1864: Unidentified “Jennie” to Mary Emily Smart

I have not been able to identify the author of this letter who signed her name “Jennie.” She wrote the letter to Mary (“Mollie”) Emily Smart (1842-18xx), the daughter of Henry W. Smart and Amanda Bellamy (1810-Bef1912).  After her mother’s death, Mollie and her older brother, Harvey W. Smart (b. 1840) were taken in by her mother’s brother-in-law, Rhode Islander Sylvester  Pierce (1811-1865) and Adaline Atwell, at his south Chesterfield county plantation named Mattoax. Molly’s mother was buried in the Blandford Cemetery, just inside the Confederate entrenchments at Petersburg. This letter was written approximately one week after Grant’s army first attacked the Petersburg defenses. [See Guide to the Bellamy-Smart Family Papers (MSN/EA 5041, Hesburgh Libraries, University of Notre Dame]


Addressed to Miss M. E. Smart, Care of Care of S. J. Pierce, Esq., Petersburg, Va.

Bucksville, [Horry county] South Carolina
June 23, 1864


Why don’t you write to me! You know I want to hear what the Yankees are doing around your city. You might give me a few minutes in 4 months! If you are troubled about the Yankees, why don’t you tell me? Tell me where they are—if I have ever been there—how far from you & all about it. I wrote uncle about my cousin’s being there somewhere. Did he get it? I saw that citizens were not allowed to visit the lines so I suppose he can’t see him. I had a letter from him last night. He was two miles from Petersburg on the 16th inst.  I do hope the Yanks will be defeated everywhere!

I had a long letter by the blockade from Aunts Lizzie & Phebe & Uncle Peleg with a “price current” but it was an old letter—January 14th. They were all well. I don’t owe you a letter and as I only want to hear from you—not you from me—I will close. Give a great deal of love to every[one] and for pity’s sake, write me the news.

Yours affectionately, — Jennie

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