These letters were previously the personal property of Tracy Saunders of Magnolia, AR.  Tracy generously donated them to the Arkansas History Commission about a month ago, and would like their contents made available on-line to anyone interested in south Arkansas Civil War history.

The letters were  transcribed exactly as written, same punctuation, spelling, capitalization and redundant words.  Bryan R. Howerton 7/10/1999

Arkansas Post, Ark. County, Ark.
October 15th, 1862

Dear wife, i have the opportunity to write you a few lines to let you no that i am well except the bowel complaint.  hoping these lines may find you all well.  we left the springs the second day of the month to go to white river.  we got in six miles of the place we started, but we got orders to come to this place.  we got here on Monday last.  we was on the road thirteen days.  i am glad we come here in place of going to white river.  it is only sixty five miles from here home.  this is about as good a place as we will get.  they are building a fort here.  they have got three hundred negroes at work here.  i have not heard from Jim and Ki since we started.  we left a good many of our men at the springs.  all that is able will be here in a few days.  i want you to write to me about Jim and Ki if you hear from them.  we have subscribed to old man McKinney to bring letters and other things to us as long as we stay in reach of him.  for we did not no where we would go to.  we can send letters by mail at this time.  if you wish to send letters by McKinney or other small things you will have to find out when he is comeing for i dont no when untill he comes the first time.  so there is two chances to send letters.  i will send by both.  i want you to write to me soon.  give me the news.  we have none at this time.  i have nothing to write on.  i must come to a close.  Yours in love until death, J. R. Burk.

Arkansas Post, Ark. Co. Ark.
Wednesday morning November 5th, 1861.
Dear wife, i have the opportunity to send you a few lines by lieutenant Bradley.  he will start tomorrow.  i am happy to inform you that i am well.  hopeing these lines will find you all well and in good spirits.  i have not herd from Jim since i wrote about him But I will hear from him in a few days.  i hope that Ki has got home safe.  i sent you a letter my Mr. Moseley.  we have got good log houses to live in.  a plenty to eat at this time.  we get pumpkins and potatoes and Beef and bread and sugar.  you need not be uneasy about me as long as i keep on my feet.  i have learn how to get along in the army.  i have a easy time here not much to do.  i am getting verry lazy lying about here and studying about home.  i think the war will end before spring.  we look for the yankeys here as soon as the waters gets up.  it is very dry here now the river is low.  the fort is nearly done but i dont think the yankeys will ask it much odds although it is a good peice of work.  i dont here much news now.  what i do hear we dont whether it is so or not.  i want you to write to me by Braley if you get this letter in time and send me a few pens in the letter.  i lost my pen the other day.  i hope i will get the things that i wrote for by Mr. Moseley if McKiney ever comes back.  the drauers you sent me is the warmest i ever had.  you may make me some under shirts as soon as you can for i dont believe i will get any here.  it look like it will keep you always working for me.  i dont want you all to go naked if you can make or bye cloths nor work your self to death.  if the hogs gets fat and you have more than will will do you sell it if you can.  John Havis said he would by your meat if you have any to sell, before i left.  tell Bledsoe that i got his letter and was glad to hear from them and he must excuse me for not writing to him for i have not got the paper to spare.  and that he can hear how i am getting along by coming to my house if i am lucky enough to get my letters home.  give them my respects.  and tell him to write to me.  tell Bill Jim and Tom to be good boys and help and help you to work till pa comes home.  tell Susan to be a smart girl and learn to knit par some socks.  till little emily that par would ten dollars to see her five minutes.  give my respects to your father and family.  give my respects to Miss Jeffers and and her fathers family.  nothing more at present, but remains yours, James R. Burk.

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