Fascinating 1863 Confederate Letter - South Carolina Private Writes on Slave's Behalf to Master at Cornhill Plantation

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Fascinating 1863 Confederate Letter - South Carolina Private Writes on Slave's Behalf to Master at Cornhill Plantation

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Item No. 9865283

This is a fascinating 1863 Confederate Civil War letter written by Private H. Mosley, then serving on James Island near Charleston. Mosley was likely a member of the Palmetto Light Artillery, which operated in the area. (Another H. Mosley served in the 4th South Carolina Cavalry, which also operated in this area at the time the letter was written.) The letter was written to Dr. John Howard Furman, owner of Cornhill Plantation in Sumter County, who had four slaves (JacksonAntneyNed, and Renty) working in the Charleston area, likely as army laborers. Writing on behalf of the slave Jackson, Mosley wrote to Furman in Jackson's own words, discussing the poor health of the other slaves and expressing their desire to return to Cornhill. It reads, in full:

James Island
August 26, 1863

Dr. J. Furman
Dear Sir
Your boy Jackson came to our camp this evening and requested me to drop you a few lines for the satisfaction of the boy and also to inform you how your boys are getting along. I will now state what Jackson wishes to say. Jackson says he is a cook for the boys, Antney, Ned & Ranty (Antney is now sick). In fact all the boys have been sick but they are now better. Jackson says he would thank you very much if you would contrive some way for them to get home, or, if you intend for them to stay on another month, please to send him word. Jackson says please tell his Dear Wife & children howdy for him and say to them that he is well at this time and we all long to get home and all the boys are worked down.

Your boy Jackson sends howdy to his mister & mistress and all the family.

Dr. Furman
Dear Sir
If you wish to send any word to your boys I will attend to it as the boys are near our camp.

Address me at Charleston SC care of Love & Wienges.
H. Mobley

The letter was written upon two small scraps of blue paper, the larger measuring about 5" x 6" with the bottom and right edges rough from having been removed from a larger stationery sheet. The smaller scrap measures about 5" x 3". My initial conclusion was that the scraps were separated from the same sheet, however none of the rough areas match, so I believe Mosley wrote the letter on two separate scraps. The letter is in good condition with minor toning. Creased where originally folded.

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