Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

Post image for Woolsey Family during the War.

Woolsey Family during the War.

March 9, 2014

Woolsey family letters during the War for the Union

Jane Eliza Newton Woolsey to her daughters, Jane and Georgy.

8 Brevoort Place, March 9, 1864.

My dear Girls: We are all sitting together at the round table, Abby looking over the old letters from Point Lookout, and reading an incident occasionally aloud; Carry composing an address on her Bloomingdale orphans for their May anniversary. It is too amusing to have Caroline Murray and all those old lady-managers deferring to our Carry on all subjects connected with the asylum. . . . Mary is very much engaged in her arrangements for the floral department at the Fair, and very much interested in it. All the ladies are agog for novelties. They will be charmed with an occasional communication from the Hospital at Fairfax! We are to have a daily paper too, which is to beat the “Drum Beat”—” The Fair Champion.” Do send in poetry and prose and as many incidents as you can; get your doctor and the soldiers to send me an article for it, or letters for the Post Office. Send whatever you have to me, that I may have the pleasure of handing it to the committee on literature! Abby says, “Georgy, may I write out the German soldier-boy’s dream, or any other extract from your old letters that is not too stale ?” I am sure you will say yes. Abby is getting quite warmed up about the Fair; it is difficult not to feel so when everybody else is full of excitement about it. She is making a beautiful silk flag, a dozen or two of the new style of tidy-covers of muslin or embroidery edged with lace, beside lots of other little matters. Mary’s idea of having garden hats of white straw, with broad ribbons, and their ends painted in flowers, is a pretty one, to be hung in her arbor of flowers. She is also painting a lot of little wooden articles. Every thing of hers is to be of the garden style. We find a use now for all our old flower baskets, rustic stands, etc., and a huge pile of them now stands ready to be carried to the flower department. My chair, the cover for which I was obliged to give up working, is under way, also three silk comfortables, all spandy new, none of your old gowns, lined with silk and beautifully quilted in scrolls and medallions by a Fish-kill woman, and trimmed with ribbon quillings; also one dozen ladies’ dressing-sacks of various styles; also, one India satin sofa cushion, one embroidered worsted do., four elegant toilette cushions, one doll’s complete street dress, (even to an embroidered pocket-handkerchief), one doll’s stuffed chair, and other articles “too tedious to mention,” are all under way. I dare say we shall all do our full part, both in making and purchasing.

Mrs. Chauncey has already sold her baby-house, Sarah Coit tells me, for five hundred dollars! Kate Hunt has received her Parisian purchases for the Fair, for which she expects to realize a very large amount; says she is furnishing things to the amount of a thousand dollars! Eliza is coming down to-morrow. . . .

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