Civil War Xmas Letters
|  [water damaged]
Dec 25th 1863
I hope you have spent a merry happy Christmas and that you are quietly enjoying yourself tonight, thinking and dreaming of your wife and dear little babe, that I am sure you love so well. I have been trying to write you all day, but, the [?] were all gone but Ma myself and the children, and we had just [ canıt read line] manage, when I could get time to write, I was so tired that I had to rest several times. Kate and the girls have gone to meeting tonight and all is still and quiet, except Ellie, who is trying to comb my hair while I am writing and all the time talking to me about little Myrtilla. Oh Ty how I wish you could see our darling baby. I know you would love her so much, she is dearer to me every day. I can scarcely look at her with out shedding tears of joy and gratitude.
I think she is going to be such a lovely child, she has such a mild sweet countenance, and is decidly a bright little creature as I ever saw, is already beginning to notice, and laugh a little when I play with her, and then she is so good, has never taken a hard or long cry yet, and let me add that she is a real little heavy, however, and taste might differ, but I know she is pretty, some say she looks like me, others think she resembles your side I can see a likeness of us both! I was quite uneasy about her for a while, she seemed so restless and nervous, some nights scarcely sleeping at all but now she is getting over it nicely, only that she will get up every morning at five oclock; they tease me a great deal about making such a carefull old fashioned Mother, but you know how little I care, now that I have a sweet little baby. I donıt get so lonesome now , as I used to I can take her in my bosom and sleep so sweetly. Perhaps I aught to tell you (lest you might, have some fears about the mother), that I do not let my baby go bared arm in this cold weather, but keep her clothing good and warm every body that sees her, says she is a fine looking girl, but perhaps I have said enough about her for and I now for something else, and what shall it be. Yes now I know Carrie came home last night to spend Christmas, it is the first time she has been at home since she commenced teaching, she likes it pretty well, and seems in fine spirits. Willıs family is well, the children all go to school except Ettie.
One teacher is beginning to let out his [?] [?] a little but is a good teacher other ways. Lieut Ian Heath, has returned from Pittsburgh, and he and Mr Milt Williams are going to teach a writing school in this vicinity. I suppose you remember Williams: he is as droll as ever.
Dear Ty Myrtie is awaking and I must take her up, she has been so good all day, and has slept all after noon and now she wants her supper. I will write more some time perhaps tomorrow
good night dear Ty
Do write me a long letter soon dear husband and now good night, I love you and our babe [?] that [?] others oh she is such a sweet pretty little creature I know you will think so, but it will be so long before you can see her can you wait!
of late so many have told me that the recruits will be kept the three years, oh can it be time that we will not get to see each other for so long a time, I was thinking , the nine months, would be a long long time to wait, I do want to see you dear Ty
Dr. Tom Harveyıs wife died a week or two since
|  [A little faded in places]
Nashville Tenn. Dec. 25th/63
What a joy it would be to know that you and that pretty babe were as well today as I am: And that you were enjoying yourselves as well.
To my individual happiness and compfort there seems today scares any thing wanting save the presence of distant loved ones.
Among the loved are Cornelia and the baby. And dearest one, tell me truly now, is our baby so pretty and promising as that sweet little lock of hair would indicate?
Oh! it is so beautiful brown and silken! So like your own dear Cornelia, that I love to gaze upon it.
And not the [?] fondly from that sweet position it occupies.
I know you will at each opportunity make each interesting [?] of babyıs physical & mental development. I did hope to get some further information from you [?] this, but have had nothing since Kate's letter of the 11th which I answered immediately. Think I will get a letter tomorrow. I had a letter from father who reported well.
Must now tell you all how I have been spending the time foe two days past, that is yesterday and today.
On yesterday I baked 28 pies consisting of the following varieties. Dried apple, mince, cherry, black berry, & apple butter; then made a mess of sweet cakes.
Today we (for I had plenty of help) stuffed and baked two fat hens and a beefıs heart and peeled and boiled a kettles of nice potatoes. Our dinner was sumptuous, though having in appearance and humbly served.
My mess mates heaped congratulations amounting almost to flattery upon me on the success of the cookery.
H. Judkins was in this morning and on eating a piece of mince pie declared it by far the best pie he had ever eaten in the southern confederacy. But did not stop here.
They send their thanks to the folks at mother Edwardıs for the part they contributed to our dinner.
I might state here that my mess mates are all new acquaintance found since I left the Regt.
I think it rather strange that we hear nothing from the boys yet.
But it is getting dark and I guess I will part the conclusion untill morning. Meantime please bear in mind that I love you dearly and cannot hear from you too often or too much.
Please tell me soon what the babeıs name is, and [?] all the particulars. Should we remain here till paid I will send you something.
Good bye dearest one! till morning.
Morning and the mail is just making up so I must write but little. I know you had rather have it soon than wait. I only need to hear that all is well with my friends at a distance to complete my happiness. My camp duties are light and easy & just such as I most delight in. You know how I love a bugle.
It is a little rainy today but I think I can go to the Hospital this afternoon to look after my letters. I shall likely not be able to sell much stationary today as it is to wet to expose it out of doors. But I will try to write two or three letters.
Cornelia; It does seem to me that my letters to you of late are exceedingly blank and wanting in interest. How can I make them better. I love my wife and babe with all my heart but some how I cannot find any words that will tell you more than the plain unv[?]shed truth.
O when I can again clasp you in my breast I will tell you, I will tell you then Cornelia!
But the P. M. is ready to go and I must of necessity close the poor letter. My dear ³Neal Edrds² now be happy and hopeful, give my love to all at home and remember me as Ty.
P. S. You will of course kiss the baby once or twice for me.