Lizzie has been canning plums today. Last night more soldiers went on the cars to Parkersburg. I suppose the guerrillas are about again. The papers tonight bring us both good and bad news. Good news to hear that our friends, the Williamsons and Riggeses have escaped the massacre and have reached Henderson on the Minnesota River in safety. We thank God for this mercy. We are still in suspense as to the fate of Marion and her husband, but hope they may have reached Fort Ridgely. It is stated that many perhaps 500 women and children took refuge there.
The news from the army is very unsatisfactory. An immense amount of stores have fallen into the hands of the rebels at Manassas. The rebel cavalry mounted on blooded race horses dash through our lines, capture our officers, the baggage of our commanding general, destroy bridges, trains, &c and are away beyond pursuit before our men can punish their temerity.
So much depends upon the Army of the Potomac, the fate of Washington, of our country itself seem to wait upon the issue. And Oh! the precious lives there to be lost before the end comes. May the merciful Savior prepare the dying for death and strengthen the suffering ones to endure their agony and give to them healing influences, comfort the bereaved and help them to bear their burdens. O that our God would pity and deliver us for we are brought very low. O that our rulers may do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with their god; and may this nation learn righteousness that peace may be established in all our borders.
Affairs in Kentucky wear a threatening aspect. Martial law has been proclaimed in Cincinnati. Gen. Law. Wallace in command there. An attack is apprehended. Several hundred of the troops sent to Parkersburg returned on the cars to Camp Marietta this evening.
The comet which has been visible some weeks is still seen though it appears less brilliant now we have a moon. It changes its place in the heavens rapidly, moving past Ursa Major and the Northern Crown, still going southward.
A letter from Jennie. She had just heard of Ephe's being in the battle of Pittsburg Landing and felt as a sister would feel his peril and his bravery. She writes from Bitlis.
Jennie Dawes Shedd was Julia's niece (and the sister of Rufus, Ephraim, Kate, and Lucy Dawes). Along with her husband, she was a missionary in Persia. Bitlis is a town now in eastern Turkey.
The comet that Julia refers to was discovered in July 1862 and became known as the Swift-Tuttle comet, after it's discoverers. It is a periodic comet with an orbit of 133 years.