17 August 1861: “I go to school to Miss Margaret Mitchel and like her very much indeed. I am studying.”

Item description:  Letter of 17 August 1861 from Susie Mallett, in Chapel Hill, N.C., to her father Peter Mallett, a Confederate captain with Company C of the 3rd Infantry Regiment (North Carolina). It appears that Susie Mallett was staying with family in Chapel Hill while her father was serving in the Confederate Army. It is unclear where Capt. Mallett was stationed at the time of this letter. In the letter, Susie Mallett informs her father that she has been enjoying Chapel Hill, has been attending a local school for three weeks, and she includes her first grade report in the letter.

Item citation: From folder 5 of the Peter Mallett Papers #480Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

August 17 1861

My Dear Papa

I received your kind letter yesterday. And was very glad to hear that you and Cousin Charley are well. I got a letter from Mama the same time I got yours. I go to school to Miss Margaret Mitchel and like her very much indeed. I am studying. I take music lesson from Miss Betty Martin. Last night I went to Mrs. Ash’s to spend the evening. there was a good many girls there. And we had a great many tableaux and we had a very nice time. I got a letter from Lizzey[?] Reston. Chapel Hill is a beautiful place. And I like it very much indeed. They are all very kind to me. We have to go to school at 8 oclock and come home at one. At first it seem singular to go to school after being away so long but now I don’t mind it. Uncle Charles arrived here last night from Yorktown on his way to Fayetteville. We expect Uncle Ed to night. Dear Papa do write to me soon. tell cousin Charley to write also. I send you in this letter my report. 8-0 is the highest number this is not a very good one because I have not been going to school but 3 weeks. I hope the next will be better. Love to cousin Charley, and they all send love to you.

From your true

and devoted




More about Susie Mallett:

Susan Gibbs Mallett was born 16 October 1849, in Wilmington, N.C., to Peter Mallett and Anna Bella Gibbs. She married Gabriel Holmes on 5 January 1882. They had two children: Pierre Mallett Holmes and Owen D. Holmes. Susan Gibbs Mallett Holmes died in 1927 and is buried in Oakdale Cemetery, Wilmington, N.C.

More about Peter Mallett:

Peter Mallett was a merchant of Fayetteville, N.C., and New York City; and a Confederate Army officer and head of Confederate conscription in North Carolina.

The following military service record is available for Peter Mallett:

Biographical data and notes:
– Born in North Carolina
– Pre-enlistment occupation: Merchant

– Residing in New York at time of enlistment
– Enlisted as Captain

Mustering information:
– Transferred from 3rd Infantry (North Carolina)
– Commissioned into C Company, 3rd Infantry (North Carolina) on May 16 1861

– Promoted to Major (Full, Vol) on May 23 1862 (& Asst Adj Gen to serve as Commandant of Conscript)

Sources for the above information:
North Carolina Troops 1861-65, A Roster, (1993)

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4 Responses to 17 August 1861: “I go to school to Miss Margaret Mitchel and like her very much indeed. I am studying.”

  1. Elliot says:

    Does anyone know if a Sophie Mallett of Fayetteville was a member of this Mallett family?

    • dcbh says:

      From my reading of it, I believe that Peter Mallett’s mother was named Sophia Beatty Mallett (i.e., Susie Mallett’s paternal grandmother). I don’t know if this is the same Sophie Mallett that you are inquiring about. But this family was centered in Fayetteville. Here’s the tree that I found:


      The Peter Mallett featured in this post is the 5th son in the tree referenced above. His full name is Charles Peter Mallett (1825-1907), but I suppose he went by his middle name Peter since the first son in the family (his brother) was named Charles.

      I hope all that makes sense and that this helps you track down your Sophie!

  2. Susan Mallett Price Bennett says:

    I am the great granddaughter of Susie Mallett and her namesake. I am the granddaughter of her son, Owen Davis Holmes. As a local history librarian in Indiana I have been working on digital projects which include Civil War, World War II, and Korean War Letters and was delighted to discover this family letter.

    • dcbh says:

      Dear Mrs. Bennett,
      We’re so glad you found your way to this letter, and enjoyed it. It was our pleasure to post it. We’ll likely have additional Mallett-related posts in the future, so feel free to stay tuned.

      Best regards,
      Biff Hollingsworth