MONTGOMERY COUNTY WAR RECORDS
LETTERS FROM SOLDIERS ISAAC PETERSON HOWARD AND JAMES BRYANT HOWARD
Isaac Peterson Howard and his brother, James Bryant Howard
were born in Montgomery Co., TN. I.P. Howard married Martha Ann Cooley, and
both are buried in the Howard Cemetery in district 8. James is probably
buried where he was killed.
Their penmanship was quite good, but their spelling was not.
Louisa Peterson was their aunt who taught in a school in the Howard family's
Following are the letters written by Isaac Peterson Howard and James Bryant
Howard, copied EXACTLY as written:
Huntersville Pocahontas, Va. Aug. 3, 1861
I thought I would write to you this morning. We are all well at present.
We are stopping a day or so and we will then go up higher in the State there
is some twelve thousand troups in th County now and there is some four thousand
on the Federal side. they encamped on the top of the mountains. The only
we are going to fight them is to surround them and cut off their supplies.
but I do not think that we will have much fighting to do. You must not believe
anything that you hear for there is a great many reports going around
that is not true. When we started up here from the Depot where we were
stationed there was several come on to hurry us up. They said that ----were
troups in this town. When---got here we found they were thirty or forty
miles off. -----have been getting here------but they were not --------were
the size of ---the west fork. --------some of the hardest looking country
I ever saw. we are encamped in a place where are surrounded by mountains
on all sides. I left George (his servant) at Knoxville. he has got the measles.
he is well taken care of. When he gets well he will come on with Harry
or Furguson or some of the boyes. tell his mother that George wants to come
with me and sleeps in the tent with me when he is here. I have not herd from
home since I left Camp Quarles. I know that youall would write to me if you
knew where to direct your letters. You can write to Huntersville Pocahontas
County Va. and I can get it from there. I will close my letter. Give my love
to all inquiring Friends.
Your son I.P. Howard
P.S. I think that you had better direct your letters Stan-------in care of
Col. Forbes. 14th Tenn Regiment for---------- ----------------- at
that place and I could -----better chance of getting it.
Note: This letter is very faded in places and some parts could not be
Aug. 18, 1861
Camp Big Spring, Va.
I received your letter the 18th and was really glad to here from you it Being
the first letter I have received from from any of the family. We are all
well at the present time. have had some sickness in camp as the measles have
got all through the camp. George (his servant) got here with Captain Lockert.
is well and sends his love to his Mother and Father and Sisters and Brothers
and to Luke and Sandy and Bat.
We have very cold weather up here for this time of the year and it is like
Oct in Tenn. And have plenty of Beef here to eat. the folks up here raise
nothing but cattle and Hay. We expect to move from here vary soon. we will
push on to wards the Ohio river. General Johnson is -------the enemy are
retreating. I do not think we will have to do any fighting. We have more
troups than they. Tell Blanche (his sister) that I am really sorry that Sam
kicked her colts eye out. this country up here is very hard to get anything
here. We have to send to Stanton for that is over one hundred miles from
here. there is a man going down to Nashville to bring such clothing as the
Officers in the Briggade want to send after. and those at Clarksville (who)
have things to send must mark the name of the Company and the Regiment. I
want you to tell Jim (his brother) to get me the following articles I want
him to have me made one pr heavy boots about number tens ----Boots. Try to
get Edling to make them and I want two heavy Blankets and they better be
collerd, four pr Sockes, two pr drawers, one under Shirt, four Quires Paper,
four packages of good Envelopes, let them be yellow. Two boxes Water Proof
Caps. One pr winter pants and-----them Jeans. and for George that old Turn
Coat of mine and you can mark them this way, Lut.(Lieutenant) I.P. Howard
Co. G 14th Tenn Inf Reg. You must mark every Piece and that little Carpet
Bag that I had at Camp Quarles. You can send them to Frank Beaumont
store there in Clarksville and they will be put up in Big Boxes and they
will be sent on to Nashville to Mr. Stewart. he will not stay there more
than two weeks. Tell Jim (his brother) to send me a good Pipe he can get
one for two or three Dollars. I want you to have those things sent
to me for I don't know when I will have a chance to get any more.
be sure and have every piece marked with name and then when you write
send me a bill of what you sent. You can write my name on a piece of
paper and sow it on the Piece. and in one letter you will find twent Dollars
to get the things. I want some good Tobaco. You must excuse this letter I
will write more the next time I write. give my love to all the Family and
Relations and to Mr. Greenhills family and to the two pups and Bird (?) Do
tell Blanche to send me a Chronicle. I will close my letter
I remain your devoted Son
Tell Jim (his brother, James Bryant Howard) to send me a quart or so of good
whiskey for Meddical purposes. We never get any here.
