Item description: Letter, dated 6 August 1863, from Catherine (Cattie) Kennedy in South Carolina to her stepmother Catherine DeRosset Kennedy. Cattie discusses her brothers’ sickness and various treatments, as well as household expenses.
[Transcription available below images.]
Solitude Aug. 7th 1863
Annie was to have written to you to day dearest Mother but I find I can spare a few moments from brother William, as he has company with him. He has been extremely feeble for several days part takes very little nourishment only beef tea and a mint Julep four times a day. His cough seems only from his throat now a tickling there which trouble him very much and the matter accumlates in his throat and it is terrible for him to get up. We give him a half gram of morphine every night. Miller’s visit was a great comfort, dear sweet fellow, he was all hearts during his little stay. He hated to leave, but his furlough is short, and he has not seen Mollie[?] for seven months and does not know when he can get another and his health is worse than it was two months ago. His visit seemed very grateful to brother William. Before Milton came brother William was very ill one night and the Doctor wanted him to become quiet and sleep. I told him he must say the prayer he said, when a little child – “Now I lay me down to sleep”. He repeated every word, very earnestly, and then said, “God grant I may utter it with all the earnestness and simplicity of a child”. He then said, “the [?] is very beautiful, one place applies, especially to a dinner “That it may please thee to give to him repentense – to forgive us all our sins, negligences, and ignorances!”
Dear brother William! He [?] very little [?] I think he is [praysing?] – I [?] – he seems like he does not want to hear anything, and it [?] me, but I [hurt?] it is rily the weakness of his poor emaciated body – as he has several times said he deplored his mind – deplored his want of feeling – and certainly that must be the workings of the Spirit. But I want more than that – and do pray oh! so earnestly for him. I wish we could be with you dear Mother, or you could be with us, but I know it is impossible. And darling Kate – she would be a comfort to us both – but God’s will be done. We want for nothing – everything in the world that can be had – is at our command, and love and kindness, with it all. Mrs. Preston is one of the [?] women I ever knew. Every body is kind and good – Thank God – for friends. Dr. [Cotes?], Johnnie’s friend is here, came on Tuesday. I think he came especially to see Nannie Preston – but he [?] here, and is so kind, and tender, with brother William. [Billie?] Hall is here too, came yesterday. I had a note from him last week, [saying?] he came to the Yellow Sulphur for his health, but had been very sick there,and [would?] come to see us this week. Mrs. Preston made me write and ask him to come and see us – he looks badly seems feeble, but is much better than when he came, begs to be very kindly remembered. I hope Willie’s [?] is better. My love to his mother. Dear Mother, I am very much [?] to you for paying Mr. Willard’s bill, but I am sorry you did it. You will want tho many and it might just as well have waited until my return, as he did not send it at [just?] and I am afraid to send the money by mail. It worries me because I want you to have the money. I don’t know what to say about the cloth – I reckon you might as well take four bales – two tens [two?] twelve and have the cloth made. You will find the other bales in the bottom of that large trunk in the closet. I don’t like to [?] for one bale. Brother William sends love, so does Mrs. Preston. Annie too. Much love to each one for me – [?] hear of [mom?] Bella. Do write whenever you can Dearest Mother.
In greatest love, Your own daughter,