United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865; Bruen, Augusta Forrer--Correspondence; United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Women
Dayton O. March 22nd 1864.
I have been off sightseeing instead of writing to you Dearest. - Uncle John called for Mother, Mary and me, to go to see the Stereopticon at Bickel's Hall.
It is an immense stereoscope, I should think. The scenes are thrown on a larger canvas, as by a magic lantern Well worth seeing, I can assure you. There is an afternoon exhibition tomorrow, and we mean Betty to go with the children. Robert and Eliza were there tonight. R. said it was probably that he would go to Washington after the election; I told him I wanted him to let me know a day or two beforehand as I might wish to send something. Do think well and send me word if you want anything particularly. He said he would see you unless you were fighting. I trembled as he spoke, so lightly, but said nothing. If you do escape this time; do come of it all, I feel almost desperate lately, at times, and do so long for a family with Husband and Father at its head. Perhaps you are as safe as at home, dangers assault us everywhere and I often try to imagine your conditions quite as free from danger, as if exposed to a 'Dayton Mob'.
Wednesday Morn. Baby is quite sick with a cold, indeed we have all had colds. Frank, Robby and Baby have had a sore eye connected with it.
I wish you could have heard Sella just now playing this first part of the little air over which she and Aunt Mary had such a quarrel the other day. Her execution was very good. I shall have to watch her, and keep her stimulated till it is less of a labor to her, but she will finally do well at it, as well as at more solid accomplishments. She is gifted in almost every direction, unless it is in drawing, but lacks perseverance. I shall be much obliged for the roses and vines if sent; but have you any objections to my dividing with Mother instead of Jere? She is just beginning with her place and will appreciate them more highly besides being unable to buy for herself. The rubber card dropped out of the letter and Master Rob secured his birthday present considerably before the 8th of April. He told me to "tell Papa that he is welcome for sending me that." I have succeeded in getting both boys at work in making red, white and blue candle lighters for my birthday; Aunt Mary conducts the secret part with them and I superintend the labor. Rob makes little stumpy ones like unto to himself, and Frank long slender ones, in his likeness.
I can't say that I agree with Mother who just suggested that for the childrens' edification, my letters ought to be preserved she wants them sent home. Don't worry yourself about it however.
Breakfast is ready and Mother is *nursing*. Here comes Rob on Aunt Mary's back, he is wearing a yellow pasteboard crown with a cross in front. This letter must send hastily, as I do not wish to impose on Mother any longer. Papers say Gov. Grant reviews the Potomac army today. Hope you'll please him in your brigade. No time to correct mistakes. Goodbye Dearest, Augusta.
Catharine Mitchill '31 Collection of Family Letters, Wellesley College Library, Special Collections