22 April 1861: “Everybody here is talking about war. Many have gone to hunt it up.”

Item description: This letter from John Wesley Halliburton to his fiancee and future-wife Juliet Halliburton, written several weeks before his graduation from the University of North Carolina in 1861, describes an incident where he delivered a pro Union speech at a secessionist rally.

Full item transcription: http://docsouth.unc.edu/unc/unc09-04/unc09-04.html

Item citation: From folder 2 of the John Wesley Halliburton Papers #4414-z, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

More about this item:

Biographical information on John Wesley Halliburton is incomplete. He was born in Woodville, Tenn., in 1840. Before his graduation from the University of North Carolina in 1861, he became engaged to his second cousin, Juliet Halliburton of Little Rock, Ark.

Although he opposed secession from the Union, Halliburton enlisted in the Confederate Army with his home county regiment, the Haywood County (Tennessee) Grays, soon after he left Chapel Hill. While Halliburton was visiting Juliet in Arkansas in the spring of 1862, Memphis fell to the Union, and he was unable to rejoin the Haywood County troops. Instead, he enlisted with an Arkansas regiment, and at one point was captured and imprisoned.

Eventually, Halliburton and Juliet were married. They had two sons, Wesley and John Holloway Halliburton.

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