The BARKER Family

1930 Census of the BARKER Family in Augusta GA

1930 Census of Starne Street, Augusta GA

Home of William and Essie BARKER on Starnes Street in Augusta GA

2018 Starnes Street in Augusta GA as it stands today

Residing on Starnes Street in Augusta, Richmond County, GA in 1930 was the BARKER Family. They are found in the 1930 U.S. Census records.  Census records are interesting reading; mostly fact interspersed with tidbits of fiction.

The head of the household was William W. (Washington) BARKER at age 32.  ‘M’ stands for male and the number ’19’ on his line of information tells his age when he married.  He worked as a ‘Car Inspector’ for the Railroad.

Essie E. (‘E’ is really Lee) BARKER is William’s wife, age 35 and married at age 22 according to the record but she was actually 25 years old when she married . . . but who’s counting?

Daughter Evelyn BARKER is 8 years old in this census.

William and Essie lived at the Starnes Street house until about 1960 and Evelyn lived there for her entire childhood.

William and Essie BARKER on Starnes Street

William and Essie BARKER abt 1959 standing in front of the Starnes Street Home


Just a Match Book, or More?

It’s just a matchbook cover but when I spotted it in a tin full of assorted matchbooks at a garage sale, it stood up and shouted to me “HERE I AM !!!!!!!”

 This is a matchbook that Charles HOPKINS‘ place of employment, “The Independent Life & Accident Insurance Company” used for years.  They must have made a few gazillion of them with half of that gazillion in our house.

It’s amazing how strong memories develop from childhood.  Smells and visual icons are like time machines for me, traversing years in mere seconds.

I’d never seen the Statue of Liberty but that was no reason for me not to know who she was.  Everyone knows her.  And even though the company was headquartered in Jacksonville Florida instead of New York, that was no reason not to use her as the main icon for the company.

Paper matchbook with scalloped edges, yellow with gold and black Statue of Liberty in center with gold surround of Independent Life Insurance Company.

The Last Two Letters of James DICKERSON

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Understanding and forgiveness appear in Letter 11.  The realities of war are described and as ever, James has a keen sensitivity to crops and prices of goods in the area.   He still has no money and is concerned about his family having shoes.

The last letter, number 12 is penned by someone other than James due to his injury.  He is in a Confederate Hospital in Richmond, VA.

Letter 11

Virginia  richmond      June the 20th

Dier wife      I take the plesier of droping you a few lines to informe you that I am well at this time and I hope this will find you all well      I reseved youre leter dated the 11 witch please me vary mutch to her that you was all well and you have become reconsiled about your spyses       I a sorra to think you had that opinion of mee       Wright pritchet died last night and his brother cant carry him home       it cost $40-$50 dolers to barry ethring so ther is no chance for the pore       I int to git my tipe to you for there is no chances        there is one hundred men in this company and about thirty four duty tha ar qurd of them that —- it gives them the brake         tha ar fiting every day in  – ———the ole gineral burnt everything up the tents and everything        we have only what we had on our backs        tell my farther [father] [1] that tome [Tommy] [2] is her and looks as well as I ever seen him       his ridgment is in our brigade       Corne is three dolars a bushel her      sirup is five dolars a galon       are you making aney corne       I reseved youre leter that tha ole mail in one day the 17       Yall rote to mee wether I got pleanty to eat or not       I doo sutch as it is       Bread and meat       wheat bread at that         wee git som beef ons a week       I have got a bunch of wheet      Crops is vary good her       you don’t no how glad I would be to see you all       I doo dreame about you aften times        I think if I doo ever git out of this I will stay at home the balans of my dayes     I don’t hav eny idea that tha war will last mutch longer Continue reading

What Else Happened in 1862?


James DICKERSON’s letters to his wife Clary were written in the year 1862.  Of interest are other events that happened the same year:

  • The first income tax was implemented;  3% of incomes less than $600.
  • Paper money called ‘greenbacks’ were issued to the United States by President Abraham Lincoln.
  • The United States Mint was established by Congress in Denver CO.
  • Bucharest was proclaimed the capitol of Romania.
  • Julia Howe published “Battle Hymn of the Republic”.
  • The U.S. Navy’s first ironclad ship was launched and in the same year their ironclad ship ‘Monitor’ sank off Cape Hatteras, N.C.
  • Congress outlaws polygamy.
  • Emancipation Proclamation was issued by Abraham Lincoln, freeing slaves in the U.S.
  • The Battle of Antietam was fought and was the single most deadly day of the Civil War with 23,110 casualties.
  • 1st pasteuriztion test completed by Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard.
  • The bowling ball was invented.

