Civil War Letters .
Hunter Library .
Joseph Cathey (1803-1874) of Haywood County, North Carolina,
was a community leader who often received requests for assistance from soldiers
or home front families during the Civil War.
J. Cathey, Hominy Creek, North Carolina, to Rev. L. F. Siler, February 22,
1861. Cathey notes that the last issue of Siler’s paper had published
the proceedings of a meeting in Waynesville, North Carolina, and writes to
indicate his belief that he had been misquoted in regards to North Carolina’s
J. W. Killian, Davidson River, [North Carolina], to Cathey, January, 19,
1863. Killian had returned home recently from visiting the army near Fredericksburg
and Richmond, Virginia, and writes about the condition and deployment of
troops from western North Carolina and news of troop movements. Also, Capt.
James Cathey and his fellow soldiers sent money to be entrusted to Cathey’s
care and disposition.
Emma A. Shoolbred, Flat Rock, North Carolina, to Col. Cathey, March 30,
1863. Shoolbred, who indicates that she is a widow with a son in military
service, writes to request Cathey’s assistance in locating corn and
an ox to purchase.
The Federal Census of 1860 for the Flat Rock post office district of Henderson
County, North Carolina, lists an E. A. Shoolbred, age 54, with a son James,
age 27. According to the accompanying Slave Schedule, she owned 18 slaves,
which she mentioned in her letter to Cathey.
James B. Rankin, Pleasant Gardens, [North Carolina], to Col. Cathey, August
11, 1863. Rankin writes to Cathey, a director for the Western North Carolina
Railroad, to recommend Major James W. Wilson as chief engineer.
Jno. D. Hyman to Col. Jas.
Cathey, August 19, 1863
Jno. D. Hyman, Hendersonville, North Carolina, to Col. Jos. Cathey, August
19, 1863. Hyman discusses an upcoming election and the candidates and issues
involved, as well as a recent convention and the lack of a peace candidate.
James Cathey, Hiwassee, Towns County, Georgia, to Col. Cathey, November
12, 1863. James Cathey indicates that crops in his area have been ruined
due to bad weather and asks Cathey’s assistance in locating corn for
sale and land to rent.
N. G. Phillips, Valley Town, North Carolina, to Col. Cathey, December 24,
1863. Phillips writes that wartime conditions in Cherokee County, North Carolina,
have made life in his area untenable and seeks Cathey’s assistance
in relocating his family to another area before he has to return to military
Nathaniel Green Phillips of Cherokee County, North Carolina, first enlisted
in the North Carolina 25th Infantry Regiment, Company D, in June, 1861, but
later served with the Thomas Legion (North Carolina Troops, vol.
7, p. 396).
Captain J. M. Cathey, in camp near Weldon, North Carolina, to his father,
Col. J. Cathey, February 15, 1864. Captain Cathey writes of his personal
feelings and concerns, his health, recent events, the reenlistment of fellow
soldiers for additional military service, and favors sought from Col. Cathey
by his fellow soldiers.
James Madison Cathey was a captain in the North Carolina 25th Infantry Regiment,
Company F, (North Carolina Troops, vol.7, p. 408). Rodom C. Best
enlisted in Haywood County in September, 1863, and served with Captain Cathey
in the 25th Regiment, Company F (North Carolina Troops, vol. 7,
G. W. Logan, Richmond, Virginia, to [Cathey], May 30, 1864. Logan writes
of a visit to a hospital near Richmond, Virginia, and of recent casualties
among troops from Cathey’s area. He comments on the Confederate Congress
and what he considers its inaction, the lack of prospects for peace, recent
military actions, and his predictions of impending engagements.
George Washington Logan (1815 – 1889), a Unionist, was elected in
1863 to the Confederate Congress as a peace candidate. (William S. Powell,
ed., Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, vol. 4, Chapel Hill:
University of North Carolina Press, 1991, p. 83).
All of the following men enlisted in Haywood County, North Carolina, in
June, 1861, as part of the North Carolina 25th Infantry Regiment, Company
F: Garland Sevier Ferguson, who was wounded at Drewry’s Bluff, Virginia,
May 14, 1864 (North Carolina Troops, vol. 7, p. 409); Thaddeus M.
Green (North Carolina Troops, vol. 7, p. 412); Humphrey P. Holland
(North Carolina Troops, vol. 7, p. 413); and Luther W. Murray (North
Carolina Troops, vol. 7, p. 414).
W. L. Love, Times Office, to J. Cathey, Forks of the Pigeon, North
Carolina, October 17, 1864. Love says that an article about Cathey’s
assistance to families and soldiers during the war that ran in a recent issue
of the Times was inaccurate and requests that Cathey submit details of the
aid he has provided.
An obituary for Captain James M. Cathey, dated Waynesville, North Carolina,
October 4, 1864, and signed by “J. F. F.” Captain Cathey of the
North Carolina 25th Infantry Regiment, Company F, age 25 and the son of Col.
Joseph Cathey and Nancy Cathey, was killed July 30, 1864 at Petersburg, Virginia
(North Carolina Troops, vol.7, p. 408 indicates he died at “the
Crater”). The brother mentioned in the obituary, Lieut. Joseph Turner
Cathey, died September 1, 1863 (W.C. Allen, The Annals of Haywood County,
North Carolina, 1935, p. 557).
Civil War Letters .
Library . WCU
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