Letter from Sarah Eleanor Wood [R255], begun 9/__/1861, to her sister Demarius A. Reynolds [see R265], probably in Amherst County VA. Held by [S083].

“My dear Mais,

“I have received your last letter & glad to hear you are all well. Tho I cant write such good news from home, William has returned from his trip but is now in his bed very sick with Typhoid fever. Mr Wood was up to see him this morning, he seemed a little better tho out of his head all night. Jennie nurses very well & she is his chief nurse. Corbin got home last Monday sick tho not confined to his bed yet. Ansalum Haden has been sick with Typhoid fever & mumps for some time 3 doctors waiting on him but this evening he is dying. Mary has been sent for since dinner to see him die. Davis has been sent for to day to see Jimmie Circle who is very sick. Adam Shurman [?] has also returned home from the Army sick, took cold with the measels & his recovery is doubtful. Samuel Wood went out to Lewisburg to see if he could get his team. He got 2 of his horses but could get no more. Mr Wood cant get neither Waggon nor horses, & leaves us without horses to either wride or work, & dont know where to get any. Mr Carper got back two of his horses. & what makes the matter worse they wont put a wright value on the teams they keep, they valued our team at three hundred & forty dollars Waggon & all, & some that were more valuable they valued less, they are hard cases. Cousin Joe Moore & his wife took supper with me yesterday eve they told me how the Souldiers & waggoners treated the people in their neighborhood, ransack their houses take all the yarn, wool carpets, kill their stock & destroy every thing, burn & pull down the fences etc. Cousin Joe is entirely driven out from home & dont know when he can get back, have taken a great many things from them. Davis has gone to the Depot to day to see if he can get any thing for his Team. I expect he will bring news of another fight if the Cars are not two late coming in. Pa sent for Jimmie this evening to go to the York’s for him on business, The old Man does all he can, he stayes with the hands presing [?] Tobacco but he looks broken down when he comes in the house, he needs some spirits to stimulate him but cant get any about here. I send him some whenever I can get it, if you have any opportunity of sending him some spirits do try and do it. Bettie went up to see Will & Corbin This morning when she comes I will hear how they are. Bettie & Nettie have just come, they say William is a little better, tho out of his head all the time, he thinks he is at Larel [?] Mountain yet, he told Bettie to set on the bed by him, he asked her if his toung was not very dry, she said yes, he said he was going to Boil it to [night? right?] like the Devil, he talks all sort of foolishness night and day.

“Dear Maiz I commenced this letter several days ago, but the river was so high it could not be crossed. Last Friday evening we had the most awful storm that the oldest men about here ever saw, I was afraid it would blow our house down, it blew off the top of that long barn old Brian built down to the logs tore it all to pieces, at Pa’s it blew up every persimmon tree & locust tree by the roots. Mr Wood had gone to the Depot it rained so that he could not get back, the first day & the next day it rained all day again so that he did not leave the depot till 6 oclock, by that time the river was in the road by the Forge so that he could scarcely pass, & trees had fallen through the Barrens that it was almost impassable, he did not know of the storm till he butted up against a large tree fallen across the road. L[-??-] so dark he had to get off his horse and feel for the road. I became so uneasy during the storm that I sent Jim to look for him Davis & the high water and trees fallen with the darkness put a stop to his journey, & he came back with the news that he could not find him, all that kept me up was a faith in that God who can calm the storm and raging of the Sea.

“Poor Ansalem Haden is burried today, at his Pa’s, with all the Honours of War men were sent for at the Depot, Corbin was not able to go, he is quite unwell but not confined entirely to his bed, he looks very badly & sais he has been getting weaker every day William is very low, he is a little better today, he is not out of his head quite as much as he was a few days ago. Have to sit up all night with him. I went to see him yesterday he dont talk very much, looks very vacant out of his eyes Poor Will you never saw him in such a fit [?] on yesterday we thought his case very doubtful, but I hope he will mend now, as his tounge [?] is improving Jimmie Circle has sent for Mr Wood today to talk with him on the Subject of Religion he has been getting worse since I commenced this letter and now he is not expected to live. Nearly every man that went out to Gauly River with their waggons are sick. I went up to see Corbin yesterday with Mr Wood the children all go to see him, he sais he is very lonesome, Mary will return after her brother is burried she wanted to go home yesterday but could not cross the river. George has just steped in, and sais Aunt Mary is going on home. Ansalum was Mrs Hadens favourit

“The high water done us damage as well as the wind. The River run over the whole Iland & our corn was all under water but I hope we will save enough to bread us tho a great deal will be lost. Poags Mill is entirely gone Williams mill not injured that I know of. I have never seen such distressing times in my life. The war going on, high water storms, and fear of loosing my brothers, is bad but still I feel that I ought not to complain, Gods will is all right, and things can yet be worse. Pa & Mother keep up pretty well Jennie complains a good deal, she sits up with William every night & waits on him through the day. I expect she will take a spell herself, after the excitement is over. Miss Mary is still alive. Aunt Sallie is in bed sick she had had a dreadful cold Mother looks well, but Pa seems to be troubled & fatigued but [quieter??] than you would expect. The [s]carlet Fever is at Major Paxtons & Mr Rocks, but they are all getting well Mr Rocks I havent heard from the Majors lately
“Dr Malkut [?] goes to see William every day, a horse will be sent to the River for him at 8[?] oclock this evening, as the River cant be forded. I have not told you any thing about my health, which I am glad to tell you is better than it has been for several years. I am very nervous cant bear nois at all. The children anoy me dreadfully, & I scold at them till I am ashamed of it I can eat any thing and a big b[??] two dont suffer with neurlgy but very little. I can expose myself double to what I did before I went to the healing springs. That water is my cure all, I shall always have faith in the Healing springs.

“Oct 4th Poor Jimmie Circle died last night and will be buried tomorrow at the Locust Bottom grave yard. The family are greatly distressed, his wife waited on him with untireing Affection. I heard that Jimmie died happy, clapping his hands. O I scarcely ever felt so awful as I did this morning when I heard of the poor fellers death his parents were so devoted to him, would not let him go to War for fear he would get killed, but he got his sickness when he went to Gauly with his Waggon. & O Mais we have come near looseing our dear Brother Will, but I am glad to tell you he is on the mend now and we hope with propper attention, and the kindness of our maker he will recover. Corbin has been able to wride down to see William once this week tho he lookes worse than you ever saw him. The two Brothers cried when they met Bettie has gone up to Pa’s this Evening she is devoted to her Uncle Will he fondles on her so much when he is well. Write, Ever yours Ellen

“If William gets worse I will write immediately, dont be uneasy Lelia is the fattest little thing you ever saw & groes so fast. I wish you could see her”