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 Post Posted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 6:55 pm 
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Transcription of a letter from Jacob Melburn Lacy to his Brother Matthew Paul Lacy who lived in Oregon. (spelling has not been corrected)

March 4th, 1866

Burnett County Texas

Dear Brother

I received your letter a few days Since bearing date December 24th. It was perused with mutch Satisfaction. Your letter found us all well all to home. You requested me to let you know of thare wherabouts ware presant. With the exception of Sister Manerva I have not heard from her since the rebellian commenst. She was in the northerin part of Illanois. I have forgotten her address. She maried in Iowa and went to Illanois. She maried a man by the name of Joseph Brown. I dont know what sort of a man he was. The last letter I got from her she said tha wer giting along verry well. I have not heard any thing from Missouri from any of our folks since the ware except what you wrote. I had the misfortune of Looseing my wife Elizabeth five years ago the 12 day of next May. I lived a widower nearly four years. I am maried again and got one child a boy by my last wife. Frank and Ewin George and John all live within four miles of me and all of the Whitmans and Croffords all live in the county. Tha all came hear five year ago.

(Page 2) George was maried on the 27 day of last month to Miss Adelia Tate. quite a handsom girl and a fine familly of people. George is a whailing big man. He is a bout as tall as Milton and weighs near 200 lbs. Ewin and John are about the same size. I suppose you have heard that John had the Misfortune of Loosing one of his Eyes. but you beter believe He risks the other eye on the woman. I pas for about as young a man as anny of them. Frank is the oldest looking one of all of us. He had enough to make him look old. He is the Sier of only Six girl children and can not git a boy. John Whitman has 5 children, 3 boys 2 girls. His daughter Lucinda are grown. I have four children of my first. 2 boys 2 girls. I will give you thare names. John Martin, Orra bell, Laveda Ann, James.Perry. and the one by my last I call him Hancock. The children all take a grate intrust in ther uncle matt and mats laters. Tha are all most crazy for me to go to orregon. Martin says tell John Henry he is comeing out next Spring to throw him down. The children all join in sending thare love to you and say you must wright verry often. I believe I have written all I know about the connection.

(page 3). Mat I maid a mistake when I turnd over my paper I have nomberd the pages now. Mat I will go back 5 year and give you a small sketch of the troubles of a reblion although it is quite a task in the first place it is proper for me to give you the ground I cupide. I suppose you have learnd how the South Seceded. South Caroliner was first out of the union then State by State until tha was all out. It was perposed to be left to a vote of the people. I amongst thousands of others voted to stay in the union and fight the abolishionest under the Stares and Stripes and for the constitution and for our constitutional rights as I thought it dangerous anny other way but cecesion cor-- and I went with them. I contribted all I was able for the Suport of the army. our men volentierd both union voters and cecesion votes untill we had hardly any men hear. then our congress past a conscript law puting in all the men in the field between the age of 18 and 45 at the same time passing a exemption law exempting all men who ownd 20 negroes or five hundred head of cattle or sheep or 250 head of horses or mewls. Thare is plenty o them kind of felows hear and if anny of thoes who did not have them these felows who was exempt told them if tha did not go and fight tha had to look up a lim and that made their words good.

(page 4) Thare was manny a pore fellow lay wade and shot and hung by mobs that did not want to go and leave his Litl Helpless family. I told them my 4 Little Motherless children was as good an exemption as any gentlemans. Assassins way laying my path. What next. I was conscripted and had to leave my little helpless children or be murderd. I hierd them taken care of and hierd to the govermint as Black Smith and thare worked 2 year Shoeing Horses. The Hardest work a pore devle ever done. That You know by exsperience. I never got one single red for worst of all we was blockaded and could not git a single yard of cloth or a pound of coffee or any thing only what was maid in the South and if you know anything about our manufacterys in the South you may guess at the ballance our Soldiers got. No clothing only what thare friends maid and sent to them. We done wonderful well considering all the disadvantages we under. Out soldiers fought like Hell naked and bare footed and bare Headed. All Hell never could a whipt us if we had not a bin stole out and Sold out by our cussed Leaders. The first theiving operahan was to strike Confederate Money and Speculate on it as long as tha could.

