Mt. Carmel, Sabbath eve, Jan 1863
My own dear Husband,
I haven’t found any time during the day to write, and have been hindered when I commenced, perhaps you won’t get much of a letter. Maria Cook has been in here this evening. She is talking of sending some things to her husband, and I guess by what she said, they’re hoping perhaps I would want to go send with her, but I thought I wouldn’t, for I mean to send you a box before long on my own hook.
I received your last Sabbath letter on Friday, the check came all safe, and I should have written to you that night as you requested, but Sue was in here, and said they were going to write to Joe that night, and would send word to you that it had come, and as I had written you the night before, I thought I would have them do so, I am glad to hear that you received the few things I sent you in the Capt.’s box in decent shape; the sausages, I believe I have written you before, I put up in a paper and marked them with your name, but they took them out of the paper so as to tuck them in where they would take less room.
Please tell me to what you allude when you say “there is some deviltry at this end of the road”, I hope that we are not nearer neighbors to the cloven footed gentlemen than other people but perhaps he would do less mischief at this end of the road than the other. If so, it is alright.
Now my husband why do you say that I hadn’t better send you anything more? Do you think because I make a plain strait forward statement of my finances to you, that I begrudge to have any more spent for you? If you think so, you are in the wrong for it is the greatest pleasure I have except receiving your letters, to do anything that will add to your comfort, and happiness. I tell you of all my little business affairs, because it seems natural to me to suppose that you would be interested, when I spoke of being sorry to economize on you, I felt as if you might think I had been rather mean and stingy in what I sent, I never have sent you as much nor as often as I would like to, and when we sent by Hindsdale I was rather short for money or was afraid I should be, for I knew that if Dea. Elisha called on me for the pay for the grass it would leave me a little short on Mrs. Doolittle’s note and interest, and I thought she might call on me anyway for that, for she seemed to think if Dea.’s bill and if other bills were brought in to her, she should want it, and I told her if she did, to call on me and she should have it.
Knowing as you do that I have had a good deal of money, I wouldn’t wonder if you might think strange that I should be short of the commodity, but I have a correct cash account of everything I spend, even to a postage stamp and some two weeks ago I looked it over and I had paid out more than 100 dollars, and had put by the 25 that I told you about; and 7 dollars will cover all I have spent for me, on baby, clothes; it seems mighty strange to me how so much has gone and yet my accounts will answer for every cent. I am sorry that you sent me the order, that is, if you could have converted it into money for your own use, I have no little debts (as I know of) to pay now, but what can be put off. I believe Dea. Elisha is usually in hand to settle his accounts the first June or thereabouts; but Boss Ed wants to make a turn with the Dea., and so I pay him, and if he has to wait a little, it won’t hurt him. I owe him a little over a dollar for a bushel of oats, and a qt. of rum he got for me the day we went to New Haven.
I haven’t paid Mr. Horn for the Tribune yet, but you know he never is out of money, and Mr. Babcock won’t send a sheriff after me yet a while I guess, for the pay for the Palladium1, and that is all I owe that I know of. I went down street yesterday, and Uncle Orrin said he would take that order but he couldn’t give me the money until sometime this week.
You say when you get paid off you will send me 40 or 50 dollars and that will enable me to get enough to eat for awhile, I didn’t know as I had complained of not having enough to eat and that this is good enough (I wish in my heart that you had as good) to be sure, I think best to live as much as we can on what we have without buying many extras, but we live well enough. I do economize on dress, and I feel as if I had ought to (I see all the soldiers’ wives don’t feel so). I don’t think that we ought either of us to spend money foolishly, but I don’t consider what is spent to make you more comfortable foolishly spent.
