William R. Murphey Letters

Jul 19, 1853 | March 22, 1858 | Summer 1858 |Dec 8, 1858 |April 30, 1859 |August 4, 1861 |October 1859 |Jan 8, 1861 |May 30, 1864 | April 29, 1866 | April 5, 1869


This letter from Archibald Floyd to David M. Phillips.
 
Forsyth July 19th/ 53?
 
Dear David
 
I drop you a few lines this evening that you may hear from me again, hoping that they (this) may find you and those of your charge in good health with connections & friends generally.  I am well at present so far as health.  It has been my misfortune again to lose a nother negra.  Matilda died last ____ after some 8 days ____ ________ with a touch of Typhoid fever.  It seems that misfortune attends me on all hands since 46.  I ____ his looser of s__ce $1700 ____(smudged)  Negros and ____ ____ ___ at now leaves me again without a cent.  But I have one consolation that is so long as I can have my health I can make a living.  I have had enough to dishearten most of persons, but I feel to have courage sufficently to persevere, it may be that persistance will(?) over come yet, and I will have before old age saved on something to support me in after dayes (days) if I should live.  The connections and friends are generally well so far as I no (know).  Par (Pa?) has sold this land & mill and bought a huise (house) and lot in this place and has engaged in business with Thomas in a holesale (wholesale) grocery, intinelly (intentionally) against the will of the family.  It is his intention to make it here next winter.  We have had a severe drought this year.  The farmers think that their (there) will be a sufficuntcy (sufficiency) made to supply the county.  At this time their is some portions of the county that has had rain while others ___ rain & of course will make nothing.  Our commencement past (passed) off last week with honor to our town & credit to the institute, commencing on Monday closed on Thursday night with a party. I supose (suppose) their (there) was some 3 to 6 __ persons attended during the week.  Everybody and his wife was their (there) myself excepted.  David, if meeting with no disapointment this fall, I expect (scratched out) in some 4 months to take myself wife and should such be the case I shall be fully rewarded and not regretting that I have not married until then.  I will not speakin her prase (praise) I leave that for others to do so. If you and cousin Lucinda should visit marriage next winter, I hope to have the pleasure of introducing you both to Archey('s) wife.  This will do for the presant (present).  Excuse this hasty note and write on the respective of this.  Gave (give) my love to cousin L and your little responcibles(?) prise(?) the holy(?).    Yours affectionally        A.B. Floyd     

We are very fortunate to have these letters written from Monroe County by Ruth Gray, whose husband is a descendant of Phillips family to whom these letters were addressed, has generously shared these letters. The original letters were donated to LA Tech by Ruben C. Phillips, whose wife taught at the University.
Ruth Gray's letter contains much helpful information to identify persons named within the letters.

At home,  March 22nd 1858
Mr. David M. Phillips
 
Dear Sir & friend
 
I have concluded to give you a short epistle by way of
consuming  at least some few of our idle moments in reading
the same.  Well as I have not much to write, as you have
been so recently with us, I commence by saying that we are
all in moderate health, thank the great.  I am and at last
entertain a hope that you and yours are in the enjoyment of
necessary blessings both temporal and spiritual.  I was at
James' Thursday night, found them moderately well.  James
complaining as usual.  He came very near having a hard
spell from going home in the snow from my house, kept him
in bed some little, he is about done planting corn.  Mr.
F.H. Reeves is now very low with Pneumonia, I understand
but little hope for his recovery.  Mrs. Nathan Jones (near
Culloden) died last Thursday, not much sickness that I hear
of--I saw Owen J. Willis, when I was coming home from
James' we were speaking about yours and his trading, and in
the course of conversation, he said that he wanted very
much to have seen you, to apprized you that your grey mare
was not safe for a lady to drive, for said he, if she was
to see an umbrella behind her to a buggy she would be
certain to run away or break something in trying, he also
said that she would not breed, as the man from whom he
traded for her, had tried her again and again, having a
Jack of his own, he also said she was fifteen years old,
these things I only mention for your instruction, and not
for you to speak of again, so as, to jeopardize my name in
any way, no doubt you could have sold your Jack at Culloden
if I had known as much as I now know, to Dr. Timberlake and
perhaps Woodward.  Are you getting mares?  How do you like
your bay mare?  Hamlen I think is well pleased.  I have
traded some six or eight time since you left, but can't yet
trade with James.  I have only planted about thirty acres
of corn.  People generally are planting.  I saw Mr. Merritt
in town he had just returned from your country, he said our
small grain looked much better than in your country, and
that you were not planting so much as we.  Money is yet
scarce, how is it in your country?  Ambrose traded off the
bay mare for a pair of black horses.  I have a bay mare now
of fine size, that I wish you had in place of your young
mule to raise mules from.  She is eight years old, fine
size, good color, a good walker, and plow animal.  If it
was not quite so far I would ride over some evening and
swap with you.  No particular news.  You must write me and
give me a recipe of the ingredients to make the poultice
for felon or whitlow, as I forgot to ask you when out of
the company of the females, supposing from what Lucinda
said there was something not very nice in it.

Give our respects to your family and relatives, also to
inquiring friends if such you meet and receive to yourself
a liberal portion of my best wishes for your prosperity and
happiness in life, your support and comfort in death, and
your final and everlasting salvation in heaven through the
Redeemer.

Very Truly

William R. Murphey


Notes:  relayed by Ruth Gray.  Wm. R. Murphy married Mary
Frances Phillips, who was a sister to David M. Phillips,
who married Charles Womack's sister Lucinda.  The letters
were all donated to Louisiana Tech. Univ. by the Phillips
family.  Copies have graciously been provided to us for
transcription and study by Ruth Gray, whose husband was a
descendant of Charles Womack.

"William Murphy husband of Lucinda Phillips was a wealthy
planter and businessman.  They had 10 children.  Before the
war he had 30 slaves.  He supported the War effort with
supplies and money.  His house was used as a hospital and a
way station for people visiting wounded soldiers.  His sons
were all involved in the battles in Tennessee.  Three of
his sons were wounded, some severely.  His house was
ransacked by the Union soldiers and everything of value was
taken.  He had 175 bales of cotton burned by the soldiers.
He loaned the confederate government 80,000 dollars.  He
was injured very badly when he was speeding in his buggy
and it upset.  He spent several hours alone before someone
came and helped him.  From than on he was crippled and had
to use crutches which he called his sticks.  He was heavily
in debt at the end of the war, but was working to pay off
the debt.  He sold most of his land, except for 350 acres.
He was doing around $100,000 a year selling produce,
fertilizer, buying and selling cotton."

