Documenting the American South Logo
Loading

Elliott and Gonzales Family Papers.
Personal Correspondence, 1861-1865:

Electronic Edition.

Elliott and Gonzales Family


Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services
supported the electronic publication of this title.


Text transcribed and annotated by Kristofer Ray
Text encoded by Melissa Graham and Natalia Smith
First edition, 2000
ca. 190K
Academic Affairs Library, UNC-CH
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,
2000.

        © This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.

Source Description:
(caption) Elliot and Gonzales. Personal Correspondence, 1861-1865
Elliott and Gonzales Family

Inventory # 1009, Manuscripts Dept., Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


        The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-CH digitization project, Documenting the American South.
        Transcript of the personal correspondence. Originals are in the Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
        The text has been encoded using the recommendations for Level 4 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines.
        Original grammar, punctuation, and spelling have been preserved. Encountered typographical errors have been preserved, and appear in red type.
        Any hyphens occurring in line breaks have been removed, and the trailing part of a word has been joined to the preceding line.
        All quotation marks, em dashes and ampersand have been transcribed as entity references.
        All double right and left quotation marks are encoded as " and " respectively.
        All single right and left quotation marks are encoded as ' and ' respectively.
        All em dashes are encoded as --
        Indentation in lines has not been preserved.
        Spell-check and verification made against printed text using Author/Editor (SoftQuad) and Microsoft Word spell check programs.


Library of Congress Subject Headings, 21st edition, 1998

Languages Used:

LC Subject Headings:


Revision History:


Morale

        [Morale, Union Occupation]

Oak Lawn 15th Dec 1861

Dear Ralph

        I perceive by the papers that Gov Pickens has asked for information as to the quantity of cotton burnt by the planters, and as no notice has been taken by my losses, I set them down that you may give the information when required--

         [unclear] my two plantations on Port Royal island--I had [unclear] in 97 thousand pounds of seaside cotton in the seed. It was all burnt. I had one hundred ten head of cattle--1000 bushels corn-several hundred of peas--[fodder]& cc--all were allowed to fall into the Enemy's hand. Finding my negroes insubordinate refusing to work and communicating with the Enemy, I applied to Genl Ripley--then in command--for a military force to [save property] and restrain the negroes. I offered to command or accompany the expedition. Genl Ripley declined, saying he had no authority. On the arrival of Genl Lee I renewed my application, and his answer was that he had no adequate force to hold the island--but that he would send an expedition which might serve to burn the cotton, drive off the cattle.

        Half of Genl Lee's plan failed as you know, from the refusal of the Cavalry corps to volunteer. The [unclear] with his mounted artillery successfully executed his mission, and fourteen cotton houses were burnt. I was by far the largest loser, but no one has thus far seen fit to take any notice of the fact, nor given me [unclear] for destroying rather than refusing the cotton to fall into the Enemy's hands. Had adequate force been given me at an early period I should have secured my corn cattle and many of my negroes who are now sheltered by the Enemy. And my cotton might have been save at least in part had I been able to secure boats& wagons for that end--through the control of my negroes, which the presence of an armed force would have effected.

        They who [unclear] in Wm's condition should certainly have their losses compensated by the Country--for their public military service precluded their taking care of their own property. My claims will [unclear] on a different footing. The abandonment of Port Royal was no military necessity. It was the fault of the officers in command, and the refusal of the officers to furnish aid when reasonably applied to will furnish strong equitable ground for compensation. It was lost to the State, and gained by the Enemy, by their [lapse].

        Can't you get these home guard& mounted alarmed men abolished by the Legislature? What do they but fatten their horses for a run? Have they ever yet found an enemy? That kind of force is very costly and very worthless. A small cavalry force that is willing to fight is worth more than whole regiments of [vaporing] hectors!

        I am quite sick with severe influenza--unable to go abroad or attend to any thing.

        I met Sydney Legare and Mr [Pinckney] yesterday--hunting commissions--that is, trying to raise a volunteer company for service.

Yours affectly

Wm Elliott


        [Business, Morale, Ft. Sumter]

Oak Lawn 10th Apl 1861

Dear William

        Your mother's headache had me to reply to yr. note recd by Frederic. Ralph sends the mules but is greatly disquieted thereby as he thinks you named the 20th as the earliest day when you would send. He has been unable to work them much--from the weather, and a gale that one had upon the shoulder.

        My rice land is submerged, and will be so for a week. The fruit of a thousand peach trees has been utterly destroyed by the frosts. The seasons here are hard, and late.

        You ask my opinion about the state of things. We shall have War--and that instant. The navy of the U. States will be concentrated to force [unclear] to Fort Sumter. The ships of light draft but heavy guns are to be employed, and for ought I know, may be this day off the coast--their sides protected against shot from our batteries by sand bags hung over them! Surf boats, and every other costly convenience provided to [unclear] effect to their plans. If Fort Sumter had been attacked a week ago, it would have been carried, if it be possible to carry it. We have waited till a most formidable armament has been prepared for its relief. That relief, whether effective or not, will be attended with torrents of blood. Our government has been deluded by the treacherous conduct of the U. S. Gvt pretending to evacuate, but preparing all the while to defend. What were our commissioners at Washington doing not to detect their plans? And what has our Governor Pickens been doing in sending supplies to Anderson when without them, he would, ere this, been starved out--There are only two courses to pursue--to starve out the enemy or beat him out. The first was in our power, but our rulers had not force of character enough to employ it. Now the latter alternative is upon us. At this stage of affairs you and W property at Hilton Head are in no special danger. You will not be [unclear] because the U.S. Gvt have no pretext for victualling a fort in Port Royal--and remark--they do nothing without a pretext--they do not make war upon the South, they only relieve their garrisons, and when they are fired on, it is the South that is the agressor! This is their pretext--to satisfy the anticipations of the abolitionists. And it will satisfy them, though not, it is hoped, the majority of the Northern people.

        Not till we have issued letters of marque--to make reprisals on them for their holstility to us--will your plantation be in danger! Meantime I think you ought to join some military [formation?] at Beaufort, perhaps in preference to any other point.

        We are sick here. Mattie has not been down stairs for a week--and is still indisposed.

        I am much excited by the incompetency of the men--now having our fortunes and lives in keeping.

Yr afct father--

Wm Elliott


        [Ft. Sumter]

Annandale Monday 15th [April 1861]

        Your letter of the 11th reached me yesterday dearest Mamma and, I was grateful to know you were all "pretty well". I have not written since this day week because my excitement has been so constantly kept up. I really could not. On Wednesday I had a note from Mary Man telling me she had been summoned to the city by Mr. M and would leave Thursday afternoon, begging me to visit her in the morning. On Thursday she sent a messenger telling me she was off at sunrise, as she had had another dispatch to hurry her. This with the newspaper threads, of course led us to anticipate danger. On Friday morning Mr. L and self at day light heard the firing of the batteries, and we were all so anxious to know what it all meant. On Saturday the rapidity of the guns, made us imagine something besides Sumter was being attacked, and of course the mail was most eagerly looked for. When the post boy arrived there was nothing, the N. E. Railroad having failed. Several of the gents rushed off to the city, unable to bear the suspense--however about 11 o'clock Mr Weston drove up to tell us the news, as far as 2 o'clock Friday when he left the city for his duties at this fort. Since then we have had private news up to the taking of Sumter (which from the cessation of cannon we had imagined) and the happy termination of the attack so singularly free from casualty on our side. As no Steamers have come, of course "those war vessels" are for the present a barrier, and our anxieties are still on the [unclear] . Tell Emmy She and I were wrong after all but I am thankful we escaped fright so long. I was so very glad to see the General's name on Beauregard's staff--next to the safety of our soldiers that gave me most pleasure. I hope Hattie forgives me. It has been very hard to keep Wm L quiet and but that positive duty here required him I don't think we could have detained him. If there is to be any more fighting Mr L says he must take the children to Flat Rock, that he may return to his duties and tho' such a plan would be very distasteful to me I cannot object. We have 60 men at present at Lo Island 20 of our Santee Cavalry, Wm L among them. Alice and family here, her baby is better, but still looks ill. Poor Alice does not know where she will be in a month. She has pressing invitations to Charleston& Beaufort with French Broad and South Island in reserve. Alice says I must tell you she is still prime and wants to know if you would like to take care of her, to the mountains with the chance of a month at Newberry? I am delighted to report all well again. Dr. Parker has just sent us in the Mercury's extra for Saturday which confirms the report of the 5 war vessels. What next I wonder. You are better off than we for nothing from the city can reach us, and we are on war rations. Do write often with abundant love to each and all dearest Mamma.

Mary


        [Home Life, Morale, Disease]

Beaumont 2d March [1862]

Dearest Mamma

        I have been greatly disappointed at failing to hear from you this week and would feel more than anxious, if Mr. Johnstone in writing from Charleston on Monday had not mentioned that he had seen Papa who reported you all well at Oak lawn. I somehow imagine you may have given Papa a letter for me, who may not have mailed it at any rate I shall be quite uneasy if I don't hear very soon. We hear so many reports of the impossibility of defending your rail road (and the cities at either end besides) that I sometimes fear you may be obliged to make a sudden move from Oak lawn. The reverses we have lately met with will have the effect I trust of arousing our people from their torpidity. I hope things will brighten soon. I have not yet heard of Mr. L's arrival at Santee. We have all had or are having the rash he had while here. Roseola I suppose it to be--it is really nothing--the only requisite being to avoid exposure, which as the weather continues cloudy and damp, it is not hard to do. The children keeping in willingly enough.

        William has been quite sick at home with measles this last week. He was sitting up yesterday but very weak--Dr. Rutledge says his Santee attack was Roseola.

        I heard from Alice Ravenel lately, Vallie, Ann Stock--her three children were all sick at once, with sore throat--Roseola and convulsions.

        The people of Columbia were afraid their city might be shelled by the enemy's gunboats--from Granby a short distance off.

        I hope you will have been all well during the dismal weather we have had, dear Mamma. You must feel dispirited and anxious all the time about the war, and that is trouble enough at once.

        We are quiet up here and are saved the constantly conflicting reports which are current below. I heard from Emma Manigault not long since. She inquired about you all--mentioned the escape to the Yankees of nearly all the negroes of Mr. Izard, Joe Huger and the Huger estate. Mary Man was quite well, and had just received a present of hospital stores from Mr. Gourdin which placed her at the head of the Hospital, as position "she could not shrink from". That reminds me to ask if you have had anything of that kind to do for the Soldiers--the ladies have turned out so nobly everywhere to help the sick. I am sure Lallie has been having wholesome nourishment prepared for some of them. I have often regretted my distance from the sufferers--but I dare say before the war is over I shall have the opportunity of helping.

        I have seen scarcely any of our neighbors for three weeks. I hear the Kings on the Savannah river have removed all their negroes (without trouble) to the middle of Georgia.

        Mr. Reed is in Edgefield recruiting his health before returning to Flat Rock. The Flat Rock folks go to Henderson to church.

        Lisa Rutledge is in Nashville, Sallie quite uneasy about her. Mrs. Hess-Pinckney has a son a few days old. Very presumptious in me giving you City news is it not?

        Good bye dear Mamma. I wish I could hear oftener from you all.

With much love

your affecte

Mary


        [Morale, Home Life]

Beaumont 8th June [1862]

        I was much relieved by your last (recd on Wednesday) to find that you had all at last removed to Adams Run dearest Mamma, and I really hope as this war seems to have deranged every thing that the seasons are also changed for the times and those who are obliged to venture so late may escape this year. I am glad to hear your report of Lallie and wish she would consent to having her throat attended to. Chloroform agrees with her, and a few seconds would suffice for her relief. We are all well. The weather too, cool to be pleasant here, but I dare say you are enjoying it. I am happy to tell you, that Dr. King told me to day he thought Aunt Pinckney decidedly improved. Two days ago he said he was very uneasy about her. I was there on Friday, but did not see Aunt Pinckney, the family were surprisingly cheerful and free from anxiety, apparently tho' telling me she would take no nourishment or sit up. She is more cheerful to day, and I hope will continue to improve from day to day. Carrie P. looks miserably, I think. I was at Mrs. Huger's yesterday--she looks well in spite of her anxieties about her sons. Mary was to come up as soon as she heard the particulars of the Corinth Battle, poor soul her suspense must continue much longer I fear, since the evacuation of Corinth must postpone an engagement for some time longer. Mrs. Huger says she is penniless, but if she only gets her boys back safely is quite ready to work. They have neither a horse or mule this summer, which is a subject for congratulation I told her.

        Mr. Johnston writes me that the Yankees have made no further demonstration upon Santee. The planters have all removed their people to places inaccessible to the Yankee boats, and are busy in carrying off from their barns provisions for the same. They all stay at Annandale, where he sometimes has eleven gentlemen to lodge and provide for. Mr. L seems as hopeful as you are about something turning up in two or three weeks, and says he is keeping his rice crop growing so that the negroes can return to it when feasible. Mr.s Lowndes and Middleton are among those at Annandale.

        Charleston seems at last to be on the eve of an attack. I am sorry for the General in Command who ever it is. A great many will desire the surrender to save their houses I suppose. I hear all of the Banks there have removed. I hope Papa has his funds for travelling purposes safe or Mr. Bee may not be available at short notice, he is really building at Walhalla. By the bye Miller says he is in no hurry about payment. He "was told by Papa to sell the corn but will get you another" every one seems to have come up but yourselves. The Railroads are crowded. Wm L says he came up yesterday, still looking thin and badly. He was unable to get to Santee, no horse to be hired in the city, and his father turned him back.

        I was at Church today, a full congregation of women and children. On the strength of three parsons Mr. Reed announced a weekly service on Wednesday afternoons. Mr Girardau's school commences to morrow. I hear Mr. Reed wishes Jeff Davis could be taken prisoner (I have faith still in his obstinacy) the Reeds were made very anxious by seeing the name of Read among the wounded in Hampton's Legion at Chickahomony--but it proved not to be Otey.

        Don't you admire my Henderson paper, it can scarcely be written on. Pray write as often as you can dear Mamma and with abundance of love to each and all believe me

Your Affecte

Mary


        [Morale, Slavery]

Beaumont Sunday 26th [October, 1862]

        I was made to feel quite conceited dearest Emmie at receiving two letters from Oak lawn last week, and with difficulty refrained from giving you an extra in return--which would have been unkind in our dearth of news of all kinds. Sunday having arrived will have my chat with you instead of Mamma whose wish or preference for remaining with the military is to me perfectly natural. You must all I think feel more secure at Adams Run while those wretched Yankees are making attempts on the Rail road. We are of course very anxious to hear more of last Wednesday's affair at Pocataligo (I am so glad Willie was not in time for that danger). Our papers will reach us tonight. Mr. Henry Stuart has already sent to the mail so impatient to have some particulars. You will have had a peep at Willie I suppose. I charged him to ask Annie for some more quinine pills, my supply having given out. I urged his continuing until the country was safe. We have had a plenty of ice, and have adopted winter clothing and customs--to day it rains steadily and if we have a similar spell of weather in Virginia I fear our troops will have to continue inactive, and the Yankees will be spared to overwhelm us on the coast. How discouraging Bragg's retreat has been. A letter from Mr. Urquhart (one of his aids) to his wife spoke most discouragingly of their condition--"Kentucky had not come out as they had expected" "The troops were in bad condition--no clothing, no water and our army in full retreat to Chattanooga." We see nothing in the papers to cheer us nowadays--and unless something turns up we shall soon have to realize the horrors at home I fear.

