Sunday, March 16, 2008

J.R. Hurley Papers

Several years ago I traveled to VMI's archives in order to take a look at some unpublished letters written by Private J.R. Hurley of the 39th Alabama Infantry. I would like to provide you all with a sampling of one of the letters written by Hurley to his sisters. Before I provide the letter, let me give you a little background on the Hurley's from the 1860 Census for Pike County, Alabama.

Name Age Sex Occupation Real Estate Personal Estate Birth

Freeman B. Hurley /56/ M/ Farmer/ 2400 /2000/ NC
Rhoda /46/ F/ NC
Martha E. /21/ F/ AL
Louisa E. /19 /F /AL
John R. /17/ M /Fr Laborer /AL
Isabel M. /14 /F /AL
Sarah E. /10 /F /AL
Joseph F. /7 /M /AL

Louisa, John, Isabel, Sarah, and Joseph attended school within the last year from the date the census was taken, which was on Sept. 8, 1860.

According to the 1860 Slave Schedule, Freeman B. Hurley owned three slaves
19 yrs. Male Black
14 yrs. Female Black
13 yrs. Male Black

With that, here is the letter:

Shelbyville Tenn Apr. 28, 1863
Dear Sisters
I seat my self to write you a few lines to let you know how I am getting along. I am well at this time. I have bin sick a litle but I have got hearty again now the boys that is here is all well I believe. I have nothing to write that would interest as I have written since I have gotten a letter from you all. We have very nice weather here now and have had for about a month. I wrote home for clothes but we now have drawn as many clothes as we want but I want some shoes my shoes is all most worn out and I dont expect I can draw any. I want papery too send me some by Lieut Wooten when he comes back if he can. We all have drawn money. I only drawed eleven dollars but I recon I will draw two more months wages before long but I dont know where we will go to. Tom Butts got up here last night but I havt seen him yet. He come to the 22 to Hearts Company. Well I cant think of any thing to write. Tell Dick and Charley they must have lots of watermelons for I think I will come home time enough to eat some yet you must not let my pig dy before I get home nor eat up all the Shang highs chickens. You must all write to me as mutch as you can write all of you no and if you dont no nothing write something you dont.
So nothing more at present.
J.R. Hurley
More letters to follow...

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