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],

Box 2Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Two letters, two envelopes, January 8, 1863, January 17, 1863Add to your cart.

Nacogdoches County, Texas. Minerva to Dr. Bone: she received the money and the horse, provisions are low, the draft is coming soon and she is afraid her father will be called, she has heard of a battle at Galveston in which their side took 800 prisoners and some of the stores. [image]

Nacogdoches County, Texas. Minerva to Dr. Bone: her father was not called to war, some others were not called because they had Negroes, corn and pork are scarce. [image]

Folder 2: One letter, one envelope, January 21, 1862Add to your cart.
Pine Bluff, Ark. Dr. Bone to Minerva: his company has traveled through rain and sleet and snow to fight the Feds but have missed them, much suffering from exposure, hears rumors that soldiers in a Confederate camp have been taken prisoner and that Little Rock will soon be in the hands of the Yankees. [image]
Folder 3: One letter, one envelope, February 6, 1863Add to your cart.
Camp near Pine Bluff. Dr. Bone to Minerva: he has plenty of money but provisions are scarce and camp is dull, he will attend a shooting of four soldiers (3 deserters and 1 who shot an officer). [image]
Folder 4: One letter, one envelope, February 6, 1863Add to your cart.
Nacogdoches County. Minerva to Dr. Bone: the horse he sent home is getting well.[image]
Folder 5: One letter, one envelope, February 10, 1863Add to your cart.
Camp near Pine Bluff. Dr. Bone to Minerva: he had a good meal (hog jaw, peas, butter and buttermilk) when he went out of camp to see a sick soldier, sold his mule, has $525 in his pocket and will send some money home.[image]
Folder 6: One letter, one envelope, February 22, 1863Add to your cart.
No place given. Dr. Bone to Minerva: he requests new socks and more letters from home.[image]
Folder 7: One letter, one envelope, February 22, 1863Add to your cart.
No place given. Letter from Dr. Bone to J. W. Burk. [image]
Folder 8: Original and photocopy, January 9, 1862Add to your cart.
Nacogdoches County. Letter to Dr. Bone from Levicey Hill.[image]
Folder 9: Three letters, one envelope, January 1, 1857, August 11, 1858, February 3, 1862, August 5, 1866Add to your cart.

Waco, Texas. R. M. Billingsley to Dr. Bone. [image]

Alto, Texas. Jas. G. McKnight to Friend Bob. [image]

at home. Asenath M. Paine to Dear Brother. Typescript. [image]

M. L. Burl to G. M. Bone. [image]

Folder 10: Two Letters, November 20, 1872, August 29, 1873Add to your cart.

Nacogdoches Co., Texas. Levicey Hill to the Bones. [image]

Rusk, Cherokee County, Texas. Levicey Hill to the Bones. [image]

Folder 11: Letters to Dr. Bone from his half sister, December 29, 1861, September 21, 1873Add to your cart.

Near Douglass. Hellena Jones to Dr. Bone. [image]

Rusk. H. M. Jones to Dr. Bone. [image]

Folder 12: Six LettersAdd to your cart.
April 18, 1862, A. A. Hill to Dr. Bone; news about his sick son Watson.[image] September 8, 1862, Levicey Hill to Dr. Bone;wanting information about some family members.[image] October 9, 1862, Nacogdoches County, Texas. Levicey Hill to Dr. Bone; news about family and neighbors and feelings about how long the war will last.[image] October 12, 1862, Nacogdoches County, Texas. J. W. Wade to Dr. Bone; family news.[image] December 19, 1862, Camp near Little Rock, Arkansas; commendation issued to Dr. Bone by Col. Young's Regiment on the occasion of his resigning.[image] September 2, 1862, Newsclipping from Arkadelphia Journal Telegram announcing capture of Springfield, Mo. and General Buell. [image]
Folder 13: PoemsAdd to your cart.
"Where I am the halls are gilded," probably written by Dr. Bone while in medical school with a letter on the back about Nashville. [image] "The Capture of 17 of Co. H 4th Cav.," probably written by Dr. Bone after the war. [image]
Folder 14: Two letters, one ticket, one envelope, May 30, [1886], Dec. 31, 1887,Add to your cart.

Douglass, Texas. Letter from Eva Wade to Herschell Bone; family matters. [image]

Douglass, Texas. Letter to friends of Dr. Bone from a friend of the family telling them to inform Dr. Bone of his brother's death.[image]

Democratic Party ticket, ca. 1884, with account notes penciled on back.

Folder 15: Two letters, two envelopes, one clipping, July 23, 1877, August 4, 1900Add to your cart.

Douglas, Texas: letter to Minerva from her mother, Annie Burke, discussing family health and a desire to see her. Enclosed is a newsclipping of Annie Burke's obituary.

Nacogdoches, Texas; letter to Minerva from H. T. Burk telling her of her brother's death. [image]

Folder 16: Items from the Douglass post office during the time that Minerva was post mistress. Receipts, reports, letters, envelopes, July 1, 1866-Feb. 29, 1868Add to your cart.
Folder 17: Booklet of typed transcripts entitled: "Civil War Letters of Dr. Robert Donnell Bone and Griselda Burk Bone". One volumeAdd to your cart.

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[Box 1],
[Box 2],


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