Camp at Big Spring, Va.
August 23, 1861
As Mr. Barnes is going from here to Clarksville I take this opportunity of
writing to you to let you know how we are getting along. The boys are all
well except a few cases of mumps. They have broken out in our regiment. James
Philpot of our company have got them. He is doing well. We have some cold
weather here for Aug. we have had some frost here since we got here. It rains
here almost every day or so. We are encamped in some of the tallest mountains
I ever saw. We have plenty of good water up here all that is unpleasant is
that we can't get any of the fruit kind here now we cannot get any Tobaco
any paper or anything of that kind here. So this is the last piece of paper
that I could get here so there will be no more writing untill we can get
some more paper. You wrote me in your letter that Sam had kicked your
colts eye out I am sorry. Sorry to hear of the loss of an eye I think Jim
(his brother) had better kill that old horse of his for he has killed and
crippled more than he is worth. I want you to take good care of the pups
and not let them get stolen. I wrote to Mother (Minerva Peterson Howard)
and Aunt Lu (Louisa Peterson) last Sunday. I would have written to
you but I thought it would be better to wait until now. In my letter
to Mother I wrote to James (his brother) to send me some things and
sent twennt dollars in the letter. I will send tweent more and he can
keep what is left if there is any. I will send him a list of things
and he will have to get them and send them to Clarksville where Mr.
John Barnes will bring them on to the Regiment. They must be
marked this way, 1 Lut. I.P. Howard, Co. G. 14th Regiment and you can
write to me and send the letter by him. George is well and sends his respects
to his mother and all of his folks. You must give my respects to all the
young ladyes and to H.H. Leigh and to Henry Greenhill and tell them they
must write to me and give me the news and I will answer their letters. And
respects to Buck Pollard and Mr.Cummings and tell them that I often think
of the many pleasant hours that I have passed with them. And give my respects
to old Uncle Austin and tell him howdy, write to me and tell all the
news. I don't have anything here (news ?) Tell what Ky. is doing and
can think of.
Please hand this money and list to James as soon as you can.
2 pr drawers
four pr socks
two knit wolen shirtes
one pr. buck gloves
four quires of large letter paper, 4 packages of good envelopes
one bottle of ink
and try and get me one camp chest some three feet long by eighteen inches
deep. You can get it at Clarksville and for George two shirteens, two pr.
sockes one pr. pantes, two pr. drawers, and the old over coat of mine. You
can put the things in the camp chest and give the key to Mr. Barnes and put
one or two quarts in of good whiskey. Try and get these things if you can.
You will find fourty dollars in this letter. Give to Mr. William Young twenty
of it and tell him it is to be sent to Mr. G.W. Caudle. Goodbye
The following are two letters from Isaac Peterson Howard to his brother James
Bryant Howard, in Montgomery County, Tennessee. Later James joined the
Confederate Army also. He was killed. See his letter later.
Big Spring, (Va)
August 10, 1861
Dear Brother, (James Bryant Howard)
I thought I would write to you to let you know how we are getting along.
We are all well at present. I wrote last at Huntsville, we are now
some twenty eight miles north of that place, now we are about five
miles from the enemy. Our scouts brings in news of there movements
every day. They have it is
supposed some six or seven thousand men. We have eight regiments here and
some six hundred of Cavalry and two companies of Artilry and I think we can
roust them out of this part of the country soon. The Briggade that we are
in is commanded by General Anderson and he is under General Lee. It
is very difficult to get anything up here. We have to hall it from Millsborrough
and it is some seventy miles from here and through the mountains all
of the way. They have got a good road over the mountains. We were six
days and a half coming here there is some of the hardest country up
here that I ever saw. You
may travel here three or four days and get up on one of these mountains and
see where you came from in the three days. The folks up here do not raise
any corn hardly enough to bred (bread) them and what they do raise
is yellow corn. It is great hay and cattle country. Any quantity of
hay, it is the
finest hay country I ever saw.
Grass will grow anywhere in these mountains where it can get a foot hold.
as high as a mans head. They are cutting their hay up here now. They
do not raise hogs up here for the bears eat them. there is plenty of
bear and deer wild cats and wolves here. You can see these old mountain red
ankles with there fence rails on there shoulders walking around here.
They have run all the union men off or taken them prisoners. We had some
nine or ten of them at Huntsville when we were there. We gave them
to the other Regiment that we left there at Huntersville. I herd from Capt.
