The following was sent to me by Georgetta Crawley.  I have left everything just she sent it to me. 

Attached are my transcriptions of the hand-written Civil War letters (copied from the National Archives and sent to me Orie Kelm, Jr., my 3rd cousin once removed) relating to members of my family and their commander who were members of Company D, 27th KY Vol Infantry. Company D, 27th KY became part of the 19th brigade, 4th Div, Ohio Army. They arrived just after the Battle at Shiloh and assisted in removing the dead. They were with Gen Nelson's Division and occupied Corinth, Mississippi. More information regarding the 27th KY Infantry can be found on 

Many of the 10 letters were sent to my maternal 2nd great grandfather by two of his four sons during the Civil War.  Three of his sons were in Company D.  Only my great grandfather Thomas Jesse Kelm lived.  His body and health were both poor after the Civil War. Great Great Grandfather Andrew Jackson Kelm (also known as A.J. or Jack/Jackson) lost two of his sons in the war.   

One (Pvt Stanley S. Kelm, age 14) died of pneumonia in the swamps between Shiloh and Corinth Mississippi and is buried in the Shiloh National Cemetery, Pittsburg Landing, TN.  The second, John, age 15, died and was buried (in an unknown church yard) near Murfreesboro TN with honors.  The 15-year- old was shot accidently by another young union soldier. The letters will tell the story and more about the Breckinridge Boys from Breckinridge County KY. 

Information about my great grandfather Thomas Jesse Kelm (sometimes teasingly called Jeff/Jefferson) is attached in plain text titled TJesse from my FTM notes.  I have several documents regarding his service, including meal tickets, and commander's handwritten records. He was somewhat of a young scoundrel, was a sergeant and honorably discharged but was not well physically after the war.

I'm happy to include the transcriptions and information I have typed as part of your website.  Maybe there's another "cuzzin" out there who can use the information. 

Checkk out

A list of company D is shown at that website.

For clarification of some of the names in the letters, you will find the names of the three sons of my 2nd great grandfather and Commanders Charles D. Pennebaker and John Ward, Capts Coyne and Hammers, Sgt Frederick M. Hogan (a relative of my 2nd great grandfather, Andrew Jackson Kelm); Corporals Stephen Rollins and Charles C. Rollins (relatives of grandfather).  Privates named were David F. Barnes, Robert E. {Huen} Black (who shot John Kelm accidently), Benjamin H. Canary, Jackson Carroll, William J. Hawkins, Joshua Livingston,  Isaac Pullin, William J. Peckinpaugh, James H. Peckinpaugh, Martin W. Rollins, and John Vandegriff.

Those I know who died during the Civil War were:

Frederick M. Hogan, John J. Klippert, John R. Hawkins, Andrew S. and James A. Farmer, William L. Foot, John and William Hanks, James Haycraft, William J. Hawkins, William H. and Samuel A. Hicks, John Jarboe, Stanley S. Kelm and John Kelm (sons of my 2nd great grandfather).

In "Families of Southern Tier New York, North Eastern Pennsylvania, Some Indian connections" by Shiela  Spencer Stover, page 96 states he 'was born Dec 13, 1848 in Breckenridge Co, Kentucky, and died November 29, 1910 and buried in  Vincent Cemetery, Dunklin Co. Mo.  Pension affidavit signed by Andrew J. Kellam dated Jun 9, 1884.  He is buried in the Vincent Grave Yard, Malden, Mo.  Enlisted with John and Stanley S. at Stephensport, Ky on 10/20/1861* and assigned to Co. D., 27th KY Vol Inf,, 19th Brigade, 4th Div, Ohio Army.  He was honorably discharged 3/29/1865 in Louisville, Ky.  Service records show he deserted at Grayson Springs on 2/8/1862 and returned on 6/1863.  He was Court Martialed and confined for 180 days with forfeit of pay.  Records also show that near Grayson Springs he took measles and lost power of speech for 2 months, and a horse fell on him on 2/10/1864, fracturing his right leg.  Also notation in files (pension records) that for a 12 month period he was treated for rheumatism, disease of heart and lungs and injury to his leg and ankle.  Records state father was Andrew Jackson Kelm and mother was Susan Leftridge.'

