Letter from Anna Wharton Seward to Mary Wharton, May, 1861

  • Posted on: 30 June 2021
  • By: admin
Letter from Anna Wharton Seward to Mary Wharton, May, 1861



student editor


student editor


student editor


Distributor:Seward Family Digital Archive

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections


In the context of this project, private URIs with the prefix "psn" point to person elements in the project's persons.xml authority file. In the context of this project, private URIs with the prefix "pla" point to place elements in the project's places.xml authority file. In the context of this project, private URIs with the prefix "psn" point to person elements in the project's staff.xml authority file. In the context of this project, private URIs with the prefix "psn" point to person elements in the project's bibl.xml authority file. verical-align: super; font-size: 12px; text-decoration: underline; text-decoration: line-through; color: red;

Letter from Anna Wharton Seward to Mary Wharton, May, 1861

action: sent

sender: Anna Seward
Birth: 1834-03-29  Death: 1919-05-02

location: Washington D.C., US



Birth:   Death: 

location: Auburn, NY

transcription: sgw 

revision: jxw 2021-03-06


Page 1

Tuesday Evening
My dear Sister
A special
messenger going North from
Genl Scott
Birth: 1786-06-13 Death: 1866-05-29
& the State
Dept. took a letter for me
on Sunday Evening. I hope
Mother will receive it.
We were very glad to
receive New York papers of
Saturday this afternoon.
The excitement in New York
must be unparalleled, &
I suppose was increased
on Monday by no th commu-
nication – We have news
this evening from Spys that
that the 7th regt & some

[top Margin]
Hand Shiftx

Frances Seward

Birth: 1805-09-24 Death: 1865-06-21
Anna, to her
sister Mary
Page 2

Penn a troops in all 2500
are marching from Anna-
to the junction
whence they come by rail
seventeen miles. The govern-
ment took possession of
that road today & are
sending men to meet
them.  We have inform-
ation also that a fleet
of eight-vessels having
troops left N. Y on Monday
morning & may be ex-
pected here Wednesday
night or Thursday.
They will have no dif-
ficulty coming up the Poto-
mac. A man of War came
up yesterday with 240 U.S. men
from Norfolk

A scout, very reliable,
Page 3

who is kept by Genl Scott
on the Patom Virginia bank
reports there is no pre-
paration for any battery
at Arlington hill and at
the place below Mount Vernon
where they reported they
had a battery to arrest-
vessels coming up the
river solitude reigns
there is not a man and
no appearance of one having
been there – The grass is
undisturbed. We hear
that the Virginians are
terrified for fear of an
invasion from Washington.
Every one in town is for
The Union – The city is gay
with flags – from every
public building, all hotels,
warehouses – & across the
streets – I wish I had one
of Uncle Robinsons
Page 4

I would like to show my
colors. However I am making
a Union neck tie – red,
white & blue. Why don’t you
wear one, they are very
fashionable in New York &
Phila . I should like to
know what opinions Uncle
Robinson holds just now.
We have magnificent - days
& nights - just - now – very
warm. We drive out
every evening about 5 1/2 to
see the evening drill, & to
along the river bank to see
the Flying artillery & dragoons
on guard at the bridges.
We go to bed from 11 to 12
& sleep sound all night.
Sometimes we are awakened
by violent ringing of the
door-bell – The return of
scouts, but as they never
bring bad news – we receive
their messages & go to sleep
Page 5

again. I have my poplin
dress. Fred
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
likes it very
much. I wore it Sunday
& today. It has buttons
from the throat down
the skirt. On the front
gored seams which run
to the shoulders there is a
quilling of ribbon the same
color. The sleeves are flowing.
There is a small cape
coming to the waist, pointed
before & behind & trimmed
with the quilling. This can
be worn or not.
My silk dress has not come
home yet.
I know nothing about Mr
Birth: 1797-11-15 Death: 1882-11-22
plans. He has talk-
of going to Europe every
June & October since he
returned & it is not strange
he should talk about it
now. I think he might
much better stay at home

[left Margin] at Baltimore – & all the serving women
in town are engaged making tents for
the troops who are expected.
I must send the letter. Love to all
Page 6

it is no time for a true
American to leave his
country. Many newly ap-
pointed foreign ministers
have asked leave to
remain & go in military
service, but Mr Seward
Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10

will not allow them &
is hurrying them off to
Europe. Cassius M. Clay
Birth: 1810-10-10 Death: 1903-07-23

our new Minister to
Russia came on the receive
his diplomatic instructions
& ^not^ finding them ready
is amusing himself by
raising organizing a company com-
posed of the strangers
at Willards . He started
with 100 men, but has
now 200. They assist the
police in patroling the
– city at night.
Page 7

The Secretary of War
Birth: 1799-03-08 Death: 1889-06-26
to Mr Clay the other day-
“Whoever heard of a
foreign minister organ-
izing & commanding a
volunteer company!”
Mr Clay replied “Let us
make a little history
I wish there were more
men like him in our
I do not know who sent
the y Dutch Kitchen.
Wednesday morning
Mr Seward says he will
send this letter with his
private despatches.
He went out to Genl
Scotts & The Sec’y of War
this morning at 8 1/2 o’C[ lock ]



to hear the news.
Page 8

Found they were both in
bed asleep.
I was disturbed in the
night only by a mosquito
which kept singing round
my head & bit the four
times. Mr Seward says
things are looking better
every hour – The Union
men grow stronger in
Va & Md . The banks are
suspending & provisions
getting higher, so an
army could not possibly
live in either state.
Baltimore is already suffer-
ing from suspension of trade
for a week past – while
Washington was never so
flourishing. I never saw so
much shipping as now – it
is bringing provisions up the
river, for the troops – all the
clothing stor[ e ]


s are busy making
shirts for the mass troops
who lost their luggage