Saturday, February 14, 2009

JEB Stuart March 4, 1862

This letter is compliments of ErinGoBragh. I've posted her fabulous website in the post below. She was done all Stuart scholars a wonderful service by posting so many of Stuart's letters on this website.

I chose this letter because it made me laugh.

Centreville Mar 4th / 62

My Dear, Dear Wife –

I received two letters from you last night; Withers impudence undertaking to give you advice, takes me all aback and his enlightening you on the subject of the movements of this army is truly astonishing. I hope you will if an opportunity offers assure him that your husband is not unmindful of your welfare & will take care to see that you are provided without the officious intermeddling of any such squirt as he must be, though I have never had the slightest acquaintance with him. Tell him, should you need advice, he is not the man you would go to for it.

As soon as the spring weather sets in, and you can leave Maria, I wish you to go to Campbell C.H. a sweet retired place, which we have some relations who will love you dearly & you will be safe. Your Cousin Bush was taken prisoner at Charleston the other day by the Yankees. They are in possession of the place.

Above all, don’t say anything to those disagreeable Withers & others about where you are going, tell them I will take care of you. Withers was an outrageous Union man at first, & somehow I think he & I can never pull together. I am sorry for Brien & miss him much, I hope to have him soon with us again.

I wrote to you about my sad disappointment about your coming down, & sent you in the same letter a draft for $200. which will be your monthly allowance as long as I am a Brigadier. I want you as soon as you can to buy me watch fob, chain strong & pretty with a pencil head seal & S (old English) deep cut, like the one stolen at Wise. Also just such a pencil as P.W.H. lost for me. I will refund you the money – come now and dont take so long to get it send me the chain by Brien or Powers or Fitz Lee, for I need it much. My guard breaks. For my sentiments in this crisis & for lofty patriotic resolve see my last letter. Those who stick by their wives now under the the pretense of devotion to them wont do. Be not deceived wifey, those who stay at home now are forgetful of their highest duty to their wives and children and in fact to themselves & obey the single impulse of present ease, present security. I care not how they whitewash themselves with such family considerations. Now dearie sleep on that, and think how much better to have your husband in his grave, after a career true to every duty and every responsibility, to you his country & God, than in inglorious existence a living shame to you & his children. Ought I not be supported & encouraged by you in such a course. As for my love for you Dearie, I wish I had you here to squeeze you as much as I love you.

Kisses & love to ours – Those dear ones – how dearly I would like to see them. Put your trust in God & He will bring it to pass.

Ever Ever Ever

This ring was made from a root on the battlefield where my cavalry charged.