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Augusta County: Mary A. Smiley to Thomas M. Smiley, May 23, 1861

Discusses political sentiment of the community and the coming election. Reports rumor of blacks killing whites.

Thomas M. Smiley

May 23rd 1861

Dear Brother

It appears that the writing is all put off for me to do not that it is any unwelcome task for me to do but I think that they should write some the excuse they have is that we dont write till the day we want to send a letter then they put me to work to get it done in time to send you maybe think strange that I do all the writing but the above is the reason I have no news to write but [deleted: as] we have a good chance of sending Mr McCarny expects to start tomorrow he got home last Friday I reckon he was almost tormented with people calling to see him We saw him Sunday but had no talk with him as he was in a great hurry to get along further to the next block, you know. This is election day it has been beautiful so far even the morning appears to favor the election for ratifying what the convention has done I think a great majority of the people will go for secession revolution or what ever it is called The greatest number of the papers urge the people to ratify the acts of the Convention to present a bold and united front to the North against its tyrany Even to the Spectator which you know was as strong a union paper as could be found I dont hear of many union people about here now Billy Beard J Buchanan & John Withrow are all that I hear spoken of. " " was here one night he was wishing Virginia had let the South alone and staid in the union I'll declare I could hardly hold my toungue but as he was talking to ma I had to, pa didn't agree with him

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There is some of the awfulest bad reports get out here here about one of the latest it was reported that a parcel of Irishmen and negroes from the Penitentiary that were working on the railroad had broken out and killed thirteen families but there is nothing of it Uncle James Aunt Lizzie Sallie & Lettie have come down today they have been telling us that John Berry has got home I do think it is a shame that he has got of on the plea of bad health it make the ballance of us feel dissatisfied I hope his father will get a good scolding I think it was very dishonorable for him to get him of in that way when others in that company are as weekly as John and others are going away that are in bad health Aunt Lizzie and Sallie send their love to you and would like to see you Ma & Tish also send their love to you and also receive a large share from myself

From your affectionate sister

Mary A Smiley

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