Posts Tagged ‘tobacco’

November 12, 1864

Petersburg Nov. 12th 1864


My Own Darling Wife

I have delayed writing longer than usual in the hope that I would be able to get a short leave to visit you but after waiting a week my application came down disapproved for the present. I only asked for 5 days, but Genl Lee thought it imprudent to allow me that at this time. I was fearful it would be so, yet was much disappointed when I found that I could not go.

We occupy pretty nearly the same position as when you left except our lines are more extended & I shall send for you as soon as I feel that we are permanent. To send before that would or might subject you to a great inconvenience. You must therefore be patient as I shall certainly send the very first moment I deem it safe. The weather is getting quite cold & we get orders today to find winter quarters & I shall start out today to find my winter quarters.

You must make Stephen put up some large boxes or barrels of sweet & Irish potatoes & peas & whatever else he has. We shall need them as I fear provisions will be very scarce here this winter. Make him have those things ready by the time you start. In my next letter I hope to be able to tell you to come on. Dick will send for his wife & you will be together.

I look for Effie’s money today from Richmond and will send it to her the first opportunity. The amount will be about $14.00. She can draw the balance when she needs. I would advise her to do whatever the Dr. thought ought to be done for Benney but I fear it will not be in my favor to go with her to Richmond.

Lincoln is certainly elected and there is non telling when the war will end. We must first determine to fight it out and look for the end when it comes. I saw Genl Lee yesterday and he was in fine spirits and more dispensed to joke that I ever saw him. My good lady friend, God bless her, Mrs. Waddell told me the other day that she prayed that I might not get hurt, but if I did, I must not go to a hospital but come to her home.

Tell Pa when he comes down that I have a lot of 30 or 430 logs all piled up out of which he can make himself a nice selection. I didn’t go through the trouble of gathering them up but found them placed away in an old camp by some soldiers. He must bring you down, I am anxious to see you and hope to see them all this winter. Are they fixing up a box for my Brig? They ought to send two or three boxes & no box must weigh over 100 pounds and should be filled with tobacco. They ought to be plainly marked post as this letter is addressed.

It look his morning as if it would snow & I hope roads will still be in a condition to stop all enemy movements here. Give my best love to all & be ready at any time when I shall send for you. Ask Pa if I will have any money left after paying my debts. I shall need some this winter if I can get it in addition to my wages. Farewell my darling wife, hoping that I will see you soon & write my correct prayer that our God will shield and bless you.

I am ever your devoted husband,

AM Scales

PS I have first learned that Genl Wilcox will leave the division this winter & that Genl Custis Lee will probably be our Maj Genl




Source: Christopher Watford, ed. The Civil War in North Carolina: Soldiers’ and Civilians’ Letters and Diaries, 1861-1865, Volume 1. Original in the AM Scales Collection, State Archives of North Carolina

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PetersBurg Va July 5th 1864

Dear Wife and Children

I Seat  my Self this evning to Rit  you a few lines to let you now that I am well at this time hoping that these lines may Reach your kind hands and fine you enjoying the same blessing you Rote to that you would like to hear from me and now whether I was killed are not I can in form you that I am spared yet by the good will of god we have bin in the brest works about one Month we are in them yet and I dont now when we will git out soon are not tha are fighting every day we have lost killed and wounded in this Company 6 men 2 killed 4 wounded it Seems like god is on our Side the balls tha whistle by our eares you Rote that it Rained Somutch that you Could not git to work your corn it haint Rained to say Rain in 6 weeks hear & gardens is Runing hear it tis mighty hot hear if this fight Comes of Soon and this Company lives and dont git wounded nor killed tha are coming home you Rote to me to Come home and save the wheat I cant Come I would like to Come home and See you all once  more in this life and See my Sweete littel baby I do hope and pray to god to live to git home to See it it seemes like god has blessed every  thing that I have prayed  for and I do hope that he will bless me to live to git home to See that littel Babe when I think of hit it seems like it will kill me are brake my hart you Rote to me that you had a mess of potatoes the Sixteenth I want you to tell mother houdy for me and tell  her that I am well I have to Rite so fast that I dont  now whether you can Read  this litter are not I haint Slep one good night Sleepe  in two month I have to work  are Stand gard are picket every night I am very nigh broken down it Seems like god has bin with me are I could not Stoo up to hit I want you to pray for me and tell all of my friends to pray for me I pray for you and my littel Children to Spare your lives and Sustain you and thim in this life I want you to Rite as soon as this Comes to hand and Rite me all of the newse I have Seen Corn as high as I could Reach you Rote that your Corn looked very well and your sweete potatoes looked very well you dident Rite whether you had planted any tobaco are not fare well Dear wife

F.M. Poteet to his  loving Wife M.A.E. Poteet

god  bless you is my prayer


Source: Poteet-Dickson Letters, North Carolina State Archives and as found on www.ncecho.org

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Spittoon, collections of North Carolina State Historic Sites, Accession Number 1964.68.1.

Spittoon, collections of North Carolina State Historic Sites, Accession Number 1964.68.1.


Round with mottled brown glaze. Decorative embossed designs throughout. Used at the North Carolina State Capitol building in Raleigh during the Civil War.  The Capitol was occupied by Federal forces at the end of the Civil War in April 1865.


Spittoon Side with drainage hole, collections of North Carolina State Historic Sites, Accession Number 1964.68.1.

Spittoon Side with drainage hole, collections of North Carolina State Historic Sites, Accession Number 1964.68.1.

Spittoon top, with sloping sides to center hole. Collections of North Carolina State Historic Sites, Accession Number 1964.68.1.

Spittoon top, with sloping sides to center hole. Collections of North Carolina State Historic Sites, Accession Number 1964.68.1.

