2 April 1864: “I cannot help but hope that this will be the last year of the war, they cant carry on the war successfully & a presidential election.”

Item description: This letter, dated 2 April 1864, was written by Confederate private J.T. Kern while he was stationed in Dalton, Georgia. Kern’s mother had written him about the trials of living under Union occupation in Mississippi and his anger was clear. Writes Kern, “God surely will not suffer such inhuman monsters to torture us much longer, but will dash them to pieces in his wrath.”

[transcription available below images]

18640402_01 18640402_02

Item citation: From the Joseph Mason Kern Papers, #2526-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription: 

Camp 45th Miss. Regt. Dalton Ga.

Saturday April 2nd 1864.

Dear Mother, Yours of the 29th Feb. to Sis. Bee was received a few days ago, I am always glad to read one of your letters yet it always makes me sad, it brings your lonely & desolate con- dition so plainly to mind with all you have suffered since this cruel war commenced. Let us hope that this cruel strife will soon end in our independence and that we shall soon see each other again. It is so hard for me to think of your having to work so hard & having to submit to so much from the hated enemy. your every letter intensifies my hatred for them & I can well Genl Cleburne & say “I am fighting for our ven- gence”, we have good cause to fight for it, every paper we read tells some horrible tale of their inhuman treatment of our defenseless women & children; God surely will not suffer such inhuman monsters to torture us much longer, but will dash them to pieces in his wrath, I cannot help but hope that this will be the last year of the war, they cant carry on the war successfully & a presidential election. If all our armies are in the same spirits that our that animate this one we shall whip them badly at every encounter & soon make them glad to give up their wicked undertaking; this army is today in better health & spirits, and better clothed than ever before, I wish you could see the Grey Jackets out on the drill field in sham fight as I saw them a few days ago & hear their shouts, it would make your heart rejoice & you would say at once “such men are invincible”, & then if you could come with me to camp & see how uncomplainingly they eat their corn cake & hominy you couldn’t doubt the issue of this fearful struggle. I’m trying to get & exchange to Genl Lee’s, I tried for a transfer first. that was disapproved, now I have found a man in the 1st. Maryland to swap with me & I expect to be in Va by the 1st of May, I expect by the change to get to see my family oftener than I could hope to if I remained here & I may get to Old Rommy & see your dear face again. I am in hopes Josey has been exchanged, poor fellow he had had a hard time of it. Jimmie is well he heard from Mother & the children a few days ago, they were well; he is still Chief of Subsistence of our Div’n. & is con- sidered one of the best Commissaries in our army. I get two letters weekly from my Sallie & write two to her, so you see we keep up a pretty regular correspon- dence, I wish you could see our Ida, from her mothers accounts she is a paragon of beauty & vivacity. I would write you by flag of truce but I cant write anything worth sending in that way. Be of good cheer dear mother, peace will soon be ours. Remember me to all the friends. With love to all, God bless & protect your son! I am,

Your soldier son,

J.T. Kern Co. “K” 45th Miss Regt, Lowry’s Brig., Cleburne’s Div’n., Hardee’s Corps, Army of Tennessee.

Tell Miss Kitty not to let the Yanks scare her & whatever she does not to fall in love with any of the birds, I’ve got a grey Jacket picked out for her.

Posted in Southern Historical Collection | Comments Off

1 April 1864: “…Mr. Wright (a gentleman of whose Union sentiments I am strictly confident) kindly offered his assistance to guide us from his residence at Blinkhorn Creek to the headquarters of Lieutenant Roy at Chuckatuck…”

Item description: “Additional report of Acting Rear-Admiral Lee, U. S. Navy, transmitting report [from 1 April 1864] regarding services rendered by Mr. Wright.”

18640401_ncc_001

Item transcription:
Confidential.]

FLAGSHIP NORTH ATLANTIC BLOCKADING SQUADRON,
Off Newport News, Va., April 2, 1864

SIR: I transmit enclosed a report from Acting Master J. M. Williams, commanding U. S. S. Commodore Barney, in regard to the services rendered him on the recent expedition to Chuckatuck by Mr. Wright, a citizen of that vicinity, and request that the report be placed on the Department’s “confidential” file, as the man might be involved in difficulty by his name being made known.
I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, yours,
S. P. LEE
Acting Rear-Admiral, Comdg. North Atlantic Blockading Squadron.

