Identifier

MSS.6.367

Date

2-5-1863

Subjects

United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865; Forrer, Sarah Hastings Howard--Correspondence; United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Women

Notes

8 pages

Transcription

Dayton Feb 5th 1863 My dear Augusta We received thine of . at the same time, one from Howard, he is still at Corinth, and says, just as he was closing his letter they received orders to remain there, instead of going to Memphis, as they expected to do. He had had a letter from Willie, who spoke of his box, but did now know how to get it to him. Howard was disappointed that he did not see, or rather, that he is not likely to see, Will. I am glad you have heard from Howard. The children are well, Sella likes her school, says Mrs. Gregg is very kind, and they do not have much to do. She told me, the other day, that Mrs. Gregg wanted to see all their dolls, and when I looked doubtfully at her, she said "She does She told us so, and she sent one little girl home to get hers" I told her I thought hers rather too large to be carried to school, but she might take the little one. She agreed with me, but said the little one was not well dressed, and did not look well enough to take, and she concluded she would not take either. She is full of life and in high spirits, most of the time. She seldom says anything about you, but when she does speak she wishes you would all come home, and she said she would like to see all at the Fort, and she thought she could go, if her GrandFather would get her a pass, for that Capt Dunn's little girl travelled that way. We easily convinced her that it would not be safe, and she said no more about it. Today we have had a heavy fall of snow, and I have kept her at home. I believe she will be quite content, and from all I see, I think the school is the right one. Little Frank went under the table after thee left but, without appearing to think; he was distressed, I asked him if he did not want a place to put his many playthings, where he could go to them any time, and where he could get them without help. He said "yes," came out to see what I proposed to do, and Betty, seeing his distress, came very promptly to help me, and we brought the little Refrigerator from the cellar, and put it in our corner of the little porch. He felt quite elated with the idea of having it all to himself, put his things in, and has kept them there since. He is much better, and when it is not wet, he plays out in the yard, and begs to go even when it is very cold. The few cold days we have had, I put his great coat mittens, cap, and comfort, on, and let him stay out for 30 minutes at a time much to his gratification. Dash goes out with him, and they have a grand time once or twice he seemed a little sad if something was said which reminded him of you, and threatened to "kill the government." but generally he is very cheerful, much more so, than when Robbie was here to divide the playthings and condend with him. His GrandFather has made him a good Hickary bow, but the weather has been so very bad, that he has had but little use of it. He has been "whittleing" almost all the time for two days, and is very sure he can make a bridge, and horses that can walk, to go over it. He wanted to know how the feet should be put on so they could walk. That seemed his only difficulty in the enterprise. He is moving all day, I do not see him still one moment. He is a complete Bear's cub. Uncle John continues his donations of Ginger Horses, and men, and rabbits much to their gradification. And his too, I believe. He came last Sunday and took Mary, Sella and Frank to dine with him. He looks at them with great interest, and with a shade of sadness on his countinance, and will not allow me to reprove them in his presence without remonstrating. This I do notwithstanding, (whenever I think it necessary,) for all our sakes. I thought it best to write, and wait for an answer, and then write again, unless something more than common is the matter. If that is not often enough, I can write oftener. The reason I wrote so often last summer, was, that there was so much to be said to Mary and so many things to tell her about her business, and, scarce a day passed that I did not think of something in connection with her studies, that made it necessary to write. Frank is singing "Benny Havens" in the dining room. He is preparing to write to thee, with Betty's help, and it is difficult to tell which is best pleased. Sella is writing to thee at the same table with me and I am not helping her hers for I thought it would be as well for thee to keep her letters, and watch her improvement, for I hope, and believe there will be an improvement. I will attend to the nurse. Is thee sure of the time? I do not know if Elizabeth is still here, but will inquire. About thy plan for finishing the house on the hill. I had sometimes thought of saying that you might finish part of it and live there at a reasonable rate of boarding till the sum you spent was exhausted, and longer if all parties wished it. But, in such an arrangement thee would be left, after a time, without any claim upon me, but what love always gives, and I am growing so infirme, that I fear my housekeeping will not be very acceptable to any one. If we could only keep house without a kitchen. I should have no fear. Our washing can be done out there as easily as in town, and I shall feel better to have thee with us, if we can arrange it to have our families private when we wish. I have often thought I would like to have my children live under the same roof with me, and let each have her own apartments, and meet at meals, evenings, and such other times, as may be desireable. It is better for every family, to be situated in such a way as to be private at times. I am saving all I can, to try to build in the spring but with all I can get together, I fear I shall not be able to get in by fall. Dear Father, would help me if he could (with money I mean, he does do all, planning and headwork which I could not do, and which no one else could do for me as he does.) but you know he can do nothing. I am sure thee, and I, could live together happily, if any two families can, but I wish to own the property myself, as long as I live and to be able to dispose of it as I will when I am done with it. If I were as well as I was say ten years ago, I think I could make it agreeable to you, without my inconvenience to myself, and even now I think; we ought to be able to live together happily, and, while Luther is in the Army, I think thee would be better with us, but, thee knows how worthless I am growing, and if he was at home, I fear he would think it "half Rations" We will have our opportunity, soon to try living together, and (though I do not think we shall be so conveniently situated as we shall be on the hill, if we can carry out our plan) can tell better after a few months trials, than now, whether we will wish to do so or not. Kiss dear little Robbie for me, and for Sella and Frank. Aunt Mary is at *Jerries, but will write Sunday, Father sends love to you all. With love to all I remain your Mother A. H. Bruen Fort Hamilton N.Y. #Sella has finished her letter, I fear Frank will not. He is in a great gala of play, and I will not urge him. #

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