Letters From Mrs. Morewood
[Mrs. Sarah A. Morewood, wife of John R. Morewood, Esq., was described by Asa P. Wheeler as “a resident of Pittsfield, who was very kind to us, or to the 31st boys.” Judging from the seemingly “coded” correspondence below, it is hard to know exactly what kind of support she was giving to the officers. An entry in Frank S. Knight’s diary, Feb. 8, 1862, records that “The Pittsfield Company had a flag presented to them today by Mrs. Morewood.” Camp Morewood, located at Annunciation Square in New Orleans, was so named in her honor. Sarah A. Morewood, aged 39, died of consumption in Pittsfield on 16 October 1863. See her Obituary in the “Stories & Bios” section.]
Thursday Morning, January 23rd, 1862
Lieut. Col. Wheldon,
My dear Sir:
The young ladies of the Club and a few friends are to spend this evening with us, and if you and your officers will favor us with your company, we will try and “have a little dance tonight, boys.” I am longing, too, to have those camp glee songs begin; and as your time is now short here, I do hope you will all come tonight. I have caught up the first pen I could find, and it proves to be a perfect stick, so excuse my scribble.
Remember it is no party tonight, only an informal gathering of friends. I am glad you are going to have fine weather again. Please say by bearer whether I may expect your good fellows, and also at what hour you have a drill today.
Sarah A. Morewood
Col. Wheldon & Adjutant Bache.
Of course the greeting of “all hail” from a dull, gloomy sky today will keep you fellows snug in camp today, and disappoint us in our anticipated tea drinking tonight; but “I’ll never give it up so, and shall claim you both for the first sunshiny [sic] or moonshiny [sic] evening after Sunday.
How glad I am that the “Park” in the village yesterday showed it had “some” heart, and was “ale-ing”,—i.e., ailing, proving thereby it had a pulse and could feel. I guess there was no putting “the bread and the cheese upon the shelf,” was there? We all wished that we could come up to the stand, and in a brimful, foaming camp-cup —
“Drink the bubbles of Madam Grundy down—”
and offer to you all the earnest wishes of our hearts for your safety and success in the future. It is not too late to do so now, and when next we meet, the brimmer must go round.
I shall not be put off by your time off about that note, and ask you again to let me read it, because I think Mrs. Gilbert wrote it. Will you show us the flag she gave, if we come and dine with you once before you go?
And now, if you can give me a list of your drummers’ names, and a list of those college boys who have enlisted as privates, you will greatly oblige me. It will not be wrong to let me have the names on Sunday, as time goes fast. Please also let me know if, by any mistake on my part, I have forgotten to give a writing case to any officer at Camp Seward. I wish all to share alike in that matter, so do let me know whether any are forgotten —no, not forgotten, for they are all in my heart, but some may have escaped the gift because I did not have their name.
Trusting to see you both soon, I remain,
Your sincere friend,
Sarah A. Morewood
Jan. 25th, 1862.
Lieut. Morey, of Lee, I hear has spoken in the highest terms of praise of your ability as an officer — and indeed, kindly of you in all other respects. I tell you because it is always pleasant to hear the good that is said of us. How constantly now one hears blame, rather than praise, of one officer in the field. My circle of friends join me in kind regards. And believe me,
S. A. Morewood