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Letter to Mary Derby Stancell, 1862 April 15

Letter to Mary Derby Stancell, 1862 April 15
Letter to Mary Derby Stancell, 1862 April 15
Written from St. Peter's Church, Lowndes County, Alabama. Letter regards Charles A. Derby's election as Captain of the Militia of Benton.


  • 1862 April 15


From the File: 9 items (Folder 3)


St. Peter’s Ch. Lowndes, Ala.
April 15th, 1862

Dear Sister:
I have but little news worth communicating, such is the monotony and want of variety in our region. We are all well except my wife, who has been complaining for some time. Our congregations are very small of course, as all congregations in the Confederacy are compared with what they were before the war. We have had a great quantity of rain this Spring. The washing, driving rains of March beat down the earth so hard that many of my neighbors ploughed up their corn and planted a grain. Our planters are not turning their attention this year to cotton, which is cultivated in little patches only for family use. Our neighbors are very kind to us, and I am pleased with them more and more. A call was recently made upon Lowndes composed of two regiments, for 250 men to serve 90 days. One regiment had furnished 135 men, and the other was about to furnish the remaining 115 when the Governor countermanded the call. In four hours I would have been Captain of a company ready to set out for Mobile. I had made all my arrangements to go, when the countermand was received. I hope that Captain Stancell has recovered before this and returned to his post. Henry must have been near the scene of naval conflict in the James. He must have heard the guns, if he did not witness the engagement. I am going on with my little school of three boys, teaching whenever it suits my convenience to teach. But few Confederate soldiers are left in Ala to protect her. She is consequently dependent upon her militia for her defence. Contrary to my expectation and very much to my surprise, I was recently elected “Captain of the Militia of Benton Beat.” Although the militia was not to my taste, yet I did not feel at liberty to decline the office which I was so pressingly urged to accept. Accordingly I am regularly engaged with drilling my men. In these troublous time, we must labor in even uninviting fields for the public good. For a whole year or more I have been trying to learn where Mr. King is, but nobody writes me a word about him. Please give me the desired information in your next.
My best regards to Capt. Stancell.
Yours Affectionately,
Chas. A. Derby

Mrs. Mary E. Stancell
Margarettsville, N.C.

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