1861 October 30 Forest View

Dear brother [Wilson Miles Cary]

I enclose you a
letter Aunt Mary sent us today
from Pa–I cannot understand
why they did not write to us by
the same opportunity but such is
a sorrowful fact. I left the Hill
last Friday, Mr. Carroll put me
on the Mail Car in Charlottesville
and I had a charming tête-à-tête with
Mr. Pritchard the agent until we
reached Gordonsville; while there
as I was leaning out of the window
I was suddenly accosted by a young
man whom I never remembered
seeing before–“Miss Cary excuse
the liberty I am taking I am Mr Crane

[page 2]
an old neighbor of yours in Balto.-
have just left that place on Wednes
day last and thought you would
like to hear from home.” I welcomed
him with outstretched arms (figurative
ly speaking) and immediately invited him
in–he told me he had seen Ma the
day we left, coming out of the school
yard, that she looked very well, as
did all the rest of the family–although
afraid to let them know she was coming
to Va.–he took particular care to
inform himself of their separate well-
fare—-He reported Dr. Robinson & cousin
John Brune as having escaped to
Canada-said Federal hill was
all cut up and fortified and that
there were six fortified camps around
the city–I was mighty sorry not
to see him longer, for it was so
interesting to talk to him but he had

[page 3]
some things to attend to and so
left me–On his departure I again
occupied my place at the window
and had the intense pleasure of
meeting once more Capt. da Ponte
one of Van Dorne’s aides, whom we
met coming up from Baylors and
of whom I think Het wrote you–
he joined me immediately and
entertained me most charmingly
until we reached Orange C. H.
He is one of the editors of the New Orleans
Delta and wrote a piece about us,
bringing in my encounter with the
Yankee and several other things &
winding up with a grand flourish
about our being grand nieces of the
illustrious Jefferson &c &c–it was
copied into one of the Petersburg papers
and brought to us by a friend–
Quite [charming?] was it not? how

[page 4]
he found out all these things I
dont know, we certainly did not
tell him–Mercer me at the
C. H. and I have been here ever
since–On Sunday we drove over
expecting to meet Het and South
Lemmon, the former only came
bringing with her your most
delightful letter which I need
scarcely tell you I devoured–She
brought also a quantity of Battle
Flags which we have been diligently
working on ever since–they are
beautiful and Het intends sending
hers which is especially handsome
to Gen. Johnston! Monday evening
Banks came to see us; he stayed
all night and carried Het off
the next morning down to Wise’s
She came back today and seems
to have had a most charming

[page 5]
time. In the Mail car she met
as usual the greatest quantity
of people, Gov. Letcher, Capt
Imboden Gen Taylor and a
host of others all of them insisted
on our coming down and paying
another visit to camp–We received
a letter today from Capt. da
Ponte in which there is a req
uisition from Gen VanDorne for
us to come down and pay them
a visit offering us their residence
& saying he will appoint us on his
staff and give us an escort of
cavalry–and that we shall have
a splendid time. Would it not
be charming? So near you too
Mrs. Col. Hill offers to matronize
us so you must not be astonished
to receive a visit from us.

[page 6 ]
South Lemmon arrived today. I
suppose you know that he has
been very sick and was sent up
to the hospital at the University
Dr Warren gave him a furlough
immediately and he took advan
tage of Mrs. Slaughters invitation
and joined us here. Poor boy
he looks just as if he were in a
galloping consumption. I hope
a change of air & fare will do him
good. What do you think of Pa’s
letter? Spunky is it not? and
so like him- what would you
advise us to do? Sister Hettie
is now writing to R.M.T. Hunter
to ask him to procure us Gov
positions if he can do this and the
salary is large enough to enable
us to pay our board in Richmond
and thus relieve Aunt Sydney

[page 7]
I think we ought to stay for times
must be very hard at home
and we would not be able to support
ourselves there but would simply
be a burden on them. If on the
contrary our application prove
useless and we have to remain
dependent upon Aunt Sydney
(for I know she would not receive any
board) who and if almost in indigent
circumstances I think that we
will turn our faces homeward
almost immediately. Bankes
told sister Hettie confidentially
that you could be made Quartermaster
immediately with a salary of a
hundred and thirty dollars a
month, the rank of Capt and a
place in Richmond, if you would
accept it. he says the duties are
not arduous, and she has been

