Thomasville Times Enterprise

January 3, 2013

Davis discusses letters


THOMASVILLE — An interesting program was prepared by John B. Gordon 383 United Daughters of the Confederacy chapter member Camille Davis on the topic of "Letters."

Davis presented an informative, as well as a heart warming program concerning letters written by Confederate soldiers that included the time span of 1861-1865 during The War Between the States. Some of the letters had actually been written by some familiar names from Thomas County such as, Shadrack Dickey,  brother William Dickey and William Sellers.

Davis' resources came from her reading the book of letters from “Dear Mother: Don't grieve about me. If I get killed, I'll only be dead." edited by Mills Lane.

Davis explained that the letters in the book were printed in chronological order of the War. The letters told about the excitement the young Confederate soldiers felt getting ready to “whip the Yankees.” They expected to start the War one day and finish the next. Davis stated “The young men did not have a clue what was ahead.”

Davis said that many of the letters included formal statements such as,"I take my seat to write." Many letters included fond thoughts directed to missing their  parents, siblings, wives, other family members. Letters also included explanations of illnesses the soldiers were contacting, such as smallpox.

As the war was in its final stages the letters turned more grim and sadly graphic. The Confederate Army was desperately in need of food, shoes, clothing  and medicine. Davis shared her book with the UDC chapter leaving the members wanting to read the book themselves to read more letters.

A Memorial Service was held in memory of chapter member Myrtice Wells Tyson who recently passed away. Tyson joined the United Daughters of the Confederacy 15 March 1991. She joined on her ancestor John Milledge Sanders of the Co. E 41st Georgia Infantry. Sanders was Tyson's great-great-grandfather. Tyson's daughter, Mary Margaret Quiggle who is also a member of John B. Gordon 383 UDC Chapter was there to see the special service. President Sheila Tucker and Chaplain Ginger Norman led the Memorial Service Ritual.

There was also  recognition for three special days of observances for the month of January. They were: Jan. 14, birthday of Commodore Matthew Fontaine Maury, CSN; Jan. 19, birthday of Gen. Robert E. Lee, Commander-in-Chief CSA; and Jan. 21 birthday of General Thomas ("Stonewall") J. Jackson, CSA.

Three cupcakes were  on display with a lighted  birthday candle.