Letters: Riggins - Combest
Published in The Oklahoma Genealogical Society Quarterly
Volume 30, Number 3, 1985
These two letters were written to G.W. Riggins by J.M. Combest,
a doctor with the Union Army during the Civil War.
Submitted by Mrs. John Seguila of Tornillo, Texas
who secured copies from Mrs. Helen V. Dudley of Amarillo, Texas.
Mr. Combest was Mrs. Dudley's paternal grandfather.
Jan. the 21st 1863
Mr. G.W. Riggins
Dear Sir I drop you a few lines to let you know I have not forgotten you. We
are in the camp here. This town is on the bank of the Comberland river some 50
miles below Nashville. We have had peacible possession here about 4 weeks with
exception of a skirmish or two in capturing some (rations?) on the other side
of the river about Sharlot (Charlotte) & some little picket fitting
(fighting). None of our boys got hurt.
All though we are surrounded by dark clouds of war I hope that he who rules the
destiny of nations will hasten this despart war to a close as I think has
lasted long enough. I hope to see the bright sunshine of peace spred over our
land once more & we may all return home to our familys and injoy the peace
& hapiness we have injoid in past days. I would like to see all of my
friends in Casey but I do not know when I will see them.
Ther is a fine boating tide in the river & I guess will be until summer
again. Some two or three weeks ago there was five or six boats started for
Nashville from this place & was captured by the rebels at the Sholes about
20 miles above here. Since then ther was 18 or 20 boats past up to Nashville.
As I have but little time to rite I must come to a close. Give my respects to
all the good people of South Fork. Pleas rite to me if you can spair time.
Direct your letter to Lr. Combest, Clarksville, Tenn 8th Ky Calvery
These few lines leaves me in the best of helth hoping thay find you &
family injoying the same.
March the 15th 1863
Mr. G.W. Riggins
Dear Sir This part of my time being unocupied I avail myself of the opertunity
of wrighting you a few lines to let you know that I have riten two or three
letters to you & have not recieved any answer & I would be glad you
would rite to me if you have time. We moved our camp ground yesterday. We are
now camped in the forks of (the) Comberland & Red River whear we can see
both of these beautiful streams. Ther was about twenty steam boats passed down
the river yesterday. The river is to the top of the banks & our camp ground
is well set in blue grass & is the finest place for a camp I ever saw &
I would be wiling (willing) to stay her(e) the balance of my time. Lieut. N.J.
Smith is well & says he would like to see you but is too lazy to rite. He
says to look for him about the first of May & have a jug of Brandy. This is
a fine place for funn & you may be sure that Lt. Smith & Lt. Richards
has ther shear. Our new Capt. has taken command of the company & we are all
getting along fine with him. The helth of our company is not very good. We only
report 36 men able for duty. None of our company has died since the 1st of Feb.
S.__ Haines(?) died. A.J. Polston(?) got his arm broken about two weeks ago but
is mending. It was done by a fall from his horse. Joseph Poston, James Merit,
J.M. Napier, Robert Watson & A.V. Gragg(?) has deserted since we drawed our
money & they had better return to camp soon or they will be punished
severly & James S. Condiff had better return to camp shortly or he will be
delt with as a deserter.
George I would be glad you could come down & see us. You would be pleased
with your trip I think. I do not think ther is any danger of a fight at this
place for some time. We have to scout twenty or thirty miles to find a rebel
soldier. We have a scout out all the time.
Robert Jones died yesterday. We all regret the loss of him & we miss his
music on the clarinet. I will have to close for our markee is crouded & the
boys is full of funn to night. Thes few lines leave me well hoping to find you
& family well. No more at present but remain yours & c c
Direct your letters to Lieut. Combest, Clarksville, Tenn.
8th Ky Cavelry
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