Lockert he will be here in two
or three days and I think George will come with Hirth last time I heard from
him he was well enough to come on with the captain. Well I will close my
letter tell Mother that she must not be uneasy that I keep well. I have not
been sick since I joined the Army. Eph Manson is getting along very well
and all of the boyes from the neighborhood. This is very healthy country
up here the folks here never die. You must give all my love to all
the folks down in old Montgomery. ------- --------- --------and
Fannie Britton and Mary Jane alls ---- and to Puss Greenhill and tell
them I would like very much to see them and hear from them. There are
some men going from here to Nashville Tenn in the morning and I will
send my letter there by them. When you write, back your letter (address your
letter) this way
Lut. I.P. Howard
14th Regiment Tenn. Vol.
and I can get it by express from there and we do not pay anything on the
--here. for if we did we could not get them to --------we have to endorse
with our name and rank on the back of them we have not got any post office
here. Tell old Set? and old Bill Leigh to write to me. And when you write
tell me about Bill whether he is married or not and whether he left home
or not and write generally what they are doing. I would write to all
the boyes down there if I thought they would write to me. Give my love
to Aunt May and old Ike and tell them I intend to write to them soon.
It is a right cold place up here overcoats feel very well of mornings
of July and August. If it does not rain here once a week they think
it is a long dry spell. I will close.
I remain your
Respected Brother I.P. Howard
Big Spring, Va. Aug. 28, 1861
Dear Jim. (his brother, James Bryant Howard)
I take this opportunity to drop you a few lines to let you know how we are
getting along. I am well and heavier than I have ever been this time of the
year. I weigh 181 lbs. and when we left Camp Quarles I weighed 161 lbs. the
boys are all well. like here very well but we see a hard time of it. A
Private seays a hard time up here. A man can do very well in the Army if
can have a commission office, for then he does not have to stand gard or
anything of any kind. this Regiment sends out fifty men everyday to work
the road. here the roads is very bad from here to Huntersville and we have
some twenty or thirty wagons hauling all the time. I do not know when we
have to start from here. Not before the roads get better, The Yankies is
ten or twelve miles from here now. We cannot tell about them. Our Generals
know but none others, for I see General Anderson every day and go to his
but never hear him say anything about them. Gen Loren is three miles
up. We have some twelve or fifteen thousand troups here in five or six miles
Dr. Drain (Drane) and -------Beaumont of Clarksville got here the other day
and they reported that crops looked fine in Tenn. I want you to write to
and tell me how Res? is getting along. We herd that she was nursing some
troops in Christian County (Ky) for Lincon. George is getting along finely,
he does not cook for but four of us now. and he does not have to wash for
anyone but me. he has a good place to stay of a night. He and Bob McClure
cooks for Young? Wash Lowe have got a tent to themselves to sleep in. I wrote
to mother and Blanche last week and in Mother's letter I sent twenty Dollars
for you to get me some things to be brought by Mr. Stewart of Nashville who
went on for the Officer's clothing you was to carry to H.S. Beaumont Store
and they were to be sent to him at Nashville and in a few days after Mr.
Barnes went for the 14th Regiment. I sent in Blanche's letter fourty Dollars
twenty of which Mr. Caudle told me to have sent to Mr. William Younge as
was money he didn't have any use for here. And the other money was to buy
things that I sent for after I didn't think that the other was enough.
I sent a list of things in the letters for fear you would not get both
letters for they are for things that I very much needed. I wrote to Aunt
the same time. You must give my respects to all the neighbors and to the
girls and to W.H. Leigh and tell him I would love the best in the world to
hear from him in the shape of a letter and I would answer his letter with
pleasure and tell also Sep ? the same and give my respects to
Greenhill's family also.
I herd that Miss Dee Pollard and Mr. Spence Meacham was married. Write to
whether it is so or not.and tell me something about Mele--(Melville Cherry)
and Baley Allen and Aunt Mary and Aunt Betsey and Nancy and Eller (Ella)
all of the family and the girls generally, and give my love to Uncle Henry
Leigh and Aunt Betsey and the rest of the family and tell them I--- ---to
them. You all must be ----and write to me. I write every time I get a chance.
we have to send our letters by hand some thirty miles before we can get them
mailed and one other thing there is no paper here scarcely or I would
------mine. I must close my letter for it is long after taps. Take good care
of my two dogs. I remain your
Brother (Isaac Peterson Howard)
Note: The Miss Dee Pollard I.P. mentioned is Cordelia Ann Pollard, later
grandmother of the compiler who married after the war, Daniel Webster
Ransdell, a former Confederate cavalryman. He was captured at Fort Donelson.
