Letter 29               

                                  Westport, Jackson, Mo March the 21,1861

                 My Dear Mothe
r (1)

Once more I am permited to write you lines. Our health is good at this time with the exception of myself, I have had pneuralgia
(2) in my head for near two weeks. I am suffering so mutch with it at this time that I can scarcely write. The health of the people in this neighborhood is good as far as I know. Aunt Mary (3) was to see me Monday and spent the day. This is the second letter I have writen since I received one but I entered writing every chance I have for I know not how long I will have the pleasure of sending or receiving letters and it is hard enough to be parted and hear from each other once and a while. It will be a great deal worse if we never hear at all for if the Union does Split (4) in was the mails will be apt to be Stoped from Slave to free states, (for a while at least) and at present their is very small prospect of the States ever uniting again or Disolveing in peace. Misouria (5) seems Slow (6) in deciding in what she is going to do. It makes times hard hear but I supose that is the case everywhere. It will go pretty hard with the fraitor (7) for the way times is now it will be very uncertain about geting any frait. They got the frait last Spring for two years but it is generaly thought that the contract will be relet (8).
      People is fixing about putting in their crops. We have had a very cold winter, more Snow than I ever remember of seeing in one winter. I heard from Mr Rolands
(9) last week, they were all well. The friends was all well on high Blue (10) excepting Sister Martha (11), she was very sick. I have not been up their since last faul. I wrote to you about three weeks I wrote to you about being confined. I was sick the 26 of January, my Babe was a girl, it did not live but one week, it was afflicted when it was born. Their was more than the width of my hand of the Small of its back that had no back Bone. Their was a kind of blader growing over the place which was opened twice before it dide. When it was opened their was a halow clear into its body. It had no use of its legs at all. The Dr said he never saw a child afflicted so before. It was the pretest child I ever saw. It suffered a great deal, it had Spasm a day and night before it dide.
       Mother I have nothing of interest to write but I thought I would write a few lines anyhow. Mother I think a great deal about you, write as often as you can. Write where Brother John
(12) is, I have Dreamed so mutch about him lately it makes me uneasy. I think that he might write to me. I got a letter from Eliza Dickerson (13) a few days ago, they were all well. Give my love to my Brothers so no more at present as I am in a hurry. So fare well from your ever loving Daughter
                                                                        Margaret J. Hays

E. E. Watts


Letter 30

                                                 Westport  Jackson Mo.  April the 15/61

       Dear Mother(14)

Once more I am permited to write a few lines, it has been some three weeks since I wrote you. Since that time I have received one letter from you, you may be sure that it was a very welcom one. We are all well at this time and all the connexion(15) as far as I know. We have a very favorable Spring for farming, plenty of rain. It has to wet to plow for over a week. I never knew what a blessing rain was untill last Season. Their is a great many that has their corn in, gardens look nice. I have over hundred and fifty chickens, some 25 or 30 hens setting. Last year I had over a thousand chickens but the rats caught a great many. I have my hen house rat proof now.

       Political afares is going worse(16). Last Saturday the Sesession flag was raised at Independence They thought that they would have a pretty warm time but their was so many that met for Secession that the republicans was afraid to undertake to do anything. Next Saturday they rais the flag at Kansas City. The republicans is strongest their but their will be plenty of help their. They intend putting it up at all hasards. It is the general belief that Kansas State will go with Mo if she secedes. Old James Lane(17) says he made Kansas a free state but if Mo Secedes he will make it a Slave State.

       The government frait has been relet, it was Majors(18) only chance of getting back his property. Now the frait has been relet he is left without anything but thousands of dollars in Debt. He has a very extravigent family, it will go hard with him to come down. The rest of government fraiters will not lose mutch, but will not make anything by their fraiting last year without they get enough of frait to clear expenses this year.

