Letter from Fanny to Frank Hall, from Hartford, Ct.
Hartford Dec. 12, 1862
My own dearest one,
Shall I write to you every day? My
heart is with you all the time. God only knows how lovingly, how constantly
and how I pray for you, my husband. Of course, the news by the papers increases
my anxiety as we know of not only of federal movement but of the ensuing
Fredericksburgh, I do not trust as I should, but oh, I pray God to preserve
you & help you from needless exposure, & from all Evil, oh,
that we may be long spared to one another here on earth.
It comes to me the intense interest you will take in all, and your utter forgetfulness of self if you can in any way render another aid, and I am so, so anxious. I know you will understand me when anyone else could not. But oh, I implore of you be cautious. There is such a thing as not taking due care of oneself, which is a dear duty. In your care for & interest in others you must not forget how much rests upon you here and I pray you take every means in your power to guard yourself for me. Do you understand me, my husband? So frequently I know you lose your own self care in doing for others that it distresses me to feel you should not and what may endanger you needlessly. You will not think this selfish because you can understand what I mean. Remember what Gen. Beaufort said to Mr. Eddy about a chaplain that went too far in such matters. Will you think [of] it, will you send & not remember, my dearest one.
I fear my letters do not reach you any better than yours do me. But I am sure of one thing, we each know, humanly speaking, that the other has written. I was afraid that my great desire for a letter might lead you to expose yourself in some way in order to send me one. Please, please not do that. You know I would a thousand times rather wait than to have you expose yourself in any way in order to send a letter. Will you bear this in mind, dearest one? I want to repeat what I wrote in a previous letter, if you are sick do not trust to telegraph a letter, but send someone on for me immediately. My husband remember this, I implore and tell me you will do it. It will be such a comfort. I am sure you will; deary, give me the promise. Do not trust to any thing else. I do not mean you not telegraph and write. Yes, indeed, do that too, but do not fail to do the other. Namely send me some one.
Ma and I, Providence permitting, will remain here awhile longer, so send here, We are both happier to be where we can hear more directly and it is best, I think, to receive W. R.'s letter here, Will you write me directions how to send that down to the bank to your [account]. You see, wifey wants to do just what her husband says.
Dear Franky, how dependent your Fannie Fan is. I did not know it as I do now. It is a very sweet, dear thing after all, hubbie, to be so dependent, for I know my husband loves to have it so, and treasures the feeling instead of not loving to hear it.
It is so strange that there should be such detention about the mails, it seems as if it were a very needless thing. I wonder if you can tell I long to hear everything about you. You cannot be too particular. I am sure you must know this, dearest.
Have you a good servant? Horse? Are you in any way comfortable? Oh, what a pressure of questions come to me. Your time, I know, will be constantly occupied, but if you can find time only for a short letter, write and tell me just how you are, physically & mentally. A few words and wifey knows that your duties must be great and oh, how earnestly I pray that you may be guided and protected in them all.
You had a letter from Hellon yesterday, quite a nice one, just friendly; say so far as he knows, they expect him to supply [your] Pulpit in your absence. He says, "I hope you will be careful not to do too much. We need health & strength as well as grace to God's service."
Remember this, my husband.
My letters all run in one channel, my anxiety for you. But is it to be wondered at? What quantities of hearts are anxious this day. I have often had the thought pass through my mind, but realize it in my heart now. It is an unsolved mystery to me how one can help intense and constant anxiety. I know I must trust at the same time, the heart wells up with it, deep and overflowing fountain of loving anxiety.
This afternoon, all being well, I think I must walk over to see Alice Marshall and see our little name sake, for if the child is named for me it must be for you, as we are one. Oh, Franky, will you remember your letters as I do mine and as we used to do & then we shall each know how we receive them.
Shall I send you papers, tracts? Anything? I must hurry now to catch the mail for it is Saturday and I do not want it to go by the night's mail & it is almost time for my letter to go in. So, my own dearest loved one, I will let it go as it is and Providence permitting, will write on Monday to own one.
Ever most lovingly thine own
I cannot seem to send so much blank paper, deary, but it will have to go so, now. Ma & I took quite a walk yesterday; snow is melting & I am thankful as we feel you have less cold weather.