NOTES:

The letter is written by William R. Murphey to David M.
Phillips, brother-in-law to our Schley County Charles
Womack.  Murphey is believed to be in Monroe County at this
time.  I'm not sure where David Phillips is, probably
Marion Co.  He is supposed to have moved to Louisiana about
1859.  

The Lucinda mentioned is David's wife and sister to Charles
Womack. I know none of the other individuals mentioned
except that I strongly suspect that James is the writer's
son or brother as I have another letter to David Phillips
from an E.J. Murphey.  

I would be pleased to hear it, particularly Owen J. Willis.
He is mentioned in one of Charles Womack's letters about
this same time.  The notes at the end of the letter explain
anthing else that I know that might be helpful.  If I
counted correctly, I have three more of Mr. Murphey' s
letters and one partial, with some loose pages that might
turn into a complete letter.

James M. and Mary Francis (Phillips) White letter ca. 1858

My Dear Brother
 
I have been thinking ever since I received your letter that I
would answer it, but have put it off until the present.  Our
family are all well except our Babe.  She is feeble and has
been for sometime.  Old Mr. Morrison is very low, don't think
he can live but a few days longer.  Mr. White was to see him
yesterday.  He didn't think he could live until this morning.
Mr. Ivey lost a child yesterday with Scarlet fever and has
another one or too (two) they think will die.  The Scarlet
fever is raging all through hear (here).  It is as near us as
Mrs. _ardens.  The examination is going on at Forsyth this weak
(week).  The commencement serment (sermon) was preached
yesterday.  What has Lucinda named her Baby?  Does he keep
well?  Is Billy still going to school?  Tell him he must learn
fast and love to go to school.  Jimmie has vacation this week.
He is very fond of going to school.  I must close as Mr. White
wants to write some.  Give my love to all of your family and
recieve the same .  
 
M.F. White
 
Dear Davy
 
Frank (or Frankie) has left some room for me to write.  I
hardly know what to write.  We are all in tolerable health.
Our crop(s) are fine.  Rather to (too) much rain for cotton but
thing for corn.  Oats are sorry.  Wheat lat__d good.  Gr__ is
as fine (as) I ever saw.  The Scarlet fever is raging about
here, dying every day.  You must write to me and let me know
how you are getting along.  You have not write this year.  How
does the American party come(?) on?  We are getting on finely
up here.  Some of your best friends are in to it and they say
they intend to hold on.  Some say it tis a Whig trick, but I
did not know it for I was carried in by a democrat and I joyned
(joined) with an___.  All of the 3rd District have gone in to
it and Redbone District.  Your friend at Redbone says that it
will stand while its world shines.  He comes out openly.  There
is great excitement up here to much they have commenced
fighting and there be lotts (lots) of it.  Old Mr. Morrison is
nearly dead, looking every hour for him to dye (die).  I will
be down in a few weeks to see you all.  You must have some
watermillians (watermelons) for me to eat.  I had one to day.
Mr. Guirs(?) brought it from town.  There is a good many about
here.  I wil (will) write again soon.   
 
Your brother
 
Jas M White
 
This letter is a little different from the others as it does
not say from where it was written, the content indicates Monroe
County.  There are two writers instead of the usual one.  Also,
there is no date on the photocopy I have.  Here again content
will help us narrow that down.  The letter is written to David
M. Phillips who at the time, I believe would have been in
Marion county.  The biggest question in my mind here is who are
the writers.  The first writer clearly signs M.F. White and
refers to David as brother.  Researchers of the Phillips family
have indicated that David had a sister named Mary Francis.
That fits fine with M.F. but the second portion of this letter
refers to Frankie? leaving room for him to write.  That would
speak to another alledged sister of David named Frankie.  Or,
are they the same person?  Mary Francis, "Frankie" could simply
be a nickname.  To futher compound things, the second writter
looks to have been Jas. M. White.  James M. White married Mary
F. Phillips November 12, 1845 in Monroe county.  It does strike
me a little odd that Francis would refer to her husband as "Mr.
White," but I have known it to happen.  I feel resonably sure
the writers are Mary Francis and James M. White. Here is their
family on the 1850 Monroe census.

page 69 b
1032/1032  James White  28 M Farmer 2000 GA
                 Francis White  22 F
                 James T(?) White  2 M (Jimmie in this letter)
 
The date?  I put this between 1856 and 1860.  Jimmie is old
enough to go to school, so at least 1856.  This is also the
period when the "Know Nothing" party was in it's hey day.
There is some conjecture about fighting, so I suppose it could
be as late as 1861, but on the 1860 Monroe census the school
teacher was living with the Whites so I think it was prior to
that.  Also, the oldest Morrison on the 1860 Monroe was 41,
hardly an old man.  Lastly on the date.  Watermelons were ripe,
so I suspect this was summertime.  My guess?  Summer 1858.
 
1860 Monroe census Crouder's Dist. No. 595  9 June 1860
 
170/168  White, James M.  37 m Farmer 11000  28000 GA(all)
                        Mary F.  32 f
                        James  11 m
                        Lucy  8 f
                        Fannie  6 f
                        Lizzie  4 f
                        Mary A. 10 1/2 f
              Scott, Miss Lizzie  20 f Comm School Teacher
   Westmorland, Nathan  6 m
            Phillips, W.E.  17 m Col. Student ___ 5500
 
In HH 157 is a family of Iveys who have gaps in the children's
ages between 10----6----2.  Before that they are every two
years from 19 to 13?

This was a fun letter to work on.  I invite corrections to my
conclusions and additional information on these families.
Harris Hill harrishill@starband.net.  

This letter written to David Marion Phillips, probably of Marion
Co., from Wm. R. Murphey of Monroe County.  