Note by Georgetta Scott Crawley: I have copies of the commander's reports and other records and other letters from his brothers to their father. 

On page 97, of Shiela's book:  One record shows Thomas J. Kelm to have been born `12/13/1840.  Info from Carmella Kranz:  cemetery records for Vincent Cemetery, Dunklin Co, MO shows birthdate as 12/21/1840 and death date as 11/29/1910 and was son of Andrew and Francis S. Kelm.*  Thomas J. County/State: Breckinridge Co, KY.  Location: Union Star Dist. Page #156, Year 1870.  Written records show him as either Thomas Jefferson or Thomas J., altho one desc. says her own family referred to him as "Thomas Jesse." --possibly a nickname due to a child's mispronunciation, some other family reason. One of those small mysteries not yet uncovered."

US Census records for Breckinridge Co 1850 shows Thomas 2 years old in 1850, confirming birth in 1848.  But census records have been found to contradict each other.

Note by Georgetta Scott Crawley:  My mother's entire family called him "Jesse".  My father, who knew the family well, called him "Jesse".   He enlisted in Civil War as Thomas J. Kelm as Private.  In the military documentation in my possession, he was shown as "Jesse" Kelm, "Thomas J." , or "T.J. Kelums/Kellam"  His brothers sometimes teased him by calling him "Thomas Jefferson".  None of my mother's family ever referred to him as "Jefferson".  *His Commander's report calls him "Jesse". 

He contacted malaria again on 27 Nov 1910.  According to his death certificate File 37665, his father was A. J. Kelm born Breckinridge Co KY: maiden name of mother listed as Susan Leftridge.  He died two days (after contacting malaria) on 29 Nov 1910 in Cotton Hill Township (Dunklin Co) MO of Malaria Pernishicocus, secondary contributory--congestion.  He was buried the same day in Vincent Cemetery, (Dunklin Co) MO.  As to his mother's name--she was Frances Susan (Leftridge) Kelm.  She was known both by Frances and Susan by family members.  She apparently preferred the name "Susan".

Georgetta Crawley

All of the following 10 letters I have transcribed from copies of the originals in the National Archives and the spelling and grammar are as near as possible.  Thanks goes to my cousin, Orie Kelm, Jr. who obtained the copies from the National Archives. The handwriting is evidently often done by someone in the camp because the penmanship is always different for all of Stanley's letters.  Also some of his letters are signed Stanley, Stanly, and Standly.  Someone evidently wrote for John also.

Letter from Stanley Kelm at Camp near Elizabethtown, KY, to his father, Andrew Jackson Kelm of Union Star KY on December 26, 1861.

Dear Father,

It is with much pleasure that I take the present opertunity of writing you a few lines that I am well and hoping this few lines may find you enjoying the same Blessing.

We got to Elizabeth on Christmas Day an we're agoing to leve her in a few days an going to Gracin Spring to camp.  Tell little A. J. Canary that he must write to me and tell Aby Kelm to write as soon as possible.

We are all very well satisfied but shore is one that that don't soot {suit} me—that is the condition of our bed, a little straw throwing on the ground and we don't lay as comfortable as I would like to.  As the eating concerns, the fare does very well.  We have loaf bread an beans, bacon, beef, potatoes, homly {hominy}, shugar, coffe, molassess.

Tell all the boys that David Barnes is as fat as a Chiney Pig.  He says for me to send his respect to his inquiring friends.  Mr. Canary says his hips no better.  I won't writetill I draw my money.  There is smawlpox in our camp.  Isack Pullin is sick with the pluracy.  Charles wants to see you very bad.

