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[Cornelia Henry to her son Pinck]

My Dear little Pinck,

The mail will soon be on but I will write a little as Papa left this for me. Papa has told you all about the big snow. Atheline’s baby is growing finely, about as big as a rabbit. She asks about you a heap of times. Let me tell you something. Gus can walk all over the house & not fall & when he does fall he can get up hisself. See I told you he would walk before you came home. He can say Papa right plain. He will run & meet you at the gate when you come & call you Pinck. Now see if he don’t. He has got to fighting of late. He pulls Rose’s wool good for her when she don’t please him.

Zona has grown a good deal since you left. She spells her lesson every day & Willie wants to spell too. They often speak of you & want to see Pinck come home. You must learn fast so you can read your paper when you come.

Tell Aunt Dora to send me the measure of your head. I want to have  you a straw hat made by the time you come & tell her to send the measure of your foot to have you some shoes made to travel home in. I am afraid Mother can’t come after you as Papa can’t stay at home & if we all leave the soldiers and deserters will steal all we got. We will send after next month I think. I would like to come so much but can’t this time. Be a good boy.

Mother has been sick for a month but I am a good deal better now. I have not weaned Gus yet. Papa wants me to wean him. I am so lean. Love Aunt Dora & Aunt Matt. They are your Mother’s sister just like Zona is your sister. Be kind to them. They will love you for you are a good boy. Mother & Papa love you dearly. Knit me something & send in a letter so I can show it to Zona & Willie. Good bye. God bless you my dear child.

Your fond Mother

Zona, Willie & Gus send kisses to Pinck, Aunt Dora & Matt. Dora give my love to Pa. It seems he cares nothing for me.

 

Source: Diary of Cornelia Henry in Fear in North Carolina: The Civil War Journal and Letters of the Henry Family. Clinard, Karen L. and Russell, Richard, eds. (Asheville, NC: Reminiscing Books, 2008).

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April 7 [1864]

Ellerbe Thursday night

This is my 44th birthday. How rapidly are “the days of the years of my pilgrimage” passing away! “So teach us to remember our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” I have had a good night kiss from all my children, except my Mary Eliza and I have thought of her. Jimmie & George came home this evening from their school at Smithville to spend a few days. I have just reviewed my diary & thought of all the ways the Lord had mercifully led me. Truly many a day “goodness and mercy have followed me all the days of my life!”

From my happy girl-hood, and through all the cares and trials of my advancing life have I been blessed and supported. “When worn with sickness, all hast Thou with health renewed my face and when infirm and sorrow sinks revived my soul with Grace!”

 

Source: Jane Evans Elliot Diaries #5343, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. http://www.lib.unc.edu/mss/inv/e/Elliot,Jane_Evans.html

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Saturday April 2nd 1864

I have been in bed part of the day but am a good deal better this evening. I hope I may get well soon. I have done nothing today, only knit a little. All the soldiers are gone & I am glad of it for the house has not been clear of them for a week till tonight. They are all nice men, genteel in their deportment. I received a letter from Dora yesterday saying they were all well. Pinck has learned to knit & Dora is learning him to write. I would be so glad if he could write. I had a letter from Eugenia also. Harrie was not improving any. Jennie wants me to get her ten yds. of white flannel made. I fear it will be a bad time to get now as every one has made up their wool.

 

Source: Diary of Cornelia Henry in Fear in North Carolina: The Civil War Journal and Letters of the Henry Family. Clinard, Karen L. and Russell, Richard, eds. (Asheville, NC: Reminiscing Books, 2008).

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April 4th [1864]

Our little school room was opened again today. It has been silent since last July when Miss Day left us, after a pleasant sojourn of more than 3 years. The children were quite happy today to receipt to Cousin Sophia Mallet, who has kindly undertaken to teach them for us, until we can get person to instruct them.

I receive a sweet letter weekly from my precious Mary Eliza. She has just lost a dear schoolmate, who died after a few days illness. M Eliza her constant attendant, and I trust the solemn leaves through which she passed may be blessed to her soul! I have just had a letter from dear Jimmie, who gave me an account of a raid into Suffolk, where he came so near to losing his life, he was fired at by a negro soldier in ten feet of him but a kind & merciful Providence shielded him from the missile of death. “Bless the Lord of my Souls.”

 

Source: Jane Evans Elliot Diaries #5343, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. http://www.lib.unc.edu/mss/inv/e/Elliot,Jane_Evans.html

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Tuesday 29th March 1864

I have done some mending of pillow slips today. Mr. Henry out nearly all day after deserters. Found none. Disagreeable all day, a cool rain. No news of importance. I am not at all well, blooding some, it gets worse every day. I must do something for it. Gus is delighted because he can walk. Willie has got to stammering a good deal in talking. I must try to break him of it. Zona is growing finely & learns her lesson only occasionally. She is not very fond of her book. I wish I could hear from Pinck. He is a good child. May Heaven protect him I pray.

Source: Diary of Cornelia Henry in Fear in North Carolina: The Civil War Journal and Letters of the Henry Family. Clinard, Karen L. and Russell, Richard, eds. (Asheville, NC: Reminiscing Books, 2008).

