1863: Walton William Fuller to Esther Fuller

The following letter was written by 56 year-old Walton William Fuller (1807-1894) and several other members of his family to his daughter Esther. In the 1860 US Census, 53 year-old Walton and his family were residing in Evergreen, Conecuh county, Alabama. His wife, Esther (Parker) Fuller (1805-1885), whom he married in 1832.

From the 1850 US Census, we learn that there were at least ten children born to Walton and Esther Fuller: Jane (b. 1833), Elizabeth (b. 1834), Walton William, Jr. (1835-1862), Emily (b. 1839), Daniel (1840-1864), Rachel (b. 1841), Andrew (b. 1843), John (b. 1845), Esther (b. 1846), and Zachariah T. (b. 1848).

The letter was addressed to his 18 year-old daughter Esther Fuller (1845-1914) although her location is not revealed.

Late in the war, or afterwards, the family relocated to Fort Gaines, Clay county, Georgia, where Walton and wife Esther lived out their days.

Emily (l) and Esther (r) Fuller in advanced years


Conecuh County, Alabama
December 16, 1863

Dear daughter,

I will write to you although I do not get any letter from you. I have not got but one letter from you in better than two months and that one had been wrote a month when I got it. But I promised you to write every two weeks and I do so. Sis, I think you write but I do not get the letters. We are all well but Zack. He is puny yet sometimes. He misses the chills and sometimes he has them. He is not well. I wrote to you that Liz and Puss had moved out here but I have had no answer so I do not know whether you got it or not. They are living in the Smith house but we do not know yet whether they will get to stay there all next year or not. The place has been sold and Alty Wilson bought it but she don’t want to move and I do not know yet what she will do with it.

Goodbye Sis. Write soon and tell me all the news. — [Walton W. Fuller]

Liz and family is all well. 1 I got a letter from [her husband, Moses] Joiner last week and he was well but not satisfied. He is at Pollard and faring bad about something to eat. Sis, I got a letter from Martha 2 last week and it is the last one I shall get in a long time. The Yankees has got all that part of Mississippi and has been to her father’s and broke them all up so they are a going to Louisiana to Claiborne Parish and she says the river is blockaded so there will be no chance to send a letter.

Sis, Martha got your letter but it had been wrote so long that the Yankees had been there and tore up the railroad and [post] office so she could not send an answer, but she told me to tell you she was glad to get it and if the times gets so she can, she will write to us again. She told me to tell you that if she ever can see a chance, she will send you her likeness.

Sis, I have wrote to you so much and get none from you, I hardly know how to write. — Esther to Esther Fuller

Dear sister,

You have been wanting me to write to you but I have been sick all the fall and I am not well yet. But I will write some anyhow. I have not went about to hear much news in a long time but I went to see Jeb Sheffield one time and he was so bad off that he could not move hand nor foot, but he is getting well now. James Sheffield was killed 3 and Hard 4 was wounded in both knees. Jesse Thomas is at [home] wounded in the knee. Pappy is going to move Riley Jackson’s wife to Florida. We look for him on Sunday. Gid[eon] Pritchett 5 is going to Tennessee but was so sick when they got to Evergreen, they let him come home five days but he did not get well but had to go on.

I have got Bulger trained to treeing a possum and if you will come at Christmas, I will give you a good fat possum to eat. I have not had a quarrel with old Mrs. Daniel in a long time but I tell [you], the last time I give her the low down.

Goodbye sis, — Zack T. Fuller

Conecuh Co., Alabama
December 16th 1863

Dear Sister,

I seat myself to write you a few lines to let you know that we are all well but Zack. He has the chills yet. Sis, I have just got out the clothes & Sis, you must write to me. I have wrote to you since [but] I have [not] any answer and I don’t know what to write. Sis don’t have nothing to do with Alice for she has talked about us scandals and [ ] with Ma and Pa and told Pa to his face that he would not do nothing for her. Sis, everybody said that Alice was in the family way and I believe it for she moved her washing from her for more than a month or more and would not come here. Sis, keep your [ ] for she has destroyed the rest of her things. I must close, Write soon. — S[arah] R[achel] Fuller

1 Elizabeth Fuller (1834-1910) was married to Moses Q. Joiner (1821-Aft1870) in 1856. The couple had three young children at home in Escambia, Florida, when Moses accepted a bounty and enlisted in Co. F, 2nd Battalion Florida Infantry during the Civil War. The regiment was posted at Pollard, Alabama, at the time of this letter.

2 Martha Ann Brickman (1838-1868) was the wife of Walton William Fuller, Jr. (1835-1903). She was the daughter of Michael James Bickham (1810-1865) and Sarah Jane Erwin (1815-18xx) of Wesson, Copiah, Mississippi. Martha died in 1868 at Claiborne Parish, Louisiana.

3 James Sheffield (1832-1862) was a farmer in Evergreen, Conecuh county, Alabama, before the Civil War. He was married to Nancy Jane Barlow (1830-1921) in 1856 and left small children at home when he left to join Capt. Welch’s Co. E, 38th Alabama Infantry. He was killed at the Battle of Chickamauga on 18 September 1862.

4 “Hard” was William Hardy Sheffield (1840-1935), the younger brother of James Sheffield. He served in Co. K, 21st Alabama Infantry.

5 Gideon Pritchett (1822-1909) was living in Conecuh County, Alabama when he was conscripted to the war on 29 October 1863 at Mobile, Alabama with Co. B, 4th Louisiana Infantry.

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