       Mr Roland(19) and Mrs Lowery Staid with me all night some two weeks ago. Letty(20) and the Children was well. Bunion(21) was with his father, he is grown, he looks a great deal like Brother John(22) . Yesterday Betty Bryant(23) was to see me and her brother Will Lobb(24).  Jemmy(25) is in Pikes Peak. She came after Betty(26) to go and Stay with her a few weeks. She begged so hard for her I had to let her go. She had me to put in her nice clothes, she says she is goin to carry her around, show her. She is a very pretty child, she is a great favorite with ever person. Mary Cunningham(27) is going to St Josephs(28) in about two weeks and visit. She sends her love to you. Mr Hays(29) is plowing today, he does not know that I am writing or he would send some word. Give my love to my Brothers, write often, tell them to write and Brother John where is his post office, he mite rite to me. I must come to a close, give my love to Mrs Leary if you are still living with her. So fare well Dear Mother from your every loving Daughter

                                          Margaret J. Hays


Letter 31


                    Westport  Jackson Co.  Mo.  May the 11/61

       Dear Mother(30)

Once more I am permitted to write you a few lines. It has been about three weeks since I wrote to you. I have not received any letter since. We are all well at this time, the health of the neighborhood is also very good. People is greatly encureged by our early Spring. We have the finest prospect for crops I remember of seeing in a great many years. Crops is all in, we are plowing our corn over for the first time. It is thought their is more corn planted in Jackson County than ever was before in one season. Their is a fine prospect for fruit.

       People is greatly excited on acount of the State affairs, We have three cumpanes(31) made up in Kansas City, one making up in Westport, one over Blue(32). The people seems more excited over that way than is in our neighborhood. Jackson Co. and Clay has taken posession of the Liberty Arsenal(33) one night last week. The Independence company(34) came up to Kansas and took possession of the governmen Arms that was landed their to be taken to the troops in Mexico(35).

       Jesse Berry was all through the territory(36) last week. He says that at ever little town they had their companeys(37) made up and out mustering ever night. Their has also been six hundred troops(38) order in from some of the fourts out on the roads to leavenworth. I do not aprehend any danger untill the State Secedes, which I think will do very soon for Secession seems to be the prevailing feeling now. I think that when does go out, then will be the time Kansas territory will try to get revenge on Jackson and the Bordering States. But let them come, the Battle is not to the Strong Alone, but the vigelen(39), the Active and the Brave, Such I look upon our Suthern men. I believe they are in the right, then will not our father the great God of the universe be on our Side. How is times their(40). Is their many people in favor of the South.

       Mother last Monday Uncle Dick(41) was to Start for California. I did not get to see him. Aunt Mary(42) has got so she can be up some, she was sick the last time I wrote you. Her health has been very bad all winter. The acquaintences was all well on Blue the last time I heard from them. Leek Moore(43) staid all night with us one night last week. he said that Tommy(44) was going to stay at home this summer. Jemmy Lobb(45) has got home from Pikes Peak. he had been out their about eight months. He came to see me the morning after he got in, he is talking about going back to California.

       The children is all well and growing very fast. John(46) is not going to school this summer, he is a great deal of healp at home. He is very anxious to plow but he is rather two small but their was none of them that could beat him droping corn(47). He kept up with the plow all the time, his Pa gave him a dime a day. He never would own that he was the least bit tired as long as their was any corn to drop.

       Mrs Cunningham(48) has gone to St Joseph, she went on a visit. Mr Hays(49) does not know wheth he will get frait or not. Majors(50) crontract was relet but Mr Hays company was to get their frait but since the guns has been taken at Kansas(51), those governmen guns, it is thought very doubtful whether they will get the frait or not. Their oxen has got in from the mountains, they look very fine. It cost them about half what it would if they had have had them wintered in the States. Mother write often, I must bring my letter to a close by sending my love to my Brothers and receive a large portion for yourself from your ever loving Daughter

                                               Margaret J. Hays

ps the Blacks(52) is all well.  Excuse my bad writing my pen is very bad.


[Written on the back of the letter] Deare Sir please send me the money you owe me i stand much in need of it the amount $15. Send it by the Stage Driver you will oblige your

Mr Umpry                                 Frend   E. E. Watts


Letter 32


                               Westport Jackson Co. Mo. June the 6/61

       Dear Mother(53)

