Item description: Letter, dated 29 December 1863, from Eliza Jane Lord DeRosset to her daughter Katherine Douglas DeRosset Meares (1830-1914).
Wilmington Dec. 29th 
It was with great pleasure I opened a letter from you this morning, my precious Katie, your letters have been so few and far between, that we had despaired of hearing again.
I cannot tell you how disappointed I was, that you were not with us at Christmas, I thought it might be the last Christmas we might ever spend in the old homestead, and there it was such a peaceful Holy day – even Frederick seemed to be impressed with the sacredness of the day. every where I turned the spirits of our loved ones seemed to be present with us, we had only Mr. and Mrs. Watson to dine with us, we could not let them take their dinner alone, they left soon after dinner to distribute alms, Loss went up to [Minnie's?], and some other place, so Pa’ and I were left entirely alone with Fredk. seated on the floor by us, we could not get him to go out, my darling Eddie’s sick bed was even before me and Oh how I miss his joyous laugh. I pray that he and Rufus are joining their songs with the ransomed host in Heaven, Mother was very sad all day – who was not sad.
Lou could not be with us his house is full, he seems heartily tired of housekeeping – no head to it. he is to hire Cattie’s Susie at $350. it will be too expensive for his purse but you will be here soon and know of all arrangements.
Susie goes up today to spend a week with her Father, she was disappointed at not leaving as soon as Willie and Liz left, but there has been no boat since last Wednesday, she will take this letter.
Give Arma and Rich a kiss for Bonnie. I think you might have sent them down to spend Christmas with us, they know nothing of their birth place or childhood home. Christmas ought to be a season of joy to the young, before the days of youth are dampened by trouble.
When will you come Kate we all long to see you and loving hearts are waiting to embrace you. I think Pa’ will try to keep you all until the Yankees make their appearance. Love to [?] we cannot spare you long to her.