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letter, McIlvaine, daughter, family
McIlvaine, Charles Pettit, "Letter to Maria (Mamy) Du Bois (daughter)" (1864). Charles Pettit McIlvaine Letters. 128.
Strasburgh, Aug. 9. 1864
My precious Mamy,
All the way from here to [Dubuque?]! What a distance. But thought + love easily cross it, I am here alone. Yesterday we left [Mayence] + as I wanted [Emmy] + Charley to see some places such as Frankfurt + Heidelberg, which I had been to three times, so preferred to take another route + let them + the [?] go in [?] me. I wanted to stop at Worms where Luther [?] Charles W + the Diet. I had the satisfaction of knowing that it was the city, but the place in which the Diet was held is not. The Cathedral is very imposing externally, but has been at some time, probably in the reign of the French Revolution, exceedingly deserted inwardly + is now being repaired + admired. OUr travels generally have been as follows - Landed at Queensto[w]n, Ireland, visited the Lukes of Killarny, thence to Dublin + Belfast, crossed to Glasgow, visited [?] + the Lukes of [L] + [K] &c, thence to Edinbourgh, by ^ ? ^ ? York. [Ripor] visit the v[?] of Fountain Abbey - (very fine) thence by Rugby to Kennilworth + Warwick Castle to London. We stayed about a week in Lond. + its neighborhood. Spent three days at the Bp. of Winchesters (Farmhouse Castle) which Emmy + Charley much enjoyed. A week ago today we sailed from Lond. to Antwerp, stayed there 24 hours, then took a two days [?] by rail through Holland just to see the general aspect of the country + get a bird’s eye view of Rotterdam, the Hague & Amsterdam. Last Saturday we took the steamer at Cologne + made the Rhine or did it. We stopped for Sunday as I have so often wanted to do at one of those very picturesque villages which with their ruined castles + vine-clad hills make that part of the view so remarkable. It was [??] in the most striking past of the heightened of the Rhine. Above it is the largest + most famous of the castillated views, the Rhine feels, + on the other side of the view, above the ?, + in full view from our room the farmers ruined castle, the Cat. + the Mouse. In two days more we expect to be among the sun clad mountains of the Swiss Alps. We are four in party, for a niece of my friend Mr. Cator, at whose hospitable & beautiful place near Lond. your brother + sisters have enjoyed themselves, is with us. Miss McFadgen, well known to Nan + Anne + an agreeable companion to Emmy. Dear Emmy what a good traveller she is. Nothing can be better, never out of spirits, or in[?], enjoying her travels exceedingly - full of knowledge + the [?] of reading - in a word all good sense a dear precious darling. She is very well + would surprise those at home with how much fatigue she can bear. Charley has not been well. As soon as we left the ship, his strength [?] failed. HE could walk very little, grew very thin, + depressed feeling as if he were a burden to us + himself. I got quite uneasy about him + consulted a physician in Lond, who thought he would be all right in the mountain air to which we are going. He has been much better since we left Engld. The climate of Engld did not seem to agree with him.The atmosphere, naturally, agreed with more of us, for while my friends are just the same to me as ever, I felt while there, surrounded in [?] such a state of mind towards our country + causes, such aversion + pr[?] + ? (not indeed among all or perhaps the greater number of the people, but the far greater number of the upper classes) that I can no more feel in Engld or towards it as in former visits. IT is England no more to me, as it used to seem, + yet personally I am treated & regarded as ever before. Dear Emmy is very much at her ease in the best circles there. She has been too much [c?] to write you as yet, scarcely able to get a letter written once a week to her husband. We find it very difficult to get accounts of affairs at home. In Lond. we got at Mr. Adams the N.Y. paper to the 19th July, which brought us to the ? of the ? of Md. Since then we have seen no Am. papers + nothing more reliable than the Lond-Times which is worse than nothing. From what we have seen however, we know that Sherman has [?] defected the Army opposed to him in a great battle, the loss on the side of the battle stated at 5000, + on his side 2000. We suppose he has taken Atlanta, + has cut all the connections of the Rebel army. We have nothing about Grant but that he is digging. I can not but fear that Lee will [work] a desperate effort to take Balt + Wash. having seen how weak the forces [there] + will risk the capture of Richmond by Grant for the sake of getting Wash. but if he does + we get Richmond he is gone, for he could not get back. I feel anxious to hear of my brother’s son Frank, who has been in all Shermans’ battles since he began his present campaign + has been slightly wounded. He is on the staff of Gen. [Wood] who commands a division in [Scorfields] Corps. In one battle all the staff were killed or wounded. His brother Henry begged Gen. Wallace during the [?] of Md. to let him go to his Regt. of which he commands a battallion [sic] of 1000 men. (the 500 N.Y. [?] Artillery) but Wallace had more important work for him as Ap. Adg. Gen. & kept him at Balt. Henry’s talents knowledge + high character make him very highly [extended] wherever he is. They call him Bishop, partly because of his name + partly on account of his religious character. Poor Sarah (Frank’s wife) is reduced about to a skeleton by her anxiety for him.
I often feel as if I had no right to be here or to enjoy any thing abroad while our country is in such a war. As it is, I cannot enjoy much. The great interest at home overshadows all [?] here. I used to enjoy seeing such a field as that of Waterloo, but in the shadow of such fields as that of Gettysburgh & Antietam &c., I have no wish to see any European battleground.
The consecration in Paris is to take place Sept. 12 + we shall delay going thither till just before that date.
I suppose your darling Emmy is at school in the East. You must give my best love to [?] + all the children. I will keep this [?] till Emmy + Charley join next year. The Lord bless you my sweet, most precious Mamy, my darling Mamy -
Your dearest Father-
Nothing of importance to add except Emmy’s + Charley’s love. They got here last night much pleased with their excursion.