my Ralston Family story


Joseph “Jo” Anna Cole Hawkins [1849 – 1917]     War Leaflets



About twenty-five years ago, yielding to the request of over partial friends, I was beguiled into writing some of the incidents and happenings of the great cruel war, which we, a while back had passed through. These sketches, crude and imperfect as they arHawkins Joe, I will copy for the perusal of the old time friends and their children. Many of the characters have died since these little war leaflets were written, time has changed, and people changed with it, and I am no exception to the general rule.



My earliest recollection of the public affairs date back to the time of the execution of John Brown at Harper's Ferry in Virginia. I can remember the dark oppressive fears we children had of the Negroes rising, as it was called...


Her husband Camillus Hawkins’ older brother, Franklin, was her childhood sweetheart. He was a Lt. in Nathan Bedford Forrest’s regiment and was killed at Tupelo, MS in 1864. Annie reminisced;


... one day when Frank, my favorite friend, proposed to teach me to shoot a pistol... With [my mothers] consent we went a little way beyond the gate... which opened to a pond where the horses were led to drink. Frank placed a mark on one of the bars then put the pistol in my hand, stood me round and told me how to proceed. I took aim and blazed away. Didn't hit the mark, of course, but buried the ball in the high post and thought I had done well to strike anything.... He laughed merrily, took the weapon of war, stood by me and shot another ball in the same cavity making a large hole in the post. I tried one  more time  and hit a spot somewhere in the  wheat  field beyond.  Then he gave  me  up  as  a  poor  scholar.   He was to go away on the next day to ride back to war and to death. Many times I stopped to look on the old post... thinking of the few short weeks of his life... years after when our old home had passed into the hands of strangers... I saw [the post] again off from the roadside leaning with age. The ... storms of many winters had ... enlarged the little bullet hole. birds played in and out and built a nest little knowing the history of their quiet cozy little house...


Read the entire  war leaflets  online at;