Gibbons/Kemper/Yancey Family Letter Series

Gibbons/Kemper/Yancey Family Letter Series

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Information about this letter:

Envelope: Address:
  • Miss Ginnie M Gibbons
  • Cedertown
  • Polk County
  • Georgia
  • in care of the Rev B Arbogast
  • MAR 26
  • Five cents; Confederate States of America
Postage Due:
  • 3 (cents); it would seem that they didn't want to accept the stamp issued by the Confederate States of America
Sender: Mary (Gibbons) Yancey [See Mary Gibbons in Guide to Individuals]
  • born 08/03/1810
  • married 05/01/1846
  • spouse William Burbridge Yancey (2nd wife)
  • died 01/10/1905

Sender identified via similarity in both handwriting and seal, as well as names mentioned in letter

Recipient: Virginia Montgomery Gibbons [See Virginia Montgomery Gibbons in Guide to Individuals]
  • born 09/02/1836
  • married 1st in 04/1863 to Andrew Irick
  • married 2nd in 1881 to Samuel R. Sterling
  • died 01/06/1928
Recipient identified from the address on the envelope
Date Written: March 25, 1862
Location: Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, Rockingham County
Surnames mentioned: Harnsberger, Miller, Sellers, Yancey
Locations mentioned: Bridgewater, Harrisonburg, Mims Bottoms, Staunton; Missouri (State)
Jackson's Valley Campaign: Jackson's Valley Campaign took place from March of 1862 through June of 1862; it's possible that the movements described here in this letter are merely related to the beginning of this Valley Campaign, or it is possible that they refer to the battle known as "Kernstown I", which was fought March 23, 1862.

see for more information on the battle at Kernstown.

Text of the letter:

March 25th 1862

My Dear Sister;

Yesterday I received your long & long looked for letter. I really was geting vexed at you for not writing, We have written to you so often, Jane wrote last week, I suppose you have her letter by this time, Robert sent for me the day Fannie was confined I was there more than a week, came home yesterday. Fan is quite smart, told me yesterday she would get up this morning and stay up, The babe is very good she sleeps nearly all the time, Jane sent you a lock of her hair in her letter, you had not heard of Alfred Harnsbergers death when you wrote, Fan and I wrote about the same time giving you the particulars of his death, I did not know she was writing & the letters went to the office the same day, I thought you would have seen it announced in the Register, I also wrote the week after a came from Harrisonburg when Tommy Yancey died, did you get the letter, Some persons have been trying to make some garden but it rains & snows almost all the time snowed yesterday & snowed this morning the river keeps up all the time, Robert was in Harrisonburg he called there on his way to Bridgewater says Uncle Abel is quite unwell complains of his head, that side that was sore a year or two ago, Father & Mother are as well as usual, Jane was mending a dress for Mother yesterday when I left, Well I suppose I must tel of the excitement we had here last week, Jacksons army had gotten up as far in the Valley as Mims Bottoms, I Judge you all know where that is, And the enemy not far behind them, I heard Dr. Sellers say he was in Harrisonburg & it made him feel very sad, persons from down the Valley were leaving in Carriages and Buggies, some driving their stock, others leaving every thing, & Jackson sending his Cannon and a great many things to Staunton, We were laying plans for conceiling things for we expected if the Yankeys got in here they would plunder every house, and take every man and send them to Forts, George was going to send his family down on the river he sent a load of things down on Sunday, the girls were coming in the wagon, but just before the wagon started they heard that the Yankey had gone back, so they will wait a while, they [just ?? or first ??] [then ?? or there ??] plunder in my house, George think we are not in as much danger as if we were on some main road, We could not do much work last week, now we dont feel like doing much yet most persons think Va will be over run just like Missouri what do you all think, I fear Va is in an awful condition yet still have faith and hope for the best, We heard last night, Jackson is sending his stores to Staunton, I fear he will give up the Valley and go to Staunton, then we are left to the mercy of

Note: Next section may belong to this letter, or may belong instead to gibbons letter dated June 11th, which is presumed to be June 11th, 1861; it will appear with both letters until it can be determined where it really belongs; this unidentified section does identify the recipient of the letter to which it belogs -- the recipient must be none other than Virginia Montgomery Gibbons:

***** Start unidentified section******

Gin; Sarah sends you A shirt she says you can make it and wear it while you are in Georgia when you leave give it to Fan, she says as Fan is a good hand to piece perhaps she could get A piece off of it to make Cora one, The Gingham is for you & Fan to trim your Shakers, If you have trimed your Shakers it will mak Cora a dress, the stockings are for Fannie, Sarah sends twelve dollars, six for you and six for Fannie, Tis some of her war monies, They, made I mean Fan and Sarah, made lots of money Fan made upwards of 200 dollars Sarah upwards of one 100, Fan sold Honey at a dollar a pound, and the man that bought it sold it for 2 ½ a pound, butter 50 cents, chicken 62 ½ cents, [Tomatoes ?? or Tamatoes ??] 1 dollar a bottle, Emily says people down here are hogs,

Now I will let you what I have made 1 pair of pants & a vest for old Uncle Dave, when he pays me that will be my spending money, Yes I forgot I sold 4 pairs of socks at 50 cents a piece I have sold 3 of my hats at a dollar a piece & 4 more to sell dont know if they will sell or not, that is my crop.

***** End unidentified section******

Note: If this unidentified section belongs to the other letter, then the remainder of this letter has been lost.

Addendum at very top of first sheet, written upside down:

Do you get the Register, Mr Miller says we may look for the Yankeys again in about three weeks again, I hope not

Key to individuals mentioned in this letter:

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