Duncan research files of
Letter written by Josephus Duncan 1864 (from Michael Keesling 1995 with copy of original letter and permission to share with others; MK: the letter was written to Josephus Duncan's parents, Landon and Sarah Duncan)
Website of Michael Keesling 10/15/2000:
Camp near Abington, Va. April 23rd 1864. Dear Father and Mother
An opportunity being presented for me to send you a few lines, I shall avail myself of it and try and give you a short sketch of what I have seen and undergone since I returned to my company. Since my return my health has not been verry good while I was at Bull's Gap I took the diareah which caused me to loose my apetite which reduced me in flesh and strength verry much which made the march from thence to this place set hard with me. But since we reached this place my health has much improved. We have been on short rations for some time. But not so short at this time as some time ago. Then we got two thirds of a pound of course wheat chap. The wheat having been badly cleaned at that and one fourth pound Bacon. Now we get one pound of good flower and one fourth pound Bacon. This is short rations for men doing service.
But... men lying in camp can make out we have had nothing but guard duty to perform untill within the last few days. We now drill two hours and a half each day. Our colonel has offered as a premium one hundred dollars to the company that proves the best on drill in 25 days from the time of our commencing drill. This he offers to stimulate the men and companies to the greatest exertions to improve. On the fifteenth of this month there was a man shot for desertion in our battalion. I was one of the unfortunate number detailed for the execution. Truly a hard work to perform. But duty leads us to do many things that go against our wills as well in the service of our country as in the service of our God. There was another man convicted and was to have been shot yesterday. But from some cause his time was prolonged indefinitely and the opinion is that he will be reprieved. He seemed determined to meet his fate without a murmer and said if it would satisfy them to shot him they could do it. He has never been seen to shed a tear or give a sigh. But to give you some idea of ___ his indifference I will give you a circumstance of it. Since the sentence of death was passed upon him his wife came to see him and brought him some pies. She seemed at first to be much affected and made a great ado while he seemed to enjoy himself eating ___ regardless of her wailings. And when she went to leave him he told her to meet him in Heaven to which she answered he had better be sure he would get there first.
The times as far as farming is concerned look gloomy. The spring is backward cold and wet. But at this time looks like it is about to make a change for the better. In Tennessee the wheat crop is bound to be short some farmers were plowing up and sowing in oats or going to plant in corn. In this country the prospect is better but not ... here. The country over which our army has passed has suffered verry much. Our authorities have impressed (?) all they could spare and in many cases I fear more. And the soldiers have stole much of what was left them. There has been near this ... five thousand troops fed from what has been gathered from the country or ...
The Yankees if they should come will have to bring all their supplies with them. We have been for some time and are yet in hopes that we will get back to the Narrows or at least somewhere in Gen'l Breckenridge's department. From what I can gather from the papers and all other sources the greatest battle of the war will soon be fought near Richmond which it is thought will end the war if we should be successful and our troops seem to be quite sanguin in their expectations that the victory will be ours. May the God of battles be on our side and give us such a victory as will lead to a speedy peace.
I received a letter from home a day or so ago. They were then well. Malinda said the children are going to school and learning fine. Tell Chester if he is with you not to forget his book and let the other children out... him. My sheet being small I will have to bring my letter to a close. Give respects to all my friends if any... I have especially to Jane Ellison if she is with you. Tell her to write to me soon. My kind regard to Lewis and family and for yourself accept my best wishes for time and eternity.
Yours in hopes of Heaven, Josephus Duncan.
Malinda Tuggle Duncan Family Bible (in the possession of Fred "Buster" Duncan of Hamilton, Virginia; from Michael Keesling 1995 with permission to share with others; no copyright information given)
Josephus Duncan, Was born Mch 23rd 1825, Deceased May 25th 1864
Malinda J. Tuggle, Was born Decem 20th 1833
William Chester Duncan, Son of Josephus Duncan and Malinda J. Duncan Was born Mch 26th 1853
John H. Duncan, son of Josephus Duncan and Malinda J. Duncan Was born Mch 12th 1854
Sarah Malinda Duncan Daughter of Josephus Duncan and Malinda J. Duncan Was born February 6th 1856
Daughter Unnamed Was born Mch 28th Deceased Mch 30th 1857
Amanda Julia Duncan Was born April 8th 1858
Martha Susan Duncan Was born July 17th 1860
Erastus A. Duncan Was born August 18 1862
Ellen Rice Was born Septem 28th 1869 Deceased 1872
Lula Rice Was born Feb 6th 1871
Renedia J. Rice Was born Feb 24th 1873
Charles H. Rice Was born May 2nd 1875
Auther T. Rice Was born October 10th 1876, Died August 5th 1961
Erastus A. Duncan Was Born August 18th 1862
Leinnine(?) Gertrude Hale Born Jan 10th 1871
Nora Lee Duncan Born August 7 1887
Jessie V. Duncan Was Born May 18 1892
Fred L. Duncan Was Born March 24th 1894
Mae S. Duncan Was Born Jan. 10th 1897
Walter W. Duncan Was Born Aprl. 2 1898
Maude E. Duncan Was Born May 19th 1901
Rhea H. Duncan Was Born July 9th 1902
Oscar H. Duncan Was Born July 29th 1904
Ruth Duncan Was Born June 20 1909
Josephus Duncan and Malinda J. Tuggle Was Married June 24th 1852
Erastus A. Duncan and Linnie(?) G. Hale was married April 15th 1896
Nora Lee Duncan & Luther W. Fletcher was married June 8 1910
Jessie Vernon Duncan and Wiley F. Hicks was married Dec. 8th 1910
Mae S. Duncan and Ryburn Keesling was married Nov. 22nd 1916
Fred L. Duncan and Kathleen Lagard was married Jan. 2, 1916.
