Letter written by Rev. William C. Diggs of Henry County, TN
to his brother James K.P. Diggs, 1862


This is a letter written by W.C. Diggs of Henry Co, TN dated 10 December 1862, to his brother Jim who was off serving in the Confederate Army (Co C, 5th TN Cavalry). Jim was probably already deceased by the time the letter was written. The letter ended up in the hands of the Union Army and it was placed in the “Captured Rebel Archives” in Washington D.C. In 1993, while searching the Confederate records on file in the National Archives, Ralph P. Ganis discovered the letter and made a copy.

Genealogical data: The letter below was written by Rev. William C. Diggs (b.1826 TN-d.1892 TN) in Henry County, TN, to his brother James K.P. Diggs (b.1842-d.1862). They were the sons of John Harris Diggs and wife Sarah T. Webb. John was the son of Pleasant Diggs and Elizabeth Hinson. John, Pleasant and their families moved from Anson Co, NC to Henry Co, TN between about 1825.

Transcribed as written:

Henry County, Tenn
Decemer the 10th 1862

Dear Brother
With pleasure I take this oportunity of writing you this letter which I hope you will receive soon & finds you well. It was with joy that I heard from you last knight for I have not heard from you since shortly after the fight at Shilo though it has been some time since I saw you or had an opportunity of writing. I have nothing of much importance or interest to write now, this leaves my family in good health & my own health is improving sloley though. I am not able to do but very little work. I have not bin able to do any thing untill abought a month ago since I planted corn & several times thought I could not live, but amidst my inflictions I rejoise that I had sustaining grais & but for my family I should have bin willing to have left this wilderness of affliction will live before ___ I commensed writing I thought I could wright you along letter but I have got the head ache to night and my minds wandering. Sow you must excuse this letter and I will try and do better next time. I was at Bill Darnalls this morning & Bill said that he was going to write you. Martha said that she would if she could but wanted me to say to you how they was getting along and howdy for her and that she wanted you to know that she has not forgotten you.

Bill & Martha’s getting along abought as usual. I saw George & Ange this morning. they are well. I was at Mothers & Bill Hills Sunday was was a week. they was all well, Matilda & Carters family was well. when I heard from them one of Matildas Boys is going to stay with mother next year. Well Jim I have not had any settlement with Bill Darnall abought your affairs and he has given up the business to me a gain, Jim I have done that which I have thought best and shall continue to do sow, though I have been acused of Defrauding of you, but Jim, if I have I know not in what respect. Sow Dear Brother I ask of you not to Decide ________ till you know the hole story. I shal let Levi Hill have the place next year if he gives me good security which he sais he will do. _______ is my judgements the Best that can done with your place at present. Tom[?] Haris calls me a hippocrit & a liar that I have defrauded you and cant pass my house without calling me a damed hipocritical preacher if he can See my negrow __ this is as important to you and I assure you that I is ____ I have not been in Martha’s house but once since you was heare last because I wished to keep out of a fuss with them who ought to be my friend & when those words commence & afus at me because I propose a place for mother to go with me to Bill Hills. Haris is not going to stay at mothers any longer his wife has already left & sais she never will & put her foot in her house a gain and I have no doubt in my mind but it will be a good thing for they have bin fussin at Mother nearly the hole year & at such a reight that she had to leave home. but I will hush this & talk of some thing else. I am living at the ___ place on the Holly fork & stay here next year . Horace and Sis has bin bothering me abought telling Mikle[?] Bim[?] howdy for them ____ the children would be glad to see you and tell you howdy indeed. Love [?] send her best love to you & says that she had rather see you that any body. I heard from Bob four or five weaks ago. John Anderson saw him at Cairow on his way to Vixburg to be in the charge and he said Bob was well & I expected that he was back in his regiment till last night. When you see him tell him how we are & to wright the first chance. Jim you do not know how glad I would be to see you but this is a Privilige that I think very unsurtain of ever my dying in this ___ I have but little ___ when you will be at home I may live some time I may die soon now complette. But amidst all the tryals and temptations of life I rejoice that the grace of God is sufficient . I may have done rong many times but my purpose is to do right that I may have life everlasting. I make no calculations of living very long, nor of getting rich but I make calculations of getting to a better world than this and Jim while I write this perhaps my last letter to you my Deare Brother I feel that I am in favors with my God and on the way to a land of ---- where you will be free from war, desese and death. Jim you have temptations and trials that I know nothing but the word of God says as thy day shal demand so shal thy strengh be Sow my deare Brother live religious and while your in the service of the S.C. [Southern Confederacy] be a Soldier of the Cross of Christ and he will be there to lit up the valley of the shadow of death the lit on the mountain to fix on in the valley low far from home and amoung strangers in the sitty full so in the desert waist thy saviour will be with the land safe on the shore of eternal deliverance the ____ deare Brother be a christian give my respects to all my friens and aquaintens if any you see. Sow I will close fare well and if I see you no more in this life my prayer & hope is that we my meet in Heaven. I remain your Brother.

W. C. Diggs


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