                                                                                                         At my home,
                                                                                                December 8th, 1858

Mr. D.M. Phillips

Dear Sir and friend,

I am now seated to write you a few (lines) that may interest you,
in the first place  we are well and hope this may reach you and
yours in the enjoyment of the same inestimable blessing, secondly
the mare is getting so she can travel tolerable but a little
drawn and tender about the feet and leadins, thirdly when I got
to town yesterday James, told me that Mr. Ogletiw(?) was refusing
to pay for the Jack--whereupon I saw him he insisted he was not
right, very poor and perhaps diseased, Jim told me that Mr.
Ogletru(?) offered to pay him the money if he would vouch for the
soundness and vigor of the Jack, which Jim refused, I supposed to
do, I told him that I would do it, that I knew you to be an
honest man and would do what was right--he then ____ me to take
him back, saying that he bought him of me ___, which I refused to
do--he however paid me the money with the understanding that I
was to hold on to it until he was satisfied with the Jack--I paid
Jim the freight bill, at his request, it bring $13.00 so you must
hold on until we see, also write me and direct me what you think
of the arrangement.  Ogletres(?) saw Owen, and Benj Collier told
him that he was turned out upon an old dry field and (no)
attention whatever paid him, and upon the whole I am afraid he
will think hard of me in the end, and thats what I was afraid of
is why he would not have anything to do with it (I guess) had I
have known that any such things ____ to pay.  I should have gone
up and seen about it some time since, but Jim did not inform me
until yesterday.

Now David let me advise you not to meddle with that Tan yard,
towards risking anything. Farm a little while and try it, by
turning your whole and undivided attention to it, and I think you
will yet prosper.  From what Jim said I have been afraid you
would open a Tanning business.

Monroe Woolsey(?) has sold out and being right off for Texas,
Property sold very high at town yesterday.  No news of
consequence.  Your cousin at Loachapoka, I learn will marry Berry
Strand's oldest daughter in a few days.  Neighborhood generally
healthy, I have now written three letters and have perhaps two
others to write tonight.  I must close.

Your friend and well wisher.
                                                                                William R. Murphey

At home, April 30th 1859.

Mr. D.M. Phillips:

Dear Sir and friend,

I am much pleased at the reception of yours of the 24th inst. which has just come to hand, and as you are complaining at me for not writing to you oftner, I am now at it in five minutes from the reception of yours, but it strikes me that you have no cause of complaint on that score as I am certain I wrote you since your last was received whether you got it or not.  Your letter reaches us in the enjoyment of good health for which I try to be thankful to the giver of every blessing.  I am much gratified to know that you are well, and doing well, and may Heavens choicest blessings  continue to rest upon you and yours. The connection(s) are all well as far as I know.  Mrs. Floyd was complaining yesterday at Williams--he has lost his baby with whooping cough.  Mr. and Mrs. Huguley are both dead, Mrs. Jordan Lyon is also dead.  Wm. Lockett (who I presume you knew, James Lockett's son) at Macon is dead--a very clever fellow.  No other recent deaths now remembered.  I have but littl!
e news of importance to communicate on.  Our crops are backward(?), stock poor, corn scarce, wheat very poor, health moderate.  I have been trading a good deal, as James says, but it seems that I will have to quit, as but few that I make will stick in peace.  I understand James White is quite uneasy of a trade I made with him some six or eight weeks since.  A horse I sold him at $750.  I considered him one of the best.  I made a trade a few days since and the man is annoying me for a recantation.  I believe they are getting afraid of me and all have something to say of my trades, and I think I must desist.  I have now two fine horses, and three mares and one colt, and if I run with Fouche will soon have two colts as this mare I traded him will soon foal. Jim White has as little judgement of his own as any man I ever saw.  I now think I will not trade with him again.  Ralph Banks cheated Ambrose a few days since out of from 50 to 75$ in a horse trade, he got me some time sinc!
e out of about $25.  I have been cheated this winter about four times badly and no sues(?) to me.  I recanted a mule trade a few days since with Z(?) L. Stroud and I believe I may continue to do it where I make anything and I may sold out to the hard ones.  I have made many trades, the past fall and winter, our children are all at home now for a day or two, they are in good health, and I hope have improved some, John Thomas begins to act very much like a man.  I hope they will do well, I told erastus to write to you and other friends, and will tell the others, Erastus wants to know Charles Womack's address.  Susan speaks of writing to Pep(?) or Elizabeth I should said.  I am pleased to hear that while & other Georgians are well and doing well, should you ever conclude to move out west, I hope it will be an advantageous move.  Mc Hollis has been out to Louisiana this spring, don't like.  Jerry Hollis has bought land out there.   I guess I shall never move west.  I have no lea!
ning that way.  This old place has considerable charms for me.  You must write to me often and occasionally to the boys.  Give my respects to all inquiring friends, give to the relations my kindes(t) regards and especially to your own family for they feel to me like kin and friends and receive to yourself my kindest respects and wishes for the happiness, prosperity and comfort of yourself and yours in life and in death, compassion and resignation, and in, the unending eternity that awaits us, indescribable joy and happiness.  I also ask an interest in the petitions of yourself and consort, to Almighty God, for his mercies, not only upon yourselves and family but upon sinful.  I and mine, I close as I began, your friend.

William R. Murphey

Wm. R. Murphey Letter dated 4 Aug 1861

This letter is from Wm R. Murphey of Monroe Co., Ga. to
David Marion Phillips who by this time would most probably
be in Claiborne Parish, La.  Their relationship is still
being researched, but it is currently believed that David's
sister Lucinda Phillips was a wife to Mr. Murphey.  Wm.
Murphey mentions his sons George, John T., and Erastus J.
I have been able to conclusively identify John T. and
Erastus J. as members of the 3rd Bn. Ga. Inf. with the
ranks of 2nd Lt. and 1st. Sgt., eventually and when it was
merged into the 37th Ga. Inf. in the spring of 1863, John
T. became Capt. of Co. C, and Erastus was promoted to the
field staff as Adjutant.  

