26 May 1861: “By the late papers I’ve seen the account of the unanimous secession of No. Ca. It is great comfort & strength in these awful times that there be no divisions among us.”

Item description: Letter, 26 May 1861, to Jane Caroline “Carey” North Pettigrew. The letter is unsigned but is believed to have been written by Pettigrew’s aunt Minnie (based on handwriting similarities among other items in the collection).

Please see item transcription below the images.

Item transcription:

Waverly, Sunday

May 26th

My dearest Carey,

I received your welcome letter of 12th inst., rather more than a week ago – and it should have been answered immediately but I have been much indisposed and was in bed for a week and now am obliged to be [very] quiet. I wrote to [Marina?] who consulted Phoebe Edward and she has sent me some very bitter powders, which I hope will strengthen me. I really suffer with a pain in my back which makes me [?] good for nothing. It is only debility I suppose for I have had no touch of fever. I took the opportunity when “[?] upon my back,” to do what is truly irksome when one can do anything else: I darned. I have the comfort of feeling that Joe’s socks are in good repair. Would that such comfort could last longer!

To the number of my discomforts I have added a very active spring weather cold and spend a good deal of my time in sneezing. The weather has been strangely cool for more than a week past, but today it even hints at July.

We move to the beach tomorrow and the next day. Everything looks so green and pleasant that I am reluctant to leave, except when I think of the sea breeze. I hope the surf bathing will be of service to me too. By the late papers I’ve seen the account of the unanimous secession of No. Ca. It is great comfort & strength in these awful times that there be no divisions among us. Missouri is gone from us I suppose and the last account of the action of the Kentucky Legislature is utterly against the South. One thing is quite certain there will be no fighting in Baltimore. Today’s paper brings the account by telegraph of the invasion of Alexandria. What the next news will be who can tell?

God help and guide & shield our brave soldiers! They cannot conquer us in the end but when I read of the vast numbers that are collecting against us  I shudder to think of the activities they may have it in their power to commit. You have doubtless read in the Courier of “Hampton’s Legion.” It is a great idea and in his hands will be greatly carried out. Mr. Harleston[?] read in was to have raised a company to join it, in the Pee Dee County but I hear it has failed. Too few men I suppose! The great military spirit displayed here in the winter seems to have enchanted officers and men. One hears but little of it now, and the most efficacious man in the whole county has left to apply for a place in Virginia. I fear we are rather defenseless but if trouble comes to our door I trust we will find a way to meet it. Ben is in Charleston as you know. We have not heard whether he has a placein the Army. I suppose not. Uncle Alston came over the other day and dined with us. He was very pleasant and cordial.

Mama writes me that she leaves on 3d June. It is like a second parting. I shall hear so seldom and at such long intervals. Dear Carey how are they to do without youthis summer? and are you & the children to spend the whole summer at the lake? I trust you may yet find it possible to join them at Badwell[?]. BUt of course duty is beyond all other considerations.I feel as if Mama especially wanted the consolation of your presence & the diversion of the children’s prattle. I amvery much pleased with the account ofyour new house & congratulate Brother Charles & you upon his energy & success. It must be delightful to be in sight of the lake again. I feel the deepest interest in your account of Mrs. Collins. Pray give her my affectionate love. Where was George & his wife. The COllins have not volunteered in Va.have they? I can’t find about Johnston and his regiment. I saw a report that it was to be accepted and then have heard nothing more of it. He will not remain inactive. I know and am very much interested to hear of his plans.

Joe has written him but he is nothing of a correspondent any time & less if possible now. Aunt Adele is very down. I hear aunt [?] is not well. Which grieves me much.

Item citation: From folder 242 of the Pettigrew Family Papers #592, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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