William Jones Bowis writes to his daughter Mary Frances Campbell, and reports on a current letter he received from James.
Richmond, April 16, 1863
My Dear daughter,
You know doubt have looked for an answer from me for some weeks past but circumstances has prevented my writing to you sooner; in the first place I have been over run with business ever since the troops have been trapsing backwards and forwards through Richmond. I am taking in at this time Surplus Baggage every day or so and can’t tell when it will be stopped nearly all the baggage is now sent from Fredericksburg here and else where expecting an active Campaign near about Fredericksburg. I received a letter from Mr. Campbell Monday he is still at Milford and writes he is quite well, but anticipates a move very shortly, he informed me he received a letter from you the 10 Inst. informing him you and the children were all well which afforded much pleasure to hear. He writes about a hat you were to make or have made for him but I could not any information in relation to it as the materials were not on hand could not say when he might expect it I wrote to him to that effect. Bettie was from home on Shockoe hill and did not get home until night I could not say to him in my letter when the hat would be finished but hope it will be in a short time. Bettie is complaining some of not being very well and that may cause some delay. I am sorry to hear that the Yankeys are burning and plundering the good citizens of Gloucester County and else where of all their valuables. I hope that will be over taken and destroyed ere long. I understand Genl. Wise38 is now in Williamsburg or very near there keeping the Yankeys back from the City. I expect there will be a severe argument in that quarter ere long. I understand Longstreet is making preparation to dislodge the Yankeys from Suffolk. I hope he may succeed. I have no good news to write about. Everything is still going up and can’t tell when there will be when there will be a stop to it. I fear there will be very great suffering before the growing crop matures. I hope you will be able soon to pay us a visit or else come home to live. Your room will be always ready for you so long as I hold the House. I want to see you and the children very much it does seem to me it has been quite twelve months since you left. I feel very grateful to Mr. Campbell’s relatives for the kind protection you and the children have met with and hope there come a reward either in this life or in the future for their kindness and goodness so liberally bestowed.
Well I reckon you would like to hear something about Fanny and children. She was at our house Monday is getting along as well as the rest of the darkees she says but is quite tired of flour bread can’t afford to buy meal at 12$ per bushel. Martha says you must kiss the children twice for her. Says she wants to see them more than anything in the world. You must do the same for me. All join in much love to you and children and kind regard to your kind friends. I remain your affectionate pater until death.
Forgot to state Bettie received your letter with the money enclosed. W.J.B.