10th September 1864: “His loss to the ‘Confederacy’ at this time, is a public calamity.”

Item Description: Two letters received by Mattie Ready on the same sheet of paper after her husband’s death. Her husband, named John Hunt Morgan, was a cavalry raider and brigadier general. Her family describes the fall of Atlanta and conditions in Georgia.

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Item Citation: From Folder 13, in the John Hunt Morgan Papers, #2842, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription: 

Bellmont 10th Sept. 1864

Dear “Mattie”

Some two days since we heard of the death of your estimable Husband – it was doubted, and from the statements of the travelers the next day, not believed. Yesterdays intelligence however, confirms the sad reproof. Let me say to you we sympathise with you in your bereavement, most sincerely. Your affliction must be indescribable. but we trust will be able to bear up under it remembering that a bleeding country unites with you, in your grief, and sorrows. His loss to the “Confederacy” at this time, is a public calamity. 

The stat of Georgia is sorely invaded – “Atlanta” the Gate City, has fallen. The position of the “Enemy” now is all they could desire – so far as this part of the country is concerned –  they have not only the key, but the Rail Roads to almost every town, and I might say neighborhood in the state of Georgia. This being the case, it is needless to invite you to our house, for a home knowing that under the circumstances it would be declined – still if you can do no better, and  conclude to hazard it, we will be pleased to do for you, and “Alice”, all in our power. As before remarked, you can but try it, in the event that you are unable to do better. We will, as you know, be plased to see you, and will do all in our power to make your stay agreeable – a failure if any, will be chargeable to Yankee ???. Your Uncle “Rush” speaks of going to “Charlotte” North Carolina, with his funds. Owing to the sudden illness of “Minerva,”  your Aunt will not write for a day or so.

She joins me in Love 

T. W. Fleming

My Dear Mattie, 

Mr. Fleming has written you this morning and before he leaves for town I add a few short lines, what can I say my dear Mattie to you in your deep affliction. Words cannot express my feeling and sympathy, truly your cup of sorrow runneth over but I hope you will endeavor to be resigned and submissive to the will of an all wise providence who does not afflict willingly but does all things seemeth best to himself, it is how I know from sad experience to feel resigned to afflictions, have been afflicted like yourself, and know that no human sympathy can sooth or lessen you our sorrow, but there is a higher power who if we look to can and will give us comfort in this our day of sorrow. I had written Alice the day before we heard of the death of Gen. Morgan, and opened my letter added a few short and excited lines, hope she has received it, we had hoped to have heard from her by telegraph, hope very soon to get a better giving particulars,  we thought possibly the sermons(?) might have been brought here for internment. Afterwards concluded perhaps this would be (? ?) and still we are in doubt, know nothing positive. Do let us know where you are , even if you will not come to Georgia, our house you know will be a home for you so long as we have a house we are more than willing to share it with you, I hope and pray the Yankees will never get nearer to us than they now are, still things look more gloomy than they ever have before in this section of the country. Mark has not yet taken a leave, evidence he cannot get one, and he feels in doubt as to the [??]. We are all well, except Meriam who is very sick. She was confined last night, another still born child. I feel uneasy about her. I hope Alice will write very soon, and when you feel as if you could write dear Mattie do so. We will be pleased to hear from you, let us know if you will come to us, anything we can do for you shall be done. Very affectionately, your Auntie C.S. [Torn]

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