Mount Carmel, Sabbath Morn, October 5th ‘62
Ever dear husband,
This is a beautiful Sabbath morning. Everything looks so beautiful, quiet, and peaceful that I can hardly realize that our country is engaged in such a cruel war and that my husband has got to take part in such bloody business. What should we have said a few years ago, if we had have known that we should ever come to this.
I received your letter last night written Wednesday night, and it grieved me sorely to learn that [you] hadn’t received my letter; and yours showed such a general tone of disappointment and feeling that I was neglecting you that it made me shed bitter tears in sorrow for you. I don’t blame you, for if I shouldn’t get your letters, I should feel desolate and heartbroken; they are all that keep me from feeling entirely so now.
I am discouraged about writing, whatever I do, I can’t blame myself about it. When you wrote your last, there were 4 of mine on the way somewhere, this is the 5th, one was the 28th, one the 30th of Sept, one the 1st, one the 3rd [of] Oct. You speak of my writing certain articles1, I don’t lay it to that, they will have some work to do if they read over all my long letters to see what there is in there. In anything I have written to you, I haven’t spoken as plainly as many of the soldiers letters do that are printed in the papers. I haven’t said half [of what] I think, but if that can possibly make any difference about your getting my letters, I will leave it all off entirely. We can’t think exactly alike, but we won’t fight about that.
I can’t be devoid of selfishness if you are; you seem to think [of] your family [as] secondary, but you are worth more than anything else to me. Perhaps I fall short, but I think you go a little too far for these days; you are better fitted for the days of the Revolution.
Do the rest get their letters? If so I think very strange about your’s. I wish Brainard Ives would write more to his mother, I think he would if he only knew how much she would prize it, perhaps you could advise him to, in a way that he wouldn’t feel that you were interfering.
I was so glad to hear that you got some breakfast Wednesday morning2, I should think that when you have been without so long (and must be so hungry) that when you do get a chance at any thing to eat, you would eat enough to hurt you, I don’t see how you could hardly help it.
You didn’t say anything in your two last letters about how you were feeling, and how your cough was, do you think those pills of Dr. Foot’s did you any good? Shan’t I try, and send you some more? I am so anxious about your health, I am afraid you try and make out to me that you are much better than you are; if you were likely to be sick, I suppose they wouldn’t let you come home, [even] if they knew it would save your life.
I am sure you would forgive me if I do scold some; if you knew how my heart yearns to see you, how I long to hear your voice of sympathy and love, and that I can’t feel that there is any certainty of any ever seeing you again, or if I should, the time is so far distant, and that there is coming a cold dreary winter, in which you (if you live) will have to go through with so much exposure, and suffering. If you are such I intend to come to you if possible, but it might not be, and it seems as if I never could be reconciled to your suffering and dying there without my being able to do any thing for you, and without your having things for your comfort, but oh my dear husband, I hope it is God’s purpose to bring you home to me, I dare not think of the utter wretchedness, and desolation of heart, that [I] would be in store for, were it otherwise, but we can’t know. If you should be taken, haven’t you some wishes you would wish to be carried out, respecting baby/myself? It would be a satisfaction to me if I lived, to feel that I was fulfilling your wishes; what would I have to live for, but to do what I could for our child, and do it in a way that would please you!
Oh how I wish you could see our darling, I think she is looking better than she was; she is pretty well now. You say you want to hear from her, I know you do and in every letter I write, I say a great deal about her, for I know how dear she is to you, and I think you will like me to tell you about her, and her childish prattle, she says she is “papa’s darling babu”, she will seem to think sometimes, that she hears you coming, she will run excitedly to the door and call “Papa”, she says, “Papa come to me, for Papa come home”. She is very interesting now, too bad that you must be away and lose all the comfort you would take with her, she improves very fast about talking. She is a pretty good girl, she has some tantrums of course, but I haven’t yet seen any very decided will in her, she is spunky but quiet over it. She stomps her foot at Tiger when he doesn’t do to suit her, and scolds at him good, [unintelligible] until after church.
Louise says “where’s my dear Papa”.
In Cecil’s letter of the first, he wrote:
It seems a little strange to me that I don’t hear from you oftener, perhaps you write contraband articles, if so, you had better alter your tone so that I can hear from you once in a while for it is hard for me to be away from you and not hear how you get along and I want to hear from the baby. ↩
In his letter written on the first, Cecil wrote about eating breakfast in Frederick after a trip that left their only food spoiled. In the first letter written that day, he mentioned that food could not be found “for love or money”, only to write a few hours later that he did manage to buy a breakfast. ↩