Diamond Hope, Part 20



Chapter Twenty
A Letter from Laurel
November, 1863

Dear Caleb,
I hope this letter finds you well. We are all fine, although Caleb had a cold last week. He is over that now, and I am grateful for there. There is pneumonia going around, and several older people have died of it.
I miss you so much I can hardly stand it. I would give anything to hold you and see your face and know that you are going to be home with me forever. I know Jesus said that marriage in heaven was different from marriage on earth, but God’s merch surely will let us be together for eternity. I believe this earnestly, but for now I would settle for having you here with me on earth.
I have something new to report. Hiram and Clinton have started trapping animals—beaver, raccoon and otters. I showed them how to skin and tan the pelts, and then they take them to the store in town which sells them for the boys. The money they earn helps us out a lot.
And then there’s Clinton. I found out he is a champion whittler, and he makes the nicest figures with it—deer, fox, horse—he can do them all. I am starting to wonder if he might have a career in art. He certainly has the eye for it. He sells his carvings at the store as well, but I told him to keep the money for his education. If he keeps it up, he’ll have a considerable sum. I think it’s wonderful that he can do that.
And what about you? I know you can’t tell me exactly where you are, but I know that Lee’s army is along the Rappahannock, so you must be somewhere close to there. I pray that you are safe, although I know that you are or soon will be in winter camp, when there is less activity on the part of the armies. Please be careful so that you can return to me.
We have had some snow, and I take it upon myself to read when we are snowed in. I read the Bible, of course, and some of my school text books, but most recently I have been reading Uncle Tom’s Cabin. You would get a great deal out of it, so I will save it for you to read when you return.
Writing those words makes me sad because you are not here. I will busy myself to try not to think so much about you, but you are always in a corner of my mind. I remember all we have been through, and I thank God that we are still here, and I thank God that you belong to me.
Do not forget me. I can never withdraw you from my mind.
I am your loving wife,

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