Friday, November 15, 2019

Finished: Far, Far From Home

Finally, today I had just enough of the leftover sunshine from our waning fall weather to grab a cup of coffee and sit outside to enjoy the last few pages of the book I've been reading.

Well, perhaps "enjoy" is not the best choice of wording for the completion of this collection of Civil War letters home from one Tally Simpson. Spoiler alert: he died at the Battle of Chickamauga. But the editors of this volume handled the last chapter with just the right touch. In their epilogue, they even cast a passing nod to Emmala Reed's journal and her commentary on Fannie Smith—though the editors claimed not being able to identify Fannie Smith or her family in the years after Tally's death.

What the editors did flag for me, though, was a generous helping of footnoted commentary on the many members of Tally Simpson's extended family, many of whom have already taken their place in my mother's online family tree. My next task is to review all these marked passages and insure that the editorial notes provided in the book reflect what I have entered in my official record for this family line. My work is certainly laid out for me there.

The end of one book is seldom the end of a research journey; there is always one more book to be read. As soon as I wrap up the exercise of processing all these notes from the Simpson saga—and glean everything I can on what became of Fannie Smith—I will pick up again with the theme of this small, upcountry hometown of the extended family of my ancestors. There is still more to be read about Old Pendleton and Anderson County, South Carolina.


  1. Replies
    1. Finding a book like this makes me want to go out and look for more! There is nothing quite like finding the words of our own ancestors to describe what life was like for them.


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