Check listings on "Searching Monroe County Roots" presented by The Monroe Journal, Online EditionExcerpted from "Late Confederate Widow's Years Recalled," Monroe Journal, Centennial Edition, 1866-1966, Reprint Ed., p. 38F
This comes from recollections of a Real Daughter recorded about the time of the Centennial of the War. Nearing her hundredth birthday at the time of this interview, Susan Catherine Middleton Easley died a few years later.
Susan Catherine Middleton Easley the eighth child of thirteen children that included one set of twins. Susan Easley's sister Frances Somerall, was 95 and living in Montgomery, at the time of Susan's interview. Susan Middleton Easley, born in Wilcox County, was the daughter of John M. and Eliza Middleton. She lived at Asberry, on the Old Federal Road near Old Texas, when she married Anslem Anthony Easley. In the 1960's, Susan said, "[t]he old home is still standing, ... Andrew Jackson cut that road in one day. It was also called the Stagecoach road."
Anslem Anthony Easley volunteered in the CSA at age 16 and served in Co. F, 1st Battn. Ala. Artillery at Fort Morgan and also in Co. B 1st Battn. Ala. Artillery. At one time he was attached to 5th Co., Washington Artillery of La. Easley was paroled at Meridian, Miss. on May 10, 1865.
Susan Middleton Easley said that the sound of Dixie and the sight of a Confederate flag brings tears to here eyes and "In my heart there's a feeling I can't describe."
The "Lee" in her daughter's Mittie Lee's name is for Gen. Robert E. Lee who Susan's husband know and loved as a kind-hearted man who talked much about God.
Susan's husband never talked about the War but her father, John M. Middleton did. "When my children were little they wanted to go every night to hear 'grandpa' talk about the war. He and his brother, also a veteran, sometimes talked all night. Susan's mother, Eliza Middleton, had three small children when John Middleton went away to war.
Susan Easly recalled, "[m]y mother had three small children when he went away -- only God knows how they lived through that terrible war. There were heartbroken, but patriotism and love of liberty demanded that the Yankees should be driven away at any sacrifice, she said. For four years she worked in the fields on the farm. They were very poor. Food, seed and livestock were scarce -- and they almost starved. My mother had only one cow -- and two of her children died from want of milk, she said. There were no bottles for babies -- they were fed with a cup, a reed and a piece of cloth."
Mrs. Easley said some of the soldiers became so crazy from hunger they deserted the army. "My father starved so long, when he came home he picked up every crumb from the floor. His feet were frozen from walking barefooted in the snow, and he was wounded in the arm. But he lived to be 90 years old and drew a pension."
Susan recalled, "[d]uring the war women gathered together to spin, weave, knew, sew and quilt. My mother said one night the Yankees came to a neighbour's house where they were making cloth and knocked. When the [ neighbour] went to the door, they chopped her fingers off and took all the cloth from the looms."
She recalled her father, John M. Middleton, being home on furlough and hiding in the plum orchard to avoid Yankees. "They took the horses and all the meat from the smoke-house. A Negro woman at Riley's Crossing told them where the horses were hidden."
Susan recalled that while she grew up in hard times and often worked for fifty cents a day, they had a good time, too. Weddings and logrolling were big events; she recalled her mother cooking chickens in the wash pot and baking 30 potato pies for a log-rolling. Susan had four dresses a year: two in the spring and two in the winter out of home made cloth. However, the cloth for her wedding dress was bought in Greenville. "It was beautiful, and I remember just who it looked." Susan attributed her long life to "hard work and trusting the Lord."
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