        Poor little Emma has been sick for a week with a severe attack of asthma--after her long exemption, it is quite a disappointment that it should recur. She is up in the day and suffers at night, but as she slept last night I hope this attack is over. We had the pleasure of receiving three men from Charleston with dropsy last week, two better and one quite ill. Yesterday Mr. L found one of Grace's children with diptheria and really remedies are so scarce just now--it is no trifling infliction to have such patients. We are still uncertain of the provision supply for the winter, and Uncle Pinckney who left this on horseback a week ago writes that we "can get some corn about 40 miles below Greenville--by R. R. and wagon" an endless job. Uncle P has bought a place at Cokesbury for $9000--worn lands and dilapidated dwellings he says, but he will remove his negroes forthwith from Santee. Mr. Johnstone& Mr. Lowndes leave in company on Tuesday to see what they can do with their negroes in Charleston and at Santee--it seems impossible to get food shelter and lands to cultivate provisions. Of course I feel rather blue at Mr. L's having to leave--tho' he has no intention of deserting us for any time. Our wise gardener Cartwright informed us a few days ago that he was going to leave. He could not stand the negroes--their dancing and fighting at night was too much for him. We are not sorry but for their own sakes--and are so glad we did not dismiss them in these hard times. I wish they would vacate now instead of in a month that we might have their house for the negroes.

        Mrs. Girardeau and her babies left on Saturday (after being disappointed on Thursday) for Laurens where Mrs. Legare is we hear--he (Mr. G) applied for a place in Steel's company, which he failed to get--much to Johnnie's comfort--she having joined the church, he thought such contact might be prejudicial. Johnnie spent a few days with us very pleasantly--leaving on Friday for "his baby". The Pinckneys are well and rejoicing over Charlie--he will take Carrie to Pendleton to visit Hesse next week.

        I have taken cold in one eye, and I must stop writing before I am inclined as it is painful. Do write me again very soon, and with abundance of love to all

Your affte Sister


        [Home Life, Slavery, Medicine]

Monday 2d March [1863]

My dear Emmie--

        I feel as if I wanted to write, and to hear from you much oftener than once a week, and so I won't wait for a regular day for sending letters. Your last was taken from the mail boy as we were driving to the church to see our good old friend placed in our cemetery. The whole household and Mr. Drayton were present--no one else. You can imagine how we all miss Nonie in every way but the feeling is altogether selfish--even Edith has perception enough to know that her release from so much suffering is a gain to her and asked me if I was sorry for Nonie or for myself. She expressed wishes to Miss Hannah about her sister and namesake which I must try and comply with first writing to her relatives in Laurens to ascertain their locality.

        I am very glad dear Emmie to hear you have a refuge secured in case you must leave Oak lawn, don't forget to take some blankets and soft pillows with you to make yourself comfortable. I trust there will be no attack nearer to you than Savannah. Tom must feel uncomfortable enough. I wonder that he does not sell his negroes--they are bringing such prices. Mr. L seems much inclined to get rid of his troubles in that way. Working on the public defences has demoralized and made the men hard to manage and they all seem waiting for freedom and utter idleness.

        Caroline Seabrook has heard from Aunt Pinckney several times. She bore the journey well and is improving. The hard times and difficulty of providing for daily wants it seemed preyed upon her spirits here. Charley is here on a short visit--he was here this morning looking quite well in his uniform--he's now "Capt of Ordnance". Hess's eldest daughter Annie is boarding at the de Choisents.

        We have at last some bright weather which I am very glad of on account of colds. Mr. L and Mamie are the present sufferers but good weather will soon cure their coughs I hope. Tell Anne Mr. L says I must give her his prescription for pneumonia 10 grs Calomel
15 " dovers powder
15 " Camphon in five powders every 2 1/2 hours--
repeat the powders until the patient is free from pain.

        Do you wish dear Emmie to have your garden here planted with vegetables--it would be more comfortable for your Servants. I am going soon to see after the place--since the sleet storm it looks very dilapidated, and I will have the garden fence made up and see about it--but I would like Anne to send me some seeds particularly Tomatoes& Ochra. Ours last year were very mean. I don't think I mentioned that Mr. L had the ice house packed with snow fearing we might not have another freeze. I have been out to day for the first time for many weeks getting rose cuttings for Mary Manigault--her mother and the girls left last week and she says she must occupy herself in gardening--having no gardener I must try and do the same tho' I fear my efforts will be signal failures.

        You may be sure we look most anxiously for news each day from the coast and I wish I could postpone my anxiety until April until when I hear the Yankees have postponed their attack--but I cannot think they will be permitted to delay so long. I am so thankful you are all well and that you have those darling children in the house to care for--little Beauregard must cling to his grandmama and love her very much.

Love to you all dearest Emmie

Your Affecte Sister


        [Morale, Conscription]

Greenville April 12th 1863

My Dear Mother

        As I am now at leisure after two weeks of almost uninterrupted business I propose devoting the afternoon to you. Emmie's letter was truly welcome as conveying intelligence of your improved health and especially your equanimity at the threatening attack on Charleston. The news of the repulse, and the destruction of one of their monitors is indeed glorious. They will be satisfied I think that their ironclads are not invulnerable; but should they renew the attack they will only lose some more--at any rate we are justified in expecting a complete victory.

        They may indeed land a large force and destroy some plantations at one or more points but wherever we can concentrate a few thousand men they will be defeated. At any rate the next six weeks should decide the Campaign.

        I have succeeded in getting some 25 conscripts--part of which number have already been forwarded to Col Preston. The people here are behaving disgracefully--their want of patriotism is amazing. The act of Congress, to "further provide for the public defence" defeats itself by having attached an Exemption Act which exempts all classes of mechanics actually engaged at their trades& every owner or overseer of 15 hands. The mechanics have in some instances I think sworn falsehoods--and owners& overseers--a stout athletic class--have in every instance availed themselves of the possession of a few negroes to keep out of the service. They are a mean Yankee population& I intend the coming week to take away the exemptions from some of them. This is also a great country for dodgers& deserters and I expect to be engaged as soon as the Office records are finished in having them arrested.

        I spoke to cousin Betsy coming from Church the other day and will probably go and see them tomorrow. She inquired after all at home. She looked old and very broken. Johnnie is also here--I don't know for how long. Sister Mary wrote to me the other day (the second time) asking me to come& see her--which request I hope to comply with the end of next week if my business will allow. There are some nice ladies living in the hotel here--Mrs Boly--a Mrs Washington& her sister Mrs Russell from Alabama--the last very pretty. Her husband is trying to run the blockade. They all treat me very kindly and [end of letter]


        [Home Life, Morale]

Beaumont 28th June [1863]

        "By Rights" I should have written to you before My dear Emmie but I consider it all the same thing in writing home, so will make no excuses. I am surprised to find my letters take a whole week to reach you--it is well they are of no great importance. Yours come more speedily. Mamma's last was quite disappointing. I thought I should hear of some time being fixed for your journey but it does not surprise me that the disagreeables of moving are postponed to the last, only tell Mamma--Wagons are very scarce, and some forethought is necessary. 50 bushels of corn is a full load of itself for a wagon--tho' that or a portion might wait in Greenville--the freights from thence are immense--$2.25 a hundred instead of 50 or 70 cts as of old. We are hoping to hear that Mr. Bee has procured corn and bags for us. I am very glad to hear of the new picket arrangement for guarding the negroes and trust it may arrest desertion on their part--it would be ruinous to have more of such raids as the [Combahee?]. Ralph being near is another great advantage--such an evanescent property must always be a care as long as the war lasts however--and we feel greatly relieved to have Trenholm& Co the possessors of ours. For the last week Mr. L has been a prisoner from his old enemy the poison--he now thinks his exemption last year was owing to the constant use of Borah--which he has not been able to get latterly. Do dear Emmie ask Gonzie if you think it won't trouble him much to try and get me a pound to come up with you--it is quite provoking that he cannot go out to direct his farm work which is suffering for want of direction--such a pretty crop of corn too which we expected so much comfort from next winter--however it is almost "laid by". I have heard from William, he had promptly attended to several commissions for me and I think is turning out quite a business man. I have just written to ask him to get a bag of flour for Mamma and one for me, which will do until the new wheat crop comes in. tell Mamma if she has any specie she can probably get what she wants up here. Nothing is offered us, not a pound of butter or any poultry. I heard yesterday Mrs. Memminger had bought a wagon load of the latter, spring chickens ducks and geese at 1.25 a piece. Our allowance of butter is a little pat for breakfast churned every morning--but we all have splendid appetites and enjoy every thing--if you can you had better bring up some butter to begin with--when it is sold here the price is 1.00--but enough of war time prices. I have at last received the hats etc., and my dress which I wore to Church this morning, feeling more respectable than in a badly dyed Mirino--thank you and Miss Bonner for it. She seems a most reasonable person, charging no more for her work than formerly--while the people here and elsewhere triple their charges. We have had a very rainy week making everything grow, weeds especially. Dahlias are blooming and raspberries very plentiful.

        We are once more most anxious for news from our armies. How I dread Lee's advance proving a failure--he surely must extricate himself--but with what dreadful havoc to our poor Men. Johnston seems too weak to venture any thing as yet. Pemberton will make a glorious name for himself if he holds out. You have heard of poor Robb Barnwell's death& insanity--he was taken to the asylum at Staunton by his own request. We hear he made several attempts to destroy himself and at last his death was caused by throwing himself from a window--his wife (Mary Singleton) is very ill in Richmond. She has three children. Annie Stuart is feeling and looking badly they say (I have not seen her for many weeks) and is quite depressed. Poor Annie does not thrive on the war. Aunt P is better. Dr. King has given her up--the rest of the family are cheerful. Excuse my long talk dear Emmie, and believe me with constant love to each and all of You.

Your Affecte

Mary

Do ask Mamma if she can spare me from Oak lawn (to be returned next fall when they certainly can be got) two covered vegetable dishes and 1/2 dozen tumblers--I am terribly deficient and cannot get a supply. Do try and get us a lb of Ruta Baga Turnip Seeds.


        [Business, Morale]

Pocotaligo Oct 30th 1863

My Dear Emmie,

        Your last letter was recd two days since& I hasten a reply, hoping it may reach you before your departure for Abbeville. I will see both Ben& Jacob tomorrow& next day& give them the advice you suggest, should Ralph be at Oak Lawn, or, or Chuha I will consult& advise with him on matters also,& render all the assistance in my power. The plan that I should adopt with respect to the Cattle would be to hold on to them,& not sell, but if that cannot be safely done, I would instruct the Overseer, Johnson, to ascertain who the purchasers are in Abbeville& let them agree to give $300 per head as soon as delivered them, so as to get them off your hands as quickly as possible. The up or Middle Country climate does not agree with our stock& the loss would be heavy if some arrangement of this kind is not made before hand. I shall be very cautious dear Emmie in what I shall say to Ralph so as to give him no offence for I believe I understand a little of human nature. I will now mention a subject of great importance to you all& I wish you to bring it to Mama's notice. A company in Charleston is being formed for the purpose of purchasing a site for a city on the Broad River shore& the Ellis plantation is or will be the site selected, the depth of water at that spot being greater than any where else in that vicinity, besides having a Southerly front. You are aware no doubt that Foot Point has been often spoken of as the spot for a city, but it will require 25 miles more of Rail Road to reach it, than the Ellis place,& this will be a great consideration in favor of the Ellis site. The long headed capitalists are you see at work,& are making ready with their means to dash into new enterprises as soon as the War ends. The Port Royal Rail Road which is progressing rapidly, must have an outlet on our Port Royal shore,& I have been applyed to, to know if my Mother would sell the Ellis Plantation. I could not of course give a definite reply, not remembering the provisions of my Father's will. My Mother must reflect over the matter& if she has under the Will, the right to dispose of Landed Estate, she ought to ask a good round sum, nothing under $100 000.

        Well dear Emmie Charleston has not been burnt yet, nor has grave old Sumter fallen--hundreds of shot and shell are thrown against it daily, by the cowardly beasts who would strike an unarmed man, poor Devils--they fancy they will be able to reach the city when its walls are [unclear] the Sea, but I doubt it. In shelling the city a few days since only one entered, the others fell short, that one entered the upper window glass of the Union Bank& fell on the floor it was completely exhausted after its long flight,& had not strength left to explode, I believe the greek fire a humbug.

        President Davis will pass by here tomorrow on his return from the West, great curiosity is manifested by all to see him, but particularly the old reserves who are stationed here. General Walker will give him a salute of artillery& a hip, hip hurrah,& he will pass on to Charleston.

        I must now close this, for me, long letter. We have to be thankful for a healthy summer, only two cases of sickness in my household,& both slight. I am really sorry to hear of poor little Emma's ill health again, if it were possible she ought to spend the winter in Florida.

With much love to my Mother& Sisters I am as Ever

Your attached Brother

L.R.S. Elliot


        [Morale]

Georgetown Jany 4th 1864

My Dear Emmie

        Your kind favor reached me day before yesterday and found me recovered from that severe attack, which for refinement of torture can only be compared to the racks of the Inquisition--only think of five nights out of seven without sleep. I'd rather be shot than go through the same just now again--although compared with the sufferings of many poor fellows in these dreary times, mine are as nothing. However I'm getting strong fast and Conscripts& Deserters will have to look sharp I am glad you had Ralph and the Genl with you at Christmas (mine was spent in bed); and very sorry to hear that Hattie was so sick with cold and Neuralgia. This has been so far a severe winter and the sufferings of our troops must be great. It was pleasant to see from the papers that Bragg's or rather Johnston's army was being reunited at a rate of 300 per diem. Much, oh how much depends on next Spring's campaign! If Lincoln is re-elected, as I suppose he will be--it will take another such series of successes as we had summer before the last to give us any prospect of peace--peace which we prized so little when we had it. Indeed we must look for another four years war--in which time we may be overrun--I will not say subjugated. We cannot be as long as we can feed an army.

        So far Sumpter still holds out and he is being immortalized--the lucky dog. I always knew if the war lasted, he would be a brigadier--as he will be when he comes out.

        My visit to Planterville was pleasant on the whole. Mr. Sparkmann gave us a good dinner, and a variety of old wines with splendid old French Brandy. Tis said the tax paid on his wines the present year was six hundred dollars. We passed the night--a fine land house--and next day lunched by invitation at Gov Allston's--who was with us the evening previous--but the lunch turned into a dinner--a plain one, but there was no lack of old Brandy, Whiskey and old Wine. He would not suffer my glass to be empty a moment--and although I did not give them Richard the Third I felt much like William the First taking my cold moon light drive back to Georgetown of 13 miles. There planters live like fighting cocks--even in these hard times.

        How sad it is that there should be such a panic in the up country. Even the Greenvillians I hear are getting alarmed--starvation too--you must congratulate yourselves on getting "shut" of it, as the Greenville people say. We feel the want of sugar here and coffee, but other things are still to be had& we dine on wild ducks, or turkey nearly every day, the man I board with being a good provider and having a farm.

With love to all believe me dear Emmie
Your affectionate Brother

William


        [Tory Attack]

Charleston June 15th 1864

Mrs. A.H. Elliot

My Dearest Mother

        I write to break to you, most horrible and distressing news from Flat Rock. Our darling Sister Mary is a widow. Her husband was brutally murdered by Tories, or deserters, whilst feeding them at his own dinner table.

        Dr. King and Miss Drayton have each written letters to their friends here, in which they state, that while Mr. Johnstone& his family were at dinner some days since, five men rode up& asked for forage for their horses. Mr. Johnstone having none to give them, they demanded food, and were asked to go to the table just vacated by the family. The villains eat,& then drew their Pistols and deliberately fired upon their entertainer. Poor Mr. J fell,& survived but an hour.

        Elliott seized a gun& killed his fathers murderer--the rest fled but returned for the body of their accomplice, when Elliott again fired upon& wounded two more. They then withdrew& were being pursued.

        I am horrified,& so stunned, that under my peculiar circumstances, I do not clearly see my duty as yet. William Johnstone is in the Scouts on Johns Island--we have been unable to inform him. You had better send to Genl Robertson--ask him to send a courier to William to tell him,& to give him a furlough to remove his fathers wife& children. Mary can't remain without Elliott,& his life will be forfeited if he is not brought away.

        Excuse my abruptness. Tis nearly day light,& I leave for Columbia at six o'clock.

God bless you all
Your Son

Ralph


        [Army Provisions]

H'd Qrs. Commissary Dept.
4th Sub District S. C.
January 17th 1865

Mrs. A. H. Elliott

Madam

        I am sorry that I have not the money with which to pay for the beef furnished by you to the Government. The money is in Charleston, and I expected to receive it today, but as yet cannot tell whether it was brought up or not. As soon as I receive it, I will send the amount due you for the beef first furnished. Unfortunately the Government does not issue enough money to allow me to pay all that I owe for purchases made for this command, and it will be impossible for me to settle all claims in money, but the certified accounts are perfectly good, and will be paid by any Commissary who has funds in his hands.

