The Civil War Letters of James Harvey Campbell

a collection of thirty-one civil war letters

Letter of a former beau, Thorton [ ], to Mary Frances Bowis.

New Kent, Octo 14 1856

Dear Miss Fannie
Being disappointed in not seeing you when I visited R. I write with a view to excuse myself as far as I can why I did not call upon you according to promise. I have not the least hesitation in making a proper acknowledgement to you by letter as I cannot do it in person on account of sickness. I left home earlier than I expected and ordered my clothes to be sent to a certain place but the Gentleman making a mistake left them at another. I never got them until Wednesday night I was taken sick and never left my room until Sunday morning when I was compelled to return home on account of severe disposition. I took violent cold from some cause I know not. Not from dissipation or exposure I assure you. I cannot express to you my regret for the intended visit, but ardently hope you will forgive me. This my first and last offense and I assure you the fault will be yours next time. I am [ ] now but have improved a little and by the time received This I hope I shall be well. I do hope this explanation may meet your most cordial approbation and knowing your kind and forgiving disposition I am sure it will be satisfactory. I am quite sick now and low spirited and one kind word from you would cheer me up so much. Do answer immediately upon the receipt of this. Let me know by yours if you have forgotten me or not and the many happy hours we have spent together. Let me know if I am still in the possession of your love which I would not exchange for all the worlds wealth. I hope you received your note and little package I carried up for your cousin Sally. I shall be in town very shortly if I get well but let me hear from you by Friday’s mail. I cannot yet think that you whom I love so devotedly could possibly have forgotten me in so short a time after my making so many declarations of love to you in person. What I have written to you is true and you know me well enough to have found out that I would attempt to do or suffer anything on earth before I would deceive you. I have always been honest telling you my faults and everything concerning me that you have made any inquiry. (You are the last creature on earth that I would state anything too that was not correct.) Give this matter a fair consideration and let me hear from you at your earliest convenience for if you knew the mortification it has caused me and the anxiety that I feel to hear from you. I know you will gratify me. (I can never love another as I do you.) and if my future hopes are to be blasted I should like to know it at once. If prudence dictates to you that I have acted badly or you have been led off by friends or you have seen one you like better than my humble self. I beg you of you to apprize me of the fact. I do not now doubt you sincerity nor never have and hope you never will mine. Let me know by your letter if a visit from me would be agreeable. Answer my letter affectionately but if you think otherwise write me a friendly one. I must close now. I am too unwell to write more and may you ever remain as constant as you have promised me is the prayer of your devoted lover and well wisher.


P.S. Burn as soon as you read for every line penned by yourself to me has been so cheerfully performed before I hear from you I shall spend a lonesome time. (Without your love I cannot be satisfied). Until then good-bye.

The Civil War Letters of James Harvey Campbell   |   Researched and presented by Mark Lamb