March 10, 1864
Miss Emily Branson
We received your letter of the 15th ult., communicating the sad news of the disease of your amiable and respected mother. We all deeply sympathize with you and the family in this bereavement and hope that the Great Disposer of all earthly events will give you and all grace and fortitude to withstand this, to you, afflicting dispensation of his Providence.
Although comparatively a stranger to your mother, I had from my first acquaintance, learned to revere and to love her for her purity of character, her gently and amiable disposition and her true Christian piety. I can well imagine that the loss of such a mother would cause the sorest affliction to her relatives, but you will have the consolation that her spirit is sweetly resting in heavenly bliss, freed from the cares, anxieties and sufferings of this life. I shall ever remember your mother with feelings of reverence and admiration.
Our friends and acquaintances, one by one, are, in fact, dropping off. Old aunt Polly DeBerry died last Sunday morning. She has been afflicted for the last few weeks her disease has seemed to fasten on her with a tighter grasp when dead ended the scene.
Ann is gone down to Mr. Ewings to see Fanny. She went last Tuesday and was to have returned today, but there was a heavy rain last night & this morning which has raised the river, and I shall not look for her until tomorrow or the next day. I showed your letter to Fanny and she said she would write you. Kezia wrote you, I think, last week. I would be very glad to hear from you as often as may be convenient and glader still, if you could pay us a visit and spend some time with us. Write soon.
Source: Christopher Watford, ed. The Civil War in North Carolina: Soldiers’ and Civilians’ Letters and Diaries, 1861-1865, Volume 1. Original in the Branson Family Papers, North Carolina State Archives.