[page 8]
told by others that they are not
so difficult as those you now
fulfill–of course she would
not urge you to accept it if you
seriously object but in event of
our going to Richmond it would
be the most unspeakable comfort
to have you with us-she says
she has been very assiduous to
answer your letter and thank
you for you sweet brotherly offers
of supporting us dear Willie
we cannot bear to think of your
working so hard merely to support
us but if dependence could be
sweet it would be to depend on
you-You dont know what a
delight your letters are to us-
Miss Nannie sends here best
love and thanks for your letter
to her which she contemplated

[page 9 cross hatched on page 8]
answering in a day or two. We are expecting letters
daily from home. Bye the bye I forgot to tell you
that Mr. Evans gave me his directions in Richmond
and said he would be most happy to send letters
to Baltimore for me if I would send them to him-
he has a friend who crosses over into Maryland
constantly, and who wh will take any letters
with pleasure. I send you the direction in case you should
wish to avail yourself of this opportunity-you may
write what you please there is no danger of their
being opened–. Wm Crane-Jr–Medical Purveyors
Dept. Richmond–Is it not strange that the son
of that awful Black Republican Fuller Crane
should be in the Southern Army–I heard today
that Sam Sterrett had been forced to flee from
Maryland–and was now at Manassa with his
father–I reckon Cousin Sears and Jinnie laugh

[page 10 cross hatched on page 7]
at the L___L___ more than ever I suppose you have
seen him. Aunt Mary and Uncle Hands family
are going to Richmond. the Doctor will give up his
position of Asst Surgeon and try for practise
in the capitol–I am afraid he will not succeed-
Dr and Mrs Warren have left the Hill so that
Aunt Syd is almost without boarders she has
only fourstudents and I dont know what she’ll
do–She has been quite sick and is in very bad
spirits–They are all mighty sweet and kind to us
at the Hill but [?] so censorious–they talk so
hardly of us and indeed of everyone that we call them
nothing but the C___ C___s (censorious circle). Sam
poor fellow has again known a scorching tongue
and sometimes makes us so mad we can scarcely
contain our wrath and have to seek refuge in our room

[page 11 cross hatched on page 6]
in order to give vent to it of course this is very
wrong we ought to remember his ill health and all
he has had to make him irritable but it is very
hard to bear. Please dont work yourself so hard
I am so afraid you’ll get sick–Did sister Hettie
ever tell you how anxious your beloved Mary was
to send you a pair of socks of her own knitting it
occurred to her as She was going down to the boat with
us and she nearly cried at not having thought of
it before however she consoled herself by determining
to have them ready and she was sure an opportunity
would occur when she could send them and a box
of things to you–anyone would have imagined to
hear her railing at herself for her forgetfulness
that your feet were bleeding for want of the Socks–
Poor Mr. Cary! Banks never failing Banks

[page 12 cross hatched on page 5]
that there is a man in Richmond that he
knows who will undertake to carry a letter for us
directly to Ma and bring us a carpet bag full of
clothes back if we determine to stay we will
certainly avail ourselves of this offer–We would
like so much to make you the shirt you want
but it is utterly impossible to get a yard of blue
flannel or even light blue cloth in the Southern Confed
If we send for our clothes however we will also
send for you Md. Guard shirt– I am so
worried at your having no great coat–what is
to be done about it? cant you get a Yankee one?
I wish you had been about when the Prisoners
taken in the last battle came down Mr Pritchard
told me they were selling the most splendid
great coats at fine dollars a piece–I should certainly

[page 13 cross hatched on page 1]
have purchased one for you had I been on the
scene of the action–was not that a glorious victory by the
by? I hope Major Barbour is better if only for
your sake–Write to us as soon as you can–Oh
my expiring candle! It is late and I must hie
me to my downy couch as Constance would
say–Did you see some time ago in the Enquirer
Constance’s last effort in the poetical line entitled
“Encore Toujours Maryland” — it was beautiful
She certainly is talented and will be quite a
noted authoress in course of time I have no doubt
All send love Good night
Your sleepy sister
Jennie [Cary]

Jennie Cary, her sister Hettie Cary and their cousin Constance Cary were known as the Cary Invincibles. They did sew the first Confederate battleflags as related on page 4 above which they presented to Confederate Generals Johnston, Beauregard and Van Dorn. Hettie’s hopes for employment in the Confedetate Government described on page 6 were not realized. See the letter from R.M.T. Hunter to Hettie of November 2. As Jenny predicted on page 13 Constance did become a noted author.

MSS 1174

[to be continued]

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