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


8 pages


[1] Dayton O. Nov. 30th 1862 Dear Husband, No letter came this morning, greatly to my disappointment. You surely are not going to put me off with one letter a week! Poor Frank broke out with the measles last Thursday; the rash is now fading away, and he has done well thus far, but the Doctor says he must be carefully watched for two or even three weeks yet as he is liable to take cold and it will do great harm; the most dangerous time is still to come. He must have been exposed at the Fort I suppose, as he seemed unusually quiet all the way out and seemed feverish last Tuesday. The other children are still coughing and I think will probably break out some time this week. Lib is quite uneasy about her six children as four of them were here the day Frank broke out. Eddy says he wants to get through with it before he is old enough to volunteer! Frank wanted me to tell you to send him the prettiest thing you could find for Christmas. I told him you could not send anything but I would ask you for a little money to get something with, so he fixed on a dollar._ Robby has divided the house into "quarters"; the kitchen is Betty's the dining-room Mary's; the parlor Grandmother's and the end room, mine; tonight he said, (as he laid in bed) "if dis was de Foat, Papa would be in dis room." He is constantly assuring different members of the family that they are not "Commanding officers", and was not at all pleased when I told him that Grandpa and Grandma were the commanding officers in this house. Robert C. has twice mentioned to me his desire for you to edit the Dayton Journal and finally told me to tell you what he said. I tell you as I promised him, but I cannot say that I exactly fancy the idea of editor's brawls and prohibited campaigns, much as I would delight in having you once more in the dear little house that was once our home. It made me feel sad the other day when Mother and I went over it. Everything seemed a great deal prettier than ever before. Frank says tell you that he has not been at the 'old house' yet. Nor won't be very soon, poor boy, for I am very anxious to avoid any exposure. I gave $16.00 to Uncle John for the Insurance; paid Mary over $8.00 which I owed her; have bought new underclothes and nightclothes for Frank and Robby and when I pay for Frank's new suit will have but two or three dollars left. I am having my old blue bonnet made over, and shall braid my black silk myself so as to make bonnet and dress cost as little as possible; fortunately I had got almost all the lining last Spring. Perhaps you may think it foolish to write all this, but I wished to show you that I am trying to do for the best with what I have had. Although Mother has cheerfully consented to take charge of the two children, I still feel under obligations to make her as little trouble as possible in the way of keeping their clothes in order. The old clothes are really too thin for Frank, especially since the measles will leave him delicate. Besides Rob can step into the cast offs in warmer weather. If the children are not very sick I shall expect to return to you in much better health. I am already much better, although being disturbed at night makes me rather stupid. Mother insists upon my going out almost every day for exercise, and the change of diet makes me almost ravenous. I cannot expect to be entirely well, but I hope I shall not be quite such a nuisance as I was. [2] I am much stronger than I was and feel better in consequence. Every one notices how thin I am, but Mother thinks I have already begun to improve. I hope I shall continue to do so, for I felt nearly desperate and almost felt that I should die if something was not done to help me immediately. The change in my condition for which we both hoped, I fear will not come, but I shall try to bear it cheerfully; my great trouble arises from the thought of the more speedy separation which must come. I cannot help feeling this deeply and it sadly mars the pleasant anticipations that otherwise might arise. I depend, perhaps too much upon you for every happiness in life. It is so very sweet to lean on one who loves and is dearly loved in return. May God's blessing follow and rest upon us Dearest, and give us happy days far in the Future! Oh! if our country was safely through this terrible struggle, how much more hopeful we would feel! Poor Aunt Mary seems still to watch the War with a sad interest. She says if slavery is done away, she shall feel as if all had not been useless. She wrote a day or two since to give notice of the birth of a fine boy at Harriet's; no doubt they are much pleased, as they now have a son and daughter. You used to say that Mother would not read my long letters, I always thought you ought to be punished for that speech so now, old darling, I won't write any more tonight. Good night. Augusta I am provoked to think I have to break my word, but I had forgotten my promise to Jere, to ask what the circular piece of clay inside the pipe was meant for; also I want to tell you to direct my letters to Father's care or I may have trouble in getting them. Thursday Morning -- Mary has just gone to Uncle John's to ask your questions. Poor Frank has been sick all night; the Doctor says it is Inflammatory Croup and has prescribed new medicines today; I hope with care to have him well in two or three days. Robby is singing away, in the room near me. This morning Mother told him to let her bathe him, as she did Elliott or Bess; when she was wiping his feet she laid him down on her lap, which did not suit his dignity, "Is that the way you do her?" he asked with such an odd mixture of surprise and displeasure that we were much amused. He questioned in like manner his Grandmother's "white tea" making. She poured the milk in to some cold water already in the glass, without thinking of pouring it out. "Is that the way you make it?" This was at the first breakfast. Uncle John says he has about $50.00 the Insurance is a little over $60.00. We can pay it together, but I shall need more, as I wish the children to give Mother no trouble in the way of mending. Breene is making Frank a very pretty suit I think. Uncle says Kirsted told him he did not want the money and he was surprised at his writing. The other money has not been collected and he don't know when it will be. The newspaper article was very touching and I thank you for noticing and sending it to me; almost any parent could be benefitted by reading it. Love and kisses from all to you dearest Augusta



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.