Bone Family Papers, 1861-1900 | East Texas Research Center

By Penny Clark, 1989

Collection Overview

Title: Bone Family Papers, 1861-1900Add to your cart.

ID: A/9

Extent: 1.0 Linear Feet

Date Acquired: 00/00/1989

Subjects: Bone, Robert Donnell, 1832-1892 -- Correspondence, Physicians -- Texas, East, Post office buildings -- Texas -- Douglass

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Included in the collection of letters between Dr. Bone and Minerva are letters to the Bones from family and friends, report forms from the post office at Douglass, and two poems (probably written by Dr. Bone). Typescripts for most of the papers in the collection are in a booklet in Box 2. Several 19th century newspapers belonging to Dr. Bone are cataloged and shelved with the newspaper bundles.

Collection Historical Note

Robert Donnell Bone (1832-1892) was born in Wilson County, Tennessee, and came to Nacogdoches County in 1841 with his mother and stepfather. He and his brothers and sister moved in with his older sister when she married John Winstead Paine in 1846. After a serious illness of pneumonia, R. D. Bone rode horseback to Tennessee and entered the University at Nashville Medical School (which later became Vanderbilt University) in 1854 and returned to Douglass, Texas, to practice medicine after graduating in 1858. That same year he married Griselda Minerva Burk (1841-1912) who was also from Tennessee and had moved to Nacogdoches County, Texas, with her family in 1848.

On November 25, 1861, Dr. Bone was appointed to serve as Assistant Surgeon of the 12th Texas Volunteer Infantry, Col. Overton Young's Regiment at Camp Hebert, Hempstead, Austin County, Texas. He felt it was his duty to serve the cause of the Confederacy and eagerly attended his post. As revealed in the following letters exchanged with his wife while on active duty in the Civil War, it soon became clear that he would have to contend with inadequate provisions, boring camp routine and confusing orders. "The Fever", dysentery, measles and exposure were Dr. Bone's patients' main medical problems; his regiment was not involved in any serious fighting.

When he resigned his commission on March 7, 1863, in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, he went back to Douglass, Texas, to practice medicine. Dr. Bone also bought cotton and cattle and took them to New Orleans each fall to be sold. Minerva was Post Mistress in Douglass from 1866-1867. Only six of the Bone's 12 children reached adulthood, and two of their sons graduated from the University at Nashville Medical School exactly 50 years after Dr. Bone did. At least eight of his descendants have followed him in serving the medical profession.

(Aiken, Roy L. (Pete). "Bone Family." In Nacogdoches County Families, 172. Dallas, Tx.: Curtis Media Corporation, 1985. p 172

Subject/Index Terms

Bone, Robert Donnell, 1832-1892 -- Correspondence
Physicians -- Texas, East
Post office buildings -- Texas -- Douglass

Administrative Information

Repository: East Texas Research Center

Access Restrictions: Open for research.

Acquisition Method: Gift

Related Materials: Bone Family Letters, 1879-1911, 1941, in Personal and Family Archives, Collection A/162, East Texas Research Center


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Box 2],
[All]

Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 1: One letter, one envelope, November 10, 1861Add to your cart.
West Bank of Trinity River, Madison County, Texas, Dr. Bone to Minerva: traveling conditions and company spirits good, gives advice on raising their son and on stocking up. [image]
Folder 2: Two letters, November 16, 1861, UndatedAdd to your cart.

Hemstead, Austin County, Texas, Dr. Bone to Minerva: amazement at vastness of prairies, traveling by rail, absence of males in towns, patriotic feelings of friendly hostesses, religious services, military funeral, scarcity of quinine. [image]

Short love note to Dr. Bones wife. [image]

Folder 3: One letter, November 24, 1861Add to your cart.
Camp Sanford near Hemstead, Austin County, Texas, Dr. Bone to Minerva: his health, food, camp conditions, his appointment in the regiment. [image]
Folder 4: One letter, one envelope, November 27, 1861Add to your cart.
Camp Sanford, Austin County, Texas. Dr. Bone to Minerva: his appointment and pay, advice on raising their son and on her own conduct, hospitality of a woman who took in sick soldiers. [image]
Folder 5: Three letters, December 3, 1861, December 7,1861, December 12, 1861Add to your cart.

