Letters of the Civil War years reflect homesickness, despair, and hardship of both soldiers and families. Soldiers wanted to learn every bit of information from home and inquired not only of family and friends, but also of the church, farms, crops, and cattle. They often asked for clothing and food to be sent to them by someone returning to their unit from a furlough home.

Pinkney Turner, a private in Jesse A. Clement's company, with Lee's Army in Virginia, wrote frequently to Dr. James McGuire of Mocksville. He reminisced and re-kindled interest in the everyday simple things past. Turner wrote that he would like to "help with harvest," that "your corn husking will be this week and I would like much to be at it," and that he would like "to see the old house…" Turner asked Dr. McGuire to send him a pair of boots specifying, "I want them double soled and put up altogether of good material with high legs - and in short - a good durable pair suitable for winter. I will enclose the measure in this letter - I am not particular about the price….the whole string is the length of my foot and to the knot near one end is the thickness…"

Pinkney Turner was a first cousin of Dr. McGuire. Approximately the same age, they lived near each other and were close friends. After the war, Turner lived near the present Hardison Methodist Church, where he farmed, operated a cane mill (molasses) in season, and did cabinet work.