Drew County Letters From The Past

Florence-Drew County Arkansas-February 6, 1895

Dear Brother & Sister and all of the Children, This leaves all as well as comon hope it will find you all the same. I received your letter yesterday and was glad to here from you all once more. I have no nuse to write to you only hard times here, the hardest i ever saw in the way of money. a dime is as hard to get now as a dollar was too years ago. this country is in a bad fix. we had a drouth here last summer and sorry crops and set nothing for it. the Merchants and the Bank at Monticello are closing out a good many farmers taking their Land and Stock. I see some boddy nearly evry day wanting to sell a mule or a horse to satisfi his margage. Too of my neighbors has good mules one offers his for $30 dollars the other one say he will take $50 for his if he can get it. Monticelo is over run with morgaged horses and mules. the farmers were all morgaged to the Merchants and the Bank and made a sorry crop and it did not pay them out and there is no money in the country. I just say to you dont bring your mules here for you cannot sell them and feed is mity scarce and hardt to get here now. You wanted to know if there was a railrode from Srveseport here. there is a road from Monticelo to Monro Louisanna and from there to Srveseport. Our children are all married but two. they are with us yet. our yongest are girls and Larrence is at Tilar Station on the rail road working in a shop. he is a natural mechanick. he can do anything he wants to do. the rest of them live in haring of us. they are all well. my oldest boy Sam married old Squire Richardsons daughter and died and his wife moved with her pa to Williamson County Texas. She had one child by Sam and they call him Sam. Corn Hill is ther post office. she is married again and doing well. July [Julia, his wife] is lively as ever and says if you come back here she will laf at you about passing away. July weights a hundred and fifty pounds and as fat as a giney pig. She will bee 60 years old tomorrow. i am still able to work but not like i did when you saw me last. i have nowbody to help me work but my too girls they hoe and pick cotton. i still work some in the shop if a job sutes me. rumatism works on me at times. i am standing it very well for a runt as mamy use to call me. they all say here that i have done more hard work than ane man in this county. i have not hart from Ala. in fore or five years. i think i will rite back there before long and here what they are doing. i dont see what Peacock thought when he wrote for you to bring your mules here to sell. they all want you to come to see us and i want you to come to see us but dont bring your stock. i have to write with a pencil my hand shakes. i will rite to Parks before long. you must write again. Good by-A.P. Hayes
Written by Amos Pinkney Hayes

Contributed by:
Jann Woodard
December 10, 2001

Friday, March 9, 1911-letter written to, and published by Chester Newspaper, Chester, South Carolina

