28 January 1863: “Well, Judge, if they are our enemies we will have to admit they have fine music…”

Item description: Letter, 28 January 1863, Annie Maney Schon, Atlanta, Ga., to her sister, Bettie Maney Kimberly, Chapel Hill, N.C. (replying to Bettie’s letter of 18 January).

Item citation: From the John Kimberly Papers #398Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

Atlanta Jan. 28th 1863

Dear Bettie,

Father Mother and the girls have at last come & with them your little enema from Nashville which I now send by express & with them dear Bettie all the things you so kindly sent me except the chemise I know you will not feel hurt that I do not keep them when I tell you that I know you deprived yourself & the children to send them to me, and such beautiful material as you sent cannot now be replaced. I thank you & appreciate your kindness you know just as much as though I kept them, that piece of linen is an unheard of luxury, the prettiest thing I have seen in many a long day and the dresses for Johnnie are decidedly the prettiest I have seen, also the dimity, jaconet & stocking & all you sent, but after seeing the condition of the stores in Chapel Hill & knowing that you cannot replace these things indeed I cannot keep them. I only wish I had something as pretty as these to send the darling children, but what Mother brought Johnnie from Nashville are not near so pretty. She has in a degree replaced mine & Johnnie’s wardrobe but I still mourn over the departed I assure you I thank you so much dear Bettie for the chemise, I hated to take it but necessity compelled me. With this bundle Johnnie sends to Brother Johnnie three prs of white socks. They were sent a present to him from a sewing woman in Nashville but he is wearing woolen stockings and before spring these will be too small for him. Do you remember this little bonnet of Rebecca’s? Ma sent it with the enema, the latter I send just as Ma sent it as it seems to be packed securely. Mother was so sorry she could not bring your bonnet box. She had plenty of room for it & was anxious to bring it but they would not allow her to bring any thing that was not marked in her name, Sallie was even obliged to mark any underclothes “Schon” before they started, but if Mr. Schon will ever let me go to Nashville I will bring it to you by tacking on a card marked with my name. I will also bring the other things you wish and if it is possible will bring your portrait and Henry’s two portraits, for I am terribly afraid the Federals will destroy Nashville if they ever have to give it up. Mother says they are determined upon it. I can’t say when I am going to Nashville. I beg Mr. Schon nearly ever time he comes in the house but he says it is now impossible as a battle is constantly expected but as soon as I can I shall go. I am so anxious about Pa & Ma I can think of nothing else, & since the 15th of this month am especially so, that being the day that the oath was to be required of every citizen of Nashville. It would do you good to hear Mother & the girls talk about Pa. They say he is the most violent southern man they ever saw and is about the only one who dares to express his feeling fully. In one occasion he & [Negley?] had high words about the soldiers tearing down all his fencing, not a piece of it is left except the iron railing in front. When I go, I will try in every way to induce Pa & Ma to come to Atlanta & from here to visit you, it would be so horrid to have them there if Nashville should be destroyed. Mother says she was sitting with Pa & Ma one day when she heard their bands of music, she said “Well, Judge, if they are our enemies we will have to admit they have fine music, to which Pa replied “no madam I don’t think any of their music is fine except their funeral dirges & I could rejoice to see a thousand of them hanging from every tree & as to taking their oath I will die first. I know Pa will be as firm as a rock, but Ma is an enigma as ever, she becomes provoked & talks not as she would feel upon second thought, she is very anxious for you & Mr. Kimberly to go there & stay with her & even says she is willing for Mr. K. to take the oath and save his northern property & as for Nashville she says she does not care anything for it & does not want her children to fight for it. All this is of course repeated & magnified by every body who comes south. It is so gratifying to hear Mother’s account of old Susan and Mary, she says they are perfectly true & Ma told her that Mary was a none such to use her own expression Ma says she is so devoted to her that if she hears her cough or groan in the night she jumps up & runs to her to know if she can do anything for her. I can’t imagine what has changed her so for you know she ran away & was in a Federal camp 2 weeks when the Federals first went to N. After such devotion as that I would like to have those two negroes just to repay them & give them every thing they could want. How is Pennie doing? Isaac is dead. George hired him in Bragg’s army and he died in Ky. But I must now close it is getting so dark I cannot see to write. I forgot to tell you we are in the Hurt house & Mother & the girls say they intend to have a visit from your, Mr. K. & the children next summer. Best love to Mr. K. & for the children a thousand kisses. Do write soon & often.

Your devoted sister,
Annie M. Schon

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