Hon. GIDEON WELLES
Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C.

[Enclosure.]

U. S. S. COMMODORE BARNEY
Nansemond River, Virginia, April 1, 1864.

SIR: In regard to the expedition (under my charge) of March 29, I would respectfully inform you that Mr. Wright (a gentleman of whose Union sentiments I am strictly confident) kindly offered his assistance to guide us from his residence at Blinkhorn Creek to the headquarters of Lieutenant Roy at Chuckatuck; and through his timely aid in so doing may be attributed the result of our victory being so easy, as I consider that, had we been one hour later, although our victory would have been complete, there would have been loss of life, as it would have been daylight, and they (I believe) on being aware of our coming would have made a determined resistance.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAMES M. WILLIAMS
Acting Master, Commanding.

Acting Rear-Admiral S. P. Lee,
Commanding North Atlantic Blockading Squadron.

Item citation: Official records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. Series I, Volume 9. Washington : G.P.O., 1899. C970.75 U58no Ser. I, Vol. 9. North Carolina Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

To read more from the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, click here.

Posted in North Carolina Collection | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

31 March 1864: “…to frighten them he pointed the gun at them…”

Item description: Entry, dated 31 March 1864, from the diary of Samuel A. Agnew.  Agnew describes the accidental death of Franky, the son of two of his Aunt Rilla’s slaves, due to a gun misfiring.

[transcription available below images]

18640331_01 18640331_02 18640331_03

Item citation: From the Samuel A. Agnew Diary, #923, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription: 

Accidental killing of a little negroe

Uncle Jo passed soon after breakfast and I gave him my letter to N E M to have mailed as soon as he can. The forenoon was very pretty and clear, this evening has clouded, and it commenced raining steadily between 4 and 5 o’clock and since then has been raining continuously, and tonight is a very wet night. Even while I am writing I hear the rain drops falling on the housetops and the water gurgling through the tin gutters, a fine night for sleeping.

Cleared off my table in order to find the manuscript of my critical notes. Find them and finished today the 6th Chapt. of Romans. This evening rode over to Simmons to hear from his Aberdeen trip. He has a receipt for the whole amount and will have to go back after the certificates on the 15 or 20th April. Pa sent by him for some Morphine, but he could find none for sale.

A melancholy occurrence took place at Aunt Rilla’s today between 11 and 12 o’clock. Melly shot a little negro child (Franky) of Abe and Adaline, and the child died in a half hour after. It was accidental. Aunt Rilla sent melly out with a gun (Mullinix’s) to shoot a hawk. The little negroes were in great glee running after him. He wanted them to go back, and to frighten them he pointed the gun at them, when contrary to his expectation it went off, killing Franky. Melly thinks the gun was only half-cocked. The little negro was shot in the head, 5 bullets entering, 2 in the forehead, 1 at the outer corner (below) of the left eye, and 2 near the nostrils. It is indeed a sad occurrence. Poor Melly no doubt bitterly regrets the circumstance. What an admonition in reference to the uncertainty of life. “In the midst of life we are in death.” Truly as David says there is but a step between me and death.

We have no news today, of the war, or Railroad. Mrs. Brice is fixing to be off for Memphis with some cotton. Aunt Rilla sends a bale with Mrs. Bishop. Claunch passed with a bale for Mrs. Mahon today. We have not heard anything from Reeves who took 2 bales for Pa on the 11th inst. Franky who was killed today was 4 or 5 years old. Aunt R. sent for Pa and he went over there soon after it happened.

Posted in Southern Historical Collection | Comments Off

30 March 1864: “The weather continues cold, uncomfortable and equinoctial.”

Item: “News” (editorial), The Daily Journal (Wilmington, N. C.), 30 March 1864, page 2, column 1.  This editorial column discusses the lack of news, the “temporary lull in the storm of war,” the editors’ opinion on the political relationship between Ulysses S. Grant and Abraham Lincoln light of the upcoming election, clarifications by C.S.A. Secretary of the Treasury Christopher G. Memminger concerning the funding of treasury notes on April 1st, and a severe winter storm that struck central North Carolina the previous week.

