Our servant Nat is some better, but cannot sit up much. We hope he will get well. Mr. Nubel Ratlif died last Saturday with the Palsy, he was 82 years old, made no profession of religion.
My dear George is still feeble with the bowel complaint, he is quite weak, eats but little. I feel sad and gloomy today, these times of trouble do try my faith, but I hope it will all work out for my good. The Lord’s face is hid from me, darkness and gloom surrounds me, I cannot get any tidings from my daughter in Arkansa, have not heard from her in near two months.
My dear Willie is in the army, exposed to the dangers of war, I have not heard from him in some time, I feel so anxious to hear from my dear children.
I am just out of a spell of sickness, I have not recovered my strength yet, I feel a weakness in my womb, have to lie down to rest. In this time of trouble I will call upon the Lord, he is my only help, I pray for comfort and peace to my sorrowful soul. Our country is invaded by the enemy, we have heard of many bloody battles, thousands have been hurried into eternity. The enemy is advancing, and taken our citys and towns, the prospect is dark and gloomy. War, bloodshed, and desolation is before us.
Source: Mary Jeffreys Bethell Diary, 1853-1873. #1737-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. http://docsouth.unc.edu/imls/bethell/menu.html