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


6 pages


Home, Sunday evening Aug 24th/62 Dear Augusta, Jere has driven in town to take home, mother, father, and Howard; the children are asleep, and have left me quiet enough to write, and time to commence a letter. Jere stays long, waiting for news I suppose: how many wait tonight, and more anxiously then we, comment to hear from our army on the Rappahannock. I think sometimes that you are in a government fort, under a military rule, and surrounded by military people and forms, perhaps hardly see and feel so much of the excitement of preparation for war, as we do here, where all ordinary circumstances accord so little with it. There is no talk but of recruiting, drafting, Provost Marshall, 'the regiment', 'the battery', subscriptions to aid recruiting, or to the 'relief fund', "Soldiers Aid Societies, Nos 1, 2, and 3," &c.&c. There is really a very earnest feeling, and a good deal of pride that so light a draft will be necessary – in the town now it is said. Mother has given you some news of Howard I have watched it all with the greatest interest, and feel very anxious to know which way he will turn next. His commission came too late. Neither money no influence could have helped him, with so little time. Of course great numbers besieged the committee and were disappointed too, thinking themselves as fit as he. Of course too we did not agree with most of them, nor see very cheerfully, even Captain's commissions borne off by men far less deserving. Much as I regret it, I do not wonder that he is still watching for an opening without any idea of when it may come but determined to do almost anything rather than return to the school; nor do I like to miss seeing him for a day, lest I should miss some of his plans too. Jere is quite well informed however. The dogs bark constantly, Mop, and Pop, and Rock and Rose, all together, but Jere does not come. Bob, who is not an acquaintance of yours, Sella, and Frank, went to town today to spend the rest of his life, no 'dog's life' either. I suppose, with uncle Howard to pet him, and Betty to feed. Tell aunt Mary he is a right bright, pretty little "yeller feller" as Elizabeth calls him, though Henrietta thinks the noisy part of his name particularly appropriate, we are all sorry to part with him. I have been in and near Cincinnati two days, and not withstanding heat and dust, had quite a pleasant visit; partly to Mrs. Williams and Mrs. Perry, who made very particular inquiries for you and Mary, and send much love. My kitchen affairs while away, were not in such a state as to encourage me in the plan of going to Minnesota with Jere – therefore if for no other reason, I stay at home, gathering the pears, put away and sell the peaches and plums, with other business, his and mine. After we came home Mellie had an attack of intermittent fever, short but rather severe, and Elliott's disorder grew much worse; both are pretty well now however. During that time, Jeannie Mills was at Father's, after her long visit at Mrs. Gardner's, and out of six days, spent but one with me. I am sorry, to have known so little of her visit, and I am afraid mother did not feel very cheerful just then. Father went home with her, and took to Aunt Caroline a fine orange tree, from Aunt Ann, and some smaller things; and Jeannie's thoughtfulness reported our wants to Aunt Caroline, who sent a package in return; Austrian roses for mother, fuschsias and "Rainbow Cactus" for me. And thereby hangs a tale of little troubles, of little people and large. Unpacking my cuttings, I laid them in the shade ready to plant, and answered a call to the kitchen. Before breakfast came Elizabeth with trouble in her face, 'Oh mama you know those sticky things by the house?' - Yes - 'Well I thought they were old pieces you cut off your plants and threw away, and there was a trowel buy them, and I just – chopped them all up, – and now Millie says you wanted them", and then such a burst of tears and self-reproach, the cactus cuttings were nothing by the side of it. Mellie who watched the effect afar off, when questioned, said 'yes she did; she wanted me to tell you, but I told her she ought to do it herself!' She went with me to the greenhouse to find comfort in seeing the remnants trimmed and planted, and try to console me by saying, "there are two little pieces that I think will grow don't you mama?" Of course I did; but if they do I shall always associate my rainbow with her. Too long a story for paper and fitter for her grandfather then for one who has children of her own to listen to. There are the dogs again – and this time, carriage wheels sound near – Nothing but the steamers foreign news and no one cares for that now, so good night. Sunday August 31st You will think I am writing you something on Mary's plan, with a week between instead of a day. That week has been, peaches and plums all day, fatigue and sleep at night until I can hardly write about anything else; but I will try, for I don't want to make you as tired of them as I am. I wish you were all here to help us eat. I am waiting for Jere again tonight but now we know there is news, if it would but come. I wonder where Joe and Fielding are tonight; that terrible field of Manasses, lies covered with horrible realities, and overshadowed by the dark forebodings of thousands of unhappy families. If only we may receive an assurance of victory, that will bring some joy to all. I am sure you must be enjoying Mary's visit as much as she is – we miss her very much and every day. She says nothing of watercolors; there seems to be some demand for lessons of that kind, how much I cannot say. There will always be people to prefer it's greater convenience and cleanliness to that of oil painting But I hope she will not over task herself in anyway, either body or mind. I am glad you mentioned Sarah's house and ashamed that I had allowed her thanks to escape my memory when I wrote; it came in good order, and has been a source of great pleasure to them all. I felt particularly obliged by her uncle Luther's remembrance of her, for she is generally a very good child and and indefatigable nurse. I am afraid your household cares are not less than they were here, with some other anxieties added to; is it not so? We are all very anxious about Howard, and I feel much disappointed not to have seen him tonight, but hope Jere may learn something of his plans. He feels with him in some of his desires very much, and I wish he would in this case express a little more of his sympathy, than his custom is. Perhaps it would be of use, to Howard's feelings at least. Do excuse my delay in writing; you would have a letter every week if I could write as often as I wish. My best love to all and believe me ever affectionately your sister E. H. Pierce Friday, Howard went this evening to Cincinnati by the Gov.s order to take down as Adjutant a body of troops from our camp, whose regimental officers have not been appointed, All well



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