February 12th, 1863

Mt. Carmel, Thursday night, Feb. 12th

Dear, dear Husband,

I am only going to write you a “wee” letter tonight for I have written twice before this week, (by the way I wonder if you get all my letters, I never fail to write twice a week, so if you don’t get them in that proportion you don’t get all I write) I thought I would write a little tonight, because I have started your box today. I rather wanted to wait until I had another letter from you, was in hopes I would get one last night, but I had the box ready, and Alford would go to Mr. Hover today and get it off, so I sent it on and tonight I got your letter, written last Sabbath, and I find I didn’t quite hit on the things you wanted, that is all of them, although perhaps the horseradish will take the place of mustard. I am very sorry I didn’t know in time to get your cap for you, but I guess someone will be going to send before long, and I can send one, I am afraid I shouldn’t get the right fit, or ain’t there any fit to them, and how much had I ought to pay for one? You may write and tell me, for perhaps I shan’t have an opportunity to send before I get on answer to this.

I am sorry about Joe’s pies, tell him the word came one day too late, but he must try and get a task of yours, I didn’t send you as many pies as I meant to, but somehow every thing takes so much room. I hate to have you go with poor boots, and wet feet, because you think you can’t afford to have more. If you feel as if you was endangering your health by going without them, don’t think of the cost. I can get you a pair and send you, if I know enough to get such as you wanted.

You have never said whether you could get ink, pens, and paper without paying a big price for it. I put in two pens with your things they were all the new ones I had by me, I don’t know as they were good for anything, I didn’t try them, I didn’t think of putting them in until just as I mailed up the box, I put in some writing paper, I paid for that 20 cents a quire so you can tell whether it is much cheaper then you get it. I sent you a pepper box with pepper in it, you have never said as you wanted any but I have heard that they couldn’t get it then. There are two paper boxes marked for Cooke, and a bottle of Horseradish, Maria was marking one of his boxes, I said tell Mr. Billings that is Cookes, and he mustn’t look it, and I believe she wrote it on the box.

It has been an impleasant day snowed some, and rained some. Elford had the Fanny horse1 to go down, if it had have been pleasant, I believe I should have rode down with him (should you have been jealous?) and gone and seen Rebecca while he was in town, I haven’t seen or heard a word from her since I was down a long time ago, that I wrote you about.

Elford took down a box for Mrs. Bradley2, to go to Willis, if you want any things you must let me know for I can make up a little box and send by Hinsdale if he hasn’t are raised in his price, I believe I should send by him next time anyway, for he gets the things through so much quicker, when Aunt Sarah sent two Capt’s box by him, he charged 6 cents per pound, it cost 5 dollars to send that box, they had some heavy things an ax, hatchet, &c, I think Adams & Co Express must have raised on their price. I should think they charged a good deal more in preparation to the distance than they did but it may be that it is because you are not on any direct railroad communication they charge 5 cents per pound, I have the receipt, and if they don’t get it through to you I’ll sue them. Mayn’t I? When the things that we send get through to you poor fellows in good shape, we don’t mind the expense, but it is discouraging to have things get lost, or delayed and spoilt, I have heretofore had good luck in sending the little I have sent to you; hope you may get what I have sent today before it is spoilt.

The box was directed and the receipt given to be sent to Stafford Court house and whether they will deliver it to you there or leave it at the steamboat landing is more than I know, knowing when it started, perhaps you can judge as little how soon to look for it. I hope it won’t be over a week going. The receipt after acknowledging the payment to that place, reads “Which it is mutually agreed is to be forwarded to our agency most convenient to destination only, and there delivered to other parties to complete the transportation, on to the order of the consignee, or to the order of the quartermaster or other officer of the regiment to which the consignee is attached. It is further mutually agreed that the Adams Express Co are not to be held liable or responsible for the property herein mentioned after delivery to the army wagons or to the order of the officer of the regiment.”

Elford got your watch3 for me today, they charged 2.25 cts. It looks better than it did when it got home, I shan’t try and answer your letter tonight I will Sunday if nothing happens.

I am pretty well now, Louise is well only her teeth bother her yet. Mother sets here knitting your stockings she sends love, I got your letter which had the “useful”4 in it Monday night and answered it the same night. I felt rather blue that night and tired, and thought that the tone of your letter wasn’t like you, but I guess it was more my feelings then you. Your letter tonight seemed like your own dear self, and did my heart good. I asked baby and she had been down to Virginia playing with Papa’s boots, she said “I like to go down Ginia5 play Papa’s boots”, she was very much engaged about it, thought she could go if I would only put on her things.

I meant to have sent you some stamps, but I lent some today and have only one left I will get some before I write again, and now my dear husband goodnight with much love and many kisses. God in mercy keep you and bring you home to Carrie.

  1. Fanny was Cecil’s and Caroline’s horse. 

  2. Mary Elizabeth Bradley 

  3. Cecil had sent a pocket watch that had been broken back to Caroline to have her fix it. See his letter of December 20th

  4. In his prior letter, Cecil sent “a government five” — $5. 

  5. “Virginia”