Elijah Hyatt married Hannah Culp. Their sons were: B. C., David and Elijah. Ben C. Married Livinia Fee and moved with his family to Arkansas in the early fifties of the last century. He did not develop any of the elements of character of a minister of the Gospel while in this country, but I was told he got to be a Baptist preacher in Arkansas. I don't know anything of his family. Elijah died unmarried. David married Julia McFadden. They reared one child, Isaac McFadden Hyatt. He served through the War as a sergeant in Co. A, 17th S. C. V. His wife was Martha J. Edwards. They both died in Lancaster county, only eleven days intervening between their deaths. Their children are Mrs. Julia Turner, Mrs. Margaret Killian, Mrs. Ina Ford, D. H. and Isaac Marmaduke, all living in the Landsford and Fort Lawn sections of the county. Two other children, Mrs. Ammie Edwards and Ed Hyatt are died. Their daughters were Mary and Ruth, twins, Rhoda, Nancy, Julia Ann, Sallie, Susannah, Elizabeth and Sophronia. Mary married Grey Cherry and reared a large family of sons and daughters. Four of their sons were Confederate soldiers, viz., William, Elijah, Lafayette and Columbus. The last named was killed in battle. The other three survived the War, but are all dead. Elijah rose to the captaincy of Co. E, 17th S. C. V. There were two other sons, Pinckney, who went to Texas and Pringle, who died some years after the War. There were four daughters, Martha, Ruth, Nancy, and Julia. Martha married Wm. Porter and after his death went with her children to Arkansas. Ruth married T. W. Roddey and reared a large family of sons and daughters, a number of whom with their families live in the Landsford section of the county. Nancy married Abram Ferguson. She died a few years ago in Lancaster leaving several children. Julia was the wife of S. E. Killian, and at her death left two sons and two daughters, all of whom are married. Ruth Hyatt married Wylie Crook. They reared a family in Arkansas, but I know nothing of them. Rhoda Hyatt married Turner Ferguson and after his death married Ira Ferguson. These men were related, but were not brothers. She reared a large family of sons and daughters. Perry Ferguson, her oldest son, was a gallant soldier in the 6th Regt. S. C. V. and is still living, a prominent citizen of Bethel township in York county. Nancy Hyatt married M. E. Edwards and by this marriage reared three sons and one daughter. W. L. died in Lancaster, Dr. E. H. died in Due West, John L. died in the Hospital for the Insane in Columbia, Mary married Uriah Jordan and reared five sons and two daughters and died some twenty or more years ago. After the death of M. D. Edwards, which occurred in 1839, she married W. Milton Walker. Of this marriage there are two living children, Joseph Walker of Lancaster, and Mrs. Lizzie Kelsey of Fort Lawn. Sallie Hyatt married Jonathan Ferguson. They moved to Arkansas in 1845 and reared their family there; and I know but little of them. After the death of his first wife in Arkansas, he returned to Chester county and married his sis-in-law, Nancy, widow of Milton Walker, who was 74 and he was 76 years old. After a few years she died and he went to the home of one of his daughters and died in Louisiana. Julia Ann Hyatt married Madison Ferguson. They reared one son and three daughters, Calvin, the son, was a member of Co. A 6th S. C. V. and was killed in battle in Virginia in 1864. The daughters all married. Bessie to a Mr. Wilson and went to Arkansas. Sallie to David Simpson and went to Illinois, Mattie to a Mr. Graham and is living a widow in Lancaster. Susannah Hyatt married Thomas L. McFadden. She died in early life, leaving three sons, Elijah, Sameul and Lafayette, all of whom were Confederate soldiers. Elijah survived the War, and died at Richburg some years after the War. The other two were killed in battle. Elizabeth Hyatt married W. W. Jordan. They reared three sons, J. J., D. H., and B. D. The last two are living. J. J. died recently. He married Emily Bradley and they reared a large family of sons and daughters. D. H. is unmarried. B. D. married Lizzie Kelsey, and they have reared two sons and three daughters. His wife is recently died. The daughters of Mrs. Elizabeth Jordan were Mary, Mattie, and Sallie. Mary married Isaac McFadden and died leaving one son, Dr. May McFadden, of Clinton. Mattie married Rhett Kelsey, and after his death married George McKeown. She has no children. Miss Sallie is unmarried. Saphronia Hyatt, the youngest child of Elijah Hannah Hyatt married Marion Ferguson. They reared a large family of sons and daughters, all of whom with their families live in Lancaster county. Marion Ferguson was a member of Co. B 4th Regt. S. C. V. Cavalry and died during the War. His widow afterwards married Jasper Sledge. Of this marriage there were two daughters, both married and living in Lancaster county. The children of Elijah and Hannah Hyatt are all dead, the most of them living to a ripe old age. Mrs. Sledge died in an old age at Fort Lawn some ten years ago. She was the youngest and the last of the twelve children. This was a remarkable family. But one of their children died unmarried, and he lived to mature manhood. All the rest except one daughter lived to old age and reared large families. David Hyatt had but one child, M. Hyatt. Many of the descendants of these old people are among the best citizens of this and other States. The descendants of Elijah Hyatt and Hannah Culp living and dead no doubt will number more than a thousand people. I neglected to mention that all three sons of M. D. Edwards were Confederate soldiers. How many of the grand-sons in the West were in the Confederate Army I do not know, but I do know that all of them in this county who were old enough served in that War. J. and M. E. Jordan and Joseph Walker, who were boys, served the last year of the War. There was another branch of the Hyatt family in Lancaster county. They descend from David Hyatt, a brother of Elijah. There was another family of the same name in the Western section of Chester county, but I do not know what relationship if any existed between them and Elijah Hyatt.
Written by W. H. Edwards
Chester Newspaper, Chester, South Carolina Friday, March 9, 1911:

