Greenville, Alabama – October 7, 1862

Greenville Ala Oct.7,62

My dear wife I dont know whether it is exactly your time for a letter or not, but I do know that I have not received one from you in ten days, + I am tired reading, + anxious to hear from you, + when I am in this fix, the best way I can amuse myself is by writing to you + thinking about you + the children.  I have no particular news that would interest you, but write as much to pass the time as any thing else hoping the perusal may interest you as much.  If the war lasts we will get to be lovers again. If Ma could see some of our letters I reckon she would laugh at us.  She I know would at some of yours, for I can but smile myself at some of them, but it is a very satisfactory sort of smile, very flattering to have as sensible a woman as I know you to be taking on so extensively about a body.  It would tickle the vanity of almost any body.  If you arent joking.  Well I reckon you laugh some too, so we are about even.  I expect I say some very Silly things, for I know I often think them, + I hardly ever read over a letter + write just as I think at the time, a very bad habit by the way, + one I advise you not to fall into. A letter should always be carefully reread + the mistakes all corrected, for you never know who may see one of your letters. 

A letter should always be carefully reread + the mistakes all corrected, for you never know who may see one of your letters.

I think of you now as I did at first, long ago.  + often curse my own lack of sense + patience to bring you up in the way I would you to go.1  This separation has been an advantage to me.  I have had time to look back + reflect on my past life.  I am now convinced that it was owing to my own folly that we were ever any thing else but the affectionate lovers we started.  When we meet we can start out as at first, at least I think now I will think so if we are separated much longer.  If there is “any thing I do want right bad” it is to see you + the children, to go back to boyhood again. if the Fairies were to give me one wish, what do you reckon it would be?  I am afraid that wish would be you instead of stoping this cussed war.  How would it be with you?  Answer me honestly.  You used to complain that I never wrote you a love letter when a girl.  You can now say I wrote you several after being married to you nearly twelve years?  No, exactly twelve years + four days.  Oct 3d 1850.  How many + what great changes since that, [?], eventful night!  Are you as great a hand as ever to keep count of aniversaries?  By the way I dreamed about you + little Fanny last Friday night.  I have tried several tries to recall the dream or I could tell it to you but there are only fragments that I can remember.  I dream so seldom + pay so little attention to them when I am that I hardly ever think of one again.  I dont know that I would have thought to tell you of this one if it had not come on that particular night.  How little either of us thought of little Fan that night.  Eh?  sometimes I wish with you that we could live over our married life again.  with our experience I think we could make a different affair of it.  Strange unfortunate creatures we are, not to learn until too late, that the present is all of time that is ours + our great duty to improve that to the best advantage. Is it in our stars or ourselves that it is so generally so with the human family? 

I saw a little child at Church last Sunday that reminded me of our little I had almost said lost Charlie, but I take that back, lost he is to us certainly in this life, but doubly saved to himself.  Saved first in heaven, Second saved all the pain + trouble of this life.  That is, according to my notions.  I dont know what made me think the child was like him, for I am sure I dont remember his features well enough to recognize him if I were to see him.  I am ashamed to say it, but I have not thought of him before for months if not years, with my notions about his fate.  he should be a sort of beacon light for me to steer by in this miserable dark sea of life, our dear one who had reached the happy shore + was waiting to welcome mother.  Do you ever think of him in this way?  I know your mothers heart will never forget his dear features.  there you have the advantage of me.  All men are so.

[Continued on top of page]  I am afraid you cant read this letter  I will do better when I get some good paper + a good pen again.

 

The Letter:

Envelope text:

Mrs. Fanny Morgan
Mansfield
De Soto Parrish  La

Care of
“La Relief Committe”
Mobile, Ala

 

Listen to Alex’s letter

 

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