Sunday, September 16, 2018

Chloe Fraley Lee Osborne Civil War Letter

Chloe Fraley was born in Russell County 1809, the daughter of William and Nancy Smith Fraley. On June 23, 1830 she married James Lee. They had at least 8 children before James Lee died in 1851. Including among her children were James M., Alexander M., David Fletcher,  Tivis P., and William E. Lee, who all served in the Civil War (see Alexander M. Lee Tries to Get a Substitute and Five Civil War Veterans Who Survived the War Only To Be Murdered).

After James Lee's death, Chloe married Samuel Osborne on May 18, 1852. Chloe had one known child with Samuel, a daughter Frances S. Osborne.

Chloe's son James M. Lee was stabbed to death while on leave in Russell County on December 26, 1862. Incensed, Chloe placed the following advertisement in the Abingdon Virginian:

$200 REWARD.
I WILL pay the above reward for the apprehension of SQUIRE OSBORNE, who wilfully murdered James M. Lee, in Castles Woods, on Friday, the 26th of December, 1862. Said Osborne is about 36 years of age, about six feet high, blue eyes, dark hair, round or stoop shouldered, has one little finger cut off, (hand not recollected.) He also has fresh wounds on his left arm, is quick spoken, and has a small round face, with a scar below one eye.

The above advertisement ran for several months, but it does not appear that Squire Osborne was ever tried for the murder of James M. Lee. Squire Osborne served in the Civil War and died in 1907 in Wise County.

In 1863 Chloe wrote the following letter to one of her sons. The letter was probably written to her son David F., as James M. was dead, Tivis and Alek (Alex) are mentioned in the letter, and the letter mentions "Mary" who was David's wife. David would eventually divorce his wife Mary in 1868.

Rusel Co virgina
August the 18th 1863

Dear Son I now take my pen in hand to writt to you to let you Know we are in
tolerable health Frances still keeps poorly and eats nothing hardly, I hope
when these lines comes to hand they may find you in good health, I received
a letter from you last Saturday and was truly glad you had come out of your
battle without being hurt I have bad news to write to you Mary lost 140
dollars stole out of her pocket Book and dont Know how it was taken and no
wonder she carried it about with her from place to place and lete other
people count it She has brought the rest of it here Six hundred Dollars
I am taking care of it for you
I am halling in your wheat to day though it is half destroyed I got a
letter from Tives the other day he writes he is very poorly he has been sick
a week or two little Bill was well and seting over a fine pot of chicken
helping himself I have a letter from Tives. I am going to send to you
he writes that he is out of clothing and I am going to send him some by Alek
Alek wants you to get a furlow and go with him I am mighty glad he is such
a brave Soldier tell him the next horse he captures I want him to bring to
me. nomore at present but remain your true mother until Death

Cloey Osborne.

Tivis P. Lee died at the Battle of the Wilderness on May 5, 1864.

Alexander M. Lee died in 1894.

Chloe died in 1898.

David F. Lee died in 1926.