Capt Coyne got two galon of whiskey.  Cost 2 dolars galon.  Some of the boys got prety funny, but that would not bin nothing if we had bin at home.  If you heare {from} Handks boys, of they say any thing aboaut me, give them a quart and go ahead.  I would {like} to see them girls that I was with last Sunday.  No more at present.

                                                          Yours Truly,

                                                          Stanley Kelm


Letter from Stanley Kelm at Union Camp at Grayson Springs, KY to his father, Andrew Jackson Kelm, Union Star KY (Also a note from B. H. Canary), dated January 13, 1862.

Dear Father,

I now take my pen in hand to inform you that I am well at present and hope these few lins may find you all enjoying the same blessing.  John and Jeff {Thomas Jesse} is well and hearty.  I am very well satisfied at present Jeff is a Scout now.  He {is} after deserters now.  Jeff and John and Charles Rollins and Mart Rollins, and John Vandergriff and Joshua Livingston, and Mack Woodcraft and David Barnes and Jack Carrall and John hawkins sleep in one tent and Isac Pullan and we have {a} fine times and losts of fun.  We {have} five decks of cards and we steal candles from the cook {and} play till ten oclock at night.

We have plenty of everything to eat.  George Hammers and about fifty of our men was on the other side of Green River.  They got back this morning.  Russaw has moved his men across Green River.  We expect an attack soon.  If they try us they will get the sixth best in a eleven.  Coyne's men is the fire eaters of the camp.  They are like summer hog tirds, they all stick together.

Nothing more at present.  I must bring my letter to a close but remain yours until death.

                                                          Yours Truly

Standley Kelm

(PS from B. H. Canary, written in the same handwriting as above)

Tell Jack canary that his father is harty but he is crippled with his hip.  He has plenty of anything he wants and nothing to do.  The Colonel says he shall be discharged as soon as the regiment is full.  He sends his best respects to you and his family.

                                                          B. H. Canary


Letter from Stanley Kelm (and a note from B. H. Canary) to Stanley's parents, from Camp Wortham, Grayson Springs KY, dated January 20, 1862.

Dear Parents

I take the present opportunity of writing you a few lines that I am well and John, but Jeff, he has got the measels.

I hope when I hear from you all that you are enjoying this ame blessing.  Your letter cum to hand on the 22nd of this month an I am glad to hear from you all and that you are all well.  You wrote that you got $8 dollars hundred tobaco.  It is a good price.  We can get plenty whiskey to drink and plenty to eat.  The Regiment is not filled yet, but we elected field officers yesterday.  I can say this much, that the Regiment won't be filled and I don't care.

{Tell} little A. J. Canary that Charles Rollins want to see him the worst time.  Tell him to write to me.  I would like to heare from him the best kind.  {I don't have any more news to write to you.} Tell Aunt Elizabeth Rollins that me and John send Best Respects to hear and John and Jefferson.  You must write to me soon as you posible can for I want to hear from you.  With this few lines I will say I remain your affectionate son until death.

                                                          Yours Truly,  Stanly Kelm


Letter from Stanley Kelm to his father from Camp Wortham, C. D. Penebaker, 27th Ky Regiment, Grayson Springs, KY, dated January 27, 1862.

Dear Father,

This morning I feel like I would love to see you all very much, but I won't come any nearer than to write you a few lines in which I will say that we are all well at the present and I hope these few lines will find you all enjoying the same.

We are all well satisfied as you might expect in this occasion.  I wish you could come out and see us all before we live here.

There was a man here yesterday from the Southern Army who says there is one hundred anf ifty thousand troops nere boling green {near Boling Green}.  3000 thousand sick in hospital.  Tell Marthia Carrold that Jack is getting well again.  I never saw a man want to see any one as bad as he want to see her.  You must see her and tell her and write all about how she is and tell us all the news you can.

