1862: Rebecca (Hoffman) Rhyne to Frances Louisa (Rhyne) White

This letter was written by 48 year-old Rebecca (Hoffman) Rhyne (1814-1894) of Gaston county, North Carolina. Rebecca’s parents were John Hovis Hoffman (1786-1832) and Mary Lineberger (1794-1880). She was married to Jonathan Rhyne (1807-1895) on 8 February 1831 in Lincoln, North Carolina. She wrote the letter to her daughter and eldest child, Frances Louisa (Rhyne) White (1832-1863), the wife of Alexander White (1823-1865) of Union (now Cherokee) County, South Carolina.

Rebecca had two sons that served in the 49th North Carolina Infantry—Abel and Marcus Rhyne. This regiment participated in the Seven Days Battles, were with Lee’s army at Antietam (at Burnside’s Bridge), and took up a defensive position on Marye’s Heights at the Battle of Fredericksburg. Both sons survived the war.

Rebecca (Hoffman) Rhyne’s 1862 letter—written a week before the Battle of Fredericksburg—with ambrotype of unidentified woman


Gasten County, North Carolina
December 7, 1862

Dear Daughter,

I take my pen in hand to let you know that we are all tolerable well and hope when these lines come to hand, they may find you all well. We heard from Abel and Marcus ² the 30th of November. They both was well [but] they [have] seen mighty hard times. They have to take the weather as it comes and get about half enough to eat. They think they will take up winter quarters before long.

Marcellus Rhyne ¹ is dead. He died last of October. He had the typhoid fever. He was at home when he died. Mary E. Stroup has moved back to her home. They was all well the last we heard from them. Pa will come down about Christmas. We have looked for you to come up until we have give you out coming. We would [have] wrote to you before now but we was looking for you up here. The corn crops are very sorry up here. Corn sells for $1.50 a bushel.

I want you to write me a letter as soon as you get this, I want to hear from you very bad. John has not got well yet. He can’t do any work yet. Factory yarn sells for six dollars a bunch up here and shirting 40 cents a yard and leather 1.75 cts. a lb.  I write this to let you know how things are selling up here.

The Rinds folks are all tolerable well at present. Abel and Marcus ² was at Fredericksburg, Va. the last time we heard from them and they was expecting a fight there every day.

I believe I have wrote all that is necessary for this time. Excuse my bad writing if you please. Nothing more at present.

— Rebecca Rhyne

to F. L. White

Write soon and tell me the news.

¹ Marcellus S. Rhyne (1841-1862) died on 28 October 1862. He was the son of Jacob H. Rhyne (1818-1894) and Margaret Best (1823-1891). He served in Co. H, 49th North Carolina Infantry.

² Abel Brown Rhyne (1841-1925) and Marcus Hosea Rhyne (1842-1920) were Rebecca’s sons. Abel and Marcus both served in Co. H, 49th North Carolina Infantry during the Civil War.

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