1861 Letter by Major Thomas L. Broun, 3rd Brigade, Wise's Legion (Later 60th Virginia) - Sold Traveller to Robert E. Lee - "Now my love don’t suppose we are suffering hardships"

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1861 Letter by Major Thomas L. Broun, 3rd Brigade, Wise's Legion (Later 60th Virginia) - Sold Traveller to Robert E. Lee - "Now my love don’t suppose we are suffering hardships"

295.00

Item No. 9597326

An interesting letter, undated, but most certainly from the fall of 1861, written by Major Thomas L. Broun of the 3rd Brigade, Wise’s Legion (later the 60th Virginia Infantry). In April 1861, Broun, a noted Charleston attorney, enlisted in the Kanawha Riflemen (George S. Patton’s company) but was promoted to major in Wise’s Legion in August. It was Broun who sold General Robert E. Lee his famous horse, "Traveller." He was stricken with typhoid fever in the fall of that year and spent many months away from his regiment recuperating. He returned to the front in 1864 and was seriously wounded at Cloyd’s Mountain. The letter opens with Broun consoling Sallie, urging her to return to Edge Hill or Bloomfield, both family properties, in the hopes of reviving her “drooping spirits.” He continues: “I will try whenever you think necessary to get leave of absence & come to see you, but you must know my dear I cannot come without Genl. W[ise] gives me permission.” Broun then requests several clothing articles in preparation for the coming winter, and also requests similar items for several of his men. He closes the letter encouraging Sallie not to be too concerned about him in the field. “Now my love don’t suppose we are suffering hardships,” he wrote. “We are all comfortable here. Good plank floors & good food & plenty to eat.”

The letter was written on all four pages of a stationery sheet measuring about 7” x 9 1/4”. It is in excellent condition with even toning and light foxing. Creased where folded.

The transcript of the letter follows. Broun’s handwriting is quite challenging to the reader, and so I expect there are a few mistakes:

My dear Sallie
I regret to learn today by a letter from Mr. L. that you were sick & to see by a letter from you to Malcolm that you had written to your Pa to come to Bld [likely Bloomfield]. I hope my darling you are not sick. I cannot feel that you are but I am sad to see you so low spirited. Why my dear, when at Edge Hill & Chantilly? Tho I wrote to you less frequently than now I hear no consolation, but now you seem to be especially sad & low spirited. I hope my darling the presence of a few boys & of Mr. Luckett will revive you. If not my dear, I want you to go home or to Edge Hill & try to revive your drooping spirits. Annie can stay at Bld. &, with Isaac, get along with the table. I propose that Sue & the children shall board at Bloomfield & Mr. L. try to get a position worth something to him. His family can avail themselves thus of his services so he be able to make himself of real service to his country. This proposition that Sue & the children to board at Bld. is a mere suggestion to be made if agreeable to you & to them. I believe it will be most agreeable to them, & to you too, to have some company, and then you would not be under obligations, to the school if any, to _____ them but could leave all affairs in the hands of Sue & some.

I was glad Mr. Luckett got his discharge, & hope he may get a degree of more boys. I rec’d today a letter from Mr. Allen expressing himself very kindly willing to open the school, & leave the items to me. I had previously made an arrangement with Mr. Luckett & had no idea Mr. Allen would be willing to teach. I have written to Mr. Joe Stevens telling him that there will be no use of his staying at Bld. just to attend to the little boarding, & it will be but for him to get a place when he would be of use to his country & get a scornable compensation, & feel with Mr. Luckett & the few boys he may get, all loneliness will be driven away.

It is now after eleven, & I am sitting in my tent writing to my wife who may be at home sick. I hope not my darling. I hope not.

I will try whenever you think necessary to get leave of absence & come to see you, but you must know my dear I cannot come without Genl. W[ise] gives me permission. Malcolm and George are both sleeping in my tent, Geo. temporarily as he is slightly _____ & I told him to come here to be more comfortable. His constitution has very much improved by his experience so far.

The Capt. plans to bring with him my set of chess men, but I will make you a set Monday as soon, and I intend to get ready soon for winter in fixing up, getting shelter & _____. Tell Sue & Annie they should of ever get some thick woolen flannel goods & make two pr. drawers & two shirts, & piece for Thomas & Joe, & some yarn socks. The drawers & shirts can’t be too thick & warm. Send them in a box to Maj. Thomas L. Broun, Wise Legion. They I am seen will be soon acceptable to them. I will want soon a heavy _____ Army overcoat with double cape, but not before winter, whereas Joe & Thomas will want them very soon.

Now my love don’t suppose we are suffering hardships. We are all comfortable here. Good plank floors & good food & plenty to eat & _____ more than many people here. Plenty of sugar & coffee. We in fact live well. Then my dear happy & _____ purpose my _____ soon to arrive. I am glad you like her so. She is a sweet woman & I would I could see her & Mr. L. I suppose you quarrel every day about Roy & Mr. L. Tell her to use _____ to find his ear in the hound of Dr. Fairfax. I get him to address proper letters to [the] Sec[retary of] War, signed by Physicians of Hospital & let them be sent to [the] Sec[retary of] War & filed. He must keep trying now to succeed.
Yours most affect.
Th. LeRoy B.

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