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  • "You are subject to all these hardships to protect us"
  • "You are subject to all these hardships to protect us"
  • "You are subject to all these hardships to protect us"
Pattie B. Cowles wrote about Petersburg affairs to her friend George S. Bernard on June 28, 1861, and sympathized with the soldiers who were "subject to all these hardships to protect us."
Related documents:
  • "The ladies of Petersburg"
  • "The ladies home guard"
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"You are subject to all these hardships to protect us"

Pattie B. Cowles to George S. Bernard, June 28, 1861, George S. Bernard Papers, Acc. 31760, Library of Virginia.

During the first weeks after Virginia men had marched off to war, eighteen-year-old Pattie B. Cowles, of Petersburg, corresponded with George S. Bernard, a twenty-three-year-old attorney who during the first months of the Civil War was stationed in Norfolk with a company of Petersburg Rifles. She wrote to him on June 28, 1861, that her brother "is now in Richmond, to see some of the 'rulers in the land,' to get commissions for a regiment he wishes to bring to Virginia or to some other place of which 'Old Abe' is trying to get possession." She also expressed her sympathy with the soldiers because "You are subject to all these hardships to protect us."

Pattie B. Cowles to George S. Bernard, June 28, 1861, George S. Bernard Papers, Acc. 31760, Library of Virginia.

Petersburg June 28th:
Mr Bernard.
I scarcely know what to write you this morning, not having been out enough in the last week to learn the City news, Not being able to give you any new ideas of my own feeling so stupid. But I can tell you of Bro. Willie's return from Texas. And even that you have heard before I guess. He wishes very much to pay a visit to his friends from Petersburg at Norfolk, but fears he will not be able. He is now in Richmond, to see some of the "rulers in the land," to get commissions for a regiment he wishes to bring to Virginia or to some other place of which "Old Abe" is trying to get possession. Of course he will be very busy while in Virginia which may be only two weeks. Bro. Henry will be with you all next week I guess. Bro. James will be for going down soon as he wishes to be with Bro. H. Prof. Sheppard of Randolph Macon also wishes to join a Petersburg company and will probably select the Riflemen. Have you room for them all there. I shall certainly have to pay a visit to Norfolk when all of those get there. Meanwhile I wish very much you would come up to Petersburg. I have numberless questions to ask you. Every one who comes up gives me some exagerated account of some of my friends, and you would tell me correctly whether good, bad, or indifferent. I cannot say that Petersburg is very agreeable at present, but it will be a little change to be so much admired, flattered and smiled upon as you will be by the ladies whom you know adore brass buttons. You will be able to feel in the slight degree what it is to be distinguished and will endeavour to do some thing brilliant when the fight comes off. I believe several of your friends have gone to Norfolk to join our regiment in the last week. It must be very pleasant to have ones friends and brothers near in such times of danger. What has become of your friend the Doctor I cannot tell you. He may have changed his style of dress, and joined a ladies company. But that is scarcely so, as the ladies would carry firearms and that is what the Dr seems most afraid of. Though your letters are always acceptable, I can readily excuse your delay in answering my last, know what a "bore" it is to write, distracted as you are. My writing to you is, in a measure, from a sense of duty. Know that any thing from a friend & Petersburg affords you great pleasure. And I do think it is our duty to administer in every way to your pleasure, as you are subject to all these hardships to protect us. Regards to all my friends. Misses Bransford are at their home. I sent your messages in my last letter. I hope you will see Miss May Cooke and Miss Ella on every chance, as they are my friends as well as Mattie's
Truly P B. COWLES