My dear Ma
I suppose by this time you have become
satisfied that I have taken up my quarters in the
Washington Jail, but such is not the case just yet, and
having an opportunity to send you a note by to-morrow's
boat, I will give you an account of my travels.
Miss Mary & I arrived at the boat an hour before it
started & the first man I beheld was Major McPhail,
he however did not interfere with us in the least, not
even searching our trunks--Miss Mary made herself
most charmingly agreeable (indeed how could she do other-
wise with her name) & I was very sorry when the boat
reached the landing; she pressed me to take up my abode
at her house, but as Alex M. was there I thought it best to
go home with him. They were all very glad to see me, and
immediately said they would gladly send me wherever I
wished to go. I stayed there until Wednesday morning when
I took the boat at a landing on the bay lower down &
came here. I passed the boat going up to Balto.
on the deck of which I saw Captn F. standing---as large
as usual, I think he saw me, but am not certain.
I came down with a gentleman who brought me here to
a friend of his, with whom I have been staying ever since.
He, the gentleman, will take this up, & will see you, & be able
to tell you names that I am afraid to mention in this.
This place was the most convenient one for getting my trunk,
& as it is as far from here to Col. B's, as it is from here to the
crossing place, I thought it best to remain here; They have
all heard a great deal of Sister Hetty & are great admirers of
hers and very kind & polite to me. As you know the reputation
of the people of this County for hospitality I need only say
that they fully merit it; I never saw anything like it in
my life. I expect to get across to-morrow night, at least I
hope I will as I do not like to encroach upon such hospitality
any longer. When I reached the landing to take the boat on
Wednesday morning, imagine my horror at seeing a company
of soldiers in possession, they however, like the gallant Major
said never a word, nor disturbed a single trunk.
The gentleman who takes this up will return to the County
and I will ask him to call at the house for a letter before he
leaves. I wish you would write me word all that you can
gather about affairs at the Counting-room, & what they think
of my departure. I expect Mr B. was considerably hurt by
my want of confidence. If Willie R comes down I wish
you would send by him my shirt-studs & silver buttons which
I discover I have left behind me. Tell Pa I think I can
mange what I spoke to him about with perfect ease, at
any rate, I shall venture, as I think there is no risk at all.
I hope you will tell as few persons as possible of my
destination, as I dont care to have my visit to Miss Betty
talked about. Speaking of visiting I spent the evening at
Dr B's on Monday & found Miss Mary as charming as she
was on board the boat, in fact, I quite lost my heart.
I have been a good deal worried about staying here so
long, but I was detained one day to get my trunk, & then
another on account of the "Underground railroad," which
does not run every day or rather every night, I hope how-
ever certainly to cross to-morrow night. Please thank
Minny & Ann for their hard work to get me off, I was almost
sorry I had worked them so hard, after I found I was to have
so much spare time. Give my love Syd & tell him to
take care of himself, I dont know what he will do for
some one to keep him in order now that I have left
Remember me to all the young ladies with you. I
was not able to say Good-bye to them. Mrs. M. asked me
to get you to call at Mrs P's in Mt. Vernon place & let
her know of my safety; she will write to Mrs. M.
It is quite late--past bed-time & the boat starts
very early in the morning, so with love to Pa & yourself
Sister & Mr Mc & the children I will close. I was sorry
not to be able to bid Mr Mc good-bye. Good night
your devoted son
[postscript added in another hand]
The fleet is said to be scattered to the winds
as you see by the papers--there is also a rumour of a
battle at Manassas but only a rumour--Het is said
to be at camp riding in Beauregards carriage--Is it
Dame [?] too ridiculous--Jennie is certainly engaged.
Mrs Wilson M Cary
Cor. of Eutaw & Biddle Sts.