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A Battle For Calhoun
Part 22; More Letters Home
by Maricia Mlynek

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We continue our series with letters and stories from the Calhoun Historical Society’s book, “Calhoun County in the Civil War.”

Rufus Knotts’ letter from Camp Chase, Ohio:

Camp Chase, Ohio

August 20, 1864

Your very kind and welcome letter of the instant was received yesterday and I was very glad to hear from you and to hear that you were well. I am enjoying tolerable good health. The other boys here of Calhoun are [also] well. Henry Wain died here the other day of the fever.

I heard from Papa Hensley yesterday. He is well and hearty. He says he has not heard from home for a long time, and says he is very anxious to be released that he may return home. I hope he may soon be released. Dr. Job McMar has not come here yet with his petition, but I hope he may come soon. I think he will then be released.

If I had a petition from Union men, certified by a Clerk of a Court, that they were Union men and approved by the Governor of West Virginia, I could be released. I still hear from my family. Tip was not very well when I heard from them last. I know they see very hard times, and I hardly know what they will do without assistance as everything is so scarce and high. I hope I may soon be permitted to return to them.

What are William and Jim doing? I received a letter from George Lynch. It is all I have received from any of them. I think they have all forgotten me. I wrote to William to send me some money as I needed it very much but he has not as much as written to me. They do not know what it is to be cast off in prison from their families and their friends.

Write to me soon and often and I hope if we never meet on earth we may meet in heaven. I often think of the kind advice and admonition you have often gave me. Give my love to Mima Lynch and all inquiring friends and write soon and tell me how Prudy and her children are doing.

                                                                   /s/ Rufus Knotts

(Source: Original letter in possession of Irene Booher Lynch of Arnoldsburg.)

[Rufus Knotts was 34 when he wrote the letter. He and his wife, the former Matilda H. Flesher, had three children by 1864 and would add five more after the war. Knotts served three years in the Confederate Army and was a prisoner at Camp Chase for 10 months. A resident of Minnora, he later served Calhoun as a justice of the peace, deputy sheriff, and member of the state legislature.]


Spencer, Roane County

April 1st 1860

To: The Commander of the Post at Charleston, Kanawha County

I understand that the Squad of Cavalry which passed through this county two or three weeks since, took from Mr. Wm Starcher of Calhoun County one three-year-old horse, and another from Jacob Starcher, both of whom I think ought to have their horses returned to them, for although they were at first Secessionists, since they took the oath, have demeaned themselves as good and loyal citizens, and have to my certain knowledge given important infor-mation to this post for to aid us in capturing Rangers. I therefore hope that you will see fit to deliver to the bearer of this, the said horses as it will in my opinion have a tendency to allay excitement and quiet the country.

Yours respectfully,

/s/ F. D. Chapman

(Source: Letter in possession of Vera Hickman Bailey of Arnoldsburg.)


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