Bettie Anthony McDermed to Almira Anthony, December 31, 1860, Anthony Family Papers, 1785–1952, Acc. 35647, 35648, Library of Virginia.
Callie Anthony says: This letter is from Aunt Bettie (Bettie Banks Anthony McDermed, one of Pa's sisters), to Aunt Mira (Almira Arthur Anthony, the wife of Pa's brother Abner). It describes the funeral of my cousin Penn. He was not sick for long, and we were all surprised by his death.
We often pass letters around because it is hard to find the time for everyone to write to each other. By sharing our letters we can all keep up on the news. Aunt Mira also confided that she was worried about what will happen to Virginia. What if it secedes from the Union like South Carolina did just eleven days before this letter? She is afraid "the whole of our state will be conquered before the middle of this year," but I'm sure she was just in a low place, being so sad over Penn's death.