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Camp 49th NC Troops

March 20th 1864

Kind and Affectionate Wife

I have just eat dinner. We had some good Bread, fryed Bacon and Onions. The Government issues Rations to the officers now but they will not sell us any. I like the law very well except when any of our friends comes to see us they must bring their own rations.

The company declares they can not give me up to be the sheriff. They say they will all vote for me if I only will stay with them. They seem very much disturbed about me leaving than I am expecting to leave. Orderly Sergeant Bridges, G. Russell, and several others say that if I leave the company is gone up the spout. They say that Weaver will not do for Captain and Ben is too young etc.

I understand that General Lee has started granting furloughs. We may luck out and get some furloughs before the summer’s campaigns begin. Write to me if your school has commenced and tell me how Johnny is doing and if he is a good boy and Kassey if she gives such sweet little kisses still.

Your true husband

C.H.Dixon

 

Source: Christopher Watford, ed. The Civil War in North Carolina: Soldiers’ and Civilians’ Letters and Diaries, 1861-1865, Volume 1. Original in the C.H. Dixon papers, Duke University Special Collections Library.

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Feb 28 [1864]

This is the morning of the holy Sabbath day. We went to China to-day and heard an excellent sermon from one good Pastor, Mr. Fairly. The text was John 3 & [3rd verse], on the new birth, a subject of vital interest to all. He treated the subject negatively, showing what was not regeneration & did not exist in ordinances, or in morality nor in gifts. There might be an outward change, without an inward, but never an inward change without the outward.

Our two little boys Jimmie & George went yesterday over to Smithville to go to school. We miss them sadly – miss them from their accustomed places at the table. Miss their noisy entrance in the evenings & my heart yearns for their presence. But these oldest are absent now, and we feel it the more, as we have never been departed before. I trust the change will do them good in mind & manners.

Source: Jane Evans Elliot Diaries #5343, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. http://www.lib.unc.edu/mss/inv/e/Elliot,Jane_Evans.html

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Johnsons Island Ohio

January 26th 1864

Dear Companion

I am well & doing as well as usual at this place, I trust these lines may reach you & find you all well. The last letter I recd from you was dated November 15th 63. I am very anxious to heare from you. I have been writing to you every two weeks. It is reported here that the prisoners are to be moved from this place Soon. Whether for exchange or to another prison I don’t know but I think the lattor most likely. The probability is that we will be Sent to Point Lookout. The friends here are generally well. Except Lieut Ramseur has something like Rheumatism. I did not received your letter in time to say to you to hire Bill. If any friend is passing you had better have my trunks brought home. Wm. Barber can Give and order for the One in Richmond. I think I have clothing Enough till Spring. Keep the children at School if possible. I hope to find them all advanced in there Studys when I arrive home. Eleanora & Mary can lern Charles & Catharine at home a great deal. I hope they will take an interest in so doing. Give my love to all.

Your affectionate, Husband

W.G. Morris

 

Source: Christopher Watford, ed. The Civil War in North Carolina: Soldiers’ and Civilians’ Letters and Diaries, 1861-1865, Volume 1. Original in the William G. Morris Collection, Southern Historical Collection, UNC-CH

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Sunday Afternoon January 25th 1864

This day is one in the history of our family. My Mary Eliza left today for boarding school & my heart feels lonely & sad. This is the first time our household has been divided and she is 16 years old. May a [illeg] God be with her & keep her from all evil is a Mother’s prayers!

 

Source: Jane Evans Elliot Diaries #5343, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. http://www.lib.unc.edu/mss/inv/e/Elliot,Jane_Evans.html

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January 16th 1864

We stand on the threshold of another year. God grant that it may be happier than the last. About the middle of last September, we received a letter from Aunt Malinda that the house in which she lived had been bought and she could neither rent nor buy a house in Cheraw. She proposed coming over to Fayetteville. She arrived soon after and has been our guest till Monday the fourth of this month, she went to house keeping in the house next to us. She is just living with what things she brought with her and some borrowed from us. The last week in September Buddy arrived home sick on furlough. He had again been sent back to the hospital and Richmond and succeeded in getting a furlough. He was very weak but great a great deal better during his visit. He returned to his regiment the first of last month. Mrs. John McKenzie died at Mrs. Wilkinson’s the 28th of December. I am not going to school this winter as there is no school but Mrs. McNeills & she could not take our class. The government has taken the seminary for a hospital. Dr. Hooper has gone up to Mount Vernon. I was very sorry. I could not enjoy his instructions for another year. We would have taken our diplomas next year. Last Thursday week the 8th it began to sleet (it has been raining ever since Monday) & that night it turned into a snow it was very cold, the coldest weather we have had this winter or even last winter.

Mr. John P. McLean was married last Wednesday week (6th) to Miss Rebecca Breece. Mr. Archy McLean had a party for them last Tuesday evening. Sister & I went. We all enjoyed it very much. John P. started to his regiment, Thursday. Cousins Annie & Sarah Ray have just started from here for home. Cousin Annie came up to Mr. McLauchlin’s two weeks ago quite sick from Clinton where she has been teaching school.

Source: Malinda Ray Diary, Anna Sutton Sherman Papers, North CarolinaState Archives.  See also David A. Ray Papers, Southern Historical Collection, UNC-Chapel Hill

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