Friday, July 3, 2015

A Confederate letter home has not an ounce of hate, only a large measure of love

Maj. Fred. C. C. Karr
I haven't blogged much lately, but I found a copy of this letter home written by my great-great-grandfather, Maj. Frederick Christopher Columbus Karr, and I thought I would share it. The letter has lots of sentence fragments and uses few paragraphs, so I have broken it up for readability. I have included some of the original misspellings, while correcting others. In some cases I simply could not make out the letters that he used, so he may or may not have spelled the word correctly.

This letter has some very interesting historical information, but I will reserve comment for a later time. I only note that you will not find an ounce of hate. Only a large measure of love.

Hd Qr 32nd Miss Regt
Tullahoma Tenn March 18th 1863

Dear Lucy,

I siese on this oportunity of sending you a few lines knowing you will be glad to hear from me at any time I am very well at this time and do hope that these few lines will find you and my dear little children in good health and doing well. I Recvd your letter last night that you sent by Wm Karr I was glad to hear that you all were well and doing as well as what you were it is a great satisfaction to hear from those we love.

I wrote you a letter the other day. My horse has got here he looks bad. I have no news to importance to communicate to you. I got a letter from D Cannon they were all well your Pa’s family was all well they are still in Holly Springs the Enimy did not damage them very much date of the letter Feb.

Some Prospect of a fight here soon. I think if it does come off it will be the hardest contested of the war. Some thinks we will whip them at this place. I can no say not knowing. Our army is in good fighting condition at this time the health of the troop is good at this time all seem to Be hopefull and confident of Success, the war is not at an End yet, the conscrip law has past the federal congress they will put 1 ½ million more men in the field by that law. So you see that we will have fighting fighting yet if they continue to prey upon us as you say if the Lord is with us all will be well if not to the Reverse. My Prediction is that the war will continue during Lincoln administration at least. But I am no prophet. I hope it will cease soon. I am tired of war. I hope we may all get home soon. With our dear ones at home I prefer the quietence of a Peaceful home to that of the Buz of war. Lucy I have no news to interest you the news is scarce in the army at this time.

I want you to Buye any thing you can that you need, if you get short of money let me know and I will send what your need at any time that I have a chance if you could feed a horse you might Buye one But you must Be your own judge about those things. I have no advice to give you. You will do the Best you can under the circumstances bad at best but might be worse I think the worst is come yet so we must prepare to meet it.

My love to all the friends and Relations My Best Regards to Mr. Frensley tell him he shall loose nothing By his kindness toward my Family. Kiss the children for their Pa tell them to be good children. I want you to teach them at home to Read and write as you will have no school to send them to also learn them to work.

No more at this time. Remember me in your Devotions your ever True and Devoted Husband F.C. Karr

PS Lucy I send you Fifty Dollars United States money I thought you might get some one to Buye flour coffee & salt. I gave $62 ½ for it use it for such articles as you need. Buy your salt.

Yours as Ever   F.C.Karr

ADDENDUM: I suspect, but do not know, that the large battle that Karr says is imminent is Chickamauga, which took place six months after this letter was written. Maj. Karr was wounded on the Chickamauga Battlefield and died Sept. 27, 1863, and is buried in a mass grave at the Confederate Cemetery in Marietta, Georgia.

ADDENDUM 2: Lucy must have been, by necessity, a strong woman. The name continues to be quite popular in our family.

1 comment:

Chuck said...

Frank we met briefly many years ago when I was buying residential lots from your brother Lanier. Thanks for posting this letter from a local soldier of that war which cost our land so much blood. I have a 14 year old son (Riley) who is keenly interested in the history of the conflict and the relics that scatter the land as a result of the fight. Sadly the physical artifacts which remain in the ground are quickly deteriorating due to the use of modern agrochemicals. Most every weekend we metal detect land all around the Tri State area. My son is a virtuoso when it comes to running our detecting machines. He is also expert at identifying relics while still in the field. If you are interested in knowing more (or going with us on a hunt), check out his Facebook page, Civil War Unearthed or send me an email at It's wonderful to have such a direct connection with the past as you have demonstrated with this letter! Thanks again for sharing! - Chuck Bryant