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If all or any of these letters are ever published, all purely personal and/or affectionate portions thereof which are not of historical value, are to be deleted.
Albert Symington Chalker was born August 9, 1843 in Horry County, South Carolina. In 1852, he moved with his parents and siblings to Clay County, Florida. On May 16, 1863, at the age of 19, Chalker was mustered into the Confederate Army at Callahan under Captain Robert Harrison in Company K of the Second Florida Cavalry. He spent much of his enlistment at Baldwin, and served General Joseph Finegan as a courier. Albert Chalker was honorably paroled on May 17, 1865 after Florida's Confederate forces formally surrendered to General Edward M. McCook of the United States.
Chalker returned to Clay County and married Martha Ann Bardin in December 1865. Martha's father, William Sims Bardin, gave his Middleburg residence to the couple as a wedding gift. Albert and Martha Chalker settled there and remained for the rest of their lives. Albert Chalker served for 17 years as Middleburg's postmaster, and as tax collector for Clay County from 1881 to 1885. He was also a prominent businessman, and operated both a private ferry on the south prong of Black Creek and a general store in Middleburg.
Around 1890, Chalker ventured briefly out west to New Mexico, where he hoped to expand his fortune. Sometime during his stay he was diagnosed with Bright's disease, a kidney disorder, and his son George returned him to Middleburg, where he died on January 26, 1906. Albert and Martha Chalker's home, located at 3891 Main Street in Middleburg and generally called the Clark-Chalker House, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.
This collection contains letters between Albert Chalker and his sweetheart, Martha Ann Bardin, written while Chalker was serving in the Confederate Army. Dating from May 8, 1864 to November 25, 1865, the correspondence mainly concerns Chalker's wartime experience at Baldwin (Duval County), his involvement in the Battle of Natural Bridge, and his affections for Miss Bardin. Also included are two letters from Miss Bardin to Mr. Chalker, and a certification of enlistment of William Sims Bardin (Martha's father) into Colonel Arthur Roberts' Company of Lake City (Columbia County), May 2, 1864.
Additional Physical Form:
Location of Originals/Duplicates:
Donor is a direct descendent of Albert Chalker.
Electronic Records Access:
Subject Access Fields:
Confederate States of America. Army. --Florida Cavalry Regiment, 2nd.
Natural Bridge (Fla.), Battle of, 1865.
Baldwin (Fla.) Camp Finegan (Fla.) Florida History Civil War, 1861-1865
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