[Ed. -- A letter to Hugh McLaurin from Sallie Fairly (unknown to me)…dated Wednesday, December 31, 1862…she appears to be a close friend, if not a girl friend…Hugh, 24 years old at the time, was a Confederate soldier and was away at war… -- Tom Gardner]
[Ed. -- The Fairly family and the McLaurin family appear to have a long history together going back to North and South Carolina and Scotland. There are several instances of intermarriage between the tow families and it is as likely as not that Sallie was a cousin of Hugh's. At the time of this writing, Hugh was in Company B, "Covington Rebels," 46th Mississippi Infantry. From Dec. 26 - Dec. 30, 1862, they were involved in the Battle of Chicasaw Bayou near Vicksburg. Where the Confederate forces successfully repulsed Gen. Sherman's attempt to take Vicksburg. -- Mike McLaurin]
Mount Olive, Miss
Mr. A.H. McLaurin
This very cold morning have I come to acknowledge the reception of yours of Dec 5th which was duly received, but I have no news of interest. Since Christmas, everything appears calm and peaceable. It was quite a dull Christmas though. Here, I enjoyed myself very well. Part of the time I was out at Aunt Mary’s. It was quite an exciting time there. There was some seven or eight soldiers rallied [?] up there by the Cavalry, ready to run at every sound of a horse’s hoof or the bark of a dog, but the Cavalry did not come. They enjoyed it finely.
I was at preaching at Hopewell and Miss Christian Milloy was telling me that you had been home and was gone back. I think you certainly must have been in a greater hurry than most soldiers are to get back. You were so shocked when you came home and heard that Mary Durr [or “Dunn”, also referenced in Hugh’s 6 May 1860 letter to his sister Caroline] was married was the cause of your hurrying back to camps. So I expect that it is getting to be quite common for soldiers to come home and marry.
I was sorry to hear of the bad move you made. It will be very disagreeable [?] to be in the midst of so much mud and water this winter and besides it will certainly create sickness. Health is a great object; I consider it one of God’s greatest gifts. I expect there will be some hard fighting done at that place before a great while. [She is probably talking about the move to Vicksburg here -- MKM].
Archy has thus far escaped the enrolling Officer. He has been appointed Master and Commissioner in Chancery. He wrote to Gen Clark to know if it would exempt him but he did not tell him definitely that he was exempt. He told him tho[ugh] that he would have to go to Brookhaven and take an oath. He is going as soon as he gets back. I expect they will keep him when he gets there. He is gone to Jackson County. He has administered on A.H. Ramsey’s [also mentioned in Sallie’s letter to Hugh, 8 Sep 1862] estate. He had to go there to attend to some things there.
It has been five weeks since I heard from my brothers. I am getting very anxious to get a letter from them. They were building little cabins going into winter quarter but since I heard there was a battle there, but have not heard the particulars, I am anxious to hear.
Well Hugh, my hand is getting so cold I can hardly write. Thompson McNair has come in. He was among the last prisoners exchanged at Vicksburg.
Mr. Gibert commences school at Olivet High School the first Monday in January. I don’t expect he will have much of a school.
No more as ever your friend,
/s/ Sallie F