Posts Tagged ‘tableaux’

Manassas Junction,Va., January 16, 1862

Dear Sister:

            I received your letter some days since and was very much rejoiced to hear from you, but I thought that you were a very long time in answering my last.  It came at last and eagerly did I devour the contents and with what pleasure I lingered on every sentence, no tongue can tell.  The description you gave of your tableau interested me very much, and I regret very much not being able to have been there, as all such scenes always interest me so much, besides the desire of seeing you act.  I think, myself, that you should have had your face painted, and that would have set off the piece a great deal.  It is a pretty hard piece.  Didn’t you feel pretty scared?  What does Dick act?  Who was that sweetheart of yours that has been home four times?  I should like to know him.

            We have a hard time of it here now.  The ground is covered with snow and then a sleet over that, and it is nearly as cold as the frozen regions, the winds come directly from mountains and blow around us like a regular hurricane.  But we have now moved into our winter quarters, huge log hut, and we keep very comfortable, but it is nothing like home, home with its sweet recollections.  As I sit and write I cannot refrain from gliding back into the past and enjoying the blessed memories of yore.  But enough of indulging the imagination, for this is a sad reality and it will not do for my imagination to assume too large a sway.  Tell Miss Myra that when I visitWashingtonI will call on her parents.  I expect to go there soon, either as a visitor or captive, but I hope as the former.  We will have a tableau before long, I expect, but I expect the scene will be played in a larger place than a hall.  It will encompass several miles and will take several hours to perform it, but when it does come off it will end in a sad havoc.  I am very thankful to you for those socks you knit for me, and when I wear them I shall think of you.  All around me are asleep and the huge logs have sunk into large livid coals ever and anon emitting large brilliant sparks, that cast a ghastly hue around the whole room, and I know think it time to close, so goodbye. 

Your loving brother,


Source: Laura Elizabeth Lee, Forget-Me-Nots of the Civil War: A Romance Containing Reminiscences and Original Letters of Two Confederate Soldiers (St. Louis, Missouri: A.R. Fleming Printing Co, 1909).  See also Joel Craig and Sharlene Baker, eds., As You May Never See Us Again: The Civil War Letters of George and Walter Battle, 4th North Carolina Infantry  (Wake Forest, NC: The Scuppernong Press, 2010).


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Friday November 26th [1861]

I went Sunday morning for my scholars but they could not go.  Annie Lea is back at school this week.  I feel like myself now.  We dance every day now.  The girls are going to have some tableaux Christmas & wanted me to act, but Ma would not let me. I do not take much interest in the war news now our boys have got home. Emily is sick.

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

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