                                                          Stanley S. Kelm


Letter from John Kelm to his Cousin Margaret Canary and his mother of Union Star KY., from Camp Wortham, Grayson Springs, KY, dated February 1, 1862.

My Dear Cousin (Margaret Canary)

I take this opportunity to let you know that I am well at the present time, hoping these few lines may fined you injoying the same blessing.  Tell Caroline that I would like to see her the best kined, for I entend to send her a present as soon as I draw my wages.  I would like to be home mighty well but I am blud {blood} thirsty for a secist {Secessionist}.  Our tents are a warm as a log hose {house}.  I heard that they was a quarling with the little A. J. and for fear you was about to give them a lecture. I thought I would write.  Write as soon as you get these few lines.

                                                          John Kelm to Margaret Canary


Dear Mother,

I take the present opportunity to let you no that I am well at present, hoping these few lines may fined you injoying the same blessing.  I think a heap of my mother and father.  When ever I think of the south, then I think of stay {ing} and pertecting my home.  You must write as soon as you get these few lines.  I remain you effecnit {affectionate} son until death.

                                                          John Kelm


Letter from John Kelm to his parents at Union Star KY, from Camp Wortham, Grayson Springs KY, dated February 6, 1862.

Dear Mother and Father,

I now embace the present opportunity of writing you a few lines to inform you of the fact that I am well and Stanley and Charles also.

Jefferson {Thomas Jesse} has left our camp and I want to no whether he is at home or not.

George Hamers he has been on a scot on Green River and Staley was along with him.  They got in site of the Rebels but didn't get to kill any of them.  They are taking everything they lay their hands on.

You herd that we never got anything for to eat.  Tell the man that started that report he is a liar and the truth is not in him.  We get everthing that we want except stamps.  We have'nt received any money yet, but we will.  Old man Canary, he is in the hospital.  He is about the sam as he as abin.  I haven't any news of any importance to write to you.  With these few lines I will say no more and will remain your afectionate son until death.

                                                          John Kelm

Write Soon


Letter from Stanley Kelm from the Union Camp at Grayson Springs KY to his father, dated February 7, 1862.

Dear Father,

Father, I now take the present oportunity of writing you a few lines to inform you that John and I remain well at present.  Hoping when I hear from you that you are enjoying the same blessing.  Farther, I want you to write me and tell me where Jeferson (Jesse) is and what he said and where he is.  Papa, I want you to cum and see us.  It is not so far but what you could come and see me and John for I want to see you very bad.

Tell James Severs that I want to see him, and I send my Best Respects to al the boys in general and tell them to write to me.  Isac Pullin said that he want his daddy to cum and see him as soon as possible.  Tell little A. J. Canary that I would like to see him and I want him to write to me.  It is great satisfaction to me to hear from my old friends.  The health of the Regiment is tolerable good at the present time.  I haven't any news of any importance to write to you.  We have got one handred and fifty calvery men in our Regiment.  They made us a present of them.  They are to do our scouting.  They will be very useful to us.

Charles Rollins, he is well.  He is the same old Charley.  With these few lines I will say no more at the present time.  Hoping when I hear from you that you will be well.  No more at present.  I remain your afectionate son.

                                                          Stanly Kelm

Letter from Stanley Kelm (and F. H. Hogan ,his cousin) at the Union Camp at Grayson Springs KY to his father Andrew Jackson Kelm of Union Star KY, dated February 21, 1862.

My Affectionate Father,

It is with greatest of pleasure that I drop you a few lines informing you that I have returned from Boling Green last night, well and harty but fertinged {fatigued}.  The Rebels has evacuated Boling green and is gone to Nashvile to fortify there.  They burnt and destroyed a imence { an immense}  quantity of provisions, and burnt a good many arms {weapons}, and burnt one square of the town before they left.