George, I'm still working on.
Help is appreciated.  Most of the other individuals
mentioned are found in Wm. Murphy's household on the 1860
Monroe Co. census.  Martin Thomas is his overseer, and
Thomas Floyd's position is not identifed, but he is present
in the household.  Interesting to note is Wm.'s wealth in
this census.  His real estate value was $7500 and his
personal estate value was $105300.  No small amount in this
era.  But remember much of the estate value is probably
slaves which will be valueless by the next census.  Also
breifly mentioned is Charley Womack, writer of many of our
letters on the Schley Co. site.  Wm. Murphey would have
been about age 40 at this writing.  This letter really
moved me, I hope you enjoy.  Harris


This letter is from James H. Hurley of Lumpkin to David Marion Phillips of Claiborne Parish, La.  We are fortunate to have the envelope with this one.  It is addressed to Capt. D.M. Phillips, Co. A (or H), State Mil., Homer, La.  I beleve the J.H. Hurley shown on the "Stewart Greys" may be the same as the writer.  I seek any additonal information on on J.H. Hurley and/or David Marion Phillips.   Harris Hill harrishill@starband.net

Lumpkin  Jan 8, 1861

Mr. D.M. Phillips

Dear Sir,

After some delay, I seat myself for the purpose of answering yours of the 2nd of Dec.  The health of our community is so terribly good;  ___ family is enjoying a reasonable portion of the same.

I was a little confused, upon receiving your letter, for it had been so long since I wrote to you, I supposed my letter was lost, and therfore I didn't expect an answer.  Notwithstanding your delay, I feel thankful to you for complying with my request and I only wish to have an opportunity to compensate you for your trouble.

Concerning the school you wrote about I can say that I am willing to come and take it, provided it is not filled.  There is some doubt about my getting the school.  I wish you to ascertain whether it is filled or not.  If not suggest my name again to the patrons;  and tell them that I expect to start immediately upon receiving an answer from you, "that I can get it."  If anyone wishes to know my age tell them I will soon be 22.  The reason I am so particular about it, I wish to have some way of making expenses while there;  and if I were to miss the school, I do not know what business I would follow.  At this time I am riding agent for the South-west Georgian, a paper published in Lumpkin.

I wish you to ascertain the facts concerning the school; and write to me immediately for I will not know what to do until I get an answer from you.  

I dislike to put you to so much trouble but I hope you will lose nothing by so doing.

I must close my uninteresting scroll for the times are hard and cold the weather.  Give my respects to your family and ____ a portion yourself.  Yours Truly,

J.H. Hurley  


Co. K, 2d Regiment, Ga. Vol. Inf., C.S.A., STEWART GREYS
MUSTER ROLL
COMPANY K, 2d REGIMENT
GEORGIA VOLUNTEER INFANTRY
ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA
C. S. A.
STEWART COUNTY, GEORGIA

"STEWART GREYS"

Hurley, James H.--Private July 17, 1861. Wounded 2d
Manassas, Va. Aug. 30, 1862. Died, wounds and typhoid
pneumonia, Sept. 20, 1862.

 At my humble home, Monroe Co., Ga.
                                                                  Sabbath Morning, August 4th 1861.

D.M. Phillips,

Esteemed Friend,

Yours of the 16th ult. to hand, and I am glad to find that
Providence is still blessing you.  In return I can say we
are well, except myself.  I have been in rather bad health
for some time, but three weeks ago next ___sday evening, I
was thrown from a Buggy, while going at lightning speed,
and very much injured, on the head, left __de, left side of
the neck, (which is yet a serious matter) & right shoulder,
two bones perhaps fractured, and militating against my
writing, but I forget all this when I think of our
country's perils, and too when I must see my boys depart
___esday morning for Lynchburg, Va. If we live, think how
_____ a day this must be, with many a family circle and
hearth(?) storm in this community.  But when I think of our
just (I believe) cause, the fall of the brave Bartow, and
many other ____ring incidents, I am buoyed up to next(?)
the worst, I believe (in) God, of Armies and of right, is
on our side.  O for his spirit to guide us! My boys are
members of the "Holloway Greys" numbering about 80, Andrew
J. White, the Captain, E. __ Bloodworth 1st Lieutenant,
I.T. Murphey 2nd Lieutenant, Thomas Kendal 3rd &  c.
Erastus is a Seargent (and one of the best officers in the
company). They are a crowd of the nicest boys I ever saw
together, from 16 to 30 years except the Capt. John W.
Taylor's son Thomas is a ___ number, and as anxious to go
as any boy you ever saw.  Thomas Floyd is Quartermaster of
the Company, _____ Equip and fix off. J.T.M., E.J.M., T.M.
Floyd, Thomas Floyd, Thomas Martin, my overseer, and my boy
George, five in number.  They are a fine company, the
Governor has called them out.  Sixty companies ahead of
their turn, to fill a special order by Davis.  My shoulder
is getting very tired.  Well David I am giving up my
children (almost the idol of my heart). I am giving up my
money by the hundreds, I intend to give by the thousands,
and whenever I think I can do more good to my country in
the Battle Field than at home, I am ready to leave, putting
my trust in God, and doing my whole duty.

God knows I have no charge against the mos rabid
Secessionist, I love them all, every volunteer feels to me
like my Bro. or son, and what I have is theirs.  We have
won Glorious Victories, but we have in some instances paid
dear for them, the blood of the noblest of the brave.  The
Manassas Victory has caused a Peace propsition in the
Federal Congress to receive forty votes, I think another
such, would cause at 80 to vote yea.

Monroe County has two other companies ready for service.
Capt. John T. Crowders and Pondera, another still making
up.  Most of our people are patriotic and liberal, but a
few are not liberal, I won't say anything of patriotism.
Dewberry, Green, Goodwyn, Lake, Cherry, & a few other
wealthy men of our county, it seems cannot get their "purse
strings" open, but ere long we will open them like Lincoln
intends subjugating the South, if no other way, by force.

The loan to the Government by planters, is being very
liberal in the main.  The "Ouitman Guards" (which no doubt
you have seen accts. of ere this) Suffered immensely, but
all safe except some sickness, none dead.  Thomas Talmage
who was shot in the right shoulder by Daniel E. Hasten, is
not yet dead, but almost perfectly paralized, and has been
all the while since, some think he may get well, but I do
not.  Roddey says if he does, he will (be) useless to
himself-- which you know would be death, or worse.  Capt
Pinckard has been home, left again Friday, carried ten
recriuts, had 8 men fixing, some of the company are yet
here, will leave in a few days.

