Thomasville, Davidson County, NC
July 21st 1863
Dear Mrs. Dalton,
Will you receive these lines from one whom you have almost forgotten or if not forgotten perhaps your regard for she writes of these times have been long gone since evaporated. Indeed after such a long silence between you and myself. I feel somewhat inadequate and even ashamed to address you. I acknowledge the twelve months in Kinston. I will make any excuse and lines from you Pardon for the neglect that time but fully. I received your letter a little before preparing to start to Virginia. I postponed it until I got to Virginia but there was so much hear and trouble there that I continued to put it off until I was almost ashamed to commense. Please excuse me this time provided I do so no more. I wish that I could see you and tell you all. I have not been to Virginia since summer of 61. I could begin to tell you my troubles since April 61. He was in the Army all last year but did not go at its commencement but it keeps me always excited and miserable knowing that he would go be a quartermaster of disrememberable regiment no so much exposed I suppose as some but you may be sure I rest very little all the time. I have been through this miserable, wicked war since I saw you therefore you would hardly know me. I think that I look 10 years older than I did before the commencement of the War but they say not. He was sick at Richmond during his stay in the Army and looked of sending for you but he got better. Two of my cousins were with him all the time. He had a final discharged about the first of December and went to the office in Charlotte… I do not know whether he will go in the Army again or not. I shall feel uneasy until this war ends. Luke wants to go in the Army. I can hardly hold him. He has always wanted to go and he would have gone if I had been willing. John is living at Salisbury only because there is nothing else for him to do. I do not want him to stay there I don’t think Salisbury suits John. He don’t look very well having just got a spell of measles which made him look very sick. He spent five weeks at the White Sulphur Springs which benefitted him very much, yet he still looks thin and pale. Well I must say something about myself. I am here at Thomasville. It is a right pleasant little place but I am getting tired of it. If you will board me again I will come Board with you again when the war is over which I hope will bee soon. When the war is over I want to go to Va only if I don’t remain with you. I would like to go to Little Yadkin again and board with you a few months. Lo knows nothing about it but I can do as I like… if this proposal will meet with your approval I will spend a few months with you again at Little Yadkin. Be sure to write to me immediately Mrs. Dalton. If you please I would like to come see you as soon as possible…. I would like to see you and your little family I wonder how many you have. My best respect to Mr. Dalton. Please excuse any deficiency. Yours affectionately
Mary Jane Farris
Source: Christopher Watford, ed. The Civil War in North Carolina: Soldiers’ and Civilians’ Letters and Diaries, 1861-1865, Volume 1. Original in the LL Polk papers, Southern Historical Collection, UNC-Chapel Hill.