United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865; Bruen, Augusta Forrer--Correspondence; United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Women
Dayton O. Sept 2nd, 1863 Dear Luther, Signs from the "Crib" tell me that I cannot write many lines just now, nevertheless this is a beginning. I have sad news to impart about Mrs. Brady. She has dropsy. It seems that for two years past she has been bloated at times, but I don't think the nature of the disease was understood; now, it is decidedly dropsy. Her limbs are immense, and she suffers much pain in her back. All are uneasy about her, but don't know whether immediate danger is to be apprehended or not. I took Baby and spent the afternoon with her yesterday. She said tell you that the "poor old creature was just as bad as possible". She can move about a little, but with great difficulty; and is very irritable because she cannot bear to ask help. Eliza invited me to Tea on Monday to *meet* some of the spinnings; and soon after Mrs. Perris sent for me; but I felt obliged to refuse both, as Mary is too young to take or leave. Evening - Howard has been home for two days, but left us this evening for Marietta where he is to recruit; very much to his disgust, but not to ours. He drove me over to Uncle *C's* this afternoon, and we got my letter and Sella's at the same time. Sella expressed great delight when I told her there was one for her; and is rather ashamed that she has not written to you; she says she can't write well enough ec.ec. but I accused her of laziness. She began school and her music lessons on Monday and I hope will soon send you a letter. It is very funny to see the great importance the little boys attach to Sella's practicing. They heard the gate close at noon yesterday Frank said "there's Sella"! "Oh yes, now she'll practice, won't she?" said Rob. Sure enough down she sat, and Frank drew a chair close up to the piano, and watched her intently while she went up and down with five notes of the scale. Mary is trying to quiet her refractory little niece, but I fear I will have to take her. Thursday Morn. Mary took me to bed when I had written thus far,and I must finish in haste this morning. There was a grand party at Dr. Smiths night before last, at which Miss Callie made her appearance with quite a train unsupported by hoops. A less dress was the consequence. A large wedding party is to be at Mr. Winter's in honor of one of the "twinses". Bella Burrowes starts for home today. She does not yet know her address but will let us know soon; when I wish you would go to see her, and try to see little Brightie too, for she is a very pretty child. Come by all means if you can dear Husband. that what I "think of it". I am sorry to close so hastily, but not one of your family is dressed for breakfast. So goodbye darling. A. P.S - The draft was received cashed, and F. Perrine was paid. Have just bathed the three older children and left them to dress. Little Mary has roused, good natured and sweet, as she always is early in the morning. She will be very interesting by the time you speak of trying to come home. Goodbye once more, I can't write and urge on the children at the same time.
Catharine Mitchill '31 Collection of Family Letters, Wellesley College Library, Special Collections