Hemstead, Austin County, Texas,Dr. Bone to Minerva:learns of birth of his second son, many in the company have colds, scarcity of paper and envelopes.[image]

Camp Hebert, Austin County, Texas,Dr. Bone to Minerva:Galveston vacated by General Hebert causing great excitement, requests a Bible and another suit of clothes and his case of instruments. [image]

Camp Hebert, Austin County, Texas, Dr. Bone to Minerva: advises to save nails, family matters, laundry arrangements. [image]

Folder 6: Two letters, one envelope, December 15, 1861,December 19, 1861Add to your cart.

No place given, Dr. Bone to Minerva: heard a Presbyterian sermon, contrast of morals of soldiers, differences of army practice and common practice of medicine, advice on raising the children. [image]

Nacogdoches County, Texas, . Minerva to Dr. Bone: offers to send a mattress and towels, visits friends. health of the family, the children, moved in with her parents, news of their property. [image]

Folder 7: One letter, December 22, 1861Add to your cart.
Camp Hebert, Dr. Bone to Minerva: his health, the health of acquaintances in his camp, health problems encountered--typhoid fever, sore legs, Catarrhal fever, colds--,assures her that in spite of what she hears they have plenty to eat and are well taken care of. ][image]
Folder 8: One letter, one envelope, December 23, 1860Add to your cart.
Nacogdoches County, State of Texas. Minerva to Dr. Bone: family health, provisions, boarding up their house. [ ]image]
Folder 9: Two letters, one envelope, December 24, 1861Add to your cart.
Camp Hebert, Austin County, Texas. Dr. Bone to Minerva: sent his horse home to be sold, requests mattress and quilt, financial matters, naming their new son, he's very busy with increasing numbers of sick soldiers.[image]
Folder 10: Two letters, one envelope, December 31, 1861, January 14, 1862Add to your cart.

Nacogdoches County, State of Texas. Minerva to Dr. Bone: is sending supplies he requested, news of deaths of acquaintances involved in the war, provisions, health, financial matters, respects from friends. [image]

Camp Hebert. Dr. Bone to Minerva: he received the things she sent, is very busy with the sick soldiers because the Chief Surgeon has not arrived.[image]

Folder 11: One letter, January 19, 1862Add to your cart.
Nacogdoches County, State of Texas. Minerva to Dr. Bone: her health, collecting provisions on his accounts. [image]
Folder 12: One letter, January 26, 1862Add to your cart.
Camp Hebert. Dr. Bone to Minerva: he's busy shouldering the responsibilities of the Chief Surgeon in his absence and does not like it, lots of sickness in camp.[image]
Folder 13: One letter, one envelope, January 31, 1862Add to your cart.
Camp Hebert. Dr. Bone to Minerva: he is well, requests more clothes, sends word to friends of their relatives' health. [image]
Folder 14: One letter, one envelope, February 2, 1862Add to your cart.
Nacogdoches, State of Texas. Minerva to Dr. Bone: she and the children are well, she has a new wheel that she paid $5 for, financial matters. [image]
Folder 15: Two letters, February 21, 1862, March 1st, 1862Add to your cart.

