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George Burton Childress and Hugh Martin Childress were twin sons of Robert U. Childress and Temperance Connally Childress. They were born November 22, 1833 in Madison County, Alabama, the 12th and 13th child of 17 siblings. They were reared in the small rural communities in the hills that surround Huntsville.

Their closest neighbors were relatives. Their playmates were cousins. John C. Peevey and his twin brothers, James Knox Polk Peevey and George Martin Peevey, nephews of their Aunt Jane Armstrong Childress Peevey and Aunt Lucinda A. Childress Medlin.... Richard Henry Medlin and his brother Josiah Medlin, sons of their Aunt Lucinda A. Childress Medlin.....Robert and Leroy Peevey, sons of their Aunt Jane Armstrong Childress Peevey....And with their Wright, Grayson, and Connally cousins.....

The war came early to Alabama.....Knowing the enemy was not far away spurred many of the young men to join right away....

Four letters that we are aware of have survived that time....One written to Hugh Martin by his cousin John C. Peevey in 1859 from Texas...And three written by Hugh Martin to his sweetheart Hester Ann Chandler during the civil war....

These letters reflect the youthful dreams and hopes of these young people....When John C. Peevey wrote Hugh Martin from Texas...he is filled with longing for his Alabama and his cousins and his hound dog...That letter also has youthful boasting and hopes for the future....Three years later, the letters from Hugh Martin to his sweetheart break your heart....The loneliness and sweetness fill them....Yet, they are filled with the courage of a young man willing to fight and even die for his country...which is what he did....

Hester Ann Chandler never got over the death of her young sweetheart....She eventually married an older man....Had children...grand-children....She saved those letters and told her family about Hugh...And passed them down to her children....The letters have been in her family all this time....Strange that her g-g-granddaughter, Ginny Campbell and I should end up in the small town of Conroe in Texas over 130 years later...She, a descendant of Hester and I, a distant cousin of Hugh Martin.....Thanks to Ginny's generosity, I now have copies of those letters in Hugh's own handwriting.....


Feb the 1 1859

Dear friend I now take my seat to let you know that I am well and well pleased with Texas. Well Mart I have nothing to write that will interest you But as I have to pay my own postage it will not make any difference. Well Mart I recon you would like to know what I am doing. I first commenced working for 20 dollars a month but I taken a notion that I would make a crop. I have rented 20 acres of ground. I expect to go planting corn next week as I give the third. They never would give their corn more than two plowing here so if I make nothing it will not be much loss. I enjoyed myself fine by coming out here. I have been to one party in Texas. It was the upper tins. They all danced and of course I had to try. You ought to have saw me swinging the Texas Girls round wee dances all night and went home with the gals in the morning. There was 5 girls horseback and twelve young men. It was hoo should and hoo should be left. There was two of us walked out to the gait with a girl. I asked her for her company. Of course it was excepted as it was a gentleman from Ala. I haven't stayed at home but one half of sunday since I have bin in Texas. Polk is as popular here as ever Old Tip was a coon dog there. He has bin sawing on A oald fiddle for A day or too. He has struck A tune. He says he would go to bed if he was not afeard he would forget it before morning. Mart you must come over tomorrow. We are going to have two days Meeting the church. It is in sigt. All the girls will be there with there rawhide hoops on and now we get all the sossag. Well Mart it is now Saturday night. I alone. Polk just started to church. Now I think of you all back there. I know if you was here with our hounds that we could enjoy our selves finely for the moon is shineing butifully and I can go out in the yard and hear ten or fifteen woolvs howling. They make the hair stand on a fellows head when he is 4 or 5 miles from any boddys house and forty or fifty begin to howl all around. I went out the other morning to hunt A _____ of oxens. I think I heard a hundred turkeys gobling and half as many woolvs howling. I was not aquainted with so mutch fuss so I got out of there. I would walk a few steps and look back and wish I had all the hounds in Ala. and Mart to kiss them on. I have had one suffle with an oald buck. it was the first time I went A hunting. I had an oald rifle that run about 40 to the pound. I thought if I could hit it it would be mine so I puled away. I aimed to shoot him thew the midle of the body and so I did. Down he come. I run up with oald rodgers. I a took hold of his horn. Up he got and then we had it round and round. He got loos from me. Then I felt bad. Well Mart they have come back from the meeting. One of the Texas jents come with them. I will have to quit for they are all taken A cup of coffee and you know I am fond of it. I again take my seat finish this letter. After we got threw drinking our coffee as Mairy and Bill went to bed and as us Boys did not feel sleepy we thought we take A sivel game of seve up. It is now 4 oclock in the morning. Every body is gone to bed but me. I have got the coffee pot on the fire. I try it pretty soon. The Boys told me to wake them up when it got dun but I will wait until I drink 6 or 8 cups and if thear is any left I will study on it. I havet et A meal with out coffee in Texas. They have it for Dinner Super Breakfast and Betwixt meals. Nothing less than fifteen cups A day will do A Texin any good. I must take some more coffee for it is boild and everybody is asleep and now I wil get all the sossage & coffee. So enough about coffee until I take a nother cup. Mart I think if you was here we could sup about and enjoy it as wel as we did the stew. Come over and we wil try it in the morning for Breakfast. Wel enough foolishness. The chickens is crowing for day. Everybody is very busy now geting ready to plant theair crops. You must come out here next fall. Dalas wil come I know and Martha must come if I have to come back after her. Mart I think you could do a great deal better here than you can there. A good hand can get 20 Dolars a month for working in the farm. I could of gotten that mutch and you know I am nothing extry. But I thought I could make more by renting land. I havent hunted mutch yer fo it pays to wel to work to hunt mutch. Polk is going to help me plow next week. I think I wil get my corn planted by to day week and then we going to take a jeneral hunt. We ar going down on Brazous River and camp where we can. Five hundred turkeys in A gang and Deer in A bundance and many other kinds of gaim. Polk is called A Bighunter. I think I can beat him. Is about seven miles to where we going to hunt. we wil fine time of it. I wish you and Dalas was here to go with us. We injoy our selve finly. So nothing more at present. Only Remain your true friend until Death.

