7 December 1862: “such military necessities as they are egregiously called will crush that spirit upon which the foundation of all republics are built- namely good will”

Item Description: Letter, 7 December 1862, from Arnoldus Brumby to his sister, Sarah Catherine (Kate) Brumby Simpson. Arnoldus studied medicine and became a physician in Holmes County, Mississippi. The letter mentions their brother Robert, who died in the war in 1864, and remarks on the Confederate government’s impressment of leather manufacturers.


Item Citation: From folder 2 of the Simpson and Brumby Family Papers #1408-zSouthern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Goodman Miss –
9 Oclock Sunday night Dece 7th/62

Mrs. S.C. Simpson
Dear Sister-
I have just visited my last patient for to day & agreeable to request of Sister Jennie how concluded to communicate with Sallie- Jennie request that I should inform you of hers & Mollies departure on the 4th [inst?] for Georgia – & offers as an apology for not writing the pressure of making ready Their hasty exit was produced through fear of an early visitation of the enemy – hence they naturaly skedadled for safety to Geo. No doubt you have heard of the advance of the Yank’s to Grenada & as a consequence a panic siezed the good folks of Goodman & every one began to talk of Geo. Texas & Alabama or wherever their kindred may be most distant from the scene of Terror- All well enough for very likely I may make good their actions by doing likewise- But as the enemy has since their engagement at [Cofferich?] found it inpossible to flank our army & fallen back & I think I shall hold my own until something more threatening turns up- Would [?] haven’t you already exclaimed what  has come over the spirits of Bud’s dreams to possess him to write to me at this late day of Reformation- Well to tell the truth I am no great hand for letter writing and I assure you that I have shamefully neglected all for which I beg forgiveness & make no promises to do better- because it would only lie to violate- consequently I shall only assert that I write when the spirit moves me like unto the quakerist profession- you know my time is completely ocupied with the duties of my profession- & the cares of an increasing family- for unto us a daughter was born on the 14th November so small as to require dilligent exerting to nourish & find her as she lay [enwraped?] in flannel rags I think she weighes about 3/2 lb may be a fraction over 4 which you know is a full grown body for these hard times- As for Walter he is getting to be such a romping [roudie?] that there is no doing anything for him – unless per chance he should fall asleep- before 9 Oclock- He is a great boy no matter if his dady calls him great- can talk sing whistle run & jump & kick up monkey [didas?] generally We have not name the baby yet. – Think it best to wait until she becomes by larger proportions deserving a name. We call her at present little Nothing & by way of abreviation Squealing Doll- Sue’s health is good & mine never better- We are getting along very well & only ask to be let alone by the Yankees- Have plenty to eat and wear- with little desire to purchase what cannot be had as we have no Cash – so you see we are contented & happy to live as best we can- Ben [Medows?] is still the same jovial old Grub and Seems to take the world as it gives Our County is depopulated of men & our town extremely dull – we hear no news but war & rumors of war & the prayer of every true patriot is a speedy honorable peace. _ We have not heard from brother Robert for some two weeks – [presumably?] he is now struggling for the freedom of his country & the precious boon of liberty- I fear the hardships of this winters campaign will tell a sad tale of wasted strength upon his manly frame – A nobler more conscientious heart of rectitude & right in the discharge of duties relative to relatives friends & country never launched into the vortex of this unholy war. I trust that that God upon whom he has put his trust will safely shield him from every danger & return our beloved brother to the bosom of those who love him when peace shall reighn supremely over the land of his birth–

Jennie says she has recieved the flannel you sent & will send you the money this first reliable opportunity that presents itself. – we hear from Pa & Ma occassionally- when last they were all well but troubled in regards to getting raw material to carry on their business – The authorities were threatening to press all leather manufacturing establishments into government service – we now live in the land of high handed usurpation of power the citizens are being denied the priviledge of controling their own private property as if there was no such thing as honorable contract between the citizens and official authority- such military necessities as they are egregiously called will crush that spirit upon which the foundation of all republics are built- namely good will

Well Kate I must bring this insignificant scroll to a close- It is hastily written and being tired from riding I know your good nature will over look its defects & say better a word from Bud than no letter at all – [How?] are you getting along in such close proximity to Butlerism I am apprehensive that yours & Dicks tenacity for Covington will find yourselves unawares in the hands of Yankee domination- I feel [?] about  you & often wish you could all be further way from danger. – Kate you must write to me and I shall respond at the earliest opportunity – Sue often talks about you & seems to regard your man as a favorite from among the family – she says she would give anything to see Kate Simpson She sends her love & says write- Kiss little Ella for Uncle [Hal?] & give my kind wishes to Dick & family- accept the affectionate [?] of your Brother A.S.Brumby

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