8 March 1864: ‘Atherson says the negroes are running off from as high up as Yancy’s and in almost every instance make a safe run.”

Item description: Letter, dated 8 March 1864, presumed to be written by William Rhodes Capehart to his grandfather from Cheraw S.C.  In this letter, Capehart discusses the recent speech given by North Carolina Governor Zebulon Vance in Wilkesboro, N.C., as well as conditions in the Pee Dee region in South Carolina and correspondence with family in North Carolina.

[item transcription available below images]

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Item citation: From folder 3 in the William Rhodes Capehart Papers #2738-z, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

Cheraw S.C.

March 8 1864

My dear Grandpa,

Another spring as come and still no prospect of a cessation of this unnatural [stage?] and no [anual?] more to the Fishery. But our Governor in his exilent speach delivered at Wilksboro assumes no, but to be true to ourselves and all will be right, That is a speach showing him to be a great and good man, but at the same time it shows to outsiders that there is something [mmy?] somewhere, to [?].  Such an address, as they said by the Habeas Corpus, there must be [something?] strong to cause its [?].   That speech will [?] to come as [great?] [?] to the Governor of N. Carolina but will cause the next generation to ask if they were all patriots and [slain?] before our time, why such a speach as that delivered by Gov. Vance. He is an Extraordinary man, and N.C. and Ga. are far ahead of the other states in their Executives.  How unfortunate for us N.C. just now, and not as So. Carolina elect her Governor by the Legislature instead of the people, thereby [?] the [malificate?] That all true more in the state must fill at the seat [W. W. Holam?] with get next [?].  May the Good Lord see fit to take him before, in my Life.

I only saw to-day the [?] of Col. H.M. Shaw of the [G.A.S.C.?] [?] right before hope to all, to see every effort both by land and sea [baffles?] with comp-arative ease Simpler a monument of result of resistance.  The enemy has made no headway [whatevso?] in Gen. [? ?], and I am happy to say I have not seen a man or heard of one who hesitated a moment to volunteer at the [?] by Congress’ consenting those who had a substitute.  That and the manir in which  an army (here almost to a man), [? ?] not from satisfactory to Mr. Lincoln! [Foremost?] I was proud to see Gen. Johnson’s Progress. N. Carolina bad off in the [?] work Gen. [?] army.

I am [very?] [?] to hear from [?]. I am too much [?] to [?] to my native co. – it only shoes how a good leading man can [?] a set of good people. Thompson Cooper Miller & co. had better burn in Hell, [?] Massachusetts a [?] that God Grant may be more [?] to them than N.C. at the end of the war. Col. Rooker and myself rode over a [?] of Col. Daly’s  [bus?] grounds. [?] thought them [very?] rich. The Pedee [ventures on?]  for 1/2 a 2 miles [?].  I have a tho times [negroes?] you to dispose of a fration if you have [20?] for this or the next year.  This is a good place to [resevd?] them – to be haid above hear on the upper water of the  PeDee, they will be safe an in a good [dinale?].


A [negroes?] buy at [1.00?] sild yesterday for cash at $83.00. 20 years old, had been striking a link in a [shain?].

I am [verry?] much afraid & [anglers?] etc. will make up a stock see hard times before long. I wish to touch [Tom?].  (??) to permit me to raise him a thorough bred from the [Brown mare?] he uses . Lo [?] as to let me breed last [spring?], but as [he?] is fancy to bread to [Pallim?] say to him as he and not yet am Exchequer himself. I will give him this one.  I will have an opportunity to raise one another some time I have written both the Rebecca & Raldy but have not received any letter in repaly. How are they all? I hope little Rebecca has becom perfectly strong with herself again. I received a letter from Alanson Capehart some week ago, and he gives me an account of matters and things, and if Laughlin & Co. and us are as bad as the denfeastrates as tho havein men in that part of the state, there will be but little left.  I hope this mercy [had?] the last mo. of storm.  The said of a North Carolenian being a Union man and he [? ?] Eastern part of the state, as perfectly [? ?] to me. Atherson says the negroes are running off from as high up as Yancy’s and in almost every instance make a safe run.  He also stated that in some instances [horses and slaves?] went on [?] of the [?] book together. In the language of Gov. Vance that “we’ve may as to [?] from little of your personal affects  but you can’t make me believe it will bear the weight of a nigger.” Can you and Pa not make a bogus sale of some of you stock to Asa Philps & Hill Capehart. They might be able to protect it against Mes. Laughlin & Co. I have no idia what Col. [James T. Hamlin?] and Col James [Wagners?] can be doing with their [Pyramid?] of Infantry and Cavalry to prevent such a [band?] to remain in an organized state, for the last ten days I have been reading the pictorial history of the Revolution and struck with the [?] that figure in the [?] Revolution almost every prominent man in the [former?] is represented in the latter.  Look at the Lee’s – [?] led Lee, and Charles Lee who was the son of a Gen Lee of the British Army – showing that for years before our Revolution  that that family had been prominent in Military. I learned a good deal about the private history of the family from Dr. Whittle of Va and Redford Brown of our own state, “Blood [will roll?]” The said of the [Ailnigton?] house for years the property of the  Custis family and even some of the Lees should be put up and sold by Lincoln to pay a tax of some $40, and at the same time to be bough in by the Yankee [forts?] is too bad it occured some month since.

More about this item: The speech discusses in this letter, known as the “Address of Governor Vance on the Condition of the Country,” was delivered at Wilkesboro, N.C. on February 22nd, 1864.  The full text of this speech can be found here.

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