James and Patience Black,

Their correspondence while separated during the Civil War.

Part Two

(Originally transcribed with added notes by Bertha EMMERSON HORNE SANDERS and her daughter, Rosemary. Sandra Smith Gwilliam has added research footnotes.)

(This essay by Patience Crain was found among Patience & James Correspondence, written after death of Rusk but before death of Johnston.)

MY BOAST
(Written by Patience Crain while a school-girl about 16 years old - ca. 1858)

I am a native of Texas. Ah well am I proud to say my birth was on the rich soil and in the wild woods of Texas. It was where the wild deer and Shownee (Shawnee) rode his dusky mare in the once favored hunting grounds of the "Red Man". Yes, in Texas, the land of Liberty and patriotism. Thus now she is and her destiny is for greater things the brave hearts and liberty loving sons of proud and potent Colombia will loudly cry.

Texas is the brightest star in our United firmament though only cast memories eye back to the time - the year 1835. When opened the dark prospect for Texas. An ominous cloud seemed to hang over her destiny. Mexican tyranny had already unfurled its accursed banner and the brave pioneers of Texas felt that they either must submit to this usurpation and misrule or at once forsake the land of their adoption rendered dear to them by their many trials since they had entered it. They had dissolved the ties that bound them to their native land - sundered the cords which held to their nativity, bid adieu to their associates- the friends of their youth; deserted families, kindred, and left behind them homes of luxury and ease to settle in the wild woods of Texas and undergo hardships which none but a hardy Texan can endure.

When Santa Anna, [and General] Cos, with their armies of many men marched against the favored few, they felt the rights they claimed must be supported and although their sacred soil should be over run and polluted by the foot print of the ruthless invader their spirits were invincible. Rather than suffer the oppression of despotic rule they would immolate themselves upon the altar of their common country.

They unfurled to the breeze their little banner with but one single star emblazoned upon its fold and rallying under it though but few in number they expressed an eagerness to meet the enemy. They were worthy of the glorious cause in which they had listed; and thus they bravely fought and many nobly died under the Lone Star Banner .

After its many struggles as a Republic, Texas has taken a stand with other states. Her youthful but proud head is rearing high. It is crowned with the laurel-knowledge, Generosity, Sublimity. Many of the rarest flowers from that laurel have faded but their memories linger still to lure on the blooming bud.

Yes, many of its heroes,- its Fathers- have passed. The lamented Henderson, Austin, Rusk sleepeth. Oh, Texas shed a tear. Now smile. Houston left the shield, the breast plate of Texas to ward off the wounded dark. He nursed it in its infancy with a potent arm and a pure patriotic heart wholly devoted to his country's right; and may that county ever prove worthy of his former and future interest and grateful to him, its benefactor, whose hair is now silvering with age. Oh may ye sons of Texas live so that in age your gray hair, like his, will be a crown of honor.

Can the names of these Texans be forgotten? No, never! They are indelibly associated with and will live as long as the liberties of Texas remain. They will live as long as honor, gratitude, or affectionate remembrance, remain in the heart of man.
Patience Crain 1858


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(Letter written by a cousin, M. A Childress)

Jan 20th 1860
Dear Patie,

I am here in old Rusk yet, though I don't know how long I shall remain here. I am at this time rather low-spirited though that is nothing uncommon you know. I must acknowledge I feel rather lost since they all have gone off.

I am here at Jasper's which is a very public place. We generally have plenty of company particularly of a Sunday which is very agreeable to me though sometimes I love solitude. I think if you were here to accompany me in my evening walks I could pass the time off better.

I think I shall probably pay your western country a visit this spring to see if it possesses any charm for me. If it has any that could captivate this wandering mind of mine I would be a delightful place indeed to me.

I understand that you have found something that is very interesting to you and happy in your imagination. When you are looking at that lovely picture, please tell me his name if he has any.

You told me to write when I had heard from Prink and Wash. I have not heard from P- in some time though Nan Crow gives news occasionally concerning him. I fear I have lost him entirely; though that is always my luck, and as to Wash I never see him at all. The scamp hasn't been to see me in a coons age so you can imagine my feelings. Never mind I will fall in love with someone else one of these days.

I think from the prospects that Nan Crow will end in your country herself. She was over to see me last Saturday, was a week ago and I just judged from what she said. We all went to preaching that same Sunday and heard the Reverend Smith that you fell in love with. I came very nigh falling in love with him myself. I think he is very good looking. He cries most too much in his preaching but that only shows he's tender-hearted. He will preach here 4th Sabbath in every month.

I received a letter from my old sweet heart in Tennessee and I was not very well pleased with it. I answered it last week and I hope satisfactorily. If I receive another from him I will write and tell you what kind of a one he wrote. I suppose you have heard of Matt's folks moving to town. Yes they are all in town I think Susan is in love and I think I know who with- not my sweetheart.

