Person:Matthew Buchanan (4)

Matthew Buchanan
m. bef. 1829
  1. Matthew Buchanan1829 - 1862
  2. Margaret Buchanan1831 - 1903
  3. Maj. Felix Grundy Buchanan1838 - 1907
Facts and Events
Name Matthew Buchanan
Gender Male
Birth? 1829
Death? 1862


Letter To Nat

From Matthew Buchanan Born 1829, Died 1862 Camp Hardee, Near Bowling Green, Kentucky - February 1, 1862

Dear Nat,

I have the delight this evening of finding one of your very fine letters. You spoke of not receiving but one letter from me. I have written several. I do not know the number but I think I have sent as many as three by hand. I guess there was some carelessness either from the bearer or else they were not distributed when deposited. I have received several letters from you, though I guess not nigh all you have written.

You spoke about the fistula colt* saying he had not gotten any better. I have made some arrangements with a man by the name of Green to cure him, but neglected the matter. I think if he will undertake the job now you had better see White about it. You can perhaps arrange with Green when to take him. The horse is worse than as useless as long as the fistula remains with him and the longer it is allowed to run, the harder perhaps will be to cure.

The pigs you allude to I hope you may have success in raising. I want them to be pushed as fast as corn will do it, as these will be fattened next Fall. As you know, there is a great scarcity of hogs, and I expect money could not hardly be found to buy them. I had very bad luck last year with my sows, consequently, I nearly run out.

I stood guard last night, which was a rainy one. Perhaps you have had some experience in this business and can sympathize with me. I have a good deal of duty of one sort or another to do. We (our Regiment) have contracted to build a whole routine of forts. No other Regiment is skilled in the business. We have to keep the peace in Bowling Green [Kentucky] and they in return keep our money, without its corresponding value unless a very low estimate is placed upon Tennessee notes. However Silver used in purchases has a uniform value even with Exchange money on Doctor Jonathon Ball’s Sarsaparilla labels, but in the exchanges a very high estimate is placed upon Bullion, 40 percent discount. I think they say is shaving rates.

I had started to say something of the details and all necessary appurtenances, I bet once a week I run against Friday a good spell butFriday was not bottomed stock. I left her on the 4th mile and now Thursday is between us. I will gain one complete circumference if I don’t fall in the action. But the sport of shirking and dodging perhaps you like myself have observed with uncomplaining astonishment. Men of most voracious appetites and very other indication of robust health will become suddenly indisposed about the time the detail is to be made that will follow him, and then recover with unaccountable speed - thus only escaping the detail himself but not affecting the ratio by which the detail is made. So you see Jordan am a hard road to travel.

I can say nothing authoritatively about the prospects of any fighting here. I feel very little concern about there coming, if they do come. I will down some if I can get enough shots. If I get in a fight I mean to shoot with all the deliberation that I can command. One hit is worth two misses and the race. Give my respects to all the neighbors and accept a due and liberal portion to yourself. Write when you can send by hand if you can get it. Perhaps it will be surer to come.

  • Yours,
  • Matt Buchanan
              *	Fistula Colt – A horse with a deep-seated chronic inflammation of

its withers (the ridge between the shoulder blades) which discharges bloody fluid.

Letter To _____________

From Matthew Buchanan Died 1862 August 11, 1861

Dear Sir,

At you request I now attempt giving you a brief and concise history of small matters generally. 1st, the health of the country is aboutas usual this time of the year. There are some cases of chills and fever. Jonathon Steel Buchanan as an instance has had several chills and some fever, but I believe is not considered dangerous. Stephenson I believe has much of his time employed attending on the sick of late but I believe the complaints are of a mild character as I have heard of no serious attacks in our neighborhood.

