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Augusta County: Ellen Martin to Thomas M. Smiley, June 4, 1861

In this letter to Thomas M. Smiley, Ellen Martin describes recent events and encourages him to take an active part in religion.

June th 4 1861

Augusta CoVa

My Dear Nephew

I received your kind letter by Mr Arehart and was pleased to hear that you were in good health and spirits We as a family are enjoying the same blessing. I had the pleasure of reading your letter to your father by Mr Craig I am sorry to hear that the Measles have broken out in camp, It is a bad disease for any one to have But particularly for soldiers as they cannot take proper care of themselves Your mother feels quite anxious on your account as you have not had them. I trust that God will slay the disease that it spread no further Many are the prayers that have been sent up for the health and safety of the soldiers

There was a prayer meeting held at New Providence for the soldiers, particularly for those that have gone from the congregation. You are deprived of the privileges of the sanctuary But you are not forgotten by those who still enjoy them you are not in the pulpit your pastor does not forget those who have gone from the congregation to fight their Countrys battles He prays earnestly for soul and body that both may be preserved from all evil and that peace may be restored to our distracted Country

Our northern papers are all stopped We get no news from the north Perhaps it is just as well We are going to take the Central Presbyterian But we would like to take another paper one that would give the news frome the army

I suppose you will be surprised when I tell you

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We heard the Cannonading last saturday I thought it was a battle somewhere But had no thought of its being so far away as I have since learned it was We were makeing tents for you last week I am sorry you are so long getting them as you will be on the back ground in that branch of training. The ladies about Brownsburg have been sewing for more than a week fitting out Mr Currys Company I think they ought to be well filled out as they have had 4 and sometimes 5 sewing machines employed besides a number sewing by hand They were not near through at the close of the week They are probably prepareing for a long Campaign

Hugh Beard got home from the Missouri last saturday I suppose he must have changed in his appearance as his mother did not know him John Berry is still complaining of sore throat I think he looks about as well as he did when he left home I suppose the march to Shepherds Town was the cause of his sickness

I will here give you a remedy for Diarrhea Taken from suggestions for soldiers, written by a man who has been in actual service in other countries. It may be of use to you or some of your comrades

He says take a tablespoonful of wheat flour and mix with two or more of water and drink In most cases one dose stops it instantly I will not close my letter till Mr Yeago comes back from Mr Craigs I will then hear when he is going back I would like to send this with him

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But I am writing on your birth day and did not think about it being your birth day till this minute This day you are 19 You have early been called to go forth in your Countrys service To fight her battles and may be to shed your blood in her defence We hope that God in his Providence will order it otherwise But there is another war in which you are required to engage. The Saviour wants soldiers He loves youthful soldiers He is calling on you to enlist under his banner Will you not respond as cheefully to the call as you have done to your Countrys call. You have every encouragement to do so Asured that you shall come of conquerer and more than conquer

What more can you desire than he has promised to give Just take him at his word your Aunt Annie sends you [unclear: Dodridge] And requests you to read it carefully & [unclear: prepare] I noticed in the central Presbyterian the ladies of Richmond were fitting up a reading Tent for the soldiers there I was much pleased with idea I would be glad we could have one at Harppers Ferry The Cent Society has money enough on hands to furnish one I think I will suggest it to them and see whether it meets their approbation

But I must close write when you can I had the pleasure of reading your letter to cousin Hannah I see you are daily expecting a battle May the God of battles shield you from all harm when the conflict comes Is the prayer of your affetionate Aunt

your Uncle & Aunt join me in sending much love to you

E Martin

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