Note: The following letter from James Bryant Howard to his brother, Isaac
Peterson Howard is VERY faded and much of it cannot be read. It mostly
concerns family and friends.
New Providence, Tenn. September 21, 1861
Dear Brother (Isaac Peterson Howard)
I will write you a line to let you know how we are getting along. We are
well. (mentions Paducah has been taken.) The Sessionest are raising
Regiment too. I think we can run them out. My the boys have been having a
good time since they have been at home.---is crawling at the O'neals now.
saw Ella the other day. She was well and as pretty as ever and sends her
to you. Mary Tom was here yesterday and sends her love.
You said you had herd that Miss Dee Pollard and Spence are married. They
aren't yet but I suspect they will be soon. She said she is waiting till
you boys come back. Ella says she is mad because you wrote to Poppy instead
of her. We have a fine crop of corn and tobacco. The red pups will set birds.
I will send you a lock of their hair. Miss Jennie (Janie?) is as pretty as
ever and fat and sassy. All the neighbors send their love to you. Ike there
is some-------going on with the girls. They say they are going to wait till
all you boys get back. I didn't know how much I loved you boys untill you
left. Mr. Philpot says when you write say something about Jimmy. I will
deliver the message. Old Jim brags on you all the time and sent you half
square of paper and his love. He says he would give a Half dollar cash to
you. It looks right odd to see the ladys (riding?) by themselves.
Tobacco will get ripe in ---------- I got all the things you wanted. (Many
large ink spots.)
Two blankets $8.50, 1 pair jeanes -------, 1 pipe $2.00, 2 boxes of caps
$1.50, 1 camp shirt $3.00, 1 package envelopes 50 cents, 1 gallon whiskey
$1.20, the chest------Forbes Regiment, Capt. Brunson, Co., G. Mr. Bullocks
got the key. Mr. Bullock and W.O'Neal. several others have got something
the chest. I will close my letter and rite more next time. Give my love to
the boys. You boys must not get drunk when I can't.
J.B. Howard (James Bryant Howard)
I sent George a -------pr boots.
Goodbye Ike and Gabe (possibly the pups names?)
The pups send their love to you and all inquiring friends.
Note: Captain James Bryant Howard enlisted in the 49th. Tenn. Regiment and
served with his cousin, Captain (later colonel) William F. Young. Jim was
killed while removing the seriously wounded Col. Young from the battlefield
July 28, 1864,at Atlanta. After the war, some family members went to Atlanta
to find try to locate his body to bring home for burial, but failed.
Note: The following letter is from Louisa V. Peterson who was the aunt of
Howard brothers and also had been their teacher in the log cabin school in
the Howard's back yard.
July 23, 1861
I thought as the boys in your Regiment are leaving here tomorrow, I would
drop you a line and let you know that your folks are all well. I told Blanche
( I.P.'s sister) she ought to write to you but I don't know whether she did
or not. Everybody is wild with excitement over the big fight that is expected
here, the dispatch this morning said that Beauregard had driven the Yankees
across the Potomac. your Aunt Kate says she hopes if you boys get into
fight you will distinguish yourselves. I would be glad to see you all
with whole scalps. I would not object to hear that you had "distinguished"
yourself if you could do it with whole skin. we are all eager to hear from
you boys. Everybody down here is interested in your movements. If you all
stopped at the Cumberland Gap there is a good many who intended to pay you
visit. Mrs. Manson says she is interested to go to see Eph and I had my heart
set on going to see the mountains. I imagine you had a pleasant time of it.
Jimmy went to the postoffice Sarurday to get a letter from you, but was
disappointed. Several of the boys had written home and we thought of course
you would write too.
Ike, the girls are all wishing you all the good luck. I saw Mollie Britton
few evenings ago and I think she would like to hear from "Lieutenant Howard"
and would like to see that gentlemans face again. The boys that go from here
will tell you all the news. Tell George his Mama is well and all the rest
the darkies at the Howards want to see him. Luke said he would not want to
in his place for no money. They never expect to see him again. They all have
possum dogs ------ ---. Since you left I expect they will get too lazy to
hunt. Tell Billy Caudle I saw Mrs. Young (Catherine, the wife of Col. W.F.
Young.) His folks are all well. I also saw Mr. Bullock, and they are well,
but Mrs. Bullock is down in the mouth about Harry.