Our county tolerably healthy.  Crops since the rains have
much improved, and no doubt plenty will be raised for a
living.  James M. White remained overnight with me last
week. His family was well, his health I think a little
improving.  He has been staying at the Springs. Your
neighbor and friends of old, here, are all well so far as I
know.  I am glad to hear from Mr. Womack's family, also
that Charley is in the field, long my he live to fight,
maintain and enjoy his fine privileges.  I forgot to
mention also that, one of John Floyd's sons, the only one
now living (I think), Eugenius, is also a member of the
"H.G."  I have forgotten to say to you that when I was
hurt, I was for hours irrational.  It is a dark page in my
History, and from it I have learned that death momentary is
hardly known.  It is as if it were extinguishing a small
speck by force.  "But after death the judgement."  O Lord
prepare us by the regenerating influences of Thy Holy Sprit
for the judgement!  David, it may be that I shal go to the
wars this fall, I cannot tell what a day may bring forth,
whether or not, _____, I need and crave your prayers, that
I may discharge my whole duty and be prepared for the end.
Pray for my boys, you know them, you know my anxiety for
them, help me all you can, ask all good men and women to
pray for soldiers.  If the prayers of a sinner can benefit
them, God knows they shall have them.  O! May the God of
Washington act as our Commander-in-Cheif, and brings us
through more than consequences in the name of Christ the
Savior of Sinners.  May at all times and under all
circumstances, feel our entire dependance upon Him, and in
a proper spirit, and with hunmbleness of heart, ask and
depend upon Him for a sufficiency of His grace, for we are
taught, that "His Grace is sufficient for us," O God have
mercy on us.

David, I must close, and send this letter to the office as
I try to get news every day now.  In conclusion I must
tender you my most profound and sincere regards.  May the
Spirit from on high rule in and over you and I, may we
discharge our whole duty, putting our trust in Jehovah,
regardless of consequences.  God bless you in your basket &
in your soul, bless your dear companion, your children all
that pertains to you in this life, and at last us all in
Heaven through Christ our Redeemer.

Give my best respects to all my friends, all ___ Southern
men are my brothers, yes ___ thats willing to serve his
country with his money and if need be with his life are
nearer to me than any Bro. of the flesh I have, for they
who are able are ____ doing their duty.  God pity the man
that does not feel to serve his country in some way, for he
neither deserves respect or protection in this Confederacy,
"and none I hope so poor as to stoop to do him reverance."
Such are to be pittied and yet I can hardly refrain from
hatred of such.  May the Lord pardon, and give me a heart
to pity.  To your wife Lucy, best regards, she is bowed
very low, but I trust God will help her.  I close, as you
may believe I'm your friend and fraternal Bro.
 
So, ____ it be, Amen,
                                                                 William R. Murphey

P.S. I don't read over
pardon errors.


This letter is from E(rastus) J. Murphey to David Marion
Phillips.  E.J. Murphey is the son of Wm R. Murphey of Monroe
county, whose letters have been perviously featured.  Eratus
Murphey served the Cofederacy as 1st Sgt., 3rd Bn. Ga. Inf., and
when it was merged into the 37th Ga. Inf., he became a staff
adjutant.  He was born 10 Aug 1842, so he would have been 17 at
the time he wrote this letter.  He died 10 Dec 1925 and is buried
in the Greenwood Cemetery in Barnesville.  The Charley mentioned
is Charles Womack of Schley county.  It is my guess that the
college mentioned would probably be Mercer University as it was
founded in Penfield and later moved to Macon in 1871.  The
American Party referred to here was a short-lived politcal party
also known as the "Know Nothings.  They enjoyed some popularity
in Georgia, but by this time were in decline.  I would appreciate
any additional information that might be supplied about the
persons of places mentioned in this letter.  Harr! is Hill

Penfield, Ga  Oct ?th 1859

Mr. David M. Phillips,

Dear Cousin,

I seat myself with the pleasing opportunity of writing you a few
lines, informing you that I am well, and hope that these few
lines will find you enjoying the same blessing.  I suppose that
it will surprise you to know that we are at Penfield.  After
going home from Forsyth, we concluded to come here;  and landed
here on the twenty ninth day of August, and commenced school on
the first day of Sept., entering the Junior class.  When we
arrived we did not know the first soul in this place, and
therefore, must have been very lonely for two or three days.  But
since I have become acquainted with the boys and professors, I
like the place vary well.  I believe it is one of the prettiest
place for a college, that there is in Georgia;  and also that
this is the best college in Georgia.  The time has passed off
very rapidly since I have been here, because I have been studying
very hard.  All the American candidtes in this county (which is
Green), are elected; and the American candidate for congress in
this district is also elected by 176 majority;  and Akin beat
Brown in this county 524 votes.  Hurrah for old Greene.  But I do
not know that this will take well with you, although I know that
it ought to.  So much for that.  We are now having a very
interesting meeting here.  Fourteen of the students have already
joined, within the last week, and others are expected to join.
The last time that I heard from home, they were all well. When
you see or write to Cousin Charley tell him that if he don't
write to me I will mall him the nest time I see him; and if you
have a chance to see him or to write to him, write to me where he
lives.  So it is getting late, I will close.  I send my love to
you and your family.

Yours truly

E.J. Murphey

Wm. R. Murphey Letter 4-29-1866

This letter gives a glimpse of what life was like in GA after the Civil War.  The war was ended just over a year when this was written.  Each time I transcribe one of these letters, I think it is the best of the lot only to find another best in the next letter.  This one is long.  It was eleven pages and small portions were lost due to the last line of a couple of the pages being cut off in the copying process many years ago.  Even though, it tells quite a story.  I would like to find out who Thomas was.  If anyone out there knows, I'd like to share in your knowledge.  Harris Hill harrishill@starband.net.  


Writer unknown, date unknown, however Thomas M. Floyd died June 14, 1864 in Flewellen Hospital, Barnesville, Ga. as a result of his wounds.  The handwritting on this piece is small and fine.  It's seems to me to be that of a lady.  I suspect this may have been written by his sister Lucy Ann Floyd.  It was amongst the letters of David Marion Phillips of, at this time, Claiborne Parish, La.

