Today we are sharing two letters that were sent together on January 6, 1865 by Thomas W. Patton and Thomas Weaver. Patton was a former Confederate officer and Weaver was his body servant.
Item Description: Letter dated 6 January 1865 from Thomas W. Patton to his mother, Harriet Kerr Patton. Thomas Walton Patton, politician and mayor of Asheville, was a captain in the 60th North Carolina Regiment during the Civil War in Tennessee and Georgia. He resigned from his commission on August 8, 1864 and returned home.
Lowndes County Ala
Jany 6, 1865
My Dear Mother
My negro boy Tom Weaver got me to write the accompanying edifying epistle to his old friends & fellow servants. It is a good production being his own dictation. I promised Susan to write to you particularly for her giving her best love etc and beginning that you will try and communicate with her folks at Mr. Robinson’s & let them know that she is well & doing well. She has a fine baby, a girl. All of the negroes here seem to be better contented than I ever found them before. They make no complaints at all to me. They are all well shod from shoes made by one of them, leather being tanned on the place. Altogether I think they are the happiest I have met with since the war having nothing in the world to trouble them.
It is the opinion out here that our “peculiar institution” is forever dead and I am inclined to that opinion myself. If such is the case I am sure the negroes are most to be pitied. Mr. Fagg offers to take a hundred dollars in gold for every one he has – so certain is he that they are lost to us forever as slaves.
There seems to be a good deal of despondency felt among the people out here about the final issue of the war. Many of them have given up all hope. I am not by any means among this number but still feel confident that yet all will be well. I have never yet had so trying a time about not knowing from home & just at a time that I am most anxious to hear. I still have strong hopes of seeing you all this winter – so keep in good spirits at home. Our big hog was killed the other day, but did not weigh as much as I expected, 900lbs gross & 806lbs net. I remain
Your Affec Son
Thos W. Patton
Item Description: Letter dated 6 January 1865 from Tom Weaver to his friends in Buncombe County, N.C. It is unknown if Tom was a free black working for Thomas Patton or if he was his slave.
Lowndes County Ala
Jany 6, 1865
My Dear Friends
It has been so long a time since I have heard any thing of you that I avail myself of this opportunity to drop you a few lines and let you know that I am well & doing as well as could be expected these times. I wish very much I could see you all once more. I have had a tolerably good time Christmas with Sam, who has been here for a week past. Tell Aunt Rhodie he is well and also his sister Lucy. Give my best respects to Aunt Rhodie & her family also especially to Solomon. Tell Mat & Mauson I wish them both much joy in their estate, as I understand they have become married men. Tell Aunt Eliza I have not forgotten her yet & hope she will keep me in remembrence. Give my respects especially to Sam Morrison & Abram and tell them I am very anxious to see them. You must tell howdie to all my old friends and tell them I hope some of these days to see them all once more & spend some more happy Christmas in their company. Tell Spencer his two sons are well and doing ditto & are very anxious to see him again. Remember especially to my old friend Minor. Tell him not to forget me. Love my best love to your wife Sallie and also Sandy & Evelina. I remember you all with much affection. It is my fortune to be far away from you but I will never drop you from my memory & time in hope that we may all meet each other again some of these days. I hope none of you will forget your old friend.