Contributed by:
Jann Woodard
December 10, 2001

May the 15th 1893

(0n page #1)

Mr. Frier & Cousin martha (Martha) and family dear cousans (Cousins) i (I) will write you all a few lines more Friar I received your letter the 15th and was glad.to here from you all but was sorrow ( sorry) to hear of you getting cripled (crippled) Friar I have put on a new pen so I can write you the general news I am coming out there this fall and we will hav (have) a good time I am going to bring a little change with me Well Friar this leaves us all well at present and I hope it will find you all the same. Friar you wanted to no (know)what Clod Moss and Henry Meredith fell out about Here is the way of it Charly (Charley) Mc Dermit has got a little old store at Jesy (Jesse) Millard Mill and Clod Moss Moss and Henry Meredith & Sim Moore and two or three more was in the store drinking bitters a little after dark and Hank and Sim Moore had a few words beteen (between) each other and Clod Moss took up for Sim. Clod struck at Hank with his knife but did not hurt him then Charly (Charley) Mcdermit caught Clod and held him and Hank picked up his gun and started home. then Charly (Charley McDermit) turned Clod Moss a loose
(Page #2 ) 
and Clod rushed on to Hank and both of them went out of doors fightinging (fighting) . Sim Moore and Tom Meredith went out after Hank and Clod and Sim Moore caught Hanks gun and while Sim and Hank was tusstling over the gun then (that) was when Clod cut Hank so bad Tom Meredith would have killed Sim Moore but just as Tom pulled the triger (trigger) Rush Woods throwed his finger under the hammer of the Winchester You see Tom and Hank had been squirrel Hunting that day and come back by the store Tom had a 38 Winchester and Hank had a breech loading shot gun After Hank was cut tell (til) he fell then Sim and Clod Moss took Toms gun away from him Clod Moss then went and got a horse from Will Chavers and rode back to the store and rode up to the doore (door) and Tom was sitting there over his ded (dead) brother Hank he jumped up and shot Clod Moss with both barrels but did not hurt him hit the horse that Clod was on everyone was gone when Clod come (came) back but Tom and he was sitting there over his ded (dead) brother after Hank was cut he finly (finely) got back in the house but did not live but a few minits (minutes) he mostly bled to deth (death) one of his Juglers (jugulars) vain was cut in too Well Friar hoping I will see you some time and tell you all about it Uncle Jim Meredith is sick now when he gets well he is going to put out a reward for Clod Moss then will write you again and you can make a stake by cathing ( catching) him.
(Page #3)
Well Friar when I come to see you all then I will tell all about it. You wanted to no (know) about the wheel store McHowell has bought out the wheel store owns it by himself now he don't keep much on hand in it George Roberts is still in his old store at Lacy (Lacey)Jene (Gene) Zackry (Zackery or Zackrey)is selling goods in the old Killion grocery at Lacy (Lacey) old man Mcdonnel has got him a little store at Lacy (Lacey) that is all I beleieve. D.R.Hames wife ded (died) she dide (died) last summer with slow fever Ham is still in lacy (Lacey) old man bob redy (Bob Redy) is ded (dead) he died too (two) weeks ago with prumormia (pneumonia) Albert Mcavee is ded (dead) died last summer with bowel complaint Tom Lewis is ded (dead) died last summer with brain fever miss lewis is still running her little store Old man afallen (?) is ded (dead) died last winter with pnumonia (pneumonia) Jeff hayns (Haynes) is ded ( dead) george (George) wells (Wells) killed him last summer was a year ago killed Jeff in monticllo (Monticello) while Jeff was marshell (marshall) in town old Judge hays is ded (dead) died last fall and bob (Bob) Baker killed ? Hayns (Haynes) haven't never caught bob (Bob) yet Jim Fally married Hellen (Helen) Spencer and she died with cancer on her brest (breast) last fall old billy (Billy) woods (Woods) dide (died) with his cancer Friar uncle (Uncle) meredith (Meredith ) is living on his priarie (prairie) place and hub (Hub) adcock (Adcock) is living on his old place hank (Hank) was living on the place he got from you when he got killed frank( Frank ) fergason (Ferguson) you now (know) got wasons (Watson or Wilson) land frank (Frank) is did (dead)died two years ago turn over
Page #4

