Marshall. August 19/61
My Dear Sons,
I write jointly to you both, Although I’ve not heard from you, Since I wrote about a week ago; I feel as if I must communicate often while I know where you are; And besides these are time of so many changes, that we have not the most remote idea what a day, or a week, may bring to pass. The news has reached here of a great battle in Missouri ; reports favorably for The South; You doubtless have correct information I am so thankful your regiment was not there; at least I am making myself satisfied; as Your Company were unarmed at last accounts. It is posible Greer S Regiment were engaged in the fight. We have rain here to day, I am thinking about you whether or not you have clothing. & blankets sufficient to keep you comfortable, the damp ground I fear will cause much sickness among the soldiers; You should take all the care possible to avoid sickness; change your clothing when they are wet; you will find it is very different there from home; when you are sick, If either of you should be takened very sick and can not be well attended, ask the Captain to allow you to be carried to some house when you can be out of the weather, and be well nursed, either Your Uncle or I will pay the expense if you wages will not; Oh! I do pray this wicked war, will not cut you off. & cause my heart to bleed forever, and yet when I think of the dangers you are exposed to continually- not only the enemy to contend with but The hardships of a camplife in winter, I fear that but few will survive it; And I can fear nothing to hang a hope upon; That the war will close soon. Galveston has been fired upon by a war vessel. They returned the fire & drove her back. I have nothing of importance since I last wrote. All are preparing for war I am helping to make the Soldiers clothing to be sent to the companies .they have gone from this city. They are making every garment that will be needed. I think about you & wonder what you will do for drawers& socks. Mr Turner said you were provided for.
I dreamed of you both lastnight; and fear that you will soon go to Missouri. I hope you will never have to go there I dread to hear the news from Virginia. There are going to try & take Washington. I fear great loss of life in the Confederate army when they attempt that. I have never heard that Craig’s company have gone, I presume they have not; We have heard nothing from Panola in sometime. I have some idea of going to see Alie Warren in the course of 4 or 5 weeks. She wrote giving me a pressing invitation but I will write to you before I go. Oh, I think over the days when we were all at home. When I had you both with me; when I had the pleasure of caring for you & doing all that a Mother could to render you comfortable & happy; I know not if you appreciate them as I do. At least I trust you will not forget the many words of admonition that I let fall upon your ears; And now I am constantly admonished that I omited many things that I then ought to have done; little did I know You would so soon be torn away – when your lives would be endangered at all times. But Oh! The great God can preserve you there as same as here. And He will if you will ask Him. I am sorry you have no Chaplain. I know how demoralizing a camp life is. I do hope you restrain all wicked passions & not indulge if others do; If you are good & pious you are safe always whether you live or die. You are sure to be blest. God loves the truly humble & pious but is angry with the wicked every day. I have no doubt but that is why this was is set upon us, it is our sins. It makes me shudder to hear of the wickedness abroad in our land, almost every day we can hear of some atrocious crime; Still we have some praying Christians & I have not a doubt it is on their [missing text] that God spares us as he does. [missing text] preaches so earnestly for our [missing text] And begs us all to pray for our enemies.
My Dear boys, I beg God to spare you and bring you safely home again. I do pray that you may live to be bright & shining Christians, and if I ever should see you again I shall with God’s help be more faithful than I have ever been. Now do not read this hastily and lay it aside. Meditate upon and may the all important subject sink deeply in your heart. I fear you have much before you yet and nothing can help you to bear your hardship like a belief in God’s love for us. Write to me all about how you are getting on and provided for & when you will leave your present encampment. Be clever to all and obliging and bear in mind what a punishment they inflict on a soldier when they fail to perform duty. I read something about soldiers being exempted from paying postage, but you will be informed. Ten thousand blesings for you both