1863: William McCarty to Marilla Jane (Wilson) McCarty

William’s broken headstone in Cottonwood Cemetery, Dallas, Texas

The following letter was written by William McCarty (1821-1883) to his wife, Myrilla Jane Wilson (1827-1882). The couple were married in 1846 and had at least two children by the time this letter was written. William was born in Tennessee and was residing in Bradley county, Tennessee, when the 1850 US Census was collected. Ten years later he and Marilla were enumerated in Plano, Collin county, Texas.

TexasMuster Roll Index cards indicate that William was drafted into Co. D, 15th Battalion Texas State Troops on 15 July 1863.


Camp Lane, Fannon County, Texas
September 30th 1863

I have sat down in a wagon to scratch you a few lines amongst the fuss and bustle in camp. We are all well and passing of time very well.

We have had some very good preaching in camp and have religious songs sung until 9 o’clock every night. It commenced raining last night and is still raining yet. We will move from here in a few days further up the river. I want you to do the very best you can for I do not know when I will be at home. It may be before long and it may be not be before spring. I cannot tell. You know anything about it. We will know in a few days whether we will get to come or not.

We are all sworn into the Confederate service for the length of three years after our six months is out. Now my Marilla, I do not want you to give way in despair to everything. I want you to brave the storm and do all the good you can for yourself and your country. Do not fret nor grieve for me for I will try to take care of myself and I want you to do the same.

I will say something about our tent. I do not know whether it will take 36 yards or not. When you go to make it, make your breadth about 7 yards long the ends. Set your breadths up on the end and then take a pleat in it up high enough for the wall and that will make the eve. Then a small rope every yard. Then it will do without corner posts. — William McCarty

When you write, direct your letter to Bonham, [Texas], Company, Co. D, 15th Battalion

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s