Sunday, September 28, 2014

Wednesday Sept. 28”, 1864

I went back to town, to stay with Mrs. Dawes.  The reports from Ephraim are favorable.

Peggy's comments:
During this time, Julia was traveling the six miles between her home in Constitution (Warren) and Marietta. She lived with her brother William, his wife Lizzie, and their daughter Sarah at the Old Stone House in Constitution.  Julia's sister Sarah Cutler Dawes (mother of Ephraim, Rufus, Lucy, Kate & Jane) lived in Marietta and was often unwell.  

Kate Dawes McLean, who had lived at the Old Stone House, had married in February of 1864 and moved away.  She married a minister who had several children so she presumably worked very hard to run their household. 

This is the letter that Julia wrote to her niece Kate.  It took Julia several days to finish writing the letter.

Letter to Kate
Constitution O, Sept 26, 1864
My dear Kate,
Your letter to me dated Sept 2 did not arrive until long after date, it was written when you were sick and gave me great uneasiness, I was strongly tempted to sit down & write to that unfeeling girl and give her a regular blowing up.  I felt too indignant to trust myself to write even to you, lest I should speak unadvisedly.  I am sick of reformers if their teachings deprive people of common humanity and common courtesy, and lead to the neglect of the plainest duties of life.  That most excellent Christian lady for whom you were named, Mrs. Catherine Parker, who was exercised by many & sore trials once said to me that she “had always found the path of duty, the path of happiness” and I believe it is so.  “Do right, & God will answer for the rest.”  Do not allow yourself to be discouraged, you will find friends where ever you go.  Do not look backward, but forward --and always remember that what your dying Grandfather said to us, is as true now as it was then, “God is a very present help in time of trouble.”
I came down from Marietta today where I have been since last Wednesday staying with your mother who is still feeble, while Lucy & Rufus went to Cincinnati to stay by poor Ephe while Dr. Blackman performed the operation upon his face, which was done Thursday afternoon.  Sept. 22. -- Friday we recieved from Rufus this dispatch “Operation successfully performed -- a fearful ordeal --Ephe all right” -- Saturday night Rufus came home leaving Lucy with Ephe.  He says it was the most terrible scene he ever witnessed and he would rather pass through all the battles he has fought than do it again.  Ephe was an hour and a half under the surgeons knife, the chloroform taking no effect, he felt every cut & bore the agony, nobly, as he only could.  Dr. Blackman said that in all the operations he has performed he never saw a man endure suffering as bravely as Major Dawes.  I cannot describe the operation to you, as Rufus did to me, but it was horrible.  Dr. Gobrecht the principal surgeon of the Officers Hospital at Fairmount Cincinnati, where Ephraim is, assisted throughout.  There were about a dozen surgeons present, but they were so overcome by the scene as to render little assistance -- and Rufus had to hold the arteries while they were taken up and hold Ephraims hands to prevent any injury from convulsive movement.  He said it was only the feeling that the life of his only brother was at stake enabled him to do it.  At first it required all the strength Rufus possessed but at the end of the hour & a half his pulse was so low, & his strength so reduced by loss of blood & suffering that he lay more like a corpse than a living man --but stimulants were administered and he got up and walked to his room when all was done.  It is considered a very successful operation, Dr. Blackman is master of his art and if Ephe lives to get well as they all say he is likely to do we shall be glad it is done.  It has been much more severe and extensive than we had any idea of, and we all feel that knowing what we do now we could not have consented to it.
Lucy was not present at the time, but sat up the first night with Rufus at Ephe’s bedside -- that night the patient slept none, in addition to the soreness & pain of his face, the chloroform produced a terrible sick head-ache -- but the second night Friday he slept well.  He takes his nourishment through a straw.  The surgeon says he cannot be removed for a month.  Lucy will stay while she is needed perhaps a week or two.  Rufus has sent down his servant William today to help take care of him.
Mr. & Mrs. Joshua Walton went out to the Hospital with them, Mr. Walton staid in as long as he could stand it.  Mrs. Walton very kindly introduced Lucy to Mrs. Harrison a friend who lives near and who invited Lucy to her house -- She however in order to be near Ephe will take her meals with the Matron, a very excellent & respectable lady.  Ephe has a room to himself and Lucy has a cot placed in it so she can attend to him night & day.
Sarah Andrews is teaching Lucy’s school for her during her absence.  Your Mother does not get well fast, she lies down part of every day.  She is very much troubled about Ephe but more about his proposed marriage than any thing else, it seems as if that would kill her -- and when she thinks of it she chooses death rather than life.  I feel very badly about it both on account of your mother & Ephraim and can only pray that this cup may pass from us.
I expect to go back to town again & shall stay most of the time Lucy is gone with her.  James Walton is there and is a pleasanter boarder than I expected.  You see that as matters now are we cannot visit you, indeed your mother is not well enough to do so now.  I hope before winter some of us can.  Lizzie Cutler says Mr. Burgess does not know whether he will go to Pennsylvania or not this fall.  Don’t you need your dresses?
Rufus has bought all the sheep he expects to get at present.  They gave about four dollars a head.  The sheep purchased are of a desirable quality.  Old Mr. Lognacher, Mrs. Blues father, has been engaged to take charge of them.
Henry and Theodore McClure are both here now. 
Tuesday, Sept 27 
Mr. Burgess has just been in -- he says he is afraid to go to Pennsylvania he believes the Masons would murder him before he got there.  Rufus has been down here to-day he says he thinks he will visit you this fall.  He is going Saturday down to see Ephe again.  Your Uncle William is doing a great deal of speaking, this campaign.  He speaks to-night at Cedarville and will speak this week at Cutler & Whininess.  He is going down next week to see Ephe.  They want Rufus to make speeches next week out in the country & he probably will.
Wednesday Sept 28
I came up to town this morning with your Uncle William.  They got letters from Lucy last night.  She writes to Rufus “Dr. Gobrecht washed & dressed Ephe’s face after you left and after dinner Dr. Blackman came to see him.  He says it is doing slendidly, just as he wishes.”  Ephe dressed himself & walked into the hall with the Dr’s permission.  He sleeps well, last night had a very good night.  I don’t think you need have any uneasiness about him now still I would not leave him in his present condition, as I know he would not be properly cared for”  Ephe writes in pencil “with the exception of the taste and smell in my mouth, I feel as though I was doing very well.  Major Olefin sent me a lot of books this morning with his compliments.  The Officers here all proffer their services to assist me in any way.  It seems to do me good to walk round as much as anything.  Dr. Hardy Dentist was just here -- says a man who could stand what I did could stand it to be burned alive -- that I would probably talk in a week and be able to have impressions for permanent teeth in six weeks”  Lucy writes that his face is very sore.
I must go down to Warren tomorrow.  Lizzie is going to have the circle and cannot get along without me -- but I shall come to town again Friday.  I hope your health will be better, take care of it, and be so happy as you can.
  Your affectionate
Aunt Julia
I see by your letter to Lucy that Mr. McLean has gone to Philadelphia and Delaware.  I hope you will not be left alone & sick -- am sorry we can’t come up and nobody to take care of you come home & I will do it.  [A line here is crossed out and unreadable.]  It is possible Lizzie may be up to see you if so little Sarah will come.  She wants to go badly but her mother will not part with her -- Nancy is now married yet she says she wishes she could step in and make you some waffles.  

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