November 1862

November 1, 1862

Saturday. Warm & pleasant. Communion at church. (Paid rent for 2 months, $10.00; paid board for one month, $20.00.)

November 2, 1862

Sunday. Mathews told me that a good opening for a school was at Pine Bluff.

November 3, 1862

Got a letter from [Henry] Handerson. He is in Virginia in a Louisiana Regiment.

November 4, 1862

In school.

November 5, 1862

In school. Turning very cold. Nothing new. Henry Moore comes today to stay in my room.

November 6, 1862

In school. Nothing new. It is a nuisance here as I am situated. I can’t do anything doubled in here with another [boarder].

November 7, 1862

In school. Nothing new. Mrs. [Kate] Adams, [wife of the Captain,] came to school and asked me if I was going to Pine Bluff. She heard that I was but she didn’t want me to.

November 8, 1862

Down the street. At [Capt.] Syberg’s.

November 9, 1862

Sunday. At the Catholic Church. Reading Dickens.

November 10, 1862

In school. Nothing new.

November 11, 1862

In school. Alex George came to send his boys and a woman hers. Simpson Harris was killed [at the Battle of Perryville in Kentucky]. [W. E.] McKim was left at Nashville & is supposed to be dead.

November 12, 1862

In school.

November 13, 1862

In school. Nothing new.

November 14, 1862

In school. (Paid $4.00 for wood. Paid $5.00 for washing.)

November 15, 1862

Down the street. At Grave’s. Sent by Henderson to Memphis for a book.

At Mrs. Caldwell’s. She was talking about her son & how she did when she was a girl, that if she got down she would scream & yell & roll on the floor. She said, “Now Walter, if you are not a good boy, I shall go & get married & you know you will not like that.” Reading some. [Harris] Flanagin was inaugurated [Governor of Arkansas] today. Quite a good many there. The news here that England had recognized the Southern Confederacy.

November 16, 1862

Sunday. At Catholic church. Finished [reading] Nicholas Nickleby.

November 17, 1862

In school. Had two new boys today.

November 18, 1862

In school. Rainy.

November 19, 1862

In school. Cold. Dr. [Corydon] McAlmont died. (Paid $1.00 for mending shoes.)

November 20, 1862

In school. Sick with cold.

November 21, 1862

In school. Sick. Nothing new.

November 22, 1862

Saturday. Down the street. Reading. (Paid $1.50 for tobacco.)

November 23, 1862

Sunday. At church. Trimble here. Spoke to me about going to Pine Bluff. Said a good opening was there [and] wants me to come down in the holidays & see for myself.

November 24, 1862

In school. Nothing new. Feel sick. [Franz] Ditter paid $10 for five month’s schooling [for his son William].

November 25, 1862

In school. Nothing new.

November 26, 1862

In school. Called at Capt. [John D.] Adams’s in evening.

November 27, 1862

In school. Nothing new.

November 28, 1862

In school. Whipped C. Yukes. Sent him home. Turned him out of school. Nothing new.

November 29, 1862

Down the street. Nothing new.

November 30, 1862

Sunday. At Catholic church. Called on [Capt.] Syberg. Sick. In evening, a drunken officer on [General Theophilus H.] Holmes’s staff chased [our black servant] Mary right into the house. I turned him out & while getting him out, Holmes’ adjutant general came. I told it to him & said it was a disgraceful act & I should report such conduct. He wanted to know what my name was, [my] business, etc., and where I could be found, & said that his friend would settle with me in the morning. [He then said] if I reported [the incident], he would hold me accountable & I should suffer. I told him I should do what I thought proper & he could not intimidate me by his threats.


Henry Handerson joined Company B (“Stafford’s Guards”) of the 9th Louisiana Infantry. In the summer of 1862, the 9th Louisiana saw hard fighting under General Stonewall Jackson’s command, playing a major role in almost every engagement of Jackson’s Valley Campaign and also fighting with distinction in the Seven Days Battle near Richmond. At the time that Henry Handerson wrote this letter to Ralph, the 9th Louisiana (or what remained of it) was recuperating near Martinsburg, Virginia following the “Maryland” campaign in which they experienced heavy losses at both Second Manassas and Sharpsburg.

Henry Moore was a relative of Mrs. Adamson’s.

Simpson Harris was a 29 year-old Little Rock attorney prior to the Civil War. He served in the 6th Arkansas Infantry – the same unit in which Ralph served. He was adjutant of the Regiment at the time of his death.

W. E. McKimm served with Ralph in Company A (“The Capitol Guards”), 6th Arkansas Infantry. Unit records show McKimm was discharged from the 6th Arkansas on 18 February 1862.

Alfred. J. Henderson, age 27, was a book binder who lived in Little Rock. His 8 year old son William was probably a student of Ralph’s.

Harris Flanagin was born on 3 November 1817 in Roadstown, New Jersey. After studying law in Illinois, he moved to Arkadelphia, Arkansas in 1839 where he set up practice and became a farmer. He served as a secessionist delegate to the Secession Convention and enlisted in the Confederate service. As a captain in the Second Arkansas Mounted Rifles, he fought at Wilson’s Creek and Pea Ridge. After Pea Ridge, he was promoted to Colonel and was transferred to the Army of Tennessee where he was serving when he was informed he had been elected Governor of Arkansas. “It was a starling testimony to incumbent governor Henry Rector’s unpopularity that he was defeated by a virtual unknown, a man who had never held high office, who never campaigned, and who wasn’t even in the state at the time.” Source: Old State House Museum Website

According to Mt. Holly Cemetery records, Dr. Corydon McAlmont was born 18 November 1827 and died 18 November 1862. He served with the 22 Arkansas Infantry. He was the son of Daniel McAlmont (1794-1833) and Samantha Dunham (1799-1864). He was married in 1855 to Sarah Helen Cheever. He left two children, Leona (born 1856) and Corydon (born 1860).

Franz J. Ditter was a 42 year-old cabinet maker from Germany. He died in 1870. His wife Amelia, though twenty years his junior, also died in 1870. William F. Ditter, their son was born in 1856 and died in 1878. All are buried in Mt. Holly Cemetery in Little Rock.

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