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


8 pages


[1] Dayton O. Dec. 28th 1862 Yes Sir, I was 'mad'! Who ought to have had a Christmas letter I'd like to know? Of course I was the one of all others. Mary is so set up with her letter that she affects to call me foolish and says I ought to have written before this to you. Maybe I would have forgiven you and written on Christmas or the next day but then I couldn't for the festivities had worn me out entirely, and I just wouldn't do it. So there now, are you convinced that you had better not repeat the offence, and that frequent letters hereafter must atone for this most grievous one? I suppose you are laughing at me, and chuckling because your vanity suggests that 'little wife' must love very much if she cares so much! Vanity of course you are! I don't care! don't care for anything or *anybo--* well, never mind this time, I'll be good anyhow, and will even tell you how your children spent the day and what we did for them. Christmas Eve we got them all to bed as early as possible, and would have let them hear St. Nicholas running up and down stairs ringing his bells but St. Nick (alias Aunt Mary) took pity on the poor little Peirces (five of whom were broken out with measles) and went out there to get up Christmas for them. So Grandpapa, Grandma and I took the little 'cubs' in hand and got up a nice little tree, full of candy crosses, candy images and small toys. Then Betty had given Sella her large doll and Frank and Rob had drums. At midnight we retired and long before our weary eyes had rested the children became restless, and were anxious to visit the parlor; at length all were dressed and leaving them in the bedroom, I went to the parlor, called the family and rang the bell, when in came the three, hand in hand. Sella immediately seated herself in dignified style on the sofa, and Rob and Frank came rubbing up against me very bashfully; this all passed off soon however, and they began to pick out presents and examine the tree; all day long they enjoyed it and I think when the rest of the tapers are lighted it will be almost as good as new. After breakfast Sallie Corwin brought in some more toys; and still later Aunt Lib's children sent in a host of little things. I had sent out the little things I had purchased before leaving home, and my money being short had only sent large papers of candy to Eliza's and Mrs. Brady's. Now I must tell you of Eliza's kindness: but must prelude it with an explanation. The day Mr. Brady left -- was the one on which I had decided to stay here if the money was as scarce as it seemed to be; consequently I was just as "blue" as poor woman ever was, and told Priscilla that I thought it very uncertain whether I got back to you or not. She seemed sorry but said little it seems however that it troubled her very much and she told Eliza in the evening; so the next evening she came to see me and told me that want of funds must not keep me if I wanted to go for they would supply that, in the mean time she insisted upon my accepting $10.00 as a Christmas present. I was quite overcome, but explained to her that the embarrassment was temporary resulting from the nonpayment of notes due you, and the expense of my journey that I felt trouble because I knew that a long delay would render it useless for me to go at all. Finally I asked her to change the present to a loan and I would be very glad to accept it; on this we agreed, although she said she would rather it was the other way. [2] She said Robert was making money still. I see she economises and I did not think it right to take the money, and thought too that you would be better pleased. At the other house I found they had been trying to put their money together and make me a present of a handsome muff, that they had heard me say I would like to have. Money was short however and sister rightly judged when she decided that I would not like to have them do it. Little Kitty said "you know Aunt Augusta, that if we lived like kings, we would do it in a minute." These demonstrations affected me not a little, but they have also taught me not to express a wish or a trouble before such kind friends, for I did not dream that I should distress them so when I gave way to the "blues" before sister Brady. I would write to her to relieve her mind, but think it likely she would not receive the letter if I did. -- I don't know how long she will stay, but I think she will enjoy herself for both her boys are there, and she is very proud of them; Luther, too, is very kind to her and will show her everything. So, Emma has a beau! I am anxious now to get home for soldier's beaux need watching closer than men watch, and our experience in such men has not been very pleasant; neither do I like it that you don't know whether the *nuts* go visiting or not; if you can, you had better remove such things to your own closets. And, have you ever nailed up that box? if not please do it and be sure to let me know the very next letter. You speak of meeting me at Buffalo; of course if it is right and you can afford it, I shall be delighted, for half the fatigue and unpleasantness would surely be removed. Still I fear the expense will be too great. If you do come, lock up well and leave no chance for harm to be done. Who is the carpenter? and to what regiment does he belong? Mary and I returned all our calls but three or four, yesterday; Uncle J. and Aunt Ann took Tea with us in the evening, for it was Mother's birthday, she was 55. By the way she desired me to thank you for the book, and tell you that she and Father had read it partly and been delighted. Mary will write soon to you, she declares that I prevented her today by writing myself. Well! if you are sorry that I wrote, well, so am I! The Colonel's photograph is an excellent likeness, and Rob knew it instantly. Mary will acknowledge its receipt as soon as I will let her, she says. What about the receipt or bill for that box? it has never been received here. Mary's pond lillies were finished, and put into Payne's window two or three days before Christmas. Jere bought them for his Mother. Robert Steele tried to induce him to give them up to him and others to give to Mrs. *Spees* but Jere wouldn't do it. They were sold for $10.00 and Mary had the satisfaction of hearing from all sides that they were sold too cheap. The whole thing was a novelty here, and she perhaps might have sold them higher at this time, but very likely not at another; besides that was the New York price. If I can manage it I will probably spend a day or two with Aunt Caroline on my way home that is if Father can be in Columbus at the right time so as to see me off. Let us understand each other thoroughly and as early #as possible about our travelling arrangements. The *costs* do not come in and the taxes are not paid. Uncle said if they had to be paid this week he would do it himself; but I hope he won't have to do it. They are trying to put off the payment of the costs till Strong returns which they say will be in a few days.# #Now Goodbye darling - We all want to see you, and wish this war would hasten to an end that you and poor Howard could again be with us. The poor fellow is cut off from all communication with us, and we know nothing about him. Willie went day before yesterday and took a box for H. which we hope may reach him. Will was very unwell when he left and we feel quite anxious about him also. Dear old 'porpoise' you didn't send me a Christmas letter, still I am going to send you fifty kisses to induce you to do better hereafter. Lovingly yours, Augusta#



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