Old Original County Documents

Van Zandt County Genealogical Society


Many of our Van Zandt County Genealogical Society members and website patrons have submitted scanned copies of their precious old documents to us in order to share them with other researchers. We are placing them on this section of the website and hope that they benefit others. If you have an old original copy of any Van Zandt County document, be it a newspaper article, an original marriage record, an old letter, etc., and would like to submit it to be posted on this page, please Email us, or write to the Van Zandt County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 1388, Canton, TX 75103.


Transcription of Letter from Sarah Payne Blackwell to her mother Elvira Engledow, 1863

transcribed by Joe Engledow of Abilene, TX


Canton, August the ?? , 1863
Dear Mother

It is with aching heart and trembling hand that I attempt to write to you this morning. ? you have ????? berevement tho such things have become so common they are not much talked of these cruel times. After suffering all the miserable anxiety of a soldiers wife for fifteen long months --- alas on the evening of the first of ???? gentleman called on me and told me he had been traveling with Henry on their way home and that Henry was taken down sick in Shelby county and requested him to come and let me know. I started the next morning to go to him thinking ????? to see him once more tho I had but little hopes of his recovery but alas how soon were all my hopes ??? when I got into Shelbyville the morning of the fifth, he had been buried about a half an hour__ he died about twelve oclock the day after I left home after a sickness of seven days __ it is useless for me to try to describe my feelings when I got there and found all my hopes of happiness on earth buried beneath a little mound of clay__ would to God I could forget that day and then to return and meet my little children and tell them they were fatherless ??????? been a ?tter one ???? I have now ???? the very ???? with no eye to ??? save you alone_ he died at a Mr _____ eight miles south east of Shelbyville I have no doubt but he had all the attention that was in their power to give him__ they seem to be as good? People as I ever met ??? he was buried in the Shelbyville I ?? I will have his remains brought home as soon as ???? will adn?? of a removal he was so anxious to get home and I feel like I want him nearer to me I thought it very hard to give up a brother ?? almost his last words to Dr ?ambl were to tell me he was prepared ???? me inHeaven what a consolation to know that even among enemies that God was with him to own and to bless and to receive his happy spirit tho his body lies smoldering inan enemys land I would have written to you ???? taken sick soon after I got back home and I am just getting able t walk about the house again, my lettle Henry had bee ??? low with the fever too. I think it was the trip we took taht caused our sickness I took the two little boys with me the res of my little were all well except ??? she has th sore yees very bad there is a great deal of sickness all about here at this time, tho but ???? death ??? country is good corn as I ever saw, but ??? to me is ???? treasure, since I know no earthly joy tell Jane I received her letter some time ago but have not been able to answer ????? tho she must wait for me to write, Ma I wish you could come and stay with me some, as I am very lonesome tho I don't suppose I will be otherwise truly and faithfully S.P. Blackwell


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