        The weight of the Pork was 416 pounds equivalent to 249 ⅗ pounds bacon, for which I send receipts, and also for the beef sold by you to the Government.

        I wrote to Mr. Hay at Green Pond about the corn at your plantation on Cherau& send enclosed his letter in reply. If Col Gonzales can make the arrangements with the Q Master at Green Pond to take your corn at the plantation, and return it at the Depot at Green Pond, I suppose the Government would be bound by such a delivery. I have no doubt that Mr. Hay also has the disposition to put every convenience in the way of those furnishing provisions for the government.

I am Madam
Very Respectfully

Wm W. Carrie
Major


        [Morale, Approaching Union Troops]

Camden January 24, 65

My Dear Emmie,

        What has prevented you from sending your furniture[?] We have been expecting to hear some thing of it for some time past, but it has not yet arrived. Mamma says it will give her great pleasure to have it put away for you. She also requests me to say, that we have two spare chambers, and will be most happy to receive you all, in case you are obliged to make a more hasty retreat from Oak lawn than you appear to expect, and have no safer and more comfortable locality to go. So don't hesitate in case of emergency to come, we will try and make you as comfortable, as the times will allow. Your Mother's telegraph relative to her Cotton, was received a few days ago, and answered immediately. Storage can be obtained, price $2. per bale, by the month Father says he will receive it, and have it put away with pleasure.

        I suppose now it is only a matter of time, as to when you will be obliged to leave Oak lawn, as Sherman seems to be advancing unmolested through our State, it is sad to think of an enemy just walking through ones country, without a single effort being made to stop their progress. Our military appear paralyzed.

        Aunty and Mamma, have been quite unwell lately suffering from cold. Mamma to day is in bed with a bad sore throat.

Excuse haste,

All write with me in love to yourself, and the family

Yours affectionately

E D Burnet

PS Johnny is in your neighborhood, at Adams Run, in Capt Stuarts Company, the Beaufort Artillery.


        [Morale, Approaching Union Troops]

Charleston Feb [1865]

My Dear Emmie

        Gonzie has just told us what I am about to say to you for tis necessary to act immediately. Soloman the [unclear] , says we cannot have his house at Cheror. Mr Woodard's house has been filled with refugees. He can't turn them out but will try to make room for us (but of course this is not to be thought of). Soloman tells Gonzie that there are several stores where we might get accommodation, that the people are kind& that when we have been there for a few days we shall be able to get shelter. On the other hand G has had a long talk with Wagner who says that he has Gen Beauregard's authority for saying that Charleston is the best place for helpless people for the reason that when taken the troops will be under control; in the country they will be under no restraint whatever. Wagner has offered the Col the use& choice of two houses here, he says that Mama would not be disturbed, that you as sisters of soldiers would not suffer that I might be sent out of the lines. You will see when such matters as these are calmly discussed, in what a condition our affairs our-- [unclear] melancholy truth is, but you must not publish it, that we have no troops to crush Sherman, that we have not heard one word of help from Virginia& that the whole state is at the mercy of Sherman who is now in the heart of it& can make raids where it pleases him. Gonzie has left it to us to decide what we shall do. I have told him that I cannot remain here if the city is to be taken, Charleston is not Savannah& I don't believe that there will be law& order. Now you must say what you will do. Dr. Bachman tells us that he expects to go to Cheror before long with his daughter to stay at Col Cashes who would do any thing for friends of his& who might tell us about the Cattle & c the Dr. says they would certainly be impressed [unclear] this, but my reason for saying that we must decide at once upon Charleston or Cheror is this that the N Eastern Road may be seiged upon at any moment by the Government& we shall then be cut off. When I spoke to day to Hardee of remaining here he said I would have to do without the Col for that he would have to run off with them. You will see from this that the army, such as it is, will be saved. Hardee does his best, he has an immense line to defend& no troops--people in abusing him seem to forget that Beauregard is the Governor& Jeff Davis his Governor. There is a place called "Marion" somewhere in the swamps where we may get shelter but you have no idea of the difficulty in finding any place. The up country is crammed& no place can be said to be safe. Woodard has sent his silver from Cheror it is apprehended that the Yankees will next cut the North Eastern road. We have just read your letters& feel distressed to hear of your fever. Mama will bring& send you some quinine in this letter. Do take care of yourself my dear child, you will need all your strength in the approaching campaign. Kate is too unwell to shore herself[;] I am glad her old scamp came with her for no doubt she would have lost something if left to herself. Mama is almost sorry she came back so soon as Rosen was cooking for us very satisfactorily. We have been making Edward useful to day in getting locks& keys arranged by the locksmith. Stender has bought Mama more sugar she has now between sixty& seventy pounds. Dr. Bachmann is extremely kind he has been here twice to day (the first time none of us were up) he did not quite understand your note, thought you wanted a place near the R. R. to keep the cattle until you could shop them. He went to see an agent of the road who said for him he might be let them stay a while in his yard but if the cattle come in the car they can of course go on. Dr. B says you must take feed for them& you know if we take them to Cheror we shall have to support them there for should we get lands to put them on there would be nothing for them to eat in that barren country. Mama says tell you it may be best to keep only one or two& dispose the rest--it's very hard but what can we do--she says one should be killed at once for your eating& part of it could be salted. Mama says if you determine not to stay in Charleston you had better prepare to leave early next week. She says and Gonzie says Sunday at the latest. Tis better even if you have to remain here two or three days your stock should come at once. G says he does not know what you can do but dispose of them--they will be too great an incumbrance in travelling. Mamma has not seen the Butcher or she would tell you about her horses. About the colt Gonzie can't keep it of course[.] Brosio wants it but you can not consider him in the matter--poor children they have been too much indulged,& won't understand that it is impossible to comply with all their wishes. Rute tells us that Major King has determined to stay& has promised his negroes if they remain with him to surrender upon the approach of the Yankees. Old John says that Edward Barnwell is preparing to plant, will he too take protection from the enemy?

        I am not subjugated but I do feel broken spirited about this war& I assure you that unless we have help from abroad we are gone! That wretched Mercer becomes the enemy, crossed Rivers bridge, has destroyed the guns along the Combahee, most un-called for and reprehensible, but such things may happen every day and what notice is taken of them? Jeff Davis's classmate! Will you leave any one to stay at Oak lawn or rather have you asked any one& what will A do with her furniture. You cannot afford to take the old negroes with you! Perhaps they had better form Patriot King's band. Annie must not fret about the cattle but consider how impossible tis to save them if they to Cheror they starve[;] if to Abbeville they are liable to impressment on the way for Abbeville is now one of our lines of defense,& besides how can they go over those dreadful roads[;] if they remain here the soldiers or Yankees kill them. The only plan seems to be to sell them. We are glad you will send down the corn by wagon though I fear you may miss Dick in getting down the cattle. Mama wrote you about the cotton yesterday. We have heard nothing more to day. Excuse this letter I feel as if I had a weight of lead upon my head& heart as long as you remained at Oak lawn. I felt as if we might return but I have no hope now& feel this more on your account. Although I have four helpless little children with no shelter in prospect but that afforded by a box car--

with much love from Mama& self

I am your Affec

Hattie

Hardee& Roy desired to be kindly remembered to you. Dr. Bachman will christen the children in this room whenever I wish.

The stock car Gonzie hopes to [unclear] for a box car here& I suppose this last is the one to be fixed up with such things as we have here. Telegraph when the stock will come--if sold at auction they will bring a fine price so Gonzie thinks

God bless you my daughters--give you strength to bear your trials.


        [Morale]

Manning Feby 2d 1865

        I have received my dear Mother by an intercepted mail just this moment, your letter from Charleston, which in the usual course, would not come until tomorrow morning; and so am enabled to answer by return of mail. I am quite sorry that you should be obliged to leave your home, and deeply sympathize with the feeling of desolation you must experience at the prospect before you; and trust at any rate it may not be for long; although I am skeptical as regards the Peace our over-sanguine people are so confidently expecting. I hope I am wrong but nothing but outside pressure such as a prospect of war with England will bring that robber Yankee nation to terms. Negotiations however are going on, of some sort, but our people should not be lulled into security but prepare to defeat Sherman. Hampton's men are eager to fight him. They have no doubts as to the success of our cause& I hear that tis a positive pleasure to hear them speak.

        I am sorry you are disturbed about Johnson. His case stands thus. Being a Bonded man he is exempt from Confederate service, and no power can take him from you until his year expires, to go into the regular army. But, he and all bonded men are liable to militia calls by the Gov of the State for service within the State. The Confederate Government therefore is guilty of no violation of contract. All the militia have been organized, but in many districts they have not been called out--I understand are to be only in case of emergency. If you fear his being put into militia service for any length of time, the only course is to apply to Gov Magrath (who is commander in chief of militia) setting forth the peculiar circumstance of the case. Johnson, it seems to me, is unnecessarily scary and fond of alarming you. Your case is a strong one& if the Governor excuses any at all, he must excuse Johnson. Treville was right in saying his papers would not avail him, for the Govt at Richmond& that at Columbia are too very different and often conflicting things.

        Ralphie's letter you were so kind as to enclose was not only a treat but great relief to me, as I feared his regiment was drawn into the fighting near Wilmington and have not heard from him since my last to him written before you saw me at Xmas. He must have suffered from terrible cold weather, but now it has moderated. I rejoice that he escaped injury.

        I am still occupying the back room in my office, which would be cold did I not keep on hand a plentiful supply of wood. The cold although it wakes me long before day, has braced me up considerably& I have never felt or looked better than at present. I trust Nanto has quite recovered, and that Hattie and her other chicks are well. There is nothing of interest here. For two weeks I've been reading for occupations. No business but that of sending on absentees and deserters of whom I've succeeded in bagging a goodly number.

        Phoebe's note came.

Excuse this attempt but believe me dearest Mamma

Yr affectionate Son.


        [Surrender]

Sandy Hill May 14th '65

        "Miss Annie asks you to write her". Although I strongly suspect that this statement has no other foundation than the [unclear] idea of making things pleasant, still I will give you the pleasure to tell you, and can scarcely give you pain to hear, how we all are.

        The boys have been gradually dropping in and all are now at home except the Revd. Henry arrived yesterday from Johnsons', Muggs a fortnight since from Lee's[,] and Willie and I a month before that from Johnson's armies. At Bentonville Willie got a bullet in his hip from the effects of which he has almost recovered under the affectionate tutelage of his young wife. After the battles in N. C. I was compelled to admit that such a life was destroying the only chance for the recovery of the use of my arm while it was unpracticable for me to do my duty as I know it should be done and therefore I applied for leave and assignment to [unclear] duty.

        I presume you are as fully informed as we are of the fact of our unconditional surrender of everything east of Alabama and of the total death of any thing like Confederate Authority on this side of the Mississippi river. Beyond this we know nothing, and can only speculate upon the terms to be granted to us each one varying the programme according to his or her particular views of Northern cupidity, thrift, generosity--or malignity. The best terms I can permit myself to expect are something very far short of a general confiscation of landed property, a plausible keeping of the premise of emancipation to the ear in such a way as will not destroy our industrial system and will remove some of the--to them--objectionable features of the affair. I cannot think that they will deliberately kill their hen while golden eggs are so much in demand at home where they owe so largely. They expect us to contribute liberally no doubt and will I suspect leave us the means of doing so--not from any love for us. I have no doubt also that every measure that is simply humiliating will be dealt out to us. I do not know as yet what I shall do but am resolved at all events to preserve my self respect which in fact I do not consider forfited by defeat brought about as this has been by the steady pressure of superior numbers. It is true that we might have done better, that our fighting of late was not what it formerly was, but the disparity in numbers was the great cause which broke down the hopes of those who struggled through hard campaigns only to encounter harder.

        We are glad to hear that you are comfortable. Mr Wagner told me at Cheraw of the trick that Capers had played him in filling your house with his relations. We hear from Savannah that organ playing, selling flowers and rice and eggs are the means by which our relatives there earn a livelihood. Uncle George is at Cokesbury repairing after his famous combat in which he commanded 1400 cattle [unclear] men and a wagon and repulsed a Yankee gunboat. Joking aside he is said to have behaved with the greatest pluck and adroitness. My father was his [unclear] . Your large truck of silver is here having been brought by him from Camden and buried before Sherman's "progress." Our [unclear] has not been visited, having escaped by three miles on the former and by a quarter of a mile on that more recent occasion.

With much love to your Mother,

Brothers& Sisters

I am your Affecte

T. Elliot


Slavery

        [Slavery, Conscription]

Beaumont 13th July [1861]

        I was very much obliged for your last cheerful letter dearest Mamma, and trust your good reports from Adam's Run will continue. We have had some really hot weather, and I fear you may have suffered from it. I hope Ralph conquered his fever by early resistance, and you have had no more threats. We are all remarkably well, but have had our equanimity slightly disturbed lately by reports from Santee. Some days ago we heard of four contrabands having left, and yesterday of others 19 in all. Some of them were captured and lodged in jail by the Provost Marshall, but the example I fear will be extensively followed, tho' the report of a Santee negro (who was forcibly taken by the Yankees and made his escape from North Island where they are assembled) should be a warning to the rest. Don't you feel sadly disappointed in the result of our battles? It seems as though our desperate fighting and dreadful losses were not counter-balanced by our gain, or the punishment of the enemy. I fear we will have to do much more to convince those inveterate Yankees, who will lie themselves into victory.

        We have had a conscript commotion in this county and several others, the ignorant natives, asserting that there was no law to compell men to enlist, and many of them threatened to take to the Balsam and there resist to the death. When it came to the test however most of those liable formed into Volunteer companies. A great deal of animosity is felt against the low country gentlemen it seems, ("this being a rich mans war") and at a meeting a few days ago Frank L was assaulted by one of these outlaws, who sneaked behind him and gave him a violent blow on his head with a rock, stunning him for the time, tho' William writes not resulting in any serious injury. Mr L has had a friendly warning that "he is to be attacked" and Mr Lowndes has had a gentle hint that "he is to be hung" they are too cowardly a race to give me any anxiety tho' I should much regret the necessity of shooting any of them. I heard from Mary Manigault a few days ago. Steenie was still quite sick. Willie has also come. Mr L was in the village on business, and Riply told him Mr Habersham& his widowed sister were at his Hotel. L of course thought it was Emmie's friend Maria so we rushed off the next day. It proved to be Jack and Mrs. Coleman (his sister Ellen) she excused herself, but I saw her in Church to day with the Molly [unclear] in deep weeds--and tho Jack tried to introduce her, she would not be detained. She was quite pretty and young. Mrs Henry K still wears her widows cap driving out every evening.

        The church was crowded to day--tho the Hotel is still vacant one family only from Louisiana being there besides the Girardeau's who by the bye spent yesterday with us. The Slocums and Urquhards arrived two days since--a fortnight from New Orleans. Butter wanted Mrs Slocum's house, but she sold it for the time to an Englishman.

        Tell Hattie altho there are a number of sweet faces here this summer, many people seem desirous of being refreshed with a sight of hers. One lady hopes Mrs Gonzales may be persuaded to raise her veil in church--where she has tried in vain to see her. Aunt Pinck is pretty well again. Mrs Seabrook's children have measles. Our household is remarkably well. The chicks had a pleasant dance last week, and are prepared to enjoy themselves in spite of the war. I am going to visit desperately next week or I shall be inextricably in debt to the neighbors.

With abundance of love to each and all,

I am dear Mamma

Your affcte

Mary


        [Slavery, Union Invasion]

Beaumont Sunday 15th [December 1861?]