With regard to crops, I reckon on the whole we never had better prospect. The small grain crop you saw in the field and formed some opinion concerning it. There is considerable quantity in the fields but the larger quantity has been threshed which yields well, many instances overreaching the expectations of the respective farmers. The yield varies I would say from 10 to 20 odd bushels (using your expression) per acre. Neighbor J. L. Clark taking his estimate of the ground made about 23 or 4 bushels per acre. I do not think Joe [Beatie] and Berry [Beatie] made quite 20. They made a little the rise of 300 bushels, the quantity of ground I disremember. When I was at Father’s he had not finished his but had out about 900 bushels thought there would be 200 more, had perhaps 65 acres Rye comparatively was about like wheat, oats generally were light.

Corn never promised that at present in this section. I think I will make 10 bushels per acre as the most of my crop is out dander of drought or any ordinary casualty. The Army Worm* is committing much depredation in places in this vicinity. It has stripped much of the millet** and Hungarian grasses*** of their foliage rendering unfit for the scythe. But I hear of no damage done corn in our neighborhood. Joe and Berry’s Hungarian was completely demolished. Not even the heads were left standing as monuments of their former luxuriance.

I learned in other neighborhoods the corn has been stripped of its blades, some as high as the ear and some entire even to husking the ear, but I think instances of this are rare.

But I see enough to warrant me in the belief that old Abe[Abraham Lincoln] can’t starve us out for another 12 months.

I cannot say anything of Berry [Beatie] and the woman; everything about them is as inexplicable to me as that big comet that was blazing among its bounty brethren in the heavens. I have not seen them or seen anybody that has. I mean at their house, though he may have visitors. As to myself I would rather had a quarter the start and given those Yankees a chance to have run over me in leaving Manassas [Virginia] than receive a few chastisements such as I would expect to be inflicted on me by her should a chance be afforded.

But what progress are you making? Have you become enamored with any of Alabama’s fair daughters? Let me know. Nobody is more solicitous for a welfare of a friend than I am for you. I am convinced you esteem me as a friend and that nothing will be divulged told to me confidentially. You see the necessity of giving me the dots. I want to act in concert with you. I have abandoned my own cause and espouse yours. I do all this gratuitously as a true devotee should, but I want to be as effective as the circumstances will admit of unanimity and concert of action is all that will take us through. I have long since found that out. Let it be in Alabama or Tennessee (the choice of your affection) let us work together. Then if we don’t succeed there is no use in Old Abe trying to subjugate the seceded states. I reckon I am a little disgusting to you on this matter and will wind up. Give McClellan’s family my respects. Tell Bob I want to see his handwriting, see if he spellscorrectly and writes grammatically, that I am a judge of these things.

My dear old friend and neighbor I am sorry to close down upon you, but the candle gives a dim light and my eyes are growing weak. Therefore, goodnight, Mr. Beatie.

  • Matt Buchanan

P.S. August 12th – We had a tremendous rain last night. The creek this morning is out of banks and still rising. I went down before breakfast. I saw quantities of straw, rails, logs, and everything promiscuously floating down the creek which gave evidence that somebody was hurt above. I would suppose that great damage was done the land where it lay sidling.

Joe says that he wants Bob to write all that he knows about John and Bill, whether they have been in the battle or not, and to tell Matilda [McClellan] to write some of the family. That since he has been strayedletters have lost none of their value to him, and Davis family, would be gratified to get letters from her or any of the rest of you. Tell her that Mother is waiting for her to go fishing with her. She says she needs somebody to string her fish and bait her hook and tell her a few good jokes.

I have been traveling about this creek most of my time today seeing what relics I could find. I saw hay on nearly every weed and saw watermelon floating down. Would have been glad to have stopped them and examine their cargoes. But under the circumstances, I could not proclaim them contraband. I learned that on Norris Creek the damage was great. Jake came from Father’s today. He says Carlos’ and Solomon’s farms have suffered much and that the railroad bridge has been so damaged that the train could not leave Fayetteville [Tennessee]. Jake is my negro man but I guess there is something of it.