THe Daily Journal (Wilmington, N. C.) 30 March 1864, page 2, column 1.

Transcription:

THE DAILY JOURNAL.

CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA.

WILMINGTON, N. C. WEDNESDAY MARCH 30, 1864.

__________________

News.

We are not so frequently asked for news nowadays as we formerly were, for the reason, perhaps, that our paper now gets out quite as soon as we do, sometimes sooner.

In truth, however, there is less exciting news now than at almost any former time for months past. There is a temporary lull in the storm of war, but the calm which it produces will soon be broken up.

Grant is busy, arranging for the opening campaign.  He knows that much is expected of him, and that Lincoln, dreading his popularity as a candidate for the Presidency, has placed him (Grant) in such a position as to enable him (Lincoln) to throw all the blame of any failure upon him.  It is then reasonable to suppose that Grant will not remain long idle, or permit any advantage to escape him.  He is now at the crisis of his fate and will do all he can to turn that crisis to his own advantage.

The mails received yesterday bring little news. We try to glean what we can for this article.

First, then, in reference to a matter which engages public attention at this time, we think the following announcement from Mr. Memminger, published in the Richmond papers may be a matter of some considerable interest.  It will be seen that it gives one more day for funding, and also states when and how the issue of new currency will commence.  We confess that we, like most others, supposed that old currency could be funded in four per cent-bonds up to but not on the first of April.  From the following announcement it will be seen that they can be funded on the first of April in the same manner as on preceding days:”—

Treasury Department, C. S. A.

Richmond, March 19. 1864.

The following instruction is issued for the guidance of all officers of the Treasury Department.

Treasury notes may be received and funded in four per cent. certificates on the first of April in the same manner as on preceding days.  The new notes to be issued as currency will bear the date of the act authorizing them, namely, 17th February, 1864 and the issue will be commenced on 2nd April, 1864, in making payment of demands upon the Treasury on and after that date.

C. G. Memminger,

Secretary of Treasury.

The Augusta Chronicle and Sentinel publishes the following despatch:

Richmond. March 24.–Four per cent. certificates and bonds are transferable in the same manner as all other registered stock. See the remarks in the Richmond Sentinel, of the 23d inst.

C. G. MEMMINGER,

Secretary of the Treasury.

All our exchanges from the interior of the State speak of the snow storm of last week as very severe. The Greensboro’ Patriot says it was terrific in the extreme for about fifteen long hours, the snow in that time having fallen to the depth of about seven inches.  The Hillsboro’ Recorder says that on Tuesday week it snowed all day, and at night the thermometer fell to 28 degrees.  The weather here continues cold, uncomfortable and equinoctial.  Night before last it rained, and yesterday the wind howled around in a most melancholy manner, and at intervals the rain fell in torrents.

________________

Citation:  “News.”  The Daily Journal (Wilmington, N. C.), 30 March 1864, page 2, column 1.  North Carolina Collection, Wilson Special Collections Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; call number C071 Z.

Posted in North Carolina Collection | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

29 March 1864: “It distresses me to have you go into the army as a private. I think it is throwing so much away.”

Item Description: Letter dated 29 March 1864 from Mary Pettigrew to her brother, William Pettigrew. In it, Mary begs William to serve a position at a hospital in Raleigh rather than join the army. She also briefly discusses news from home towards the end of her letter.

