United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865; Bruen, Augusta Forrer--Correspondence; United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Women
1 Dayton O. June 14th 1863 Dear Husband, It is again a sweet Sabbath morning, and I am sitting by the window in my room; the one shaded by the pear tree. The children have gone with Father to the office, hoping to get a letter from Howard, from whom we have not heard for nearly quite two weeks (a mistake, it was last Sunday). The children have all been talking a great deal about you this morning, and asking when you were coming; I try to prepare them for disappointment as easily as possible, fearing something may delay your coming; doing double duty, preparing myself as well as them. Your precious letter of yesterday was enjoyed fully as much as was mine; it was so sweet to find that we had harmonized so perfectly; it almost seemed to shorten the distance between us. Every year finds me more sensitively alive to your love; and little endearments are treasured up for darker moments, or little dreamy times when the day's work is over, or just before rising in the morning. Is not that womanish? I care not; I sometimes think thirty years more would find me just the same, so my good man, if we are to grow old together, prepare yourself for a foolishly (?) fond old wife!! Only think of it, a grey headed old woman still in love! You are very kind to enquire for the salvia; the one I wanted particularly was pink; there was another one that was very pretty, and had small purple and white flowers. I have been thinking about Sella's music. My present condition will make it inexpedient for her to begin immediately, as I cannot attend to her practicing; I merely wished to decide now for Miss *Gregg's* benefit, as no doubt the number of scholars she can get will decide her future; she has thought of teaching other branches in a public school; but prefers music. Mr. Turpin recommends her, I understand; and the trouble with more experienced teachers is, that they are unwilling to teach beginners, they like to have the drudgery done for them. I have not made up my mind, but am inclined to begin with the understanding that it is an experiment with me, and if I think it useless for her to take lessons they shall cease at the end of one quarter. I laughed immediately at Robby the other day; he brought up a little peach switch not over a foot long, and insisted on annoying Frank with it; I finally took it, and hit his hand with it, whereupon he did not cry, but said something very angrily which I would not understand, it seemed so saucy that I struck again and yet a third time; every time with like result; and what do you think he was saying? "tain't the right end!" I looked at the stick and behold. I had hold of the little end, and had struck with the bigger end. The switch was so small that there was scarcely any difference but, as Father said, he wanted it done scientifically. It was about as ridiculous a scene as you can imagine, and Frank and I had a good laugh. Rob seemed satisfied when he found he was understood and made off. Mother has brought up a handsome bouquet from her lot. She has no regular garden, but Father made a high picket fence around a small piece of her lot, in which she has huddled away her floral treasures together with my best flowers; these last can be returned to our yard when times and environments are more settled, perhaps I may bring them back this Fall, however. We have had great times in town since the Vallandigham nomination. Crowds of the 2 delegates called at the "martyr's" house and carried away roses and other flowers till the yard must be nearly bare. They finished up by having a 'surprise' party which you will find noticed in the Journal which I will send by the mail. It also contains an account of proceedings of the Montgomery County Union Convention. The Fourth of July is to be celebrated here by a Union Convention, and I suspect the flag I made will figure on our house. I hope by that time to be convalescent but of course cannot expect to be out of my room. Mr. Brough seems to be the man who will be chosen to fight Vallandigham; times are changed indeed; what was that you used to sing "O Johnny Brough, It is too tough." I am delighted when I think that Ohio soldiers are to vote. Won't Howard enjoy that? I paid the taxes $33.66; and Uncle John 25.90 He did not ask for it but I think was glad to get it. Father has made some inquiries about painters, but has not settled upon any one; George Atkins is in the army I have heard. I believe Uncle J. is going to build an addition to his house; don't much want to, but is trying to screw up his courage to do it. There is a great deal of building going on in spite of war times. Poor Mother however, cannot yet begin. I understand that the sale of the lot cleared off all debts excepting about $2000.00 owing to Aunts Mary and Caroline, which sum is secured in Northern property. Mary says she has clothed herself and expects at the end of school year to have $80 or $90. Mr. Follet was here night before last, he said, among other things, that he wished "Seward was in Heaven" he don't at all like his influences. Mr. F. gets very much provoked with any one who is included in the 'blue' and keeps himself hopeful. I went with Henrietta to the Soldiers Hospital last evening to carry some strawberries; this is the second time she has been there; there are only six or seven or thereabouts of the sick and they have had fifteen boxes of nice berries. Eddy carried between forty and fifty boxes to the barracks a short time since. The barracks are next to Potter's Grocery. *Jere* is not at all demonstrative and I don't know that Ed. told where the berries came from, but Mrs. Potter took good care to let them know all about them. The strawberries are nearly at an end; as a general thing, I believe the crops haven't been very large. Mrs. Darst is away and her husband has been very busy preparing a surprise for her. He has papered the back parlor and put in a marble mantelpiece. It was all ready last evening but he does not expect her till Wednesday. Belle is still here, and they would like to keep her all summer, and think it would be best for the baby who is teething, but as Mr. B. is anxious to have them back, it is probably they will return when a good opportunity offers. He has engaged a house; but talks of taking them to the seashore till warm weather is over. I have been trying to get some news out of Mary, but she knows nothing more than I have written. Mary V. has not answered my letter yet. I will wait till after dinner to finish as I have already been sitting too long. Later -- It is nearly tea time, so with a few words I will close. My letter is almost too long already, as you used to tell me when I was writing to Mother. Omit just as much as you please, but tell me how much so that I need not write too much again. There is the bell -- so Good bye Dearest and Best Thine ever, Augusta Don't drink our baby's health in any thing but pure water, please.
Catharine Mitchill '31 Collection of Family Letters, Wellesley College Library, Special Collections