  • Matthew

           *	Army Worms – Moths which travel from field to field eating crops, grasses and other vegetation.
           **	Millet – A grass which is cultivated for its grain and used for food.
           *** 	Hungarian Grass – Grass with long spikes used for animal food.

Letter To Andrew Buchanan

Born 1783, Died 1868

From His Son Matthew Buchanan Died 1862 Camp Hardee, Near Bowling Green, Kentucky - January 8, 1862

Dear Father,

This being a rainy evening and no drilling to be done, I will spend a part of it in writing to you. I am now at a private house where Confederate Colonel] Coleman [Adams McDaniel] has put up to improve his health. He is making a little progress but is very weak yet. I guess he will be able to go about before a great while. I think he should go home when he gets better, but I do not know his intentions. We have quite a sickly time of it just now. Some die every day. Two died last night in the Regiment but none have died in our Company yet, nor are there any considered dangerous just now, though some have been thought so. I think most of the serious cases may be imputed to some sort of imprudence. Some lie too close to the ground and some unnecessarily expose themselves. It is a bad case at best to keep from exposure, but we should make the best of the circumstances. No furloughing is allowed at this time. I imagine this on account of the immense amount of business transacted in this time.

A short time _______ to see them yet. I thought a week ago I could see fight a sticking out, but now I hardly believe there will be any fighting here this Winter. I believe we will have to advance on them before we get any fighting to do, and in the present unhealthy condition of the troops, I scarcely think the generals will make an attack. I have not talked to old Hardee [Confederate Lieutenant General William Joseph “Old Reliable” Hardee] on the subject but I have as much right to my opinions as anybody.

If I could get off in the Spring, I would like to go home and see how things look, but I guess I will hardly get the chance. I believe I will close for the present. Will write again ere many days.

  • Your Son,
  • Matthew Buchanan

P.S. I sold the pistol W. N. Wright sent me for 80 $. I think another from a Yankee as soon as needed. Yours M. B.

P. S. Ant does very well. He looks much fatter than he did at home. He is satisfied.

      • [Note: Matthew will die of exposure while serving in the Confederate Army on February 12th, 1862]

Letter To _____________

From Matthew Buchanan Died 1862 Camp Near Bowling Green, Kentucky - January 4, 1862


I have delayed rather longer than usual writing to you, simply because I had no news to write. [Confederate Colonel] Coleman [Adams McDaniel] has not been well since he returned. He has gone to a private house and I don’t think he is improving any at this time. Though I reckon there is nothing serious the matter, he has had a chill or hot. I suppose he had one today. There is a probability of a fight here soon. The troops are coming in daily. We have an immense Army here now. [Confederate Brigadier General John Buchanan] Floyd command from West Virginia has come in I am told. It seems that they are concentrating here from every point. When the battle will come off I can not tell. But certainly one is anticipated. I don’t believe the Yankees will come down on Bowling Green [Kentucky]. I think we will make the attack. It would take a force of __________ to take this place. I guess we will be put in the Forts. We have been working on them several days. I don’t know how far off the Yankees are. I hear they or some of them have crossed _______ ______. I am of opinion that we are baiting them.

We have a good deal of sickness in our Regiment, though none have died. I guarded the Hospital at Bowling Green for 24 hours beginning day before yesterday a 3 PM. Ambulances were bringing them in all the time and taking improved ones away. I could hear the most piteous groans continually. Several dead were carried away. The treatment as far as I could discern was kind. I had two companions to assist me. Only one was required to stand at a time.

I went to the Depot when the train arrived to see if I could see passengers from Lincoln [County in Tennessee]. Saw none. Met with a sick soldier who asked me if any of the Stewards were there from the hospital. I could not tell him, but offered my help to assist him further. We have no idea if the __________ patrol has landed past here and with some difficulty found this hospital.