(page 5) Then take it and pay of the soldier. It served them as part time money tha could gamble with each other on it. It was depreciated by Speculaters and theves until it took 20 dollard to git a Soldiers diner. What was next a cotton Speculation was gon in to no man was alowd to sell his cotton only to the givernment. No one was alowd to engage in this except a Generall or Govenor. What was the conciquence as soon as theese heavy gentlemen got all the cotton sold and the money in their pocket the ware must nesesarly close. If we had plenty of Cotton we would still b fighting but alas we are whipt subgagated and Amancipated under a military despertism. we are not back in the union nor doe I know whether we ever will be. The first thing tha done after tha spointed this officers over us that debarde us of all privalidges and as Sitizens of the united States. Just as we did nor negroes to git privalidges. Tha maid us sware to support the constitution of the united states with any amendment tha see fit to make and to support all of Old Abes free Negro amancipation procklimations then we have a wright to vot or collect a debt. Tha dont intend us to come back in the union except we alow cuffy free suferage and equall rights. Out state convention has met. I dont know what tha have done. I am verry shure we never will never alow Cuffy that privalidge. Thare is not verry manny negroes in this part of the country. This is a mountainous country hear and port farming country. It is drautty country. We have rich land if it was a seasonable country. We have had only 2 or 3 rains in the last twelve months. It is raining know and has bin all day. The first we have had since last fawl of any conciquence. I have 50 acres in wheet and a bout forty acres broke ready to plant in corn. I have prity well quit black smithing. The people are so pore since the ware tha are not able to pay for thare work. Times is awful hard hear and goods verry high. Claico and domestic is worth 49 a yard and other things in per portion. whiskey 2.00 a quart. I will tell you what we are doeing hear to make a liveing. we are raseing Hoggs mostly and have a few cattle and horses. I have 200 head of gotes and sum sheep and 15 head of horses and mewls and nine hundred acres of wild lands. Abraham freed 2 negroes for me. The other boys has as mutch property as I or mor. Frank and George is pardners. tha had 3 negroes freed. I have

(page 7)

five hundred head of hoggs. we raise them on the range mast. Only hits every 2 or three years so that buisness is like farming hear. This was a good cow raising country when we first came hear but the land and protracted drouths and the country being over stocked with cattle has eat out the range has played out in this part. Now I have given you as full a description of everything as I am capeable of. I have had Orregon in my head ever since the ware commest. President Davis Shude a praclimation directly after cecesion giving every man thirty days to git out of the confedracy and if tha was not gon in that time tha could not go. Hundreds of poer devles lost their lives in attempting to go california and mexico. No I am partly free once more. Now I want your and Milts advice if you think I can beter my condition. I am off for Oregon next spring. I have not talked with the boys on this subject. I want you to tell me if it will pay to bring any stock and what sort and how would be the best way to come and all about what sort of a country you hav and all its good qualitys and all its bad. I am satisfide it is a fore bter country than this. I have not told you all about this country yit. It is the most eneaven climet I ever Saw. It was healthy when

(page 8) i first come here. it has bin very sickly for the last 2 years. Thare has bin a grate many deaths whis winter. It will be so hot one day and the next so cold you are freezing. The sumers are healthy enough. I had like to forgot to tell you George and Ewin volunteerd and went in the servis in the spring of 62. Ewin got wounded in the wrist and was discharged the first fight he was in. He was out only about 8 months. George was wounded shortly afterwords in the thigh and calf of the leg. George was badly wounded. He came home the next spring and stayed twelve months and then went back and stayed until the brake up. Tha are both about as well as ever. I feel proud that that all of us survived this terable strugle while thousands of good men fell to rise no mor. I have not heard from any of Elizabeths brothers since the brade up. I don't know whare Uncle Thomas Blake is. He was a sergin in the army. I rather think he is in the north part of this state. I will wright a letter in a few days in ancer to Miltons. I want you to wright every 2 or 3 week. Direct your letter to Burnett. We have no mail near hear than Austin 50 miles from hear. It is bed time. Farewell for the present.

J. M. Lacy

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