Sue Gilmore to Callie Anthony, January 9, 1861, Anthony Family Papers, 1785–1952, Acc. 35647, 35648, Library of Virginia.
Callie Anthony says: My cousin, Sue Gilmore, wrote to me from Arkabutla, in northern Mississippi. She told me about her Christmas visits and the amazing Christmas tree she saw. It must have been lovely. She was lucky to get six presents off of the tree, but I cannot believe that the music teacher really received 150 presents off of the tree!
I know Sue misses living here in Virginia very much. Her family news was welcome, though, as was her information about her suitor (a widower with a daughter), whom she says is too old for her. Sue also mentioned that Mississippi had seceded. She is afraid that "we poor helpless females will have to encounter many dangers and hardships we know nothing of now." I hope we never get to a point where women and children are in danger.