Letter from Z.P. Cadle

The following letter was written by Z.P. Cadle to his sister and brother-in-law, William and Sarah M. Black just three weeks prior to his death. William and Sarah, along with other close relations, were preparing to leave for California to settle in the valley north of Sacramento. Items in parenthesis were not in the letter. Spelling, punctuation and grammar has not been changed.

Holden, Johnson Co., Mo. The 21st May 1864
Dear Brother and Sister
It is with great solemnity that I seat myself to drop you a few lines to let you know that I am well except a headache which makes my mind wander. I received your letter the other day and it gave me great satisfaction to hear from you once more and that _____I hope out of the harangue of war; but I fear you will have some trouble with the Indians; but I would not mind that so much. I wish I was with you. I would rather risk my chances on the plains than here though I think we can make it if Old Pap Price ___ and then I don't know so well about it. Old Curby Smith is in Arkansas he has defeated Steele, and Banks has been defeated on Red River. We have suffered severely and been defeated several times lately. Grant and Lee has been fighting for several days, but we have not heard all the particulars. Grant's report of his loss is 55 thousand. We have no account of Lee's loss though he was still holding his position the last account. There was a man shot yesterday at Warrensburg. He was accused of being a bushwhacker. He was a Confederate soldier and was payroled at Vicksburg. He died like a soldier. There are some things that look very bad; but think it will not last long. The prospects of sustaining the Union looks very gloomy. If Lee whips Grant the thing is explained. Old Abe has called for 300,000 more men. It seems that the collored soldiers don't work well. We have just got the news that Buttler has got a whipping he was trying to cut off Lee's supplies and it seems he has slipped up.

William, you wrote about that horse trade, just make yourself easy about that matter, for as I did not expect anything of that old mare and if you are satisfied it is alright. I have not heard whether you got the money or not. Jane (Z.P.'s wife) wrote that she could send it to you by Charley. You did not write whether Jasper was with you or not. I suppose he is, if he is give them my best respects and well wishes a safe journey and a prosperous one may God bless you all.

Now William, you wrote something of your hopes of heaven and of leaving your friends and relations and trusting in God for your salvation, my dear brother you are depending on a sure friend. I am glad to hear that your faith in Christ was so strong that I had no right to doubt your sincerity, for we have seen many happy hours together and I feel my faith as strong as ever and more so, and when I saw you you gave strong evidence that yours was so too but being seperated now perhaps to see each other no more in the flesh we should be more careful to maintain our integrity. You wrote you would be glad we could all be together, O, that we could have old brother Stites to preach for us would be heaven on earth. We have our trials and troubles on this earth our ups and downs, losses and crosses and vexations, but if we hold out faithfully to the end we have the promise of the crown that is laid up for us. Those considerations make amends for our trouble in this world.

So, my brother and sister, think of these things often and watch unto prayer. Not that I feel myself capable of exhorting you or anybody else but we can change ideas and cheer each other on our pilgrimage for we all need abmonitions one of the other, to keep us steadfast in our faith.

There has been four of our company died and they were all wicked boys. I don't expect you know any of them only Ike Blanton, Ben Collins, Ben Garrot and Steve Chambers. It seems that the boys are getting worse and worse every day. O, William, you know how it suits me to be in such company, though they are all good men, but they are so wicked. My God how can I stand it another year! I would give my land if I had my family and outfit and was with you though it might be worse. But I would risk it. If you like that country I think I will try to come next spring.

I am afraid this will not get there in time. Your letter was so long on the way. It was not dated, but you wrote that you reached there on the 6th of May. I received it on the 15th of May.

The connection is all well as far as I know, I know Burrel (Combs) and Abe (Cunningham) are as well as common. Abe is not able for service none of the time. You know my condition and you see the flag and union with the black mark across it. (His letter had a picture of a woman carrying the Union flag as a heading. He had drawn a line through the word "Union" on the flag.) So I will bring my remarks to a close. You must write every chance. I hope this may reach you and find you well. To William C. Black and Jasper Seat and families farewell to my brothers and sisters.
Z.P. Cadle

  • Military Reports about the massacre

  • Roster of Company M

  • Recruits known to be from Worth County

  • Yearly Report-1863 of the 1st Regiment

  • Yearly Report-1864 of the 1st Regiment

  • Kingsville Massacre ...Main Page


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