Turley /  Carriger Letter

Morristown  June 28, 1862

Mr J E Carriger

Dear Sir,

I again take occasion to write you in reference to the note you hold on

myself and S. M. Cocke, the money for which you wrote me last winter you

needed.  It has now become more important than ever that the matter be

settled.  The Federals have invaded E. Tennessee and may possibly get

possession of it, and if so I shall leave never to return while they hold

it.  Cocke having been a Confederate Captain will take the same course.

Hence the special desire that all our liabilities be settled. I have a

Tennessee 6 per cent Bond for a thousand Dollars issued in 1854 which you

can have at par, though I am told they will now sell at 15 per cent premium

over currency.  The balance I will pay in Union Bank of Tennessee money.

I hope you may appreciate the propriety of a settlement.

                         Yours  xc

                      T W Turley


Thomas Whitesides Turley

He was born January 18,1820 in Grainger County, Tennessee, the fifth child of Thomas Turley born June 8, 1782; in what is now is West Virginia, and Desdemona Taylor born April 18, 1788 in Henry County, Virginia. 


On October 8, 1844 he married Mary Rogers Cocke in Grainger County.  She was born 1821-1822 in Tennessee to Willis Ellis Cocke Jr and Margaret E Rogers.  She was the sister of Stephen M Cocke (below).


In September 3, 1845 they had a daughter Pauline who died August 12, 1854, a son Thomas in 1856, and another son William in 1858.


In 1860 they were living in Morristown with $10,500 in Real Estate and $11,000 in personal Property. He was a Circuit Court Judge. Besides his wife Mary, sons Thomas and William, a Margarita Santos, age 15, born in Tennessee, was living with them; she had $14,500 in real estate, and was attending School. Stephen M Cocke was living very close to him.  In that year Thomas owned 5 mulatto slaves ages female 27,male 19, female 6, female 4, female 2, all of which were fugitives from the State.


In 1880 he is living in Williamson County, TN and was a lawyer. His son William was living with them and was also a lawyer.


Thomas died in 1885 in Franklin County, TN, and is buried in Grainger County.


Stephen Marcos Cocke

He was born on December 31, 1831 in TN, the son of Willis Ellis Cocke Jr. and Margaret E Rogers.  His sister Mary Cocke married Thomas W. Turley


In 1850 he was living in Knoxville and working as a clerk in a store owned by James Conan.


On May 20, 1857 he married Mary Taylor Fain. Mary was born in September 1, 1835 in TN to John Fain and Amelia S Gillespie.  She died June 22, 1880 in Stone Mountain, Georgia.


On July 18, 1859, he and Mary had a daughter named Ida. Later, Ida would marry Daniel H Howell in Stone Mountain Ga.  She died Nov 13, 1885 in Atlanta. Ida had one son who died when he was 1 year old.


In 1860 he was living in Morristown.  He was a merchant with $5,500 in real estate and $22,000 in personal property.  He was living close to Thomas. W. Turley.  That year he owned 11 slaves, female 35, male 32, females, 17, 17 16, 14, male 12, female 9, male 7, female 6, 4, male 2.


He was a Captain and the commander of Company C of the 37th Tennessee Infantry (CSA) during the Civil War.


He died on April 27, 1864 and is buried in Dandridge, Tennessee.


Jackson E Carriger

He was born in 1822 probably in Carter County, Tennessee.  In 1850 he was farming in Carter Co.  It is not known why Turley and Coke owed Carriger $1,000 or if the note was ever paid.



This folded letter with the #4 Confederate States stamp attached has not only a Morristown stamp cancellation dated June 28, but has a rare pen cancellation. The Philatelic Foundation’s expert committee examined the letter and on October 6, 1983 issued certificate number 0123756 certifying it was genuine.


Besides being an interesting piece of memorabilia, which reflects the atmosphere of East Tennessee in the early days of the Civil War, it is a rare philatelic find.

If you are interested in purchasing this piece of history, please send me an email.