John C. Peevey to H.M.C.

Give my love to all the Family and inquireing friends. Write to me as you get this letter. Excuse all bad writin and splin.

COVER: John C. Peevy - Carolina Po Tex

Di Rect yur to Falls Ct - Carolina Po Texas

Excuse me for writing sooner for I have So mutch to look at and to Bout and to do that I cold not compose a letter nor cannot yet but I will try and save my prommice.

I was in a hurry wen I wrote this letter and did not take any pains so you must excuse all mistakes and I will try and do better next time. Tel George to write to me and I will anser his letter.

Written to Hugh Martin Childress in Brownsboro, Alabama

Note: Polk and Dalas referred to in this letter are James K. Polk Peevey and George M. Dallas Peevey....Polk was killed in the Battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas, 1862...Dallas survived the war and died in New Mexico in 1882....

John C. Peevey joined Co. A. of Col. McCullough's Regiment in 1861 and was sent to the frontier...He was engaged in capturing the United States troops in San Antonio, Texas...He was mustered out of service at gonzales...he re-enlisted in Co. C of Willis' Battalion of wald Legion where he served as a scout....He participated in the seize of Vicksburg...He surrendered near canton, Mississippi and made his way back to Alabama...In 1865, he returned to Texas with a widowed sister and became a prominant farmer and stockman of Falls County, Texas.....


State of Mississippi, Tishamingo County, Camp near Carolton
June the 3, 1862

Dear Miss,

It is with great pleasure that I take my seat to write you a few lines to try to let you know something about where I am and what I am doing if I can get a letter to you but I doubt whether you will ever get it or not. I fear you never will. O I would be so glad to hear from you. I don't expect that I know anymore about the condition of our army than you do. We have moved from Corinth about 40 miles and now we are cooking up our three days provisions to start again but we don't know which way we will go. I would be very thankful if this war would end. If you see any chance you must write to me. I hope the yankees will soon leave our country and then we can have a chance to write each other.

I am tolerable well at the time and I thank God or it. I have been through hard times and hard marches since I saw you. I have hopes of getting home some day and of seeing my friends again upon earth but if I don't get to see you in this world I hope to see you in heaven where parting, wars, and troubles will be no more. Troubles have sorely tried me since I have been in the army but it seems that I have overcome them all and still hold up my head in the dark and gloomy prospects of life and victory.