Once more I am permitted to write you a few lines, the health of our family is good at this time. I received a letter from you a few days since. I was very glad to hear from you all for it had been a long time since I had heard from any of you. Times is as bout as usual hear. Still a fine prospect for crops, blessed with plenty of rain. We have had some very cool wether this Spring but few mornings but what we had needed fire in our room. Health is very good through the country. Still a great excitement through the Cuntry, some of the people for secession, some still for the union. Mo. has not been prepared for to Secede, she is getting better prepared now. It is thought that Mo. will have to fite her way out. Their is companes formed in nearly ever neighborhood. Our govener(54) has ordered the name of all in Mo.(of the men) over 18 and under 50 to be taken. All able boded men that will do to serve in the military service(55). Thomas Yocum(56) was one that was appointed to take the names, he was hear yesterday, he staid with me Sunday night. He has been staying on Blue at Cleats(57) this Spring breaking perraia. He expected to build this Spring but times being so uncertain that he has give it out. Bill Youn(58) is doing no good. Jane(59) is sick nearly all the time. Bill to lasy to work. They have two children(60), the youngest a Daughter near two months old. Tommy was at Mr Rolands(61) last week, they were all well. I did not hear what his politiks was. He has taken no part with either side that I know of. People is more excited out their than you would supose they would be. They have a company in ever district but the worst is they are black Republicans, that is the largest part of them. I do not fear but what Mo will yet come through all right. They were looking yesterday at Fort Smith(62) for 4000 troops (from Texas and Arkensas) to help arm Mo. The Cheerocees(63) is prepairing as fast as they can to clean out Kansas territory. You know they are a brave tribe. They have allready sent one company down South. They own a great many Negros. The Abolishinest has stolen a great many from them. The Shanees(64) is down on the people in the territory, the theives and cutthroats that the north sent their to make it a free state has taken all their ponies and horses. I do not suffer mutch with fear, I never slept sounder in my life. People is taken their Negros off in drooves to Texas, a great many running off. Coffee Rice(65) started off with about fifty last week, some his own, some other peoples that he is carrin off.

       Uncle Dick(66) did not go to California. I heard from the Caliway Connexion last week. They were all well, the rest of the connexion is all well as far as I know. Mrs Cunningham(67) is still in St Joseph. The Children is all well and grows very fast, John or Betty(68) is not going to school as we have none. Tell my Brothers to write, write where Brother John(69) is, I think that he mite write to me. Give my love to them all and also to Mrs Learys family. Write as often as you can. So Fare well from your loving Daughter

                                                      Margaret J. Hays

E. E. Watts

ps the Blacks(70) all send howdy to you. They all seem to rejoice a great deal over a letter that I get from you. Write a letter to Aunt Nancy and put it in one that you write to me. It will please her a great deal.


Letter 33

                                     Westport Mo.  Sept the 26/61

                Dear Mother(71)


Once more I am permitted to write you a few lines. I received one letter from you Since I wrote last, would have answered it sooner but for the last three or four weeks we have had so mutch excitement that I did not feel like I could write. For several weeks we have been expecting to be attacked by the Jayhawkers, looking ever hour for them. Have excaped so far. They have been all round us at our nearest neighbors not over half a mile from us. Took all their clothing, bed clothes, their horses they had sent off. Shot at the old man five times but missed him. Started off with four of the Negros when they got after the old man they set the Negros down, told them to stay in the brush untill they got their Master. The negros thought they would go to the house and plunder some more. When they got to the house some of our men hapened to Stop in their. They took the negros and hid them out untill they could get a wagon to send them further South. Their is but few negros in the country now what the Jayhawkers has not stole, people has taken south.

     Great many families mooving from hear. Uncle Jemmys(72) family has gone, I do not know where to, Dr Penalton(73), a good many more from this neighborhood, some twelve of fifteen families from high Blue. Cousin Dick(74) has gone, all that could get away. They have had a company of men Stationed up their of a hundred men for the last month. They had a company(75) of men at Moristown(76), near where Uncle Dick(77) lives, a little town they built, at the Doland School house they had about a hundred men. One morning last week they were attacked by a company of Jayhawkers(78) of several hundred, they were fired of with canon, wounding two of our men. Our men was but little ways from the brush, they made their way to the brush and fought them in the brush untill they killed about 40 of the Jayhawkers. We lost none during the fight. Their was five men that was sent to Moristown from the High Blue Company(79). They were sent on some buissness, they happened to get in the rong camp. They were taken prisinors, made to dig their own grave then get into them, then Shot them, that is 4 of them, one excaped. I heard yesterday one was Bob Hamelton(80), another was a secon cousin of Uncle Jems.

