The Letters
Jacob Laban Hartsoe

Goldsboro Wayne County
May 24: 62
Dear and ever beloved Wife. I sete my self this evening to Drop you a few lines to let you no that I am totilel [totally] well at this time and I hope when theas few lines coms to hands they may find you and littel sisey in good helth. Dear love I hant got no letter in a weak. I got one letter when I cod begin to drill. I wrote to you to no about times at home and to let you no that I was giting so that I cod drill again. Dear love we went to the river to day to wash our close. we have _____ washing and cooking. you aught to see me makeing up wheat Doe and bake it. It is pore gitin along. My swete love I wod like to see you and swete littel sisey but my Dear love I dont no when I can com. There hant been no furlows granted since we are at goldsboro and I dont no how long we will stay here. We are looking to to be cald away every day. We dont no where we will go to from here. Dear love I want you to do the best you can and I want you and emeline to be good girls and try to git along as well as you can til I am com home and if I never get home in this world to see you all I still want you to do the best you can. dear love it is a sad time all over the land. it is hard to tel what will becom of all this land and country. it is awful to see the peopel that pases on the cars everey day and every day my dear you dont no how glad I wod be to see you and littel sisey. You sed she cod talk most every thing I got then your and sisey have. I was glad to git them and am sorry too. I love to keep them in my pocket book. I hant got my type tools yet. We have lots of raney wether down here. Dear love if you lack any thing rite to me and I will send you some mor money. The things is so high down here. some of the pays [am?] price for things I want so that--but the money that I send to you I want you to by what you nead if it can be had. in by for you Emeline.
John Hass sed indego was cheaper at the Hickory Station than is was down here. will send littel sisey 25 cts for you to by it something. I tryed to git shoes for littel Laurah ann but cod not git any for her. I want you to git some made for her if you cant git non. I want you to git some made for her. I want you to git Dadey Wike some bodey to by you some lether as soon as you can for it will git higher and higher. By if be fore fall be fore it gits. Deare love I wod rather see you than to eat when I am hungry. Dear love I live in hops and trust in god. he noes all things he noes if I will git home safe or not. I want you all to keep in good hart. Cal Setzer sed the peopel was all in low sperit. it is the same all over the confedrat states. I can cence you did not want me to join the volinteers but you see I don a wise trick. you see all them from 18 to 35 has to go to field and in dead some that is over aught to go. ther is lots left back if the yankes wod whip us. they wod take over and be yankes. I think it will be some of the hardest fighting don in the world. Dear love I have nothing of grate imformation to rite to rite to you. I expect there is a letter on the road for me but I will rite this and send it with Wiliam Baird[?]. My Dear and ever seete [sweet] wife I must close for this time. By asking you to rite to me as ofen as you can I wont no if we will be here or not but rite any how. The letter will forward me any how. So nothing more.

This from your near and Dear Husband
til Deth J.L Hartsoe

To my Dear love
J.L. Hartsoe
Petersburg Va
July 10: 1862

Dear loving wife I take the swete pleasure to rite you a few lines to let you no that I am well and hope when the [time comes and I?] come to home [I] may find you and littel sisey in the best of helth. I must state to you that we are now at petersburg. we have been marching backwards and so _____________ and the wether is so hot it most kils us. we see hard times but if I can keep well I will [not miss mail?] I hope to see you all if god is wiling. you don't no how bad I want you and my swete babe. you ____ it had _____. I have most forgot how my Dear babe looks. I havnt go much to rite. this is _____.

I had rote to you a letter the 4th of July. I had rote to you about the big fight. it was dredful. we dont no how soon we have to fight at Petersburg. the war news is still in the paper. this morning no fiteing going on = I hope you got that letter for I expect you have one on the way. then I will anser that. you can tel me then if you got this or not. I just write this letter to let you no where you I am for I no it has been a dredful time in this big fight. it beats all with the Yankey prisners in Richmond and Petersburg but is no hops of peace yet. I sopose all the conscript Boys has to march out. I wod rather risk my chance then therin. Dear love I think I don a wise trick to go when I did = as long as you and sisey stays well I can be tolibel [tolerable] well. Sadisfied all I can pray for is my life and helht [health] we may com back to N.C. and if we do I want you to come to see me. I want you to give all your dads family my best respects. I wad like to see them all. Tel Jim I wad like to see him so I cod tel him lots for I have seen lots in my travil. tel Adaline I have seen lots of the catawba boys but tel her I hant seen her littel old man yet there on the other side of Richmond. Dear love I want you to do the best you can, I am afraid your leg will git bad again and if it dos I dont no what to do. My dear you will have to sell some of the cattel stock for you and tend to all your [crease-illeg.] and I dont sopose youll can by = you had better tell or let your dad have one back but if I was you I wod sel one cow or caff = the lord nose when I will ever git home. it is hard to tel if I ever will. it looks like a narrow[?] chance for a man. three have died out our company. I got close for this tim as soon as I git your letter that is on the way I will ansor it then I will send you [crease-illeg.] lots to pay postage but I will rite if it cost 50 cts.