To be sure it is provoking that you men that leave all your home comforts and endure so much hardship shouldn’t be better cared for by the government, when they have made such a great hue and cry about doing so much for their soldiers, but because others do wring and cheat and speculate on this war, it is no reason why you should want for anything that I can do for you to make your lot any easier. You speak as if you had rather go without hardly anything than to have me want for anything, [unintelligible] have my dear Husband ever shown a willingness to do everything in your power for my comfort, but do you suppose I am quite so selfish as to want you to live altogether on “salt pork, and hard tack, in order that I can have all I want to eat and drink”? Now please don’t think anymore that because I speak to you (as it is very natural for me to) about our money matters; that I ain’t willing to send you somethings once in a while.
I was glad to hear that you was remembered by Dr. Stillman2; because you got a good bite by the means. How happened he to send to you? I though you hadn’t seen much of him since you worked in North Haven. Mr. Beach has moved his family into New Haven, he is going to work in some pistol shop I believe. What has he been saying about the boys? I haven’t heard anything, I guess he isn’t a man that what he said would make much difference with anyone’s opinion around here.
You say I don’t keep you posted on the Hamden news, I tell you pretty much all I get, although I had quite lately heard something about Uncle A—3 but as I didn’t know whether it came from a reliable source, I didn’t know whether to credit it or not. It don’t seem as if anyone that had such a dressy sprightly wife as he has would think of other ladies, I believe Aunt Mary is over 60 years old, but she feels and appears as much as a dozen years younger than I do.
I am glad to hear of B—s improvement, I should judge by report of him before he left that there was plenty of room for improvement, I think you were real mean on Joe, to all get some loads and then run off and leave him to get his and come alone. You tell him from me that he was smart enough to get back without being arrested and brought in a prisoner, and that I glory in his spunk in holding on that armful of wood, it certainly was worth saving.
It is refreshing to hear that the Capt. is trying to make you fellows over in to gentlemen, but you must try and keep alright with the Capt. if he does make a long eared one of himself once and the while.
I am glad the gloves suited you, I went to Church this afternoon, Mr. Thayer preached from Luke 21st, 19th “In your patience passes you your souls”. It was a good sermon, I wish it might learn me to exercising a little more patience. I came down from church with Mrs. Butler, her brother’s remains have been brought in to New Haven, the funeral is tomorrow. His name was Richard Fowler, he was Orderly Sergeant, he was so badly wounded in the battle of Fredericksburg that he had (I hear) an arm and a leg amputated, and only lived a few days. He has been dead some 4 weeks. He has a wife and two children in New Haven. She says it is the first death out of a family of 11 children. She has more brothers in the army.
Aunt Sarah wishes to be especially remembered to you, and (I sometimes read her part of some of your letters) wants me to tell you that your letters are a comfort to her, as well as me. John Fahey writes home so Mrs. Bryan says that Mr. Burleigh is the best man in the company.
I am reading “Among the pines, or the South in secession times”. I had heard it and seen it advertised in the Tribune and wanted to read it, but I am rather disappointed in it, it don’t show a wonderful sight of talent, or perhaps I am no judge, it belongs to George Dickerman I got it from Aunt Sarah’s, Edmund Kirke is the author.
It is well my paper is most used up for it is getting quite late and baby is getting uneasy in her cradle, she said today “she was going to write Papa lellie sometime”. I don’t believe I ever saw a child of her age talk so much, not even Mr. Brunson’s oldest hopeful, when she woke up this morning she sang “Papa’s way down in Dinkey (Dixie) come home Papa and see your lida baby”. I think she is like to make something such as a singer as her father. She seems to think that the louder she hollers the more music there is in it.
It has been very cold last night and today. I hope it ain’t so cold where you are. I have thought very much about you for fear you would be suffering with the cold.
Miss Cynthia is preparing her wedding paraphernalia I suppose. She is to be married in the spring.
Mother sends love and so do I, and lots of kisses hoping and trusting you are well and praying God to bless you. I bid you a goodnight,
[P.S.] I hear that Mr. Beach has letters from Mr. Paddock, are they chums, or is it business think?