Thursday, January 21, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday

My husband's great great grandfather, Cyrus Downey, was in the Civil War.  Our "treasure chest" item is a letter Cyrus wrote to his brother on 22 Dec 1863.
Cyrus Downey - Civil War Letter
On the other side of the letter he drew a map of the battlefield.  Below is a transcription of the letter...well all except for one word (which I can't clearly read).  If anyone out there has any ideas about the missing word...please let me know:
December the 22th 1863
Murfreesboro Tenn
 Dear Brother
I thot that I would drop you a few lines to let you a few words that I got your letter yesterday, and was glad to hear from you and tell Catharine that I would be glad to have those suspenders and [unreadable word ] and that knife and handkerchief and if I don’t get them before the 15 of next month I can by them here those things will cost me a bout 8 or 10 $ and send me that box when you get the chance but I want them other things rite the way as soon as you can send them I send my love to you all

This is the Chickamoga battle ground and when I get home I will show you where our reg fot hand this to Catharine
 Cyrus Downey
It actually looks to me like the word is "pumps," but if that's right...well...what does that mean?  The letter was written in pencil and is fading.

The Catharine he refers to is his wife, Catharine (Burtner) Downey.  Per his pension file (#263511/379-997), Cyrus enlisted in Company F, 123rd Regiment of Illinois Volunteers on 1 Aug 1862, and was mustered into service on 6 Sep 1862.  He was discharged 28 Jun 1865 in Nashville, TN.

My husband and I treasure this letter and are so grateful that his mother passed it on to us.  She knew of our interest in genealogy, and knew we would keep it safe.


Ambar said...

Pumps would be dress shoes (as opposed to boots).

Kathleen Brandt, Professional Genealogist said...

Cutting off right arm to find a treasure like this one! Thanks for both sharing and making me jealous enough to do twice the digging.

Mary Rogers said...

Your husband and I are cousins, as Cyrus Downey and Catherine Burtner Downey are my great, great grandparents, too!

So who's your husband?

Here's my line:
Cyrus/Catherine- James Edward Downey/Julia Frances Moore - Verna Emma Downey/William Richard Hawkins - Waymon Benjamin Hawkins/Jeanne Claire Graham- and me...Mary Frances Hawkins Rogers

Please email me at, I'd love to connect and share!