In the Dixie Diary, Sarah Morgan felt forced to leave home with what the family could fit into a trunk. I made my block with the Union blue in the center to honor my ancestors.
On April 7th, Billy wrote a letter to his brother and sister from the General Field Hospital near Murfreesboro, and reported he is feeling "bully this morning, couldn't as to feel any better." He doesn't know when he will be sent back to the regiment but he is not going to borrow any trouble about it. He is nursing four men, one of them a wounded Rebel. He describes him, "He is a strong southern man but says they will never get him to fight any more... ...they don't expect to ever whip us, they are only fighting to see if some foreign nation won't help them after awhile. He also says that they also have hopes of the north dividing and getting to fighting among themselves. But he says that the south is getting more and more divided every day." Billy doesn't know whether to believe him or not adding later, "I know nothing about politics and war."
Shep's sisters Joanna and Carrie, and his mother wrote him a letter on April 12th and 13th. Joanna's part tells of a buggy accident the day before, involving my great-great grandmother Dorcas W. The horse got scared and ran over the buggy in front, throwing two of the three women riders as well as those in the first buggy "in a pile." Dorcus saw the accident coming and fainted before she fell out. "Of course, she was hurt very bad and did not come to her right mind until this morning." Carrie has begun to study Butler's Grammer which she thinks she will like better than Pineas, and says they are thinking about going to Muscatutuck a fishing some Saturday. She wishes Shep and Billy were there to go along, then adds, "what good does it do to wish. I don't want you to come until you can come honorable. I really hope you will soon whip the South and all our noble boys return to their once happy home."
Shep's mother's letter is touching because it's clear she fears she will never see either Shep or Billy again. She also mentions their father is "very bad off with his old complaint, he can hardly get about. Is not able to do any work, think I never knew him so bad." She doesn't know what they will do for help on the farm, "unless we dress Carrie in male attire and set her to plowing" because hands are very scarce. She talks about the status of crops in this cold "backward" spring, saying the peach trees are beginning to bloom, they are very full of buds. "Don't know as there will be any peaches. If there is, would like to have you come home and eat peaches but we don't know who will be in the land of the living by that time."
In contrast with younger brother Billy, on April 17th, Shep writes a letter to Joanna from Fort Pillow, full of his awareness of the politics at home and on the front. He starts by saying he's not all that anxious to leave the garrison duty for "I am sure we have as good times here as we could ask for. Plenty to eat and plenty to wear. Not much to do and as a general thing, very healthy." He then goes into the point of his letter. Apparently Joanna talked about wearing a Butternut breast-pin which he asks her not to do, saying he wishes the people of the North would not fight amongst themselves. "But I do not consider when one calls me a Secesh or Butternut (because I am a Democrat) that I am justifyable in wearing a Secesh badge or doing anything to encourage the South and create discord in the North. The present administration may do things that we think is not right but is it not better to submit to it and let them have their way until we can honorably elect other men in their places?" He does not believe the South will accept any settlement, only on "terms to suit themselves and to do that would only leave us just as bad off as when we commenced. Let that be as it may, it is not worth while to be trying to whip a set of Rebels and at the same time sympathise with them. It is true we should love our enemies but we can do that and put down the rebellion and that by fighting too, for that is the only way that I can see for it to be done." He knows his family wants him and Billy to come home safely but "this great war is upon us and we cannot get rid of it until one side or the other gives up. But which side that will be depends upon the Union or dis-union of the North. If the North will unite with a determination to put down the rebellion I believe it will soon be done but with part of them pulling one way and part the other, I believe we will never whip the South."