        Your letter of Wednesday reached me yesterday dearest Mamma, and I was very sorry to find from it that some of the family were not well. I can readily understand how nervous and uncomfortable the reports you hear, must make you, and only fear such a condition must get worse and worse. Poor Charleston what sad news, our papers brought us yesterday. In such trying times to have so many people made homeless and thro' accident too. I feel almost as tho' the fates were entirely against us. Of course we see few particulars yet of private losses, but I am sure Papa must be a sufferer in Insurance stock. I hope he won't let it worry him. These are times when we must not be surprised at losing every thing. Do tell me what has become of Ben Devians? and if Wm's and Ralph's valets have absconded? I am sorry you have imported malcontents to Oaklawn. I believe the darkies all, think this a crisis in their lives that must be taken advantage of and about burying your valuables, dear Mamma, who have you trusted? because I think for $10 any of them would tell the Yankees. Times and slaves have changed since the revolution.

        The Yankees seem to be making a fine place of Hilton Head, who knows but it may be greatly enhanced in value by and bye, when Wm claims his share. As soon as England comes to help us--and the fact of its importance as a harbor is established by the Yankees before leaving--I hope while there, their improvements will be rapid and durable.

        You ask about Alice? She is at her home on the River--quite alone, but quite brave. The measles were sent up with a family of negroes, belonging to Fred Fraser, and Alice expects her children to come in for the benefit. Mr. Johnstone writes very cheerfully in spite of non intercourse with Charleston. He recovered his clothing after some weeks, he says the negroes are very cheerful in spite of no molasses, no bacon& no shoes. The latter want however I am about supplying at Henderson. Willie Huger was much better. Mary Man was with him in Georgetown, Mr.& Mrs. H had returned to Charleston.

        I am happy to report Emmie as greatly improved--well I should say if I had not to be so prudent with her. She is a prisoner in these two rooms Miss Hinkle's and Annie's--but has an excellent appetite--and no cough, and sleeps well. She is taking iron and Cod liver Oil. We are passing the winter comfortable--have found no lack of provisions, and so far the weather has been beautiful. The neighbors are sociable and exchange visits frequently--it is hard to realize that Christmas is so near, but the de Choisents tell me the weather is often good until January.

        I hope dear little Brosio is strong again. I think maybe in these exciting times, his diet is overlooked, he ought to eat rice and milk boiled together, and other nourishing things. I hope Lallie's throat is not still troubling her. I suspect she needs exercise. If Emmie can find time to write to me I shall be delighted but please don't let that exempt you. I look so anxiously each day for news of my brothers thro' you, do tell me why the General is not a Brig--and what he is. Mr. L wrote me that he was a B. G. and I want to know all about it.

With abundance of love to all

I am your Affte

Mary


        [Slaves, Home Life]

Sunday 23d [Winter '62]

        A great many thanks my dear Emmie I owe you for such a long cheerful letter which I sincerely hope was an index of your real improvement--and not attributable in any way to the "medicated" beverage you had been taking at breakfast. It made me happy to hear of Papa's escape from his fever, and of Annie's improved strength. I hope Mamma has not been dealt unkindly with either, and that her silence this week has been not from necessity but from the fear of spoiling me too much. I am delighted to hear of Hattie's energy and pluck. I always thought if she had the opportunity of shewing it there would be plenty to admire besides her sweet face. I hope Callie too will be strengthened by the nice diet of Oaklawn, and that you all may be rewarded for your endurance by a winter of comparative comfort and quiet. I begin somehow to feel less dread of an attack upon our coast at least for the time. I think the Yankee energies will be concentrated for the Richmond attack--and perhaps our defences which are now reported so famous may deter them altogether. I try to think so at any rate.

        We are all well. I am enjoying a prettily swollen face from visiting sick darkies in the web, but it is not painful. The diptheria has not progressed, but since Mr. L left I have had 24 cases of make believe sickness to prescribe for, the fever invariably having "just gone off" and recurring always at night. I am hoping Mr Johnstone may come to day as he wrote me from Charleston on Tuesday, and ought to have finished his business there in two or three days. Our gardener leaves to morrow for Columbia quite elated, at the prospect of getting a thousand dollars salary--his friend Urgerhart's discarded gardener so writes him, I think he is a great fool in these times notwithstanding. His chief reason for going is disagreement with negroes, and I am not surprised. They are too aggravating. All of our winter vegetables--potatoes, beets, carrots, parsnips--were all banked up so nicely by last right in the garden. And tho the negroes have cabbage and turnips ad libitum with their beef four or five times a week, they robbed so frequently I had to have all brought up to the store rooms. Even dahlia roots did not escape the curious darky--don't you appreciate the race by this time? The weather has not been pleasant for a week past--on Friday it snowed all day without making any impression, since then it has been clear but cold and windy. I lent my equipage to Mrs Reed on Wednesday to go to Greenville, Dr. King prohibiting the stage. Mr Reed came back yesterday to reclaim Lucy and Bessie whom I had charge of (Mrs Drayton having the luck of the three youngest) he said Mr Reed bore the journey quite well, and I really hope the frolic may do the poor soul good, while the home cares will benefit him. Our neighbors on either side are in trouble. Annie Means has typhoid fever (which has been existing among their the whole summer), she is not unusually sick Dr. King says. Aunt Pinckney is distressed about the diptheria in Cotesworth's family--his little Lisa was a nice child and Carrie's pet. Carrie had a sore throat when Aunt P last heard. Then Caroline's children have been sick and Aunt Bower and [unclear] quite sick. Uncle P and Mr Seabrook still absent. I saw yesterday the death of Mrs Tom Pinckney mentioned (in Columbia)--war times I suppose worried the old lady. Is it not funny to find how many "essentials" in housekeeping we can do without? Coffee Tea Sugar Sperm Candles, Bacon Lard& Butter. Of the last we have not churned for daily use, none for cooking to be bought--of the former articles (excepting bacon& lard which are not to be had) we have a little reserved for sickness. We get fine beef now in any quantity four times a week (Santee salt gives us corned beef). A large flock of sheep, some poultry, white brown and corn flour for bread--plenty of vegetables and sorghum for baked apples, and you have our diet--good appetites and four meals a day. I only regret Coffee& Tea on Nonie's account--tho' her boiled milk seems to agree with her as well as it used to with Old [unclear] --she is remarkably well. Having come to the end of my page I will say goodbye, dear Emmie with abundance of love to you all.

Your Affectionate Sister

Love to my Brothers the Officers


         [Illness, Slavery, Home Life]

Cokesbury April 18th [1862]

Dear Emmie,

        I would have replied sooner to your kind inquiries about Mama, but have been harassed all this week by illness among the negroes. You know we lost many when we first moved to this dilapidated Plantation,& Pneumonia has lately re-appeared, among them. Old Affy's daughter Doll died lately,& a giant, also from Hilton Head, is very ill to day. Our country Dr. who is nearly run to death by his large& scattered practice only comes every other day, unless specially sent for,& leaves written directions for the intervening time. As Papa has not the smallest genius for attending the sick,& the cure makes Mama dreadfully nervous& anxious, the labor falls sharply on me, which is very right& proper, only I am so ignorant of the pulse and things generally.

        My mother has her mother's wonderful constitution, I think, or she could not be so active after her long illness of last summer& alarming threat last winter. She can take a walk of near a mile without minding it,& goes much further I suspect in numerous active exertions about the house. She has been devoting herself especially to [coupet] shoes,& on rare occasions when she get possession of a piece of cloth, wants to cut it out and have it made the same day for the last ragged negro she saw--exactly as Grandmama used to do. She was much pleased at hearing from you,& hopes you will give us that pleasure again.

        We were sorry indeed to hear of Aunt Ann as such an [unclear] . It is more matter of regret than surprise to me, however. When the companion of a lifetime is taken away suddenly, it is not wonderful that the sufferer should droop. If spring weather is desirable for her, the last week must have been beneficial; it is summer like today, even up here.

        I conclude you are still at Oaklawn in spite of the expected invasion. Can you be sanguine enough to suppose the attack over? If so, how can we ever be grateful enough?

        Carry paid us a short visit here& has returned to Pendleton. She wrote me and she met your brother William on the Cars,& that he had some idea of paying us a little visit from Greenville. If so his sociable intuitions deserted him too soon, for we saw nothing of him. Carry thinks she feels better than for a year past; I trust these warm days may not dispel the impression. Hatty must write to her--she could not speak of her trouble to a more sympathizing friend. I am sure the little boys are angels of comfort to all the household. I have had a hymn in my desk all summer I meant to send Brosio, to refresh both his Mama& self after an attack on the church catechism, but have left it at Flat Rock.

        I saw poor [Monie?] over in her last illness, she spoke most affectionately to me. Cousin Mary did not look very badly I was glad to find, but this is stale news. Mamma joins in love to Aunt Ann& you all. I am glad to be able to give you so good an account of her.

Your affately

Mary P.


        [Failed Slave Escape]

[August 1862]

Genl

        Please accept my thanks, for the use of a detachment of cavalry, placed on Thursday night last, at the command of my son Capt. Ralph Elliot. By their aid he was enabled to arrest a stampede of negroes from Oak lawn on their way to the Yankees. It appears that they had arranged with some negro or negroes of Mr. Barnwell for the use of his flats, but the first [unclear] was full of water, and the second guarded--and the delay thus effected enabled the troops to reach Wilton bluff in time to intercept them--which, when they discovered the absconding negroes returned to the plantation thinking to conceal their movement under cover of the darkness.

        At Grimballs' the troops found a barge, which had evidently just arrived from the Enemy's lines, leading to the suspicion that their emissaries were still on this side. A negro belonging to Gibbes named Glascow--who had last week taken off a boat load of negroes from his masters plantation--had probably returned in it for another for which he is doubtless the Enemy's attorney and paid agent.

        It thus appears that the lower part of the Pon Pon river being at this time unguarded by troops--the Enemy are using it as a sort of ferry for transporting our negroes into their lines. Now these negroes are the main sources of our wealth, and the product of their labor is the only fund from which the Confederate States can hope to support the war, and pay the interest of our public debt, immense and still accumulating. More than this, every able bodied negro man who is allowed to go over to the Enemy is not only a valuable producer abstracted from us--but from the unprincipled conduct of our malignant and unscrupulous foe--becomes a recruit in his ranks--and is armed to cut the throat of his former master. It seems to me therefore a maker of life and death--and worth some risk and some actual loss--to prevent so great a calamity. It is true that some of the Planters in the lower portion of the Pon Pon river are planting at their own risk, and have been told that they should not rely upon military protection--still it seems clear to me that they should be protected (if not for their own) yet for the public. Nor is it fair that others more removed and cultivating their lands with the [entire] approbation of the military authorities.

        In explanation of the remark I casually made to you yesterday morning--it occurs to me to suggest to you Genl for your consideration--the idea of a guard boat--anchored in the river and protected by a cannon placed in safe P [unclear] redoubt at Wilkes bluff as affording equal protection to pickets

I remain very respectfully yr ob sevt

Wm Elliott


        [Slavery, Home Life]

Beaumont 3d August [1862]

        I have been hoping to receive news of you all, by each mail dearest Mamma, and trust you were not deterred from sending me your promised letter by Papa's continued indisposition. It seems to me that he has (not prudently) overstayed his time in the low country, and I hope for one so liable to fever, he will not risk a repetition by remaining in the neighborhood of Malaria. If you are all determined to run the risk of Adams Run, do beg Papa to come up to us--we will try and make it comfortable if not lively. We are all well, the weather cool and delightful. Mr. L returned on Tuesday quite thin from his ten days fatigue& starvation--he brought up the wives of the absconding men and some others and has had in consequence an amusing piece of impertinence offered him, in the shape of a written warning from "the citizens of crab creek, mud creek, willow Little River, and other parts of the county" to remove from the state within a week all of his negroes until the war is over or failing to do so they will come and remove Mr. L with his negroes--not choosing to leave their wives and children among so many negroes. The natives are so vexed at the conscript they are trying to get some excitement--but Mr. L is quite confident in his ability to protect his property, so I don't feel at all uneasy. We have been under another excitement lately much more serious. I mentioned that Mr. Girardeau had left his scholars and family, and Mr. Reed had gone to Camden to know if the Bishop would accept his resignation. It seems Mr. G made a confession to Mr. Reed (which he made because he said it would come out). Mr. Reed has returned and the Bishop has expelled from the Church Mr. Girardeau for confessed immorality. What detestable hypocrisy he has been practising for years. Poor Alice is to be pitied, she is with the Middleton's who seem determined not to feel the disgrace and are visiting desperately one and all of them.

        We had a large congregation to day sprinkled with uniforms. Capt Rhett (who has been up a week and makes a grand appearance on the road, with his horse, accoutrements, etc.) Capt Cuthbert whose arm is still useless, Major Memminger and Liut Hayne. Rhett is the image of Uncle Edmund--very tall and ugly but people sat rather pleasant. Mrs. Aiken allows him to speak to her now. Bev Elliott has come and is at Mrs. Cuthberts her mother is in Columbia on her way. I heard from Mary Man a few days ago all well, and anxious to know when you are coming up--by the bye you never told me about the pew. It is a pity to pay $50 for nothing in these times. We hear that Bragg with his whole army are at Chattanooga. I hope soon we will have good news from him. I paid four visits yesterday--morning and evening, and had five different sets of visitors, among them Jack Habersham (very nervous) they are still, in Henderson the Molly [unclear] fortunately devoted to them.

        I long to hear from you dear Mamma. The intervals between your letters now seem very long. I think my sisters might occasionally give me an extra, especially since they must have much leisure. Love to Hattie--how does her beauty stand the heat--tell her she ought to try a winter here, by the bye I believe we shall have a full society in the winter--every one will remain.

Love to Papa Sisters Brothers and boys, and a great deal for yourself

from your Affecte

Mary


        [Slave Escape, Punishment]

Adams Run 25th Aug 1862

Dear William

        Your letter to your mother of the 14th remains I think unanswered, and as she has not time at present I take the pen in her place to let you hear from us.

        I am glad you now have a pleasant location for a camp. The intense heats are over for this season, and whether the Enemy will come to seek us in our homes this fall depends on the success of the blows which with our guard armies we are now preparing to strike. God grant that the Beast be killed as he deserves, but if not Many a mock patriot will be unveiled many a coward unmasked and much suffering endured not only from the overpowering number of the Enemy, but from the drunkenness incompetency and backwardness of the officers who, shutting out better men, will have the leading of our soldiers.

        We have had an anxious time of it last week. Last Thursday night--after we were in bed--Ralph came from the plantation to tell us that all the prime hands at Oak lawn had gone off to the Yankees! Ralph had been very sick all day hardly able to hold up his head, but put himself to intercept them if possible. We went over to the Rebel camp to ask their assistance in getting down to Wilton Bluff, but they were under orders to go to Summerville. We then woke up Genl [Haywood?] and asked for a body of horses--for which, getting an order, he went to camp and got a lieut's guard and proceeded to Pinebury, Wilton and Geddes' plantation--by which move we had the good fortune to get ahead of the absconding negroes, and put an end to their purpose. When they found they were anticipated they returned privately to the plantation while it was yet night--thinking to prevent exposure--but Ralph had sent to warn [unclear] 's overseer, who finding the assemblage pursued and captured one of my negroes--Monday--and thus betrayed the whole plan and parties involved. Walley's whole family (except old Walley) Law Israel David Monday Jeoffry in all nearly twenty--including you will be indignant to hear--Master Bob, with his wife and her brother! Next day we went to the plantation and having proofs conclusive of their guilt proceeded to punish them by whips and handcuffing. Sam and Thomas Ralph has sent to the Work House in Charleston to be sold. The rest are being watched and chained at night until the police of the river can be secured as to leave us at liberty to release them.

        They were to use in their escape Mr. Edward Barnwell's flats, which he keeps for his rice harvest, and which the Rebel Troop had used on their scout to [Edisto?] Island--and had not taken the trouble to secure on their return.

        Mr. Edward Barnwell's negroes were to make a joint concern with mine in the matter. He was warned by us of the fact, and was careless enough to leave his flats where they could be reached--when five of his, took to them last night, and have made their escape. You will perceive by this that our negroes are utterly demoralised--the emissaries of the Yankees have doubtless been among them preaching the delights of freedom--which the poor dupes believe they will obtain by putting themselves under their control.

