| Home | Contents || A Father's Letter to His Sons |
[ADAH Logo]US/Ala flags
| Alabama's Involvement | Bibliography | Time Line I | Time Line II |Montgomery | Mobile | Wilson's Raid
| Josiah Gorgas | Jefferson Davis | Emma Sansom | Name Game | Primary Source II

The Civil War in Alabama: A Father's Letter to His Sons
(Primary Source)

Dr. R. B. Rosenburg, University of North Alabama

Correlates tot he Alabama Course of Study: Social Studies 10th Grade Content Standard 10, p. 73

Introduction: Washington Pickens Nance was born in Russellville, Franklin County, Alabama, on December 10, 1824. A merchant and a farmer, he married Louisa Lawler (1831-1894) of Huntsville, who bore him as many as seven children. On January 1, 1864, he enlisted for two years in Co. I, 10th Alabama Cavalry (P. D. Roddey's Brigade) at Tuscumbia, Alabama. Captured near Huntsville on December 23, 1864, he was transported to Nashville, then to Louisville, and finally to Camp Chase, a prisoner-of-war facility in Ohio, where he died of pneumonia on March 18, 1865. Walter, Nance's oldest child, was almost sixteen years of age when he received this note from his father at his home in Russellville.

Camp Near Watkins Ferry 6 Miles North of Somerville

March 5/64

Walter & Frank

Boys, I am gone from home and do not know when I can come home and depend on you Boys to make a living for Lou and the children. You must work well and make plenty of corn to feed every thing. Plant your corn early and work it well. Plough deep and close. Drop what corn you want to stand so you will not have to thin any.

Walter you and the boys must obey what Lou tells you. Be good Boys. Keep out of town and do not keep bad company and go to church every Sunday.

Frank, if you have 2 Plow Horses you must Plant 30 acres in corn and plant the best ground you get.

Walter when you write send me 3 or 4 fish hooks so I can catch some fish. I can get lines.

Cousin William is 6 miles from here. I see Brice one time.

My horse stands it well. I think he is improving.

Boys I will write you again.

Be good Boys for you are the only ones to protect Lou and the small children.

I remain yours.

W P Nance

Source: R. B. Rosenburg; original in private hands.