Letters From Forgotten Ancestors

The Hunt, King, Taylor,
Fawks, Lancaster, Mitchell
and Harris Connection.

Wilson County, Tennessee

“Lebanon . . . the most desolated place I ever saw”
~ 1862 ~
Copyright © 2000, Frederick Smoot. All Rights Reserved.

There is no envelope, the contents imply this letter was hand carried to Sumner County Tennessee.
Letter’s author:
Jodie Guthrie
Wilson Cy August 3rd, } 62.

My Dear Aunts:
No doubt you will be suprised to hear from me after so long a time. It was not any fault our correspondence was broken up so early. I wrote the last letter, why it was not answered, I never knew. I have not forgotten you, but love you both so much as ever, though it seems I have not been so kindly remembered. I never hear from you at all, you might as well be a thousand miles away. Last fall, I got ready to go to see you, fully expecting Cousin Celous to come for me, but as his business was very urgent, of so much more importance than I was, he did not come, so ended my visit to Sumner. Cousin Brown told he would take me any time I wished to go, but I was entirely out of the motion.
Many long weary months have passed since we met, bringing many cares and troubles, yet not without pleasures too. Some portion of the time has passed very pleasantly. I have visited nearly all my relations which was quite a task I assure you, though a most agreeable one. All inquired about you both and said they would like very much to see you. I went up to Smith [County] several times, also to Rutherford [County]. I like Murfreesboro very much, became acquainted with a good many nice people there. This year I have n’t gone about much, I have been sick nearly all the time. I was sick at Cousin Susan Fisher’s several months, I shall never forget her kindness. My health is improving slowly. I was glad to hear you were well. I am at Cousin Ben. Windfords, and saw Cousin Celous when he passed and asked about you, and he kindly offered to be the bearer of a letter for me, a condecension I had not expected.
Don’t you get very lonely staying at home by yourselves? I know I would have been frightened out of my wits, if I had been there, such times as we have had. We are better off now than you are, after being free for a short time, we feel as though we had new life in our veins, we have been held in so much restraint.
I stopped writing a while ago to go to Sunday School and have just returned, and will now finish my letter. I expect to go home in a few weeks. Brother is living in Nashville and he has written repeatedly for me to come home, they are very anxious to see me. I left N. a year ago and have never been back yet. I have staid up here so long, it seems more like home to me than any other place. I am going to write to Brother to come for me. I shall be sorry to leave here, all have been so kind, I shall always look to my visit here, as one of the brightest periods of my life. I know it will be very lonely at home, will miss my friends so much. The girls of this neighborhood visit me very often, they are all nice, pretty, agreeable ones,and I like them very much. Uncle Bennetts family are all well, and did they know I was writing to you, would [have] a message to send. The old place looks just as it used to when you were there. Cousin Brown Peyton lives the re, they have a house full, yet there has been room for me. Uncle Bennett has been like a father to me, and I love him almost like one.
I stay in Lebanon a good deal. It is the most desolated place I ever saw. I was there a week ago, and had a most delightful time. I had been there three weeks, and when the soldiers came to town I was in bed and did not think I could walk twenty yards, but I was so anxious to see them I got up and dressed, went down town and staid all day. It had a better effect than medicine would had. You must come down to see me after I get home. Brother like to see you both so much, and you know I would. You must excuse all mistakes, I write so seldom now, I have almost forgotten how. I would like very much to come to see you but must go home, and it was worth while to say when I will come, for no one knows what a day may bring forth now.
You must write to me, after I get home, and do not forget me, if others have done so. I have written all I can think of, so must cease.
Hoping that we may meet, I remain
Your loving neice,
Jodie Guthrie

From the Collection of Frederick Smoot
Provenance: eBay Online Auction, 1998

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