I received the letter you wrote to send by Charles D. Williams by the hand of my old friend James Forester. I was very glad to hear from you. O it was with eagerness that I ran over the lines that you had written! It gave my heart joy to hear that you was well. I could not keep from smiling when I heard of my sweetheart and then was made to feel solemn when I read that little tract Are You Ready. it was a good piece and a very appropriate one. It sounded exactly a good sermon for the boy. I have read it and the letter till I have got them nearly by heart. I have nothing of importance to write to you. I hope you will excuse bad writing and spelling and I will try to do better when I have more time. I send a letter to sister Martha in this and I want you to send it to her as quick as you get it. Don't wait a moment but start right straight with it. I heard from your brother a few days ago. He was well. I have saw him and Billy Moon two or three times since I left home. I have been close to them all the time. L.M. Peevy has resigned his office and left Lieutenant Taylor captain and J.A. Medlen first lieutnenat, W. P. McClung second, and myself third lieutenant. Captain Taylor and Medlen is sick and gone to the hospital and McClung has gone off on special business and left me in command of the company. I have enough to do. Hurry prevents me from writing any more. Please excuse bad writing and spelling. Give my love to all inquiring friends, receive a large portion for yourself from H.M. Childress to H.A. Chandler as ever your friend and lover. When this you see remember me.

State of Mississippi
Camp near Vicksburg

Vicksburg, July the 18th, 1862

Dear Miss,

It is with pleasure that I again endeaor to write to you. I have written three letters and sent to you two of which you must have received but I have not received any answer though I reckon you haven't had the chance that I thought you had. You may guess of my sad disappointment when Robert J. Wright came and I received no intelligence from you. O I was so sorry that I could not hear from you. I did not know what to do. I felt like I was forsaken away from home and friends with no one to console me. I studied and reflected and thought and then concluded that if you had had the chance you would have written. I am now well and do hope when this comes to hand may find you enjoying the same blessing. I have nothing of interest to write you. I have not heard from your brother in a long time. Your Uncle Samuel is with me all the time. He is tolerable well at this time. He wants to hear from you all very much. O Miss, if ever you have a half of a chance write to me. I am a poor wayfaring soldier away from home and friend, no voice to cheer my lonely way with the howling cannon every day to tell of death and danger near. O this is the place of solemnity and should be a place of prayer but this God forgetting world will have have its sinfull ways. Remember and pray for me that I may live a Christian life while I am permitted to stay here upon earth and if I should see you no more in this world that I may meet you in heaven. Will you sincerely pray for this? If so begin now as soon as you read this if you have not commensed before that time. I would like very much to see you. It has been so long since I saw you. O it makes me sad to think of being so far away from my hearts idol, the only thing on earth that I adore. It causes me to sigh and moan and many long days and nights of sadness have I passed in thinking of the condition we are now in. Oft have I thought of the time and place that we parted and how it grieved me to think it would be so long before we would meet again and since I left to think that my probation has been prolonged to three times its original length makes it still worse. Tell my friends howdy for me. Tell them I have not forgotten them nor never will. They have my prayers, hopes and cares. I think often of my old friends far away in old Alabama and long to be once more in peace at home with them. I would stop writing if I knew how but not knowing when I will get the chance to write any more I don't know how to quit. You must write to me as soon as you can. Don't delay. If you get the chance to send a letter don't wait for me to answer for I may not have the chance to send letters. Tell Mary and Hete howdy for me when you see them. So I will close for the present. When this you see remember me thought many miles a part we be. May God bless you and make your pathway bright and help you to live a happy life. May peace and love abide with you forever is the prayer of your unworthy lover. Remember the one that loves and cares for you.

