Letters Home #02


This letter was was written to E.C. Ferguson, Father of Max L. Ferguson and Uncle of John Ferguson, by Squire John Ferguson.

(LITTLE) ROCK ARKANSAS, December 10, 1865

My dear Uncle:

I embrace this opportunity to write you a few lines to let you know I am in good health, hoping this may find you and all of the family well.

You will think it strange when you get this letter from me, for it is a long time since I left the fair hills of Scotland. I know that you often think that I ought to have written as soon as we landed in this country, and told you all of Fathers death, but John if you only know of the way I have jostled about in this great country you would not think hard of me. But now, I must begin with something that will interest you. After we started from Scotland, father kept his health until we got within three days of sailing of New Orleans, when he took suddenly ill, and died within twenty four hours, and was consigned next day to a watery grave in the Gulf of Mexico. After the death of Father we --------- of New Orleans. We came up the -------------- Mississippi from there to St. Louis. -------------------where we found Mother's sister at the Dunlaps. --------- I curse them and do so still, but Dunlap for his reward, he was shot at the siege of ---------- for doubtless you have heard of the rebellion that is raging here. Dunlap was a rebel, and found a traitors doom. But I must come back to my letter after we got to St. Louis.

Mother stayed in St. Louis for some time, there she went to live in the country with her father, John Hunter. Before she left for the country, she got a place for sister Lizzie to live with a rich family in St. Louis where she still remains, and is now their

adopted daughter. I believe she (Mother) took sister Martha with her, and left poor little Jack to get along the best he could but to be sure and send her five dollars a month. I went to work on the river for fifteen dollars a month, and I kept pushing and soon got thirty dollars a month, and I bought three hundred acres of land, a lot of cattle, a mare and several other things, and I loaned Dunlap three hundred dollars. Just as I was getting something put away the rebellion broke out, and Bill Dunlap got all my papers concerning the land, and his notes, under the pretence of going to sign about the land. He then started off-------. About this time I went out to the country to Mother and Sister, as soon as I got there a gang of fellows ask me what I was, I told them I was a Union man, for I am a man now, little pint in now a man. The fellows robbed me of all I had, and took my mare, saddle and bridle from me, they then shot at me, one of them shot a lock of hair off above my ear. I then drew my revolver for I had one in my pocket, and I shot one of them through the hand. I then started off and went off about a hundred miles, and there I got married. After I got married I got along very well for a year. The Rebels got after me again, then I joined the Union Army. I have been in the Army for about two years, and I have been in several well fought battles. I am in a Regiment called the Third Missouri Cavalry.

Tell Tom, I have a big boy and I called him after Uncle Tom Ferguson. I guess if I don't get killed I will call my next one for you. If you get this letter you must let me know if Grandfather and Grandmother and all the family are still living, and let me know where they all live, and I will more next time.

I have not seen Mother or Martha for about three years, I saw Lizzie about seven months ago. My paper is getting scarce so I must come to a close.

Write as soon as you get this letter, if you ever get it. Direct your letter to where my home is, that is to John Ferguson, Oakhurst, Post Office, Miller County, State of Missouri, North America. I would tell you to direct it to my regiment, but we move around so much that I am afraid that I would not get it. Give my love to all the family and friends. Tell them all to write to me. Anything I can let you know about America I will do anything in my power. Write soon to your loving Nephew.

/s/ John Ferguson

p.s. If the postmaster in Dumfries can't find John Ferguson let any of the family have it.

Note: The ------------------- spaces in the letter are portions that could not be deciphered because of the age of the letter.
  • 1. The above letter was copied by Max L. Ferguson from the original letter, while he was on leave from his Squadron, based in England, March 1945.
  • 2. He spent his leave with some of our distant relatives in Scotland.

  • E.C. Ferguson,
    Father of Max L. Ferguson