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Re: Letter from Camp Hope
In Response To: Re: Letter from Camp Hope ()

Doug, most companies were raised by county (or counties adjacent), which resulted in personnel being related, neighbors, or acquaintances. Having a brother, cousin, uncle, minister, or even a father in the same company was not rare, and it oftentimes fell upon a relative to notify the home.

The following letter is an example of this. Private John C. Sparks wrote this letter to notify his sister-in-law of his brotherís death. Private Sparks and his brother, Jacobson Esau Sparks, were probably acquaintances of your great, great grandfather, Lewis Corder. They were all members of Company F, 26th Arkansas Infantry (Third Trans-Mississippi), raised primarily in Dallas County.

"Camp Prince, Aug 30, 1863

Dear Sister: With a heavy heart I take my pen in hand to inform you of the lamentable death of your husband which occured on the 20th of this instant. he Carter and Garner went to the creek after water, and when they had got the water they went off a few steps to the shade and was lying down, Carter and Garner said they didn't know whether
thay all went to sleep or not. When they were awakened by the tree falling. It was a dead oak and it struck in the top of the sycamore that they were lying under, brother Jacob had run 5 or 6 steps from where he was lying when Garner went back. He found a limb on him nearly foot through and took it off of him and he never breathed or struggled. It also hurt Carters arm pretty badly but did'nt break it, we got a good strong coffin and buried him as decent as we could on the bank of the Porto River near where we are camping 10 miles south of Fort Smith. The grave is on the east side of the river at what is called the upper ford about 20 steps from the banks under a burdock tree about 10 inches through, and a large field on the left of the road as you eye from Fort Smith. The grave is on the left between the corner of the fence and the ford of the river. His name is cut on a stone and stands up at the head of the grave close to the tree. I didn't tell you where the limb fell on him. It struck him across from the left hip to the right shoulder. I thought I would describe the place so that if you wanted to send after him that you caould find the place. I will send his clothes and money by first safe chance that I have. He had 100 dollars in Confederate and 2 1/2 in gold and 90 cents in silver. I am the worst lost that I ever was
in my life. It appears like every friend that I ever had is gone but that is only what we all owe our maker and we should not grieve, but we can't help it when our relations and friends fall around. I want you to write me as soon as you get this so that I will know whether you get this or not. I can't give you any news at present.

Yours truly,

J.C. Sparks to Cinthia Sparks and family."

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another freak accident
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