Date Original

1861 August 14


Mary A. Nelson, the cousin of William H. Woodruff, who was currently serving in the Confederate Army, keeps him informed about life back home. She jokes about her experiences on horseback. Also, she mentions the lack of young men in the street, and a church service she went to. The preacher talked about relying too much on the North. She goes on to discuss matters about family.

Biographical/Historical Note

The Civil War permeated every aspect of life for citizens living during that time, especially for those living in the South. William H. Woodruff served in Company H, 21st Tennessee Cavalry (Wilson's), Confederate States Army. The Arkansas State Archives holds a collection of his correspondence, receipts, and other documents.


[Page 1] Possom Hollow August 14th 1861
Dear Cousin.
Well Will I am away up
here at Mr. Butters I came up with Sarah and
Mr Butter we got here day before yesterday Cousin
Jim came with us I rode Hattie and made
her back very sore caused from a nail in the
saddle you just ought to have seen me jump off
of Hattie when the saddle turned I got down quicker
than I got up dont you think I have any luck on
horse back. I haven't seen any young folk since I
got here It is a lonesome place it seems like I have
been here a long time (to only be two days ) I went
to a speaking in Bolivar last Friday The Rev.
Mr. Graves delivered a speech it was excellent
he was telling us how dependent we are upon
the north he said every thing we have comes from
the North. from the peg in our sole to the grease
on our hair. Mr Pitser Millers Foundry was burned
down last Thursday night Mr. Miller was not at home
at the time
Mr Butler told us a while ago that there
had been two fights in Missouri one at New-
Madrid South Victorious I am anxious to hear
whether Jimmy was killed or not Mr McCarley [Page 2] has not gone yet. he was to start tomorrow
Did Mr. Hays receive my last letter I sent
by Mr Fortune tell him when he answers it
to direct to Montezuma to Mr Jacob H. Butler
Care of Mr. John Estes put in one corner for M. A. [ ]
and you direct the same way I want you to write
often for I will be as glad to get a letter from you
as you are from me I know. I believe I have said
all I have to say I thought I would write so as to
send the letter to Montezuma when Mr. Butler goes
this have all well excep [sic] Amanda she had a bad
cold Give my respects to Mr. Hays and Mr. Fortune
Sarah and Mr. Butler join in sending love to you
Write Soon to your
Affectionate Cousin
Mary A Nelson
W. H. Woodruff
I meant Mr. Millers Factory instead of Foundry

Physical Description

2 pages handwritten, 9.5" x 7.25"


Civil War; religion; religious services; Religion and politics


Nelson, Mary A.

Geographical Area

Possum Hollow, Howard County (Ark.)






Small manuscript collection


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

Mary A. Nelson, Possom Hollow, Arkansas, to William H. Woodruff, Small manuscript collection, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.


Use and reproduction of images held by the Arkansas State Archives without prior written permission is prohibited. For information on reproducing images held by the Arkansas State Archives, please call 501-682-6900 or email at


image preview



Download Full Text (1.1 MB)

Mary A. Nelson, Possom Hollow, Arkansas, to William H. Woodruff