August the 29, 1873 Rusk Cherokee Co
I write this evening to let you know something about how we are getting along, george [sic] and Helena got home safely Monday evening a little while before night I and the children enjoyed the eating of the big mellon [sic] verry [sic] well, it was as much as we all wanted at one time we had visitors all the time they were gone, george [sic] Birdwell and his wife staid with us from Friday till Monday morning Abe oats his little boy, and John Oats got here Sunday and left Monday, they say that Mary Conner and family are all well, and very well pleased with their move, they have good health there, Rufus’s wife is dead. Tom Conner is dead, so is Abes wife, he lives with Mary he says they boys is all getting along well, he says if Lobe and Emily will go home with him he will move them for nothing as he has a waggon [sic] and team with him, and can take them with out any trouble Lobe was here yesterday and says he is a going to get ready and whenthey come back he expects to go with him, he says he has people, they want to go back in three or four weeks,
Frank Blackburn and Dock was at Douglass last satturday [sic] and met with Bill Wilson got into a row and Frank said he would shoot Wilson, and Dock caught the pistol to keep him from shooting Frank told him to let go or he would shoot him Dock told him he would die between them, and Frank pulled down on Dock and shot him, then shot Wilson through the left breast and he fell dead, then he shot twice more but they say he did not hit him
Robert Donnell Bone (1832-1892) was born in Wilson County, Tennessee, and came to Nacogdoches County in 1841 with his mother and stepfather. He and his brothers and sister moved in with his older sister when she married John Winstead Paine in 1846. After a serious illness of pneumonia, R. D. Bone rode horseback to Tennessee and entered the University at Nashville Medical School (which later became Vanderbilt University) in 1854 and returned to Douglass, Texas, to practice medicine after graduating in 1858. That same year he married Griselda Minerva Burk (1841-1912) who was also from Tennessee and had moved to Nacogdoches County, Texas, with her family in 1848. On November 25, 1861, Dr. Bone was appointed to serve as Assistant Surgeon of the 12th Texas Volunteer Infantry, Col. Overton Young's Regiment at Camp Hebert, Hempstead, Austin County, Texas. He felt it was his duty to serve the cause of the Confederacy and eagerly attended his post. As revealed in the following letters exchanged with his wife while on active duty in the Civil War, it soon became clear that he would have to contend with inadequate provisions, boring camp routine and confusing orders. "The Fever", dysentery, measles and exposure were Dr. Bone's patients' main medical problems; his regiment was not involved in any serious fighting. When he resigned his commission on March 7, 1863, in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, he went back to Douglass, Texas, to practice medicine. Dr. Bone also bought cotton and cattle and took them to New Orleans each fall to be sold. Minerva was Post Mistress in Douglass from 1866-1867. Only six of the Bone's 12 children reached adulthood, and two of their sons graduated from the University at Nashville Medical School exactly 50 years after Dr. Bone did. At least eight of his descendants have followed him in serving the medical profession. (Aiken, Roy L. (Pete). "Bone Family." In Nacogdoches County Families, 172. Dallas, Tx.: Curtis Media Corporation, 1985.)
Scope and Content Note
Included in the collection of letters between Dr. Bone and Minerva are letters to the Bones from family and friends, report forms from the post office at Douglass, and two poems (probably written by Dr. Bone). Typescripts for most of the papers in the collection are in a booklet in Box 2. Several 19th century newspapers belonging to Dr. Bone are cataloged and shelved with the newspaper bundles.
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