United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865; Bruen, Luther Barnett--Correspondence


7 pages


Washington March 15th I was very sorry, my little darling, on reading yours of the 10th, to find that you were expecting me home to-morrow. I have already prepared you for a disappointment in one of my letters, so that before to-morrow comes you will cease to expect me. It may possibly be another week before I can get home, or even longer, if your uncle John should countermand an order of sale about which I have written to him. Please tell him not to forget that proceeding for condemning property on Second street which is set for the 20th or 21st. It is almost impossible do any thing here at present; indeed since Mr. Schenck left nothing has been done in our matter that I know of. Within the past few days I have been pulling at the wires very vigorously, but so far have not been able to accomplish anything. I shall try very hard to have theirs in working order by Monday morning, but I am not very sanguine that I shall succeed. Private Things have not taken the time we supposed they would from what Mr. Schenck has said to your father and the rest of us. I had supposed he was heartily with us and relied, consequently, too much upon his personal influence with the President. Since my confidence in that quarter has been shaken I have set to work to bring what influence I can command to bear upon the appointment, I may be mistaken in regard to Mr. S.'s position. and therefore it is absolutely necessary to let no one know that we respect him; but if Mr F. does not get the P.O. it will be because he wanted Bill Comly to have it. That it is my fine *coniotion* You complain of my not telling you more fully about the state of things here. It is sufficient to say that everything is in doubt, here, until the nomination is actually sent in & confirmed. At present the President and Cabinet are confining themselves closely to other matters and give appointments the go-by. How long this will last, I don't know, but little can be done in the mean while. Still it is best to be here ready to do whatever can be done. Thro' Robert I can reach Caleb. and I wish to be able to enlist Gen. Chase on one side. If I do, and can reach the P.M.Gen. by any influence as I hope to be able to do, I may be able to get the appointment made before S. returns which will be a great point, if he is really against us. If not, we will get the office at last any how. Say nothing to any body out of the family about what I say. It is best for us to keep our own counsel. I wrote to Mr Schenck this week, in reference to his conversation with the President, but have received no answer yet. If I do not get one to-night, I shall begin to be assured that I have caught him. His is much engaged in the Sensational fight & may not answer on that account but I hope to hear from him to-night. I went to the National Conservatory this morning and saw many curious & beautiful things. If you had only been along to enjoy them with me! There were two azaleas- one white the other red, which were very beautiful. Both were very large and a perfect mass of flowers. I would have given a hundred dollars to have been able to set *coffee* down in your parlor this morning. Since my arrival here I have received a very kind letter from A F Perry, endorsing one recommending Mr. Forrer. He professes a willingness to do anything within his power in Mr Forrer's behalf. I trust that ere another Saturday night rolls around I shall have the pleasure of kissing you and our dear little ones & that no shadow of disappointment may rest upon our dear family circle. Love and kisses to all. Lovingly, your Luther Saturday evening I have called at the P.O. since the above was written, but got nothing. Mr. S. is evidently afraid of committing himself upon paper. If I do not receive anything from him in the morning, I shall here after proceed upon the belief that he is against us._ Bill Comly expects him here on Tuesday night_ but he can't come; and if he writes me I shall use his letter for our benefit whichever way he jumps. Mr. Thomas Corwin is quite sick_ very seriouly so, I should suppose from Robert's account of him, if his character for exaggeration were not so well established. His throat and lungs are the part affected. You would scarcely imagine from what I have written that your letter of the 12th had been received by me. It was full of sad news. Poor Mrs. Steele has gone at last. She was about worn out and her friends will not mourn her loss very deeply._ Tell Mother she must not set her heart to steadfastly on the P.O. Hundreds of persons are going away from Washington without office, with the consciousness of having much time and and money in the vain hope of bettering their condition. Their hearts are sad and full of bitterness, but their prospect may have been as fair as ours. They have received some revelations of man's selfishness, ungratitude & treachery, would it be wonderful if we should have some such new experience too? Tell her to chain her imagination & burish hope; if the office comes, I trust we may all live to enjoy it for years; if it does not, the sun will shine, and the grass will grow and the flowers will bloom and in a few weeks the world will look as beautiful as if there had never been a man in it who hadn't as many post offices as he could wish for. Let us be strong and bear up stiffly against whatever ill winds may blow. Let us think how cruel a blow it will be for Comly to lose the P.O., when his and Carrie's happiness depends upon it, as I have no doubt it does, before we accuse others of selfishness. Sunday Morning I have just received yours of the 14th. I hope you will be as fortunate and receive one from this morning. I have written nearly every day, so that it is probable that you will. I have just learned the extent of Schenck's duplicity. In the letter he wrote to the President, he said he wanted Mr. Forrer or Mr. Comly to receive the nomination. That his own personal preference was strongly for Mr. Forrer, but that in consideration of Mr Comly's long political services he thought he should have the offices. This will settle it against us unless I can bring some influences to bear which have hitherto eluded my grasp. _ I got a letter this morning from *Ino* G. Lowe, in answer to mine to Schenck, who was too sharp to commit himself in black & white. Lowe said that S. would telegraph the President to take up the case. If he did so, it may now be too late to do anything, but I hope not. _ You know the opinion I have long had of Schenck. He's *leching har* eaten away his entire moral nature. I have known the day when he would have lost his right arm rather than revert to such despicable meanness as this. I am inclined to believe that his anxiety to get the influence of Panett is the Sensational Contest, now in progress in Columbus, has led him to do this meanness._ I am sorry that I have no more cheerful news to write this morning._ Tom Corwin has symptoms of Typhoid fever._ I regret to hear so sad an account of the sickness at home; I pray that our dear little ones and all those with whom we are closely narrated, may be spared. _ I will close without filling the other page, because I have some business on hand, that it may be perilous to post pone. So good bye, darling. Luther



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