A few changes in spelling and capitalization have been made, and punctuation has been added to facilitate reading, but the grammar and syntax of the letter are original.
Atlanta Ga May 12th 1866
I suppose you will think a little strange of my writing from this place; my family is still in Marietta & am engaged here as a clerk in a store. I was at home 2 days ago and read your very welcome letter. It was gratifying to hear of your good health; I congratulate you on your safety through the dangers & calamity of the war;
But I have some sad news to give you in regard to my own family. Our dear Fletcher fell in battle three days before Lee's surrender. He had one leg torn off by a shell about five minutes before his whole command was captured. He was Capt. in Woffords Brigade Longstreets Corp; has left a wife & one little daughter; you can't immagen the amount of trouble it brought to us; his mother came very near dying from it; it threw her into convulsions & spasms & she had occasionally for 2 months after we got the news. we first heard that he was a prisoner, unhurt until the soldiers began to return from northern prisons & we began to look for our dear Fletcher. when the sad news came to us like a peal of thunder in a clear sky that poor Fletcher was gone; he fell into the hands of the yankies. They carried him to these hospital and let him lay until the fourth day before they attempted to amputate the limb or do anything with it and in that time he had lost so much blood that he was not able to bear it and he died upon the table; But we had the joyful news that he expressed as being prepared for his change. I saw a Capt. who told me he talked with him on the subject the day after he was wounded.
May the 15th I commenced my letter as you see on last Saturday but was so prest with customers that I failed to get to finish and on Sunday I had to leave & go to Acworth to preach. I passed through Marietta morning and evening, but couldnt stop at home. But my wife come out to see me at the train. They were all tolerable well . My employer lives in Marietta & he was then at home and still is there on the account of his sick child, therefore I was compeled to come back to the store as we never leave it at night. Our general rule is to take it by turn going home Saturday night; we are keeping batchelors hall;
Brother Lawson & Sister Sarah is out from Texas They were at my house last week, and their children, all but Anna Catherine. She is married & has a daughter nearly or quite a year old (I believe). So you see the report you had got was an error which you will be glad to hear; But our dear mother departed from this world full of faith, on the 7th of last March; The report in regard to Brother Andrew is true; The jayhawkers last April was two years ago took him out of his house in the night, pretending they were taking him to the yankies headquarters, and carried him off & kept him a day & night (I believe) & then shot him after giving him notice what they were going to do; They said they notified him so that he might have time to prepare, he told them he was prepared to die and asked them to tell his wife and children to meet him in heaven; after killing him they dragged him off & threw him into a lake of water & a citizen went & got him out carried him to his house & sent for his wife; she came & had his likeness taken & had him buried; his family moved to Texas last fall. Our son Joseph got home safe since the war closed, and married the 12 of last month. Him & his wife are living in the house with us. I think he married a very fine girl. She was raised in Marietta. She was Meadie Northrup. Her parents are from the North ,have both been dead several years She is a good Methodist.
The family was all well when I was at home; But Brother Gant for whom I am clerking writes me this morning that my daughter Mary and Joe's wife are sick, but not seriously ill. Now this is the 16th that I am finishing my letter so you see how hard it is for me to get to write a letter.
Our son John's health has failed him so that he has had to come home from his circuit to rest a while at least; he came very near dying several times he has nearly lost the use of his left side. But is improving some since he came home. He has been at home over two weeks his work has some fifty miles below Macon this is his fourth year down in that section he has been left two years on a circuit the last 4 years you can judge by that something about what for a preacher he is; when he was at home last winter he preach several times in Marietta & his family was spoken well of, yes even admired by many; now John I talk this plain because I suppose you would like to know something about his preaching talents; he is not married yet.
Now the reason that I am away from home at work for another man is this Its all I can do.
I was engaged in business of my own a family grocery but when the army fell back from Marietta & sent it back, it was carried down the Augusta Road but the dispicable yankees took it and burned it on a depot and it & confederate money was all I had to go upon so you see I lost all but my house & lot. I have a good house, but when the confederacy went by the board I had about 20 cts in the world of good money & no health , but my health has been very good the last winter, but through the summer last I was hardly able to get about. But thank God my health since last Sept. has been better than it has been since the hard spell I had in 43 in Cherokee. Now I have written by peace meals so that I hardly know what have written or how many mistakes I have made in spelling. I hope you will continue to write & let us keep up a regular correspondence and lets make some work for the heavenly lord. your affectionate brother.