16 September 1863: “…it is so sweet to me to be petted if it is only by letter.”

Item description: Letter, dated 16 September 1863, from Frances “Fannie” Roulhac Hamilton to her husband, Daniel Heyward Hamilton.  She discusses an unidentified illness and the spring where she and others are being treated, as well as the pregnancy of a relative and her desire to see her husband and family again.

[transcription available below images]

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Item citation: From folder 86 from the Ruffin, Roulhac, and Hamilton Family Papers, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

Kittrell’s Springs N.C.

September 16th, 1863

Your kind affectionate letter my own Heyward was received yes-terday & with my usual delight on such occasions.  I should have replied to it in -mediately but it was Uncle John Bridnay’s chill day & was obliged to be with him constantly to administer his medicine & to make him prudent until his chill time had passed.  As soon as I thought he was safely through, instead of dressing for tea as I had intended Mrs. Kant, Mrs. Todd & myself raced off to the depot to see the soldiers pass. We had the ill luck though to arrive just after three trains full had left the depot,  I was so in hopes I might see Jim on board that I very readily agreed to the proposition of the ladies to go.  I wrote him yesterday begging him to stop a day with me.  I heard that Hood was still in Richmond & I hope it may prove so.  How does Mama like the notion of his going West? Though occupying the position which our army now does , he will not be very far from home.  It is too bad to think of the Federals having Chattanooga.  I do pray we may have a decisive victory there.  We heard a report some days ago that Genl Lee was going there to take command of the army but I suppose that must be untrue as Longstreet is going.  I feel that I cannot be thankful enough that you are safe from the bullets oh darling how good God is to us!  & yet I know I am so ungrateful.  I hope I may be able to be with you this Winter. I want to see you so much & all the dear ones but I cannot think Mama would like to have a daughter with her with so many plasters & doings.  I believe I wrote you in my last that I was in full enjoyment of another rising.  I still remains as it was.  Gives me no pain whatever but is as hard as stone as far as an inch on every side.  I rather think it has softened a little bit & I hope all this trouble will soon be at an end: at any rate dearie let come what may we know that it is for the best.  I feel that entirely & it is a great comfort to me.  I did not tell you that Uncle John is better today though very weak.  He hoped to return to camp at Weldon today but was prevented by his great feebleness.  He has been so kind & good to me & to Kate.  The Elys have not arrived yet.  I cannot think what keeps them in Hillsboro so long.  I wrote them to hurry on as the season was closing here rapidly, almost everyone will leave tomorrow & I shall be the only one on this passage except Mrs. Hanneberry who is still detained by the sickness of her child. Next week I shall leave for Meeta’s.  Mrs. Winston (wife of Mr. W. of the board of claims) lives near here & insists upon my spending two or three days with her.  She sent in the carriage yesterday for Nannie & myself to spend the day but as it was Uncle John’s chill day I did not like to leave him.  Nannie had a charming time.  I suppose you have received my last letter & your mind is easy on the subject of Kate’s “[illegible]” etc. I am not caught yet thank goodness! & I am sure you must feel in the same way while my neck con-tinues in this state.  You wouldn’t like to have a child so diseased would you dearest? I have but a moment or two darling to finish my letter.  I have had a most charming ride this evening if it was in the miserable old hack which belongs here.  Nannie, Kate & myself were invited to go with Mrs. Phil-brook & her son, charming people from Mobile.  He has been wounded & is now a Teller in the Treasury Department, knows your uncle Louis very well & a good many of my acquaintances.  And now dearest, in order to send my letter by tonight’s mail I must say Goodbye.  Kate is well & fat as a deal.  She is delighted at the thought of seeing Rita & the baby house.  Do write me often those dear letters like your last two, it is so sweet to me to be petted if it is only by letter.  Give warmest love to all around you.  I am so sorry Mama’s appetite is poor.  I wish she could drink this water.  Kiss May & her dear little ones. I long to see that dear child Lizzie, Mama & all and you my darling so so much. Your own,

F. G. H.

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