Last week I scanned over 100 archival documents that were brought in by one of my dear patrons, Lois Bass. Her father, Arthur Bass, actually led the ceremony to open the WIlson County Public Library in 1939. There are letters, deeds, wills, indentures, receipts and plats that she found tightly folded in a small tin box on a shelf in her father’s storage shed that range in date from the 1700’s to the early 1900’s. She doesn’t seem too keen on giving any of it to the state archives so I wanted to scan the documents for use in the library at least.
Here is a transcription of the second Civil War letter in the collection. This one is from Private Bunyan Barnes and Private Ervin Bass. They were very concerned about all the girls back home being married off to someone named Rubin before they got back from the war.
Manassas Junction Va
Jan 9th 1862
I this evening take the time and pleasure of writing you a few lines to inform that I am well at present and hope these few lines may come to hand and find you and Charity enjoying the same good blessings I received your letter a few days back and I was glad to hear that you were well and I was sorry to hear that there is so much sickness about there and to hear the sad Death (of) Gabriel Bass we don’t have no gradeal (great deal) of Sickness here Considering the number (of) folks there is here I can tell we have a heep of fun here with the Black Creek Boys but Girls is Scarce here we cant have no fun with Girls (who ) is not here to be with you all but I cant tell when it will be but I live in hop(e)s of coming back Some Time I tell you the Boys is Vary anxious to come to see you all again I have nothing more of interest to write this time So I will come to a close I want you to write soon
P.S. I will put in a few words of news I saw your sweet heart this evening and he was feeling very poorly with a bad cold I would like to be back there to see some more fun with you and the girls but I cant fo(re)tell when I will be able to get back to see You any more but you must tell the Girls they must not get married until we all come back for I don’t think you have got any young men there to be with except Rubin I guess he is thare yet I guess he has got his own swing round the Girls I don’t think I have anymore of interest to write this Time You must excuse bad writing and mistakes for I had to do this in the knight and I was getting sleepy I will close by sayin I remain yours Truly