These letters are from my third great-grandfather, Jasper Guthery, to his wife Amelia Link Guthery, and cover the period from June, 1862, to his death in January, 1863. He was a private in Co. C, 7th Reg. FL Vols., in the Confederate Army, and dictated the letters through friends as he was unable to read or write. The letters tell of a lonely soldier who greatly misses his family. However, Jasper became sick with "congestive lung disease" and died without ever seeing his family again. The final letter is from J. C. Thigpen to Amelia regarding Jasper's death.
The webaddress and e-mail address for Debbie Mcleod formerly annotated in this page are no longre working so I (Laverne Tornow) removed them. If anyone has a current e-mail or web address for Ms McLeod contact me please. ( email@example.com ) Please use a subject line with the following: Guthrey Letters Alachua County
Chattanooga Tenn 1862 June 9th
I received your letter that you and Eliza sent together to day I saw Brent to day he brout me the letter and I was glad to see it but it was a nary b_ too short if it had of bin longe it would of bin sweeter to me but I dont complain Also I was very glad to here that you was well and the Children and that you had a good crop This leaves me well and John and J. C. Thigpin is verry harty he ___ is fine and I hope that these few lines may arrive safe to hand and find you and All the family well, is my prayers in the name of the farther, above, I way as much as usal provisions are short but we get ennuf to make out and we are close to yankees in 2 miles of them I ecspect we will have a fight shortly but we may not the pospect of pece is great the opinion is that we will have peace shortly
love the Children for me I think that I will return shortly England and France is raising the blockade and they said that they have ordered lincoln to stop fiteing J Pifer and all my frinds that came with me is all well at this time we taken some yankees the other day and fifteen hundred dollars worth of property nobody hurt in the little fite nothing more at present I will close by my prayers assign my self your Efectionate until death good by my dear wife Jas Guthery
J C Thigpin sends howdy to you and the children wishes you well
Chatahoochia River West Fla June 16th 1862
I havent Received a letter from you but once since I left Home I get no letters attol from you Dear wife this leaves me in good Health thank god and I hope that these few lines may arrive safe to hand and find you and my children well is my prayers in the name of our Lord we are camped to knight on the River and will take the boat in the morning for Chatanuga Tennysee and I want you not to take on about me for I think that I shall return again drive on and doo the best you can and you must kiss the babie for me you must rite to me soon and let me no whether you Received my bounty or not and write how your crop is doing give Billy and his family my respects and tell him to remember me in his prayers the Chance is bad to nite and I must Close by a short leter but its as Efectionate as if it was five times as longe your Efectionate husband until death with the prayers in my Heart
tell farther and mother Johns wife that he is well and not to geve after him becose he is going away he will return back with the help of god tell them to rite to the same place that you doo as follows to the care of Col M.S. Perry 7th Regiment Fla vols Company B Chatanuga P O Tennysee Excuse bad writing J C Thigpen held the paper on his nee and wrote this letter and he send his Efectionate love to you and the Children
Bom(?) County Loudon Tennissee July 28th 1862
With much plesure I seat my self to write you a few lines in answer to your letter that I received yesterday I was verry glad to here from Home and to here that you was all well this leaves me well and I Hope that this will find you and all the Children well I havent much news to write at this time though I will write all that I have worth your attention you must send me a lock of the babies hair and one of Nanceys in your next letter be Shore to send it to me tell farther that I was glad of that mesage that he sent to me it revived my feelings tell him that I have the Same feelings for him and I remember myself with his wishes and desiers tell James to write to me and to write Something to encourage poor Soldiers up that I want to here from all of the people that is left bee hind me give them my respects and save all my love for your Self John and William and Brient mose(?) is all well att this time we stay in the same encampment Abraham is in the Hospital sick and has been there ever sence we have bin he has the reumatism pains all of my molars is all well at this time John [ ] is complaining alitle to day I think that the mumps is working on him there is a great many of the Regiment dead since we got here John Turner died the other day and lots has died lately but you are not aquinted with any of the rest of them Pitman is ded Robert Beckham is a fine man he ses you must give his love to all the frends and the girls Joe and Jake is in the Hospital but they are ond the mend at this time tell your Mother not to bee uneasey about them for they will be well shortly I think I cant give you any satisfaction about the War for you no as much as we doo about it but I hope it will end Soon I want you to write all the news nothing more at present I will Close by asigning myself your loveing Husband until death good by may god help us in our distress and trouble fare well dear wife god is our protiction we no in him to trust there is no other that can Help us but god alone
Boston Kentucky 1862 Aug 23rd