        These events have cost us much anxiety. In learning of Wilkes' fever, I also heard from Tom of his convalescence. Ask him to take Rattenbergers' pills--we know them to be admirable. If he has sick leave ask him to come and stay a week with us at Adams' Run for change of air--which I regret to say, is the chief ingredient of our diet. I shall be glad to hear of Tommy's safe arrival. The coasts are so closely watched he stands much risk of being captured.

        Hoping that you are better content with your service and enjoying good health, and adding that our family saving Caroline are probably well

I am dear William

your affte Father

Wm Elliott


        [Morale, Slavery]

Beaumont Sunday 26th [October, 1862]

        I was made to feel quite conceited dearest Emmie at receiving two letters from Oak lawn last week, and with difficulty refrained from giving you an extra in return--which would have been unkind in our dearth of news of all kinds. Sunday having arrived will have my chat with you instead of Mamma whose wish or preference for remaining with the military is to me perfectly natural. You must all I think feel more secure at Adams Run while those wretched Yankees are making attempts on the Rail road. We are of course very anxious to hear more of last Wednesday's affair at Pocataligo (I am so glad Willie was not in time for that danger). Our papers will reach us tonight. Mr. Henry Stuart has already sent to the mail so impatient to have some particulars. You will have had a peep at Willie I suppose. I charged him to ask Annie for some more quinine pills, my supply having given out. I urged his continuing until the country was safe. We have had a plenty of ice, and have adopted winter clothing and customs--to day it rains steadily and if we have a similar spell of weather in Virginia I fear our troops will have to continue inactive, and the Yankees will be spared to overwhelm us on the coast. How discouraging Bragg's retreat has been. A letter from Mr. Urquhart (one of his aids) to his wife spoke most discouragingly of their condition--"Kentucky had not come out as they had expected" "The troops were in bad condition--no clothing, no water and our army in full retreat to Chattanooga." We see nothing in the papers to cheer us nowadays--and unless something turns up we shall soon have to realize the horrors at home I fear.

        Poor little Emma has been sick for a week with a severe attack of asthma--after her long exemption, it is quite a disappointment that it should recur. She is up in the day and suffers at night, but as she slept last night I hope this attack is over. We had the pleasure of receiving three men from Charleston with dropsy last week, two better and one quite ill. Yesterday Mr. L found one of Grace's children with diptheria and really remedies are so scarce just now--it is no trifling infliction to have such patients. We are still uncertain of the provision supply for the winter, and Uncle Pinckney who left this on horseback a week ago writes that we "can get some corn about 40 miles below Greenville--by R. R. and wagon" an endless job. Uncle P has bought a place at Cokesbury for $9000--worn lands and dilapidated dwellings he says, but he will remove his negroes forthwith from Santee. Mr. Johnstone& Mr. Lowndes leave in company on Tuesday to see what they can do with their negroes in Charleston and at Santee--it seems impossible to get food shelter and lands to cultivate provisions. Of course I feel rather blue at Mr. L's having to leave--tho' he has no intention of deserting us for any time. Our wise gardener Cartwright informed us a few days ago that he was going to leave. He could not stand the negroes--their dancing and fighting at night was too much for him. We are not sorry but for their own sakes--and are so glad we did not dismiss them in these hard times. I wish they would vacate now instead of in a month that we might have their house for the negroes.

        Mrs. Girardeau and her babies left on Saturday (after being disappointed on Thursday) for Laurens where Mrs. Legare is we hear--he (Mr. G) applied for a place in Steel's company, which he failed to get--much to Johnnie's comfort--she having joined the church, he thought such contact might be prejudicial. Johnnie spent a few days with us very pleasantly--leaving on Friday for "his baby". The Pinckneys are well and rejoicing over Charlie--he will take Carrie to Pendleton to visit Hesse next week.

        I have taken cold in one eye, and I must stop writing before I am inclined as it is painful. Do write me again very soon, and with abundance of love to all

Your affte Sister


        [Home Life, Slavery, Medicine]

Monday 2d March [1863]

My dear Emmie--

        I feel as if I wanted to write, and to hear from you much oftener than once a week, and so I won't wait for a regular day for sending letters. Your last was taken from the mail boy as we were driving to the church to see our good old friend placed in our cemetery. The whole household and Mr. Drayton were present--no one else. You can imagine how we all miss Nonie in every way but the feeling is altogether selfish--even Edith has perception enough to know that her release from so much suffering is a gain to her and asked me if I was sorry for Nonie or for myself. She expressed wishes to Miss Hannah about her sister and namesake which I must try and comply with first writing to her relatives in Laurens to ascertain their locality.

        I am very glad dear Emmie to hear you have a refuge secured in case you must leave Oak lawn, don't forget to take some blankets and soft pillows with you to make yourself comfortable. I trust there will be no attack nearer to you than Savannah. Tom must feel uncomfortable enough. I wonder that he does not sell his negroes--they are bringing such prices. Mr. L seems much inclined to get rid of his troubles in that way. Working on the public defences has demoralized and made the men hard to manage and they all seem waiting for freedom and utter idleness.

        Caroline Seabrook has heard from Aunt Pinckney several times. She bore the journey well and is improving. The hard times and difficulty of providing for daily wants it seemed preyed upon her spirits here. Charley is here on a short visit--he was here this morning looking quite well in his uniform--he's now "Capt of Ordnance". Hess's eldest daughter Annie is boarding at the de Choisents.

        We have at last some bright weather which I am very glad of on account of colds. Mr. L and Mamie are the present sufferers but good weather will soon cure their coughs I hope. Tell Anne Mr. L says I must give her his prescription for pneumonia 10 grs Calomel
15 " dovers powder
15 " Camphon in five powders every 2 1/2 hours
--repeat the powders until the patient is free from pain.

        Do you wish dear Emmie to have your garden here planted with vegetables--it would be more comfortable for your Servants. I am going soon to see after the place--since the sleet storm it looks very dilapidated, and I will have the garden fence made up and see about it--but I would like Anne to send me some seeds particularly Tomatoes& Ochra. Ours last year were very mean. I don't think I mentioned that Mr. L had the ice house packed with snow fearing we might not have another freeze. I have been out to day for the first time for many weeks getting rose cuttings for Mary Manigault--her mother and the girls left last week and she says she must occupy herself in gardening--having no gardener I must try and do the same tho' I fear my efforts will be signal failures.

        You may be sure we look most anxiously for news each day from the coast and I wish I could postpone my anxiety until April until when I hear the Yankees have postponed their attack--but I cannot think they will be permitted to delay so long. I am so thankful you are all well and that you have those darling children in the house to care for--little Beauregard must cling to his grandmama and love her very much.

Love to you all dearest Emmie

Your Affecte Sister


        [Slavery, Business]

Beaumont Sunday14th [June, 1863]

        As Emmie promised to write me should you not have been feeling much better dearest Mamma, I conclude that your indisposition was not of long duration and trust you got well without having to resort to many remedies--which would have been weakening to one not strong. Emmie was sure your last attack was not from malaria, and I am rejoiced to know that you have escaped so far. Do enforce prudence for the rest of your stay in your household. Ralph I fear thinks himself proof against fever but you can never be secure I am convinced. We are all quite well, and were much pleased to welcome Wm on Wednesday. He has written and I suppose told you all about himself so I won't repeat--he finds us very dull no doubt but any little change must be pleasant to one cooped up in Greenville. We heard from Wm L on Friday his letter written on Wednesday said that after that evening the purchasers of his father's property would assume all of the risks. I assure you it was delightful to see Mr. L's relief. The money will be paid in good stock or bonds at 7 per ct as I understand it. The plantation at South Island 130.000 the negroes 200,000 averaging 1200 dollars--and if the Yankees burn the premises (which there is nothing to prevent) or the negroes abscond to morrow it will be the loss of J. Frasure Co and not ours. After the raid on the [lombahee] neighborhood--where we hear the negroes were packed up ready to leave, I feel extremely uneasy about all of your people. I do not think Jacob's faithfulness will prevent a stampede from Social Hall--and the success at [lombahee] will only renew the wish of the Oak lawn darkies to test freedom for themselves. How I wish Ralph could place them in greater security or sell them. The promise of a crop was fatal to Mr Charles Lowndes and I dread to think it may be to yourselves. If Ralphie sold his people now he might after the war buy some not demoralized--he will think me very officious, however--but while there are people with money to buy I should take advantage of it. I went a few days ago to see Aunt Pinckney. She looked I thought wretchedly, but perhaps it was in consequence of taking Calomel. She had felt the influence of the Cokesbury climate on her liver she said, and was obliged to leave. Carrie is looking pretty again. I heard from Mary Man yesterday. Mr. H has been suffering from his eyes. Dan was not recovering fast, and Mary had been fatigued from nursing her servant Lizzie who died two days ago. Mary had intended going from Columbia to Shelbyville but Mr. M wrote to say she must not as they would be moving soon. She seems very dull. I heard from Alice R yesterday and received some acceptable little tokens of her remembrance (pins, needles, soap lime syrup, matches, etc.)[.] She mentioned that Gregg might furnish bales of homespun now so I would advise you to let Mr. B get you some if you wish it--and also Bunch Yarn at a much cheaper rate, than you can get elsewhere. I will send for some to be woven into dresses for the children, the best numbers are 10 and 12--if you want jeans woven it is also indispensible .

        I hope not to have many more letters to write dearest Mamma--as the 1st of July is not far off--do thank Emmie for all of the trouble she has taken in directing Miss Bonner. I hope to get my dress by Wm L, and the Trunk sometime. We are having much rain--too much rather and have had not warm weather yet.

Good bye with a plenty of love to You all

I am your Affecte

Mary


        [Slavery, Home Life]

Beaumont Sunday 21st [June, 1863]

        Your letter of the 15th with Tom's enclosed reached me on Friday dearest Mamma for both of which I thank you. Our letters are much longer on the way now than they used to be (I wonder why). I am happy to think you all continue well as I infer from your letter, and hope the warmer weather of last week was not uncomfortable to you after so cool a spring. I still feel very anxious about your want of troops to meet the Enemy in case of a raid, has Ralphie hired his men to the Saltpetre works? I believe they wages are enormous by the bye Mr. Trenhohn's newly purchased are to work there. We have fairly got rid of that trouble, and it is a great relief I assure you. The negroes professed to be very sorry to part with the master, but I think the prospect of a return before long to Santee was very charming to them. They left on Wednesday, our conceited elephant Bacchus the most astonished individual amongst them--"Manssa could not do without him". We have now to train two boys of 17 each, but with Miss Hannah I shall escape the task. Mr. L is still anxious to harbor some of your prime darkies thinking the risks immense in keeping them in such accessible positions. Wm has just left us, he concluded to wait for Thursday's stage and went to meet it, but it was extremely late and crowded, and hearing Mary Man was to be a passenger on Saturday he concluded to wait. I drove out with him yesterday and after waiting three hours the stage came, again too full to admit him. He was dreadfully disappointed, and we have sent him off in the phaeton this afternoon to [Goodwin's] where he will get conveyance to Greenville if possible. He is also looking well and hopes to get back in August he says. You give no hint of your plans dear Mamma but July is not far off now. I hope you will all come to us on your arrival, which will be better for every reason. You need not then deprive yourselves of the servants before leaving and can let your house be arranged gradually. I do hope the air (which is delightful) and the absence from plantation anxieties will compensate for the inconveniences up here--do try and bring with you all you can in the shape of supplies. We are living chiefly on vegetables, occasionally getting 30 or 40 dollars worth of beef which lasts us a week. Mr. L has sent to buy some bags which (considering what we have given for osnaburgs 1,25 a yd) are not unreasonable--you can send them to and fro--tell Anne I have begged Wm to engage some whiskey from Goodwin for her--he sent us some excellent, and if he did not change his price it is only 17 a gallon. You had better tell John to bring up brooms, and tacks not to be had here. I am going to Farmint soon and if I can make any suggestions fitted for war times will do so. I spoke to Mary M yesterday. She with Arthur and a servant were in the stage. She is anxious to go to the west, but Gen Man says she must not. Mrs. Colquit was taken prisoner but after some hours released, the Yankees keeping seven trunks. Mrs. Huger is quite pleased at recent news from New Orleans--some Yankee has hired their plantation for 12.000 (expecting to make 70 000) and it was immediately repeopled with their own negroes. Poor Mr. L is again suffering from the poison on his face. It is too provoking, for he has been taking so much interest in every thing--the ragweed is in full vigor. You don't know how mortified and provoked I am about your garden, after planting so many different seeds, and having them hoed. Our strawberries are just over, and raspberries just coming in. [end of letter]


Home Life

        [Slaves, Home Life]

Sunday 23d [Winter '62]

        A great many thanks my dear Emmie I owe you for such a long cheerful letter which I sincerely hope was an index of your real improvement--and not attributable in any way to the "medicated" beverage you had been taking at breakfast. It made me happy to hear of Papa's escape from his fever, and of Annie's improved strength. I hope Mamma has not been dealt unkindly with either, and that her silence this week has been not from necessity but from the fear of spoiling me too much. I am delighted to hear of Hattie's energy and pluck. I always thought if she had the opportunity of shewing it there would be plenty to admire besides her sweet face. I hope Callie too will be strengthened by the nice diet of Oaklawn, and that you all may be rewarded for your endurance by a winter of comparative comfort and quiet. I begin somehow to feel less dread of an attack upon our coast at least for the time. I think the Yankee energies will be concentrated for the Richmond attack--and perhaps our defences which are now reported so famous may deter them altogether. I try to think so at any rate.

        We are all well. I am enjoying a prettily swollen face from visiting sick darkies in the web, but it is not painful. The diptheria has not progressed, but since Mr. L left I have had 24 cases of make believe sickness to prescribe for, the fever invariably having "just gone off" and recurring always at night. I am hoping Mr Johnstone may come to day as he wrote me from Charleston on Tuesday, and ought to have finished his business there in two or three days. Our gardener leaves to morrow for Columbia quite elated, at the prospect of getting a thousand dollars salary--his friend Urgerhart's discarded gardener so writes him, I think he is a great fool in these times notwithstanding. His chief reason for going is disagreement with negroes, and I am not surprised. They are too aggravating. All of our winter vegetables--potatoes, beets, carrots, parsnips--were all banked up so nicely by last right in the garden. And tho the negroes have cabbage and turnips ad libitum with their beef four or five times a week, they robbed so frequently I had to have all brought up to the store rooms. Even dahlia roots did not escape the curious darky--don't you appreciate the race by this time? The weather has not been pleasant for a week past--on Friday it snowed all day without making any impression, since then it has been clear but cold and windy. I lent my equipage to Mrs Reed on Wednesday to go to Greenville, Dr. King prohibiting the stage. Mr Reed came back yesterday to reclaim Lucy and Bessie whom I had charge of (Mrs Drayton having the luck of the three youngest) he said Mr Reed bore the journey quite well, and I really hope the frolic may do the poor soul good, while the home cares will benefit him. Our neighbors on either side are in trouble. Annie Means has typhoid fever (which has been existing among their the whole summer), she is not unusually sick Dr. King says. Aunt Pinckney is distressed about the diptheria in Cotesworth's family--his little Lisa was a nice child and Carrie's pet. Carrie had a sore throat when Aunt P last heard. Then Caroline's children have been sick and Aunt Bower and [unclear] quite sick. Uncle P and Mr Seabrook still absent. I saw yesterday the death of Mrs Tom Pinckney mentioned (in Columbia)--war times I suppose worried the old lady. Is it not funny to find how many "essentials" in housekeeping we can do without? Coffee Tea Sugar Sperm Candles, Bacon Lard& Butter. Of the last we have not churned for daily use, none for cooking to be bought--of the former articles (excepting bacon& lard which are not to be had) we have a little reserved for sickness. We get fine beef now in any quantity four times a week (Santee salt gives us corned beef). A large flock of sheep, some poultry, white brown and corn flour for bread--plenty of vegetables and sorghum for baked apples, and you have our diet--good appetites and four meals a day. I only regret Coffee& Tea on Nonie's account--tho' her boiled milk seems to agree with her as well as it used to with Old [unclear] --she is remarkably well. Having come to the end of my page I will say goodbye, dear Emmie with abundance of love to you all.

