Tuesday, January 22, 2013

1863 January 8 Baltimore

                    Thursday Jan 28
My dear Willie
                 The accompanying
letter, written several days ago
was not destined to reach you
through that extraordinarily
safe opportunity of which I spoke-
The bearer was to have been
a certain Falstaffian old friend
of ours who, you may remember,
visited Dixie more than once
while we were in R[ichmond].  He goes
constantly, taking something to
make it worth his while - The
wherewithal supplied by that
friend who made Johnnie
such a magnificent offer

[page 2]
He was betrayed and everything
seized - fortunately he and
his mail escaped.  An "admi-
rable opportunity" offers today
and I hasten to seize it by the
forelock, as Constance would
say.  Having to write to one or two
others I will merely send you
a P.S. to Johnnie's promising something
better next time.  We have
received a great many letters
recently, but never one save by
L___e from either of you - Fanny
Johnson, in one to Jennnie, says
"your brothers write incessantly
& never get a line from home."
Where can they all go?  I wish
I could put the whole Yankee
nation in a large vice and
make it [neck?] on them!

[page 3]
All Gemmel's letters were
taken and perused by every
one who chose to take the
trouble - three of mine from
Col P among the number -
pleasant, isnt it?  Most of these
I will do Constance the justice
to say, were deliver.  The
American of this morning
mentions the arrest of a man
named Williams with several
hundred letters on his person -
of these, it has the kindness to
mention, thirteen are for
Miss Hetty Cary, & four for
Miss Jennie.  It is further
stated that after perusal these
documents will all be burned
as Major C__ has resolved on
no account to give these

[page 4]
disloyal subject the pleasure
of reading them!
Nothing is thought of here
except the great battle in the
West and - Vicksburg.  At one
time both were universally
believed to have been gained
by the enemy and you could
tell a secessionist at a glance
by his painfully elongated
expression of countenance.
In the last twenty four hours
though, our affairs seem to
have assumed a different
aspect and C. S. stock looks up.
We find that the Murfreesboro
"defeat" was merely a change of base
on Bragg's part, and that after having
gained a decided victory over
Rosecranz- Then, too, Vicksburg

[page 5]
is still ours and likely to be
since we learn Johnston
is in command!  Everyone is
jubilant at the discovery that
every effort is being made to
retain this important point,
and people say that our General
has is deep in the successful
execution of some stupendous
scheme conceived by that
wonderful mind of his, and
that the petty disasters of which
Yankeedoodle makes so much
are merely insignificant incidents
inseparable from the accomplish-
ment of Johnston's grand design.
It is generally thought that
all is working well for our
national prosperity, and also
universally believed that

[page 6]
nothing can prevent the
                            in our behalf
intervention of France  ^ even
if her propositions for the
mediation of the Allied
Powers should be rejected.
Yet to me peace appears as
distant as ever - The cloud
lowers black as midnight
and I cannot detect the faintest
glimmering of a silver lining.
The doom of our unhappy
state is undoubtedly sealed,
though it is high treason
to suggest such a possibility.
Gen Schenck's reign is, thus
far, pretty much on a par
with that of a fool - many think
his sway will become more
severe by degrees - Of course
they demean themselves

[page 7]
towards us in all respects
as conquerors maybe expected to do toward
some exceeding rebellious and now
absolutely subjugated people.
A night or two since some
gentlemen were conversing
at Guy's, among them young
Roach (perhaps you remember
him as having lived above
us in Madison  St & being
one of the party when poor
Chabard was drowned) who
made the remark that in
his opinion Lincoln had by
his proclamation put him-
self on a level with the negro.
A Yankee officer who was
in the room at some distance
from the group alluded to,
advanced and said

[page 8]
"Do you mean that remark
as an insult to me, sir?"
"You can take it as you please,"
said Roach - The brute im-
medately drew a pistol and shot
him directly through the
body, then turned and deliberately
left the house, no one offering
to molest him - the unfor-
tunate victim still survives
but his wound is mortal.
No notice has been taken
of the offender-
I grow daily more desirous
to leave this place - that I
am an object of intense
hatred to the "union element
in our midst" cannot be denied.
Major Constable, military
provost marshal, says he

[page 9]
has been bothered to death
about me, and wishes Miss
Cary would leave Baltimore-
Had it not been for my bonds
I should have gone by the
flag of truce boat - that chance
now lost to me, there will
not be another such.  My hope
now is in the blockade route
and that grows more difficult
daily - Yet I may leave at any
day, whilst it is possible
weeks will elapse before I can
accomplish my departure -
Pa and Ma are both desirous
to get me off.  Sally opposes it
violently.  Pa said today that
he did not think it safe for me
to go down street alone.

