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Letter to Ellen B. Stanard (Taliaferro), 1864 February 21

Letter to Ellen B. Stanard (Taliaferro), 1864 February 21
Letter to Ellen B. Stanard (Taliaferro), 1864 February 21
Written from VMI, Lexington, Virginia. Letter regards ice skating, George Washington's birthday, finances, and cadet life.


  • 1864 February 21


From the File: 10 items (Folder 2)


Virginia Military Institute
Feb. the 21st 1864

My dear Mother
I wrote you a long letter some days ago and promised I believe to write again the last of the weeks. Therefore in accordance with my promise I shall endeavor to drop you a few and I fear very uninteresting lines. Since my last letter nothing much of interest has transpired to disturb the monotony of the V.M.I. soldier boys life or daily routine of exercises save the freezing up of the river, which has afforded us a little fun skating. Yesterday being Saturday, it did not interfere with our duties or studies, so all could go that wished. I went down to the river in the morning myself, though not with the intention of skating, as I had a sore toe and then I was minus a pair of skates mine being broken, but the ice was so beautiful that I could not resist the temptation, so borrowed a pair from one of the boys and spent the rest of the morning on the ice. It was really elegant fun, could go down the river as far as you wished. There were also a great many ladies on the ice, who seemed evidently to think there was more fun in falling down than standing up, but unfortunately in the height of their enjoyment, one of them [frisky] fell rather too hard and almost broke her nose. Poor girl, I guess it will spoil her beauty spot and I know will teach her a lesson how to run on ice again. The fall of this unfortunate lady, of course, intimidated and somewhat marred the pleasure of the remainder of the party. My friend Miss L.P. was among the no. and was looking as rosy as usual. Tomorrow being the anniversary of the birthday of the father of our Country, and in order to show due respect to his memory, there will be suspension of academic duties, but owing to the scarcity of powder, will not be able, as is customary to fire a salute. I went up in Lexington yesterday and looked around for the combs you wrote for. Got you these which I hope may suit. The best I could find, and rather high, but you know every thing is now. Though I could have gotten the two large ones for two dollars less if I had only known it in time. The following is what I gave for the three black, $3.75, one of the horn $5.00 the other $6.00, making in all $14.75. Would’nt this frighten you in peace times? I will send my [tal-er], and the combs also some matches which I bought thinking you might want them, by Cadet Harrison who leaves tomorrow for Orange to see his brother who is in a battery stationed near Morton’s. I hope the things may reach you safely. Do you think the Yankees will get Mobile? I would not be surprised to hear of its fall any day. Suppose Mollie & Sallie have moved out of the City as the ladies have all been advised to leave. I think it so strange Haywood don’t answer my letter. I wrote him a month ago and he knows my deposit is due at this time. Mr. Norton our Episcopal preacher lectures every Sunday eve during [Lent?] and principally for the benefit of the Cadets, and as it is near time I shall have to close my letter as I want to attend. May add a post script tonight. Goodby with love to all
I am as ever
your darling boy,

Repository Details

Part of the Virginia Military Institute Archives Repository

VMI Archives
Preston Library
Lexington VA 24450