1852: Julia Caroline (Lyle) Piper to Henry Matthew Lyle & William H. Lyle

Presented here are two separate letters written by Julia Caroline (Lyle) Piper (1824-1871) to her younger brothers, Henry Matthew Lyle (1837-????) and William H. Lyle (1829-1865). Julia was the wife of Archibald Rutherford Piper (1822-1892), a farmer in Washington County, Tennessee, who was assisted in his farming by a small number of slaves.

Jonesborough, Tennessee in 1857

The first letter was written in late January 1852; the second letter in mid April 1852. From the contents of the first letter, it seems safe to assume that Henry Matthew Lyle was attending Emory & Henry College in Emory, Virginia. He would have been about 15 years old at the time. His 22 year-old brother William H. Lyle, the recipient of the second letter, was also attending the college [he appears as a student at E&H College in the 1850 Census].

Although the April letter was not dated, I have determined that it was written in 1853 based upon Julia’s mentioning the recent marriage of Thomas Sims Gillespie and Nancy (Brown) Harvey which occurred on 29 March 1853. Also, Julia mentions the Odd Fellows Female Academy which operated in Jonesborough, Tennessee and county records indicate it did not begin operation until 1852.

TRANSCRIPTION

[Letter addressed to Mr. Henry M. Lyle, Emory, Virginia and postmarked Jonesborough, January 29, 1852]

Sweet Home
January 25, 1852

Dear Brother,

I received your very welcome letter a few days ago and was glad to hear you was pleased with your new home and hope you may learn fast and do well. Try and have all the students [be] your friends. Be good and kind to them all and try to imitate the good and get the papers to say you are one of the best boys on the hill. You might try and learn something new every day and not do during the day what you cannot at night say was right.

We are all well.  Ma and [your little brother] “Charley” were here yesterday. Ma will send you a trunk soon. Jonathan Tucker is married. Everything goes on in the old way at home. We have had very cold weather and snow on the ground ever since you went away. I have moved my stove in the house and got on very well. The children want to see you very much. Charles does too.

Jacob’s legs has got worse again.

I have got on a big fat turkey cooking. I wish you and William were here to eat some of it. But you might to be at school and I will not complain. You must take good care of yourself and not get sick and keep in good heart. Don’t leave the college without asking William if you may go. Keep the best of company all the time. Write often and tell us how you get along. Give my love to William and accept the same. Don’t get homesick. Excuse this as it is written in haste on my lap.

Farewell, your affectionate sister, — Julia C. Piper

P.S. I must praise you for your neat, clean letter and good writing.

______________________________

[Addressed to Mr. Matthew H. Lyle, Emory, Virginia, postmarked Jonesborough, TN]

Sweet Home, [Jonesborough, TN 18 April 1853]
April

Dear Brother,

I have been a long time answering your letter but you must excuse me. I have been so busy making garden and tending to hens & chickens and there is no news of much interest, I believe. We are all well. Mr. Piper is done sewing oats and wants to try & plant a little corn next week. They are still sewing at the river yet and are not done the boats yet. John has been sick. I have not heard for several days how he is. Mr. Piper has gone down there today.

[Our brother] Cyrus is still swapping horses once and a while. He has had 6 or 7 since you went away and is cheated every time. Most he always gives boot. Kitt has a fine colt a few days old. It is a pretty little thing. [Our brother] Charley wants it but ma holds on to it. Old Maria has one too.

The Baptist have set up a school in town against the other academy and have a caused a great excitement about town. [The pastor, William] Cate & [others] among them have rode steady to get scholars. They have 26. The other teacher has not come yet for the academy. The odd fellows have the female academy & the masons the male. The masons have their school going now. They have a very good school. Their teacher’s name is Davies. The railroad is going ahead fast down the way.

Some of the negros have been sick. Little Sally Lyle has been nearly dead with the acute rheumatism lately & cannot stand to walk alone yet. Ben is at work on the road. Lizzie got a letter from Will. Came not long ago. He was well & he said he looked better, felt better, and was doing better than ever in his life.

The stage run away Tuesday before day in town from [Dr. Daniel] Kinney’s to [John] Simpson’s [hotel and] stable & threw out a man – a stranger – and run over his head. He was carried to Dr. Kinney’s & had not [yet] spoken when we heard from him yesterday or knew anything since no one knew him. Dr. [William P.] Chester was in [the stage] too, just getting home from Washington City. He stayed in [the stage] and was not hurt. The horses wanted to get to the stable. The driver had got off & left them.

Ma has sent Louis up to Uncle Tom Youngs to stay & see if uncle can cure him. Nancy Harvey & Gelaspie [Thomas S. Gillespie] are married at last and old Good and Betts Maginis. You must write soon again & not wait for me. Take good care of yourself & do your best. June will soon be here. Farewell for this time.

