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April the13th

Dear De
I had thought this being your birth-day to have written you a nice long letter but circumstances see to conspire to prevent it. In the first place I am not in a scribbling humor; in the next Annie is sick, consequently my letter will be short. She has a cold accompanied with fever; the fever has continued two nights and a day. There is some abatement this morning, tho she is not free from fever yet. Pa gave her a dose of Calomel this morning, her stomach being too sick to retain oil. I am in hopes when the calomel takes effect she will be entirely relieved. I don't think I am foolish about the children except when they are sick; then I know I am; and when you are away it makes the matter worse. I was awake the greater part of the night with the baby, and the result is I have a dull heavy headache. Callie is well with the exception of a cold; she is now sitting on the floor at my feet trying on her dolls bonnet, seemingly with great interest, as to the first, I saw Col Moody yesterday on his way home from Houston; he said he heard from you several times, while there. The latest letter I have had was from Charlie, dated the 5th it was brought up by Ervin Bonner. It is time for me to get one from you; your last was dated March 31st. Oh how much I want to see you; I sometimes feel as if I would be willing to almost any sacrifice, if it was so you could be at home with me. But ah, how well do I know that "I sigh in vain for those dark eyes", poetical am I not? I have been slightly disabled for the past week, from a rising on the front finger of my left hand, which prevented my from indulging in my usual employment of sewing and knitting, so mine has mostly been a week of recreation on reading; of one fact I am satisfied, the mind like the body can only digest a certain amount of food. After a certain amount of mental stimulus has be applied, a surplus creates weariness or dullness. I am going to commence a regular system of reading, for several reasons, one is a desire of improvement in many respects both mental and moral. Another, I don't feel so cut adrift, so cast loose from all anchor when I am engaged in, or adhere to a fixed plan or rule for reading. it is indeed a great solace in times like these. I mean for women whose hearts are away. I was very much amused at an observation in [damage to document - word illegible] your letters; it was to the effect that "you did not want to learn any plan by which you would be reconciled to a separation from your loved ones." it seems from the above you had the fervor(?) to learn such a plan but rejected it. I, on the contrary can-not conceive or imagine any way, by which either of us could be resigned to the existing state of affairs; that is separation. I have stopped writing two hours to walk and rock my little sick baby. she has gotten quiet at last. she seems to be very sick, I am getting really uneasy about her. if she seems no better during the evening I will send for Dr. Adams. How I wish you were home, altho' you don't know very much more about medicine than I do, the habit I have of considering you an oracle, makes me put a good deal of confidence in your opinions about sickness. By the way - why is it that most men, and Physicians especially laugh and deride womans knowledge, or rather the attempt to inform herself in regard to sickness and medicine. I think it laudable to attempt any thing that tends to ameliorate suffering; but how natural is it for these "Lords of creation" in the main to arrogate to themselves supremacy in all things; but in common justice I must add I know some honorable exceptions; yourself for instance. Now I am not going to enter into a eulogisum; for I am afraid you will laugh if I make every letter I write a panegyric, whose subject is De.
Think of it my Darling; you are thirty-four years old today; getting along in years- nearly old enough for gray-hairs. as it is impossible for me to give you a birth-day dinner, in lieu I send this would-be letter; never mind, if this war ever closes, and both of us live to see its termination, you natal day shall never pass unoticed. if we were only at home again; it seems almost like a dream that pleasant home life of ours. I am in hopes "something will turn up", so that we can see each other soon. You don't want me to tell you how much I love you, do you? if so tis an impossibility; for twere as well to attempt to chain lightening or paint flame. In a late letter from you, you wanted to know if "Annie" could walk yet, no indeed; she can sit alone, and is getting to be very lively and playful; as I can-not send my letter in before tomorrow I will let you know in the morning how the baby is,

Added to top of first page:
April 14
Annie still has fever this morning. she rested tolerably well last night. She has [?] that is getting to trouble her a great deal. Pa is going to give her another dose of calomel.
I will write to you again Sunday. Yours, Minnie