Haskell County Historical Society--Historical Letters
The ROYEs who live in Haskell County, OK, in 2006 are the direct descendants of Lemuel G. Roye and Harriet Anne Johnston.
Harriet died in 1852, Lemuel remarried to Hulda, therefore these civil war era letters are addressed to her.
Lemuel G. Roye was born 24 May 1823 AL, died 15 Jul 1882 Pontotoc County, MS, buried in Camp Ground Cemetery, MS. Lemuel
married 1st) m.1843 AL to Harriet Anne Johnston; 2nd) Hulda.
The unusual spelling in the letters is characteristic of the common people of the day, and has been left in this transcription
just as it appeared on the original letter. Ellipses...indicate that a word or words could not be read.
There are two letters which survived, the originals are in the possession of family members residing in Mississippi...
"In camp near Goodmans Feary on Talahacha River -
"This November the 19, 1863 -- My Dear Wife and Children all: I wright you a fuw lines to let you now that I am
well and in hope that these lines ma reach and find you all well and dooing well. I have no nuse of interst to wright at
this time. I can sa to you that I recived your kind letor of the 5th by the hand of Mr. Horton the othor day and was very
glad to hear from you. But very...you, my Dear. I want you to hold fast to your .... O my dear Wife you cant tell how bad
I doo want to see you and them sweet littel babes. I...dreaming...of see(ing) you and them. But, oh, when I wake up and
find that it is only a dream, O, how it panes my hart. Mother, kiss them sweet litel babes for me and tell them that its
four.... Tell them that I will be at home some time before long if I live.
"We have some right hard times hear, nothing to eat but pore beafe and black flouer; and that, you now, dont sut
"Well, my Dear, I wrote to you to send Henry up hear to take my plase; but you nead not send him four tha sa now
that tha will not take him in my plase. So, I will have to sta and doo the best that I can and that will bee bad, O Wife
"O, how I long to bee at home whar I could live in pease. O, that sweet pease of mind that I hav sene at home.
But, thar is no pease or pleasur hear, nothing but hard times and I fear worse a coming. Pray four mee that I na hould out
fathful and that we ma meat in a betor world than this if nevor permited to meate in this agan. But I doo hope that we will
see hapy days together again. I long to see the day when I shall be free agan and goo and com when and whar I please. Wee
privets ar wors bound then eney Negro and treated worse then dogs, but nevor mind it for ther is a betor day a coming. I
doo hope and pray that we na sune see betor days and haper ones.
"When thes lines you see, remember me thou many miles between us bee; and when the wind blowes far away, send to
me a si or too. You need not dout but I repa when the wind blowes far to you.
"I dont now that I could interest you by writing more, so I will close four the present. I remaine your loving husban
until death, so farewell my loving Wife.
"Lemuel Roye to Hulda Roye and children at home.
"A few lines more. Johney these lines is to you. I want you to bee a good boy and mind your mother and bee smart
and take good care of your piges and calves. Fead and tend to them well. You must try and make lots of corne next year if
I doo not git home. You must bee smat and keep plenty of wood four your mother for she is your best frend. Always remembor
that, my Sun. L. Roye to John W. Roye.
"Henry, a fuw lines to you. I wont you to bee smart and treate your mother and brothers and sistes kind. Keep plenty
of wood and good fires this wintor and take good car of your stock and feed them well. If you will bee good to your mother
and brothers and sisters, other people will alwis think well of you. Lemuel Roye to his Sun Henry Roye."
"Miss. Loderdale County, Lees Hospitale --
"Des. the 4th, 1864 -- My dear Wife: I wright you fuw lines to let you now how I am gitting on. I am mending but
it is very slow.
"I can sa to you that I recived your kind letor this morning and was very hapy to hear that you had got home saft.
You cant tell how glad I was to heare that you found the children all well four thar as nothing that gives mee mor satisfaction
than to hear that you and them as well and dooing well.
"Maugh, tell Henry to take car of himself and try to git well. I cant tell how long I will have to sta hear four
thar as too more cases of small poks broke out in Forest Hospitale. Thar as no other won broke out hear yet, but we dont
now how sun thar will.
"My Dear, when you wright agan, let mee now how much corne you geathered. Take good care of your stock.
"If John Fields comes home enytime sun, bee sure to send mee sum butor four I crave milk and butor mor than enything
eals. I think if I could get home too weeks that I would git well, but when I will git well hear I cant tell for you now
that the fod hear as bad and dont sut mee.
"You must excuse my short letor this time and I will wright you sun. So farewell my loving Wife and Children all.
"Lemuel Roye to Hulda Roye."
(Our Grandfather Lemuel did come home from the Civil War and lived until July 15, 1882.)