     Uncle Dick was in the fight, also the boys(81). The Captain of the company says they are two of the bravest boys he ever saw, that was the 4 or 5 battle they have been in, one at Cartherage(82), my Husband(83) was in that one, one at Springfield(84), we lost their, one thousand Killed and wounded the enemy upwards of three thousand. They came in on our men unexpectedly, they were cookin and eating their brekfast but for all that we cut them all to peaces, got a great many arms and prisinors but turned them loose soon after they were taken with the remark that they had rather fight them than feed them. Our men marched of to Fourt Scot(85) or did not get their untill they were met by the enemy. They whiped them out their then marched on to Lexington(86), fought three days without mutch loss eathe side. We lost one hundred men killed and wounded. The federal loss was about five hundred killed and wounded. We took them all prisinors, got all of their arms, provisions, some eight or 9 hundred horses Sadled and holstered, got a large quantity of provision and aminition. Their was a large boatload of provisions coming up the river for the federal troops. Our men Stoped it and unloaded it, consisted mostly of Sugar and coffee, what our men needed worst. Our ports has been Blockeded(87) so we could not receive anything from below during the fight for Lexington(88). Their was 15 hundred federal troops our men heard of across the river. Their was a company of men Started over after them, they chassed them a long ways, would have got them if they had not burned a bridge. They had to go in such a hurry they left all their wagons behind which fell in the hands of our men. A great many of our neighbors was their, all got back safe, nearly all of our connexion was from Caliway(89). Uncle Bob(90) Captain of one of the companes, Uncle Calup(91) two sons and Eds(92) son. Uncle Johns(93) sons is all as black as old Lincon(94) himself, two has ofices in the federal army. Tommy(95) is now with the army. We are looking every day for a regment up hear to clean out Kansas City. It is thought their will be a big battle their. They are well fortified, been fixing for a battle for a long time. Our men will never undertake to whip them out but what they will do it. Our men is fighting for liberty, theirs for pay. I am sorry to tell you that George Roland(96) Still holds to black Republicanism. I have not saw him but several of his neighbors told me that he was one of the strongest union men their was in Cass county. Quill Davis(97) and the Burneys(98) is so black they have left their homes and gone to the teritory (Kansas) to the Jayhawkers for protection. Cass Co. has turned out a great many Robbers, about the worst company of men we have for Robing at Kansas is the Cass Co. Jay Hawkers(99). Uncle Jemmy(100) is acquainted with some thirty or 40 of them, was looked upon once as one of clever men. Now these men looks upon going to a Secessionest house with wagons and loading everthing they can find, negros and everthing else, as right. They dont think it is Stealing. Two of the Cass companeys has preachers for the Captains(101). I have had  some of my best things hid out for over a month. The men fears to sleep in their houses, my Husband(102) slept in his house last night, the first night for over a month. Two of Uncle Jemmys negros run off the morning he left home. Reason(103) and John(104) Steves brother John has since came back. Rease(105) (negro) has left Kansas and gone to the territory(106). They will not be apt to get him. Their was some twelve or fifteen negros run off from this neighborhood about two weeks ago. Some of them has since come back.  none of ours has gone yet(107).

I must bring my letter to a close. Mother you see by this date it is my birthday. I knew you would be thinking about me so I thought I would write to you. Give my love to my Brothers, I will write again as soon as it is decided what will be done at Kansas City. Dont let the times hear trobble you more than you possibley can help. I have got uste to the trobbles hear.  I have got so hardened to the times that their is but little excites me or causes me to fear mutch. Mrs Cunningham(108) is with me, she sends her love to you. The children talkes a great deal about grand Ma. They have sore eyes very bad now, last week Betty(109) was entirely blind. She can see to get about now. Write often so fare well Dear Mother from your ever loving Daughter

                                                            Margaret J.(110)

ps fear to sighn my full name for fear the letter will be inspected and cause my Husband to be in more danger.

your Daughter



Letter 34


                                                                             Nov the 12/61

              Dear Mother(111)

Once more I am permitted to write you a few lines.  When I wrote last our country was full of excitement, times gets worse in Stead of better. After our men took Lexington, Price(112) promised to send us a company of men up hear but he thought it best to Start South again as McCullow(113) was coming from Arkensaw with some fine cannons, Amunition and Clothing. he feared he did not have men enough to bring them safe. He thought it best to go and meet him. Fremont(114) with about thirty thousand men has been following after him. When Price gets him out far enough he will give him what he gave them at carthriage(115) and Springfeild(116).

       We have a band of Jayhawkers at Kansas City and the territory that has been robbing ever person; our neighbors had suffered a great deal by them. One of our neighbors living in Sight of us has lost upwards of ten thousand Dollars worth. They came to his house one night, took eight negros, a fine carriage, two horse wagon. Some horses and mules, Robbed his house of all bed clothing and every thing valuable. In a few days after they came to the Same house took about seventy head of sheep, 45 or 50 head of the finest Stock their was in the country. In a few days after they went to another neighbor some two miles off, took the negros, went to the beds rolled them up, Said they would take them to their wifes. They same day they took some thirty head of Stock from Uncle Jemmys(117). When he mooved he left his stock at home in care of a widdow lady he left to take care of the house.

