Henry County Tennessee
Letters from Forgotten Ancestors

My Beloved Gen. Forrest ~ 1886
Copyright © 1998, Stephanie R. Taylor. All Rights Reserved.

There is no envelope.

I was born in 1846, the son of William H. Haymes Jr. and Mary F. Walters in Henry Co. Tennessee. My family were natives of the State of Virginia. My fathers family have lived in Virginia almost 200 years before I was born. He came to Tennessee in 1840.

My mother died in 1853. When the war came my father and brothers joined up. My father and brother Archbald were killed at Island No, 10 April 2, 1862. My brother Charles was lost to us. My older brother Wm Felix served through the war. I joined the army at age 16 - became a member of Company “K” 10th Cavalry of Dibbrell’s Brigade under the command of General Nathan Bedford Forrest and served under him until the day of surrender May 17 1865. I was in the battle of Chickamauga Missionary Ridge and the only member of my Co, to serve in the Battle of Franklin and Mary Skirmishes.

On Oct 29, 1877, my beloved Gen. Forrest died. One of my greatest honors was to walk in the funeral procession with members of my old Company. As we bade an affectionate farewell to the greatest General of the South ever knew. I saw Jefferson Davis pass in review. 10000 poured into the City of Memphis.

After the war I went into business College in New York City later opening two dry good stores in Paris Tennessee.

For several years I have made my home with my sister Mary C. Routon. My brother Felix lost most of his hearing in the war, lives here too.

My brother Charlie the brightest and most promising of my brothers never returned from the war. After many years of no word, we all gave up hope, except sister.

Wittness my hand
This 8th day of Nov, 1886

Signed. James A. Haymes

From the Collection of Stephanie R. Taylor
Provenance: a treasured family heirloom

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5 Apr 1998