Thursday, June 23, 2011

Civil War Letters of John R. and Frances Spurlock Miller

When Frances Spurlock Miller filed her application for a Confederate widow’s pension in 1924, the letters below were submitted to corroborate the information given in her statement. I have chosen to present the letters as written, rather than transcribe them. I know they are difficult to read because of the copy quality as well as the illegibility of the handwriting and poor spelling.

In this first letter written by Frances to John on May 16, 1862, she expresses her concern for his comfort. She asks whether he needs clothes, food or cooking pots. She talks about his crops and their daughter, Fannie:

Frances Spurlock Miller to John R. Miller, May 16, 1862, page 1
Frances Spurlock Miller to John R. Miller, May 16, 1862, page 2

In his letter to Frances letter dated May 24, 1862, John tells her how very sick he has been and that he has heard that the Confederate government is taking firearms belonging to private citizens for use by the troops:

John R. Miller to Frances Spurlock Miller, May 24, 1862

John wrote the third letter to Frances on June 8, 1862. He tells her that he is feeling better but is still weak and hopes to be granted furlough to go home for a few days.

John R. Miller to Frances Spurlock Miller, June 8, 1862

Less than a month following the last letter, on July 1, 1862, John Miller died of pneumonia at home. At least he and Frances were able to see each other before his death.


© 2011 Denise Spurlock

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