[Item transcription available below image]

18640329_001 18640329_002 18640329_003 18640329_004

Item Citation: Folder 13, Pettigrew Family Papers #oo592, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

 

Item Transcription:

My dear Brother,

As the time draws near when you are to go into the ranks, I do feel so anxious about you. I know you can be detached and I do think it will be much better you should. I would write to Dr. Hines and he could and would apply for you. I came near doing it without consulting you and there I thought it might not suit your fancy. So I ask your permission, my dear Brother, to do it, write immediately and tell me yes and then I will write to Dr. Hines and do all that is necessary. I do not think you would like the position in this hospital that Dr. Brame had for you. how I think you would hold the same position as Dr. Haywood’s hospital in Raleigh. I would not want you to be in this Virginia hospital, although Dr. Brame would be very kind and polite to you. Still you had better serve in your own state (I do not find any thing disagreeable) It’s only a feeling my part. The steward has charge of all the money matters of the establishment and does all the purse chasing. He has all the [?] part of the establishment. Now I wish you would tell me that you would be willing to undertake that position with Dr. Haywood. I think it would be much better than being a private. And you will be leaving your country home already. And as to its being disagreeable in Raleigh you would of course take board somewhere near your duties and your housing would be such that you would not find time to be mingled with any thing [?] I think the position not in the least [derogatory?] to your position and char-acter. I can manage the whole thing and you do it from my per-suasion.  Indeed I desire it very much. You must of course take the salary and then you can have it or give it away as you please. Mrs. Rowland gave hers in charity. Please, dear Brother William, let me apply for you. It distresses me to have you go into the army as a private. I think it is throwing so much away.

Annie writes me that Brother Charles thinks the applications really benefits his fare. I am thankful for that. Ben Allston is married to a Miss [Rohium?] of Texas, Annie writes very sadly.

Mr Patterson has gone to his regiment, he did not stop in Richmond. I wrote you that I made every exertion but ineffectually to find your keys. “The Confederate” armies regularly It is a campaigning [?] I had rather pave “the Observer” I make this remark because if you feel disposed to renew the subscription when it’s out, I had rather take the latter. Gov. Vance seems to be doing a good part in making speeches. I think there never was a more laudable effort to secure one’s election. Did Mr. Hale publish  Mrs. Jenning’s communication? And did he make any remarks?

Good bye, my dear Brother, my hand is so tired I can scarcely write. Miss Rouhend sends her kind regards to you. Give my love to Mr. McKay.

Ever your affectionate and loving

Sister,

Mary

Posted in Southern Historical Collection | Tagged | Comments Off

28 March 1864: “…he knows of no disease so prostrating as diptheria & that in such a severe attack as Johnnie’s has been it takes weeks and sometimes months to recover entirely…”

Item description: Letter, dated 28 March 1864, from Annie Schon in Atlanta, GA to her sister Bettie Kimberly in Chapel Hill, NC.  Annie describes her husband John and son Johnnie’s diagnosis with diphtheria and their subsequent treatment and recoveries.

[transcription available below images]

18640328_01 18640328_02 18640328_03 18640328_04

Item citation: From folder 44 in the John Kimberly Papers #398, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

Atlanta March 28th

Dear Bettie,

I have time for only a few lines this morning as Johnnie id still sick and requires constant nursing, the reason that I now have an opportunity of writing is because I have persuaded him to be down a little while on his bed promising him that I would sit by him and he is now lying beside me, so my letter must be hastily written, as he will not stay out of my arms scarcely a moment at a time.  But just as I am writing he is falling asleep.  O Bettie how my heart aches to see his suffering, to see his colorless little face and his helpless condition.  Before his sickness he could run & walk as steady as I could, but now he can not even stand alone, and cries out in pain & terror if I put him on his feet.  Though he is much better I think he is far from being out of danger. I sometimes fear that he will be paralyzed he has so completely list the use of his limbs, but the physician assures me that there is no danger of this.  He says he knows of no disease so prostrating as diptheria & that in such a severe attack as Johnnie’s has been it takes weeks and sometimes months to recover entirely, he says it is a disease that, apparently, affects only the throat but in reality ravages ht whole system  and one little child in Atlanta was stone blind for three months from it.  Dr. Alexander has never lost a case of diptheria, every one speaks of his success with this disease as remarkable and his medicines are simple, two tea spoonfuls of potash every two hours  until the white membrane in the throat disappears, also five drops of iron every five hours and rub the throat outside well with turpentine & oil.