I seat, Myself to write you afew lines to let you no that I am well at this time and I hope that thouse lines may find you the Same and all the Children the Same I havent any thing new to write ondly I am on the march now we left Home in time you must get James ___ and farther to grind your cane for you I dont no wheather I will get Home in time or not if I dont get them to doo it for you Joe and Jake is at Knoxville in the hospital but not dangersly sick though I havent seen them in a month or better Bro John has had the measles and was weak and when we started on the march we left him at the Hospital as we thought it best for him to Stay there and be quiet being that he was weak tell farther and the family not to bee uneasy about him as he is not dangersly sick at all tell farther that William was taken Sick on the march and was left in the rod at Clinton Hospital Bryent and Abe is in good Health at present they are withe us on the march tell all the people howdy for me and tell them that I want to see them verry bad I want to see you all as bad as I can I must Close with my love to you and the children your loveing husband until death
I have one request to make of you which is this dont grieve after me and at every oppertunity you may have take your bible and read to your Children and teach them to love god and lern them not to Sin against god there is nothing more respectable than a religus family if I am at Knoxville on 14th of this month to march in to Kentucky and we landed here yesterday we dont stop longer than one or 2 days in aplace we are on the moove all the time continely on the rod from one place to the other and when we will stope I dont no that is unknown to me I dont no where we will go before we will get done with is I expect that we will bee on the moove til the war is over and I dont no when that will bee nor I dont think that any body else dos nobody but god noes about that Knoxville is the nearst Post office and that is sixty miles from where are at this time and it will bee fother than that in a few dass longer if we keep on the way we are going at this rate fiften and Twenty miles a day we go night and day both and never stope at all the Chance is bad about writing Home we got an awful bad Chance we cant get our leters of ondly by Chance the mail is on regular
[rest of letter lost]
Newmarket Oct 7 1862
I take my pen in hand to rite you a few lines to let you now that I am well and hope these few lines will find you and the childring well I am here in the Hospital living on lite diet and dont epect to be here very long I think I will go to my Regiment before long I dont now whether the Regiment has got to Knoxvill or not but if report be true it has left the gap and gon to Knoxville I hope it has for I dont want to see the gap anymore when will this war cum to an end sum times I think it will end this winter and sum times I dont now what to think of it I do pray it will end soon so I can get home to see you all
I want James to get [letter torn] make a pare of shoes and send them by Brother John I want them made prety hiquartered and so them and put a ro of tacks round them I havent herd from John Thigpin sens the 27 of last month he was well then We have fine times here nuthing to do but sit and look at one a nother and think of home we can look over towards home but cant go yet but I hope the time is cuming when we will all get home R J Pecham is up and a bout and doing prety well now
I think he will get a long now When you rite let me now if Mr McCraray went back thar when he left her he did not now whether he would go to Flar or Caralina direct your letters to Newmarket to the care of Dr Bently
Knoxville 19th 1862
It is with the greatest pleasure that I seat my self to rite you afew lines to let you i am just in tolerably health I am up and down have the fever sum times John Thigpen is at the gap he was tolerably well when I left him I havent herd from him sens I left him The Regiment is at the gap yet and I dont now what it is goin to do I here it is ordered here but dont now whether it is so or not we here so much we dont now whether anything we her is so or not When John cums back or Pery I want you to send me one pair of pants one pair of drawers and one shirt, pair of gloves I want you to have one Thousand or Fifteen Hundred rales Split if you can get them Mr Ben Becham ose me sum and try and get him to split them if you can and if he cant do it get somebody els to do it dont pay over customary price if you can help it I want the rails to fix the pens with and to build cow pens with next spring Ask Riley if it will do to put my Cow pens on the east side in side of the field
I want you to rite to me how my Coalt is doing and the ___ how is the mair doing hav you got hur fat how is your stock hogs doing are you raising any more I want you to tell Jimey if my Bull is shot hav him altered and sel him for Beef hav him altered any how and sell him next summer I want Jimey to take his axe and go to every corner of my land and put up a good ___ stake up before the woods is hunt of I want to now how much Corn you maid Make John a Shirt and giv it to him I got one from him sens I started this letter and you need not sen me one How many potatoes did you make I want to now how much shuggar and sirup you maid, I was examined today but did not get a furlow and cant tell you when I can get home I will be a long when the war ends if not be for I never hav any luck if I had not went to old Kentuck I mite a got a furlow but they thin I can stand it a while longer
Give all of my people and yours my Compliment and tell them I want them to rite to me my Dear wife take care of the childring and your self the best you can and dont grieve your self for me, If Brother Abrims wife cum to you for five dollars let hur hav it and if you let hur hav it rite to me I have loned him five for now and he will pay me ther I am goin to send you Forty Dollars by Brother
John rite to when yo receives it in your next letter I got a letter from you a few days ago dated the 9 of this month and I got one from you dated the 4 of this month Put your trust in god and he will take care of you I must bring my letter to a close by saying I remain your True Husband
Dear Brother James Terel(?)
