Confederate 8th Tennessee Civil War letter archive relating to the 8th Tennessee Infantry, primarily Private Brown Grier Parkinson, Jr. (1831-1863). This archive includes 13 letters written from Brown Grier Parkinson during 1862-63, three (3) letters written by Sergeant Lucius Junius Eliphas Bearden during 1861-62, and two letters by Letitia Parkinson to her husband, Brown during 1863. Total of 18 War period letters. Also relating to Brown Parkinson are his Confederate discharge paper by reason of Surgeon's certificate of disability and by command of General Bragg. Signed by a Lieutenant Bright and approved and signed by John H. Anderson, Col. 8th Regt Tenn Vols. Also included is "The Christian Minister's Affectionate Advice to a Married Couple" book with a page certifying the marriage of Brown Parkinson and Culpurnia Bearden on May 3rd, 1855. The book includes pencil inscription inside cover: "Brown Parkinson departed this life July 10th 1863 – Oh now he is dead – And youth once so gay was cut down – Like a rose in full bloom and he silently sleeps – And I am thus left to me…oh his day they were numbered so soon." Brown Parkinson was born 1831 in Lincoln County and married Letitia Carolina Calpernia Bearden, daughter of Alfred M. Bearden Sr., on May 3, 1855; they had four sons. Parkinson joined the 8th Tennessee in the fall of 1862. Calpurnia's brothers, Lucius Junius Eliphas Bearden and Captain Nepoleon Monroe Bearden (called Monroe, b.1837-d.1863) also fought with the 8th; Lucius survived; Monroe died from wounds received at the Battle of Stones River in 1863. Captain Monroe Bearden's sword was recovered and is on display at the University of the South, Sewanee, TN. Monroe is mentioned by Parkinson in a few of his letters. One of the most poignant letters in the group is dated Jan. 6th, 1863 from Brown Parkinson – It opens discussing the improving health of his brother-in-law Monroe and the possibility of being moved to the hospital (Monroe dies on January 22nd). Brown continues, "John Saturfield I do not think will live till morning and William Simmons is mighty bad. Ili Simmons is dead, one Travise Griffin is dead and Milton Biers and Jef Grubs and Beck them has all dead since they come to the hospital and there was Alfred Walker and Grand Weilher and Henry Wirmaed and Doc Andrews and Will McClusky killed dead on the field. It is not worth trying to name all that was wounded because our Company was very near all wounded and killed we never have heard yet have many was left of our Company…I will try to tell all I know of the boys that was wounded and where – Monrre in the right thigh, Tim McFevar in the thigh but not bad.." Brown goes on to list injuries of the more serious kind, "Milton Breirs in the breast, Jef Grubs in the breast John Saturfield in the leg and has had it cut off James Henderson in the leg and has had it cut off William Dunn in the arm and has had it cut off", and continues listing several others and their injuries. (Note: the 8th Tennessee started with 425 soldiers and experienced 306 casualties. Their commander was Brig. Gen. Daniel S. Donelson). An earlier letter dated Jan. 3, 1863 from his wife to Brown, states how it was good that Brown "wait on our dear brother who is so badly wounded and to think you are not on the field with the company. I would rather you was in the hospital all the time…" She goes on, "Brown you made such a narrow escape Tim Downing told me you had two bullet holes in your pants he told me you had lost all your clothes.."An earlier 1862 letter from Dec 27, 1862, Brown Parkinson writes his wife, ìthere was heavy cannoning ñ they fired about five a minute they fired sixteen for a while we could hear the musketry last night after the canon started..î He later states, ìheard this morning that we had tore one division of the Yankees all to pieces but we do not anything about the truth of itÖif we have to go and have fight and I get killed I thank I am prepared and if we never should meet in this world again, I hope we will meet in the one to comeÖî He speaks of contemplating the sale of his coat and other clothingÖHe also mentions a man was hung yesterday and one shot in sight of his tent. Another undated 1862 letter starts by stating he has not been well, having diarrhea for three days and speaks of taking medicine and expects to get well. He goes on to say they are "still at Murfreesboro and no more talk of a fight now". He continues, "this Cavalry has been fighting mainly every day since we come here – old Morgan took twenty one Yankees last week and brought them into Murfreesboro and parolled them and they went on back toward Nashville. He went out to the Pike to see the prisoners and stated, " there was some fine looking men as ever I saw.." He then goes on to say there supplies of food are fine now but they did have shortages earlier. One of his later dated letters in the archive – May 20th, 1863 – Reverse side of letter ñ Brown writes his wife and says he is doing better but ìmy breast hurts when I coughî. He goes on to say ìI have not done anything since I came up here. I never have even answered Roll Call..we had orders to move this morning nearer the division.î He goes on to write, ìThe Colonel told me this morning he would send me to guard a house and let me stay there a week or so.î A follow-up letter on May 25th, 1863 – Brown begins the letter stating he is not getting any better, ìmy breast hurts me all the time. The doctor talked like sending me off to a hospital.î He asked if his wife or her father can come to see him. Another letter in the archive from Sergeant L.J.E. Bearden at Camp Trousdale July 8, 1861 ñ Bearden begins by saying all of their measles cases are up and walking about except for a couple of named individuals, there were fears of cholera that appear not to have materialized. He asks, ìto come help us out with our fight- we will conker (sic) or fall in the attempt ñcome boys..father, mother, brother & sister & cling to your countryís lights ñ if you donít we might fall ñ if you do this come and join & we be determined we can conquer. Conquer. Who can conquer Tennessee Boys ñthey may cripple us but they can never whip us. No never never..î Additional items included in this lot include post-war letters from Parkinson and Bearden relatives and several tin type photographs, most unidentified. Condition: Letters with expected creasing, holes at fold intersections, losses to edges of pages, toning. Tintypes no longer in cases, wear and abrasions to many. Condition: Letters with expected creasing, holes at fold intersections, losses to edges of pages, toning. Tintypes no longer in cases, wear and abrasions to many.
Lot 102: Civil War Ambrotype, 13th TN Union Previous Item Lot 104: 1874 Franklin Battlefield Map Next Item