United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865; Bruen, Augusta Forrer--Correspondence; United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Women
Dayton O. Aug. 11th.1864Dear Aunt-Mary,Mother does not seem able to write, and my hand too trembles at what has become an unwanted task since dear Ones have gone, yet we are anxious to hear again from you concerning Edward. We hope you will give us the earliest intelligence of him and pray that it may relieve us of all fears for this safety.Mother thinks he must have taken refuge with the Doctor's relatives. Stranger cases of disappearance have been on record, and it does seem as if there was ground for hope.We are none of us feeling well. Father wilts down beneath the combined attack of heat and deep sorrow, poor old father! he thinks of every body but himself. Mary has returned with *Jer* and *Lib*, she was well while gone, but *Jer* and *Lib* were both sick. Mother in her anxiety for father and Mary bears her great sorrow better than we feared she would, but I know too well that it will take years to even soften this blow, doubly strong! I felt at one time that with my lovely children, and Howard and Mary I might yet cheer up, but now that that hope is taken from me, and none but sad face are around me, it will be a harder task to regain that cheerfulness that ought to surround little children.I do not give up, but am determined to try hard for it, remembering Luther's desire to have me do so, and Howard's last message "Poor dear *Gus*, her grief must be almost insupportable give her all my love and tell her to bear up for her childrens' sake."My letter is too sad to do you any good, dear Aunt-Mary, but as we are all in trouble perhaps it will yet harmonize with your own feelings.Aunt-Ann says give her love and tell you how anxious she is to hear from Edward. Uncle John has been very unwell, having had several large 'boils'. Love to all from all, and goodbye.Augusta.
Catharine Mitchill '31 Collection of Family Letters, Wellesley College Library, Special Collections