Gradually this membrane which forms across the throat & suffocates the child disappears and the throat becomes well, then the patient is in no danger, but requires weeks of nursing and care before he recovers from the complete prostration. When John was first taken sick Dr. Alexander was not in town so I had to call in another physician who pronounced it merely a badly ulcerated throat, he treated it for such for several days but John got no better and I became very much alarmed and sent again for Dr. A_ who had returned. As soon as he saw Johns throat he told me that there was no doubt of its being diptheria & that twelve hours must decide that case. You can imagine Bettie how I felt. I think John would not have lived had Dr. A. been called in a few hours later.  O Bettie how thankful I am that God has spared him to me!

I am looking for a letter from you I have not received one for two weeks, but received yesterday a letter from you to Will, which according to Will’s direction I opened.  He told me always to open any letter from the family that came for him, as he knew I would want to hear that latest news from them.  I suppose of course that you have no objection, judging you by myself. I forwarded your letter to Will this morning rather, told Mr. S. to do it.  How is Ma? Give her my best love & tell her I can write her nothing of interest this week, except that George has returned to Dalton, sister is still in Macon.  Jim came up on business a few days ago, from Will & Frank I have not heard since I wrote to her last.  I hear nothing from home. I know I have written an uninteresting letter Bettie, but I know of nothing to write, I never leave John a moment, & since he has been sick I have not been out of the house except to take him a little walk or drive. Poor little darling I would give all I have on earth to see him as he was a few months ago.  Give much love to Mr. K. & kisses for the dear children & know always that when I do not write it is because sickness prevents.  Annie

Last week I write you & Ma each a long letter.  Tell me if they were received. Your devoted sister

Annie M. Schon.

Posted in Southern Historical Collection | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

27 March 1864: “They went for the purpose of burning the town of Swansboro…”

Item description: Letter, dated 27 March 1864, from James Gifford, a United States Navy paymaster steward, to his parents.  He write from aboard the U.S. Release while stationed off Beaufort, N.C., and describes a failed attempt to burn the town of Swansboro and a dispute regarding the presence of an African American visitor in the ship’s ward room. He also describes conditions in the Beaufort Harbor.

[transcription available below images]

18640327_001 18640327_002 18640327_003 18640327_004

Item citation: From folder 2 in the James Gifford Papers #4493-z, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

U.S. Ship Release

Off Beaufort NC

Mch 27th 1864

Dear Parents

I write you these few lines to let you hear how I am getting along my health is good.  It has been two weeks since I sent any letter to you the reason is I can find not much news to write about this is the eighth or tenth letter I have commenced since I wrote my last letter. I sent one to mag last monday which I had been trying to write all the month and I would not found news enough to write about then if it had not been for the arrival of my box of things.Everything suits and I have my clothes on now while I am writing this letter.,  I got a letter from you yesterday and one in the fore part of the week. I am pretty busy just about now and will be untill after the first of April making up our quar-terly returns which has to be sent on to Washington. It comprises everything in the Paymasters Department. A descriptive list of all the men, and all the provisions we have served out during the quarter also all we have received. I have been writing about all day to day making our provisions accounts.  This work has been very windy and I think we have had our line gale.  It was quite a stirring time in the harbor, quite a number of vessels dragged at there anchorage and two Schooners dragged ashore.  I have seen two or three capsized boats this week and we picked up two men in a boat which capsized not far off from the vessel last evening.  An Expedition sailed from here two or three days ago and took with them the launch which I write to you about once in a while, with them. in it was our howitzer. They went for the purpose of burning the town of Swansboro, but a gale of wind came up when they got there and the boats could not get ashore.  One of them made out to get in and they burnt the salt works and one schooner and captur-ed thirty contrabands.  When the steamer left here she had five or six lighters towing astern but when she came back she had none for it was so rough they had to cut them adrift.  They made out to save our howitzer.  The old doctor is in trouble all the time.  Yesterday he had a nigger in the ward room talking to him and on of our ensigns seeing a nigger in the ward room told him to  leave and not come in the ward room again. The old doctor thought it was rather hard that he could not entertain his friends in the ward room that he said he would report the Ensign to the captain which he did as soon as the cap-tain came aboard.  After he made his report  the ensign made his report to the captain.  The captain then called in the doctor and gave him a blowing up I notice today the doc has made a report to the Flag Officer  Fleet Captain.  The old doctor is lazy and thinks it hard work to get up out of his chair to wait on his patients he calls them in where he is sitting.  How it goes against a mans grain to have a stinking nigger in where he eats & sleeps and the doctor having a room for the purpose of doing business, it made the ensign mad to see him in there.  The book which you sent I have not had much chance to read for  I have been very busy Andrew Harvey who used to work with me in Alley’s store sent me quite a bundle of reading matter a day or two ago but I have had no chance to read.  This vessel is anchored near us. I can’t think of anything else to write about and I will close [?] write this in a great hurry and you must excuse bad writing.

