Video: Chickasaw Civil War Letters
CHICKASAW COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) — We now have a glimpse into what it must have been like for a Chickasaw County soldier fighting in The Civil War.
R. H. Brown spent time with the great great grandson of Thomas Newton Beaty who has in his possession a total of four letters that soldier who wrote to his family back home.
“My father just said it was junk you know Just old letters, throw it away and I hid them from him. And didn’t realize what I had until years later,” said Beaty.
What the descendant of a civil war soldier thought was junk was a gold mine of information, on just what was on the mind of a man having to leave his wife, six children, and his sister to fend for themselves while he went off to war. One of four letters dated May 30th,1863 talked of Thomas Newton Beaty being ill enough to be sent to a military hospital in Lauderdale Springs Mississippi.
“And when he was well enough to go back to his company the physician in charge kept him there and he worked as a medic for a good while,” said Beaty.
A person reading the letters written in the style of the time can sense a sadness and concern for having no choice but to leave wife and six children to plant the crop and take care of livestock in what was then an agricultural community.
“Well he was asking his wife if she had the wheat saved and if, was she able to raise a lot of potatoes and kind of telling her what to do in order to get the family through the winter,” said Beaty.
A shipping ticket by the way, was dated February 23rd, 1859 and was for 12 bails of cotton being shipped from Grenada to New Orleans. One of those letters was written on that shipment paper. Not getting many letter from home while on the battlefield was indeed awful for a father at war having a newborn baby girl that he had not even seen yet. Our Civil War soldier would ask his wife to keep the letters coming.
“But she was probably struggling with the kids and trying to keep the farm together. She probably didn’t have time to sit down and write a lot,” said Beaty.