You may wonder why I'm in such a hurry to post all these letters. A good buddy of mine named Wheeler Pounds is writing a trilogy about the Cherokee Indians from Northern Alabama and he's come to the Civil War part of his book. He is using these letters to help understand the way things were in the Civil War for the common person in the South. So, now I'm nearing the end of the letters, only a few more. There are more letters but they are after the war and have little to do with the war at all.
When this letter begins in June of 1864, A.H. Burnett is gone probably killed at Chickamauga, Jerry Burnett is dead from disease in March of 1864 and their little brother William Burnett has entered the 28th Alabama Infantry (probably conscripted) at age 18 and been captured at Ringgold Gap, Georgia. He was sent to Rock Island Prison Camp in Illinois where he dies in late March of 1864, the same month as his brother Jerry. The family doesn't yet know that William is dead. I'm not sure if they know about Jerry yet or not.
Alabama, Talladega County
This June the 9, 1864
Dear children, I now take my pen in hand to write you a few lines to let you know that we are all well at this time as common, hoping that these few lines may come to your hand and find you all well and a doing well. I ain't got anything strange to write to you that is strange. Catherine, we received your letter and we was glad to hear from you and to hear that you was all well and you wanted to hear from the boys. We ain't heard from them in some time. Joel (Private, Company G, 31st Alabama Infantry) we heard from him about two weeks ago. We ain't heard from William (captured on November 26, 1863 and sent to Rock Island Prison Camp, he had died on March 31, 1864 there of unknown causes, he was dead 9 days before this letter was written) but one time since the yankee's got him and they say that the yankee's has got Moses (I have not located Moses yet). We ain't got no letter from him in a month and you wanted us to write how we made out for provisions. We have got corn enough to do us and we got milk and butter a plenty, but bacon is scarce and I will make some wheat. I have about seven acres sowed, but I don't get but half and (unreadable). I want to know whether you draw any money or not, and if you don't you go to the probate judge and see if there ain't money for the women sent to him, for the women gets help here. (This makes it pretty clear that Alexander is dead.) They get money and corn and salt and I hear that the soldiers is a writing that they think they will be at home by the fourth of July and I wish it may be so. I want you to write as soon as you can to us and let us know all the news you can and I will let you know that wheat crops ain't (unreadable) in this part (unreadable) country were killed by the cold weather. they are too thin, it will be tolerable good grain wheat and corn crops is small, yet I ain't got a very big crop this year. I have about fourteen acres in corn and I want to know whether you are making a crop or not and we hear that they yankee's is not far off and I don't know whether it is so or not. The (unreadable) the old woman wants to know how many children you have, a their names and their ages. So I will close my letter for this time by saying we still remain your father and mother until death. To Catherine and Susey Burnett. Pleasant and Martha Burnett. Write as often as you can and I will.
State of Alabama, Talladega County
June the 5, 1864
Dear sisters, I again with pleasure seat my self to inform you that I am well as common, hoping when this comes to your hand it will find you well and doing well. I ain't got anything to write to you that would interest you at this time, more than we received your kind letter last night. I was glad to hear from you one time more. Catherine, I am sorry for you and any other women in your fix and Susey (Her husband Jeremiah Burnett died on March 6, 1864 from disease) too. I hope God may be with you both and you may never suffer. I am making out very well considering the bad accident that happened to us. Catherine, I ain't got but one letter from William since he was taken prisoner. He was in (unreadable) have to close for this time. I remain your sister. Ly. E. Burnett to Catherine and Susey Burnett.