United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865; Peirce, Elizabeth Hannah--Correspondence; United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Women


6 pages


Home, Sunday Morning Oct.1861. My dear Sister, Your letter was all the more welcome that it did not wait for one of mine. You know my good intentions, of old, and probably did not very much expect to hear from me before this time. Your letters and Howard's have been common property here, and we feel tolerably well informed of your movements and situation, do not let us be less so when he returns, but try to give us frequently that overall substitute for the old seeing, and hearing, of everyday. Mother has told you how busy we have all been since you left us, and I think it well she was so, as her health seems more the worse, and her attention called from unpleasant subjects. I've expended a great amount of unavailing sympathy upon your stove annoyances, and as to the Madchen, that trial would be a little too much for my philosophy, which was always put to flight by unexpected dish-water. Is it not a little too bad to go so many hundred miles from inland, to sit looking at the salt water and never go into it? I expected to hear that you and the children had been almost changed into mer-people by this time, and though the amphibious life almost a compensation for the loss of my pleasant society. You mention patterns; send them by all means, - little jonane particularly, and some advice from your own taste for a cap for my baby boy: soft and pretty and boyish. In return, command me to the extent of my taste, ingenuity, and fashionable opportunities for information!! Would you like to know what we are doing this rainy Sunday morning. We are all at home. Jere wakes now and then from his comfortable chair to play with Elliott, or read his paper, or look over a few ripe pears, and gather the figs which are ready to fall. I wish you could have a part of the hundred fine ones which we have enjoyed. The children will remember how tame Edward's ring-dove had become; an hour ago Ellen brought him in upon her hand, looking for his breakfast. He sat upon the window sill eating from Henrietta's hand, and keeping just clear of Elliot's, then flew into the sitting-room, upon a little vase of flowers, - very pretty, but not convenient, so I invited him out. The quails whistle all around us, and whirr out of the fallen leaves when we step into the woods, or from the cloves of father's field. I see Jere examining his gun, preparing for tomorrow perhaps. Edward's has been ready for a week. He feels the equal to the quails this year, since his success with the grouse in Indiana. The children stay in the house with as much patience as they can, and think regretfully of the nuts they shook down yesterday just as the rain began, hoping a little to find them there tomorrow. Out of the hall window I see the great grass dropping with rain, and its six little flags hanging heavily in the showers, or floating in the wind between them. It is beautiful now, and Jere's particular pride. The border of Alyssum around it, looks like a circle of snow on the grass. The rose beds are making themselves as pretty as possible, in readiness for the frost. We do not miss the baskets full of flowers, Mary and I cut for the fair, but would cut another for you Monday, if tea-roses would like to travel along with this letter of introduction in Uncle *Lam's* mail. As to myself, I have Elliot on one arm, and manage my pen as well as I may with the other, looking as if I had gathered blue gentians in the burning sun of the prairie last week, worked myself thin for the fair had a fever for two days, and call myself well again, all of which is my history. To conclude with the flowers, mother's glass vase stands for the present in my room, filled with my variegated plants, the prettiest parlor ornament of the kind I ever saw. Mary is painting as usual with unusual success in her fruit I think. Mary Shaw would have liked your company on the painting committee along with Joe Deirce, where you and Eliza Horck were expected at least invited to be. Duties very light. Elizabeth Steele insisted that I should say sorry she was not to have known when you were leaving home, and feared you did not know how sorry for it she was; sent love too, as did poor Eleanor, who wished with tears in her eyes, she had seen Robbie before he went away. I owe Howard many thanks for his letter, as well as an answer to it, which he shall have, if he is not soon at home. I can well understand how pleasant to you his company is, but hope most earnestly, nothing may make it unnecessary for him to leave father and mother. Mary is much distressed at the idea of it. Our children miss their cousins very much, and certainly Aunt Lib. would be very glad to see them all running the woods, or 'sauring as high as they can see' together again. My love to them and the brothers and yourself, E.H. Peirce #Did you not think when you heard of the fortifications in Observatory hill that instead of going to the war, you had left it almost with us?#



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