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JOHN FRANCIS CALHOUN was a grand-nephew of John C. Calhoun. He entered the Confederate Army in April 1861 as a lieutenant in the 7th South Carolina Volunteers. During the following year of service he wrote “my own darling wife” Rebecca Noble Calhoun at least twice weekly. A remarkably complete collection of around 100 of his letters has survived. Calhoun owned several farms, a tanning yard, and a grist mill in Abbeville District, South Carolina. His letters not only give an account of his life as a soldier, and his concern for his wife and infant daughter at home. They are also a rich source of information about farming, business, and extended family of the time.
FROM THE LETTERS:
“Those who will not now come forth and strike a blow in defence of our homes, do not deserve the name of freeman and the benefits and enjoyments of a free government.”
“I hear some of the officers and men saying this war is making business women of our wives, they are economizing and attending to business like men and learning to be very ingenious in making everything at home.”
“Our revolutionary fathers fought seven years, half-fed, poorly clad, and in the dead of winter they were often bare footed, and could be tracked by the blood on the snow and ice from their bleeding feet; and are we unworthy of the rich legacy they handed down to us - shall we falter when we are ‘almost there’”?