Written for Miss H.A.C. from Hugh M. Childress

Missississippi, Vicksburg
July the 20th, 1862

Dear Miss,

It is with gratitude to you that this morning I take my seat to write you an answer to your kind letter. It was Saturday and darkness had fell upon the earth and I had said a short prayer and raised a song of praise to God. I had thrown myself upon my blankets in my tent for another nights repose. I was near nine, yes I reckon ten when I was suddenly aroused by a footstep and then a voice calling me said here's a letter for you. You can't imagine how I felt knowing it was from you as I had just received a letter from home. I arose, gathered the letter, lighted a candle and read it and you can't imagine how happy I was to hear from you and hear that you was well but I was very sorry to hear of the family. I hope that they all be well long before this reaches you if not well before now. I reckon you want to know what sort of a place I live in. We are encamped five or six miles from Vicksburg in a flat low hollow of a place with high round green hills all round. We have to walk out to town every two or three days to guard the place to keep the yanks from landing their forces here. We go to the river and stay all night and then fall back three or four hundred yards among the hills. We can see the yankee gun boats from town. They bombard us every day. One shell killed one lieutenant in the company next to me last Monday night and knocked several other men down. I hope we will leave this place before long. I don't like this place.
Uncle Samuel L. Moon is well and S.W. is here sound and looks better than I ever saw him. Jackson Moon went to the hospital from Tupalo. He looked like a a skeleton and fear he will never get well if he is not dead before now. I have not heard from him in nearly a month. Brother George left us at the same place. He had a very hard spell of the fever but I heard that he was getting well again. He is at Columbus, Mississippi. I heard from your brother since I wrote the other letter. Robert Boyde told me he saw him a few days ago and that he looked better than he ever saw him. I hope you will excuse bad writing and spelling for I am in a hurry this morning. I have to go to take some letters to cousin Bob Peevy. I suppose he is going to start today.
Hettie, you must write to me as often as you can get the chance to send a letter for I love to hear from you and my country. Don't think that I am so bad dissatisfied about the conscript act for I am getting willing to do anything that I can for my country although I would be glad to see you and be at home with. Still I am willing to do my part of anything to obtain peace again. You must write to me as soon as you get this. Send your letter by Robert W. Peevy when he comes back. Give my love to you all, receive a portion for yourself. Excuse my scolding in the other letter for I wanted to hear from you so bad. So nothing more only I remain your ever faithfull friend till death.
H.M. Childress to Hester Ann Chandler(your lover)


We lost both these young men as sacrifices to that horrible war...Their 1st cousin, Susan E. Peevey married John Nelson Martin, also a hero of that war...She moved with him to Mooresville, Alabama in 1859....Mooresville is the oldest town left in Alabama....Margaret Mitchell visited Mooresville before she wrote "Gone with The Wind"...She shocked the townspeople by wearing pants when she went horseback riding...She also visited with all the old ladies of the town and gathered all their information about the civil war....I have often wondered if the twins both lost in that novel were based on our Childress boys....

From The Texas Christian Advocate:

"Lt. Hugh M. Childress, the brave, gallant and patriotic, fell mortally wounded at the Battle of Baton Rouge, Aug. 5th, 1862 and died in a few hours, with that cheerfulness that ever adorned his brow sending a final farewell to his parents and friends, and requesting them to meet him in Heaven. Parents and friends should be cheered at such noble sentiments when uttered by the dying. He enlisted in Capt. John N. Gardner's company of Joe Bradley Rebels, the 15th of January, 1862 as fifth sergeant of the company; fought through the Battle of Shiloh, afterwards was promoted to Orderly Sergeant of the company and, at its reorganization under the conscript act he was promoted to Second Lieutenant. none scare rose so fast. he was liked by all and loved by many."

"In a recent number of the Advocate you recorded the death of gallant Lt. Hugh M. Childress, who fell at Baton Rouge, La. It now becomes my melancholy duty to announce that his twin brother, Second Sergeant George B. Childress, was killed early in the action before Corinth, Oct. 3, 1862. The deceased was present at the Battle of Shiloh, where he greatly distinguished himself by his cool and soldierly bearing, and was most severely wounded by a spent ball. Since that time he had suffered severely from continued illness, and had joined the army from sick furlough just previous to the battle. Against the advice of his officers and friends, worn and feeble as he was, he went into the action and gave up his gallant spirit in defense of his country."

Robert Uel Childress and Temperance Connally Childress are buried in Jenkins Cemetery, located on Big Cove Road, West of the Flint River, in Madison County, Alabama....There are CSA Markers there for Hugh and George.....


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