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Augusta County: Maggie H. Berry to Thomas M. Smiley, July 12, 1861

Discusses the general war excitement in the area, remaining union sentiment, and union army advances.

Thomas M. Smiley

July 12th /61

Moffetts Creek

Dear Cousin Thomas

You have no doubt come to the conclusion that I have forgotten you as I have not written to you sooner but not so my good Cousin. Your letter was written the 27th of June came to NewPort & has lain there until yesterday. I was glad to recieve one more letter from my good but absent Cousin. I should like very much indeed to hear from you all this evening but was sadly disappointed that I did not recieve a letter from some of you all to-day. S H Runnels & John McK both owe me letters. [deleted: but] perhaps they have forgotten I am yet alive. You can tell them I am still alive & well. they need not think

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the Republicans have advanced so far as this already. but we dont know how soon we may see them perhaps they will have an army around one of these days compelling us to take the oaths of allegiance as one of your company did. but I tell you if I ever take the oath it will not be binding as I never will consent only to save my life. We are all well & getting along very well only we are very much excited about war. We hear very little news about anything else & to tell you the truth we dont feel much interested on any other subject. I dont anyhow Cousin Thomas I heard you were ill but dont know whether it is really true. Your Ma & Pa have been very uneasy about you as they have not heard from you for some time unless they would get a letter to-day. Ma spent the day at your Pa's one day this week found them all well. Your relations in this neighborhood were all well yesterday I suppose you have been in an engagement with those notorious Republicans

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that is if you were not sick. We have heard so many results from the battle that we scarcely know which one to believe. But if I was a man I would take none of the Negro Lovers prisoners I would do my best to kill the last one of them. The Newport Militia have lost their little Union Captain the oath was administered to the company yesterday and he & Mr Spacy refused to take it so the threw him out of office & elected Capt I H Hite in his place. I think it was well done as I never would have mustered under a Union man as long as they have done. He said he would remain their Capt if they wished but if he was called to battle he never could fire I think he & the rest of the Hutchen clan had better go & be under Lincolns or some other Yankees control awhile

I suppose friend Beard is looking to tomorrow with feelings of sadness as that is the day apponted for him to leave home. He spent the day here last

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Friday had a great deal of pleasure with him he is quite an entertaining young man. You can tell him I say I have fallen in love with him since he came home & am sorry very sorry he has to leave I think he has improved considerable since he left home I told him I thought he had grown better. John R Berry seems quite well now at least he looks so & has been working ever since harvest began he has not been visiting much since he came home I am afraid he will get out of the way of visiting if he dont follow it up more closely Cousin Tom you spoke in your last letter to me about friend Baxter you said he was often talking of the pleasant times he had spent with me last winter I am glad to know that they were pleasant times I did in fact spend some [deleted: as] pleasant times with him enjoyed myself as well with him as I ever did with any one. You can tell him so. I am as ever one of his friends. I want to know if either you or Baxter ever engage in any plays that you have to stoop to let the girls put their arms round you. I have often laughed at how you all had to do but I tell you I like to see tall men if they do have to stoop occasionally to accomodate the girls. I cant bear to see a little bit of a man you know we have several of them about here Cousin Tom I must close as it is now getting dark & I cant see the lines When you see my friend Baxter Please present

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my good wishes tell him Miss Harriet is not at home yet I suppose he knows more about her than I do as I imagine he writes & recieves letters from her frequently My best love to Lieut McKemy S F Caison D Henger D F Miller S H Runnels & all my other acquaintences not forgetting my good Cousin Jimmie Mc Please write soon as nothing gives me more pleasure than to recieve a letter from a Soldier The family all send much love to you

write soon & believe me as ever your true Cousin

Maggie H Berry

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Cousin Tom we heard the other day that you were sick in Martinsburg & the Yankees had taken you what a story someone did tell I felt very much like starting

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down to help to set you free
I have promised friend John Beard to go down and spend a while with you all he will tell you all about it write soon

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