       Some of our men thought they would make up a company to protect their propperty(118). They made up a company of some thirty five or forty. They would move from place to place, have their cooking done at the houses and carried to them. The next day after they made up their company their was a company of twenty Jayhawkers came to our nearest neighbors with some eight or ten wagon. They said they came to take everything they old man had. Some was in the house packing up, some in the orcherd, some fixing to load up wheet, had all the stock drove out to take, when our men came up on them. They done some of the hardest begging that was ever done, made all the fair promises that could be made. Our men turned them all loose, let them take their wagons and all. So next day their was about seventy five or eighty came out. Our men got a little farther off as they got word their was a hundred and fifty. They did not think that they had men enough to meet them. In the eavening their was fifty three came to our house and surrounded it. I met them on the portico, invited them in. They told me they came to take what we had. Invited them into my rooms. They told me they would not rob my house but would take everything else they could find outdoors. The men that was left to guard the house taunted me ever way to get me to say something. I never noticed them only when they would ask some question. I would answer in the mildest way I could. I was treated a great deal better than I expected to be. They took two wagons loaded full from hear, my carriage and every negro on the place even. I had Andy(119) sent off with my mules do not intend for him to be braught home during this excitement. They was all willing to go, the idea of being free was a great inducement. Reason(120) ran off some time ago. I went down to Kansas to the fort to try for my carriage. They would not hear of me getting it. It was very agrivating to see it drove up to the door and the negros jump into it and drive off. They did not get but one horse from us.

       Last Monday their was a company went over Blue astealing. Our little company got into them and run them all back. They next day they sent hundred and fifty out our men met them in the brush, fireed into them killing and wounding a great many of them. Took all prisinors but about thirty. Got good many wagons and teems, horses, arms, swore the men, turned them loose afoot without arms. We have over two hundred men in our company. I have not saw my Husband(121) for near two weeks, he has charge of the company. The prisinors he turned loose speeks very highly of him, they say he is a perfectly gentelmen he treated them so kind.

       I am looking ever hour for my things to be all taken, my house destroyed, the Jayhawkers know all now who has this company. I have some of mine and the Childrens clothing scattered about to try to save some of them. Amberson(122) has moved off with all of his family, they left one day this week. Uncle Jemmys family is in Arkansaw, I heard from this week, they were all well. I saw Aunt Peggy(123) youngest son Bob(124) one day this week. Aunts health is very good, they all have to keep very quiet, they live out near Levensworth(125). Bob said that Jemmy Johnson(126) and George(127) was at the Springfield fight. Jemmy was Captain of one of the companes. He was dangerously wounded, did not hear wheather he recovered or not. Uncle Dick(128) and the boys is out somewhere. Cant say wheather they have gone with the main army or not.

       Thomas Yocum(129) is out with the main army. Uncle Calup(130) has two sons, one son in law. Uncle Bob(131), Uncle Ead(132) has one or two sons their. My Husband started with them, thought he could be of more service at home than out their, came back. He has not Staid more than one or two nights at home for the last four months (that is to sleep in his house).

       Our family is very small now, myself, three children, Mary Cunningham(133) and a young man(134) that has been living with us ever since John was a babe. Myself and Mary does the work around the house. The children is all well excepting Elfleda(135), she has the Chills. Linvels(136) Daughter has been hear for the last three or four weeks, left a few days ago. She was confined hear. She married about a year ago. I must bring my letter to a close, give my love to my Brothers and receive a large portion for yourselves. So fare well Dear Mother from your ever loving Daughter


ps Mrs Cunningham sends her love to you.     Harrah for our little band of Soldiers. Yesterday I did not get to send my letter to the office. The word came to me this morning that my Husband company has been victorious again. This was another band of Jayhawkers sent out to hunt camp and to kill ever Damn Secessionest they could find (so they said as they went through). Our men got in the Brush and when they coame up near enough they fired killing thirty on the ground, wounding a great many more. One of our men was killed and one wounded today. Our little band will increase to a thousand men. Their is men on the march from Clay(137) to join them.  Men is coming into them all the time. This fight took place about eight miles from hear(138) between the hart grove and little Blue Branch. The Jayhawkers mooved their wounded to Majors(139) old farm, they are camped their.


