17 February 1864: “We cannot tell how long the Yankees will hold Meridian or what effect it will have upon this portion of the county though we are certain that it bodes no good for it.”

Item Description:  Letter dated 17 February 1864, by May “Mollie” Long to her fiance Harrison “Harry” Wells.  In this letter, Molly writes about the Union occupation of Meridian, evacuation of her college at Corinth, social activities, having her “picture” made (daguerreotype digitized for previous entry on 9 May 1863), and attempting to learn to “spin”.  Harrison Wells of Zebulon, Ga., was a commissary sergeant with Company A, 13th Georgia Infantry Regiment, who served primarily in Virginia and Maryland.  Throughout the war, Harrison Wells was engaged to May (called Mollie) Long of Baldwyn, Miss.  May Long was educated at Corona College in Corinth, Miss.  After the war, Long and Wells married and resided in Zebulon, Ga. 17feb1864117feb1864217feb1864317feb18644Item Citation:  Letter dated 17 February 1864, in the Harrison Wells Papers #5422-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Baldwyn, Miss. Feb. 17th ‘64

Yesterday morning was one of brightness and gladness to me, dear Harry, for it brought a letter from you and you cannot imagine how glad I was to from you once more for I had found that pleasure would not be granted to me soon again. The Federals have taken Meridian and got possession of the Mobile and Ohio R.R. so that it will be impossible to get any more mails in Baldwyn. Is it not dreadful? We do hate so much to be cut off from all communication with our friends beyond Meridian, and especially do lament the thought of being deprived of receiving letters from you, dear Harry, for I have often thought of you missives as being the brightest rays that illumine these unhappy times. I would not be visiting now but have just heard of a soldier at home on furlough who expects to start back to Virginia to-morrow and I have determined to make an effort to get one more letter to you.
“How blessings brighten as they take their flight.”

We cannot tell how long the Yankees will hold Meridian or what effect it will have upon this portion of the Country though we are certain that it bodes no good for it. After Corinth was evacuated we thought we would not be troubled again soon. The people all seemed in good spirits and the farmers all went to work with renewed energy which promised golden harvests. The Rail Road was being repaired and we expected the cars up as far as Baldwyn in a day or two. We (the Circle) had planned a pleasure trip to Okolona on the first train and thought of having our “pictures” taken for each other while there and I intended sending you my shadow again Harry as I promised to do a long, long time ago. But I cannot do it now. We are so disappointed for we have had the visit in contemplation two or three weeks and just as we thought the time had nearly arrived for us to start we found that we could not go at all. Forcibly does it remind me of that passage of scripture which says “boast not thy self of to-morrow” J.C.
One of the Circle promised to take a “friend ambrotype” of me to send you but she is from to-day and doesn’t know I am visiting. She will send it I suppose in my next letter.

Friend Katie spent the day with us yesterday and you ought to have seen us trying to learn to spin. It was really amusing to us to see how awkward we were and sister did nothing but laugh at us all day. A young gentleman called in the afternoon. We told him what we had been doing and he laughed immediately at the idea of our spinning, said though he thought a lady could grace anything and that it was no degradation to spin. What do you think of it? Oh my! My old widower sweet-heart has come and I shall have to stop writing. Isn’t it provoking?

Father & Sisters send love to you. Good bye, think of me sometimes dear Harry and remember that my best wishes – my best hopes – my best prayers are always there.

With true devotion

I don’t know what to say about you writing again. You will perhaps learn through the papers what the Yankees will do. Capt. Rowan a friend from the 19th Miss Regt. was at home not long ago, he said he thought the 13th Ga. Was camped near him and if so, he would certainly see our friend. Perhaps you will have an opportunity to send letters by some of them as there is nearly always some of them coming home. We expect Lieut. Agnew soon.

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