I would have wrote before now but I thought I would wait until you heard from Mr. Christie's marrying. I thought that when you became more reconciled to your fate, I would write you he is married, Patience, but don't grieve. I regret very much telling you of losing Mr. Black for Barsh. Saw him and I fear has captivated him. She has been sick when he came with her throat and had a handkerchief on her head with her jaws tied up, but I could tell you she took that off in a hurry.

Well, I would write more but this paper is small and I cannot put much in it though I reckon you will say enough of such as it is. Frank says she will write you in a few days and tell matt she would be glad to get a letter from her. You are out in that lonesome prairie why don't you write often? If I were out there I would write. Tell Mat I will write to her soon. Sarah sends her love to you all and all the rest that don't write. Give my especial love to all that is out there and the same for yourself. Be a good child.

M. A. Childress
Nan Crow sends her love to you.


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(Note: by a cousin, Ruphus Green Childress)

Henderson, Texas March 18
Dear Patia,

I often think of you and dream of seeing that lovely countenance of yours and of being in your company but alas I find it all to be a vision. I have often times when I would lie down at night to sleep wish that I would never more wake up in this unfriendly world. I enjoy myself at times as well as any person and then again that bitter pain that lingers and lurks in my bosom; that steals upon me in my daily travels and visits me in slumbering hours. Would to God that I could banish this Idol [sic- idle] thought from my bosom. If ever I have sent any prayers to that supreme being it was to banish all Idol thoughts from my mind and to let me live a happy life while I live on this earth; but still I have all this to bear.

Patia, this may be a piece of foolishness to you and is I reckon but if so let it be so, I can't help it for I am a wreckless being anyway. I ____(illeg) are of great acts of my life against the Union for the Lone Star as she once was Texas Republick. Patia you must write for you never have written one line to me yet. I trust this letter to your Confidence Remaining yours. Devotedly.

R. G. Childress


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(Next letter was written by James Black's cousin - William Ditto )

Camp Washington, Arkansas January 14/62

Mr. James Black, Sir your letter came to hand this morning and found me enjoying the best of health. All the Bosque boys are in fine health except Jess Ellison ; he has been in bad health ever since we came in to quarters. We have had a fight since I wrote to you before. Just before we started on the scout, we had a right smart running fight, nothing like an engagement. Some of the boys are blowing smartly but I think they will have something to blow for yet: About 50 of Capt.. Ross' Company was in the fight. B. D. Arnold's son Thomas was killed and Whittington, a young man that was living at Dr. Linsley's was wounded. There was nine killed on the field and twenty wounded speaking of the whole company.

I saw an account of the battle yesterday. It makes the battle equal the Manassas fight. I tried to get the paper to send you but the fellow that had it would not let me have it. I will try to get one as soon as possible to send you.

We are having tolerable hard times here at present. There were orders read yesterday at dress parade that no officer or private should leave his or their quarters without written permission from General James McIntosh and he's at Fort Smith, so you see we are kept tolerable close. We rather expected a fine time but the reading of the orders cast a sort of gloom over the camp and all is dull and the boys have nothing to do but to curse Arkansas and Arkansas laws.

As to Christmas we had none, being off on the scout, the fight coming off on the 26th of December. We came in sight of the enemy on the 25 and were drawn up inline and a fight was anticipated all evening. The picket guard was sent but a short distance from camp. It was the all firedest coldest night that ever a human stood guard I reckon. I was on picket myself. They placed me on the high prairie about one mile from camp and I thought I would freeze in spite of Indians and everything else, no fire, no whiskey and it is Christmas night. Just think of the situation for one moment and consider the situation I was placed in; the first Christmas night that ever passed my head without my being where there was many a fair face for me to look upon; then think once more of the dreadful situation, the cold chilling wind howling around me with the most terrific nature while all the wild beasts of the forest were almost taking hold of me. To say the least of it, it was not a comfortable place; however we made it and make it united. Whenever the Col. would make a charge, he would call for Capt. Ross and his company to come with him. Our regiment was commended by the Lt. Col. As brave a man as ever took the command of a regiment. We have a petition in every company in the regiment to raise money to buy him a fine sword; just as much a s to say that we prefer him to the great Commander B. Warren Stone. I have but little more room and must close very soon. If you should be so lucky as to get this you will look over all mistakes. Give my respect to all of Bosque and accept for yourself and lady. You being a married man I can't speak as I once did so no more. Wm. Ditto


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(Written by a cousin, [Frances M. "Frank" Childress] to her brother, [Andrew John "Jack" Childress])

Henderson, Texas Mar. 17, 1869

Dear Jack, I have been thinking for some time that I would write to you, but put it off thinking I would get a letter from some of you all- at last I have received one from Margaret written the 31st.- travelled quite slow didn't it? I am very proud of your photograph- it looks very much like you and I believe you have improved some in looks. I will send you all mine soon. Margaret writes that you say there is no mistake about you sending me 50 dollars. I went up to see Mr. Whitesides this P. M . Here and he gave me the answer to his letter that he wrote to the P. M. At Sherman concerning the 20 missing dollars and told me to send it to you so you have it. Did you get a recite from the P. M. at Sherman? We have been having some very disagreeable weather. A heavy hail fell here last Sunday night. I am afraid fruit will be scarce here this year.