Friar brother Jims wife you no (know) married old man lee (Lee) he is ded (dead) he died two months ago with slow fever Frank fergason ( Ferguson) wider (widow) married another man in lincoln (Lincoln )county by the name of Mirstha are living whare (where) frank (Frank lived when he got killed Friar uncle (Uncle merideth (Meredith) was on the bayoh (Bayou) when hank (Hank) got killed and tha (they) kept Hank out of the ground four days wating (waiting) for uncle (Uncle ) meredith (Meriedith ) to come home but he didn't get back in time to see Hank it liked to killed old uncle Uncle) Jim when he got back he has bin (been) sick evry (every) sence (since) and very bad but is geting (getting) better now he says he is going to hav (have) Clod moss (Moss) Friar uncle (Uncle) meredith (Meredith) is going to put out a reward soon as he gets well and of course the govaner (governor) will double it but cannot tell in this letter how much it will be but you can make it if you will try i (I) will tell you in the next letter what county Clod come from in Texas and i (I) expict (expect) he is there and you can get the Sharreff (Sheriff) there and ketch (catch) him easy he is a darring (daring) raskal (raskel) ubet (you bet) i (I) wish i (I) could bin (been there to help Hank in the fight it will rub Sim mighty clost (close) to get out of it some people thinks (think) Sim moore (Moore) helped Clod to kill hank (Hank) but it was dark you no (KNOW) and tha (they ) believe Sim helped Clod tha (they) berried (Buried) hank (Hank) at the old family grave yard i (I) am farmiing on the pery ( Perry) place this year well Friar dear old friends goods (good) by to you all write soone (soon) and i (I) will acer (answer) the letter
Writen (Written) by your friend John monroe (Monroe) Deal Lacy (Lacey) Drew Co. Ark

Note: By Roe Deal is written at the top of page 4. Apparently because he had run out of space.
A picture is located HERE

Note: This has been transcribed to the best of my ability, all corrections are in ( ).
If you recognize a name or mistake please let me know.

Note: The copy of the orginal letter was sent to me by my cousin, Karen Cotter in Fa..

Contributed by:
April 9, 2000

The following is a letter from James Riley Touchstone to Manervia Gray.  The spelling is left unchanged from the original, but some punctuation has been added to make it easier to read.

Mrs. Manervia Gray
Greenmount Po
Drew County

Bournsvill, Miss March 26, 1862

Dear sister, I brace this present oppertunity for the pirpis of riting you a few lines to let you no that I am infoying good helth at this time. Hoping these few lines will find you and famly aul infoying the same

blessing and also Dempsey and his famly.  Well Manervia, I have nothing of much importence to rite to

 you.  I rote Dempsey a leter afew days sence, but I don't no whether he will git het or not. So now I will drop

 you afew lines which I think you will git.  Well, we ar now at Burnsvill, Tishamingo County, Miss but I don't

 no how long we will stay here.  We have got orders to keep two days rashen cucked aul the time, and I

 supose the yankes is marchen on Corinth, which is about ten miles from this place.  They ar cuting out a

 rode to that plase, so if they attact that plase we will be in the batle, but I an't attaul friten to go into abatle

 for I don't think the yankes can hit me no how, and I have got asplended musket and I can use hit as well as enybody.  So I expect to git sum of them if I git in abatle.  I understood yestarday that our men captured six

 peces of artilary from the yankes at Corinth.
     Well sister, Jenril Boin has just ben here sence I comence this leter and made a spech to our Comision

 oficers and ses that their is no dout but we will be in to abatle sun.  So when you hear from me again, you

 may expect to hear from my being in to abatle.  Our brigade is composed of four regt and two batris.  The