There are several hospitals in the place. Different Brigades have separate hospitals. He handled _________ would have had to leave his baggage had no one safeguarded it. I put a soldier in jail the next morning on account of having liquor in the hospital and was drunk. He had been detailed to wait on the sick. I wrote to Felix [Grundy Buchanan] a few days ago. I write to Camp Fisher [Near Dumfries, Virginia]. I would be glad they would [move] me around this way. The weather has been much better than I could have expected. If the weather was to get cold like we have sometimes, I am afraid we would fare badly. I can’t think of anything that will be interesting so I will close.

  • Yours Very Respectfully,
  • Matthew Buchanan

[Note: Matthew Buchanan will die of exposure while serving in the Confederate Army, February 12th, 1862]

Letter from Mathew Buchanan[1829-1862]

Camp Truesdale, Robertson County, Tennessee December 15, 1861

To His Brother White Buchanan Born 1818, Died 1892

Dear Brother,

This being Sunday, drilling is dispensed with and nearly all the boys have left camp, some strolling about through the various companies stationed around here and others have gone into the country. This has the appearance of a city, although the buildings are not very tasteful, yet they quite numerous and their apartments are densely crowded. There are several ranges of huts now buildings which I presume are to soon to be occupied. If all the unfinished cabins were completed and filled as others there would be at least 10 regiments on this encampment besides tents enough already on hand for 2 or 3 more. A company occupies one cabin and 10 are in a range which I believe constitutes a regiment. We have not formed a regiment yet and do not know when we will get one formed. I wish we had the thing over and had arms and orders to pitch into the Yankees. For I verily believe that we the bull riders can do as good fighting as any other company on the field. I expect the company will take the above name. The reason is this. A bull came bellowing around our camp when Jonathan Clenny ring leader of a boisterous set of fellows run the old fellow a great portion of a night without success without overtaking him but the next night determined not to be foiled in their purpose they siezed one moredocile, mounted him, rode him around camp, hurrahing and yelling at the top of their voices. They were reported I suppose by the owner of the baited bull and the next night guards were stationed around our camp and a prorata* of our men detailed for said purpose whether the bull riding scrape was the reason of I cannot say. Though I can say that or something else has cooled down to a great degree the noise that has pervaded this company heretofore.

Out First Lieutenant Thomas Bell, is a very good officer. I do not believe we could have made a better choice but the balance are sardines of the smallest fry. I mean from him down.

Our company is almost unanimously in favor of McDaniel for Colonel and I believe he is the preferred of the other companies from Lincoln. But it is entirely owing to where the other companies are to come from whether Lincoln County will get the Colonel. 5 Companies from any other county would get the colonel. I have written a number of letters of home and have only received two little pieces from father relating to business which said nothing of receiving any letter from me. Perhaps they have not reached you. Some I sent by mail and some by hand. Those by hand I believe I told them to throw them off when even with the houses. If nobody was watching, perhaps they were lost. I would like to get a letter from somebody. I saw one from Margaret [Buchanan McDaniel, Mathew’s sister] to Coleman [Adams McDaniel, Margaret’s husband] which was interesting. I want to hear what thehogs weighed and if the wheat has been sowed and corn got gathered.

  • Yours with kindest regards,
  • Mathew Buchanan
                 * Prorata – proportionately according to an exactly calculable factor( as share or liability.  In this case, same number of men from each company is to be assigned guard duty.

Letter from Mathew Buchanan

Born 1829 – Died 1862 December 11, 1861 Camp Truesdale, Robertson County, Tennessee

