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  • "I felt like I would almost die when the summons came for my dear boy."
  • "I felt like I would almost die when the summons came for my dear boy."
Sometime about May 1861, Emily Leftwich Haden wrote to Callie Anthony about her son's enlistment in Virginia's forces.
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My Dear Callie

"I felt like I would almost die when the summons came for my dear boy."

Emily Leftwich Haden to Callie Anthony, n.d. [ca. May 1861], Anthony Family Papers, 1785–1952, Acc. 35647, 35648, Library of Virginia.

Callie Anthony says: My Aunt Emily Haden (she married my Ma's brother, but she's also one of Pa's nieces) wrote me soon after her eldest son Clarence enlisted. She and Cousin Emilia (her daughter) are distraught over Clarence being in harms way. My brother Johnny left school to enlist too. He joined up on April 3 in Campbell County. I'm so glad that Aunt Emily says Johnny was cheerful when they left, but I miss him so already.

My aunt writes that she hopes "the difficulty may yet be settle without the loss of the lives of our dear fellows citizen & that all of those Northern Scamps may go to their own places & let us & our institutions alone." I agree. I hope that none of our boys will ever actually have to fight. Aunt Emily related that one of her friends thinks that Abraham Lincoln and the rest will be run out of Washington within ten days. I hope it is true!

Emily Leftwich Haden to Callie Anthony, n.d. [ca. May 1861], Anthony Family Papers, 1785–1952, Acc. 35647, 35648, Library of Virginia.

My dear Callie
I am sorry that I cannot come over to see you all to-day but I am very much indisposed and am not able to ride about.
I can truly sympathize with yr dear Ma & all of you. I felt like I would almost die when the summons came for my dear boy. It seemed to me that I was parting with him for the last time.
The thought of his going to battle was almost beyond endurance, and Emilia just gave up in despair. But Mr E J Early was here this morn and consoled me somewhat. He saw Mr Page yes-day and he says the troops are just gone to Richmond to guard the city and to be in readiness when they are needed. He does not think there will be an engagement for some time if at al.
He says he thinks in 10 day Old Lincoln & his tribe will have deserted the city of Washington
He is very sanguine of success of our part. The Lord grant that it may be so & that our beloved children & friends may all return again to us in health & safety Johny went away so cheerful. Poor Clarence tried to be as cheerful as he could but I could see that he was very much hurt to see us so much distressed—if they are not brought into danger it will be a good thing for them I hope, Mr Early says they are as happy as they can be. I sincerely hope & pray that the difficulty may yet be settle without the loss of the lives of our dear fellows citizen & that all of those Northern Scamps may go to their own places & let us & our institutions alone.
Tell Cos Sue dont forsaken us—I wish I could see you all & talk Matters over. I hope we will hear better news than we expected, by yr Pa your Aunt Peggy was with us yesday and truly sympathises with yr Ma & all of us Squire wife is grieving almost to death.
Tell yr Ma please send me some peas & yr Aunt P—and Cos Anne & want some if she has them to spare Come over, you & Cos Sue My love to her & yr Ma
yrs affectionately
E L. HADEN

Addressed:
Mis Callie Anthony
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