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Augusta County: Hannah M. Berry to Thomas M. Smiley, [1861]

Discusses news from the home front including attending a partriotic rally and sewing secession flags. She also comments on unionists in the area.

Thomas M. Smiley

Wednesday Eve

Moffetts Creek

Dear Cousin Thomas

I suppose you will be much surprised to recieve a letter from me, but I have waited so long to hear from you & have as yet waited in vain [deleted: and] I concluded I would write first I intended writing to you last week but it was reported here that the Southern Guards had left the Ferry so I concluded to wait awhile yet. Charlie & Annie recieved letters from Harpers Ferry by Mr [unclear: Ceaig] but I did not. it was a sad disappointment to me. but the renewal of Hope gave me Consolation We are all very well also the neighbors are well I saw your people all at church Sunday they were all well. Your Aunts & Uncle are all well

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your Uncle has not been at church this spring yet but he was so well last Sunday that Cousins Annie & Ellen were both at church

There seems to be nothing new or uncommon occurring in the neighborhood & dont have much excitement about war now we have not become [unclear: ] to so many of our men leaving & dont think we can as our loss has been great in comparison with the losses other neighborhoods have met with. Cousin Tom I must tell you of the Secession Flag that was hoisted in the important place of New Port. We had a delightful time had a nice crowd of [unclear: geats] all the way to two or three Lincolnites (as we call the Union men) but the Speeches delivered were by far more entertaining than any thing else. When I tell you the Speaker or speakers you certainly will laugh. Mr Echard the self important man was the first had his written down & read it of. I could not help laughing. Mr Jim Callison made a short speech it was

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very good and a very appropriate one

Mr Echard is not married yet but is still flying around with the ladies but goes to other parts when he wishes to wait on them. I believe he is afraid of the girls around here. I suppose you have heard that Bill Anderson started away with the troop and went as far as Staunton and was taken sick. I expect he wanted some excuse to get back home any how. I tell you I dont believe in cowardice. (in time of war no way.) and we have to much of that great evil about here. If I were a man I would have gone long before this and would now be serving my country. I would like to visit you all & see how you are getting along I suppose you have a nice time when cooking time comes. If you all ever return I have no doubt but you will be considered great & learned men I guess every girl would fight for a Soldier & me with the rest as I think they would be useful at all times

I heard the other day that John Beard was

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walking along and saw a pretty girl & made a misstep and rolled down on the bank of the River thats a fine late but I am glad you all have some pretty girls to look at. Where do you all stay now in a house or where I hope you will have your Tents in a few days more. We all sewed in New Port last weeks for several days in order to get them done we made four there and five or six in Middlebrook but they [unclear: had] sewing [illeg.] and we didnt there is a great quantity of sewing in them your female friends would do every thing in the world for you could it afford you the least pleasure or comfort in the world. I suppose you all dont care about coming home on furlow. We would all be very glad to see any of you. & nothing gives me more pleasure than to recieve a letter from any of you Soldiers. Ma & Pa came home from NewPort a few moments ago & told us Mr Grove & Capt Hite were going to start with your Tents tomorrow & we concluded to write and send our letters with him & you would be sure to recieve them. I asked John McKerry to speak to you & some more of my acquaintances to have their Likenesses taken together with their uniforms for me. If you have them taken I will be under many obligations to you. Did you recieve the Secession Badge I sent you if I could have had time I would have made more but Lieut Mc did not say anything about it until a day or so before he left & we had to go to church that day Has Lieut Mc been in any better spirits since he went back. I thought he looked badly and

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looked very badly but I did not wonder at it when he seen his Men looking so badly & so much distressed about them his situation is certainly a deplorable one Cousin Tom we have some great times here with the Union Men. we were raising money for our flag & asked Mr Billie Beard but he would not give us one cent you I suppose are aware of the fact that he is a strong Unionist. I must stop writing as it is late. Give my best love to all my acquaintances Ma Annie & all the rest of the family send much love to you. Please excuse bad writing &c &c as I have been in a hurry.

Please write soon & believe me as ever your true cousin

Hannah M Berry

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