Pvt James F. Coffey

Pvt James F. Coffey

Caldwell County, North Carolina, USA
Death 15 Aug 1862 (aged 16–17)
Virginia, USA
Burial Petersburg, Petersburg City, Virginia, USA
Memorial ID 52496790 · View Source
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James F. Coffey was in the 26th North Carolina Infantry Company F. He died of illness and was buried in a common grave on 8/17/1862. He lies in the Confederate section of Blandford Cemetery reserved for soldiers from North Carolina.

Below is a letter from James' brothers W. C. Coffey and H. C. Coffey informing their parents of his death. This letter is on file at the Caldwell Heritage Museum – Lenoir, North Carolina (transcribed as written)

"Petersburg Aug 17th 1862
Dear Father and Mother

I take my seat this morning to tell you the sad and awful news. James F. Coffey is dead and berried, he was taken sick I don't think he has been very well for some time but he did not complain any until Wednesday morning he got up in the morning complaining of his throat being sore he went to the doctor that morning and was excused from duty his throat commensed swelling and next morning he was sent to the hospital about 10 or 11 oclock it was Thursday when he was sent to the hospital. On Friday evning Henry went up to see him he was still getting worse but was able to go about Then he gave Henry his money that day and told Henry he wanted Henry or myself to come back next day So I went up early next morning and was very mutch supprised to find him dead I went in the room where he was laid out and looked at him he looked very natureal I left then and came back to camp to see if there was any chance of sending him home the Captain wrote out a furlough for some of us to come with him He took the furlough to the General he would not sign it So the prospect of getting him home was a failure As soon as I came from Petersburg we sent Harrison Coffey to Petersburg to try to get a metallic coffin to put him in which he would of kept sound for years and could have been took home at any time We sent $100.00 to pay for the coffin but there was none to be found so Harrison returned then we come to the conclusion that there was no chance to get him home so we come to the conclusion to let him be buried in a government coffin which was dressed and painted he was buried accordin to the military dissplin Henry Harrison William George Morgan George Powell John Weaver Joshua Curtis Simeon Philyaw George Sherill went to the burrying I did not feel able to go an I was just getting over the mumphs and had just walked to Petersburg and back he died at 11 oclock Friday night the nurse saw he died in his right mind and without a struggle the nurse said that he died the easiest of any person he ever saw he got so he could not talk ( ) minutes befor he died without saying anything about dying the whole time of his sickness We have gotten his clothes in our tent I wish they were at home Henry has got what money he had he had $66.85 which we will send home the first safe chance I would like for father to come and see us if he has the chance and get his things He was buried 1 ½ miles of Petersburg Henry said that it is the largest grave yard he ever saw The boys said that James looked the most natural of any corps thay ever saw Poor fellow I hope he is in a better world than this where there is no Battles to be fought and where there is no more sickness he has been a very sivel boy since he came to the army He seemed to be liked by all who new him he has never made any fuss or quarl since he come into the army James has red his testement almost daily and with delight apperantly and died with it in his pocket when he would leave camp to go out on any duty he would carry his book in his pocket This is the first letter that I ever have written with my eys fill with tears I have never before had any thing to hurt me so but it is a debt which we all have to pay I would have written yesterday evening but you will get the letter as soon as if I had wrote yesterday. When he gave Henry his money he told him that he was afrade somebody would steal it I regret very much that we was not with him when he died Father Mother do not think hard of us for anything for which we have done for (W ) the best we could do I suppose you are very well aware of what tight rules we are under and cannot do as we would wish to do We would like very well to see you all but the only chance for you to come see us I wrote to you on Friday but I suppose you will get this letter nearly as soon as you will get this write to me on the receipt of this letter so I may know that you have got this letter So no more atpresent From your affectionate sons W C and H C Coffey

PS I received a letter from Charlie Friday he was well We are both as well as could be expected
James told Henry on Friday evening that his nurs was very good to him Father please come and see us and get Jameses things if you can possible spare the time (illegible) in jure yourself Reed this letter to all his relatives and friends Money could not of stoped me from sending him home if I could of had the opportunity he was buried in his gray pants which he brought from home and white drawers and the worsted Shirt which he brought from home and socks Henry got a white Hankerchief and tied round his jaws he was wraped in a blanket also.

(This letter was recently found in an old Bible belonging to France Caroline (1845-1922) and David J. Farthing (1847-1918). She was the daughter of McCaleb Coffey (1803-1881)"


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  • Created by: Janet Amtower
  • Added: 17 May 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 52496790
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Pvt James F. Coffey (1845–15 Aug 1862), Find a Grave Memorial no. 52496790, citing Blandford Cemetery, Petersburg, Petersburg City, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Janet Amtower (contributor 46832095) .