Source: Collections of North Carolina State Historic Sites, Accession Number 1964.68.1.


For more on the NC State Capitol: http://www.nchistoricsites.org/capitol/ 

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After a recent post by Cornelia Henry in which she said she was having bad toothaches and the only way she was able to relieve her pain was by “smoking” her teeth, a curator for the NC Department of Cultural Resources, State Historic Sites, began to research using tobacco to relieve tooth pain.  She wrote that she was “intrigued with the idea of using tobacco to stop a toothache.”

After doing some research, Martha discovered a variety of websites with more information.  She feels that “it must have had at least a temporary deadening of some sort as it appears this method was used for a couple of centuries and still exists in more rural areas of the country today.”

Two links from Martha on modern and historical use of tobacco for relief of tooth pain:




Do you go off on a research tangent after reading one of my posts?  If so, share your findings!  History in a text, not a textbook!

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August 25th 1862

My dearest husband,

I received a letter by William Matthews & is the last I have received.  I have not got one for some time before that.  You said you were sick which I was sorry to hear.  I am afraid you are not able to write.  How are you are you any better or worse.  I want to know if you get no better try and come home.  Write if you can and if not get some friend to write it for you.  I am so afraid you will be ordered away from there.  We are all well and getting along very well.

I have sold your tobacco for twenty dollars per hundred to J.A. Bitting.  He will come after it tomorrow.  He sent after it once before but it was too dry to move and it is now a wet spell.  I wrote to him to come after it.  I am looking for the thrashing machine this week and then I will write to you how much wheat we will make not much I think.  I don’t think I think the corn crops will be tolerable.  I think you had do well let your father know about the land and what you will do if you come home next spring.  I don’t think this war will end some time yet.  I have got out of all patience in waiting for it.  Oh my dear husband, I do want to see you!

Do you remember the last time I wrote to you about Dr. Bitting going over the mountain.  He has never been here to stay since he went over to the spring last week to stay and they sent after his folks last Tuesday to come after him.  They say it took ten men to get him in the wagon he came through here about 12 oclock Saturday.  They said he kept turning his head about.  He had not a particle of sense the night they took him home.  He tried to jump out of the window.  He has dropsy and is swollen very much so much so he cannot bend down.  You have seen him the last time.

My dear husband I would be so glad to see you.  It seems to me it has been a year or two since you left.  If there is any way or chance I will try and send you some socks and something to eat.  I do not believe Mr. Vaughn is going at all.  They say the 21st Reg is lousy.  They are full of body lice.  Do try to keep them off yourself.  You will have to be very carefull to keep clear of them.  Little Matthew says tell Papa to come home.  Write often to your ever true and devoted wife.

Laura E. Myers

Sources: Christopher Watford, ed. The Civil War in North Carolina: Soldiers’ and Civilians’ Letters and Diaries, 1861-1865, Volume 1. (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2003). Original in AC Myers Papers, Duke University Special Collections.

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Camp near Richmond

July the 24th 1862

Dear Wife I take the pleasur of writing you a few lines this eavning to in form you that I am well now and have bin since I left Ncarolina.  I have bin able to kepe up and help to cook tho I cant do any other duty.  I can hop that these few lines will come to hand and find you and the family enjoying the best of health.  I have nothing of importance to write.  Times is quite heer at this time tho I donte now how long the will remain so untill pease is mad.  Som is of the opinin that the most of the fighting is don as to my on parte I cant say tho I am in hospital is far I am tiard of the war & I want to be home with you all and am in hopes of so.

I can in form you that this is the forth letter that I sent to you and have never receive but one from you.  If you haint got enough money for the postage I will send you some then you can write me until you stop.

Dear Wife I want you to send me som soape and tobacco.  Tobaco is wirth one dollar and soape 2 dollars.  We have quite a desir if anything at all and whiskey is too much.  I want you to tell Mr. Plesent that I am in hopes that I will get home in time a nuff to help him drink som of his cider and Brandy.  So I will close nothing more and by remaining your affectionate Husband untill death.

G. A. Williams

Sources: Christopher Watford, ed. The Civil War in North Carolina: Soldiers’ and Civilians’ Letters and Diaries, 1861-1865, Volume 2. (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2003).  Original in Williams-Womble Papers, NC State Archives, Raleigh.

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Sunday 16th [February 1862]

A still cold morning. The snow (though not much fell) is melting. I slept till very late this morning as breakfast is generally late on Sunday. N. Taylor was here this morning after tobacco. The children, Pinck & Zona, are throwing across the bed playing & they can’t get out. They must amuse themselves some way. They are very noisy in the house. I dread for a rainy day to come in the winter. Now they are rolling the large glass marble. I must stop for my feet are very cold. I began a story last night in the Courtiers of Charles III. The book belongs to Mary Moore but has been here some three years. Mrs. Fanning came up before dinner & the children & I went down with her. The roads are very bad, nothing but mud. Louise McKinnish is here tonight. Pinck is asleep & Atheline is getting Willie to sleep so I must stop & put Zona to bed. She has been combing my head since supper. She wants to go to sleep in my lap. Mr. Henry nurses her to sleep when he is here. It is still cloudy with a South East wind. Snow nearly all gone, only on the mountains. I want to write to Lou tonight & perhaps Sister Frank so I must stop. Louise McKinnish stays with me tonight. She is a great thing to talk about nothing. I wrote to Lou & Sister Frank. It has been a cold cloudy day, wind blowing from South.

Source: Diary of Cornelia Henry in Fear in North Carolina: The Civil War Journal and Letters of the Henry Family. Clinard, Karen L. and Russell, Richard, eds. (Asheville, NC: Reminiscing Books, 2008).

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