I spent the week down in the neighborhood of "Possom Trot" - heard Jack Smith preach last Sunday. He did tolerable well, didn't stutter much. Evin Peaters and one of the Miss Crows is married. George Birdwell and Debie Draper is married. It is reported that Annie Blair and Dick Hall will marry soon.

I expect to go down and spend a few weeks with Mattie Wells soon, if I can get off. She has been rather unfortunate or fortunate--came very near marrying a man that was dissipated; but had not drank any in some time and promised her that he would never, but he could not hold out, so a few days before they were to marry he got on a "spree" and then she discarded him. She takes it very hard, but I think she will soon get over it. The man lives in Marshall [Alabama]. We have got some new neighbors. Mr. Andy McDownes is living on the Refugee place. Mr. John Bay is on Jasper's old place- cultivating Jasper's farm. Sallie is looking as well as ever. Mr. Dickerson and Kate Graham is married. Mr. Stuart has moved down to his still house . Negroes are living at his place. D. Durham is farming this year. John McColly is clerking for Mr. Moss. Springer Boggs is keeping a grocery. Dolly Boudlen (married Mrs. John E. Jones brother) are here on a visit.

Jasper had rented our old place out before he got power of attorney from you all, rented it to have it (illeg.). Harriet and her children are living here, say tell sister Mary, she has seen a great deal of trouble since she (illeg.) But hope she will get along better now.

Tell Margaret I will write her soon. I was very glad to get her letter. (Cannot make out next sentence). Carrie and Wallace are not going to school. Jasper's health is not good. Now Jack write to me often- much love to you all.

Your affectionate sister
Frank


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Pages
Note at top of page: First of ___ correspondence between Lt. James Black & his wife Patience Crain Black, a few letters have been lost. About 300 have been preserved.

Galveston Texas Feb. 14th 1862

Dear wife, I again take my pen in hand to writ you a few lines. I have nothing of importance to write. We are all well, hoping these few lines may reach you in due time and find you in good health. This is the third letter I have written to you since I left home, but have not received the scratch of a pen from you as yet. I am looking for a letter from you daily. I am very anxious to hear from you as your health was delicate when I left, but I hop ere this you are restored to perfect health.

Tuesday night 8 o'clock, reported from headquarters that the Lincolnites were landing on the Island, every man was required to have his arms in readiness for the battle field at one minute warning. We slept with our guns under our head and all our clothes on the remainder of the night. Wednesday morning two of the Blockade vessels had withdrawn and were out of sight.

Tonight at 8 o'clock there was an express from headquarters for us to report ourselves there armed and equipped and ready for us to report ourselves there armed and equipped and ready for action, we marched there a distance of three quarters of a mile in double quick time. When we got there it turned out to be a false alarm, everything is quiet now.

The boys are all anxious for a fight and I think will do good service if we get a chance to try our valour; there is now three vessels in the Blockade two men of war and one schooner they are lying at anchor about 7 miles from here and if they knew the doom that awaited them they would never be nearer. We are well fortified here, have several batteries planted around the city, we have 2 or 3 companies of flying artillery besides several companies of cavalry and infantry. If old Lincoln wants his forces whipped out all he has to do is to land them here. We are the Boys than can do it in a little or no time.

We are comfortably situated here live in a two story house, have plenty of room and plenty to eat and two good cooks to prepare it for us. We had four recruits come in tonight which swelled our number to forty six.

We have had disagreeable weather ever since we left home. It has been raining more or less all the time, have had some tolerable cold weather last week but at present the weather is fine.

I find a great many of my acquaintances here from all parts of Texas. The health of the city is remarkable good, there is scarcely any sickness amongst the soldiers. We have but one man on the sick list, he has the fever. I have been blest with another boil on my hand since I left home.

My love it is getting late I must close. The Boys are all snoring except myself and one Sentinel. I will not say anything about Jim and Will as they have both been writing today.

Give my very best love and respects to all enquiring friends and to you the Ideal of my heart reserve to yourself my individual love. Write often and give me all the news. No more at present from your Jimmie.

Good Bye.
James Black.
 