Letter 35

                                                                       December the 4/61

              Dear Mother(140)

Once more I am permited to write you a few lines to let you know we are all well at present.  I received a letter from you a few days ago. I was very glad to hear from you (40) all, the only pleasure that i know of these times. I wrote to you last month one day after my husband (141) had a battle on little Blue (142)some eight miles from hear. Their was thirty of the Jayhawkers killed, their one of our men killed on the ground, two wounded, one dide of his wounds. The Black republican papers had it they were whiped, killing thirty of our men. Their is no truth in their papers. My husband ran them down to the crossing of big Blue. They have had my husband killed at least a dozen times, he is a great terror to the Jayhawkers.

       As I was finishing my letter (the last one) I raised my head and saw a band of Jayhawkers charging up to my door. I just time to conceal my letter about my person when they rushed in the house. They demanded my husband, I told them I had not seen him for six weeks. They wished to know where he was. I told them I did not know where he was. Then the officer said he knew for he had a fight with him the day before. The men scattered all over the house lairing ever thing out of my drawers, trunks, workboxes, handbakes, everthing else, beads[beds] not excepted, ever thing they came to. They took my knives and forks, spoons.  Order Mary C (143) to turn her pokets to see if she had money. Threatened to burn my house on the 20 of November.

       Their was 95 came to our house surrounded it. Demanded my husband. I told them I had not saw him but once in nearly two months (he had been at home a little while the day before and called a few moments that morning) They then gave me thirty minutes to take out what I wanted in the house. I went to carrying out things that I needed worse. Some of the men helped me and Mary as I was a little excited and not very well. They went to the barn which was a very large fine one and filled with oats, corn, hay, set it on fire. Then came and Set fire to the rest of my outhouses, even my new hen house as it was a very fine one. Then next the house. Ordered me to take my Children out of the house. I then beged them to spare my house for the Sake of my little Children as it was cold and I thought they had destroyed enough to be satisfied but all to no purpose. They went to the upper rooms. Set fire to ever corner, then set fire above and below on the portico and on the porch. I lost a great many things in the house, my beadsteads, one Bureau, some two or three carpets on the floors, my press with what dishes I had been using. I had all of my finest dishes burried. I never went to the Sellar(144) to get anything out. They feared I would try to put out the fire and let the well buckets in the well, set the well house on fire. They left me with the little Children a setting by the few things left me. They took all my bead clothing and everthing else they could carry off and They then went to one of our neighbors and set fire to their house. They left their to go to Sams(145), got sight of Sam coming down to see about me. Sent men after him, caught him and went on to his house. About the time they got to his house my husband came up through the field, he had got word about them coming out. Got home to see the last brick of his house tumble in. he did not seem to mind it mutch as he had lost it doing his duty. He had some 40 or 50 men with him. he divided his little company in two or three parts, sent them about to head them as they run. He then started throug our field, got their as they were going into the house, he ordered his men not to fire as he Saw Sam with them. The men being so mad at they Sight they had just witnessed, they commenced fireing on them. One ball Struck Sam as he was standing in his door with and officer on each side of him. It went in his left cheek and loged beneath the Collar Bone. He fell back in his house, his wife and children was all in the house, he is going about now.

       The Jayhawkers got away as Soon as their hourses loosing eight of their men. None of ours was injured. Two of the boys folowed them to Kansas, came back with a number of caps. They got two of my quilts and one or two blankets that they had Stolen from me. Got several nice horses, some guns and revolvers. That eavining I had my few things moved to our old house with the intention of moving their. My husband others persuaded me not to go as they would follow me up and destroy what things i had saved. The next morning I got a team to move my things out of the house having no place to put them as we expected ever house in the neighborhood to be burned their. Most of people was afraid to keep my things as it doomed them and their property. People is not allowed to harber Secessionists nor their property. Any one that shelters me or my Children runs the risk to have their property destroyed and their lives taken. I hid my things out the woods in brushpiles. The day after I moved my things out of the old house their was a company of three hundred came through and burned my last shelter. My husband came upon them again with about 80 men, he came up through the field. They were passing in the lane between Lins(146) and Sams(147) when they saw them coming. They said they supposed that we had about two hundred men of ours. They again retreated as fast as they could get away leaving the stock they had gathered up to take with them. The stock belonged to our neighbors. That was the 22 of November, the last time I have saw my husband. He has gone to the army(148) with about two hundred men. Our army is on the little Osage.

