old letters

Private Michael O. Raysor
To His Wife
Sallie Johnson Raysor
February 5, 1863

M. O. Ras                                                                                                                                                       Tullahoma, Tenn
                                                                                                                                                                          Feb 5/63

My Dear Wife   

     I read your letter of the 25th last month yesterday & was truly glad to hear from you & that you were well, but was sorry to hear that Rebecca & Sissie was sick.  I hope this will find them well. From all accounts there have been in great deal of sickness in Florida this year & most of cases fatal.  But Florida is not alone. other states have suffered especially in this army; they are a great many sick in this army, but the weather is so bad up here.  It has been raining or snowing here for the last two weeks & last night there was the bigest kind of sleet.  The ice & snow is still on the ground.  You have no idea what we have to suffer, but we are fighting for our freedom therefore it must be endured.  I hope the day is not far distant when this war will end & we all can get to come home. 

Sallie enclosed you will find a letter from Hannah in which she said that Harriet Mellard was going to Florida. she did not say any thing about Aunt Jane. she said also that Tom was married she told this name of the girl he married.  I knew her before I left So Ca- his & sister was at the wedding.  But you can see the letter for yourself.  I got one from Jno the same day & would sent it too but it would be too much to send in this letter, he was quite well and at the same place & doing well. 

Sallie you said that Ellen was married. I had heard that she had made the trip, but was certain she would of invited you anyhow, but you must not care for that.  Treat her with perfect indifference, you are not dependent on her nor John Raysor's family.  Sallie I was a little mortified to think that they would treat me in that way. I am not dependent on them & thank God, hope never to be.  It is true I have never had much use for that family & after this I never expect to have any more to do with them & I want you for my sake to do the same. do not let them not inviting you worry you in the least.  Treat it with perfect indifference.

You said that Isabell had treated you mean since I left.  What has she been doing to you.  You must write & tell me,
then perhaps I can give you some good advice in regards to her.  She is your own sister you must recolect.  I know she has an envious disposition, but I would of thought she would be the last person to treat you mean.  Knowing that I am in service fighting for her freedom as well as yours and mine, I do not consider George making salt anything to benefit the confederacy when they sell it as high as they do.  The conscript officer might to go down there & take all of them between 18 & 45 if they were up here, I'll insure they would be conscripted & that soon. 

Sallie, I am glad you did so well in tending to our meat.  How much corn willl we have to sell & will it finish paying up our debts we owe you said that I must write to your pa & thank him for tending to my business. I will in a few days.   
   How is Miss Georgia got.  (? - is this perhaps the name of a pet or farm animal or...?)

There is nothing new up here so I will close hoping it will find you all quite well; as it have me.  Give love to all
I remain your affect. Husband, M. O. Raysor

Tullahoma, Tennessee              


Michael Raysor was b: April 13, 1837; mustered in August 10, 1861, Florida 3rd Infantry Company H, Monticello, FL.  He was captured in Kentucky and exchanged near Vicksburg in January, 1863.  He was severely wounded at Chickamauga, September 20, 1863.  In one of his last letters, he wrote his wife saying, "Oh how I wish I could be at home, but it is no use.  I believe furlough is stoped [sic].  I believe I could run away, but I do not care to do it, but if I am not exchanged [to a Florida hospital] in two or three months, I will."  He was furloughed, but died at home in Jefferson County, Florida, January 27, 1864. His widow of four years, Sarah Johnson Raysor filed for pension, #A02338.

Read about the Tullahoma, Tennessee Civil War Campaign.


Family members mentioned in this letter:

  •  Uncle John M. Raysor
  • John Raysor's daughter Ellen (who married B.F. Treadwell on January 11, 1863)
  • Brother, Capt. Thomas Elijah Raysor (who  married Belle Bowyer on Jan. 27, 1863)
  • Sister Hannah remained in South Carolina.
  • Harriet Raysor Mellard (daughter of James M. Raysor)
  • "Aunt Jane" probably would be Jane Stokes Walker Raysor, who had married George Raysor, Sr. after the death of his first wife (her sister), Anna Sisson Stokes Raysor. 
  • Isabell is Isabella Johnson Raysor, sister of Sallie Johnson Raysor and wife of cousin George D. Raysor.
Images of the Actual Letter:
Transcripton of Letter    Page 1   Page 2    Page 3    Page 4
Obituary of Michael O. "Mike" Raysor

Michael O. Raysor Family correspondence,  Miscellaneous Manuscript Collection, P. K. Yonge Library of Florida History,
George Smathers Library, University Of Florida. Copy of letter provided by Chuck Bennett.  Transcribed by Pat Sabin (spelling not changed, but broken into sentences and paragraphs for easier reading).

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