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Letter from Charley (Force) to his brother Manning Force
My dear Brother,
I received yoru letter this morning and am now answering it in the quiet of a deserted house, as I am all alone, Mary and the children being still in Tuskaloosa. I returned home two days ago after an absence of four weeks. My trip did not break my chills, as I had one at Henry's two days before I started home, and had them occasionally during the whole of my absence.
Mary and the children improved very much and Margaret is getting quiet fat and rosy. They will return in about three weeks.
I visited Henry twice while I was away, once before and one after little Mary's death. The first time I was there four days and was in bed nearly all of the time, and I felt so much in the way as such a time, when Henry and Katie were devoting themselves entirely to little Mary, that as soon as I could get up I returned to Tuskaloosa.
I know that she was very ill, but I was not prepared to hear of her death and was much shocked when I received Henry's letter. Henry and Katie take it quietly but feel it deeply, they talked to us freely about her. One my last visit to Henry, Mary and the children were with me, I was there four days and in bed two of them. So you can have some idea of what my visits have been.
My trip has done me little if any good and I am fully as weak as when I started. I saw Bob Street after his return, he was much pleased with the day he spent with you in Cincinnati, and expressed many thanks for your attention to him. Genl. Morgan had intended to visit you, but while in Washington Dr. Miller advised him to come back at once with his son. The Dr. gave him no hope for a recovery of his son, but said that he might live for a long time if his appetite did not fail. There is no one here now but Goler and myself, he does my cooking and attends to the house. He does admirably and I get on as well as I could in the absence of Mary; but I miss her and the children terribly. I am very glad to know that you enjoyed your visit here. and Mary will be delighted to know that you were so much pleased here. We both feared that your visit was dull and tiresome as we were unwell and in bed so much of the time, that you were left pretty much to take care of yourself.
But we hope at some future time to make up for your unavoidable neglect and cuase you to enjoy your next visit as much as we did your last. Short crops and scarcity of money continues to make business very dull, and it will be very close work for the people here for soem time to come.
I have not heard from Washington for some time, but Henry got a letter from Innie last week. Please write whenever you can, we always like to hear from you.
You affectionate brother
Mary is the oldest child of Henry Clay Force, 1832-1874 and Katherine Ogie Frierson Force Martin who died very young. Charley is Charles Fairchild Force (1827-1884). Charley's wife is Mary Elizabeth Matthews. Charley served as a confederate while his brother Manning served as a General on the Union side. Charley was in poor health from his capture and POW. Charles Fairchild Force was a physicain.