To Andrew Buchanan Born 1783 - Died 1868 His Father

Dear Father,

I received your letter last night and Coleman received one from Margaret. You stated in yours that you had employed Nat and that hewould make boards to cover the house if he had the timber. The house is ruining for want of covering but about the timber I cannot inform you where it can be had, except from Bob, and I would rather pay for the boards than for him to leave with Jake also. I want you to tell him to be careful with some sows that are going to have pigs in a short time. Perhaps some of them have pigged before now. I want them pushed in order to make hogs of them for next year. I would like for the fence to be straightened (taking in a piece of woods) from the lower corner of Jake’s patch which was sewed in rye this year down to the corner of the meadow where the crib stood taking away the fence the same rail will be enough and make a better fence in my opinion. There will be some three acres, I would guess, of timber enclosed which might be deadened which will make it in better condition for cultivating when the clover field comes in. I would like also to have the rye threshed I guess that it is injured to some extent but I reckon it will pay for threshing - the bottom field in which the pond lies I had intended to have sewn in grass when the proper time came. The seeds to be threshed from some ones of the haystacks which contained mostly herds grass but all the ground could be cultivated provided Aggy and Martha be fit for work and you may determine whether it be planted in corn or sewed in grass. I believe with regard to business, I can think of no more now, but will inform you in due time of anything that I want intended to.

We have not yet organized ourselves into a Regiment but some efforts are being made to this end and my opinion is there is a good dealof logrolling* in the matter. We have 4 Companies on the ground. Coffee [County] has 3, Grundy has 1, Franklin 1, Bedford 1, which is the complement, but in this arrangement, Coffee claims the first office or else she wants the matter decided by the Captains from whence the Colonel shall come. When it is believed an agreement has be made between Coffee and the remaining counties, leaving Lincoln out to divide the offices amongst themselves. Whilst on another point some intriguing men are trying to get up a division in our own companies by persuading certain men to run for Colonel against the known wishes of our men. Captain Shedd from Coffee is very officious** in this matter. He wants the Colonel to be himself and would condescend to do anything to frustrate our designs. I am satisfied that Coleman A. McDaniel is the preference of the four Company from Lincoln, but some interference from some quarter I think will put Colonel Kercheval ahead. How his chances are I cannot tell but I have little doubt that it is a great deal better to have him than it was for myself. I would beatisfied with anybody but him. If I was sure he could get the position, I would get out of the Regiment. Probably by going asunder, I would do it to a certainty, but for now about this matter I want you to say nothing. Tell mother if she can to send me anything to eat. A few dried peas and some pies would be especially welcome. I can’t get much in the way of vegetables except an occasional wagon from the neighboring county comes with a few garden tricks which seldom gets distributed in our quarters. We have not done any hard drilling yet. Our Captain has been engaged otherwise and for the last day or so has been complaining a little with sore throat. Our Lieutenants are not much skilled in drilling, and of course won’t retain us long on drill. I have sent two letters home before this. I want you to write and give the news.

  • Matt Buchanan
            * Logrolling - the exchanging of assistance or favors specifically: the trading of votes by legislators to secure favorable action on projects of interest to each one.
            ** Officious – volunteering one’s services where they are neither asked nor needed. 

Letter to Andrew Buchanan

Born 1783 - Died 1868

Letter from Matthew Buchanan Born 1829 - Died 1862 Camp Truesdale, Robertson County, Tennessee December 12, 1861

Dear Father,

I received your letter with Felix’s per L. L. Stone, which were very welcome visitors. I have already done more writing to you than could be interesting, but you wanted to know what to do with the money Felix sent back. I suppose nothing better could be done than loan it out. I loaned to Pleasant Halbert $ 150 obtained from him but took no note at the time and neglected getting any before leaving for this place. You may get that from him or get his note and loan him the other if he wants it. If he pays up which he may by selling his hogs, do as you please with it. I know of no profitable investment to make. I have some cold yet cough considerably at times, though nearly all are as bad off as myself and some are worse. I believe none are laid up though some do not drill. I guess this is a healthy location, but colds will come anywhere when men are exposed as we have been. I deem it useless to say anything about camp now for very little reliance can be put in it. Newspaper news you would get before you could get a letter. I would fare a little better with a little more cover to sleep under, an old quilt would be a good thing if one could be conveyed hither.

  • Yours truly,
  • Matt Buchanan

P.S. Tell W. N. Wright to get me a good Navy repeater. He said he could get one at Nashville if I wanted it. M. Buchanan