ROANE TN 1,
Addressee: Sinah Winchester
Rone (Roane) County
Bear Creek Valley, E.T. (East Tennessee)
No envelope available
Ky Barbersville (Barbourville) Knox County
(Sat) March 29th 1862
I am happy to write to you with some little prospect of sending it to you ever praying these lines may find you and our little babes in good health and spirits amitts the louds of distress that surround us all. in writing you these lines it is my purpose to let you know something of my feelings what I have seen and what I have been doing since I left home (Th) February the 27th last. as it regards my feelings it wold be hard for me to describe the when in company with many of my friends I endever to be as lively as possible but when I think of home and my little children my heart is mad(e> to feel pain inexpresable and my eyes often fild with tears and the truth is it takes a man with a beard on to stand what a reflecting man endures in mind heare placed under the circumstances we are all placed under. I have saw and heared more devilment in one months time since I left home than I ever say in my life before such as swaring, black garding, Sabbath braiking, etc. in fact it seems that every body is in the practice of swaring. as to my own part although I cannot enjoy the comforts of religion as much as I could with christian friends at home yet I intend to conduct myself stricly according to the principles of moralitty. I know not whether we shall see each other yet I have strong hopes that the time will come when we both can enJoy the comforts of a peacefull home together and I can labor for the wellfare of my family as I have done in former days.
I come to barbersville, Ky Wendsdy March 4th (5th) about 10 oclock hired to work amediately in a tanyard untill Monday the March 17th when John Winchester (brother or cousin) was brough(t> from Camps with the fever to the hospittle. in order to keep him out of the hospittle I rented a room and volunteered myself to nurs(e) im and I have been waiting on him for the last two weeks. He has been very low but is tolerable peart at present and I think without a relaps(e> will be well direcley. He is now able to go to the table for his meals.
(At 31 years of age) I have volunteerd in a company which A.N. Ragle is making up. I expect you will hate that but I do not want you to greave about that for I do it from a sence of duty that I owe to you my little children and my country and shold I fall victim to death either by the hand of our enemys or disease dont let it greave you more than you can help and as you are the same as a widow I want you to do the verry best you can. Recolect however you are not forgotten by me neather will you ever be while I live. I have worked hard to make a living for my wife and little ones and that was all my concern. but I am in a condishion that I cannot do you any good now but when ever the chance presents its self to aid you in any way I will be ready to do it. if I had thought that I cold staide at home in saifty theare is not money enough in Ky to have caused me to have placed myself in the condishion I am in at present but I have never has caus(e) to repent the step I have taken and wold do the verry same thing over again under the circumstances.
I want you to use any thing in your posesion that you can for your comfort. sell my colt if you can and any thing els(e) if they are not taken from you by Secesh. I am willing to make this bargain with them that is if they will let you a lone with what you have got to live on I will never pester any private property unless forced to do so by my officers but if they do not let you alone as sure as God lives and permits me to live and gives me strength they shall drink the verry cup to its verry dregs.
I have saw most of the boys of my acquaintence of the first Tennessee ridgment that is living. A grate many of them it was hard for me to know on first sight. even Will Davidson I had to look at some time before I knew him. Sam Williams I cold not call his name at all. Nancy Magill's Evin is dead. John Bearden's Joseph is deal also and several others. I cold write more but it is unnesary at present. I am both spelling and writing bad. My mind is so confused I cannot do any better. I want you to not let a day pass over your head without going to a throne of grace and puting up a patishion in my behalf. Kiss little Johney for me and tell Biley that his pap sed for him to be a good boy. So good by at present, Sinah.
P.S. John says he wold like to see you verry bad. tell Aunt Betsy that been (?) is well and I think more fleshey than she ever saw him. i wold rite about all the boys if I had time but I cannot at htis tiem but tell all the neighbor women that there friends are well as far as I know. Tell Biley Keith that Jack is verry sick.
Isaac L Daniel Winchester, s/o Jonathan T and Rebecca Lemmon/s Winchester, was b 21 Dec 1831. He m 14/16 June 1853 Sinah N Wyatt, d/o James and Margaret Scarborough Wyatt, (Moses White was bondsman).
I L Daniel (as we call him) d 29 Oct/Nov 1863 in Stevenson AL "from disease contacted while in the service of the United States" per Sinah's pension application. Altho a Union soldier, he is buried in the Confederate part of the National Cemetery in Chattanooga TN. His younger brother Jonathan D., died the following April in Andersonville GA.
Isaac L. Daniel Winchesters son, Wm. D'Kalb lived in adulthood ( I believe) in the Knoxville TN. area. John Daley Winchester b 20 Jan 1861, m 24 Aug 1882 (in Scarboro TN.) Martha Alice Peters, d/o Francis Asbury and Sara Jane Scarborough Peters. John d 2 Dec 1940 and Martha d 7 Dec 1940. As a young man John D. became a Methodist minister. After serving a time in a struggling N Ga Methodist church, which was finally beginning to prosper, his Bishop wanted him to move to another area. John and his congregation asked that he be allowed to stay for a while, but to no avail. John left that denomination and joined a Baptist church.
He became a very noted Baptist minister in Ga,and was recommended to become Chaplain at the Federal Prison in Atlanta. Letters were written on his behalf by prominent Baptist clergy as well as Georgia Legislators to the Governor higly recommending him for the position, he didn't get it tho. Many of his sermons, written for the Index,(GA. Baptist state paper) are on microfilm at the Archives Division, Mercer University, Macon Ga.
This is the first in a series of letters written by Isaac L. Daniel Winchester to his wife, Sinah. From the collection of Norma W. Matthews.
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