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Augusta County: Mary A. Smiley to Thomas M. Smiley, April 26, 1861

Mary Smiley writes to her brother, requesting longer letters describing his life in camp. Smiley recounts happenings at home, including the formation a home guard to protect against "negroes" and "mean whites," and gives her brother instructions on maintaining his health. Thomas Smiley's mother adds a note at the end of the letter exhorting him to put his faith in God.

Thomas M. Smiley

Friday night, 10 o'clock
April 26th 1861

My Dear Brother

As we are getting your other uniform ready to send I will write a little and send it in your bundle for we do not know where to direct to, and I suppose you will be certain to get it If the weather is as warm where you are as it has been here for the past few days you will certainly need something lighter than your winter uniform We have received two letters from you one Wednesday and one to day and I tell you we (as well as others) were about as anxious to hear from you as we could well be only Thomas they were entirely to short Ma wants you to write the occurences of every day, if possible, and then when you get enough to send it home. It appears like there has been a stop put to buisness of every kind there is very little doing except what is obliged to be done that is farming. Pa has been ploughing this week. it sets very hard with him. Runnels is still about he has joined a vollunteer company at Brownsburg. The Brownsburg troop passed this evening on their way home I guess there would be a great many persons glad this evening. I wish wish we could be surprised in the same way. Providence congregation looked sadder last Sabbath than it has done for many a long day. There has been a Home Guard formed around here and I suppose it is needed for some of the negroes are not to be trusted even around here and then they are backed by some of the mean white folks There is one of the Sensabough that there has been a talk of taking to jail and they have a son of Davies Kerrs in jail. We are all well and have been since you left and we want you to be very careful of your health do not expose yourself rashly if you get your clothes wet try and dry them and above all dont sleep on wet clothes if it is possible to have them dry for as you know it is so very much more injurious to health than when you are taking exercise

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We would like very much to know what sort of a life you lead in camp What have you to eat and have you plenty of it. great fears are entertained that you will suffer for food so many soldiers and where will bread come from to feed them Who cooks for you or do you have to do it yourselves and [deleted: w]how are you camped, in houses in tents or in the open air with the sky for your covering. I would like very much to know who your messmates are. How is cousin John Berry getting along has he got his spirits raised yet or is he still down. I reckon you live in excitement I hope you dont have to live on its so near the city. If you want any thing write for it and if we have an opportunity we will send it.

Farewell dear brother do yor duty as a soldier and as a man and if I never see you again may we meet above.

from your sister

Mary A Smiley

P/S/ Write often and tell me when you received this and where to direct to so that we can write. MaryDear Son I
It is with a trembling hand and a sad heart that I t[deleted: h]ake this pencil in my hand to drop you a fine but fearing that I may never have another opportunity I will exort you once more to put your trust in the mighty God of Jacob take Jesus Christ for your Saviour and then if you even fall in the battle field you will still be safe There has been much fervent prayer offered for you and the dear frends who has gone from amongst us. O will you not pray for yourself. Nothing more From your affectionate mother C. Smiley
To her son T. M Smiley. Thomas M Smiley

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