J.R. Baird Collection
Transcribed by: Wanda Ray
Transcription Date: 2.9.2006
Jan. 2nd (1866)
My dear friend.
I was very much overjoyed at this reception of your letter of the 10th; though it was not due until five days after that date, and was quite anxious to reply before you left C. Knowing that you would not get it, my letters having only three days to reach you. I have been compelled (words?) willing until today.
A few days since I received yours of the 21st written at Vaiden, which satisfied me that you must be at home by this time. Oh! You are so cruel to speak of tormenting me with frequent letters. If you could only know what a welcome I give them. I am satisfied you would so smack yourself for not writing oftener. Then first (words?) handed me in a crowd of ladies. Of course I did not wish to seem too anxious to know its contents and could almost realize a century in the first few subsequent moments. Tis unless attempt an expression of my perfect happiness. Indeed it would be great gratification if I could believe any one of my letters would give you have the joy (word?) I have a right to flatter myself. What you long to hear from me and will determine this bright New Year to smile often.
Of course, you would listen in hear something of our trip down the Sunflower. It was not so dull as we expected and I don’t believe, quite as uncomfortable. We were a week, lacking one day, getting to Vicksburg; but had on board quite a nice family from (word?) creek. Col. Bessrand’s family. Had never met any of them before, but necessity made as good friends and our parting was full of regret.
Our Brandon friends welcomed us and am delighted that we are inline among them. This is quite a gay little place – full of pretty girls and fascinating beaux. The young people have had a party in town every night this week. Miss (word?) and I have attended only once. We found it very pleasant meeting our old friends and discovering once more the many different changes, experienced in the lives of each one. A good many ladies are married and we find many gentlemen who are crippled for life. How fortunate I am that you were wounded just seriously enough to bring you to me. We might say, as a good many have before us that our meeting was directed by Providence. You say that you hope my happiness may be eternal. In anticipating the future on earth, we cannot look forward to supreme happiness, for that we can only find in Heaven; but I see reasons why our lives may not be as bright and happy as we could desire. ‘Tis so pleasant to know that our marriage will be so agreeable in both families. Father frequently remarks, “John is a man after my own heart” and Ma is delighted with tears in her eyes. Says it is so hard to be reconciled to my leaving (?). I wish so much that I could have seen your dear Mother. Tell her we can both love her just the same, and I am determined she shall feel herself doubly blessed. The Dr. made me very happy by his assurance that he could not have been better pleased. I loved the whole family before, and now will continue to love them more than ever.
Page Two January 2, 1866
I hope you have quit having chills. Let me remind you that you said something in reference to your health; but I will believe that the trip to Columbus benefited you notwithstanding your frequent visits to your old sweetheart. I do think you might have called in to see her, if only to enjoy her charming beauty. I promise you I will not be jealous; so do not pass him by another time. I am very anxious indeed to see you and hope you will come as soon ass your business will justify your absence. Then we will discuss what important events to which you referred. I would rather talk about the subject than communicate through the mail. It seems so long since I saw you and you spoke of me better. What I have never received so that has distressed me a good deal. Never mind, I hope that the last one will (word?) explained. Remember, you cannot write too often.
We are very happily situated and have many warm friends around us. The health of our family has and been good and Father is still very feeble; more so than I ever saw him. It makes us very sad to seem no improvement but I hope as the Spring approaches, he will recover both health and spirits.
(Word?) is quite a hard student, and is progressing very rapidly. He has accepted a bed with Father that is (words?) twelve months he will be ready for a license. He encourages him very much and indeed he has been reading aloud to me. But stranger to say, I find (word?) very interesting. I think it would improve any one to read it, because the most of it is such a fine history.
I must not neglect to tell you that I have seen “cousin Hugh”. We spent time as six days at Col. McLaurin’s and enjoyed our visit very much. He looks better than I ever saw him, but my heart being wholly yours, of course I could not do him justice.
(A portion of the letter is missing but I am pretty sure this letter came from Nannie in 1866.
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