Your Affectionate Sister

Love to my Brothers the Officers


        [Home Life, Morale, Disease]

Beaumont 2d March [1862]

Dearest Mamma

        I have been greatly disappointed at failing to hear from you this week and would feel more than anxious, if Mr. Johnstone in writing from Charleston on Monday had not mentioned that he had seen Papa who reported you all well at Oak lawn. I somehow imagine you may have given Papa a letter for me, who may not have mailed it at any rate I shall be quite uneasy if I don't hear very soon. We hear so many reports of the impossibility of defending your rail road (and the cities at either end besides) that I sometimes fear you may be obliged to make a sudden move from Oak lawn. The reverses we have lately met with will have the effect I trust of arousing our people from their torpidity. I hope things will brighten soon. I have not yet heard of Mr. L's arrival at Santee. We have all had or are having the rash he had while here. Roseola I suppose it to be--it is really nothing--the only requisite being to avoid exposure, which as the weather continues cloudy and damp, it is not hard to do. The children keeping in willingly enough.

        William has been quite sick at home with measles this last week. He was sitting up yesterday but very weak--Dr. Rutledge says his Santee attack was Roseola.

        I heard from Alice Ravenel lately, Vallie, Ann Stock--her three children were all sick at once, with sore throat--Roseola and convulsions.

        The people of Columbia were afraid their city might be shelled by the enemy's gunboats--from Granby a short distance off.

        I hope you will have been all well during the dismal weather we have had, dear Mamma. You must feel dispirited and anxious all the time about the war, and that is trouble enough at once.

        We are quiet up here and are saved the constantly conflicting reports which are current below. I heard from Emma Manigault not long since. She inquired about you all--mentioned the escape to the Yankees of nearly all the negroes of Mr. Izard, Joe Huger and the Huger estate. Mary Man was quite well, and had just received a present of hospital stores from Mr. Gourdin which placed her at the head of the Hospital, as position "she could not shrink from". That reminds me to ask if you have had anything of that kind to do for the Soldiers--the ladies have turned out so nobly everywhere to help the sick. I am sure Lallie has been having wholesome nourishment prepared for some of them. I have often regretted my distance from the sufferers--but I dare say before the war is over I shall have the opportunity of helping.

        I have seen scarcely any of our neighbors for three weeks. I hear the Kings on the Savannah river have removed all their negroes (without trouble) to the middle of Georgia.

        Mr. Reed is in Edgefield recruiting his health before returning to Flat Rock. The Flat Rock folks go to Henderson to church.

        Lisa Rutledge is in Nashville, Sallie quite uneasy about her. Mrs. Hess-Pinckney has a son a few days old. Very presumptious in me giving you City news is it not?

        Good bye dear Mamma. I wish I could hear oftener from you all.

With much love

your affecte

Mary


        [Illness, Slavery, Home Life]

Cokesbury April 18th [1862]

Dear Emmie,

        I would have replied sooner to your kind inquiries about Mama, but have been harassed all this week by illness among the negroes. You know we lost many when we first moved to this dilapidated Plantation,& Pneumonia has lately re-appeared, among them. Old Affy's daughter Doll died lately,& a giant, also from Hilton Head, is very ill to day. Our country Dr. who is nearly run to death by his large& scattered practice only comes every other day, unless specially sent for,& leaves written directions for the intervening time. As Papa has not the smallest genius for attending the sick,& the cure makes Mama dreadfully nervous& anxious, the labor falls sharply on me, which is very right& proper, only I am so ignorant of the pulse and things generally.

        My mother has her mother's wonderful constitution, I think, or she could not be so active after her long illness of last summer& alarming threat last winter. She can take a walk of near a mile without minding it,& goes much further I suspect in numerous active exertions about the house. She has been devoting herself especially to [coupet] shoes,& on rare occasions when she get possession of a piece of cloth, wants to cut it out and have it made the same day for the last ragged negro she saw--exactly as Grandmama used to do. She was much pleased at hearing from you,& hopes you will give us that pleasure again.

        We were sorry indeed to hear of Aunt Ann as such an [unclear] . It is more matter of regret than surprise to me, however. When the companion of a lifetime is taken away suddenly, it is not wonderful that the sufferer should droop. If spring weather is desirable for her, the last week must have been beneficial; it is summer like today, even up here.

        I conclude you are still at Oaklawn in spite of the expected invasion. Can you be sanguine enough to suppose the attack over? If so, how can we ever be grateful enough?

        Carry paid us a short visit here& has returned to Pendleton. She wrote me and she met your brother William on the Cars,& that he had some idea of paying us a little visit from Greenville. If so his sociable intuitions deserted him too soon, for we saw nothing of him. Carry thinks she feels better than for a year past; I trust these warm days may not dispel the impression. Hatty must write to her--she could not speak of her trouble to a more sympathizing friend. I am sure the little boys are angels of comfort to all the household. I have had a hymn in my desk all summer I meant to send Brosio, to refresh both his Mama& self after an attack on the church catechism, but have left it at Flat Rock.

        I saw poor [Monie?] over in her last illness, she spoke most affectionately to me. Cousin Mary did not look very badly I was glad to find, but this is stale news. Mamma joins in love to Aunt Ann& you all. I am glad to be able to give you so good an account of her.

Your affately

Mary P.


        [Morale, Home Life]

Beaumont 8th June [1862]

        I was much relieved by your last (recd on Wednesday) to find that you had all at last removed to Adams Run dearest Mamma, and I really hope as this war seems to have deranged every thing that the seasons are also changed for the times and those who are obliged to venture so late may escape this year. I am glad to hear your report of Lallie and wish she would consent to having her throat attended to. Chloroform agrees with her, and a few seconds would suffice for her relief. We are all well. The weather too, cool to be pleasant here, but I dare say you are enjoying it. I am happy to tell you, that Dr. King told me to day he thought Aunt Pinckney decidedly improved. Two days ago he said he was very uneasy about her. I was there on Friday, but did not see Aunt Pinckney, the family were surprisingly cheerful and free from anxiety, apparently tho' telling me she would take no nourishment or sit up. She is more cheerful to day, and I hope will continue to improve from day to day. Carrie P. looks miserably, I think. I was at Mrs. Huger's yesterday--she looks well in spite of her anxieties about her sons. Mary was to come up as soon as she heard the particulars of the Corinth Battle, poor soul her suspense must continue much longer I fear, since the evacuation of Corinth must postpone an engagement for some time longer. Mrs. Huger says she is penniless, but if she only gets her boys back safely is quite ready to work. They have neither a horse or mule this summer, which is a subject for congratulation I told her.

        Mr. Johnston writes me that the Yankees have made no further demonstration upon Santee. The planters have all removed their people to places inaccessible to the Yankee boats, and are busy in carrying off from their barns provisions for the same. They all stay at Annandale, where he sometimes has eleven gentlemen to lodge and provide for. Mr. L seems as hopeful as you are about something turning up in two or three weeks, and says he is keeping his rice crop growing so that the negroes can return to it when feasible. Mr.s Lowndes and Middleton are among those at Annandale.

        Charleston seems at last to be on the eve of an attack. I am sorry for the General in Command who ever it is. A great many will desire the surrender to save their houses I suppose. I hear all of the Banks there have removed. I hope Papa has his funds for travelling purposes safe or Mr. Bee may not be available at short notice, he is really building at Walhalla. By the bye Miller says he is in no hurry about payment. He "was told by Papa to sell the corn but will get you another" every one seems to have come up but yourselves. The Railroads are crowded. Wm L says he came up yesterday, still looking thin and badly. He was unable to get to Santee, no horse to be hired in the city, and his father turned him back.

        I was at Church today, a full congregation of women and children. On the strength of three parsons Mr. Reed announced a weekly service on Wednesday afternoons. Mr Girardau's school commences to morrow. I hear Mr. Reed wishes Jeff Davis could be taken prisoner (I have faith still in his obstinacy) the Reeds were made very anxious by seeing the name of Read among the wounded in Hampton's Legion at Chickahomony--but it proved not to be Otey.

        Don't you admire my Henderson paper, it can scarcely be written on. Pray write as often as you can dear Mamma and with abundance of love to each and all believe me

Your Affecte

Mary


        [Slavery, Home Life]

Beaumont 3d August [1862]

        I have been hoping to receive news of you all, by each mail dearest Mamma, and trust you were not deterred from sending me your promised letter by Papa's continued indisposition. It seems to me that he has (not prudently) overstayed his time in the low country, and I hope for one so liable to fever, he will not risk a repetition by remaining in the neighborhood of Malaria. If you are all determined to run the risk of Adams Run, do beg Papa to come up to us--we will try and make it comfortable if not lively. We are all well, the weather cool and delightful. Mr. L returned on Tuesday quite thin from his ten days fatigue& starvation--he brought up the wives of the absconding men and some others and has had in consequence an amusing piece of impertinence offered him, in the shape of a written warning from "the citizens of crab creek, mud creek, willow Little River, and other parts of the county" to remove from the state within a week all of his negroes until the war is over or failing to do so they will come and remove Mr. L with his negroes--not choosing to leave their wives and children among so many negroes. The natives are so vexed at the conscript they are trying to get some excitement--but Mr. L is quite confident in his ability to protect his property, so I don't feel at all uneasy. We have been under another excitement lately much more serious. I mentioned that Mr. Girardeau had left his scholars and family, and Mr. Reed had gone to Camden to know if the Bishop would accept his resignation. It seems Mr. G made a confession to Mr. Reed (which he made because he said it would come out). Mr. Reed has returned and the Bishop has expelled from the Church Mr. Girardeau for confessed immorality. What detestable hypocrisy he has been practising for years. Poor Alice is to be pitied, she is with the Middleton's who seem determined not to feel the disgrace and are visiting desperately one and all of them.

        We had a large congregation to day sprinkled with uniforms. Capt Rhett (who has been up a week and makes a grand appearance on the road, with his horse, accoutrements, etc.) Capt Cuthbert whose arm is still useless, Major Memminger and Liut Hayne. Rhett is the image of Uncle Edmund--very tall and ugly but people sat rather pleasant. Mrs. Aiken allows him to speak to her now. Bev Elliott has come and is at Mrs. Cuthberts her mother is in Columbia on her way. I heard from Mary Man a few days ago all well, and anxious to know when you are coming up--by the bye you never told me about the pew. It is a pity to pay $50 for nothing in these times. We hear that Bragg with his whole army are at Chattanooga. I hope soon we will have good news from him. I paid four visits yesterday--morning and evening, and had five different sets of visitors, among them Jack Habersham (very nervous) they are still, in Henderson the Molly [unclear] fortunately devoted to them.

        I long to hear from you dear Mamma. The intervals between your letters now seem very long. I think my sisters might occasionally give me an extra, especially since they must have much leisure. Love to Hattie--how does her beauty stand the heat--tell her she ought to try a winter here, by the bye I believe we shall have a full society in the winter--every one will remain.

Love to Papa Sisters Brothers and boys, and a great deal for yourself

from your Affecte

Mary


        [Home Life, Slavery, Medicine]

Monday 2d March [1863]

My dear Emmie--

        I feel as if I wanted to write, and to hear from you much oftener than once a week, and so I won't wait for a regular day for sending letters. Your last was taken from the mail boy as we were driving to the church to see our good old friend placed in our cemetery. The whole household and Mr. Drayton were present--no one else. You can imagine how we all miss Nonie in every way but the feeling is altogether selfish--even Edith has perception enough to know that her release from so much suffering is a gain to her and asked me if I was sorry for Nonie or for myself. She expressed wishes to Miss Hannah about her sister and namesake which I must try and comply with first writing to her relatives in Laurens to ascertain their locality.

        I am very glad dear Emmie to hear you have a refuge secured in case you must leave Oak lawn, don't forget to take some blankets and soft pillows with you to make yourself comfortable. I trust there will be no attack nearer to you than Savannah. Tom must feel uncomfortable enough. I wonder that he does not sell his negroes--they are bringing such prices. Mr. L seems much inclined to get rid of his troubles in that way. Working on the public defences has demoralized and made the men hard to manage and they all seem waiting for freedom and utter idleness.

        Caroline Seabrook has heard from Aunt Pinckney several times. She bore the journey well and is improving. The hard times and difficulty of providing for daily wants it seemed preyed upon her spirits here. Charley is here on a short visit--he was here this morning looking quite well in his uniform--he's now "Capt of Ordnance". Hess's eldest daughter Annie is boarding at the de Choisents.

        We have at last some bright weather which I am very glad of on account of colds. Mr. L and Mamie are the present sufferers but good weather will soon cure their coughs I hope. Tell Anne Mr. L says I must give her his prescription for pneumonia 10 grs Calomel
15 " dovers powder
15 " Camphon in five powders every 2 1/2 hours--
repeat the powders until the patient is free from pain.

        Do you wish dear Emmie to have your garden here planted with vegetables--it would be more comfortable for your Servants. I am going soon to see after the place--since the sleet storm it looks very dilapidated, and I will have the garden fence made up and see about it--but I would like Anne to send me some seeds particularly Tomatoes& Ochra. Ours last year were very mean. I don't think I mentioned that Mr. L had the ice house packed with snow fearing we might not have another freeze. I have been out to day for the first time for many weeks getting rose cuttings for Mary Manigault--her mother and the girls left last week and she says she must occupy herself in gardening--having no gardener I must try and do the same tho' I fear my efforts will be signal failures.

        You may be sure we look most anxiously for news each day from the coast and I wish I could postpone my anxiety until April until when I hear the Yankees have postponed their attack--but I cannot think they will be permitted to delay so long. I am so thankful you are all well and that you have those darling children in the house to care for--little Beauregard must cling to his grandmama and love her very much.

