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Augusta County: Mary A. Smiley to Thomas M. Smiley, May 7, 1861

Mary Smiley discusses the departure pro-union minister, mobilization of troops, and civilian response to war effort.


Tuesday May 7th 1861

Cedar _____

Dear Brother

I suppose you will be glad to hear from home once and a while so I seat mySelf this evening to write you a few lines though I really dont know what to say. that you will think is of any importance so I will just write what I would like to know and hear were I away from home We have had no letters from you since Wednesday we expected to get one yesterday but there was no mail came for Newport and we will feel very much disapointed if we do not get a letter and our paper to day. I reckon you dont have any newspapers to read in camp though I expect you hear news enough but it may be like it is here the one half need'nt be believed and the other half is no better We are all well at present and getting along as well as can be expected and I believe the boys folks are all well, as far as I know, that went from about here.

Dr Junkin preached at Providence Sunday his last sermon there I expect I believe he said he was comeing to preach to the rebels so I have heard. He had to resign at the college on account of his union sentiments and he has started for Philadelphia this morning. He still goes for the union. I expect he will go through Harpers ferry so if you watch you will maybe get a sight of them. I believe he expected to go all the way in his carriage Mr Junkin has removed our bible class to the session room he must have got tired of us at his house I am getting along very well. I never miss answering more than three of my questions Schools have nearly all stopped there is none at Newport Miss Wright has an article out for there I believe. Mr Kirf has been here to see about schools and if he couldnt get any (what do you think ) to board here two or three months but that was no go I declare I hate the old fellow worse than ever.

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The Brownsburg troop has not started yet there order to start was countermanded and they are simply ordered to hold themselves in readiness. The Brownsburg ladies have been making tents for the troop I suppose there is no chance for this to go today so I will leave off and see [deleted: what] if any thing new turns up. Thursday. Had company yesterday Mag & Tish Berry came down. Charlie & Billie were here helping to plant corn. Billie staid at Beards but Charlie went home I dont know how they found out when we were going to plant. Jackie East George Almarode Charlie & Billie are helping They expect to get done before the middle of the day. Jackie got our horses and plows and is going to put in a piece of that field that they talked of. We recieved your letter yesterday a week from we had had any You speak of your regiment probably leaving for Staunton. I wish it would come but every thing almost works by the rules of contraryness. Why dont two of you stand guard together at least on the mountain. One might fall over some of the pecipices or be killed and no one near to know any thing about it. How does housekeeping go You always thought at home it was very easy work & I reckon you know a little about it now. I suppose you will be boss cook and washer I believe there is not much news in Augusta except of a military or personal character though Augusta has done pretty well in sending soldiers sent 1200, companies are still being formed. Mrs. Jim Callison has gone crazy about the war has been taken to the hospital. It is terrible times. there appears to be nothing left but war. great preparations are being made at the north it is just raving for war. You wish the people from Newport would go to see how you are getting along. I tell you they think they may have to go soon enough without being in the least hurry I would not be much surprized though if some one would go but I will not tell who for if he does not you will all be disapointed Would you like to get home if you could get away. honorably Billie Beard has heard that there is such a peice in the papers as that minors can come home if their parents or guardians wanted them. Our papers has a peice but it does not mean that. but if there is any truth in what he heard would you like to come Mrs Morrison came from Cristiansburg to get her son off and if he had been gone would have gone on to harpers ferry after him and taken him home The Doctor had got him a horse and uniform and he was right in for going. How are you doing about money if you want some more write about it and we will send some if we have any chance if we have any I have heard that you dont hear anything scarcely in camp is it alowed to send newspapers if it is and you want them we will send you some Will you be discharged in three months at farthest and sooner if not needed you did not say whether you would be at the end of that time or not. Pa has written a letter and sent by mail tell whether you got it or not he directed it as you named before and I shall direct this as you named last I wish they would have a way to direct and then keep it A person might write and then before the letter would get there have a different way Did you receive the letter that Aunt Ellen sent & the provisions we did not know that there was a box of provisions to your 'til after it was gone I suppose I will have to do like you ask you excuse all the mistakes in this as [deleted: you] will see there is a great many. Write Soon

From your affectionate sister

Mary A. Smiley.

P/S/ I suppose you will think letter paper is scarce and so it is in this home

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