14 February 1864: “Ma often tells me what a good boy you are making of your John & says it is high time for me to begin to break my John’s will too, but that is something I never intend to do…”

Item Description:  Letter dated 14 February 1864, from Bettie Maney Kimberly to her sister, Annie Maney Schon.  In this letter, Bettie discusses her children and mother, as well as expresses her wish that her sister (Annie) could be there with her.14Feb1864114Feb18642

Item Citation:  Letter dated 14 February 1864, found in folder 44 in the John Kimberly Papers #398, Southern Historical CollectionWilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Mrs. J. L. Schon
Atlanta Ga.

Chapel Hill February 14th 1864

My dear Sis

I was prevented writing you on last Monday at my regular time and ever since I have been endeavored to find time to write you a few lines but last week was one of my busiest weeks for I had a great deal to do in the Laboratory helping Mr. K with his drugs and since Ash-Wednesday church every day so I have not been able to find one moments time to do anything. And I don’t know when I was ever as tired as I was last night when I went to bed at half past eleven having been hard at work all evening darning big holes in little stockings and patching and mending all sorts of garments. We did not get a letter from you this morning and Ma is consequently very miserable she thinks George must be worse or there is some bad news about some of the boys. I have been looking for two weeks for Johnnie’s measure which I wrote to you for some three weeks ago. I am anxious to make up a little dress I have for him so it will be ready to send by the first opportunity. I hope it will come tomorrow. How I do wish you were here Sis. I think of you & wish for you every day, and I am sure it would do John the greatest amount of good to be here and rough it with my little savages for a few months. You never saw three healthier little pine knots than my children are. And John is a perfect wonder, he goes to the wood pile and brings in a stick of wood for the fire and takes his basket and picks it up full of chips and can climb a fence better than Maney can. He is the greatest child in the world Sis so I think. Ma often tells me what a good boy you are making of your John & says it is high time for me to begin to break my John’s will too, but that is something I never intend to do Sis and I am afraid you are making your John too good. Let him be moderately bad Sis for boys that are any good never thrive. Are George and sister still in Atlanta? I have been looking for them here for the last week as I thought George would take advantage if this fine weather for his trip to Richmond. Ma says do to beg Sister to write to her and tell her every thing about George for she is so very miserable for fear he is worse. She says too do try and find out some news about Frank and write it to her. She wrote to Will the other day and directed the letter to the care of Mr. Schon and she wants to know if you ever received it. She tells me too to ask you if you wrote to Pa as you intended to do when she left Atlanta. I believe they are all the questions she told me to ask you. She send a great deal of love to you & says she does wish she could be with you and Johnnie & says kiss he dear little fellow for her. I wish you were here Sis almost as much for Ma’s sake as I do for my own for I think she would be so much better satisfied if you were. She seems to be the most unhappy creature I ever saw. Well Sis, I expect you think me and my letters are stupid enough and so I am so I will say good-night. Give best love to Mr. Schon and many kisses to dear little John & tell him Mama Bettie does wish he was here to enjoy a nice romp outdoors with her little ones and he should have a nice ride in the wagon & get his sweet little face & his nice clean apron just as dirty as he pleased making mud pies & picking up chips. Oh I do wish so much that you were here with me you must come as soon as you can Sis. Good-night with all love

Your affectionate sister
B. M. Kimberly


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