GIRL MADE AN ORPHAN BY
EVENTS OF THE CIVIL WAR
From: Goshen Trails, Vol. 9, No. 1, Jan. 1973; p. 14
Printed by permission.
From: The McLeansboro Times, Thursday, July 13, 1882
AFTER MANY YEARS
The following letters kindly sent us by Mr. Warfield, living near Dahlgren, will fully explain themselves:
Belle City, Ill.
I will send you an item of news
that is creating quite a sensation in our vicinity. It is concerning
an orphan girl by the name of Sarah Ann Campbell who has been living in
our county for several years. She got lost from her people during
the war and has made her own living since she was six years old. I
have been writing for some time to different places to try and find her
people and have at last succeeded. On the 12th of June I wrote a
letter to the county clerk of Sebastian County, Ark., and requested him to
have it published. It was published in the Fort Smith Elevator and
the editor sent me the paper, I will send you the letter and remarks
by the editor as I clipped from his paper as it will explain how Miss
Campbell got lost from her people. I have received letters from all
over Sebastian County in answer to my published letter, stating that they
were acquainted with the Campbells, and that there was no doubt of Miss
Annie Campbell (as we call her) being the long lost niece of Mr. S. P.
Campbell, of Greenwood, Ark. The letters state that she has half
interest in a good, large cotton farm on the Arkansas River, also that her
guardian has had a large amount of money on interest for her ever since
she was lost. I will send you Mr. S. P. Campbell's letter as he
wanted it published for the reason that he has friends in this state still
looking for her.
Many of our citizens remember well the days of 1863 when widows and orphan children were placed on steamboats and sent north by the Federals to be placed in homes prepared for them. They were termed refugees, and every steamboat that left this landing was crowded with them and what little household goods they possessed. What become of them it hard to tell. Some made their way back to their homes at the close of the war, while others remained where they were. The writer remembers going to Little Rock from this place on a boat whose cabin will filled with little orphan children whose ages ranged from one to five or six years. They were in the charge of Mrs. R M. Johnson, one of Fort Smith's most estimable ladies, who was taking them to some orphans home north we dis-remember at the point.
The above was recalled to our mind by the following letter, which was handed us by Capt. J. H. McClure, deputy county clerk, which we published hoping it will enable the young lady in question to find her friends:
To the Clerk of the County Court of Sebastian Co., Ark.
Dear Sir: I am desirous of obtaining information
concerning some people who I think reside in your locality by the name of
Campbell. I have a girl staying with me by the name of Sarah Ann
Campbell that says she got lost from her people during the war. She
lived near the line of the Indian country. I will give you her story
as she tells it to me. Her father and mother are both dead.
She had a sister named Betty, who us also dead. Betty was married,
but Sarah can't remember her husband's name, but she does remember that he
was killed in a harvest field. Sarah was about six or seven years
old at the time. She had two brothers, William And Samuel. She
thinks William was in the Army. She had two uncles also named
William and Samuel Campbell. One of them she thinks was her
guardian. She remembers that there was a battle fought at or near
Fort Smith, and a large number of women and children were put on a boat
and sent to Cairo, Ill., and she was among the number. Since that
time she has not heard of any of her people. She was placed in the
Orphans Home at Cairo, but does not remember how long she remained
there. An Irish woman stole her away from this place, and kept her
until she was discovered by an old colored woman who worked at the home,
when the proprietor came and took her back. She was next sent to
'Sandoval to live with people by the name of Bond. Next she was sent
to Salem and from there to Mathew Youngs. From there she drifted
down into this county. I have been acquainted with her for about
five years. This is a girl of excellent character, and it would
almost melt a heart of stone to hear her cry and talk of her people.
She may have lived in Scott County. Now if you can anything toward
finding her people, please do so and address me as above. She about
25 years of age, has dark hair and black eyes. She was living at
Cairo when President Lincoln was assassinated.
If any of our readers can give the above lady any information in regard to the relations of Miss Campbell they would confer a great favor on her. Other papers are request to mention the above in such manner as they choose.
Mrs. Warfield--Dear Lady:
You have done what wit, money and many years of time have
failed to accomplish. Your lady friend, Sallie Campbell (as she was
called when a child), has been a lost member of Campbell family for many
years--since the war was closed. No pains have been spared in trying
to find her. I have written many letters to your state and
advertised in several Illinois papers from which I only received one reply
and that from a man signing his name Obeyan, who stated that he had
married a girl of that name though she could not remember the state she
was from or any of her people's names and that she had been in the Orphans
Home. I gave the letter to her sister and brother-in-law who
traveled through Illinois trying to find her. We had about given her
up for dead, when on yesterday I went to the post office, the mail was a
little behind time and by the time it arrived and was distributed the room
was crowded, they soon began to read their papers and being acquainted
with most of them my attention was called to your letter which appeared in
the Ft. Smith Elevator. The girl is my niece, she had two
brothers and three sisters, only one sister is living. Her
brother-in-law was not killed as she thought; he was captured by the
Confederates and held until the close of the war; he has since died.
Her uncle William is dead. I was in Kansas at the time she was taken
from Ft. Smith. She has an interest in a farm here, if she wishes to
come here either to live or on a visit I will assist her. Will you
please see her and if she wants assistance let me know. I dropped
her a card yesterday. Please had this to some editor for
publication, as I have friends in your state still on the lookout for her.
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