12 November 1862: “I would ask you to write more than once a week if you write a long letter, but prefer two short ones at lesser intervals.”

Item description: Letter, 12 November 1862, from Gen. Edmund Kirby-Smith to his wife Cassie Selden Kirby-Smith. He complains about the fact that he has not received a letter in several days. Mrs. Kirby-Smith has just given birth to the couple’s daughter, Caroline.

More about Edmund Kirby Smith:
Edmund Kirby-Smith (1824-1893) was a United States Army officer, Confederate Army general, president of the University of Nashville, and professor of mathematics at the University of the South. Kirby-Smith is also considered the last Confederate general to surrender at the close of the American Civil War.

[Item transcription available below images.]

Item citation: From the Edmund Kirby-Smith Papers, #404Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

Tuesday Night 12th.

I wrote you a short letter last night, my darling wife, I should have heard from you today, if as I supposed you had written Sunday, but I was grievously disappointed. I certainly will receive a letter tomorrow morning if not, I shall grow jealous of that baby and wish it at the bottom of the Red Sea.

Cassie do write to me often, if you only knew how anxiously I awaited the arrival of each mail, and how eagerly I received, and with what jealous care I watched over read & reread each of your sweet letters, you would certainly send at least a few lines by every Sunday’s mail. I would ask you to write more than once a week if you write a long letter, but prefer two short ones at lesser intervals. but darling I shall write whenever the opportunity offers, it may be every day, it may be but once in two weeks. it is too great a source of comfort and happiness to have any restrictions placed upon it.

My portrait has just been completed. I do not recognize myself, it is a queer looking thing, it may however be good and if I find it is so regarded will have a copy taken for you. everything here goes on as usual. I have made as yet but little progress in arranging the affairs of the Dept. They are deplorable; if the enemy doesn’t advance too rapidly on Middle Tenn. I shall have time sufficient. they occupy Lebanon and are moving on slowly but in force. We may have a battle in Middle Tenn. before the winter campaign ends but it is more likely our command will fall back across the Cumberland without making a general engagement. We are drawing a large amount of supplies from Middle Tenn. – 100,000 hogs for one item arrived at Chattanooga a few days since – flour, corn, stores and goods to a large amount have also been pushed across the Tenn.[?]. The Old Dr. is grumbling, he is a perfect weathercock of the times. he has 15,000 men from our army in the hospital in E. Tenn. our retreat from Ky. has lost to us more than one third our command. M[?] is still a most constant and devoted [?], looks the personification of happiness. he has not however followed our advice. Cousin Wm. is now well and has returned to duty.

Mrs. Parker and Miss Harris are looking, for them, quite well. They speak of you in the kindest terms. I have just been interrupted and is now so late that I ought to go to bed. Wife, what would I not give to be with baby & yourself. I would willingly play nurse for you. Is the baby spoiled yet? does she sleep in the cradle? Kiss the sweet little creature for me. I hope she will take after her Mother in looks. God bless you darling. You are to me more than friends, more than relations, more than life itself. Wife my whole being is wrapped up in you. Pray for me daily that I do not make an idol of you to the sacrifice of duty. Good night, God bless you.

This entry was posted in Southern Historical Collection and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.