 Regt in this brigade is one Miss Regt and one Misoury and the tenth and ninth Arks Regts.  I think they ar

 aul fiting stock.
     Well sister, I am so sory to tel you that James Gill is ded. Died afew days sence.  And also Thomas

 Rogers is ded, and I recken John Hudshon is ded as we han't herd from him sence we left him sick be tween

 Nashville and Bolinggreen.
     Marin Whitecar was taken prisner by the yankes at Bolinggreen.  It is in the papers.  The paper ses he is

 in good helth.  I think he is aul they got out of this regt.  Well, we have seen avary hard time sence we left Bolinggreen.  We ar driling four ours aday now, mosly scrunis driling.  Well Alen and severel of our boys

 has got back in Country again.  They ar aul well.  Jack is also here.  Spers and four or five of our boys is at

 Atlanter Gorgia yet.
     Well, tell Miss J F Thomas that I will ancer her leter as sun as I can.  I han' got eny papor nor I can't git

 eny here.  I will rite as often as I can, and I want you to do the same.  Tell Dempsey their is nothing to

hender him from riting once aweek and I would be glad to here from him sum time.  Give my love to

 P...nelia(hole in paper) and tel her I would be glad to git aleter from her.  Tell Marthia An and Dick and sis

 and Henry and aul of the rest of the children houdy for me and tel them that I want to see them aul very bad.
     Well, I must close for want of rume.  Rite sum.  Remain yours truly.
Goodby, J. R. Touchstone to Manervia Gray.


Driect your leters to
Bournsvill, Miss

I have got the socks you sent me by Thomas.  I was flad to git.  J. R.

May 25, 2000


The letter is addressed to: Mrs. Jane Wilson

Brownsville, Gaines County


It also says: Dry Ridge, Arks


December 19, 1849


Dear Wife I regret that I have not had before this time a suitable opportunity of addressing you a line. When I was at Lake Providence it was raining all the time and after passing the opportunity of writing became worse instead of better untill the present time. Since I saw you we have seen all trouble that we could immagine. The rains set before we left the Lake P--ce and we have been in mud and water nearly ever since. We ware some 2 or 3 weeks on going 20 or 30 miles. We cut about 8 or 10 miles road in the swamp. There being a space of 20 miles that there was no house we could only obtain a scanty supply for our selves and teams from this and the severe cold. We lost our gray mare and one or two others like to die. We, however have got within some 4 or 5 miles of the hills and have stayed at a house to recruit our stock a few days on the West bank of Byo Betholomew. I left them there last Sunday morning to take a little look round at the country. I have not yet got any place. Last night I dreamed a very bad dream about Mary which has rendered me quite uneasey and I should have endeavered to get back to camp tonight, but my horse is scarsely able to travel and will take me till tomorrow night to get there a distance of 20 to 25 miles. Though I see some Moneers tonight who past our camp yesterday evening and says all was well then. This Wednesday 8 or 9 oclock at night, I write at a Mr. Thomas Denson in the upper part of Ashley County, Arkansas about 3 miles from the Drew Co. line. I expect when I return to camp � (I got a little house for my folks to stay in until I return) to try to bring my waggons forward though the road is very bad and water up so that we will necessarily make poore progress. I have not got my place yet but I do not think we can get as far as we expected and therefore must stop soon whither we are suited or not. I do not know when I can come for you but as soon as I get a place to stay. I must come by water and railroad. I could write much more but must close for the present. We have had some affliction. The children stood the trip better than one could have expected unless they have been sick since I left.

Yours truly & I am

A.P. Wilson

To Mrs. Jane Wilson

P.S. Give my respects to Mr. Walker and wife.

A. P. W.

P. S. Write to Rough & Ready

Drew County, Arkansas



Note: I have added punctuation and capitalization to make it easier to read. I have spelled the words as written. Abel Pennington Wilson and his family left Monticello, Georgia in 1849 to move to Arkansas. For some reason, he apparently left his wife, Elizabeth Jane Morgan Wilson, in Mississippi. He settled, about 1 � miles from Rough and Ready on what is now the Old Troy Road.

Contributed by:
Harry Keith Wilson
August,24  2000



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