       Last Saturday eavening week ago Generson(149) whole command came and camped in Sight of hear. They had about two thousand men, five peases of canon. They came with the intention of destroying our crop and burning our fences. The men was scattered over the farm by hundreds. Their be as many as many as sixty waggons sent out at a time to haul off rails, to burn corn and hay we had one hundred and 50 achers of corn, they carried off what they wanted, ran over the rest with their wagons and stock, carried the fence away and burned it, surched through ever brush pile found everything I had hid out. I had one large goodsbox with my finest bead(150) clothes and two fine carpets and fine hearth rug. The carpet and rug cost us 100$, got all of my fine cutler ware I had burried, carried off what they wanted, the rest they broke up. They found where I had my perserves. Sweet meats. Sweet pickles, hunny, fresh peaches, fresh tomatoes Burried took them all. My barrell of sugar between two and three hundred wait, a fine cooking stove No. 9, a very large one I bought last spring. A fine parlor stove, a very fine bed stead I had moved out of our house about a week before it was burned, some two or three trunks of things, a very fine acordian, some two or three new barrels of salt, their was but little in the country I thought I would lay up enough to do me. A barrel of molases, barrel of crout(151), all of my vegetables, took off and destroyed all my chickens and turkes which was a fine lot of them. Killed some 25 or thirty of fine Shoats, Shot our fine Sows and left them laying in the lot, 15 large Santefee wagons. Chains, plows and ever thing else we could find any use for They destroyed about 10 or 11 thousand dollars worth of property for us.

       I am now livin at Linvels(152), he told me to come to his house and make it my home. He said if they Burned his house on my account let it go as long as he had a home I should share it with him. Amberson(153) heard throug the papers of our luck. He came after me, I was not able to go with him. he is living about a hundred miles from hear, he has Andy(154) and my Carriage mules with him. The last I heard from the Negros they were in Leavensworth(155). The way I saved Andy(156), I had sent him off with my mules. After they left I knew it would not be safe to bring him home. Got Am to take him with his family. Cousin Jordin(157) and Low and his wife sent a pressing invitation to me to come and stay with them. My Husband has staid their a great deal of his time when it was dangerous for him to stay at home. I heard from Uncle Bob(158) and the rest of our friends in the army a few days ago. They were all well and very anxious to get up hear. Some of the Caliway(159) boys came and met my husband as he has gone down their with about two hundred men. Dick H.(160) dide in the army, a brother of Wades(161) and Prestons(162), he left a wife and two children. Tommy(163) is in the army. Uncle Dick(164) and his two boys. The men has all left high Blue or the most of them last Saturday. Their was a company of 75 Jayhawkers came in their, met old Uncle Willy Bryant(165) on the prairies and Shot him through. He fell off his horse, they found he was not dead and Shot him again, a harmless old man between 70 and 80 years old. Then went to the widow Graham(166) farm where their was a very poor old man living. He had a large family, never taken part in these trebles, took him about three miles from his house, shot 5 holes through his head. A short time ago their was a company of these men went over to little Santeffe(167), burned a great many houses, shot several men, shot one man three or four times before his family, then tried to wride over him when some women fell on him and told them they would have to wride over them two. Burned the house, went to another house where their was a sick woman ordered her to get out of the house as they were going to burn it. She told them she was sick, they gethered two or three chunks of fire and throwed them in bed with her. Their has been a great many houses burned but few families met with as kind treatment as I met with. Some not alowed to as mutch as a dress out of their house. I heard from Uncle Jemmy(168) family a short time ago. They are all in Arkensaw. Linvel and his wife Sends their love to you, they are very kind to me and also Marium Mc(169). The children stays with her the most of their time. Give my love to my Brothers, I have always thought that I would like to have them with me but are now very thankfull they are not hear. Tell them if my little Children is left orphens to sometimes remember them. Time is near at hand when I have always received the tenderest of care. If I should be turned out of doors again it may be the cause of my death. I am expecting ever hour to be confined to my bed(170). Give my love to Cousin Will Burton(171), tell him I have not forgoten him. So no more from your ever loving

                                                Margaret Jane


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Note: Spelling is the same as in the original letter. Punctuation has been added for clarity.

Revised 7/2006

"Black Jack" issued 1863

1861 - 1865 Section: The Civil War

Letters 29-35: 1861



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