Secor Family Genealogy: Exploring Our Ancestry

Letter from Civil war Soldier George Gay to Sarah Taylor Given to Susan Taylor Secor by R. B. secor, Oct. 29, 1976

Kingston Georgia November 7th 1864

Absent but not forgotten friend it is with much pleasure that I now take my pen in hand to write you a few lines to let you know that I am well at present and hope that this short note may find you the same. I suppose you have heard that I was a soldiering by this time but I am in hopes that you will hear before long that we are all through soldiering. For my part I should like to so I could see Perry again. I have not heard from him but once in 3 months but in hopes to hear from him before long. John is in Wisconsin and we are scattered all over the world but if I live to see my time out I shall come around through York state. Elias and Joeann was at our house when I left but have not heard from them since. I have had only one letter from home since I have been here. When we was coming from Nashville to Chattanooga the Johnnies tore up the track and run us off the track but I was on the top of the cars so I jumped off in the ditch. We have been on a raid after Wheeler and Forrest about 2 weeks and in fact we have been on the march ever since we have been here. When we was on the raid we did not get anything to eat. Only what we stole as we went along. To one place we got 2 bushels of flour and some butter and honey and then we lived first rate. I wish I could see Perry but I don't suppose I will get a chance until my time is out. We are going to stay here to vote and then we are going to march again. It is reported that we are a going to Charleston and Mobile and from there to Richmond. If we do we will have some hard times. We are a going to destroy everything as we go and we have commenced it now. Have burnt the most of the houses around here. I recken if Abe gets elected the rebs will know they will have another 4 years to fight and will play out soon. It is getting time to get dinner and get readdy for drill this afternoon so I shall have to close by bidding you a good by. From your friend George, George Gay, To Sarrah Taylor my love to all. Write soon and tell John to write and Liza.

Direct to Chattanooga Tennessee 13th Mich Infantry Co. K and it will follow the regement.


I did some digging and found George Gay. There is only one associated with the 13th Michigan Infantry and he died in Savannah of disease. Of the people mentioned in this letter, Sarah Taylor married Oliver G. Secor in 1868. Her sister Eliza married Perry Gay, George's brother. Perry served in the Civil War in the 111th infantry, Company B. He enlisted in 1862, was enrolled as a Corporal and was promoted to Sergeant Feb. 1, 1865. He was injured at Aquetuck Creek, near Alexandria, VA and discharged with the rest of his regiment in June of 1865 (from Military History of Wayne County).

In the 1850 census, George, Perry and their brother John, who is also mentioned, live with their parents George and Mary in Savannah, NY. They apparently have moved to Michigan by the 1860 census. Perry must have stayed behind because he is not listed in the 1860 census and enlisted in the Army in New York while George enlisted in Michigan. The 2nd John that is mentioned, towards the end of the letter, is probably John Taylor, Sarah's brother.