 
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South Bosque Feb. 17th 1862
Dear Jimmie:

B I received your letter a few days since, I was so glad to learn you were well. Well you have been gone so long I cannot think what to write to you, unless it would be, to tell you how I miss you and want to see you, you cannot well guess either. I have spent the time since you left rather lonely, though I have had plenty of company yet there lacked one of being enough. I have been spinning some and visiting more. I have been tolerably well, all except a few days. I had a slight fever. I have some blisters on my lip now, but not withstanding all, I have one precious painful pleasing though and that is of my good and darling husband. The times I think of you are innumerable. I am with you every night, our meeting in the land of dreams is so much like reality that I hardly can realize it is a dream when waking. I will try to wait your coming with as much patience as possible, but am afraid your Patience will manifest but little patience in that eager anticipation. I have had two letters for you. One from Mart . He wrote he had received your letter. Cale wrote some in his letter, said he had seen John Ditto . He is a Lieutenant in Sims Regiment, and Wilburn Fry who is a Lieutenant in Young's regiment. The other was from William Ditto. He wrote nothing particularly. He said as you was a married man he could not speak as he once have spoken, so you see sir, you had better remained one and probably you would have heard a secret.

We have some beautiful weather after our rain in abundance, though the wind is blowing very hard today. Mother is fixing for gardening. She is not very well, nor has been since you left. Hatt is chilling yet and wants to go home worse than ever. Ida dreamed the other night that you came home, she said you kissed me first then kissed her. I can hire her to do anything by telling her if she does it you will come home. Aunt Mary is here yet. Uncle Jasper will leave for home in a week or so. I intend writing to you regular and I want you to do so by me. Mr. Black I am anxious that you should take special care of your health. Keep good company, and let your acts be worthy of imitation. I will write no more just now, but it is not because it is an irksome task, no it is far from it, but it is a pleasing one; it brings to my mind too forceably that you are absent is the only pain. Mother sends her love to you all. Present my love to Will and Jim, and accept for yourself the never dying love and best wishes of your wife. Write soon. Good bye. Yours devotedly, Patience Black.
 
 
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South Bosque
Feb 22nd 1862

My Dear Husband, This is Saturday evening and every one is as merry as they well can be, all but me and my heart is aching with sadness. I have been in the deepest blues all day. I did not expect a letter this evening as Mr. Riley wrote you had a bad rising on your hand which excused you not writing. I have nothing to write to you, my darling, but judging you by myself I will write something if it is not much.

We had an eggnog this evening all the children are slightly intoxicated. Ida is the funniest thing alive. Matt is in the same situation. Uncle Jasper [William Jasper Smith] is here he and Mat will leave for Henderson next Tuesday morning. Matt is in ecstasies. Aunt Mary has moved to the Brazos. We will be all alone soon. I wish you would come up some evening and spend the night with us. I for one will appreciate your presence very highly. I have been expecting a letter from Sister Mollie but have received none. I will write to her again before long, perhaps she did not get my last letter. Pap brought his sheep home again. Good many of them died while Mr. McDaniel had them. They are doing tolerably well now.

I see so many things to remind me of you every day. I walk the same road that I have walked with you though by myself. I thought for some time past my health was improving but this week I have been able to do nothing but nurse my knitting and look at others work. I have knit you two pair of cotton socks. Mother is spinning thread for pants. My tonsils are sore and I will have to burn them again.

Jess Ellison has returned on Furlough of forty days, he looks rather worsted I suppose his health is far from being good. He is gone to see his Mother now; he left all the Boys in fine health. Two of Widow Anderson's sons Jim and Angnes were captured while in a scouting party in Kansas and shot for refusing to be loyal to Northern power also one Murphy who once lived with McFall's wife here in Bosque. Dunk McLennan was here last Sunday he has no idea of going to war. Mr. Alexander and Mrs. Taylor called to see us this morning.. Bell looks very much like herself though somewhat older. I sympathize with her exceedingly for Mr. Taylor has enlisted for the war. Mrs. Carter has a Miss Jessie Beauregard in her family. Will Dutch is dead. I do not know with what disease she died unless it was Strychni__a. She left seven little ones to mourn her loss though we have distributed them among kind friends who doubtless will do their duty by them. Uncle Jasper has promised to come back and still for them he will bring his wife with him. Tell Will Uncle Jasper took a letter out of the office for him from R. G. C . He was well I do not know why he did not forward it to him. Mother is abusing Will terribly for not writing home. She has plenty of thread now and a check reel. She gave $4 per bale for the thread.

Aunt Dillia has six Mexican blankets in the loom now. You have no idea how folks are at work here, all but me. I work but little. I do wish you would come to see us. I find my subject to be uninteresting and inexhaustable so I will leave it as it is getting late. Do not let anyone see this letter. Hatt wishes you to write to her. Pap and Mother send their love to you all. Present my love to Jim and Will. Take care of yourself Jimmie. Now I shall soon meet you in the land of dreams so Good Bye God Bless Yours, Patience. Write soon tell me how you are pleased.