THE CIVIL WAR
Letter of from nephew in south

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Record 164/294
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Admin/Biog History Charles D. Echols, a bookkeeper in Gallipolis, Ohio. Echols was born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1823. He served in a regiment of volunteers during the Mexican War in 1847. Echols' sister, Elesia Linsy McCormick, was married in Louisville in 1830 and moved with her husband to New Orleans. Elesia's son, James McCormick, wrote the following letter to his uncle in Ohio at the outbreak of the Civil War. Ironically, the forty-one year old Echols enlisted again in 1864 in the 140th Ohio Infantry to serve for one hundred days.
Classification Archives
Collection Civil War Small Collections
Dates of Accumulation May 9, 1861
Abstract 1 letter and Confederate patriotic envelope to Charles D. Echols from his nephew James McCormick:

Bank of New Orleans
New Orleans May 9th [1861]
My Dear Uncle

After a lapse of several months, again do I embrace the opportunity of addressing [you] a line. And though writing you in a foreign land and as a foreign relative, trust that you, though among our enemies, have a warmth at heart and our best wishes for the success of the South, and the new Confederacy. In the Presidential election or contest, my vote was cast for [the] Bell [and] Everett [ticket]. But after the election, and finding how things had turned, [I] waded in for immediate secession, thinking it far more preferable, that we should form a government of our own, than to submit to the dictates of an Ignominious Cowardly Abolition President, who like his people (through never talking very loud) will yet bind their allegiance to the SOUTH, recognize the Young Republic, and ask forgiveness.
Everything in this city is very quiet, and were it not for the soldiers encamped in the rear of the city, numbering some 6000, and an occasional beat of a drum, one would never suppose that war was upon us. Business continues quite brisk as usual, supplies and produce of all kinds have been flowing in quite rapidly for the last six weeks. Missouri has actually emptied her lap into ours. The market is filled to overflowing. So [I] was informed by a merchant on yesterday, who states that there was sufficiency on hand to sustain an Army of 200,000 for [the coming] winter months.
But dear uncle you cannot imagine my grief when at times dwelling over the thought of being married during such exciting times as these. I have often wished to Providence that I could be single for about one year, that I might throw up my situation and shoulder the musket in defense of my Home and fireside. The New Firm now numbers ten states, and in the close of May will have attained the 15. At times, I deeply regret that those fanatics, who so deadly oppose us (fighting as they say for the Union), cannot visit our slave territories. Should they, [I] am satisfied that they would return convinced that they have been deluded and fooled most grossly. The Negro among us is far more happy, better cared for and provided for than any of the poor whites.
But to the point. Your northern journals, otherwise filthy sheets, through their columns, herald to the world (no doubt with an idea of intimidation toward us), that we shall be whipped into submission. How preposterous the idea. To convince you that it would be rather a difficult matter, will call your attention to our own small state. Louisiana, at the last election, cast 51,000 votes. Out of which [the men] have offered to furnish 40,000 [troops]. But the government would accept of only 7000. The enlisting of soldiers has ceased, except for the regular army. The south can in the short period of two weeks have concentrated at any stated point, an army of 200,000 armed [and] equipped. Since [illegible] have been looking at a shipment of 50,000 bombshells. But for what point [we] know not, for our people are just as ignorant of what is intended by Jeff Davis, our President, as you, yourselves. But rest assured, ere long there will be something up that will astonish the whole north. Workshops of all kinds are busily engaged in the manufacture of arms of all descriptions, cannon, 124 pounders 7 per week, Muskets 3000 per week, [and] small arms in like manners. All the ladies, Mother & Emily included are busily engaged night and day in the manufacture of uniforms, lint bandages etc. I could inform you of a great many things going on in this section, but [in] the papers, [the] public have been requested to keep their own affairs to themselves. Therefore, Mum is the word.
From dispatches arrived this evening, things look as if Lincoln, alias Rail-Splitter, is about to Cave. But trust not, in order that the North may become conscience of the fact that we can furnish more men of real courage than they [can]. There is just as much difference between them (although Americans) as there is between Germans and a Dutchman. I am beginning think that I have written sufficient for the present.
Mother, Emily, and the three children are all quite well. The two former [are] desirous to be remembered to yourself gladly.
Don't fail to write soon (but a flea in your ear), when you do write Beware, for all letters addressed to any of the seceded states are always opened in some of the Lincoln post offices. So even if you sympathize [with us], keep mum or you will be spotted.
Were it not [that] Summer is coming on, [I] would suggest the idea of you removing to this city, but by fall shall endeavor to procure some position for you should you desire it.
Hoping yourself and lady are enjoying good health, with love to both, that you may write soon, remain

Your affectionate Nephew
James
Event Civil War
Category 8: Communication Artifact
Legal Status Oshkosh Public Museum
Notes Charles D. Echols, a bookkeeper in Gallipolis, Ohio. Echols was born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1823. He served in a regiment of volunteers during the Mexican War in 1847. Echols' sister, Elesia Linsy McCormick, was married in Louisville in 1830 and moved with her husband to New Orleans. Elesia's son, James McCormick, wrote the following letter to his uncle in Ohio at the outbreak of the Civil War. Ironically, the forty-one year old Echols enlisted again in 1864 in the 140th Ohio Infantry to serve for one hundred days.
Object ID SC411.5.19.1
Object Name Letter
People Echols, Charles D.
McCormick, Elisia Linsy Echols
McCormick, James
Lincoln, Abraham
Subjects Civil War
Homefront
Secession
Confederate States of America
Anti-americanism
Slavery
Slaves
War work
Patriotic envelopes
Title Letter of from nephew in south
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Last modified on: December 12, 2009