Only four farms separated the two in 1860 when the census was taken. Since most of the Cassville, GA area was farmed, the distance could have been appreciable. Martha Ann GILREATH was 7 years old at the time living with her farming family while Western Hardy LINN or “Wheat” as he was known, helped with the family farm as a 12 year old young man.
They lived through the Civil War [1861-1865], she as a child and he a teenager. Both of their father’s served in the Confederate army, namely, George Holton GILREATH and Alfred Martin LINN. Although Western could possibly have fought, it appears that he did not. In 1864 their town of Cassville was ravaged so badly by the Union Army that it was only known by that name in memory and history books afterwards. But the dark night of war and destruction didn’t deter the sunrise of Martha and Western’s future.
By 1872 Martha, age 19 had made quite an impression upon Western “Wheat”. He began courting her via the written word [spelling and punctuation corrected]. Move over Mr. Darcy.
14 Sep 1872 Cassville GADear Martha,
Will you permit me to write. You did not ___ it is time___ give me the liberty to write to you neither did you decidedly forbid it therefore Continue reading