Norwood (near Tye River Ware House P.O.) Nelson Co.
Nov 12th 1862
I was staying here, at the house of my son-in-law Wm D. Cabell--(whose
wife had been for sometime down with a spell of illness)-when your letter of
the 1st was brought to me. Other & pressing engagements for some days past
have prevented my answering it as promptly as I could have wished.
As soon, however, as I could return home, I readily fond the manuscript to which
you refer, in a collection of similar papers which I had carefully put away &
have engaged a friend to make a fair copy, after which the original shall
be held subject to your order. And as it might not be safe to trust it to the
mail, I would suggest tat you name some one in Richmond to whom
I may send it by private hand
As to your book, you had already (sometime during the last year) sent me a copy
which, in any other circumstances I read with peculiar pleasure & profit, & for which
I shall have then made my acknowledgment. Nevertheless, I shall accept this fresh
token of your regard, as there is another member of my family who will gladly pos-
sess a copy.
I had heard with much concern of your losses by the enemy, & their display of infer-
nal malignity on your premises. though, when I recollect the early, active, & conspic-
uous part you had taken in this contest, I cannot say that it was wholly unanti-
cipated. It several times seemed to me, that as your property was within their lines
while the enemy were on the Peninsula, they would not lose so good an opportunity of
feeding their resentment.
Since I saw you, I also have had my share in the vicissitudes of the times.
During the greater part of the last year, my health was very bad, or precarious; -so much
so at the time as to be considered well nigh desperate, aggravated as no doubt, it
was by the state of the times. During the latter part of the Autumn & winter it had
considerably improved, when, in February last, it pleased Providence to subject me
to the greatest calamity incident to man, tn the removal of my Companion
of thirty years, with whom I had enjoyed as much unalloyed happiness as
ordinarily falls to the lot of humanity. Since then I have turned over my
domestic establishment to the charge of my son & his wife, and though it is
still nominally my house, I know not that I shall ever feel 'settled' again,
during the little time I may have to remain here.
I retain, however, the right to welcome my friends as of yore; & thanking you for
the friendly sentiments of your letter-which I hope you know are most
heartily reciprocated--would now enquire whether I may not hope some
day to see you as a guest under the old roof: Could you not find your way
here--not a very difficult task--sometime during the coming winter? While I
& mine would feel honoured by such a visit, it would be a work of charity on
your part;-and the rather, that there are many things about which I should
like to confer with you,-especially as to the Future of our old State, & [that?] of
the South generally. Meantime I remain, as ever
very respectfully & truly yours
N. Franics Cabell
Edmund Ruffin Sr.
Old Church P.O.
Direct as heretofore to "Willow Bank"
Nathaniel Francis Cabell, 1807-1891, a graduate of Hampden Sydney, refers to the death of his wife Anne Blaws Cocke, daughter of University of Virginia founder John Hartwell Cocke. Cabell published numerous articles on religion, education and agriculture.
Edmund Ruffin, 1794-1865, was a noted agriculturist and ardent secessionist.