For the E. Journal

To the memory of Thomas M. Floyd.
On the 30th of May 1864, Thomas M. Floyd, Sergeant-Major of the 37th Ga. Reg., Gen. Johnson's army, fell mortally wounded by minnie ball in the neck.  He immediately uttered the following remarkable words of consolation to his friends.  "Tell the loved ones, behind, (or at home) that I fell in the service of my country and in a good cause; that if I had ten thousand to spend, I should wish them all in the service of my country.  Tell them, I am not at all excited, that I know the news of my death will be a severe shock to them;  but I am perfectly calm and reconciled.  I am prepared for the change.  I want you all to meet me in heaven; I go in peace.  God's will be done."

The deceased was in his 26th year.  He enlisted Aug, 1861 in Co. E, 3rd Ga. Bat.  He was for years a member of the Baptist church.

It is a feeble tribute of respect, and justice to his memory to state that by his kindness, gallantry and patient heroism, he endeared himself to his entire command.  And that above all, he fully exemplified during life those great principles which sustained him in death.

"The Peace of God which passeth all understanding."  The South and North were in battle arayed, the field was all covered with wounded and dead, ____ ______ _____ __ (cut-off in copying) his friends far away, were spoken by one, ere the spirit had fled.  I am going in peace, tell the loved ones for me, I fell in the cause of my country today;  I'll meet them above, when the soul shall be free.  Oh! tell them to meet me in Heaven I pray.  If thousands of lives were mine to spend, ere I'd suffer those vandals our country to blight;  I freely would risk them, and as freely lend, all to the cause of southern freedom and right.  Proud hero, sublime in thy life and thy death.  Would that our people were all just like thee, prepared as heroes to shout with life's latest breath, we will die with our country or live with her ____.  I am going in peace-how amazing is this!

When the battle is raging--with the last breath of life, that a soul can exclaim, in raptures of bliss, I'm going in peace, in the midst of the strife.  What peace to be found on that bloody field, in the muskets fierce rattle, the cannons loud roar?  None but the peace which a Saviour can yield, and the soul that receives it will sorrow no more.  Through long ages of freedom, quiet and rest, where the trials and troubles of warfare shall cease; that soul with its maker eternally blessed, may forever exclaim "I am going in peace."  How priceless and dear such peace to the heart;  ere the last earthly tie has been riven;  when the trembling soul's just about to depart, from the strifes of the earth, to the peace that in Heaven  (perhaps there is more, this is all I have.)


At the same old Home, Monroe County Georgia
Beautiful Sabbath Morning, April 29th 1866

My Dear Old Friend, D.M. Phillips:

This morning am pleased to be able to say your twice welcome letter by the hand, of Mrs. Collier, was handed me by Lucy before I am from my pillow, when I looked at the backing so certain I was, that it was your handwriting (although I had not for years seen it) that I remarked to Lucy, I think this is from my old friend David M. Phillips, and ordered my spectacles (an article that now I am compelled to make much use of) and without raising my head, broke open and the first thing I saw was D.M. Phillips (this I mean a copy).  I read aloud to my dear Lucy, with all interest and anxiety, and closed up, with my eyes beteared with a feeling of gratitude, at the thought of my old and tried friend, and his dear ones, having under the especial Providence of the Good Lord escaped becoming victims to the most cruel unholy and God dishonoring as well as ruining war, just closed, and in connection with this, that you exhibited a spirit to out live its blighting influences by making eff!
orts to live and enumerating your efforts as well as resources, may you and your dear family be blessed and your efforts crowned with success and the influence thereof diffused through out the country in which you live in this powerful wish of your friend.

I am now to attempt an answer to your letter, excuse the digression, some think my mind injured by the war, and it's consequences, of that I will leave you governed, as I know you will be, by charity, to determine.

When I say that I have not received a letter since the war closed, that is so highly appreciated, you will believe me.  And as you say, "it has been so long since I wrote you, that I hardly know how, or where to commence."  There is so much that has passed, that might either be consigned to the tomb of oblivion, or written in glowing capitals, I sometimes am in doubt which would be the most instructive to those who succeed us, or the most knowing of the most high--but at a veution(?) I will write you.  Thank God, I am able to say, my family is well, all twelve of us, with the wives of J.T. and E.J. included making fourteen.  I am the worst off of any one, and by no means unable to procure a living manual labor.  I am on cruthches, but my lame side and spine I think is strengthening every day from the use of R. R. Relief--and I hope yet to walk without sticks, if not erect.  I have got my foot down so that I touch the ground with some little weight, and is now I think not muc!
h more crooked than yours was, when you commenced walking from your wound in the knee.  My wife is poor but in tolerable health.  John Thomas is married and in merchantile business at Culloden, he married a nice, industrious, domestic lady , the 4th daughter of Jesse Stephens.  He was wounded some half dozen times in the army but not much disabled, except his constiution, he was surrendered Maj. of his command and unusually liked by his men, he is stil moral, and a good looking young man, 5 10 1/2 high, weighing 150 lbs.

Erastus, is married, does not engage in any business this year, his wife the youngest daughter and child Mickelbery Merritt, a beautiful lady of 18 years, he is 23 (J.T. is 26).  He was adjutant of his Reg. when wounded the last time, at Nashville, after which he was never any better, but acted as a scout, against Wilson's raid, while he passed from Thomaston to Macon, lost his horse in Macon, & came very near being killed.  He _____ a part of his left foot.  He was wounded several times slightly, once at Franklin, Tenn. which battle injured our cause more than any fought.  We lost Eleven Brig. Generrals there.  Erastus is still moral, has good sense, 6 feet high in his boots, pretty good looking, well respected, both as a soldier and citizen, quick tempered, but a frank, open hearted, candid, honest boy, a devoted and true friend, but a fearless enemy.  I shall endeavor to start him this fall.

Susan, now "Willie," is unmarried, but may not be so long, very tall, tolerably graceful and good looking, said to be a good performer on piano and sings well, she is warm hearted, and I hope a christian, a member of the Missionary Baptist church--21 years old.

Elizabeth also unmaried, likely will not be longer than fall, from intimation (my children are all respectful and communicative to their mother and myself and seem to confide in us as their best friends and confidents) she is low, a good figure, good looking as common, very quiet, but few words, a devoted christian member of same church, not so good a performer as her sister though considered good on piano.  Really I don't know which is best looking, 19 years old.  

