Identifier

MSS.6.120

Date

5-3-1864

Subjects

United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865; Bruen, Augusta Forrer--Correspondence; United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Women

Notes

4 pages; + 3¢ piece wrapped and sewn in; + envelope

Transcription

Dayton O. May 3rd. 1864 Dear Little Mary, I received a letter today from Papa, dated 27th of April, including a three cent-piece of 1862. He says "Enclosed I sent a three cent-piece which I think you had better give to little Mary, as I have never given any thing to her yet. By the way I want you to get her picture taken and send me one, my family collection being incomplete. She is about as old as our other children were when they were first daguerreotyped." Papa is now in camp at Nokesville Virginia, but the army is on the eve of a great battle, under Gen. Grant's direction. Frequent letters come to me and each one bears evidence of deep love for the wife and little ones left at home. He awaits the impending struggle with anxiety, doubtless, yet is ever cheerful. God grant a great victory, and the safe return of our dear Husband and Father! Perchance in coming years, my little girl will wonder at so small a present to be sent so far; but in these dark days, silver or metal coins are rare, and we look at one as a curiosity. Then too, her Father is in the field where nothing can be bought. I trust she will learn to value the heart's intention above the money-worth of any gift. To show her how to estimate things by her dear Father's standard, I quote another passage from the same letter. "When I came into the Field last Fall, I had three cents in my pockets. I carried them until a short time before I went home, when I lost two of them. While there, Robbie, one day was play-ing with four, when I showed him mine, telling him that was all I had. He immediately proposed to give me all he had, but I suggested that he should give one to me one to Frank, who also had one, and we should all have two. This he did immediately and seemed very much pleased with the arrangement. I intended to give him mine before I came away, but forgot to do it, and they are still in my pocket. You may imagine those two cents are considerably above par in my estimation." The generous spirit of his little boy sanctified the small gift of one cent! Little Mary must ever remember to let her intention be pure in either giving or receiving, let the thing be great or small. Remembering this the little "Three cent-piece" may prove a treasure of incalculable value. Little Mary, two months old, plays on the floor, as her Mother writes these cards, hoping the Little One may live long to bless both Father and Mother. Let her keep this letter and the "Three cent-piece" as long as she lives, in memory of her Loving parents. A.F.B. (On Envelope: Mary Howard Bruen Dayton Ohio)

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