Item Description: Letter, 5 November 1863 Anne Gordon Finley at Cherokee County, Ala., describes the Confederates under General William Martin foraging and stealing all the food and supplies of the countryside, camping around and in her home, pulling up crops, and how the Finley family bartered for supplies.
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Cherokee, Ala. Nov 5th
My dear Sister,
I rec your most welcome letter something more than a month ago. It had been written over six weeks when it came to hand you directed to Leesburg and we get no mail there now, I suppose was the reason why it was so long coming. Our family are in their normal health all except my self I am feeble, more so than I ever was in the fall for that is a season that I generally enjoy better health than any other. I am suffering from my breast and a shortness of breath. We are still in a state of uneasiness and excitement here expecting raids from the enemy below Chatanoga down about Huntsville and T? These are the enemy coming up from down about ? with ? and have been fighting some time at or near Courtland. It really is so only times with us, for if our own army stays much longer where it is we will have to give up everything in the way of provisions all through here. They are foraging through here and they will take every hog cow and bushel of corn there is on the river the cavalry are passing here continually. I never was so tired of soldiers; our house is thronged with them almost continuously last week Gen Martin passed up this road 4000 of them and they just took what they pleased from the people without paying them for it or asking any permissions to take it. As it happened they did call upon us for anything, as they passed about nine October in the morning but before they got to the army two companies were turned back down this same road and they camped at our house and took what corn and fodder they wanted but gave me a receipt for it. Mr F is away at court from sun up, till after dark every day he is a juror. I have to deal with them all myself and they are so troublesome wanting everything and roveing up every place tearing up sweet potatoes patches ? Oh! for some quiet retired spot to stick my head in until these destracting things are over. May McClelland spent the night with us last night and he says there is five times as much excitement and hubbub in this county as there is in his part of the state and it almost makes me long for a home back there for the? We made a very fine crop of corn this year and the largest corn I ever saw and we only get 2$ per bush for it. We will have pork enough to hold us if we could only keep it, I am making a good ? of butter now and I sell it for sugar ??. I do a bartering business altogether with what I have to sell I could make ? buy me what I could not get for the money. ? and took 100th of bacon to a cotton factory last week, and only got seven bunches of cotton for it, I never pretend to buy one bit of coarse the 4th piece of cloth spooled that I have had woven within the last month which will make the dream? sixty and seventy yards and then I have tried about 50 yrds woven ? all for what few negroes we have and they will not be much more than half clothed. at that. I do not know what these people will do who have large gangs of negroes to clothe. All of our largest planters and best citizens are moving and have moved from this county this fall Mrs ??back into lower Geo where they came from. They would not risk their property here, so close to the Yankees, and our own army too.