18 January 1863: “I made twelve garments last week and worked sixty-two button holes and sewed on as many buttons. Can you equal that?”

Item description: Letter, 18 January 1863, from Bettie Maney Kimberly, Chapel Hill, N.C., to her sister, Annie Maney Schon, Atlanta, Ga.

Item citation: From the John Kimberly Papers #398Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

[Mrs. John L. Schon
Atlanta, Ga.]

Chapel Hill, Jan. 18th 1863

My dear Sis,

I was delighted this morning to find on my breakfast plate a letter from you. Your letters come so very seldom now that though I am always looking for one the sight of it is a most agreeable surprise. I am glad you received the bundle and if you don’t use the things I shall feel really hurt, but if you dare to send one single thing of them back I would be so mad that I would never forgive you as long as I live. Neither I or the children need them and I know you cannot get any thing of the kind now without paying ten or twelve prices for them and if I had enough to have supplied you entirely I would have sent it to you and only done what one sister should be glad to do for another and what one sister should be willing to accept from another and it will be mean and ingenerous in you to send them back. Use them if they can be of any service to you. They are a pitiful little gift I know and under other circumstances I would have been ashamed to send them. But whatever you do don’t send them back for seriously it would be an insult I could hardly forgive. Johnnie’s second tooth is through he has two teeth now and will not be five months old till the 26th, he is as bright and active as can be, [crowes?] and holds out his hands to come to me and looks as wise and knowing as a little old man, he is not brighter however than dear little Maney was and neither of them are any more so than your dear little Johnnie is if he has fulfilled the promise of his third month. but a mothers love and perhaps a mothers vanity can’t help thinking, talking and writing about these precious creatures. Mine I know have gotten such a tight hold among my very heartstrings that they must figure largely in whatever I do. I was so glad to hear from George and Frank and such good news too. But I feel very anxious and unhappy about dear Will. I do wish I could hear directly from him, do you ever write to him? You have never told me what rank Frank holds, tell me please in your next. What does Mr. Schon think of the prospects for peace now? Mr. Elliott says this year will close the war that there will be no more fighting after June and then President too in his message gives no strong hopes for an early peace – speaking of that message I think it is one of the finest things I have ever read. Jefferson Davis is one of [the] greatest of great men, such at least is my opinion after reading carefully his last message. How much of your sewing have you finished. I made twelve garments last week and worked sixty-two button holes and sewed on as many buttons. Can you equal that? How I do wish we could be together. Every morning while I am beating up Mr. Kimberly’s egg and brandy I think of Mr. Schon and wish there was a second one to prepare for him and send over to his room, or perhaps he would not think it as good medicine as Mr. Kimberly does, but I think it would be the best thing in the world for him. If you don’t go back to Nashville next summer Sis you must come back here. And Sis do write to Will to get a leave of absence and come on to see me this winter right straight. I intend to write him myself this week and beg him to come. I am sure it would do him good and I would be so so glad to see him. Give best love to Mr. Schon and thousands of kisses to dear little Johnnie. And write me as often as you can. Mr. Kimberly sends love and Mr. and Mrs. Elliott were here yesterday evening and both asked to be remembered to you and Mr. Schon. Lizzie & Emm always send love and the servants too. Fred was perfectly delighted that you remembered him and asked me to send his love back to you Mr. Schon and Johnnie with all love.

Your affectionate sister,
B.M. Kimberly

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