Father, we have taken old Buckner and Johnson and 5 other Generals.  I can't remember their names, and fifteen thousand prisoners and fifty cannons and twenty two hundred stands of arms and some provisions.  There has bin a battle at Fort Henry and there we took 500 prisoners and 300 tents and 12 canons and a good many arms.  At Fort Donalson where we took old Buckner there we took 42 canons and 15 thousan prisoners.  I can't give you a full listing the the war.  Father, I would be glad to see you all but I can't say when that will be.  We are going to march tomorrow tot the third lock on Green River, and when I get there I will wright to you again.  I am in very good spirits and in fine health.  Father, John is well.  He went to bolingreen with me and returned back safe and sound.         

                                                                   S. Kelm

Dear and Affectionate cousin,

I embrace this as an opportunity of writing you a few lines informing you that I am in good health.  Me and Stanly is together and wrighting this in partnership.  While the canons is roring, the drums are beating, the fifes is blowing and the musket alls is flying and bayonets and sabers are shining for us.  Still trust in that I will be able to return back home and be able to see you all.  I want you to wright to me and give me the general news.  Just feel like I can kill a rebel as far as I can see them.  Mr. Kelm, please forward this to Fred Claycombe.

                                                                   F. H. Hogan {Frederick H. Hogan}


Letter from Charles C. {C.C.} Rollins at Union Camp Underwood, Rochester, Butler County, KY, to his uncle, Andrew Jackson Kelm of Union Star KY, dated March 3, 1862.

Dear Uncle,

I seat myself down to write you a few lines to inform you that I am well at present-hoping that these few lines may fine you enjoying the same good Blessing.

Uncle Jack, your boys is well at present-am well satisfied, and sends their Best Respects to you all.  Uncle Jack, I would like to see you all but I don’t know when it will be but I hope it won't be long.  I haven't much news to write, but we hear that the Reabels are retreating back all the time.  We never herd from Jefferson (Thomas Jesse) since he left.  John and Stanly and myself all stick together like brother, and we want to see you as bad as anybody in the world, but we don't intend to run off to get to see you.

Uncle Jack, tell my mother that I am well an doing well.  Stan and John an myself send our love and Best Respects to her.  John Hawkins is well and sends love to his father.  Direct your letters to Rochester, Camp Underwood, Penebacks Regiment in care of Capt Coyne.

Uncle Jack, I wrote a letter to Cyrus Bruner and Edward McGlothling the day before we started fom Camp Wortham, and I told them not to write til I note what Post Office to write to.  Tell them where to write to.  Jack Carold says he want yu to have some whiskey at Lewis Whelers again when we get back.  No more at present but remain your affectionate Nephew until death.

                                                                   C. C. Rollins

Postscript: John Vandygriff and Josh Livengood and Bill Overton is Cort Martial (Court Martialed).

(The last page of the letter is a hand drawn cartoon of two Union Soldiers entitled "Charles Rollins, the Red Rover out for a fight")


Letter from John Kelm from Union Camp Underwood Ky to his father, dated March 15, 1862.

Dear Father,

I take my pen in hand to inform you that I am well at present and truly hope that these few lines mfy find you enjoying the same good health.

We are now camping on Green River at the locks #3 at Rochester.  We have a fine place to camp here.  The Breckinridge boys is all well.  We have plenty of everything but money, and we expect to get some money soon.  I would like to see you all but can't see you now.  I think the war will soon be over.  I am well satisfied at this time.  We are drilled well enough to fight a good battle.  We drill 6 hours a day.  They has 13 waggons and 80 mules came last night to our redgiment four our use from headquarters.  We expect to stay here a few weeks.  When we move we will go to Memphis or Nashville.

Stanley sends his best respects to you all.  He weighs 170 pounds.  Tell Caroline I send her a present, a breast pin.  Tell her to keep it to remember me.  I shall bring my short letter to close.

                                                                   Yours truly, rite soon,

                                                                          John Kelm

                                                                   United States Soldier



Letter from John Kelm to his father from Camp Pear {spelling?}, Athens, Alabama, dated 12 July 1862.  This letter was evidently written by two others in came who write for someone else who can't write because it is signed John Kellem (One of about 40 variations of the surname, sometimes pronounced with 2 syllables and the last two paragraphs are in different handwriting.)