Unhappy and Upset – Letters 9 and 10 of James DICKERSON

Civil War Balloon 'Intrepid'

In Letter 9, James wants information from Clary to change his situation in the military stating that he ‘can’t live this life’.  His possesions include a blanket, napsack and discarded knife.

In Letter 10 the strain of separation from his wife is manifest.  It would be so interesting to know what Clary said in her letter dated June 4th.  We can only imagine  it expressed displeasure and some distrust after Letter 5 where James wrote about the women he had seen and his desire to go fishing with Clary.  James ends letter 10 rather cold and business like.

The National Park Service website astutely describes the average soldier of the civil war;  ‘They would face diseases they had never known and wounds they had never imagined. And through it all, these common-folk-turned-soldiers would endure homesickness to a degree none of them had ever envisioned.’

Letter 9

Richmond Virginia    June the 10 1862

Dier wife      I take the plesier of droping you a few lines to informe you that I am well at this time and I hope this will find you injoing the blesing      I want you to rite to mee as soon as you git this leter      I want you to rite to mee what ridment Wiley [1] is in Va and all about it for I don’t aime to sta her      I can get a transfer to my brother anewher you can fine out from J. Grant [2] and from Any Brown [3] the life I live      I cant live this life      I have got one blanket and my napsack and the knife that lutie give to Brown the time of the retreat he throde it away and I pick it up and I am a going to fetch it home if I cane      Nothing more at present only I remane youre husban until death

by D.J. Proctor to Mrs. C. Dickerson


[1] Wiley is James’ younger brother born 8 Oct 1835.  He enlisted in the 32nd Confederate Infantry Regiment, Company H.

[2] J. Grant is probably J.L. Grant found living in Proctor, Monroe County, GA at the time of the 1860 census.  He was born about 1825, was married and had 5 children.

[3] Any Brown is most likely Andrew J. Brown who enlisted in Company H of the 32nd GA Infantry Regiment on 6 May 1862 just as Wiley DICKERSON.

Letter 10

Virginia Richmond    June the 14 1862

Dier wife      I seat my self to informe you that I am well at this time      I reseved yore leter dated the 4 witch I was sorry to her that you was displeise with the one I sent you [1]     I ment no harme of it      you did not understand it about not being at home when you rote      I had no blank look nor the old man and wher did you git it and william Brown [2] told me that he heard your brother Henry say  that he was going to move you closer to his hous and I rote to you I would be glad to be at home so mee and you could go afishing witch was no harme      I have no spise ther [spies there] and I dont want you to rite to mee about none of youre Dam spise and if cant [d]o so I dont want you to rite at all you can use youre one plesier about it      I think that the war will come to a close      I am as hapy as if were soner      I see yankes every Day tha have berloones [3]      you dont rite whether you ar making any corne or not       So good evening      Nothing more at presant


[1] Letter 5 dated May 24

[2] William Brown was from Monroe County GA and enlisted in Jame’s regiment on th 4 Mar 1862

[3] Union army balloons were a common site in the Richmond area.  The ‘Gazelle’ and ‘Intrepid’ were two balloons used at this time.

From ‘Seven Days War Ballooning in the Civil War’ by James Green we learn:

” . . nearly daily balloon ascensions at Yorktown attracted much attention from the Confederates with the balloon being a constant target for their guns. Lowe stated, “the enemy opened upon it with their heavy siege guns or rifled field pieces, until it had attained an altitude to be out of reach, and repeated this fire when the balloon descended, until it was concealed by the woods.”

150th Anniversary of the Civil War

We are in the 150th anniversary of the Civil War 1861-1865.  There are many events commemorating this piece of history coming up in the next year or two. Many of our kindred dead were involved in this war.  It’s a great opportunity to enrich your lives while the anniversary is being observed.

You might find something of interest by looking at the Civil War Sesquincentennial Events site.  Just enter a state to see if anything is happening where you’re at.

Civil War Reenactment at Kennesaw Mountain National Park

For instance, this summer on July 28th there is an Artillery Demonstration at Kennesaw Mountain National Park, just northwest of Atlanta.

The Kennesaw Mountain Website posts tidbits of facts named “Did You Know”.  An example of one is below.

Did You Know –  Confederate armies were usually named for states or regions where they campaigned, while union armies were named after major rivers.  Thus the Confederate Army of Tennessee opposed to the Union Army of the Tennessee.