Saturday, November 17, 2012

1862 November 18 Union Grove, Pennsylvania

Union Grove. Nov. 18, 1862

My dear Charlie,  [Charles M. Ellet]
I intended
to write to you, yesterday, but
was prevented by a visit from
Aunt Lydia and Lily, lasting
all day and night and until
late this morning--I really feel
called upon, in this connection, to
let you know how uniformly kind
and considerate to me this lady
has been--none of the great defects
of character, of which I have heard,
have come under my observation--
and her forbearance with Grandma,
often under peculiarly irritating
circumstances is really very great--
she makes no professions of regard,
but I have invariably found her
pleasant in manner, obliging & kind

[page 2]
I have received your letter of the
15th and cordially thank you for
it.  Before this, Uncle Alfred is
doubtless at the Fleet and all you
uncertainties are satisfactorily set at
rest.  We were rendered, as my
letters to you indicated, most
uneasy by the same reports that
disturbed you; indeed, though
Uncle Alfred’s letters are cheerful
and well-satisfied in tone, in
on one of them has he yet said in
distinct terms “the Ram Fleet is ours.”
We look for him at Bunker Hill
very shortly--will not his coming
be equivalent to your departure down
the river?  Eddie is very unwell
to-day--the chills have returned,
in spite of quinine and he looks
most wretchedly, unfit I think for
any active service.  This cold rainy
weather will, I fear, stand in
the way of his recovery--one can

[page 3]
hardly look out of the window
without a shiver.  The rest of both
households are quite well.  aunt Sarah
a little the worse in conse-
quence of a drive to town, to-day,
through all the wind and rain.
Miss Abbie Robarts has gone to
Alton for a visit of two or three
weeks---I liked her very much
and miss her exceedingly.  Ellie
has left school and studies regularly
with me now--Little Will still
trudges off every morning and
comes home in a sad plight--but
he likes it and keeps in vigorous
health--he studies, I am convinced,
very little.  I sent you a hurried
note on Sunday and am anxious
to know that you received it-I
wish, too, to hear distinctly from
you in regard to the money due
to Mr. King--pray do not overlook
this.    Have you heard from

[page 4]
Annie Crandall?  she and Miss
Robarts wrote Aunt Sarah a clever,
nonsensical letter in behalf of
Uncle Alfred’s preferment--
  It may be a source of no
surprise to you, but I am
convinced that Uncle Edward’s
residence in Bunker Hill has
become a temporary one--Two
years will not find him out
of Philadelphia, and he may go
very much sooner.  You will not
allude to this, even to Uncle Alfred,
though he is no doubt cognizant
of the scheme--I am particularly
unwilling that any items of family
interest should be supposed to fall
through my letters.  Of course all
this may vanish into thin air
-but I believe otherwise---
   I was much interested in your
sketch of the duties and acquire-
ments of a Colonel--Like most

[page 5]
professional men, universal
information is simply what you
claim for your chosen pursuit.
You are probably right.  Knowledge,
while assuredly not power, is some-
thing akin to it-one of the many
attributes of that most compound
and variable quality-success--
Your plan of drilling with the
men appears to me a good one-at
least Peter the Great has endowed
it with his royal sanction. Unnecess-
ary as a minute knowledge of military
discipline may be to true military
success-there might occur times
when, in the eyes of common place
people (-three -fourths of the world)
a lack of just such details as you
can now acquire would be an
unpardonable deficiency.  In any
event, you act wisely in providing
for all contingencies--If you are
pit under the order of Admiral Porter

[page 6]
you will have time, probably, fully
to perfect your military education.
   Dearest Charlie, I write lightly,
but my heart is heavy enough.
I m thoroughly wearied from
my efforts to take Miss Abbie’s
place in some measure, and relieve
Aunt Sarah of some portion of the
sweeping, dusting, bread -making
etc of the household.  the cold
winds whistle “flannel”! into my
ears--are you well provided?
I am very glad you have written
to Grandma--she was much pleased-
I am told, but have not seen her
yet.  I like your idea of marking
private passages in your letters--Often
what I have carefully guarded for
you is read aloud, family council,
from Uncle Alfred’s letters.  This one
I particularly desire to have burnt--
Good-night-You are very busy & have
much to interest you but always
remember the loving hearts in which
you claim the first & warmest interest
                           Your Sister

                         [Mary Virginia Ellet]

Mary Virginia Ellet [later Cabell] to her brother Colonel Charles Ellet, a Union hero of the battle for Memphis in which their father was mortally wounded

MSS 276

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.