Fred L. Duncan, Russell (Sister) Lovett, June 21, 1939
Josephus Duncan died May 25, 1864
William C. Duncan died Oct. 1868
Ellen Rice died June 1873
Remelia J. Rice died July 1879
George W. Rice died Feb. 4th 1880
Malinda J. Rice was Born Dec. 20th 1833, Deceased June 1st 1895
Gertrude Hale Duncan, Sept. 9, 1939
Jessie V. Duncan Borned May 18, 1892, Deseased Oct 15, 1915
Nora Duncan Fletcher died April 11th 1971
Frederick Landon Duncan died Nov. 1, 1971, age 77
Russell (Sister) Lovett Duncan Birth June 25, 1895, Jan. 10, 1963, Age 67
Ruth Kathleen (Duncan) Jones Died Feb. 1979, 82
Marion Alessi Duncan (Mrs. Robert L. Duncan) April 8, 1926, Oct. 25, 1983
Ryban A. Keesling, Sept. 25, 1894 - Cedar Springs, June 2, 1989 - (94)
Mae Duncan Keesling, 11-1-90 (93)
Margaret Duncan Ford, 6-19, 1991 - (71)
Obituaries, both of Waiteville, Monroe Co. WV, newspaper names and dates not given and not on photocopy (from Helen M. Flagg 1998 with permission to share with others; HMF: they contain some errors, as obituaries usually do; the Morrisset)
Death, Wm. L. Duncan. The death of Mr. Wm. L. Duncan, which occurred at his home near Waiteville, this county, on July 18, 1906, has already been briefly announced in these columns. His burial took place on the afternoon of the following day, in the cemetery surrounding the church near Waiteville, Rev. L.P. Bradley conducting the funeral services. Mr. Duncan was in the 85th year of his age. He was one of Monroe county's most sterling citizens and his long life was exemplary of the splendid virtues of rectitude, modesty and loving-kindness. For many years he was a devoted member of the Christian Church and he approached the grave with unfaltering courage and faith. He was thrice married, his first wife being a Miss Miller of Craig Co., VA, his second a Miss Wiseman of this county, and his third wife, who preceded him to the tomb about three years ago, was a Miss Thurmond, a sister of Capt. Wm. Thurmond of Fayette Co. His surviving children are Mrs. R.W. Bobbitt, Mrs. W.M. Bobbitt and Mr. Geo. C. Duncan of this county, Mrs. H.P. Bobbitt and Mrs. Augustus Dunbar of Greenbrier, and Mrs. Paris Hall of Roanoke, VA. To them and to his country he has left the investimable (MAD: sic) heritage of a good and useful life.
George C. Duncan. Mr. George Clifton Duncan, aged 84 years, 10 months and 15 days, died last Thursday night, April 1, 1937, at 8;40 at the home of his son, Mr. E.B. Duncan, near Sinks Grove. Mr. Duncan had enjoyed good health up until two weeks before his death when he became seriously ill with pneumonia and since then his condition had been grave. He was a native of Giles Co., VA, but while yet young moved to the Waiteville section of this county where most of his life was passed. He was united in marriage to Miss India Minerva Williams of VA, and to them eight children were born, seven of whom survive. He was a loyal member of the Waiteville Methodist Church and was ever ready to take his part in beneficent causes. For nearly three years he had made his home with his son at Sinks Grove and for two years prior to that had lived with his daughter, Mrs. Charles Morrisette, at Charlottesville, VA. Wherever he resided he won friends easily. Surviving are his widow and the following children: Mr. H.H. Duncan of Bluefield; Mr. R.H. Duncan of Butler, PA; Mr. W.C. Duncan of Scottsville, VA; Mr. E.B. Duncan of Sinks Grove; Mrs. A.A. Hartman, Athens; Mrs. C.B. Hedrick, Rochester, NY; Mrs. Charles Morrisette, Charlottesville, VA; Besides these children there are fifteen grand-children and many great-grand-children. One daughter, Miss Thelma Duncan, preceded him in death. Funeral services were held Saturday afternoon at 2 o'clock at the Waiteville Methodist Church with Rev. J.E. McDonald in charge. Pallbearers were three grandchildren: ...rs. Arnold, Edwin and ... Fran... (bottom corners cut off and last line mostly missing.)
(Note by Helen Flagg: wherever the surname Morrissette appears, it should be spelled with two "s's" The spelling denotes a different branch of this family from the spelling with one "s.")
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