1862 September 9 Charlottesville, Va.

                   Charlottesville Sep 9  1862

My Dear Sister
                         It is with a real feeling
of sadness that I sit down to write to
you–and yet I must send you a few
lines to say how deeply & earnestly I feel for
you & your little household in painful
affliction that has fallen upon you–But
what can I say–except bid you look up-
ward to Him who hath said “I will never
leave thee nor forsake thee”  He doth not
willingly afflict the children of men, and
dark and inscrutable as the present dis-
pensation may & does seem, to me as well
as to you, I know as surely as I know
my own existence, that it is meant in
mercy–that there is light behind the clouds
  Oh trust God for His goodness, and desolate
as all things now seem to the mortal
 eye it will be assuredly vouchsafed to you

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hereafter to realize the truth that all things
work together for good to them that love God.
  My own heart has been sorely tried of late too
and I humbly pray that we may all
draw that spiritual growth from these sad
lessons which they are designed to teach.
  We still have the scarlet fever, but I hop
in a milder form–our little Lucy was taken
on Saturday Evening & another one of the
little color’d children, but they are both
slightly sick only–this makes six
cases in all, 3 of our children & three
of the servants–there is one now of each
yet to have it–I hope your little ones
may escape it and be spared to grow
up a comfort & support to you, well
trained up both for this life & the life which
is to come–
  I was greatly attached to William, not only
as a brother in law, but as an old
friend of my childhood & early school
days–There were few I had a higher

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respect or regard for personally & none I shall
miss more–no more highminded honorable
gentleman, and no braver truer spirit
fought and fell on the sacred soil
of Manassas–May our Country be
blessed in part through his efforts, and
our country’s God deal gently with
the desolate and stricken ones who
remain–Eliza sends her most
affectionate love to you & yr little
ones–Believe me Ever
                               affy yr Brother
                                    N H Massie

MSS 11485

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