1 May 1862: We must remember this is war- a dreadful game- and never without untold misery. Happy are those whose nook is so obscure it cannot reach.

Item Description: Letter dated 1 May 1862, to Jane Caroline (Carey) North Pettigrew from her mother, Jane Pettigru North: Discusses family business and problems of household affairs during wartime.

[Transcription available below images.]


Item Citation: Pettigrew Family Papers #592, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Badwell-1st of May 62

My dearest Carey,

I received yours of the 21st two days since and I was very happy to find you well enough to write. I hope Charles’ went as proposed to Bonarva for his absence, in case of a visit from the invaders, would be complete and terrible […] God grant it be not so in any circumstances. I do want you to save Prince and family and Edmund and Ellen to say nothing of Finch. Oh the pity they were not all here making […]. I thought those wagons [would] surely be here by today, but it is to o’clock and we do not see them. Our May day was ushered in by rain wind and thunder. Still putting back our planting- which any way us too backward- dearest, I don’t think […] ugly. The bearer of the name was very far from that—and there is something very dear to me in […] memory.

I was taken by surprise to hear that Armstrong was to leave you- perhaps you would get some good […] woman in those parts to take her place in the nursery. The North Carolina people so far as I can judge are very honest and reliable, and one who knew her place would be very desirable but of course low wages could only be offered. As soon as I got Charles’ letter from Hillsboro I decided to defer going to you and now think that this day fortnight the 15th  will be the time that I should consider fixed unless I hear from you to the contrary- some one certainly should go to […]. The dear children! I think of them very often and of the altered prospects of all the young. The fall of New Orleans seems to me so strange that I cannot help thinking treachery at the bottom.  Otherwise we are dreadfully out generalled.

But my beloved do not speak evil of the enemy- what saith the scripture, lest the Lord hear and it does displease him, see Proverbs. We must remember this is war- a dreadful game- and never without untold misery. Happy are those whose nook is so obscure it cannot reach. I have engaged some corn but not so much as a hundred bushels. I think how ever that it can be had for a dollar tho not at the mills.  If the rust not taken the wheat we should provided for, but I fear it will be sadly blighted- however brown bread is better than none. Tell dear Mary that I am not surprised that she thinks of the hospital again. If ever aid were needed it will be after the impending conflict and yet I regret it for I am sure she must find it irk some and strongly discordant to her tastes. We are all well- dear aunt Louise bears her anxieties with as much patience as one could hope for. Our friends are well so far and I know. Phil wrote his mother immediately on the news from New Orleans a letter full of duty and affection—he could only bid her not despair.

We shall have abundance of peaches, which we may dry. But no sugar for preserving-we have good supply of milk. You have three nice cows and you will not be so without butter. I shall be glad to see those friends to whom I feel so much indebted for their kindness to you. Has Miss Collins gone to the Lake.  A letter from Miss Devereaux says so. I embrace the children. I say to Armstrong I should like to see her before her flight to the enemy’s land—I am sorry she goes—Caty sends howdy and begs you bring her children …

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