Fayette County, Alabama
~ Civil War Letter ~
Brasher to wife, 1864)
Frances Lowrey Brasher
Letter Stirs Many Civil War Memories
By Lorene Frederick
BRASHER, 206 North Broad Street, Tuscumbia [Colbert Co., AL], is in
possession of an old letter written by his grandfather, Henry BRASHER,
a Confederate soldier.
The letter was dug out of an old trunk by David S. BRASCHER [sic], son
of the latter, and was first published in the Carbon Hill Index [Walker Co., AL].
The grandson has only a faint remembrance of his grandfather, recalling
only that he was a fiddler, school teacher and a Mason.
The letter was dated March 7, 1864 and was written to BRASHER's wife
while he was guarding war prisoners at ["Camp Sumpter," a.k.a. Andersonville
Prison] Sumpter County, Ga. He was a member of the 26th
Alabama Regiment, Company A.
The letter states:
I take my pen in hand to write to you again. I must say that I
have not received a letter from you since I left Virginia.
I would be very proud to hear from you again. I wrote to you
while in Montgomery, Ala. I don't know whether you received it or
Virginia for good, was to report to Meridian, Miss., and when the
regiment reached Augusta, Ga., telegraph orders were there from the
Secretary of War for us, for the regiment to report to this place and
guard prisoners. We did so and are here guarding them.
There are 22 hundred here now to guard. We have a place prepared
to keep them in built of logs, hewed 20 feet long, stood on end five
feet in the ground. I suppose there is some 10 acres fenced in
this way. We look to them to bring 18 thousand [prisoners] to
Myself with seven others were left back in Virginia as details and have
just got to the regiment.
I was just on guard around the prisoners last night for the first
time. Lusia [sic] I like the position we
have now very well if we
can only get to stay here. I think it is a very healthy place,
have good water to drink, tho its [sic] a very sandy country; plenty of
longleaf pines and salamander hills but clear away from here.
Think we shall stay during this summer and perhaps next winter.
Lusia, I may
some way or other come to Alabama, though it might have turned out the
worst for me. We thought we were coming to Tuscaloosa and perhaps
could have done so. Then I would have felt like I was at home,
but as it is we can't come home on furlough in three or four
days. Lusia, I can't say when I will come home. If I could,
I would be glad to do so, that you might be expecting me. If only
I could say to you in my letter Lusia that I was going to start home in
the morning. I would be so proud that I could not rest until I
I got the socks that you sent me by Jefferson,
he came to us at
Montgomery and came with us to the regiment. I think a heap of
the socks because I was needing them and more so because you sent them
to me. He also brought me a hat that your pap
and Billy sent me,
that I would not take $75 for, its [sic] as good [a] wool hat as I ever
saw. Not only as good, but a heap better. Everyone's
pleased with it so that he wrote the day that Jeff came for me to make
him one like it. Tell Billy I want him to write to me. I
wrote him but got no answer. Tell your pap too, I want them both
to write for I [would] love to read a letter from there.
Jefferson told me a great deal about home and how you were all
doing. He said he ate dinner with you and as he went home and
stayed all night with you and that you gave him something good to
eat. I know if I were there I would get something good to eat,
and I hope it will be so before long. He says that you have more
hogs than anybody in the neighborhood. I am so proud to hear it.
and let me hear all about home. Give my love to all the
children. I want to see them very badly, especially my
baby. He [Jefferson] tells me John is still living with mammy. I want mammy to write to me.
I want to know how she
is doing. Tell her and the rest I send "howdy" to them.
Tell Henderson if he won't write himself to
write for mammy. It
is curious to me though when I think back at the condition my mammy was
left in when my father had to leave this world,
this troublesome world,
especially in a time like this. Though I am proud to think he has
gone to another one where troubles like these can never reach
him. I hope this may reach your hand safe and soon and find you
enjoying the best of health. Lusia, I looked for Jeff to bring me
your likeness, but in vain. He also told me of the wedding that
had taken place. I asked no questions.
Let me know
how many men are going to be conscripted this year. As we came
through Newman [sic], John G. got a paper and stopped at H.K. ALLEN's a
day or two. He says they are all well and Henry is getting rich
as fast as he can: got some 10 negroes. Henry told them that
Jehiel had left for Alabama with four or five Negroes and a good deal
Tell him to write me all the news and how the property was
divided. I had liked to stop when John did, them being there then
to see them. Give him my respects and tell him to write. I
will say nothing about the war, as I have nothing much lately. So
I will close, your affectionate husband til death.
Direct your letters Lusia to Andersonville. To Sumpter County,
Ga., 26 Alabama Regiment, Co. A. This is my love and respects to
newspaper clipping (perhaps from the Florence
Times Daily, Lauderdale Co., AL)
dated Wednesday afternoon, 22 Oct 1958.
BRASHER (1831-1903) enlisted as a private in the 26th Alabama Infantry,
Co. A, CSA, 30 Apr 1862 at Fayette, AL. In February 1864, his
regiment was ordered to convey prisoners to the newly constructed
military prison near Andersonville, GA. Lt. Col. John S. GARVIN, noting
that the 26th had been "decimated by the casualties of battle,"
requested that the regiment be "permanently located here for awhile"
until "its ranks are filled" with new recruits and conscripts.
Enlistments would increase, he suggested, because of the relatively
easy duty, and more time was needed to "catch
those chaps at home who wish to avoid this war." His plea fell on
deaf ears, as the regiment was ordered back into active service in May
1864. Henry and Louisa BRASHER were buried at Cedar
Grove Church Cemetery, Fayette Co., AL.
The BRASHER family had moved to Alabama from Coweta Co., GA, in
the late 1850s. They soon established themselves near Bankston in
Fayette County. Most of the people whom Henry mentioned in his
letter lived in
this area. They included:
Lusia - Martha Louisa
GARRISON (1830-1902), 2nd wife of Henry BRASHER
Jefferson/Jeff - Thomas
Jefferson GARRISON (1839-1925), brother-in-law to Henry BRASHER
pap - Thomas Galespa GARRISON,
father-in-law to Henry BRASHER
Billy - William Harrison
BRASHER (1821-1891), brother to Henry BRASHER
mammy - Frances HENDERSON
mother to Henry BRASHER
Henderson - John Henderson
BRASHER (1829-1914), brother to Henry BRASHER
father - Aquilla BRASHER (1801-1862)
H.K. ALLEN - Henry K. ALLEN
(c1819-1868) of Newnan,
Coweta Co., GA; husband of Lucinda GARRISON, who likely was related to
Henry BRASHER's wife
Return to Fayette County Military Records
Return to Fayette
31 Jul 2006
| 31 Jul 2006