Your affectionate sister, – Julia C. Piper

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

The Yankee Volunteer

A Virtual Archive of Civil War Likenesses collected by Dave Morin

William Henry Jordan

Co. K, 7th Rhode Island Infantry

No Cause to Blush

The Bancroft Collection of Civil War Letters

William A. Bartlett Civil War Letters

Company D, 37th Massachusetts Infantry

The John Hughes Collection

A Virtual Archive of his Letters, 1858-1869

The Civil War Letters of Rufus P. Staniels

Co. H, 13th New Hampshire Volunteers

This is Indeed A Singular War

The Civil War Letters of Henry Scott Murray, 8th New York Light Artillery

The Letters of James A. Durrett

Co. E, 18th Alabama Infantry

Spared & Shared 15

Saving History One Letter at a Time

The Civil War Letters of George Messer

Company F, 107th Illinois Volunteer Infantry

Jeff's Prayers are as Effective as Abe's

The Civil War Letters of George S. Youngs, 126th New York Vols

Soldiering is a Very Uncertain Game

The Civil War Letters of Lemuel Glidden, Co. K, 145th Indiana Infantry

Tough as a Pitch Pine Knot

Letters of John Whitcomb Piper, 4th Massachusetts Heavy Artillery

An Honorable Peace

The Civil War Letters of Frank B. Knause, 6th Michigan Infantry & Heavy Artillery

Looking for a Rebel to Give him a Pop

Letters to & from Sgt. John Henry Ward, 93rd PA Inf

Civil War Letters of William H. H. Kinsey

Co. H, 28th Illinois Infantry

Spared & Shared 14

Saving History One Letter at a Time

The 1863 Diary of Thomas Wilbur Manchester

A Rhode Island Soldier in the American Civil War

The Daniels/Stone Digital Archives

A Collection of Family Civil War Era Letters & Ephemera

Spared & Shared 13

Saving Civil War History One Letter At A Time

Dear Nellie

Civil War Letters of Thomas L. Bailey

Homefront Letters to Mark Rankin

Co. B, 27th Massachusetts Vols.

These Troubling Times...

The Civil War Letters of William H. Walton, Co. B, 3rd New Hampshire

Reluctant Yanks

The Civil War Letters of Joseph F. & B. Franklin Orr, Co. F, 76th Ohio Infantry

Hunting rebels as a dog would a fox....

The Civil War Letters of George W. Scott of Co. I, 46th Massachusetts (Militia)

The Civil War Letters of William Hunt Goff

Company H, 24th Massachusetts

The Charles Wetmore Broadfoot Letters

Aide de Camp to Gen. Theophilus H. Holmes

Spared & Shared 11

Saving History One Letter at a Time

Billy Yank & Johnny Reb Letters

Civil War Letters Transcribed by Griff

To the Front

The Civil War Letters of David Brett, 9th Massachusetts Light Artillery

Dear Jack

Letters received by Dr. John William Crapster O'Neal

For the Union

Civil War Letters of William Freeland, Co. F, 132nd New York Infantry

I shall be Willing to Suffer

The Civil War Letters of Marquis Lafayette Holt of the 3rd New Hampshire Infantry

"Shall the Union be Preserved?"

The Civil War Letters of William Henry Hodgkins -- Co. B, 36th Massachusetts

The Civil War Letters of William Busby

A Private in Co H, 20th Iowa Vols

Diary of Henry Knox Danner

The Civil War Experience of a Private in Co. K, 30th Pennsylvania Infantry (1862-1864)

Franklin S. Twitchell

Co. B, 13th Connecticut Infantry

The Civil War Letters of Henry E. Mumford

A Colored Soldier of Co. B, 29th Connecticut Infantry

No Babies Play

Letters of Joseph Hazen, Co. F, 20th New York Cavalry

I Long to See You Again

The Civil War Letters of Willis McDonald, Co. F, 17th Connecticut Infantry

I stood in my tracks

The Civil War Letters of Benjamin F. Hulburd, 7th & 2nd Vermont Infantries

This fight will tell the story

Letters by Harlan P. Martin, Co. E, 123rd N.Y.V.

The Rebecca Breidenstein Collection

Letters addressed to Rebecca by both her first & second husbands during the Civil War

The Smoke of my Rifle

A small collection of letters by Capt. Augustus Alonzo Hoit of Co. G, 8th Maine Infantry

Trumpet of Freedom

Civil War Letters of Cyrus E. Ferguson -- a soldier and bugler of the 15th Iowa Infantry

%d bloggers like this: