Joanna Curtiss, Warren, Conn., April 9, 1864


Joanna Curtiss, Warren, Conn., April 9, 1864


Civil War
Camp life


Joanna Curtiss writes to her son Homer, sharing news from home, wondering why he has not visited, and worrying that his promotion may expose him more to temptation and vice.




Sat’ April 9 th “64

Dear Homer
How do you do this after-
noon! Are you quite at leasure to chat
with me awhile, as I am alone, (the
girls having gone to Frank’s), & wish to
talk to some body, I have just returned from
Aunt Laura’s where I have spent the fore-noon -
Poor Aunt Luna! She is a pitiable object -
I could not imagine, if I had not seen
it with my own eyes, That any person could
be so bloated as she is - she is very thin in
flesh - but her body & lower limbs are enor-
mous , I don’t know how Aunt Laura can
take care of her, - so heavy & helpless - she
tries to help herself some, & can do so by taking
hold of your hand, or arm, or some where, but
I could not stand for her to pull by me, she
would pull me down before she would
get herself half way out of her chair - how
I pity her! Oh may I never be such a burden

[Page 2]
to my friends, or fellow creatures - Do you
quite give it up that you shall come home?
it will be so much pleasanter in May than
it was when Homer came - and then we
hope to get moved and settled down, up
in the Hines house by that time, and will
try our prettiest to make it pleasant for our-
selves, and such of our friends a will call
upon us - say you come in May - why can
not you come as well as John? I think there
are as many here, that are anxious to see
you as him - what does Homer say of his
visit? did he enjoy it? he could not but en-
joy his return to New York, with such com-
pany - O we do so want to have you come
& besides, why should you be the only one
not to come home, have not your Mother
and sisters as strong a claim, as other Mothers
& sisters? Though we did not go into hys-
terics when you went away - & have not
kept up a great whining ever since - but
have tried to take it patiently, and look at

[Page 3]
it hopefully, have we no feeling? no
desire to see you? no anxiety about you?
I believe some people think that it was
nothing for us to give up our home and you
nothing at all - but they would not think
of letting one of their sons, or brothers, or
husband go - O no! that is a very differ-
ent thing - we have such a faculty of appear-
ing cheerful, but they cannot - it is so hard
for them - O well, we are all selfish - but I hope
not so selfish - how does your new Capt. perform
& support his new honors? Did Miss Alice tire of
waiting? or what was the matter that she
left before that event was consummated?
do you think as highly of Capt. as of Lieut
Berry? tell us all about it - why does not H
Sackett get promoted? is he not popular? I wish
you might get through and all come home
& I should care little for the promotion -
I shall value it much more to have you
come home a good man, & a true pa-
triot than an Officer high in rank -

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To have you come, uncontaminated with
the vices of the camp, than bearing
many military honors – O Homer, it is
my one daily prayer, that you may
do nothing to bring reproach upon the
saviour whom you have professed to
love, knowing that he cannot be deceived
and that he will not be mocked - he knows
our hearts, and if we look to him believing
and trusting him, he will be to us an ever
present help, always near, always ready,
there will be no such uncertainty in
his promises, no such delays, as we often
witness in our intercourse with our fellow
men - Homer Sackett said he felt out of place
in church, & Sabbath school, O I hope you may
not get to feel that you do not wish to attend
both - I know you used not to love a prayer
meeting, but to me they are precious, God
seems very near, listening, to the petitions
of his children, waiting to bestow upon them
whatever they ask for, that will be for their
good - a kind and loving Father, that wishes only
our best good, & has done so much, & is still doing
for our happiness - O let us consecrate ourselves
all that we are, all that we can be, to him, and
ask him for Jesus sake to accept of us –
do as you have done the last week write
Your Mother

Original Format





“Joanna Curtiss, Warren, Conn., April 9, 1864,” Linda Lear Center Digital Collections and Exhibitions, accessed January 27, 2020,

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