Morganton, N.C.
July 2nd, 1877   

Dear Capt.,

How could I better testify my keen appreciation of the new grant to our friendship than by sending a speedy reply to your very welcomed letter?

You see right (as you generally are) for any coolness or unkind feeling was all a notion, and just now both of us must determine to regard those feelings as if they had never existed. That's always the best plan to pursue with ugly thoughts.

Our village is quite excited over the good fortune of one of our citizens, Mr. Moore (and by the way a brother of our friend Mrs. Hill). It seems that during the late war (at the Battle of "Gaines Mill") Mr. Moore heard a wounded Yank cry in God's name for water or he would die. Mr. Moore went under heavy fire with a canteen of water to his enemy, he (the Yank) offered his watch and contents of his purse $165, which the gallant Reb refused. He then insisted on having the address of his good samaritan which Mr. M. scratched off in his note book. Nothing more was ever heard of the deed till about a fortnight ago our P[ost] M[aster] received a letter asking if Mr. M. was still alive. Mr. M. answered it and a few days ago another document arrived, his falling heir to ten thousand dollars from his thirsty friend. Mr. M. is a man of ordinary capacity, was a good soldier (lost a leg during the war) but unfortunately he is addicted to the cursed poison and is inclined to be indolent. Work is the only salvation for such men so I'm doubtful after all that this money will be for his real good. Oh, that it may prove the ira of a next and better life to him. I'm particularly fond of his step mother, one of the most patient long suffering Christians I ever knew.

Col. Tate is going about but is looking wretchedly. He will enjoy seeing you when you come. Do you wonder I doubt it? My dear mother still continues a helpless sufferer. She is a perfect victim to nervous prostration. The Yanks are about to take possession of our town and county. The Colony have gone to real hard work, but the officers of these new troops are the Cavaliers in Society. Remember… … … two months ago from holding the bayonet over poor down trodden So. Ca. How my blood boils when I see Southern women treating these men as companions and receiving the most marked and delicate attentions from these rogues. Mrs. Browning tells us "The world's … chivalry has perished out, but women are Knights-errant to the last." I blame our girls for ever allowing them to creep into Society. Two young officers boarded here 18 months and I never accepted them as escorts; it was a heavy trial to have them as inmates of my home but I knew it was to our interest. I treated them with cool politeness, real politeness (but not social friendly manners) one of them invited me to ride with him (His horse was a beauty.) I refused telling him I'd no habit. He assured me it would give a lady friend of his pleasure to lend me one. I then laughed and told him as pleasantly as I could (at the table before all the others) that I dident like to receive favors or attention from Yankees. I thought I'd best cut it in the bud. He knew afterwards that his board didn't include me as a companion in his rides, drives, and walks.

I've been the constant companion of the loved invalid so only receive my news by proxy.

Our farmers are rejoicing over abundant crops and say they were never better. We suffered such heavy losses last year from the June freshet that we should be doubly grateful.

Don't get despondent, it will make you grow morose ill-natured and unhappy. You can do nothing without the make-believe of a beginning. Anxiety is good for nothing if we can't turn it into defense, and there's no defense against the things that must be. Things without remedy should be without regard. What's done is done. Let thy chief terror be of thine own soul. I'm going to be a keeper at home all Summer and you don't know how glad I'll be to chat you "face to face." Come the last of August and help us enjoy the peaches. The trees are loaded. I won't condole with you on Miss Laura's departure from the spinster brigade, but would congratulate (if I knew him) her Doctor for having such a good patient under his care. I hope you may get just as good. Try for a woman that will be truly a help meet in every vocation in life

My Pastor (and very dear friend) gave some offense (innocently) to the "church people" by a doctrinal sermon he delivered a few Sabbaths ago; of course the word that caused panic (to those who have come down direct without any break from the apostles) was Election, the very thing I should think would bring joy (with the creed they profess). I'm more amused than hurt at the violent remarks of these bigots knowing that most every one in this church were fed on Presbyterian Manna. This church is made up of Methodist and Presbyterians, this I dare say accounts for their high and lofty doctrine.

After all I've heard and thought my religious faith is just what I learnt at my mother's knee; a deep instinctive certainty, an embrace by the soul of something which it could not exist without. All my faith rests on two ideas, my helplessness and Gods helpfulness. I wish you knew Mr. Anderson. He is just my idea of a minister.

Yes croquet is quite the rage in town and on that ground as in every other amusement the Yankee brass is most prominent. I love to play. I can see no harm in it, while I don't believe in being priest bound, I think it's our duty to "obey the powers that be" and "if meat make our brother offend" we should abstain.

Capt., men (nor our sex either) are not like they were fifty years ago. This generation (except very few) know nothing of moderation and the only safe method was the plan adopted by our assembly.

I see my good friend … despite the predictions of evil minded and wicked tongues (of some persons) she still lives happily with Capt. E's widowed mother and sister. I knew it would be so for she is a good Christian woman and loves her husband very fondly and truly.

Capt. E. was defeated for his place on the R.R. but the company would not move the office to Newton and Mr. Finger (the new treasurer) would not move his family to Morganton so resigned the office and Capt. E. got it.

Come up and we will drive out and see what a big thing Burke is to have for crazy folks. Excuse my long letter and when you have time do likewise. Yours truly L.T.P.

Go to LETTER 20