                            J L Hartsoe

J.L. Hartsoe
this the 24 of Sept 1863
Camp near South hamick Bridg Va

Dear loveing wife. I will drop you a few lines in anser to your kind letter which I read this morning. it was rote the 18 it found me well and I hope thes few lines may find you and sisey and Sister all in good health. I was glad to hear from you all once more and was glad to hear the you got the money but am sorry to say that we have marching orders to go to Gordinsville [with] Lees army. Some of our Brigade is gon now. Dear Wife I am glad to say to you that I got my box to day you aught to seen me eat but I hated to to see my Battel com. I am a fraid I cant send it back and my Dear if we haf to go on a march my box wont do me much my bred was mity moldy and some spilt all the rest was good. I do thank you kindly for sending me some thing to eat. I am glad you did not send me no peaches for all the rest of them roted and did not get any good of them. Dear Wife I dont want my shirt so long if you make it and if you cant no wool it dont make no --- if you mke it make it a wider then the rest make it as thers check Shirts I have with me. Dear Wife I want you to by me you a sow one that bring some pigs this fall or winter by a little one if you can. Dear Wife I want you and emeline to be good gals to gether and do all you can for each other til I git home if I ever do but my Dear if I do escape it will be gods good will but I hope and trust to god I will see you again and live with you for even if [I] never see you any more. I want you to do the best if I never see you any more I will think of you when I am dying but my Dear I hope I will see you an d my Dear babe before I dy I would like to be at home in a month or so but my Dear I dont expect to git home and if I dont, try and do the best you can. god will help you in time of need. I trust him we have good preeching evry nite and lots of solgers profesing religin. My Dear I expect there will be a big fite at gordinsville and if it is we will be in to it. my Dear I paid too dollard for my __ I did not mind that. My Dear I hate that you did not git that letter so you cod send me them half dols but I did not need them rite off=henry Weaver will leave newton the 1 or 2 of October you could send the half dols with him. Dear Wife I dont expect you send to town oftin. you can but my Dear if I never git back I dont want you to stay in that corner. I want you by you some place elce to live. I dont want you to stay in that corner. My Dear I never will like some folks as long as I live I dont want nothing sed noway atol. So I must close hopeing to see you someday. rite to me for that is all the sadisfactinon I have in the world. I want to see you and Sisey so bad but I dont no what to do. this from your Dear husband.  

                               J.L. Hartsoe
                                                   to my Dear loveing Wife

The Descendants of Jacob L. Hartsoe

These letters and family Bible records have been graciously provided by Willie (Mrs. Samuel) Shook, great granddaughter of Jacob Hartsoe. My thanks to her for sharing this material with me.

Jacob Laban HARTSOE, a native of Catawba County was born 29 July 1833 and was, by trade, a blacksmith. He was married to Perceda Lavinia WIKE, who was b. 14 May 1837 and d. 11 Jan 1922. Two daughters were born to the couple: Laura Ann and Amanda Elizabeth Hartsoe. Amanda was born 22 Nov 1863 and died 30 Mar 1944. She was six months-old when her father died. Amanda married James MILLER and had children, Bessie, Sara, Charlie, Jake, Poly and Ross Miller. Amanda married William Lawson WALKER (30 Jun 1865-15 Oct 1955) in 1887 and had children, John Sidney (b. 28 Mar 1889, d. 12 Apr 1889); Stella Eugenia (b. 17 Sep 1890, d. 25 Mar 1955); Mamie Ora (b. 15 Jan 1893, d. 16 Mar 1967); Cathren Etta (b. 29 Feb 1896, d. 8 Nov 1899); Lula Magdalene (b. 9 Dec 1897, d. 19 Nov 1899) and Lola [mother of Willie Shook] (b. 30 Jul 1901, d. 24 Jan 1980). Lola Walker married Loyd PRICE, 28 Oct 1923. Their children were: (1) Juanita PRICE, who married Harvey Ledford, Jr., 31 Oct 1942. They had children, James Gary LEDFORD and Patricia Ledford COFFMAN. (2) Willie PRICE married Samuel SHOOK, 29 Jun 1958 and had a daughter, Martha Shook ROSE.

Jacob L. HARTSOE left a record of his trade through an account book he kept. These valuable accounts give a better picture of the blacksmith trade and the economics of the time. He enlisted in Catawba County at age 29, March 20, 1862 and served in the 46th Regiment, North Carolina Troops, Company K, the "Catawba Braves". He was reported as "absent sick" for most of the period from July 1862, through April, 1863. He returned to duty prior to July 1, 1863. Jacob was present or accounted for until killed at Wilderness, Virginia, May 5, 1864. [NC TROOPS-A ROSTER 1861-1865, Vol. 11:232]

Derick S. Hartshorn - 2008
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