Love to you all dearest Emmie

Your Affecte Sister


        [Home Life]

Beaumont March 15th [1863]

        Your letter of the 11th reached me yesterday My darling Mother and I thank you very much for making an effort in my behalf. I know and feel it is [unclear] for you to write at all, but I hope you will try and overcome it for my sake and please dearest Mamma do us all the justice of taking care of your self. Emmie writes me that the spring is already beautiful with you. I trust you are able to be out in the open air and thus gain a little strength and cheerfulness. If you love your children (as I know you do) promise me darling to sit for an hour or two on the piazza or under the trees morning and afternoon--it will refresh you and make you sleep, and indeed you don't know what is before you my own Mother or how your strength may be called for, perhaps to nurse some of us when you would yourself be sorry to have it fail. I almost wish you had the same motive for being out just now that I have viz "to keep off starvation". The approach of spring has made us aware of the importance of trying to make an abundance of vegetables--and as Mr. L has a plenty of trouble in the field I want to help him in the garden. So for the last few days I have been out a great deal, and feel so much better for the air and exercise. In your region, I suppose when provisions are plentiful and you have fish and fowl you cannot understand the extreme scarcity and expense of living elsewhere. We fortunately have a wagon and team which instead of helping to prepare land for a crop of corn is kept constantly hauling corn for provisions. Other people have to pay 4 dollars a bushel for corn delivered them, the prices of everything and scarcity are excessive. If you meet a neighbor they can only speak of the impossibility of getting anything to eat--many of them have no meat for days--fowls $1--lard, bacon, butter, tallow when to be had at $1--beef 30 cts. We cured a barrel of beef in the fall, and Mr. L had bacon cured at Santee, so that for the present we do extremely well, but the country people having taken to eat their own poultry butter& eggs it seems important to look ahead. We hear today that some Government officers are going thro' the country to put a stop to the hoarding of corn by the farmers and obliging them to take in payment Confederate money which they have refused heretofore--if true it will I hope benefit us a little by making the farmers sell to us. Mr. L is cultivating sixty acres in corn on the river and about one hundred here--Mr. Memminger's some of Uncle P's and his own. He would have offered to cultivate your land for you, but for the want of animal power. I spent Thursday morning at [Farmint?] with three or four servants, had the house aired and snow packed. It was impossible to drive in the usual way on account of the quantities of broken branches. I will go next week with a larger force and have the branches sawed and collected for fire wood for when you come. The fences are most dilapidated and no nails to be had so will manage them somehow. Mrs. Tinsley put all the damages down to the younger Tinsleys who removed after staying a few months. The present incumbents of the house in the woods beg to know if they may remain where they are this summer, as they wish to plant their garden. I should say they were a nuisance--if you want their house for your servants better give them notice to quit. While at Farmint hearing Mrs. Reed was alone I walked over and sat a while with her. She had been ill with one of her nervous attacks and looked very feeble. Otey had arrived in Richmond to find himself disappointed--his salary being $1000 instead of 1500, and his board [end of letter]


        [Slavery, Home Life]

Beaumont Sunday 21st [June, 1863]

        Your letter of the 15th with Tom's enclosed reached me on Friday dearest Mamma for both of which I thank you. Our letters are much longer on the way now than they used to be (I wonder why). I am happy to think you all continue well as I infer from your letter, and hope the warmer weather of last week was not uncomfortable to you after so cool a spring. I still feel very anxious about your want of troops to meet the Enemy in case of a raid, has Ralphie hired his men to the Saltpetre works? I believe they wages are enormous by the bye Mr. Trenhohn's newly purchased are to work there. We have fairly got rid of that trouble, and it is a great relief I assure you. The negroes professed to be very sorry to part with the master, but I think the prospect of a return before long to Santee was very charming to them. They left on Wednesday, our conceited elephant Bacchus the most astonished individual amongst them--"Manssa could not do without him". We have now to train two boys of 17 each, but with Miss Hannah I shall escape the task. Mr. L is still anxious to harbor some of your prime darkies thinking the risks immense in keeping them in such accessible positions. Wm has just left us, he concluded to wait for Thursday's stage and went to meet it, but it was extremely late and crowded, and hearing Mary Man was to be a passenger on Saturday he concluded to wait. I drove out with him yesterday and after waiting three hours the stage came, again too full to admit him. He was dreadfully disappointed, and we have sent him off in the phaeton this afternoon to [Goodwin's] where he will get conveyance to Greenville if possible. He is also looking well and hopes to get back in August he says. You give no hint of your plans dear Mamma but July is not far off now. I hope you will all come to us on your arrival, which will be better for every reason. You need not then deprive yourselves of the servants before leaving and can let your house be arranged gradually. I do hope the air (which is delightful) and the absence from plantation anxieties will compensate for the inconveniences up here--do try and bring with you all you can in the shape of supplies. We are living chiefly on vegetables, occasionally getting 30 or 40 dollars worth of beef which lasts us a week. Mr. L has sent to buy some bags which (considering what we have given for osnaburgs 1,25 a yd) are not unreasonable--you can send them to and fro--tell Anne I have begged Wm to engage some whiskey from Goodwin for her--he sent us some excellent, and if he did not change his price it is only 17 a gallon. You had better tell John to bring up brooms, and tacks not to be had here. I am going to Farmint soon and if I can make any suggestions fitted for war times will do so. I spoke to Mary M yesterday. She with Arthur and a servant were in the stage. She is anxious to go to the west, but Gen Man says she must not. Mrs. Colquit was taken prisoner but after some hours released, the Yankees keeping seven trunks. Mrs. Huger is quite pleased at recent news from New Orleans--some Yankee has hired their plantation for 12.000 (expecting to make 70 000) and it was immediately repeopled with their own negroes. Poor Mr. L is again suffering from the poison on his face. It is too provoking, for he has been taking so much interest in every thing--the ragweed is in full vigor. You don't know how mortified and provoked I am about your garden, after planting so many different seeds, and having them hoed. Our strawberries are just over, and raspberries just coming in. [end of letter]


        [Home Life, Morale]

Beaumont 28th June [1863]

        "By Rights" I should have written to you before My dear Emmie but I consider it all the same thing in writing home, so will make no excuses. I am surprised to find my letters take a whole week to reach you--it is well they are of no great importance. Yours come more speedily. Mamma's last was quite disappointing. I thought I should hear of some time being fixed for your journey but it does not surprise me that the disagreeables of moving are postponed to the last, only tell Mamma--Wagons are very scarce, and some forethought is necessary. 50 bushels of corn is a full load of itself for a wagon--tho' that or a portion might wait in Greenville--the freights from thence are immense--$2.25 a hundred instead of 50 or 70 cts as of old. We are hoping to hear that Mr. Bee has procured corn and bags for us. I am very glad to hear of the new picket arrangement for guarding the negroes and trust it may arrest desertion on their part--it would be ruinous to have more of such raids as the [Combahee?]. Ralph being near is another great advantage--such an evanescent property must always be a care as long as the war lasts however--and we feel greatly relieved to have Trenholm& Co the possessors of ours. For the last week Mr. L has been a prisoner from his old enemy the poison--he now thinks his exemption last year was owing to the constant use of Borah--which he has not been able to get latterly. Do dear Emmie ask Gonzie if you think it won't trouble him much to try and get me a pound to come up with you--it is quite provoking that he cannot go out to direct his farm work which is suffering for want of direction--such a pretty crop of corn too which we expected so much comfort from next winter--however it is almost "laid by". I have heard from William, he had promptly attended to several commissions for me and I think is turning out quite a business man. I have just written to ask him to get a bag of flour for Mamma and one for me, which will do until the new wheat crop comes in. tell Mamma if she has any specie she can probably get what she wants up here. Nothing is offered us, not a pound of butter or any poultry. I heard yesterday Mrs. Memminger had bought a wagon load of the latter, spring chickens ducks and geese at 1.25 a piece. Our allowance of butter is a little pat for breakfast churned every morning--but we all have splendid appetites and enjoy every thing--if you can you had better bring up some butter to begin with--when it is sold here the price is 1.00--but enough of war time prices. I have at last received the hats etc., and my dress which I wore to Church this morning, feeling more respectable than in a badly dyed Mirino--thank you and Miss Bonner for it. She seems a most reasonable person, charging no more for her work than formerly--while the people here and elsewhere triple their charges. We have had a very rainy week making everything grow, weeds especially. Dahlias are blooming and raspberries very plentiful.

        We are once more most anxious for news from our armies. How I dread Lee's advance proving a failure--he surely must extricate himself--but with what dreadful havoc to our poor Men. Johnston seems too weak to venture any thing as yet. Pemberton will make a glorious name for himself if he holds out. You have heard of poor Robb Barnwell's death& insanity--he was taken to the asylum at Staunton by his own request. We hear he made several attempts to destroy himself and at last his death was caused by throwing himself from a window--his wife (Mary Singleton) is very ill in Richmond. She has three children. Annie Stuart is feeling and looking badly they say (I have not seen her for many weeks) and is quite depressed. Poor Annie does not thrive on the war. Aunt P is better. Dr. King has given her up--the rest of the family are cheerful. Excuse my long talk dear Emmie, and believe me with constant love to each and all of You.

Your Affecte

Mary

Do ask Mamma if she can spare me from Oak lawn (to be returned next fall when they certainly can be got) two covered vegetable dishes and 1/2 dozen tumblers--I am terribly deficient and cannot get a supply. Do try and get us a lb of Ruta Baga Turnip Seeds.


Business and Economic Affairs

        [Business, Morale, Ft. Sumter]

Oak Lawn 10th Apl 1861

Dear William

        Your mother's headache had me to reply to yr. note recd by Frederic. Ralph sends the mules but is greatly disquieted thereby as he thinks you named the 20th as the earliest day when you would send. He has been unable to work them much--from the weather, and a gale that one had upon the shoulder.

        My rice land is submerged, and will be so for a week. The fruit of a thousand peach trees has been utterly destroyed by the frosts. The seasons here are hard, and late.

        You ask my opinion about the state of things. We shall have War--and that instant. The navy of the U. States will be concentrated to force [unclear] to Fort Sumter. The ships of light draft but heavy guns are to be employed, and for ought I know, may be this day off the coast--their sides protected against shot from our batteries by sand bags hung over them! Surf boats, and every other costly convenience provided to [unclear] effect to their plans. If Fort Sumter had been attacked a week ago, it would have been carried, if it be possible to carry it. We have waited till a most formidable armament has been prepared for its relief. That relief, whether effective or not, will be attended with torrents of blood. Our government has been deluded by the treacherous conduct of the U. S. Gvt pretending to evacuate, but preparing all the while to defend. What were our commissioners at Washington doing not to detect their plans? And what has our Governor Pickens been doing in sending supplies to Anderson when without them, he would, ere this, been starved out--There are only two courses to pursue--to starve out the enemy or beat him out. The first was in our power, but our rulers had not force of character enough to employ it. Now the latter alternative is upon us. At this stage of affairs you and W property at Hilton Head are in no special danger. You will not be [unclear] because the U.S. Gvt have no pretext for victualling a fort in Port Royal--and remark--they do nothing without a pretext--they do not make war upon the South, they only relieve their garrisons, and when they are fired on, it is the South that is the agressor! This is their pretext--to satisfy the anticipations of the abolitionists. And it will satisfy them, though not, it is hoped, the majority of the Northern people.

        Not till we have issued letters of marque--to make reprisals on them for their holstility to us--will your plantation be in danger! Meantime I think you ought to join some military [formation?] at Beaufort, perhaps in preference to any other point.

        We are sick here. Mattie has not been down stairs for a week--and is still indisposed.

        I am much excited by the incompetency of the men--now having our fortunes and lives in keeping.

Yr afct father--

Wm Elliott


        [Politics, Business]

House of RepresentativesNov 27th 1861

Miss Emily Elliott

My Dear Emmie

        I have just had an interview with the President of the Branch Bank of the state in relation to the proposed deposit of the family plate in the vaults of his Bank. He says he will with pleasure afford room in his Bank building for one, or more, boxes of plate, which should be distinctly marked with the owners name and address& sent per express to "Charles H. Clark, cashier of Branch Bank, Columbia S.C."

        He gives a receipt for the box, or case, without examining the contents,& does not hold himself responsible for any accidents that may happen to the articles while in the Bank. Large rooms are filled with the silver& Papers of those who have fled from the coast,& there will be no further room unless you send at once.

        The wildest& most improbable rumoursof all sorts of disasters to our cause upon the coast are in circulation up here,& there seems to be a general desire on the part of members to dispatch business& "fall in" as soon as possible.

        The upcountry is by no means exhausted of bone and sinew yet,& a considerable number of troops will be ready in a few days to come to our relief in case an advance is made by Sherman.

        The election for C. S. senators comes off today--Chestnutt& Barnwell will probably be elected. Rhett is as usual a candidate but he stands no chance whatever.

        I may be at home on Sunday, if not, I will probably remain the rest of the session. The feed is good here& the lodging more comfortable than at Hardemille. Tell Mama that I have procured Pants& Shoes for William so she need not disturb herself about them. Trusting, dear Emmie, that you are getting on as bravely as ever,& that you are all well, I remain with much love to all,

Your attached brother

Ralph E. Elliott


        [Slavery, Business]

Beaumont Sunday14th [June, 1863]

        As Emmie promised to write me should you not have been feeling much better dearest Mamma, I conclude that your indisposition was not of long duration and trust you got well without having to resort to many remedies--which would have been weakening to one not strong. Emmie was sure your last attack was not from malaria, and I am rejoiced to know that you have escaped so far. Do enforce prudence for the rest of your stay in your household. Ralph I fear thinks himself proof against fever but you can never be secure I am convinced. We are all quite well, and were much pleased to welcome Wm on Wednesday. He has written and I suppose told you all about himself so I won't repeat--he finds us very dull no doubt but any little change must be pleasant to one cooped up in Greenville. We heard from Wm L on Friday his letter written on Wednesday said that after that evening the purchasers of his father's property would assume all of the risks. I assure you it was delightful to see Mr. L's relief. The money will be paid in good stock or bonds at 7 per ct as I understand it. The plantation at South Island 130.000 the negroes 200,000 averaging 1200 dollars--and if the Yankees burn the premises (which there is nothing to prevent) or the negroes abscond to morrow it will be the loss of J. Frasure Co and not ours. After the raid on the [lombahee] neighborhood--where we hear the negroes were packed up ready to leave, I feel extremely uneasy about all of your people. I do not think Jacob's faithfulness will prevent a stampede from Social Hall--and the success at [lombahee] will only renew the wish of the Oak lawn darkies to test freedom for themselves. How I wish Ralph could place them in greater security or sell them. The promise of a crop was fatal to Mr Charles Lowndes and I dread to think it may be to yourselves. If Ralphie sold his people now he might after the war buy some not demoralized--he will think me very officious, however--but while there are people with money to buy I should take advantage of it. I went a few days ago to see Aunt Pinckney. She looked I thought wretchedly, but perhaps it was in consequence of taking Calomel. She had felt the influence of the Cokesbury climate on her liver she said, and was obliged to leave. Carrie is looking pretty again. I heard from Mary Man yesterday. Mr. H has been suffering from his eyes. Dan was not recovering fast, and Mary had been fatigued from nursing her servant Lizzie who died two days ago. Mary had intended going from Columbia to Shelbyville but Mr. M wrote to say she must not as they would be moving soon. She seems very dull. I heard from Alice R yesterday and received some acceptable little tokens of her remembrance (pins, needles, soap lime syrup, matches, etc.)[.] She mentioned that Gregg might furnish bales of homespun now so I would advise you to let Mr. B get you some if you wish it--and also Bunch Yarn at a much cheaper rate, than you can get elsewhere. I will send for some to be woven into dresses for the children, the best numbers are 10 and 12--if you want jeans woven it is also indispensible .

        I hope not to have many more letters to write dearest Mamma--as the 1st of July is not far off--do thank Emmie for all of the trouble she has taken in directing Miss Bonner. I hope to get my dress by Wm L, and the Trunk sometime. We are having much rain--too much rather and have had not warm weather yet.

Good bye with a plenty of love to You all

I am your Affecte

Mary


        [Economic Affairs]

Flat Rock Oct. 22nd 1863

Dear Madam

        I received your letter last night and would be happy to think that any opinion I could express on the two subjects referred to, could be of any service.

        The plantations having been abandoned, and the military authorities not allowing the cattle to be removed, I do not think there can be any doubt of the propriety of selling them. As to the condition specified--that they should be appraised before a division of the Estate can be made. I think under the circumstances it can be easily obviated by each of the heirs, all of whom I believe are of age, signing an approval of the Sale. If the cattle are left on the plantations, they will be lost--and they are now very valuable. It is much more difficult to express an opinion on the other subject--the propriety of selling cotton now in the store, and the best mode of investing the proceeds. As I have a small lot of short staple cotton made for the last year, I have had to decide the question for myself, and have determined to hold it. The war tax on cotton, is due on all that was held on the first of July or August there can be therefore no expenses for a year but storage and Insurance. Sea Island cotton is now selling at a very high rate, and there is no probability of its declining. The closing of the port of Wilmington, to the blockade runners might stop the sale of it. But if it is sold how could the proceeds be safely invested--I would be very reluctant in the present condition of the financial affairs of the Confederacy to invest the funds of an Estate in its Bonds. If there are any debts of the estate which it is desired to pay I do not think a more favorable opportunity could offer than to sell Cotton at the present high rates and pay them. The precaution should be taken however, of ascertaining whether Confederate money would be received in payment, as I have known of several instances lately, where it was refused. I do not know any thing of the conditions of the cotton loan, but I think it would be liable to many of the same objections that would apply to other Bonds. It might appear unpatriotic to give this opinion, when there is so much urgency used to induce investments in Government Bonds--but with a family situated as yours is, I should hesitate very much about doing it. It might be advisable to invest in seven per cent Bonds, as much as would cover the probable amount of the war tax, with the interest.

        I am sorry that my retirement up here and my very limited correspondence, disqualify me for giving a more satisfactory opinion.

