Diamond Hope, Part 17



Chapter Seventeen
A Letter from Laurel
September, 1863

My dearest Caleb,
I am writing this in hopes that it will reach you soon. You said my last letter took a month to arrive. Ah, well, I know the deliveries can be sporadic due to what you are about, so I try to be patient. Write me back soon that I may know how you are doing.
I miss you so much, my darling, and think of you often. While we are making do here, our lives will never be complete unless you are here with us. Little Caleb asks about you often, and I tell him we must pray for you and that you will be home in a while. We have this talk every day. I don’t know if he understands what is happening or if his childish mind can’t retain what we talked about. He is a dear boy, and I love him so much. I pray for this horrible war to end soon so I will not have to tell Caleb that you will be home soon, but so that you will be here with us and we can live our lives happily. Too many lives have been lost in this horrible war, and there is too much sadness in too many homes, widows and orphans and friends and companions all deprived of a life that would have made such a difference.
I am pleased to tell you that our garden has come in, and there will be plenty of fruits and vegetables for me to dry so we can enjoy them this winter. Clinton and Hiram are big helps—I could not have done it without them, or it would have been much more difficult. Hiram has turned into quite a hunter, and he is teaching Clinton how to hunt as well. We don’t have a gun for Clinton yet, but I thought if I bought some chickens, I could sell the eggs and use the money to buy Clinton a rifle. He says he has no experience with one. You don’t think he is too young, do you? Please let me know your opinion in this matter. I took your old rifle and had the Mr. Dailey shorten the barrel so that Hiram could carry the it more easily. He has already shot two deer, and we butchered them and built a little smoker so we could have smoked venison. It tastes good, and I think of you having to eat that awful dried pork all the time, although I understand some soldiers steal chickens or help themselves to apples. I know you would not do such a thing, for you are an honest man. That is one of the many things I love about you.
We don’t have much company out here, so our weekly trips to town for supplies are welcome. Everyone asks about you, and I tell them what I know, which is not much. I am sure they wonder who Hiram is and where he came from, but when they ask, I tell them he is a nephew who could not abide the big city. That is more or less true, so I do not feel bad telling them that.
Little Caleb has grown so much I wonder if you will recognize him when you see him. I long for that day and pray for your safety.
I am, as always, your devoted and loving wife who wants above all to have you here beside me,

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