"My Dear & Affectonate Little Son"

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#1
alex & nancy land west.jpg


Confederate Private Alexander Bailus West married my 4 x 1st cousin, Nancy Land in Wilkes County, NC; Feb.4, 1857. On November 26, 1858, their son, Thomas Harvey West was born. Alex mustered into Company K 53rd NC Infantry on 4/30/1862. His Captain and 1st Lieutenant were his cousins, William J., and Thomas C. Miller. His 2nd Lieutenant, his brother-in-law, Thomas C. Land. William Miller was killed on the 1st day at Gettysburg. Thomas C. Miller was captured. Alex received a severe wound on July 3rd. He returned to service in September. He was killed at 3rd Winchester. On March 17, 1862, perhaps because of a premonition he wouldn't come home, he wrote a very long letter to his very small son.

West Letter.jpg

Transcription

transcription of west letter.jpg

Thomas & America Ann McNiel West..jpg

Thomas Harvey West lived until 1949. Pictured with his wife, America Ann McNeil.


Screenshot (32).png
 

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lelliott19

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#2
".....Pause and reflect on these words addressed to you by your father whom feels bound to you by such tender ties and affection....Tell your mother to keep this for you till you can read it If I see you no more receive this as my earnest an prayerful advice to you."

Thanks for sharing this heartfelt letter - from father to son.
 
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#4
Confederate Private Alexander Bailus West married my 4 x 1st cousin, Nancy Land in Wilkes County, NC; Feb.4, 1857. On November 26, 1858, their son, Thomas Harvey West was born. Alex mustered into Company K 53rd NC Infantry on 4/30/1862. His Captain and 1st Lieutenant were his cousins, William J., and Thomas C. Miller. His 2nd Lieutenant, his brother-in-law, Thomas C. Land. William Miller was killed on the 1st day at Gettysburg. Thomas C. Miller was captured. Alex received a severe wound on July 3rd. He returned to service in September. He was killed at 3rd Winchester. On March 17, 1862, perhaps because of a premonition he wouldn't come home, he wrote a very long letter to his very small son.

Transcription

View attachment 307729
Thank you so much for posting this. I just love, love, love that letter to his son--how precious and such wonderful wise words of counsel. "Take the word of god for your guide," Oh, how I wish more fathers (and mothers) would instruct their sons this way in this age.

I would imagine that is his wife, Nancy in the first picture? She appears to be such a doll with that cute smile (actually now that I look at it again it kinda looks like a frown technically--yet you can tell it's really a smile as her eyes are just shining with it; at least, it seems that way to me). What a lovely couple. This war, like any war, has too many sad, sad stories of broken families that seemed to have so much love within them. I sometimes wonder why I am drawn to read all I can about such a sad time and I wonder if some of it has to do with what a contradiction or conundrum maybe is a better term the fighting really was. Like, each side hated what the people on the other side stood for, like the representation of the north or south, but when it came down to the individuals, they really could be warm and caring for each other.

There was a post a few days ago (may have been apocryphal so I read amongst the replies) where a young (confederate I think?) soldier was wounded and dying and was at his last hours surrounded by his enemy. But they really showed love for him in his last hours, the doctor willing to take a message to his mother and all the soldiers around him offering their coats. It's like, why are these people trying to kill each other ?????? Maybe that's part of the fascination, so many things seemed a mix of contradictions then.
 
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#5
Thank you so much for posting this. I just love, love, love that letter to his son--how precious and such wonderful wise words of counsel. "Take the word of god for your guide," Oh, how I wish more fathers (and mothers) would instruct their sons this way in this age.

I would imagine that is his wife, Nancy in the first picture? She appears to be such a doll with that cute smile (actually now that I look at it again it kinda looks like a frown technically--yet you can tell it's really a smile as her eyes are just shining with it; at least, it seems that way to me). What a lovely couple. This war, like any war, has too many sad, sad stories of broken families that seemed to have so much love within them. I sometimes wonder why I am drawn to read all I can about such a sad time and I wonder if some of it has to do with what a contradiction or conundrum maybe is a better term the fighting really was. Like, each side hated what the people on the other side stood for, like the representation of the north or south, but when it came down to the individuals, they really could be warm and caring for each other.

There was a post a few days ago (may have been apocryphal so I read amongst the replies) where a young (confederate I think?) soldier was wounded and dying and was at his last hours surrounded by his enemy. But they really showed love for him in his last hours, the doctor willing to take a message to his mother and all the soldiers around him offering their coats. It's like, why are these people trying to kill each other ?????? Maybe that's part of the fascination, so many things seemed a mix of contradictions then.
Thank you, and an East Tennessee AMEN for your timely words so wisely spoken.
 
