Middleton, Oct 8th /63
We find ourselves here without anything, our country is bare of almost everything needed except corn, of which there is plenty. When I was with you I heard it stated that Iron was being manufactured by Murdock & Co in the neighborhood of Columbus, and I write this to ask you to inquire and let me know if Iron suitable for ploughs, and waggons can be furnished by them. Really, I know not how we are to get along here (even if the federals let us alone) unless some can be had – our ploughs & waggons are worn out, and we have no material to patch up nor to make a crop—
We get no news – no papers, and and really know little of what is going on. Sometimes we are led to hope that this much boasted army of Bragg, is about to accomplish something important – and, again to fear that it may be overpowered by superior force. Together with our anxiety in that quarter, and frequent alarm by reported raids coming upon us we have little enjoyment in this section – for some weeks since however more of these things have moved me – my whole time has been taken up by sickness in my family. Margaret was taken sick two weeks ago and until last few days we had little hope of her recovery. The children and negroes have all been sick with chill & fever, and are only now getting well – all look badly. I have never had as much sickness in my family anywhere and never known this country so sickly as it has been this summer.
Eddie Sykes is probably lost in the battle at Chatanooga. He was missing up to last account received by the family – Edgar has not been heard from and it is feared he is also lost. I am sorry to hear of the death of Walter. When will this cruel war end?
Yours Truly W. Sykes
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