Sunday, December 11, 2016

Charles Clement Johnston to Joseph E. Johnston, December 16, 1831

[Charles Clement Johnston at Washington City to Lieut. Joseph E. Johnston, U.S.A., Fort Monroe near Old Point Comfort, Elizabeth City County Va, December 16, 1831, folder 56, Trigg-Floyd Collection, Special Collections, John Cook Wyllie Library, The University of Virginia's College at Wise (formerly Clinch Valley College), Wise, Virginia.  This is my rough transcription. Spelling in the original text contains use of the old-fashioned "long s" -- i.e., when the letter "s" is doubled up in a word, the first "s" looks more like a lower case "f."] 

Washington Dec 16th 1831

My Dear Joseph

Our beloved father is no more. He died on the 8th of this month of a fever produced by an attack of gravel in the perfect possession of his senses, with courage and calmness.

I will not attempt my dear boy to offer you consolation; you will indulge a manly grief -- it is right that you should.

Yet when the first burst of grief is over recollect that our regrets regard less him we have lost than ourselves: our father died full of years and honour'd by his country; he has escaped suffering during the unhappy remnant of an honour'd life the excruciating pangs of the most painful of all diseases; and if the warmest love for his friends; the most devoted patriotism to his country; the most enlarged charity towards the whole human race and a life passed without a blot can atone for human frailties to our father in heaven who is merciful as well as just I do not fear but that he has received his reward.

We will mourn then but not as those who mourn without hope. We who are spared will unite ourselves more closely together; we will protect and cherish our sisters and our father's widow; and we will preserve the rich inheritance of his good home by our mutual affection and pure character.

My heart yearns my Dear boy to see a brother. If you can obtain a furlough for a few days come up & see me: if you cannot and Congress takes a recess sufficiently long I will go down to your station at Christmas.


yours truly & affectionately
Ch. C. Johnston

[Our beloved father = Peter Johnston, Jr. (1763-1831)
Charles Clement Johnston (1795-1832)
Joseph Eggleston Johnston (1808-1891)]

[Many thanks to William Myers, Mary Davy and Sally Young for their ongoing research collaboration.]  

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