Tell Sue I may write this week to her.  It is pretty well believed that a vessel is coming down to relieve us.  The fleet captain says a vessel is coming down here pretty soon.

All for the present from Jim

Posted in Southern Historical Collection | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

26 March 1864: “The gunboats are firing. I see one of my houses burnt to ashes…”

Item description: Entry, dated 26 March 1864, from the diary of Frances Woolfolk Wallace.  Wallace describes destruction and evacuation during the Battle of Paducah, Kentucky.

[transcription available below images]

18640326_01 18640326_02

Item citation: in the Frances Woolfolk Wallace Diary, #3063-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

Our friends told us if we did not succeed in getting through Nashville to return and be content to remain at home, but we have decided to go to Vicksburg. Shall we let our friends in Paducah know we are there or not? Report that Forrest is in Paducah, don’t believe it. Well, it is really true, we find the town burning. What more can disturb our feelings? The boat is not allowed to stop. The gunboats are firing. I see one of my houses burnt to ashes, Mally fears hers is hurt also. But what is the fate of our friends in the town? What success had the Confederates, God bless them!? We arrive at Cairo at 7 o’clock. The captain went to the Quartermaster department–find them burnt. Returned and meet Cousin Coleman Woolfolk, and he takes me at once to his room where Georgie and I stayed all night. I was quite brave.

Posted in Southern Historical Collection | Comments Off

25 March 1864: “The articles captured by this vessel consist of 1 small schooner, 1 sloop, 1 boat, 107 sacks of corn, 2 sacks of wheat, 1 sack of oats, 6 sacks of salt, 5 kegs of salt, 5 boxes of tobacco, 15 pair oyster tongs, 12 plows, 1 cultivator, 100 plow points, 46 plowshares, and 15 molding boards.”

Item description: “Report of Lieutenant-Commander Babcock, U.S. Navy, regarding the disposition of prizes taken in York and Severn rivers.”

18640325_ncc_001

To read more from the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, click here.

Item citation: Official records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. Series I, Volume 9. Washington : G.P.O., 1899. C970.75 U58no Ser. I, Vol. 9. North Carolina Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Posted in North Carolina Collection | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

24 March 1864: “…as I mentioned yr name a flush spread over her and there was a momentary flash of the eye as if I was treading on forbidden ground.”

Item description: Letter, dated 24 (and 27) March 1864, from George S. Barnsley to Lancelot Minor “Lanty” Blackford.  Barnsley writes about his time as a surgeon in Richmond, and also discusses gossip regarding Blackford’s brother and a popular “Miss Jennie.”

 [transcription available below images]

Item citation: From folder 86 in the Blackford Family Papers #1912, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

General Hospital No. 4

Richmond Va March 24 /64

My Dear Lanty,

By some evil chance your welcome let-ters always reach me just as I am on the eve of depar-ture.  I received your last of the 16th of Feby. on the morning of the 23rd of the same month, when I was packing my trunk for a trip to the South, to be present at the wedding of my sister, Julia; so sudden was the sum-mons to leave that I had not time to write you, and I took your letter home with me, but so much had I to do and such the constant demand for my company that I had not time to even dip my pen in the ink.  At this late day I fear that you will have lost the relish of hearing from me, but you must recollect that you were never out of my mind (and this reminds me, kind inquiries were made of you by my Father and sister).