The four named are all graduates.

Erasmus, a heavy set, stout, firm looking boy, good sense, in his 18th year, served say a year in the Tenn. Campaign and surrendered with the army, never wounded, left weighingless than 100 lbs. came back weighing about 130.  He is going to school at Culloden.  He is large for his age, a foot larger than his older bros(?).

Phenetas(?) & Artemas, are boarding at their uncle Archie's(?) and going to school to Mrs. Scott, E___ Cleveland's oldest child and one of the best teachers in Ga.  Melatiah and Priscilla, the two little girls are at home, leaving a little Priscilla, our baby of 5 years old.  No chance for any more.

A.B. Floyd is farming the Hogan place, rented and hiring laborers.  Has fair(?) to do well, as any one who is hiring freedmen.  He begins to show age, his beard is nearly as white as mine, (my hair and beard are nearly white).  He has two nice little boys, and an excellent wife, an intelligent and industrious woman.  Ambrose is farming still, has a few of his old negroes and some others hired, and one of his places occupied by a tenant who is hiring hands.  He has 3 children, all boys, least one not a year old.  He was much oppose to the war, kept out of the army, and except the loss of his negroes & confederate money, lost nothing and although he complains, much, has I think but little reason, comparatively.  He is doing well.

James White managed to keep out of the war, and is doing well, and although he lost his negroes, a large proportion of his worth, yet he comparatively is like Ambrose.  Your friends here are doing quite well generally-comparatively speaking.  A great many of your old acquaintances are dead and a great many of the boys who went to the army are dead.  John Poe is dead.  John Vaughn, Ben High, Ben Rogers, James Lyon, Braxton Bird, Dannie Mabry. Lu.(?) Alexander, Owen Willis, John Thurman, Laverty Persons, Young Stroud, Berry Stroud, and many such have died.  John M. Taylor died in the army also Young Stroud, both members of John Thomas' Co.  Also Thomas Taylor, John's son, was killed in my son's co. a. Chickamauga.  Time would fail me to tell of all that have been killed.  My son buried of his Co. over 100 men, they were mostly from Upson Co.  The Lyons, Collins, and many such families, notwithstanding they were all secessionists, kept out of the army as well(?).  Many men who !
you knew to be wealthy are now poor, some shylocks such as Dewberry, Watkins, Greer, Davis, Ponder, and Sullivan(?), and many such, who care not for suffering humanity, have lost their negroes and some debts, but comparatively they have lost nothing and I would not have their property with their name, heartless demons.  Most people are farming with hired labor, some of the most wealthy on a small scale, while some of the poorest on a large scale and so it goes.  James Lyon's Estate, was not worth $2000.00 when closed out.  His land was all owned by Swift, and the whole estate nearly in Confed.  Good deal of marrying ....{line cut off in copying process}
..... all must come from N. West.  Corn worth 1. 50, bacon 20 c and every necessary higher than before the war.  Sometimes, I sum up things about this.  Our friends are dead, our country, (once happy and prosperous) devastated, our present gloomy, our future dark, and our people devoted to the devil, for our morals badly corrupted.  Its true our property is gone but comparatively thats a small matter.  We have since ___ ____ ceaser had in the county, and quantity of Small Pox, and being constantly spread by freedmen.  Nathan Jones at Culloden dead of it a short time since and many negroes.  Wm. Askin died at Culloden with it during the war.  Wm. Campbell, living at my old place, you know, had a daughter the age of Elizabeth, who died yesterday very suddenly.

Your old friend, (ironically) B. Pye & Son, is doing a good business at Forsyth.  He with many others of like spirits got their hand into the good purse, as commissary for the "so called" and from appearances, did not take it out empty.  Such people, and there is no scarcity of them are doing better than before the war.  I am sorry to say that I think honest are much more scarce, than I was want to believe, but there is ____ and there one, and it does not follow that they are all preachers, and let me here remark, I think Joseph M. White one of the few.  May he live long, prosperous and happy, with .....{again, a portion of a line lost}...... we have not been furnished more than we deserve and Oh that we could profit by our experience (the Christians professing, have perserved so reprehensible a course, during the war that I have no one here to hear preaching from for I had as soon hear the Devil, as a man who was anxious for the disruption, that refused to fight, preach to !
soldiers, feed their families, dress their wounds, or anything of the sort, but on the other hand, were trying all the time to suck the living blood, not only out of the "so called" Government, but out of the soldier, the widow, the orphaned and such were most of the preaching (preachers?) here, and I think that if they were ever called to serve any party, it was the Devil, and worse than all they past on the living of Heaven to do it in).

The yankees burned for me 175 bales of cotton, which cost me from 6 to 18 3/4 c. per lb. in good funds and debt due me before the war, I have $80,000.00 Confederate Securities paid me at par(?) for what was due me in par value currency by these good christian people around here.  The yanks took nearly every thing valuable out of our house, money, etc.  I have some debts due me and most people (I fear) think they ought not to pay those.  Now and then there is an honest man that did not force confed. upon me, & most pay me a little to enable me to live, indeed I have lost more than any man in the section in which I live, so you see my precurssary(?) state, but I am not discouraged, though castdown.  "I'll try again."

I made seventeen trips to the front, looking after soldiers in poorest health, that you ever saw and go on such business voluntarily, I gave $20,000.00 to support of our cause, I gave four good boys as any man, and four of my best negroes.  Thomas, dear boy, had to fall a victim to yankee bullets, and believe me when I tell you and Lucinda, that he was as good a boy as was ever sacrificed.  He esteemed __ his father & his sister, his mother.  We treated him as we did our own.  When I received the telegram of his condition, I immediately got aboard the train, went after and brought him home, and waited on him 13 days and nights, when he breathed his last.  He was shot in the neck, parylised immediately, could never have moved a finger voluntarily, but his mind was clear and active.  He lived a gentleman and a soldier and died as he lived, a christian and is today in Heaven, "where the naked cease from trembling & the weary are at rest."  May we all meet him in that Good count!
ry!  He was Sgt. Major, of the Reg. and had by the war department, upon the recommendation of Maj. {smeared} & Col. Smith, just commissioned Ensign of the Reg.  If I can get a copy, I will send you his obituary.

