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Augusta County: Sue Carter to Mary A. Heirs, September 15, 1861

Carter laments to her cousin about the pain of separation from family during the war, and her faith in God to reunite them.

Miss Mary A. Heirs.
Haste! Oh! Haste!

Sabbath Eve, 2 'o'clock
September, 15th 1861.


My darling Cousin:

It is with the most exquisite pleasure that I once more endeavor to pen you a few lines; although there is a probbability that you may never see these lines. But I have an opportunity to send a letter North by a gentleman who has been working here for some time, but is going home, & I sincerely hope he may be permitted to mail this letter to you.

Dear Mollie, there has been many sad changes since last I wrote you, my heart aches as I think of them, but I try to submit without murmuring, for I can not but feel that it is the Lord's will, that our once prosperous & happy nation must be divided; and where peace & happiness, once Shed their smile to gladen the hearts of the people, now civil war is devastating our land. It is very sad to think of, but you know, dear cousin, as well, perhaps better than I do, the state of our beloved country. But do not let us despair, we are in the hands of a merciful God, & he will surely work all things to-gether for our good, & his own glory. His ways are mysterious.

I suppose, dear Mollie, that you have not heard from Cousin Will since the war commenced. He is in Virginia, at Norfolk, a city about two hundred miles from here, I have not heard from him for some time, the last I heard of him, he was well.

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There has been no fighting where he is yet, & I hope there will be none. I wish I could see him, nothing would afford me more happiness. He has promised to come as soon as he can.

I know where Will is, and can hear from him some time; But where is cousin Tom? Oh! how unhappy I have been a bout him since I received his last letter, which was in May. If I could feel sure of his safety I would be so happy. I know where ever he is, & in what ever circumstance he may be placed, there is One who ever watches over him, when human friends are of no avail I have looked at his picture many, many times, since I heard from him, and read his letters again & again, while tears of anguish flowed from my eyes, as I thought of the probbability of never hearing from you all again. But I hope, dear Mary that there is a brighter day ahead, & the time may soon come when our correspondence will recommence not to be stopped by any national calamity. I wish you had sent me your picture I hope some day to see it, & not your shadow merely, but your own dear self. What a happy day that would be!

Tell dear Aunt not to be unhappy because Cousins Will & Tom are in opposite parties. Tell her, cousin Mollie, that I would try to console her but I know not how. I can only pray for her Her situation is one of peculair Sadness, & I would that it were in my power to administer to her consolation, but I can not I am too weak & ignorant, I fear, to comfort her, but I pray the Lord

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my console her in her affliction. He is able & willing to comfort her. There has been some changes in our family since last I wrote. Sister was married the Fourth of July. She married Mr. Williams I beleive I wrote some thing about him to you or cousin Tom. He would say, "she did remarkably well." He is not very wealthy, but he is an honest & industrious man, esteemed by all. I know they would send you some message or perhaps write, if they had know that I intended to write to you, but I did not know it myself until nearly eleven o'clock to-night, & as their home is some distance from mine I could not go to see them. I will send their love to you (all) any how. Unfortunately mother is away from home to-night also. Give her love to Auntie & tell that she often talks about her.

I must stop for it is getting late, & I am a fraid I will not wake in time to send this down. Excuse me, dearest Cousin, I intended to write you a long letter, but time will not permit it now. Give my love to Cousin Tom, and tell I often think of him & long for the time when he can write to me again, I miss his and your letters more than I do any of my other correspondence I would give any thing to receive one of your'[deleted: s] or his' long & interesting letters. Remember, dear Mary, if I should never hear from you again, I shall ever feel the tenderest affection for you, & deepest solicitude for your happiness. All send much love, Do not forget to give my love & a kiss to your youngest brother. If it is in your power, dear Mollie, write to me. A letter from you would

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give me more happiness than I could express.

You wrote to me once a bout being a Christain. Do you still love Christ & his cause? Are you striving to please him? You have my prayers in your behalf.

Good bye dearest Mary, if- if I never hear from or see you while living, I hope to meet you with the redeemed & blessed above. Tears are blinding me, I am compelled to stop
Remember me in your petitions, cousin.

I am, and ever shall be Your fond & loving cousin


Henry sends his love, and says that he is sorry that your picture did not come. Write to me if possible. Good bye!
Monday Morn. 6 o'clock.

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