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David Matthews and his family came to Florida in November 1874, moving from Cherokee County, Alabama. Suffering from pulmonary ailments, he came looking for health and strength and a good living for his family. The family homesteaded on Picciola Island, near Leesburg, Florida. With them came Matthews' brothers, Lark and Ezekial, who homesteaded in the area as well. During the Civil War, David Matthews served in several Confederate military organizations. Pension records and his letters mention Company C, Sixth Georgia Cavalry Regiment; while a May 1865 parole shows him to be in Company C, Thirteenth Alabama Infantry Regiment. His letters also mention service in the First Georgia Cavalry Partisan Rangers and the Fourth Georgia Cavalry Regiment.
The collection consists primarily of the correspondence of David and Nancy Matthews and other correspondence relating to them by family and friends. Most of David Matthews' letters were written from camp and field locations in Tennessee and Georgia, while most of Nancy Matthews' letters were written from Cherokee County, Alabama. The letters present a detailed picture of life during the war, at the front and at home. Also included are military records, newspaper clippings, receipts and agreements, and photographs of the Matthews family. Of interest, too, is Nancy Matthews' correspondence with the Internal Improvement Fund of Florida to which she applied for a pension on behalf of her deceased husband. Other important items are a letter of Nancy Matthews to her brother, Will Davis, who lived in the Indian Territory (Oklahoma) and a handwritten contract between David Matthews and Mary X, a freed woman of color, stipulating her employment by him for a year.
Finally, the collection includes a compilation of copied letters and news clippings relating to the Matthews family (many of which were duplicated from originals in collection), put together by the granddaughters of David and Nancy Matthews.
Folder listing available.
Additional Physical Form:
Location of Originals/Duplicates:
The donor is the granddaughter of the David and Nancy Matthews.
Electronic Records Access:
Subject Access Fields:
Confederate States of America. Army. --Georgia Cavalry Regiment, 6th. Confederate States of America. Army. --Alabama Infantry Regiment, 13th. Confederate States of America. Army. --Georgia Cavalry Regiment, 4th. Confederate States of America. Army. --Georgia Cavalry Partisan Rangers.
Land settlement Florida Military pensions. Women History 19th century Florida Confederate pensions.
United States History Civil War, 1861-1865 Lake County (Fla.) Cherokee County (Ala.) Leesburg (Fla.)
Matthews, David, 1831-1890
Matthews, Nancy Ann Davis, 1838-1910
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