[page 10]
Evening - We are all wild with
delight over the afternoon's news
that the Yankees have abandoned
their attempt on Vicksburg.
I am just liberated from parlor
duty and it is considerably
after twelve but I thought I
would scratch off a few lines
before seeking the "balmy."
I have a reprieve until tomor-
row most fortunately, or I
fear Col P_'s letter would fare
but badly - lest that should come
off altogether in the routine
I must close this tonight not-
withstanding my eyes are al-
most out.
  I received one of Constance' most
felicitous style of missives yesterday,
which gave me more news

[page 11]
of people and things than any
other dozen that have fallen to
my lot in the last five months.
I was greatly grieved to learn
from her the death of poor
Mrs Barbour's little child - What
a terrible blow to the dear little
woman!  Separated too, as she
is from her husband - it will
almost break her heart.   I
feel so very sorry for her - Poor
Aunt Mary!  What an irrepara-
ble loss is hers!  But could there
be a death more glorious than
dear Rannie's?  A pure,high
souled youths patriot offering
up his young life a martyr
in a cause holy as religion?
the Robinson's are in deep
distress about Arthur - the

[page 12]
suspense is terrible - Dr R__
made application to Stanton
in person for permission to
go down to him but was per-
emptorily refused on the
grounds that he was an enemy
to the country!
Poor Jem Carey is the bluest fellow
you ever saw - He is always des-
pondent, you know, and now
believes confidently that he will
be detained here until the
termination of the war - at present
he is on parole & enjoys his liberty
tolerably, passing every evening
of the world here, but fears that
as soon as we begin incarcerating
officers in accordance with Jeff
Davis' proclamation he will
be "hurled to the deepest

[page 13]
dungeons of the castle moat."
The brother of my friend
"Fruit Flowers" is only paroled
not to serve until the exchan
 therefore is not obliged to report & Jem does monthly
ged ^ and means to go South
by underground as soon as
he obtains facilities for pedes-
trian locomotion which he
expects shortly - Pen Carey's en-
gagement to a Miss Gibson
of Philadelphia is just an-
nounced - not pretty but
desperately enamored and
worth some $30,000.  His
face has proved his fortune as
I always predicted.  George
Dobbin is the dévoué of Miss Belle.
On dit that it will soon be-
come an affaire fixe - The two
Charles St Brights have gone

[page 14]
to N, York to live and the
beautiful Judith will
make them a visit of some
months.  I prophesy that not-
withstanding her intensely
Southern proclivities she will
"end" in a brown stone front
on Fifth Avenue - Jimmie
Spence is to be married soon
to a young stupid whose name
I forget.  Lily Dulany's fiancé,
young Cushing of Boston, is a
"tip-toper" [?] two, hand-
some, well made, polished,
gentlemanly and worth $500,
000 - mentally on a par with
the fair damsel of  his choice.
Rozier still flourishes - recites
all the Southern poetry he can
find in his vaunted style

[page 15]
and grows handsomer daily.
He is strongly southern, but
says he is afraid to join the
army, first, because he believes
he would inevitably run at
the first fire; second, he thinks
it highly probably he might
wake up some morning and
find himself an out & out black
republican!  "For you know, there
is not reliance whatever to be
placed on me!"

At home everything jogs on in
the same old way.   Our school
does not increase beyond forty.
We have now four boarders -
Minnie Worthington, Nancy
[Couber?], Eliza Dallam and Mary
Webb.  Ma manages very well
'with Jennie & Pa - I only teach

[page 16]
two hours.  both Ma's & Pa's
health is excellent.  Jennie, too,
continues perfectly well. Sallie
is [?] an invalid [?] for
years, and looks very well.
The children are all beautiful
and fascinating.  Mr Mac
talks of finishing the new
house but Jean says he cannot
do it for less than $14,000 so
I expect it will be deferred
until better times.
  I wish you would give my
very warmest love to the
Major and tell him I despair
of responding to his charming
letter in [?], therefore have
not attempted it, but my
appreciation of its merits
know no bounds and he

[cross hatched on page 16]
shall find the bread he has thus cast upon
the waters some of these days,  I promise him.
I must really bid you goodbye, for my
eyes are almost closed - I have written
this scratch at full speed so you must
kindly excuse its shortcomings.  All charged
me with messages of love, which of course
you will take for granted.
               Your sleepy, stupid and devoted sister
                         Hetty Cary

Hetty Cary and her sister Jennie, accused of spying for the Confederacy and smuggling medicine and clothes to the South, did return to Richmond, They and their cousin Constance Cary, also referred to briefly in this letter were know as the Cary Invincibles.  The belles of Richmond society, they were also credited with creating the first Confederate battle flags which they presented to Generals Johnston, Beauregard and Van Dorn in the summer of 1861.  In January, 1865 Hetty married General John Pegram, referred to briefly above, who was killed in action a few days later.  She afterwards married Henry Newell Martin, a pioneer psychologist and a professor at Johns Hopkins.   Constance, to whose writing skills she alludes became a noted author.

MSS 1415

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