Camp Hebert. Dr. Bone to Minerva: many sick in camp, saddened by the Confederate defeat at Roanoke Island but gladdened by another victory at Fort Donelson, everyone in camp admired the gray Jeans she made and want some, he is extremely busy with the sick soldiers.[image]

Camp Hebert. Dr. Bone to Minerva: he is too busy with the sick to write, he is well, they may be sent to Kentucky or Tennessee, a friend in camp will deliver money to her, advice on raising their children. [image]

Folder 16: Two letters, one envelope, March 2, 1862Add to your cart.
Nacogdoches County, State of Texas. Minerva to Dr. Bone: she's uneasy because she has not heard from him, every man has been called to the military - even her father, financial matters, good health of the family, her mother has a fine pair of cards costing only $31, her father will not have to go to war. [image]
Folder 17: One letter, one envelope, March 9, 1862Add to your cart.
Nacogdoches County, State of Texas. Minerva to Dr. Bone: she received some things and money he sent, almost all the men in town are going to war, family business. [image]
Folder 18: Two letters, one envelope, March 11, 1862, UndatedAdd to your cart.

Camp Hebert. Dr. Bone to Minerva: he is troubled by all the sickness and death in his camp, his camp hears bad news continuously from the war, they may go to eastern Texas to try to keep the Feds from entering through Arkansas.[image]

Dr. Bone to Minerva: requests yardage for Jeans to resell.

Folder 19: One letter, one envelope, March 16, 1862Add to your cart.
Nacogdoches County, State of Texas. Minerva to Dr. Bone: friends and relatives are going off to war, the children are fine, she's afraid all the men (even her father) will be called to war because she fears the worst is not there yet, she's heard that the Northerners have taken Memphis, Tennessee, some Negroes were hung at Carthage because they were about to kill their white families. [image]
Folder 20: Two letters, March 17, 1862, March 23, 1862Add to your cart.

Camp Hebert. Dr. Bone to Minerva: his camp is excited at the news that they will be discharged and sent home to stand the draft, he's not pleased to enlist for war nor does he want to be subject to a draft, he will keep his same position if he continues in the regiment which is what he wants, he's busy and well. [image]

Nacogdoches County, State of Texas. Minerva to Dr. Bone: she thinks it unfair for him to have to enlist or be drafted, she's worried about rumors that the Negroes will rise against the whites if any more men leave for war. [image]

Folder 21: One letter, March 30, 1862Add to your cart.
Camp Hebert. Dr. Bone to Minerva: health of the regiment is better, all sorts of rumors are circulating as to where they will be sent, he has not been and does not know when he will be paid, the Chief Surgeon has left because he is disliked, cautions her to be brave as the dark hours of history approach.[image]
Folder 22: One letter, one envelope, April 6, 1862Add to your cart.
Nacogdoches County, State of Texas. Minerva to Dr. Bone: she is disgusted by some of the women in the community who want all the men to go to war, they discuss their burial place. [image]
Folder 23: Two letters, one envelope, April 13, 1862, April 13, 1862Add to your cart.

Camp Young. Dr. Bone to Minerva: his regiment is breaking up and some are going home to wait for the draft and others are enlisting, he does not know what to do.[image]

Nacogdoches County, State of Texas. Minerva to Dr. Bone: their oldest child is very ill with a fever and nausea. [image]

Folder 24: One letter, one envelope, May 1862,Add to your cart.
Hemstead, Texas. Dr. Bone to Minerva: he is in distress at the thought that she could be taken from him as his oldest son has been in death, he cannot sleep because of the mosquitoes and fleas.[image]
Folder 25: Two letters, June 8, 1862, June 15, 1862Add to your cart.
Camp Young. Dr. Bone to Minerva: he has been ordered to Tyler which pleases him, many men are sick at his camp, hospital provisions are scarce, many men in the hospital in town are dying from neglect, soldiers are demoralized and wickedness abounds. [image] Camp Young. Dr. Bone to Minerva: he is preparing to move to Tyler and will stop by home on his way, not much sickness in camp except for measles and mumps. [image]
Folder 26: Two letters, one envelope, June 16, 1862, June 20, 1862Add to your cart.

Near Douglass, Nacogdoches County, Texas. Minerva to Dr. Bone: news of friends and relatives. [image]

Camp Young. Dr. Bone to Minerva: he requests lightweight summer clothes, will be home on his way to Tyler, advises his brother to enlist and he will try to get him into his regiment. [image]

Folder 27: Two letters, July 27, 1862, August 3, 1862Add to your cart.

