When Grandma Prestridge died at Shreveport in 1915, she left behind an ancient round-top trunk, filled with what appeared to be the detritus of a busy life. It was rummaged through by its curious guardians and found interesting, but nothing more. A closer examination years later revealed documents of great importance to the student of social and family history. To a few of the descendants of George and Rebecca, the papers found there were more than interesting: They were absolutely compelling, especially the letters, which were in remarkably good condition. The letters tell of the love George and Rebecca shared amid the horrors of the Civil War. They reveal the courage and the suffering of the soldiers. They disclose, to a degree not found in history books, the hardship of women, widows in particular, and the sufferings and the joys of the children of those fatherless families.
Believing that these documents should be made public and having now the globe-circling Internet, we made the decision to publish the letters on the Web. Some of the documents were no doubt lost to the ravages of insects and the slow burn of decay. Luckily, close to two hundred documents were rescued, almost all legible. The documents that were in the trunk are now in my possession, except for a few that belong to John Warner Prestridge, a great-great grandson, who has lent them to us for this important purpose. Aided by the untiring and accomplished web designer Mike Jarvis we bring these stories to you. You may be saddened by the burdens these pioneers were forced to carry, but you will be uplifted and encouraged by the bravery with which they carried them.
Herman P. Sandford, great grandson of George and Rebecca Prestridge
© Herman P. Sandford