Feeble as I was, I carried more supplies to the front than any man in Ga., indeed I was devoted to our cause, but I quietly submitted and now only ask .....{last line of page cut off}............every state almost from Ky. south.  Many soldiers and their familes can say for me, wheat is more valuable to me than a shylocks gold.  Though I am poor, I have some pleasant reflections, while some I suppose do not, unless it is in counting their ill gotten Lucre(?).  God pity us all!

I am farming on a small scale, I have 5 negroes hired, two of them are all the time in the house, also we have a nice young white lady in the house.  I have three white boys hired, and I have two families, amounting in no. to 16, living on my place, I feed all.  My wheat is thought to be very good, indeed the best in the county.  I have some corn __ ___.  I am shipping corn from ___ for myself and others.

I had 30 slaves, whose emancipation ocurred.  I trade a little occassionally and have no fear that I will not always have something to eat and wear.  I intend educating my children at all hazards.  I learn from Erastus, Jas. White and others, is poor.  I think most Jas.' old negroes left him.  I think Jacob and family is with Mrs. James Porch, James has been dead nearly ten years.  I have some of my negroes.  They all left Christmas, but did well up to that time.  Most peoples' negroes left.  Say to Henry for me, that he is one of few freedmen that have exhibited some sense in staying at home.

Well David, I am truly glad to hear you say you expect to come to Ga. soon and when you do come, I want to feed you, much of the time you are here for of all of my old friends, there is not one that I would as soon see, as you and yours.  I want to see Lucinda and the children bad, also and I hope yet to have the pleasure of so doing.

Should you receive this scroll, answer it at short notice.  To all enquiring friends remember me.  My regards to Collier, the Maddox family and any others, also especially to J.M. White, R. White, Moreland, Mrs. White, and especially Lucinda, the children and yourself does myself and humble family tender our love, and most heart felt good wishes for your temporal and spiritual welfare.  And as you say, if on earth no more we meet, let us strive, by the help of our Good Lord, in and through his son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to make our "Calling and Election sure" and meet in heaven.  Troubles, turmoils, _____, divisions, animosities, "cruel wars," and all sins, will be seen, felt, and realized, and indulged in no more.  And as ever your friend and fraternal Bro.

                                                                                                    W. R. Murphey

Barnesville Ga.  April 5th 1869

Mr. David M. Phillips,

My Dear Old Friend,

Since the war, I have received one letter from you which I
answered promptly--since which time, not a line have I had from
you.  I have often thought of you and yours, while casting a
thought, upon what now surrounds us, and our surroundings, a
few short years since, and frequently I have thought some
times, when I could spare a leisure moment from my daily
labors, I would write you, but the rush of business, and the
cares of life have so pressed me, that up to this moment, I
have not done so, and perhaps I would not now, but for the
fact, that when I went home Saturday night, who should I find
at my humble domicile but Charles and Elizabeth Womack which
caused my mind to recur to the fact, of those friends who I am
associated with and who were scattered hither & thither, now
some of them still in life and among them a David P. who I have
always esteemed with his family, as not only friends and
neighbors but kinsfolks--and as we talked of him and his dear
Lucinda & little Am! y(?), I determined to write you once more
and let you know that I am yet in the land(?) and among the
living, and try if possible to hear from you. After receiving
this letter you must not fail to answer at once.  And now for
the news.  Myself and family are well, I am crippled for life
but able thank God to work for a living, which I am trying to
do--work here six days out of seven, go home to see my Lucy and
little ones Saturday night.  Return Monday, distance ten miles.
I have in two seasons handled near 2500 bales cotton on which I
have made a little money.  We will sell something like
$100,000.00 a year.  Produce, groceries, machinery and farming
implements. Ambrose & my oldest son John Thomas are with me.  I
guess I do most of the business.  My children are all in
school, who are not grown.  I have two now in college, the
state university, Erasmus & Asmon.  The four youngest go to
school from home.  Erasmus, about the age of your Wm. will
graduate this summer.  Asmo! n commenced his colligate courses
last fall and is head of his class of 40 schollars.  He is
thought to have the best mind of any one (of my) children. John
Thomas, Erastus & Susan are married.  I have two grand
children.  Those of my children who are married are doing I
guess resonable.  I have sold all my land only about 350 acres.
James White and family are well, and doing well, he & his
neighbors trade with us some.  Charles and Elizabeth say the
old gentleman and family are well.  People of your acquaitance
who are living are generally well.  Many things here, if you
could just be picked up and set down here, would astound you.
For instance A(?) Moses Potts, radical, Ordinary and Superior
Court of Monroe Co. & the "biggest-dog" in it, Mahlan Potts, a
"bigger dog" Tax receiver and many such things.  Those who were
wealthy now poor, and those who were once poor, now the wealthy
ones.  Such men as Newman, Dudley Ha_____, the Kings,
Andersen(?) clk.  S.C. Willis Wynn(?)-! -Potts & c. cheek to
joal(jowl?) many such sights.  Time would fail me to tell you,
of all the sad changes.  Archy Floyd, lives at the Hogan place,
doing very well.  Col. Smith married after his wife died, and
died himself, and the widow & the family are lawing(?) over the
little property.

Many men who you and I used to think honest, have proven
themselves scoundrels.  True & honest soldiers who did their
whole duty in the war, many are hardly respectable, while many
scamps & skulks air highly hon___.

We have enough to live on yet, thank the good one--and I feel
to believe that I shall always have.  I am in a great hurry
this morning, and must desist, sufficient to say, we are well,
and all right, may heaven's blessings attend you and yours,
through life, in death, save you safely in Heaven through
Christian Redeemer.

Yours Truly and Fraternally

Wm. R. Murphey


Jane Newton
 
DEATH OF W. R. MURPHY

Tuesday last at 3 o'clock PM Mr. W. R. Murphy died at his home
in Barnesville.  He was one of Barnesville's oldest most honored
and respected citizens.  He was seventy-six years old.  He was a
grand man; was fearless in his denunciation of wrong and a
strong advocate of what was right.  The first half of his life
was spent in this county where he ranked among our best
citizens.  Of him it may be said a good and useful man is gone.

The Monroe Advertiser    August 27, 1895 issue


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