Letter to Great Grandma Mary Eldred Austin 1865

The following is a letter to Mary Eldred Austin (wife of William Henry Austin) in March of 1865, the month Mary and Henry had twin sons, one of which was my grandfather Charles Mortimer Austin.

Grandmother in this letter must be Hannah Hickok Eldred, the mother of Mary Eldred Austin. Mother is Phebe Maria Eldred Austin, and Phebe Maria is the step daughter of Hannah Hickok Eldred.

The writer of this letter is, Addie (Adelaide Austin Thompson), the daughter of Aruna Augustus Austin (brother of Great Grandpa William Henry) and his wife Phebe Maria Eldred. Phebe Maria Eldred Austin was a half sister to Mary Eldred Austin. Hope that’s not too confusing.

[If anyone has specific information as to when Aruna Augustus Austin or his wife died, please let me know. I have his death listed as 1855. I know from the letters that Phebe Maria is still living in 1865.]

New York
March 18, 1865
Dear Aunt,

I am now going to try and write you a letter. Whether I shall succeed or not remains to be seen. We have all been sick again (as usual), but I believe we are all convalescent now. I have been playing sick for the last few days but am getting about tired of it. I have been very sick of congestion of the lungs. I have not been out of the house for over a month.

I am going out next week if nothing happens. “Cousin George” was here to see about two weeks ago. He looks very well considering the “trying scenes” he has past through lately, don’t you think so?

Well how are you all getting along? Mother talks of coming up this summer, but whether it will end in talk or not I can not say.

We were very glad to hear that Uncle Henry was not drafted. How did it happen? I should have thought it would have past been his luck. There has been no battling? in our district, nor will there be if the men volunteer fast enough to keep the Provost? busy.

Mother finds liberty in employment in worrying about the draft. I don’t know what she will do for something to fret about should it pass on without hurting anybody.

How is Grandmother? Give her my love and tell her I have been quite a good girl lately. I have not laughed for sometime for the simple reason that I could not.

How is Aunt Laura’s baby? [This is the youngest sister to the Austin brothers.] Emogene [She is Mary Austin's daughter.] wrote that it was very sick. I hope she will not lose it. I suppose your boy is quite a young man if he grows at the rate he did when I was there.

I am glad to hear that Billy Mires [Myers?] was so sensible as to not go down with the bridge.

I am getting very tired and will try to bring this to a close before you get quite tired out. Mother sends her best love to you as do all of the rest…

Nettie talks of writing you today. She does not have much time for writing. You must give my love to Uncle Henry, grandmother and all my cousins both great and small.

Write soon and believe me with love, your affectionate niece
Addie Austin

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