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


8 pages


Dayton, O. March 27th, 1864 Dear Husband, After a vain attempt to put Mary to sleep, I have put her on the floor to play, and begun my usual Sunday letter. One from you came yesterday, with that of mine you returned. Uncle John and Mr. Corwin also received letters from you the day before yesterday. Uncle J. was just in; had not written to any one yet, and didn't seem to know to whom he should write. He said Corwin came in to his office with several that he had written and began to talk about the matter before all that were present, which didn't strike him as right in as much as your letter to him had been marked private and confidential. He (Robert) met Father and told him about it, and mentioned *Shuck's* name among his list; Father said "Oh! That won't do." Well he said John Howard told him he mustn't send that one! I was not sanguine before, and certainly am not now. There is but one thing to be gained by it, I fear at any rate, at which my woman's heart would rejoice your greater safety, but I don't believe your wish to have us with you could this be gratified, on account of the great expense to be encountered in the city. I stopped here to put Mary to sleep so she lies in her crib now. Robby too is asleep. He was restless last night and has complained all the morning of weariness and chilliness, still he was off early with Sella and Frank to hunt Easter eggs. All three came back with three eggs apiece, and Lib afterwards added a goose egg colored purple and a small red egg. Frank ate two before breakfast, another after, and then was anxious to see how thick the shell of the goose egg was and cracked it. Robby carried his three safely till some time after breakfast, when he accidentally broke "the prettiest one," as he mournfully exclaimed. He is quite restless now but too sleepy to tell me what hurts him. He is as fleshy and robust as ever yet - he often complains of being tired, and cannot take a walk of any length without being much fatigued. Frank's more slender form seems to carry him through much better. Oh! how I wanted you yesterday! and yet was glad you were not here on your own account. I sat with Mary in my arms all the afternoon, that being the only way she seemed to rest. I had Bayard Taylor's novel to finish, so didn't care to have her to nurse, but for both reading and nursing I paid dearly. A blinding headache came on and almost crazed me. Mother and Mary insisted that I needed the air, and I tried a short walk with the latter, the air felt good, but I was no better on my return, and I went to bed by half past seven. The mesmerism of your hand was what I craved, but as I felt that a wife with sick headache wasn't agreeable company I comforted myself by thinking it was better that you were away. Mother's headaches began at my age, and I am afraid the affliction is coming on me, but mean to avoid if possible all excesses or diet or fatigue, hoping thus to escape them. They are curses to any family, a wife and Mother has no time to be sick. With Taylor's novel I am much pleased although I doubt it's having a good affect #The Insurance is paid out of the money you sent me# religious people of the old school, will consider themselves aggrieved, and him a scoffer at holy things. Women's Rights people too will be angry with him. Thinking that he only sins to strike at the abuses of religion, and wishes to make marriage a lovely and holy tie. I am pleased with his book. Mother says the pictures of Quaker life are truthfully drawn which of course causes it to meet with favor in her eyes. Mary has gone with Henrietta, Edward and Sarah Price, *Sella* and Betty over to the Catholic church this afternoon. Robby is awake and says he feels better now; he does not however seem inclined to get up yet. Your funny strictures on Mrs. Gage make me take up her defense, although I know but little of her. In the first place, as she is a widow, there is no "old Gage" to have shirts without buttons, and secondly her son and daughter accompany her in many of her journeys; they were helping her in the South. I heard a little anecdote of her which showed her in the light of a careful Mother. Perhaps you do not know that she is a self educated woman. Which doing her own work, she yet mastered arithmetic one Winter, and always tried to increase her knowledge, so that her children seemed to think she knew a great deal; however one day while engaged in some household affairs, her son asked her a question about stories on formation of earths, which she couldn't answer, and told him she didn't know any thing about it. He wondered and learned, that he "thought Mother knew everything, but she didn't know that, and perhaps she didn't know some other things. This stung her, for she thought she had lost some hold on her boy, so she studied not only geology but other things that she thought would help her children and increase her influence over them. So if she takes care of her family and has the gift of speech I see no objection to her speaking. As for me, I am not so gifted; would prefer the quiet of my own family circle and would rather sew on your shirt buttons indeed I would be very glad of the opportunity especially as you think you could certainly appreciate that quality in your wife. Thank God for a good Husband, I for one am willing to say! Mine has been willing to make me his equal, and I have never felt myself his slave, nor fettered in the least. If he had wanted me to follow him to the polls or to make speeches, it might be laziness in me, but I'm sure I should have begged to be excused. If I can make men out of my boys, who shall speak for me, and honor my teachings by their conduct in life my mission will have been fulfilled for the public, and I content. Father has the new Atlantic, but I have not read it yet. I do not agree with you, and like the second instalment of "House and Home Papers" better than the first. Something you said made me think that you did not know that the authoress was Mrs. Stowe. If those grapevines come, don't you think some had better be planted by the wood-house? The vine on the house under Sella's window did better than any other, and I don't believe the walls are hurt by it. I believe I never told you that Lizzie Lowry was inquiring whether we were going to sell, as she wanted the place. She has always regretted having left it. I am sorry for her but have no idea that she can pay what it is worth if opposite place sold for $4500.00, and besides I am not willing to sell at all. I am finishing this letter by gas light, the boys are chattering in bed, and Sella and Mary are tumbling over the comfort on the floor; the latter is sleepy but persists in trying to keep awake. Bessie *Perin* was here today. She is still weak. #Two *shirts* will fill up in spite of me with next to nothing the principal *capitate* being *J* Can you forgive it? Poor Howard seems full of business and writes but seldom. He seems to think it necessary to send a long letter or nothing at all. I wish he would learn that a few lines offered would be better and relieve our minds of much anxiety. Good bye dear Love, Augusta# #Monday - Robby seems well enough this morning #



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