March 27th Instead of recommencing this letter I will con-tinue tonight the same train of thought which was so un-ceremoniously snapped three days since.  Returning from my delightful visit home.  I found to my consternation that my services were no longer needed in this Hospital, and for a week nearly I was as it were at the mercy of the wind & waves; I am at last settled, however, in the Surgeon Genls Office, returning to my old posts in this happy cast of Fate. I consider myself particularly fortunate, as I am thus allowed to remain in the city where I can enjoy advantages for study.  I trust to be here everyday for one year, so if you come to Richmond ask for me in the S. G. O., to which office please direct your letters.

I know you are wondering that I delay so long to mention the name one whose presence is always with you. I called a few nights since to see Miss Jennie and found her looking remarkably well, the early rising of Lent having been of as much benefit as her previous trip to Charlottesville.  I have so recently returned I cannot yet ascertain who are her beaux – I think, however, the same that you know.  Rinckney, Dr. Baylor, and the tenacious Dobbin.  Poor dobbin has recently suffered a severe loss in the death of his brother, who was killed a few weeks since by an accident to the cars near Baltimore.  He has the warm sympathies of his many friends, for he is very much liked. Speaking of D., I cannot for the life of me understand the exact sentiments of Miss Jennie towards him – whether of earnest friendship or of that more enduring immaterial for which you strive and I have striven.  I was speaking the other evening of you to her and as I mentioned yr name a flush spread over her and there was a momentary flash of the eye as if I was treading on forbidden ground.  I did not pay any attention but continued to speak of having heard form you, when she mentioned having received two papers from you, and also said that she had re-cently received a letter from your brother at Wilmington; his letter, she continued, was sad and she thought that there was some ‘affaire de coeur.’ With regard to the rumor in regard to your brother I have heard nothing save from yourself.  I have been carefully casting about to see if anything had been said in the circle of your friends with whom I am acquainted, but the most delicate but forci-ble inquiry has elicited nothing; I am convinced thereforethat is such a slander exists elsewhere it is not known among them.  Had I heard I would been at once convinced of its falsehood and corrected the error, but now having your assertions and permission if any dares to breathe such an outrageous slander you may rest assured that his temerity will not go unpunished. [?] a friend I am always such, in prosperity, in adversity, their trials are mine, their joys my happiness, and their honor as dear to me as to themselves.  I write all this simply that you mind may be at ease, knowing that the matter will be of deep interest to myself, ans to persuade you that my discretion is such that the defense of your brother’s character is in good hands.  I destroy the private portion of your letter tonight.

Gen. Pegram is here, but leaves tomorrow for the army. He looks very well. Willie has recently been here and went back to the field as Lt. Col. of Artillery. [DeLean?] and Miss [Truxie?] have had what is so aptly called in vulgar parlance a “blow out”; he effect on the latter was at first very sad but like all the fair sex her recovery now seems to be promising. O! these femines how, but I won’t distress you in this short letter with any tirade on the sex as you may know that is my sore point.  Miss Page Walter was married a few days since to Mr. Page, and this bridal couple started on a wedding [tour?], but to their infinite grief they the cars stuck in the snow at some miserable station and they had to pass one happy night there at least.  Pierre Soule and Mrs. Stunnard are soon to be mar-ried, Coffee is about to fill his cup with substantial hap-piness,  about the first of next month, some say the first day but I expect that is an April fool.  They are to leave by a Flag of Truce boat [?] City Point for New York, where they cross the water to Europe etc. Dr. Trueheart pas-sed his examinations successfully and will [sourge?] before the Army Med. Board and get the position of Asst. Surg.  He sends his kind regards as does also your Cousin Lt. Blackford.  I shall leave mt room at this Hospital next Friday and live with my kind friends the Misses Myers on Broad St.

By recent regulations the gas is turned off by 2pm in this Hosp., and as it near that time I must finish an epistle which I hoped to have made interested if not long.  You must write me soon or I will be convinced that you are vexed with my delay. With many wishes for your success & happiness

I am your friend

Geo. S. Barnsley

Posted in Southern Historical Collection | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off