I will rite you a few lines too I want to here from you oftin and am glad to here from you any time and want you to help my family a long when you can and I will pay you for it sum time
Nov the 22 1862
I brace my self with the opertuny of addressin you a few lines me in tarbul health I am in beter health than I was when my brother left me I want you to rite to me how the Children is geting along at school and tell them be smart and lern fast and I will by them a pocket knife ___ when I com hoam Dearest Dear wife I want you to kiss the baby for me in the Remembrance of me and reed your Bible to the Children in the remembrance of me I will remember you in my prar's all you give my best respect to father and mother to remember me in all thair prars and giv brother James an family my lov and respct remember me in thair prars giv your mother and father and family my love and complimits and all good giv Sister Christena ___ my lov and ___ coments all sow if it wood be her plesur to find the church and be with her husbin it would be a plesure for me to here of ____ that Mr. ____ is in ____ good health Dear wife you doant know how bad I want to see you and the Children for I surely about ___ som times until it sems like it will all but melt my hart my prars is for you daily I doant know whether this will be my chance for me to kom hoam or knot un til the war ends or for Robird(?) R. Before has trid ____ for a furlow and he failed to get it and the ___ som talk at how ___ hear in the papers and we hear that the ___ ___ has give the oficers untill January to make peace and if the doant the aint going hoam and will hav heard that our Ridgment is ordered to mobeal alibama good good by I must come to a close by Remain your ____ husband
Jasper Guthry / D____ Guthry
Knoxville tenn 1862 Dec 21
I seat myself to write you a few lines to let you no that I am well and I hope that these few lines may find you and family the same I am with the Regt now and I am very hearty I weight 175 lbs Direct your letters to Knoxville Tenn I havent time to rite much George Sparkman is going home in the morning we will send our letters by him you must rite often to me and let me here from home as it is all the plesure that I see is when I here from home Dear wife I dont no when I will get home you must take care of your Self and Children and start your plow as soon as posable for annother crop Mr Phifer was improving when I saw him last nothing more at present I will close for this time may god bless you
THIS LETTER WAS WRITTEN 13 DAYS BEFORE JASPER'S DEATH.
Morristown E. Tennessee Sunday Jan 3rd, 1863
My dear Wife
As I have some spair moments this morning and it is raining so as I can not be out of my Tent I will imploy myself in addressing you a few lines to let you know where I am & how I am well first and formost We are now at Morristown forty two miles above Knoxville on the Virginia Rail Road we were ordered here because the Jay hawkers sliped across from the mountains and burnt the bridge above this at Bristol and I expect we will remain here for some time as the government is killing a great many hogs at this place and will need some one to guard it.
I am well and hearty as I ever was in my life and I hope you are the same. I have better hopes of getting home now than I have ever had before, but I dont know when it will be but why I think it will be long before we will all be at home is because there has been such great battles fought lately and we have been victorious in all of them. we repulsed them last week at Vicksburg with great slaughter to the yankees and at Murfreesboro last week Genl Bragg whiped fifty thousand yankees and drove them back six miles their loss was fifteen Thousand Killed & wounded and our loss five Thousand and the last news we got from there yesterday was that Genl Morgan had got in behind the yankees and captured all their amunition and cut off their retreat and it was thought very probable that Genl Bragg would take the whole yankee army ____ -over. we all begin to think now that all the hard fighting is over with and the war near its close god grant it may be so. You can tell Brother John where we are and you must write to me and tell all about every body in the neighbourhood and the health generally remember me to the children and give them my love and kiss the baby two or three times. Remember me to all of our people and give them my kind regards. when you write to me tell me where Mr Stokes is moveing to and if you need any advice about getting along with the crop you must get James Terril or Billy Perry to show you how and give you direction. direct your letters as before to Knoxville.
Ever your affectionate
Husband until death
THIS IS A LETTER FROM J.C. THIGPEN TO AMELIA, AFTER HER HUSBAND JASPER'S DEATH.
Knoxville Tenn 1863 Feb 15th
I received yours on yesterday and was glad to here from you and family this leaves me well hopeing that thouse few lines may find you and family the Same I am very sorry that you have to give up your husband you wrote to know who was with him when he died he was with the Company at greenville James Zitnoe was the ondly one of our ___ that was there but he was verry well attened too he was ___ verry well Dr Meceaa was with him his disease was congestion of the lungs he was out of his sences when he died he left no request atal ondly he said that he would like to bee at home to die with his family was all that he said he also said that he was satisfied that he was going to heaven he lived a Christian life poor Jasper I miss him very much Melia you must take it as easey as posable dont greive about your husband if you can help it you can make a liveing I think you must not sufer your Self ___ ____ upon make your Children obey you and respect you lern them to work and you can live like a ___ I have Sold Some of the things and I will Send you the money Shortly Jasper had $125.00 whin he died you must doo the best you can Sister you are left alone now in this world give my love to all the Children I will Close for this time by requsting you to write