Family Genealogy Research,  Park

Archibald Park Letter to Isabella Wood (His Adoptive Mother) 22 January 1864


Archibald Park was the oldest son of William and Frances Smith Park.  The Park family emigrated to Texas with the Wood family.  While in Leon County, Texas, Mr. and Mrs. Park died.  Their four children were orphaned.  In a letter back to Mrs. Park’s parents in Scotland, Isabella Wood states that she expected to keep the children, but that another couple wanted to raise two of the children, William and David.  The Woods informally adopted Archie and his sister Lillias and raised them.

Archie joined the Confederate army.  He was taken prisoner and held at the infamous POW camp in Elmira, New York.  He was transferred to the General Receiving Hospital No. 9 in Richmond, Virginia where he died the day after his arrival.  I believe that he is buried in an unmarked mass grave in Hollywood Cemetery.  I may be wrong about this.  I need to do more research on it.

The Letter

Eldorado Arkansas

Jan 22 1864

Dear Mother,

I take the pleasure of writing you a few lines to let you know that I am well, hoping these few lines may find you enjoying the same blessing.  I have no news to write that will interest you.  We have had some very cold weather this winter.  The people that live here say that it is the coldest winter that they ever saw in the state.  It is very pleasant now and has been for the last week.  There is strong talk of us going to Texas and they say they will let us go by home.  I will be glad to get home once more to see you all.  We left John very sick at Camden when we left there, but I heard from him yesterday.  He is getting well fast.  He sent down here after his horse so that he can come to camp.  He will get in in a few days.  The command is all on a scout and have been for three weeks.  I did not go on account of my horse.  He is very lame with the swanney.  I am sorry he taken the swanney.  He is a fine hour.  I was offered $1000 dolars for him before he got lame.  John’s hors was lame a long time.  He looks very bad now.  It is the same hours he started with from home.  We are getting plenty of corn and sometimes fodder for our horses.  We have to haul corn 6 miles.  They make a trip every other day but it is good corn.  Well it is about time to get dinner.  Dinner is over and now I will finish my letter.  Eli Case as just got in from the command.  He got kicked by a horse a few days ago and has not been able to walk on it until today, but he can walk on it a little today.  He says he don’t know when they will be in.

Eli says he was near enough to hare them fighting.  It was not our brigade.  It was another brigade.  Our brigade may get into a fight before they get back but I don’t hardly think they will.  Everything is very high.  We have paid as high as $4 a bushel for potatoes in Camden.  They charged $15 for a many staying all night.  Boots is selling from $100-150 dolars a pair.  Fine shoes $30 a pair and every else in proportion.  It would take 6 months pay to buy one pair of boots.  Things are cheaper in Texas than they are here.  This brigade came very near running away and going to Texas because they put an Arkansas general over us.  We was not willing to give up our commander and go under a Arkansas general.  It was the greatest stur up I ever heard.  Colonel Parson’s was not there at that time but came in very soon and as soon as the boys saw him come in sight the boys all run to him throwing their hats and hoping.  They formed a circle round him.  Je was waving his hat all the time.  When the noise was hushed, he sat on his horse and cried and a great many of both men and officers shed tears.  And then he made a speech.  He was then appointed our commander.  The boys just swear they will never give him up.  They say they have fought under him for more than 2 years and if they have to fight any more, they will still fight under him.  At least they will never fight under a Arkansas general.  The Texians all hate General Holms so bad that they want to kill him and some of them will do it if they get a chance at him.  He don’t like us either.  He says that we are not good fighters but he says we are a pack of damned thieves.  He gives us a bad name worse than we are.  Well, it is getting late and I will have to bring my letter to a close.  Tell Mr. Case’s folks that the boys are well.  I wrote a letter to Lilly a few days ago.  Give my respects to all the folks.  No more time at this point but remain

Your friend,

A Park

Write soon and often it has been a long time since I have heard from home.       A Park

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