Dear Father

It is with the greatest of pleasure hat I seat myself once more to drop you a few lines informing you that I am well at the presnt time and have had good health ever since I left home.  I would be very glad to see you all but the body of land and water that lies between us deprives me of the satisfaction.

John R. Hawkins is well and harty and says he wants to see the folks very much.  He says for you to give his respects to all enquiring friends and especailly to all of the girls.

Direct your letters to Athens, Alabama, the 27th Reg. KY. Vol, the 19 Bregade, the H Division, the Ohio Army.  Wright soon and give me the general news.

We have camped at a beautiful place.  We have got the very best of water and plenty of it and plenty to eat an I expect we will remain here the largest part of the Summer.  We are well situated.  The weather is very hot down hear.  All of the boys that came out of that neighborhood is well and harty.  We have ben campt 6 days.  We have ben on a 8 days march.  I tell you tit was hard on us shore.  The weather being so very hot and dry, the roads very dusty.  We suffered for the want of water and the dust would raise like thunderclouds.  General Buels hole army was on the march at the same time.  Now you can give a guess how it was.

C. C. Rolens is well and wants you wright to him as often as possible.

                                                                   John Kellem


Letter from Charles C. Rollins from Union Army Camp, Murfreesbors TN, to his Uncle Andrew Jackson Kelm, Union Star KY, dated August 14, 1862, reporting the death of his two sons ages 14 and 15.

Dear Uncle

With a trembling heart full of sorrow and grieve, I set myself this morning to give you an account of the most heartbreaking and sad afair that happened yesterday.  It is a sad thing for me to do, and it nearly breaks my heart, but I must try and gather myself to do so.  Day before yesterday, we went to Nashville as a train guard.  As a matter of course, we loaded our guns before we mounted the cars.  John was left back as a camp guard.  Yesterday morning we returned all safe.  On our arrival, we received orders to withdraw the loads from our guns which was done with the exception of one, the one that proved to be fatal one a few hours afterward.

After dinner, the boys who was a kind of devilish-eyed by the trip, played together.  John was among the boys enjoying himself with the balance, when at last, to the misfortune of all, they commencet pointing guns at one another. Huen Black, unthoughtful, picked up the loaded gun, thinking at the same time that they were all empty, cock, pointed it toward John.  A second afterward, John, after walking a few steps layt his self on the ground with a wound in his right breast which proved to be fatal.  He called for me.  I was with him a second afterwards, and assisted him all I could, though it was near as much as I could to keep on my feet.  Nothing in the world did ever have such an effect on me as that, for he was the only one siche Stanley died, that I rely on.  He was my only comfort.  He done anything in the world for me and so did I.  We lived together here, like brothers, more so, and now O it  {is} to {too} hard for me to think about it.  I am nearly distracted.  The whole company, eht whole regiment shows their grieve and sorrow for John.  The Colonel, as well as the other officers, came to see him yesterday, and exclaimed their sorrow.  John was beloved by all that knew him, and his loss is felt by every one.  After he was shot, he called Huen Black to him, and said "Huen, you done this accidently, and I will forgive you." And he reacht his hand out

to him {Huen}.  John kept in his mind some 2 hours after he was shot, and before dying, he took hold of my hand and said "Charley, I hate to lieve you, but I am bound to do it.  And I want you to get my money from the captain, for I am going to meet Stanley in Heaven."  He then asked for a drink of water, at which his spirit fled and he was no more.

The Colonel granted me the priveledge to get a fine coffin made and he will be burried with all the honors of war, and the honor of beloved fellow sholdiers.  I will have to close, Dear Uncle.  Don't take it too hard.  John is in a better world.  I know it is hard for you but try and reconcile yourself. Your affectionate niffiw (nephew).

