Wallingford, Oct 16th/62
It was with much pleasure I received your letter last evening, and take the first opportunity of answering it. I am enjoying myself as well as could be expected, shut up in the house with the diphtheria. I was taken about a week ago with a dreadful sore throat, but the Dr. says he thought he could break it up as it was taken in season, if I would be very careful. It is very much better this morning, and I thought I would improve the time so as to be sure to answer your letter. I think you will not find any fault with me this time, at least.
We were expecting to go over to your house again, in about a week from the time [we] were there, but I cannot go at present, for I have received orders (not marching orders) not to go outside the door for two weeks, and I suppose I must obey. My health has not been good at all this summer and I never expect it will be very good again, but that remains to be seen.
John’s health is much better now than it has been for a long time before; I expect it cured him to enlist. I was very glad they did not accept him (you see I am very selfish), but if he had got to go I made up my mind to make the best of it, I did not say one word to discourage him from enlisting for I thought if he was able he would be obliged to go and I had rather he would go with those he was acquainted with.
He has plenty of work, he is making a new kind of knife for Ms. Wallace called “ladies pocket fruit knife”1. It is made of German silver, plated, it is very pretty but I should think it was the wrong time for that kind of work.
I was very glad to find Mrs. Burleigh as [in] check, I expected to find her so for she is a sensible woman and knows better than to make her family miserable by giving way to her feelings long at a time. Martha says she was going to write the next day after we were over there, but perhaps she has forgotten it before this. She never lived with you as long as I, and perhaps [she] doesn’t feel as well acquainted, if she did she would not forget to write.
We were down to New Haven and visited the campground before the 15th left, it was the next day or two after your company went into barracks. John enquired for you a number of times, but you were nowhere to be found, they said you were on the ground, but could not tell where. I was very much disappointed, but you know this world is full of disappointments, there is another where disappointments are unknown.
“Blest land! upon whose blissful shore there rests no shadow, falls no stain, where those who meet shall part no more and those long parted meet again.”2
Mr. Hopkins has lost their only child, she died about 2 weeks since, with diphtheria, aged 6 years. Perhaps you remember her, this is the 4th child they have lost and now they are left alone. I think they are to be pitied.
I am very much obliged for your picture. I think it is very good indeed, and while I write, it stands before me looking straight in the face without even a smile. John says it will do very well to write letters, but when a gentleman sends his picture he thinks it means something. I tell him of course it does. He thinks he shall write a letter and load it with powder, I presume it would be acceptable, as you deal in the article.
You know him, have seen him before, I believe, he wishes to be remembered to you and will write as soon as convenient. I must not write more for I am tired, I have not done as much before for some time. Please answer soon and believe me your true friend.
These silver-plated folding knives held a blade and a pick designed to easily remove fruit seeds. ↩
This is probably Ruth Hall, mother of John Hall. Cecil mentions in his next letter to Caroline that he sent a letter to “John Hall’s folk” and almost immediately received a reply. ↩