Civil War – Letters about Choctaw County Men

Submitted by C.J. Johnson

This is the second of two letters shared in 1974 with the Plaindealer by Mrs. Laura Franks Crenshaw, about her uncle, Osborn Franks, Company I, 31st Mississippi Regiment, from Choctaw County.

August 4th, 1864 Your letter of the 26th of July came today. I was glad to hear that you received the letter I sent to you.

You said that you wished to know how long your husband was in the hospital? He was here about three weeks. He was not sick at all until about two days before he died. He had been complaining of his back all the time until he was taken ill. All at once about two days before his death. And in regard to his attention, he was attented to as well as he could be anywhere. I waited on him myself.

I sat by his bed all the time because he wouldn’t let no one else wait on him. He had a smothering in his breast so as he couldn’t lay on his bed more than 15 minutes unless he was raised up. I sat right by him and raised him up and down even until his death.

Concerning how he was put away, I had his own clothing put on him all very clean and nice enough. He was put away as well as any soldier could be at a hospital.

I am a Mississippian myself. I belong to the 7th Miss. Regiment Co. H. I live in Winston County, 8 miles west of Louisville, one mile north of Weir road.

You said you wanted me to remember you after the war. You may rest assured I will ever remember you after the war. I thought a great deal of your husband. Mrs. Franks I hope to be remembered by you in all your prayers.

If I should live to see this war close, I will come to see you.

I will send you his comb. His hat and shoes were turned over to the Steward of the hospital. I went and tried to get them and he couldn’t find them. I kept the note myself. By that means you will get them. If his shoes and hat can be found I will send them to his brother.

Mrs. Franks, I would take all manner of pleasure of reading your letters if you feel disposed to write to a soldier friend. I would be very glad to receive letters from you. I love to hear from my old state how all is coming along.

I received a letter from my father the other day. I haven’t heard from there in some time. I would like very well to get to go home and see my old father and mother once more.

I will come to a close hoping to hear from you again. I hope God will bless you and your little child who is left without a father and comfort you in your distresses and save you and crown you in his kingdom is my prayer for you.

Your Ever Remembered Friend, Alvin Dempsey to Mrs. Sarah an Franks.

P. S. You said you wanted to know what disease your husband died with. The doctor said that his blood stopped circulating and he never could get it started circulating any more.