Near Douglass, Nacogdoches County, Texas. Minerva to Dr. Bone: news of deaths of friends, she and the child are well. [image]

Near Douglass, Texas. Minerva to Dr. Bone: news of family and friends. [image]

Folder 28: One letter, original and photocopy, August 24, 1862Add to your cart.
Camp near Washington, Arkansas. Dr. Bone to Minerva: he is tired from his long march from Tyler, health is good since leaving, requests a pair of shoes and more clothes and a small mattress and gloves, they are headed for Little Rock. [image]
Folder 29: Two letters, September 2, 1862, September 3, 1862Add to your cart.

Arkadelphia. Dr. Bone to Minerva: his regiment is hearing encouraging news from the seat of war that the Confederates are winning battles and capturing prisoners and forts, their military post is self-sufficient--little Negro boys make cartridges and boxes, the new Conscript Law will enable her father to stay in Texas and fight only for home protection if needed, everyone has a good appetite and plenty of food.[image]

Somewhere in Arkansas. Dr. Bone to Minerva: his regiment was awakened at 2 a.m. to march to an unknown place for an unknown reason, they marched in rain towards Des Arc and camped at Hickory Plains, their baggage wagons did not arrive so they had no dry clothes or tents or food, they hear that the enemy is within 25 miles but he thinks this is incorrect because his troops (numbering 15 - 20 thousand) have not been supplied with cartridges, their wagons arrived finally. [image]

Folder 30: Three letters, September 7, 1862, September 13, 1862, September 21, 1862Add to your cart.

Nacogdoches County, State of Texas. Minerva to Dr. Bone: she is sending clothes he requested but not shoes.[image]

Near Austin, Arkansas, Camp Holmes. Dr. Bone to Minerva: his regiment is entering the war zone, he is resigned to ignore rumors and to let time reveal their movements, one of the regiments that he sees is not doing well because of lack of organization and leadership (Taylor), he is disgusted with those "patriots" who have "bursted their boilers" in the days of Secession and who now just want to go home, he has money now and will send some to her, food and clothing are terribly expensive. [image]

Near Douglass, Nacogdoches County, Texas. Minerva to Dr. Bone: she has heard rumors that he will be court martialed for not discharging until he gets to Little Rock and that he will be hung for giving strychnine to a man. [image]

Folder 31: Two letters, two envelopes, October 8, 1862, October 14, 1862Add to your cart.

Camp near Des Arc, Arkansas. Dr. Bone to Minerva: he's enjoying the excitement of being close to the fighting and is studying the effects of the excitement of others in the regiment.[image]

Near Hickory Plains, Ark. Dr. Bone to Minerva: he's not sure why they are moving in a circle unless it's to confuse the enemy, there are heavy rains and the men and horses are sick and weary. [image]

Folder 32: One letter, one envelope, October 24, 1862Add to your cart.
Camp Holmes. Dr. Bone to Minerva: many men are sick and he is very busy, no prospects of fighting this winter, it's snowing. [image]
Folder 33: One letter, November 15, 1862Add to your cart.
Near Douglass. Minerva to Dr. Bone: she's concerned that he has not received her letters. [image]
Folder 34: One letter, November 26, 1862Add to your cart.
No place given. Dr. Bone to Minerva: they are making preparations for a permanent camp, his horse will not eat, food is getting scarce. [image]
Folder 35: One letter, December 14, 1862Add to your cart.
Near Little Rock, Ark. Dr. Bone to Minerva: he's sending his horse home with a friend and also $325, will not get to come home until spring, was not appointed surgeon to his dismay. [image]
Folder 36: One letter, December 19, 1862Add to your cart.
Camp near Little Rock. Dr. Bone to Minerva: they are still in camp "doing nothing as fast as ever" and he does not know what their future is, he has bought a good mule to ride, he thinks he may get to come home since a new surgeon has been appointed. [image]

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