Civil War Letter From Grandfather Mentions Fort Pillow

Massacre at Fort Pillow a key part of letter to great-aunt, describing actions of the Rebs.
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This is a Civil War letter from my grandfather to his sister.

Camp at Ringgold, Georgia 

May the 3rd, 1864 

Dear Sister: 

I received your letter of April the 23rd and was glad to hear from you all. You may tell Mother she need not be scared about me being vaccinated. I will try and have some Photographs taken as soon as I can. You see there is no place around here where I can have them taken. Them last pens are pretty good ones. They are 9/10 better than the other ones.  

We just came off a 10 mile march yesterday, but I was so weak that they had to haul me part of the way so I did not have a very hard time of it. I had been sick with the bloody flux. 

We expect to get paid off in a few days. We are encamped in a healthier place than we was before, on a hill where we can see the mountains. They are all covered with green trees. They look very pretty. There is any amount of wildflowers around here, more wild honey sweets than anything else. 

We are expecting to have a big fight before long. The Reb pickets are only 3 or 4 miles from here. I suppose you heard about the massacre of Fort Pillow where the Rebs murdered all the prisoners. We have not forgot that yet. When we get to fight we will not take any prisoners either. I expect there won't be any prisoners taken. They will shoot them like dogs, like they did with our men, which will make both sides fight the harder, for they won't surrender for they know they will be shot... 

Thomas (older brother) is well and sends his best respects to all the folks. I know of nothing more to write at present. Give my best respects to all the folks except (sic) the same yourself. 

George H. Harvey  

Robert Harvey
Bartlesville, Oklahoma

Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then CAPPER’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from CAPPER’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community. 



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