Item description: A letter, 31 January 1863, from John Tate and Sarah Ann Gordon Finley, Rocky Point, Alabama, to Dr. Robert Franklin and Carolina Gordon Hackett.
Rocky Point, Ala.
Jany. 31st 1863
Dr. R.F. Hackett
I have delayed writing to you longer than I should have done, simply for the want of anything worth writing, just now a dearth of news seems to [overspread?] the land, the battles of Murfreesboro & Vicksburg have passed & their [?] generally canvassed many of our people [?] in Braggs army & it is natural that I should hear more from that quarter than the east, as the approach of the enemy from that quarter would much sooner interfear with our arraingements here, they being less than 150 miles from us, our greatest fears are that our army will have to fall back to the Ten. river, in which event a portion of their supplies would have to be furnished from this country & we have none to spare, Rome & all the towns on RRoad in Georgia are being used for hospitals. A good many people here condemn Bragg for falling back it seems if he had held on one day longer the Yankees would have retreated, which they were doing when they heard of his retreat, & there the moral effect would have been of great importance to us, &c. The people here are getting tired of the war & there is more complaint & dissatisfaction than we had last summer, a good many soldiers are at home overstaying their furloughs, in St. Clair County south of this they are resisting the conscript law & two loyal men have been killed by the conscripts, there is now a cavalry force in that county gathering the conscripts & in some other counties also. Several sales of land have occurred at about 50 per ct. above former prices, but I think from the way the Stokes lands sold they are not as high here yet as in N.C. I fear the purchase of that land will not add much to your society, the spirit of speculation is about as great here as in N.C. last fall & every thing has gone up out of reason – a good mule 2 to 300$ & horses in proportion, I can’t see what we are all coming to, I hope the cavalry have not eaten up all the corn in Wilkes, but that the people will have enough left to live on – our family are pretty well. Ann wants to write to Carrie
[? ? F.]
Husband has left me a page to write you a few lines by way of congratulations on the safe delivery through your troubles. I was truly glad and thankful to hear of it but would some rather your little new comer had have been a son, for I know you would both have been better pleased. I should have written to you sooner but for a dreadful sprain in my right wrist which has not got well yet, & I fear it will be some time before it does. I have to use it so much more than I should washing knitting in & weaving clothes besides my baby is large and heavy for me to handle he is the finest looking boy I know of [Mrs. Truit?] wanted to know if you all [?] think him so in N.C. I told her you & bro Frank had one that you thought the world could not equal, some say he looks like dear little Coosa, but I do not think he is as pretty as she was. Oh it does seem that I can’t be reconciled to her death. I had my heart so set up on her, she being such a bright jewel and promised to become more lovely than any of my children but she was too pure for Earth and has gone to more congenial climes. [?] is looking better than every before I reckon as she is quite fat his face as round and blooming as a rose she has not been sick a day since she has been here except the toothache. tho she has a lovely time here, for there are no young ladies that she cares about visiting [?]. I am looking for [? ? ?] every day, she has become quite well again took the loss of her infant quite hard. She nursed a [black?] baby for three months and says she knows she will have a better time next time is in fine spirits about raising a family yet. Well Carrie I would write more but it is Saturday always a busy day for me and my cook is sick, & I am leaving one of my other girls to weave so you must excuse me this time and write to me soon. Kiss Geneva and the little babe for me how I would like to see it and and all of you.
[? ?] Finley