Monday, August 5, 2019

So Much for Plans . . .

If you thought you'd find me, this morning, thoroughly engrossed in the closing chapters of Miss Emmala Reed's journal, A Faithful Heart, you have to realize that was the plan. But it wasn't what actually happened.

Instead of my pleasant morning coffee date with Emmala's journal, I am flat on my back, wracked with a fever. Flu? Seems awful early for such aches and pains.

Seeing this inconvenient agony coming on Sunday afternoon, I gave up and tried to sleep it all off. When sleep evaded me, I grabbed Emmala's book, and finished it.

Spoiler alert: the editor, Robert T. Oliver, provided an epilogue to neatly bundle up the post-war stress of this tiny Anderson, South Carolina, community. While the editor focused his comments on the Reed family specifically—so no further mention of the unfaithful beau Robert Broyles—I do know that Robert married Ella Wilkinson Keith, daughter of Charleston Episcopalian minister Paul Trappier Keith. Apparently, from documents located at, Robert, like his younger brother and my direct ancestor Thomas Broyles, inherited lands in Washington County, Tennessee, where he eventually passed away in 1894. His father's namesake—his full name being Ozey Robert Broyles—the younger Robert had five children: Sarah, Ella, O.R. junior, Trapier Keith, and Lucy. By the time of his obituary, though, the report maintained he had only four, so I am still in search of death dates for the oldest three; perhaps one predeceased him

The happy news was, according to the epilogue to Emmala's diary, that she did, indeed, find a "faithful heart" to marry. A friend of a friend, Emmala's beau was a merchant from Abbeville, with business concerns in both Charleston and Columbia. Emmala, who by 1867 was serving as a music and literature instructor at a woman's institute, saw their letter-writing courtship develop into an engagement, and she married George William Miller at the end of November, 1867.

That, of course, is not the end of my Broyles and Taliaferro reading in South Carolina. We'll go over the list of resources gleaned from Emmala's journal tomorrow, after I catch up on some sleep!

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