Letter submitted for the Union Parish
Louisiana USGenWeb Archives by
Maradee Cryer, May 2004
Copyright. All rights reserved.
1862 Letters Written by
Soldier John Andrew Kelley
John Andrew Kelley served in Company E,
41st Georgia Infantry Regiment during the War Between the States. He
wrote the following letters while serving in the army. John mentions
his brother-in-law James A. Pyron in the first letter below. John's
wife was Frances Pyron, and the William Pyron John mentions is either
Fraces' father or brother.
Transcription of the first letter:
May 9, 1862
I take my
pen in hand this morning to let you know that I am in tolerable good
health at the present time and hoping that these few lines will find
you and the children well and doing well. We have moved to Corinth
Miss. the sick has all been moved from here to Saugterdale about one
hundred miles from this place. Your James was with the sick but he was
on the mend when he left. All but one at this place were getting along
well at this time. We was drawn out on line of battle this morning but
the enemy retreated back and we had no fight though we expect a fight
soon. We think this battle will decide the question one way or another.
Badly situated since we left Bethel Springs on the account of our
cooking things were carried off with the sick ones. Though we have had
a part of them sent back to us. We are doing very well at this time.
The water is not very good here. Write to me and let me know what
William Pyron is going to do about going to the war. Whether he is
going to come to this company or not. Write soon, let me hear from you
I remain your loving husband. Give my best regards to the
Transcription of the second letter:
Camp 35 miles from
husband, John A.
opportunity of writing to you, I send you a few lines to let you know
that I am well and have stood the march finely so far. We are going to
stop at this place today and then I guess we will resume our
march. I cannot tell when or where we will stop. As the mail
facilities are very bad in this county you need not expect to
hear from me often.
I did not
have an opportunity of going to see your brother in Chattanooga. Some
think that we will go on towards Knoxville. If we do I may have a
chance of seeing him there. As he was getting better and I heard that
he would be able to go to his Reg. in a few days. The boys of our
company generally are standing the march very well indeed. We have
caught up with our brigade which is composed entirely of Tennesseans
except our Reg. If you write to me send to Chattanooga in care of
Culbert’s 41st Reg., Manney’s Brigade.
Images of the Original Letters
Family Background on John
history of the Kelley family from the
writings of John Lewis Liggin:
A disasterous failure of the potato crop
in Ireland sent Mike O'Kelley to South Carolina in the late 1700's
where he dropped the "O" and became "Kelley". Mike's son Pat married an
Irish girl and their son was John Andrew Kelley who moved to Carroll
County, Georgia.There he married Frances Pyron (age 21). The Pyrons
lived on Stone Mountain, Georgia. William (Frances' father) built a log
As the Civil War raged over Georgia, John
Kelley got special leave to go home for the birth of his daughter,
November 23, 1861. He served under a Capt. Bartow so he named the
newborn daughter, Georgia Bartow Kelley. She often told her children
and grandchildren of the time when a troop of Union Calvary came to the
home of Grandpa Pyron, destroying the house and stealing the nightgowns
of the women. Grandpa Pyron was a hot headed man and became so
infuriated that he found his old musket. He threaten to shoot the
soldiersâ€” who tied a rope around his body and dragged him down
a rocky road. They left him torn and bleeding but alive. [This story
has survived in other branches of our Kelley line.]
After the war John A. Kelley returned to
his farm and family. He was thrown from a wagon and his ankle crushed.
His foot had to be amputated. John's sister, Elizabeth, married a
John Jenkins and moved to Union Parish. In 1875 John and Frances Kelley
and their family followed, coming by rail to Monroe. They were met by
the Jenkins family with several teams and wagons, and proceeded to
Shiloh, finally settling on property known as Woolfort. Georgia Bartow
Kelley was 14 when the move was made. Arthur was 16, William 12, Abb
10, and Elizabeth a baby. Charles was born the next year.
The Kelley family settled a little over a
mile from the Liggin farm. Five years later Georgia Kelley (May 6,
1880) married Sam Liggin. They lived two years in the old Liggin log
house, later to become Liggin School. The marriage was to last for more
than sixty years. When their first child, John Lewis Liggin, was born
in 1881 he was named for his grandfathers; John Kelley and Lewis Liggin.
John Andrew Kelley
Alla Frances Pyron
in South Carolina
23, 1837, Georgia
1914- Union Parish LA
d. October 10, 1912, Union Parish LA
b. 1860 (married Amarintha Jane Culpepper)
- Georgia Bartow b.
November 23, 1861
She was named after her father's commanding officer. Georgia married
James Samuel Liggin. They both died in December 1940 within a few hours
of each other and are buried in the Fellowship Cemetery.