100 year old letter keeps family history alive | DrumhellerMail
Last updateFri, 19 Jul 2024 12am

100 year old letter keeps family history alive

hampton.jpgTom Hampton, formerly of Rowley shared a family treasure with The Mail. A letter written by an American Civil War soldier who witnessed the battlefield death of his great grandfather Captain Thomas Bryson CO.G 63 regiment, a Confederate soldier in the U.S Southern Army.The letter was written years after the war and published in an unknown American newspaper. The powerful story of the patriarch of the family who years later settled in Rowley is fitting to be shared again, 100 years later. The preamble for the letter was written by Thomas Hampton. As April 2009 marks the 100th anniversary of this letter honouring a fallen soldier, as well as marking Easter abound with the wonders of spring and new life, it seems a fitting time to publish once more.This letter, written by a Civil War veteran, who was with my great grandfather Hampton when he was mortally wounded shortly before the war ended in 1865, is a memorial and fitting tribute.From the history we have, I believe Captain Hampton was a very honourable and courageous soldier as well as a devout husband and father, and this letter written four years after his death affirms this belief.As true with thousands of soldiers throughout history, Captain Hampton was patriotic to his country and gave his life at his prime, leaving behind a young family that included my grandfather Latham, then four and a half years old. Eleven months later his mother Jestin died of a heartbreak, leaving Latham and his three siblings orphaned to be raised by relatives.In April of 1904, my grandparents Latham and Amelia Hampton moved their family from Grayson Virginia to Innisfail, NWT (now Alberta) where they purchased a farm 12 miles southeast near Horseshoe Lake. My father Sie, named Last Brother, was six weeks old when they made the long journey.In 1913 Latham moved the family to Rowley AB, where he and four sons including my dad, LB, were able to take homesteads. From there, they commuted back and forth between farms until older brother Sim was old enough to take over the original farm, at Innisfail.Latham passed away on the farm at Rowley in April 1944, six weeks after I (Thomas Hampton) was born. My Dad lived there until he passed away in 1987. They are buried in the Rowley Cemetery. We presently live in Lacombe, still actively involved in the farm along with our two sons. Our oldest son and family live on the old home place, now the fifth generation.

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