Yours very respectfully

HM Stuart Jr


        [Business, Morale]

Pocotaligo Oct 30th 1863

My Dear Emmie,

        Your last letter was recd two days since& I hasten a reply, hoping it may reach you before your departure for Abbeville. I will see both Ben& Jacob tomorrow& next day& give them the advice you suggest, should Ralph be at Oak Lawn, or, or Chuha I will consult& advise with him on matters also,& render all the assistance in my power. The plan that I should adopt with respect to the Cattle would be to hold on to them,& not sell, but if that cannot be safely done, I would instruct the Overseer, Johnson, to ascertain who the purchasers are in Abbeville& let them agree to give $300 per head as soon as delivered them, so as to get them off your hands as quickly as possible. The up or Middle Country climate does not agree with our stock& the loss would be heavy if some arrangement of this kind is not made before hand. I shall be very cautious dear Emmie in what I shall say to Ralph so as to give him no offence for I believe I understand a little of human nature. I will now mention a subject of great importance to you all& I wish you to bring it to Mama's notice. A company in Charleston is being formed for the purpose of purchasing a site for a city on the Broad River shore& the Ellis plantation is or will be the site selected, the depth of water at that spot being greater than any where else in that vicinity, besides having a Southerly front. You are aware no doubt that Foot Point has been often spoken of as the spot for a city, but it will require 25 miles more of Rail Road to reach it, than the Ellis place,& this will be a great consideration in favor of the Ellis site. The long headed capitalists are you see at work,& are making ready with their means to dash into new enterprises as soon as the War ends. The Port Royal Rail Road which is progressing rapidly, must have an outlet on our Port Royal shore,& I have been applyedto, to know if my Mother would sell the Ellis Plantation. I could not of course give a definite reply, not remembering the provisions of my Father's will. My Mother must reflect over the matter& if she has under the Will, the right to dispose of Landed Estate, she ought to ask a good round sum, nothing under $100 000.

        Well dear Emmie Charleston has not been burnt yet, nor has grave old Sumter fallen--hundreds of shot and shell are thrown against it daily, by the cowardly beasts who would strike an unarmed man, poor Devils--they fancy they will be able to reach the city when its walls are [unclear] the Sea, but I doubt it. In shelling the city a few days since only one entered, the others fell short, that one entered the upper window glass of the Union Bank& fell on the floor it was completely exhausted after its long flight,& had not strength left to explode, I believe the greek fire a humbug.

        President Davis will pass by here tomorrow on his return from the West, great curiosity is manifested by all to see him, but particularly the old reserves who are stationed here. General Walker will give him a salute of artillery& a hip, hip hurrah,& he will pass on to Charleston.

        I must now close this, for me, long letter. We have to be thankful for a healthy summer, only two cases of sickness in my household,& both slight. I am really sorry to hear of poor little Emma's ill health again, if it were possible she ought to spend the winter in Florida.

With much love to my Mother& Sisters I am as Ever

Your attached Brother

L.R.S. Elliot


        [Politics, Economic Affairs]

Georgetown March 5th 1864

My Dear Emmie

        Your pleasant letter reached me some days since. I have been busy putting my office& books in order, or might have responded sooner. Col Preston has issued a circular notifying me that all the District& Congressional Dist Ex Officers and Cong Dist Examining Surgeons are to have their localities changed. Corruption, Errors, Fraud and abuses are known to exist& they mean to make a clean sweep of us all--the innocent suffering with the guilty. In our new Districts we are to revise all existing Exemptions--revoking such as are fraudulent or erroneous. I suppose this arrangement is meant for the good of the service--as Courts Martial, or of Enquiry, would be too slow--the wish being that every man should be in the field by first of May, who ought to be there. The change is to take place as early as practicable in March. It is too disgusting to be removed, as soon as one is beginning to get acquainted with his district. It should have been done earlier, or not at all. I am not informed as yet what place I shall be assigned to; but of course will notify you. I have applied to be sent to Charleston--so as to be nearer home--although provisions will be very scarce there. If the President would only sanction the Military Bill I might get out of this "thief catching business" altogether. I was pleased to hear there was a chance of selling Ellis's profitably. If paid for in the new currency the price, I think, would be a bargain; and after the war some of you could take town lots before they became too high. Whoever should build, there must one day be a great city on the banks of Port Royal, and it would be very stupid to have a site with a North Front. At Ellis's besides the defence would be practicable from the narrowness (comparatively) of the river below. Every thing is in status quo in this section at present. There have been no more dinners given me--which I should have been loath to accept, being busy and not well; which last condition I attribute to eating rice, there being no grist to be had in this exclusively rice growing region. This will incline you to excuse the dullness of this epistle. Keeping house alone is an independent thing; but it also makes me independent of milk, butter, and many other essentials. Shad, however, can be had at the commissary for 80 cts to a dollar a piece; and in them I luxuriate--and my coffee I find a recompense for most other privations. Eggs too are at a dollar a dozen--I expect starvation upon removal. I have a project which with my usual prudence, I cannot keep to myself. It is to endeavor to exchange my office for the command of Capt Harleston Read's company stationed in this District. But he probably would not, for the orders of the Bureau are that no En Officer can be stationed in the District of which he is a resident. You need not mention this to any one.

        Trusting to hear soon again, and to see you all some time before the Spring is over

I am with much love ever

yr attached brother

Wm Elliott


        [Davis Anecdotes, Economics]

Kensington March 25th
1864

Dear Annie

        As to-day is a rainy day and I have nothing better to do, I will answer your impertinent letter. I have forgotten no young lady, as you seem to think, but am as attentive to Helen as to Carrie and Em and no "handsome, dashing officer" ever dared "to dispute with me the favor" of any young lady.

        So Dr. Adams has returned at last, Mrs. M's health, I hope, quite recovered. Kiss Annie for me and give my love to her Mammy.

        I saw Emma's friend Bob Smith the other day, he looks very funny in a coat. He sends his love to you.

        Gov. Aiken told me to tell Papa that whenever he comes to Charleston he must be sure to stay with him. He told me some amusing incidents of the President's visit to the City. "As the Pres. Was coming out of the front door one day, a negro took him by both hands and shook them saying "How are you Mr. Pres, glad to see you," then he ran off before he could be distinguished and left the Pres in a great state of surprise. The morning after the Pres came down stairs with his coat collar turned up, and Sam, the waiter, went up to him and said: "Excuse me Maussa," and turned it down for him, for which Mr. Davis thanked him." Don't you think the old fellow must have enjoyed these attentions.

        I went all over Charleston to look for the No four's for you and succeeded in getting you a pair at last for which I gave $75. They were the only pair in the town, of that number. Beef is selling at six dollars a pound, Shad twelve dollars a piece, Turkey's $100 a piece, chickens $10 and ground nuts $32 a bushel. Butter $12. Carrie bought a veil, bleu , for which she gave $15. Do the Flat Rock prices equal this yet?

        I was to have gone for Rosie and Sallie to-day but this mean rain has prevented. When I go I shall no doubt see Mrs. Stuart and if I do I can tell you how she looks etc.

        Have you received an invitation to the Wedding? All the family here were invited, but nine except Capt. Rolly& myself are invited to the house. We have not determined whether to go or not, yet.

        Being as how I have said every living thing that I know, to you, I must say

With "ardent attachment"

Goodbye

Love to each and all

Elliott


        [Business and Economic Affairs]

Charleston April 13th 1864

Mrs. A.H. Elliot

My dear Mother

        I received yesterday through Willie, yours, containing an enclosure of a copy of uncle George's note to Emmie. In this note Uncle George admits that he was acting as an agent for a party of speculators, and had they been certain of securing Ellis' as the terminus of the RR he would have closed with you at the price agreed upon. He regrets the withdrawal of your offer,& throws out a tempting bait to try and catch another offer of the same kind. In all common sense, that offer was made to him because the route of the Road was uncertain. Had it been made by him, knowing that Ellis' was to be the terminus, his bitterest enemy could hardly have accused him of advancing the interests of his family, by trying to purchase the place at the sum of Two thousand three hundred and eighty dollars, and ninety-five and a half cents ($2380, 95 1/2 cts) which is to day, the market value, of Fifty Thousand of Mr. Memmingers picture dollars. I believe my uncle to be an honourable& well meaning man, but he has put himself in a position, which he should thank Emmie for having gotten him out of. I will bear no blame in this matter, for I did nothing to bring it about. I advised in my note to Emmie that she should keep quiet about Ellis,& be in no hurry--had she done so, and not withdrawn her offer to Uncle George, the R. R. company may have in a short time yielded to the wishes of Uncle G& then we would have had them in our power, and could have secured the payment after the war.

        Now that Uncle George has defined his position, as an agent for a party, other than the RR Company, I can readily comprehend the drift of [Darant's] remarks to Lorn and myself--he no doubt thinks that he can purchase the place, and others around, at a less price from the proprietors than he will be able to do from a speculation. [Darant] has visited the recorders office in Waltenboro since I have spoken to him. I mentioned Col DeLevilles politeness to me the other day,& have just called to try and get out of him, the fact as to whether or not Titles can be made to the place before a final settlement. He suggested that the ordinary (having the will before him) might be better able to give the necessary information. Indeed, I afterwards learned on the Street that his partner in business is solicitor of the P. Royal R. R. which of course incapacitates him from advising on that score, though not from pumping me as he did last week. If I had a copy of the will by me, I would at my own expense, consult Genl Simmons, or some other lawyer of character, on the subject in order to put a stop to the ungenerous, unjust attacks; and insulting suspicions, of those whom I have never injured by word, thought, or deed.

        I write for the last time on this subject, until it is established whether or not you have a right to sell. And I say now what I will say, if leave to sell is obtained, to wit. As one of the parties whose consent is necessary, I refuse to agree to the sale of Ellis for less than $3,000 in gold, or its equivalent. And then, only, because a R. R. to that point, will enhance the value of Shell Point.

        Real Estate& Negroes should be held by all, who are not compelled by debts to sell, because when peace comes they will have some value, though perhaps a low one, while tis certain that the present paper will have a low value& perhaps none at all, as has already happened twice in France and once in the United States. When the war is over the latter country will assuredly repudiate, and the tax paying part of the Southern States will be so incensed at the burdens heaped upon them, that when they reflect that those who hold most of this money, have made it during the war, out of the necessities of the farmers& soldiers, they will consider repudiation an act of retaliation on speculators, and resort to it as a just and necessary measure--so think those better able to judge than you, or I.

        The only question I will ask is, should it be possible to sell the place--what amount in gold will you take for it? Those who prefer Memminger's money, may convert their portion of it, into currency at the rate of 21 for 1.

Your affectionate Son

R. E. Elliot


        [Agriculture]

Chisolmville Oct 8th 1864

        I thank you my dearest Mother for your long& interesting letter of the 3d. I sympathize with you most sincerely, in all of your Abbeville troubles. McBride is brother in law to McLaren, and a rascal will know to all unwary refugees who have visited Abbeville. I anticipated trouble when you told me of McLode lease. My agreement with the latter was very explicit--$500 a year, for the war. It was witnessed by McB& the paper was left with you at F. R. or furnished by me to Johnson, when he went up; I forget which.

        I am glad your crop prospect at OL is so good. You had better not defer gathering your root Potatoes much longer, they are more easily injured by early frost than slips. & from the present cold change, I think we may expect severe weather early. I have been on the sick list for three days previous to today, but am all right again--no fever yet. I sent for Jacob yesterday,& gave him your orders--he is quite crestfallen at your dissatisfaction at the Chuha crop, having no fences around his planted land& having to get out rice for market, at the time he should have been fencing and planting the present crop are his excuses, or rather just reasons, for not having made a full crop. The copper kettle--the large one from here--is necessary for making the myrtle wax,& should be sent back by the cart. His process of making the wax is as follows. The Myrtle berries are gathered at this season, a tight barrel is filled with them& allowed to remain for several days, until the contents become heated, which is ascertained by plunging the hand into the berries. The latter are then placed into the copper kettle, with twice their quantity of water. Fire up& skim the surface until it boils, throw away the scum--after boiling commences, the wax rises to the surface, is collected, and saved. This is afterwards are boiled in the copper,& skimmed& strained--it is then pure and of bright green color. It takes a bushell& a half of berries, to make a pound of wax.

        Edward, the wool,& the old iron are sent to you by the cart. Please say if you require rice next week.

        I thank you for the coffee sent, I was just out.

        I am pleased the McClement took my refusal to vote for him kindly. My letter to him was a kind& friendly one, and nothing but a four year old promise, to his opponent (who was active in my behalf) prevented me from assisting him.

        On the 20th of this month we leave Chisolmville for Col Andersens old camp near Green Pond. You will much oblige me by allowing Jacob to give me some assistance in building my hut for winter quarters, I intend to live& mess by myself after the move. It will be months before we receive our pay,& I won't borrow money for mess purposes.

        The young bulls here will improve much when the fields are open,& you had best defer turning them over until the middle of November. Pray remember me to Mary& William, when you write.

Give my love to my sisters,& believe me ever your attached son

Ralph


        [Army Provisions]

Commissary Dept.
4th District S. C.
Adams Run Dec. 23 1864

Madam

        Your note of this date has just been received. The corn which you are authorized to pay in lieu of bacon can be received at Green Pond, and I will direct Mr. Hay Commissary Agent at that point to receipt to you in the proper manner for the same upon delivery. I regret that the small amount of transportation on hand, and the necessity of providing for a large number of new troops render it impossible to have the corn hauled from your plantation in Government wagons. I will be very glad to receive any amount of beef that you may wish to sell to the Government either on foot or after having been killed. I will also very willingly receive pork instead of bacon, only the law requires 100 pounds of fresh pork to be paid instead of 60 of bacon. On any day that you will let me know that either the beef or pork is ready I will send a wagon for it. I send by servant a certificate for the amount due for the beef already furnished by you, and hope in a few days to receive money enough to pay it.

Very Respectfully

Yr. Obt. Servant

Wm. W. Carrie
Major

Mrs. A. H. Elliott


        [Army Provisions]

Greenville 17th Jany [1865]

My dear Emmie

        I suppose you have seen by the papers (which we have not) the extent of the damage done on the Rail Road by which we have been entirely off for a week past from our mails. Yesterday a courier came up with papers a week old, and we hope in a few days to get another mail, which may tell us where the damage is for no one here seems to know. I fear it may interfere with the transportation of your moveables if not of Yourselves if the breakage is below Abbeville. I was very happy to find by your letter of the 6th recd yesterday that Narmo was well again and that you were all feeling free from alarm at the possible approach of such disagreeable guests as Sherman might impose upon you. With so much time as you have had to prepare, your move may be accomplished I think, with comparative comfort. I hope you will agree to my plan however of paying me a visit first. Tell Hattie the rooms engaged for her in Chester Jane Fraser writes are very dilapidated. "She pitied any one who had to occupy them." Alice says Greenville is too much better than Chester, for supplies can be obtained here. I received a most kind letter from the Genl just before our communications was cut so that I have not yet been able to thank him for telling me to send Elliott to him. I will write to day, hoping that an opportunity may occur for sending letters. Elliott infinitely prefers being with Gonzie, but I really fear the increase of trouble he will cause him. Of course travel is put a stop to for the present but I will get Elliott ready by the 1st of Feby and he get down by hand car--most foolishly. We are left on this side of the break without an Engine. Do ask Hattie if blankets will be enough to send with Elliott if she knows, whether Gonzie's accommodations will warrant another intruder. Elliott is studying every afternoon with Mr. Campbell, making the most of his short time. We are all well including Emma though the weather continues very cold. Frank L, has been quite sick in Columbia--he writes that, people are quite panicy below Branchville. The Robb Chisolms delightfully fixed near Orangeburg have gone to Alabama. Mrs Allen Lowndes and Sallie returned from this short winter at Cooper River ten days ago--glad to get back to their dismal shelter here. I am glad you have Phoebe and Annie with you, it must be cheering in these anxious times to have the merry young folks around you. I never heard of the arrival of the homespuns, and am glad they look well. Tell Mamma if she can furnish 18 lbs of fresh wool I can get a piece of flannel woven for her and 12 lbs of Mattress wool, will pay for the warp and expense of wearing. Elliott has just brought in a report "that Sherman has been met and defeated near Savannah" and that "it will be a long time before we get a mail."

I feel constantly anxious about you, so please write often dear Emmie and with abundant love to you all,

believe me your Affete Sister

MB