1863: Carrie to Dr. Charles Grider Mitchell

Dr. Mitchell’s Headstone

This letter was written by someone named “Carrie” (probably Caroline; otherwise unidentified) to Dr. Charles Grider Mitchell (1817-1894), a 43 year-old physician-farmer from in Tardyville, Pontotoc, Mississippi. Mitchell was a native of Kentucky according to the 1860 Census. Charles was married to Elizabeth Blackwell in Fayette, Tennessee on 21 August 1838 and had 3 sons — Charles, Thompson, and George — before her death. He married again to Sarah Fannie Foreman on Jan 15, 1857. After her death, he married Mary T. P. Blackwell, the widow of Andrew J. Duncan.

This envelope is a so-called “Adversity Cover” since it was fashioned from an old topographic map. Many CSA envelopes were made with recycled paper.

Addressed to Dr. C. G. Mitchell, Macon, Mississippi

Sunnyside [Thomastown, Mississippi]
October 28th 1863

Dr. Mitchell,

I actually did receive a letter from you several days ago & you can imagine how surprised & delighted I was although I know I teased you so much that you were obliged to write in self defense. I am very glad to know that you are still on southern soil. We heard soon after you left here that the Yanks had taken you a prisoner & carried you North. Consequently your friends down here felt some uneasiness in regards to your comfort this winter as it is rather an unpleasant season to visit North.

I am sorry to inform you that the expected concert did not come off. Your widow was quite anxious for it. But some of the old people opposed it. Therefore, it had to be given up.

Miss Maggie Sanders ¹ (I don’t believe you formed her acquaintance) is no more. She & Capt. [John Algernon] Crooker were married last Tuesday at 12 o’clock. We were invited & of course attended. The bride was exceedingly beautiful & the bride groom seemed to be the happiest soul alive. The table was spread out in a very pretty grove & was completely loaded down with every delicacy that the most fastidious could expect & last but not least the girls all had handsome beaux & I think from appearances it won’t be always till we have another wedding. I wish you could have been there. Everything passed off so pleasantly. I know you would have enjoyed it. I think Larne left with a heavy heart as Mr. “Jimmie” White was there & you know he is very fascinating & she very susceptible. I can’t say how it will end, though nothing serious, I hope. Emily is still there. She expects to remain some time as there is a physician in the neighborhood who says he can cure her eyes. Bettie & Belle did not go to the wedding. They were down here a few days since & were well & looking well. Mary sends her love to your roommates ” ____ & Watch.” Martha says she is not particular whether you answer her or not as she succeeded in getting a beau at the wedding & you are a little too slow to suit her.

Bache [?] is teaching again about fourteen miles from home. I don’t expect she will any longer than Christmas.

Mr. Sam Henson a candidate was he? I hope he is elected. Wonder if he is engaged? Do write me all the particulars. You must quit teasing me about him or I might be rash enough to fall in love & you know that wouldn’t pay these war times.

Times are quite dull with us. I can’t account for it. Some say it is in consequence of your absence & I am sorry to inform you that the paper has suspended publication. Strange, isn’t it? We received a letter from Ned a few days since. He was in the three days fight, came out safe all except a slight scratch on the arm. I suppose Lieut. McCullern is dead. Died from a wound in the head. John Atkinson was slightly wounded. ²

Write soon. Your very respectful friend, — Carrie

¹ Margaret (“Maggie”) A. Sanders (1841-1874) was the daughter of Elijah B. Sanders (1808-1876) and Mary (“Polly”) Simpson (1819-18xx) of Pontotoc County, Mississippi. She married John Algernon Crooker (1830-1883). Before the war, Crooker was a railroad engineer from South Carolina who resided in Lauderdale County, Mississippi. After the war, Crocker was the superintendent at a sawmill in Pike County, Mississippi. Later the couple resided in Sallis, Attala County, Mississippi.

² I presume the “three days fight” is a reference to the Battle of Gettysburg. The only John Atkinson from Mississippi that I could find who fought at Gettysburg was John P. Atkinson of Co. F, 42nd Mississippi Infantry.

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