                                                   Charles Rollins



Dear Uncle,

With a heavy heart I seat myself to write you a few lines concerning the death of John and his request he in the first place told me to get all his money which a Captain Hamers had.  But I could only get enough of it to defray his burial expenses from the fact that you are the lawful heir and for me to get it, you will have to go to some magistrar or lawyer and have it done up according to law, or I can't get it.  I can't get it unless you give your lawful consent to it.

I had him put away the best I could.  He was put in the church yard in Murfreesboro.  I don't know exactly what form it will have to be drawn up in, but if you can go to a good lawyer, he can do the thing up right, but I think you will have to write me an order to Hamers for the amount.  Let it be what it may and specifying that the order shall be his receipt for the same.  I should not want it if it had not been his last request and if I get it and see a good chance to send it to you I can do it as well as anybody else, and as liefe being uncertain here and Hammers is acting Colonel over the convalescent camp back at Murfreesboro, and we don’t know when we will get together and you had better fix it up as soon as you can.

I have already wrote you one letter before this and I want you to write to me as soon as you possibly can, for I am lost and troubled nearly to death for in the first place I sent a hundred dollars home by F. M. Jolly and the first I heard that he was dead and all my money gone and the next day after I heard it, that fatal accident befell my dear comrad and putting it all together, it is very hard for me to stand it.

Tell Mother that I am well and tell her that I want her to write to me immediately concerning that money for it looks like I can't get no letters any more for the mail is very uncertian and therefore I want you to write often so I will be certain to get some of them.  No more on that subject a present, only I remain yours truly until death.

                                                                                      C. C. Rollins


This is the second letter.  I wrote you one the day of his {John's} death and I gave you all the particulars of the affair in the first letter and I would like to know if you ever got it or not, and if you did not, I would write it to you again.  But if you got the first one it is no use to write it any more so I must bring my letter to a close.  Nothing more at present, only I still remain your truly until death.

                                                                                      C. C. Rollins



General Green B. Rawson {spelling?}
Washington, D. C.

Dear General

On a recent visit to my old home in Kentucky, the enclosed letter was handed to me, and I wish to call your attention to some facts in connection with this case.  In 1861, the claimnant—Andrew Kellam {Kelm}, living in a community half disloyal, had three sons from fifteen to twenty years of age.  He sent them all to serve his country.  Two of the boys lost their lives, and one returned but is of no benefit to the old man, now three score years and two, and has to depend on the labors of his hands.  He close the younger of the two boys who have their lives to this country, upon whom to base his claim for dependent pension and had it rejected on what seems to me a mere technicality.  John Killam {Kelm} a mere boy of 15 years, upon returning from duty as a train guard from Chattanooga to Murfreesborough, Tenn, was shot by a comrad while in a little boyish play among the tents, before retiring to quarters.  The orders were to remove the caps from the guns, and supposedly this was done.  A comrad called him to halt and at the same time picked up a gun and pulled the trigger.  The gun went off and John Killam died in my presence.  Sure, General, the boy was there and ready for any duty for there never was a better soldier, and the Father is entitled not only to the small amt claimed, but the gratitude of a beneficient people.

But if it is a fact that the Father cannot get a pension because John was not shot by a rebel bullet, he still has a son Stanly S. Kellam {Kelm} who died in the swamps between Shiloh and Corinth of double pnewmonia.  Can he not so ammend his application as to substitute the other boy, Stanly S. for John so as to give him the benefit of the fifteen years pension which he has spent in pressing his claim.  Oh! General, when a man gives all his boys, before they are even men should he not be kindly considered.  I have no interest in this claim except this:  I induced the boys to go and the Father let them.


                                                                   S. J. COYNE                                                                                                                            (Formerly Capt, Co. D., 27th KY

My thanks to Ms. Crawley for allowing me to share these letters with you.  Should you be researching the same people, you may contact her at

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