
I will send you bed tick the first opportunity I have

-From Pine Log get Major Bell’s Battalion info
-Kat and Fannie – WRA’s sisters
-Phela – same as Phebe?
-is Randolf a town? Randolph Co is just above Chambers Co.
-JRA & MSCA mentioned – Farther /Mother

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