Quotes from Letters

Quotes from Letters














Well, I think Ham has got about enough girls to do his housework without having anymore. He had better have a boy or two or quit.

Charles Catey, 14 June 1864, from Acworth, Georgia,
referring to his brother-in-law, Hannibal Barnett.


If we stay here much longer, we will have green fruit to use. Peaches are about the size of a hulled walnut and the green apples are big enough to make green apple dumplings.

Charles Catey, 27 May 1863, from camp near Moscow, Tennessee.


I see Will and Matt Rippey every once in a while. They was well the last time I heard from them and that ain't been but a few days ago.

Wilson Catey, 25 January 1863, from Memphis, Tennessee,
referring to two of his step-brothers. Matthew later died in the war.


I was much pleased to hear that I have a namesake. I cannot get him any suit of clothes while I am here, but will send the money when we get paid.

Wilson Catey, 10 April 1863, from Helena, Arkansas.


I will send the picture in this letter.... Well, I said that I wanted this picture for myself, if I ever get home, and if I don't, you can have it. But if I ever get home, I will want to know how I looked when I was a-soldiering.

Wilson Catey, 21 April 1863, from Milliken's Bend, Louisiana.
Wilson was discharged the following February due to an illness
he evidently contracted while in duty in the Southern swamps.


And when he come home, Father came on the porch and opened the door and said he had [an] awful sick boy out there and I was so heart[sick] I trembled all over. And I took the lamp and set it on the window and Mary made a fire in the stove and then me and Mother went out to help carry him in.

Mary E. Catey, 14 January 1865, from Bone Prairie, Indiana, telling her sister
about Wilson's death on 21 December 1864.


Our men captured John Morgan's wife at McMinnville.

Henry C. Jeffries, 26 April 1863, from Murfreesboro, Tennessee.


What [the Confederates] are fighting for is past my ken, for if they are fighting for an aristocracy, I can't see where they are going to get their people, for I think the greater number of them is the most ignorant set of human beings that I ever saw in a land of free institution.

Elnathan C. Jennings, friend, 14 February 1864, from Chattanooga, Tennessee.


I take this opportunity while the boat is stopped of writing you a few lines to let you know where I have strayed to. I think a young man could do well here in Kansas if [he] would try, but it is going to be full to overflowing before fall if they keep on coming. There is hundred every boatload.

Henry Catey, 15 April 1857, from Leavenworth, Kansas,
on his way to California to join his uncle Charles B. Catey.



Return to Top