Morganton, N.C.
March 6th, 1878

"As face answers to face in water so does heart to heart" I'm unhappy tonight because I know you are troubled.

Oh! how keenly do I yearn for the balm that would heal every pain. Yes, you are right in thinking I'd tell you not to fret over it, for if it's done can worry help it? I don't regard it lightly, far from it! I know the unspeakable value of money and the numberless comforts it brings. I know too how hard you have worked since this cruel War and how deeply you feel it just as this particular time, but my dear, dear Capt. be that brave soldier I've always loved and admired. Don't despond. Try and remember that present discipline is needed if we can't discern it. Only do your duty keeping the fear of God before your eyes and it will all end well.

I'd rather have your love without a penny than any other man's I ever knew with piles of money. I know this is no wild speech for I've been listed in this very matter and know what I say. Tis only the old story of base ingratitude. Ah, how it stings! I've felt it, lived to know that man can prove as vile as serpents.

I've passed through the very same ordeal, but thanks to Col. Tate have enough left to live on in comfort, so I beg you not to worry for I've no idea that we will ever want.

I know I've lost (or rather some of my property has been stolen) since the War, but tonight (if it was in my power) I'd not change places with those who used it, no good went with it. None can come from the use of it. The mills of the gods grind slowly but the end is not yet, and I've never known it to prove anything but for the best to those who do right.

This evenings mail brought me your long looked for and very welcomed letter, and I'm going to waft a loving message by return mail. Do you know it was two weeks between your letters? I excuse you as I do in all things. I've a cousin (Hattie's sister) who is engaged to a young minister (Presbyterian) in So. Ca. who writes her two and three letters every week. I only tell you this in fun, not that I want you to be like anybody save your own dear self. I wonder if a woman ever did love a man as tenderly and trust him as fully as I do you? I think as often of my dear mother and wish she could be near me to bless me when I left my childhood's home, but this is vain and selfish if I only follow her beautiful example I'll be blessed in meeting her in the "house not made with hands." I'll always regret that you never knew my mother in her better days. She was respected and loved by all classes and conditions of people. I loved to sit by her and listen to her tell the story of her love with my father, of her cloudy days and then the sunshine, she would always end by saying but our love for each other never grew cold and that sustained me. I pray that this you and I can say.

I hardly know what to tell you about the day. I'm all ready and only waiting you. What say you to the 17th of April (Wednesday). Mr. Anderson is going to Presbytery about that time and on a visit after that to be gone some time, so I think it best to have that day if you don't object. How is it that my letter written Saturday never reached there till Wednesday? I thought you could leave home Monday and get here Tuesday evening. The cars leave here at 10 O'clock in the morning and arrive at 6 O'clock in the evening. I want it to be a quiet marriage. My mourning garb alone (not that I care for any display) would prevent me from having any ado. I'll abandon the idea of being married in the church if you wish it, though I'd prefer my church just before the train leaves, and go immediately out (without congratulations) and go off to Fayetteville. You must have white gloves and cravat [tie]. Walk in one of the church doors with me and out the other. Standing before Mr. A[nderson] for a few moments (his ceremony is short) in the interval to renew our vows of love to each other. I'll let the gloves be taken off as soon as you are out the church door ha! ha! Now can't you summons up fortitude enough for that? I want two of my little friends (children ten, and eleven) to stand up with me. Maj. Wilson's little girl, and my old pastor's little daughter. They are in my class in Sunday School and have always been particularly fond of me, but just as you say. I've not told them of my wish. I spoke of it to Sissie and Col. Tate. Now I do assure you I want to act just as you would wish me in this matter and in all others through life, so when I stray off from the way you like just tell me. Try and find a few spare moments to send me a speedy reply. How I'd love to talk with you tonight. I've so many things I want to tell you. So many plans for our future oh! I do trust they may all work out for our good and I firmly believe they will. I'm glad your sister is better and that you are free from your cold.

Clande seems to fully understand and appreciate your message of love, but she wont include me, but consigns me to Dr. Bessent and will insist on full possession of "Capin Way." Col T. laughed and told me if Clande was sixteen years older I would have a hard fight. We are to have a grand dinner for our church on next Tuesday (court week) to pay off a debt on our manse. Nothing new in town. Cora has returned from Charlotte and is quite well. Sissie and Col. Tate beg me to remember them most kindly. Clande sends love too. "My love too, Lala."

Now let me beg of you again before I say goodnight not to get gloomy and worry. It will make you unhappy, and I assure you will only damage both mind and body. With pleasant dreams I'm very truly yours only L.P.

Go to LETTER 32