Since writing this morning Will Henry Leigh went to the postoffice and got
your letter. I expect they will have a Joyful time tonight at your Dad's.
Will Henry said tell you that the Home Guards will be ordered to Dover soon
and you may expect to hear of some daring deeds and hair breadth escapes
among the dog fennel down there. They say that weed grows in abundance down
there. He swears he won't wear those "Brown Janes Uniforms(??) . Res(?0 sends
her best respects. Uncle Elsey sends his best respects and good wishes and
says he looks for you to come back. Give my respects to all the boys I know
and tell them to give the Yankees ------- -------------. Ike, if you will
answer this I will write and give you the news generally.
Ike, Old Whit regretted exceedingly that we didn't get to take you all
another dinner. Never mind. when you get home, the fatted calf will be killed
and we will have a grand time. Tell William Thompson that Mrs. Britton has
been very ill but is some better. They thought she would die last week.
Walker Manson spent the day at the Howards last Sunday. He told us he went
far as Nashville with you all. Well I will quit. I wish you all the
luck to get home again and if you do fight I hope you will whip the Yankies.
Write to us soon
L. Peterson (his aunt Louisa V. Peterson)
Oh! Ike, these Home Guards are having their Brown Jeans
uniforms made. Jimmy says he won't wear it.
Oct. 11th 1861
I received your letter of the 28th and was very glad to hear from you.We
all been ------- ------ ------ I have either been or sent to the postoffice
every time the mail has come in for the last four weeks and thought you were
either sick or did not receive my letters. Your folks are all well. Your
Mother says if you can get away from there, come if George gets well enough
to bring him or if he dies you must come home.I wrote to you last week but
perhaps you didn't get that. i have no news that would interest you much.
There is a good deal of excitement about the troops that are being
Ky. from Mississippi.
The cars are running all the time, the baggage and passenger trains have
stopped (running). Nothing but carrying soldiers. There is a big fight
expected between here and Louisville. Pig Greenhill came near being killed
while out on picket guard. George Trice shot and killed the the fellow that
tried to kill Pig. Pig has been here since the affair. He has his head tied
up where the fellow struck him. I gave you a full account of it in my other
Fannie Britton and Mollie were here last week and said they wanted to see
very much. Fannie told Mollie that you said you thought more of her than
of the other girls. Mollie says you like her best, so you will have to settle
that when you get home.
Dee Pollard (Cordelia Ann Pollard, daughter of George Milton Pollard and
Martha E. Young Pollard) still has Spence Meacham, and-------, and John Mason
waiting on her (courting her). John is trying to devil Spence, I believe.
Tell Tip his folks are all well. John Mason was here last week. Nat Trice
has come home. He has been down on the Tennessee river, the Yankee's having
got Smithland(?) and Paducah both. Old Forbes had better bring the boys home.
I expect they will be needed here before long. Bill Leigh wrote to you the
other day. Tell Roberson Brown his folks are well and Mrs. Brown is uneasy
about him.Tell George his folks are all well and sorry that he is sick. His
mother sends her love and says she is in hopes he will get home. If George
well enough we will look for him when John O'Neal comes home.
Blanche is still at home and Jimmy is upstairs writing to you. Your mother
sends her love to you and says as Jimmy and myself are writing, thinks it
unnecessary for her to write.
Your Pap's health is about as usual. Give my respects to all the boys I know
and tell them to come home before they all die out there. I wish I could
you all something good to eat. Jimmy Philpot came by here. We all ran out
see him and asked him about ten thousand questions, and would like to have
liked to ask some more, but the fellow looked so lean and gaunt we thought
had better let him rest a little before he went home.
Ask Henry Bullock if he has forgotten his promise to write to me. Tell him
write to his uncle John O'Neal. Give my respects to Billy Shepherd and little
Jimmy McNickles. Tell them to take good care of you folks.Write soon
Your Aunt Lou P.(Peterson)
Sept. 7, 1861
(This letter is abbreviated due to its length, and is mostly concerned with
family.) Dear Ike, I brought a nice melon to Mrs. ---- this morning and I
wish I could hand you boys some melons and fruit and something good to eat.
Mrs. Britton has put you up a nice can (jar) of peaches for you when you
home. Tell all the boys that came from here their folks are all well.
Your pups are well and frisky as ever. Tell Tip his old dog has about a peck
of fleas not quite a large as crickets. Give my respects to every one. Has
Andrew Cherry found his dinner bag yet?
Goodbye Yours Truly
Submitted by Margaret Winders at Mrwinders@aol.com
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