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Letter fragment to Eliza Johnson, 1862 October

Letter fragment to Eliza Johnson, 1862 October
Letter fragment to Eliza Johnson, 1862 October
Letter regards family news and mentions woman who is a Union sympathizer. Letter also mentions that Porter Johnson is eager to join the army.


  • 1862 October


From the Series: 20 items


Porter has been anxious to go into the army this winter and I have half promised him that could he get to see you again he might go. He feels mortified at his present position and he is ambitious to take some part in the war. His idea is that a man has but one time to die and that a few years more or less will not make any difference. He says that he is able to carry a musket and that if he does not raise his arm in defence of his country under existing circumstances he shall never feel like asking a Southern woman to marry him and that a northern woman he would not have under any circumstances. George Armstrong was at Brownsburg when I left. He had come down on a visit. He is able to walk with the use of one crutch. He is conditionally true to his engagement . If what he shall have heard about be true of her joining in the reception at Grafton of the Yankee invaders he will suffer his other leg to be crippled and both arms torn from his body before he would have her or any other woman that by act of courtesy received a yankee favorably. George is a brave man, he is true to his country, and true to his love provided she has been true to herself. I approve his course. I detest with intense hatred the time serving policy pursued in our country and I told Mr. [Ceplin] very frankly that it was with reluctance that I gave my hand to a man who was in the habit of shaking hands with the Yankees or what is worse the Union men of NW Virginia and I do not think I am an exception. Tho I have mentioned to you the sickness here, do not give yourself any uneasiness about it. Mr. Newlon promised that if Alcinda or her child gets sick, that he will take care of them. As we have been favored so far I still trust to Providence to preserve us in future. The girls are at a good house and should they get sick are in good hands- - Fanny is very careful they have all been using preventives so be of good cheer and do not get out of heart. Philander is well though I have not seen him for about a year. Porter and I went to Winchester, stayed in the Army ten days, but Philander was absent. We passed him as we went down the Valley and did not know. The fences are burned, this makes the road wide. To be relieved of the dust we were frequently 50 yards from the road. Philander has charge of about 100 wagons and was going to Rockingham for corn, thus we missed him. I suppose he gets about 100 dollars per month. I do not think he is drinking in fact he has not been. Porter I suppose will go the Army to see him. Say to Mr. Gawthrop that his son is well. He has been detailed as a butcher at $50 per month. William Sharps is his assistant. Saml Tucker was seriously wounded at the battle of Manassas, but it is thought will recover. Uriah has recovered from his wound and is again in the Army. Jac is not yet able to go in the Army but is at the hospital taking care of Saml. H. Mahany and John are well, also the two Robinsons and James Boyd. I received a letter from Brother Porter and one from Thomas written the 27th of August, I have not heard since. They were well at that time. I do not think they were in the battle of Corinth as they had been sent on other service at that time. Porter expressed a desire that his family should be on this side of the line - his principle fear was that Tell might be made to swear he does not wish him to take an oath on any account. If there is no danger of Tell being sworn probably they had better stay where they are. W.P. Goff must be informed that he will be held personally responsible should he on any account permit or not prevent the administering of any of them oaths to Tell. Porter also swears by all that is sacred that he will hold some men in Clarksburg responsible for any indignity that may be offered to Father in any way, shape or form. Tell Emily that I try to keep Porter apprized that she is well & c. I have just seen a young man from Clarksburg and I shall write to Porter in the morning. I again repeat my advice to Father to quit business, have no cattle or other goods, convert everything into gold at even 40 percent and bury it, and put no tombstone to its grave. Give my love to Leake, tell him to be a good boy to attend to his book and say his lessons to you. I do not want him sent to school. I would not have him taught by anyone I know save yourself. I do not want him to associate with the children of the Union people in your section of the State. Tell Leake that Porter and I have slept out of doors a good many nights. We do this sooner than ask people to keep us all night, it is nothing to be refused a lodging for the night for love or money-- still there are some clever people. I have but one motto that is to "run with patience the race set before," this I intend to do. So be of good cheer and do not despair.
Truly yours,
M. H. Johnson
Since writing Mr. C. has been looking over his letters and [shares] the enclosed note from Miss Armstrong. W.P. Kimble is well, he is at Clarksville, Mecklenburg County Virginia. I loaned to Henry C Middleton fifty dollars when I was at the oil wells. Write him a note to send you the money, say to him that you are in need of it. To your friends buying in and hold for redemption such articles as you need I have no objection, but things that you do not need and than can be replaced let them go---

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