Joined
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#7
View attachment 307727

Confederate Private Alexander Bailus West married my 4 x 1st cousin, Nancy Land in Wilkes County, NC; Feb.4, 1857. On November 26, 1858, their son, Thomas Harvey West was born. Alex mustered into Company K 53rd NC Infantry on 4/30/1862. His Captain and 1st Lieutenant were his cousins, William J., and Thomas C. Miller. His 2nd Lieutenant, his brother-in-law, Thomas C. Land. William Miller was killed on the 1st day at Gettysburg. Thomas C. Miller was captured. Alex received a severe wound on July 3rd. He returned to service in September. He was killed at 3rd Winchester. On March 17, 1862, perhaps because of a premonition he wouldn't come home, he wrote a very long letter to his very small son.

View attachment 307728
Transcription

View attachment 307729
View attachment 307731
Thomas Harvey West lived until 1949. Pictured with his wife, America Ann McNeil.


View attachment 307730
Awesome family treasures.
 

lelliott19

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#8
may have been apocryphal
That one may have been, but there were plenty of examples of that kind of thing really happening - on both sides. And it really does make you wonder how men who had just been trying to kill one another could be so compassionate. I think your post is awesome - I just love this part and agree wholeheartedly with your assessment:
I sometimes wonder why I am drawn to read all I can about such a sad time and I wonder if some of it has to do with what a contradiction or conundrum maybe is a better term the fighting really was. Like, each side hated what the people on the other side stood for, like the representation of the north or south, but when it came down to the individuals, they really could be warm and caring for each other.
 

scone

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Mt. Juliet Tennessee
#13
There was a post a few days ago (may have been apocryphal so I read amongst the replies) where a young (confederate I think?) soldier was wounded and dying and was at his last hours surrounded by his enemy. But they really showed love for him in his last hours, the doctor willing to take a message to his mother and all the soldiers around him offering their coats. It's like, why are these people trying to kill each other ?????? Maybe that's part of the fascination, so many things seemed a mix of contradictions then.
Country called they went … Duty called they died
 
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#16
View attachment 307727

Confederate Private Alexander Bailus West married my 4 x 1st cousin, Nancy Land in Wilkes County, NC; Feb.4, 1857. On November 26, 1858, their son, Thomas Harvey West was born. Alex mustered into Company K 53rd NC Infantry on 4/30/1862. His Captain and 1st Lieutenant were his cousins, William J., and Thomas C. Miller. His 2nd Lieutenant, his brother-in-law, Thomas C. Land. William Miller was killed on the 1st day at Gettysburg. Thomas C. Miller was captured. Alex received a severe wound on July 3rd. He returned to service in September. He was killed at 3rd Winchester. On March 17, 1862, perhaps because of a premonition he wouldn't come home, he wrote a very long letter to his very small son.

View attachment 307728
Transcription

View attachment 307729
View attachment 307731
Thomas Harvey West lived until 1949. Pictured with his wife, America Ann McNeil.


View attachment 307730
How heartfelt! :cry: Thank you for sharing!
 

lelliott19

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#17
Simply exceptional on multiple levels.
See!?!?!?!? I've been trying to tell you....you really would enjoy, at least occasionally, looking beyond the politics and secession forum to read in some of the more pleasant, informative (and less argumentative :nah disagree:) forums. :D:bounce::D
 

Viper21

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#18
See!?!?!?!? I've been trying to tell you....you really would enjoy, at least occasionally, looking beyond the politics and secession forum to read in some of the more pleasant, informative (and less argumentative :nah disagree:) forums. :D:bounce::D
I do.... sometimes :D

Honestly, it's threads like this that make me even more passionate about my defense of the Confederate Soldiers. It nearly brought a tear to my eye reading this man's sincere letter to his little one. Through his own words, which he probably never intended for anyone other than his wife, & child to read, he poured out pure emotion, & gave us all (thanks to east tenn) a glimpse into who he was as a man.

Putting duty above himself. Service to his country, above his own suffering. Genuine concern for his family. Yet, no whining, no sharing of hardship. Instead, he took the opportunity to be a Dad. Share advice, & guidance for a young boy with a world waiting for him. Possibly foreseeing he wouldn't be there to raise him. Selfless.

I'm sure it was tough growing up without your Dad. Yet, even though not there in body, he was there in spirit, & this boy had fatherly advice to live by, & a letter specifically written for him. I'm betting it was treasured. While he didn't have his Dad, he surely had no doubt his Dad loved him. It warms my heart.

I see much to admire in this man, & his sacrifice.
 



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