Wednesday, January 23, 2013

1863 January 10-11. "The Palace,"

                                                                              The Palace
                                                           Saturday, Jan. 10, 1863
The mail has come, but it brought me no letter.  I have
received not a line from my wife which was written this
year. I can not weep as you did, for that would be un-
manly; nor can I chide as you felt like doing, for I am sure
that you have written from a sense of duty to your husband
and not less because of the pleasure you find in writing.  I
must cultivate the spirit of patience, and relieve the loneliness
of these days by the hope that a letter will come "to-morrow"
and by the happier, though less certain  hope that soon I
can afford to dispense with pen and ink in the enjoyment of
the living presence and the living voice and the sweet caresses of
my precious Ella. -- After a brief interruption to share our
camp dinner of corn-bread, beef, soup and potatoes, I resume
my seat by the bright hearth of this palatial residence whose
shelter is prized highly this day of rain, and resume also my
favorite theme -- the longing and the hope of my heart for the
tender greeting and loving caresses of my dear wife who in the
pleasant household of bro. Crew longs and hopes for me.  Bro. Spriggs
returned from a visit to his sons, sits next me, pipe in mouth.
Next him is Dr. Thornhhill, reading to-day's Whig.  He had hoped
to receive his furlough this morning, and to start for Campbell
where he has important business, as his property will be sold next
Wednesday.  Besides, he is of course anxious to see his family from
whom he has been absent since last summer.  But no tidings from
his application have been received, and he is in painful suspense
though endeavoring to preserve the calm of a philosopher, or rather
the cheerful patience and submission of a patriot and christian
I have been away from you only one month; and yet how
I long for the sight of your face, and how bitter will be my
disappointment if I fail to get leave of absence next a week or two
hence!  You have all confidence, darling, in the depth of
my affection; and yet you can hardly know or believe how truly
you are my life, and with what desire I yearn to be with
you.  Again and again does the thought take possession of me. If

[page 2]
we were together every day and hour, helping each other in duty,
comforting each other in trial, doubling by communion all our joys, how
happy I would be!  But I must try to be contented in whatever
state Providence places me, and to be thankful for the knowledge
that, though distant, one heart -- a heart so pure, and true, and
generous, and loving, beats ever for me.  About the middle of next
week I intend to start my application for a furlough, and to
state in it that it absence  will not interfere with my duties during
this inclement season, but rather be of advantage to my regiment
by enabling me to supply them with religious reading.  If I get
he leave in time, I will go to Richmond Monday the 19th, or
as soon thereafter as possible.  But while I thus tell you my full
plan, I must again warn you, my darling, not to look for-
ward with too sure a hope to this pleasure, lest you should suffer
a very sad disappointment.  The furlough may be delayed, or
even rejected.
                                Thursday night I spent agreeably with Henry
Peyton.  He promised to stay with me last night, but did not come.
The last few days I have been re-reading Macaulay's History
of England.  The style is so fascinating that a hundred pages
a day do not weary.  Have you read those volumes?  to the
truth of history they had the charm of romance. -- Bro. Spriggs
has spoken of leaving to-morrow, but I had intended to get a ser
mon from him beforehand.  The rain will in all probability pre
vent any religious services.  I will try to spend the Sabbath
profitably in reading the Scriptures and meditation. I will
in imagination be with my wife at Sabbath-school, at preaching
and at home.  I can see her seated at home, musing as she
listens to the rain about her husband, and wondering whether he is
comfortable in body and mind.  I send kisses to the ladies, and
kind remembrances to all the members of the family, with the
hopes that I will speedily see them.  to my darling I can send
only the renewed assurance that I am wholeheartedly,
                                              Your loving husband
                                                         J. C. Granbery.

[in top margin of page 2]
Sunday morning.  To the rain has succeeded a beautiful morning.  I am well, and have been so
nearly all the past week.  I send this by Bro. Spriggs.  I am told that furloughs are often not acted on for two weeks.
I will enter my application to-morrow.  to the tender care of our Father I ever commend you, darling of my heart.

John Cowper Granbery, formerly a chaplain at the University of Virginia, served as chaplain of the 11th Virginia Regiment and was later a bishop in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South

MSS 4942

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