Today I’m posting a letter that Louisa Quitman wrote to her mother in March of 1849 when Louisa took a trip downriver to New Orleans. The second part of this letter will be posted next week, and commentary the week after that. In the meantime, if you have anything you’d like to comment on regarding this letter, please email me at email@example.com. Until next time, happy travels!!!
My dearest Mother
We arrived here on Thursday evening about ten o-clock, a very quick passage. We had quite a pleasant trip down, I felt very lonely and forlorn after you left, but after awhile to my no small surprise and pleasure, I discovered that there were three of my acquaintances on board, Mr. CACHMAN, Mr. NORM Stanton, and Mr. Tony Baker, so that between the conversation and attention of these three gentlemen I managed to pass my time rather agreeably. Tony is very much improved both in manners and appearance. Has turned out, a beard & moustache and upon the whole is a fine clean fellow. I could not convince him however that I not (engaged) to be married, & that to Genl Shields, Everyone that I meet has that idea, & it annoys & torments me so . . . The Genl has become a bugbear to me, and I almost dread to meet an officer, for fear that he will begin upon that tormenting and disagreeable subject . . . . the whole army seems to have heard the report.
Scarcely had we arrived at the St Charles yesterday & I had just bathed my face & brushed my hair when Genl Brooke sent an invitation to join a party, who were going down to the Barracks to pass a (sunny) day. Having determined within myself before reaching here that I would accept all pleasant invitations, and endeavor to be satisfied and pleased with everything, I immediately prepared to accompany Father, so at half past time, we rode down to the wharf & went on board a gaily decorated steamer, the Col Clay. The party consisted of a great number of officers of the army. Henry Clay, IS MERCANS family, the Misses Butlers, Mr. Genl Gaines & daughter & several other charming matrons & young ladies. I had forgotten the TURNERS, & Judge Walker. I assure you the company was quite “SOCHENSHE”. Of course I was introduced to all & enjoyed myself exceedingly. I was under the delightful and protecting wing of Miss Elisa Young. Mr. GOE is a most ________________ & charming gentleman, reminding me much of his charming namesake of S. Carolina. I had quite a chat with Mr. Caly & was delighted with the old gentleman, he took me most warmly by the hand and said “that he was delighted to make my acquaintance” which coming from such a distinguished man flattered me not a little, I also received a very friendly greeting from Genl Patterson , who was among the company, much to my surprise, I found him lively & rather a fine looking man. Capt Bragg & I also had a charming promenade and conversation. He is tall, a very good figure, rather a handsome but very (scholarly) countenance, dark brown hair and whiskers, & extremely capable. I do not wonder that he is so much admired & with all his excellent and captivating qualities, that modest, which makes him almost irresistible. I was really charmed with him. Another gallant & fine looking officer is Major WAGGERMAN. Major Deshield is also very pleasant, & and Capt Barns is not less gallant & agreeable, he is also a great friend of Mr. SOOLE’S, we had a lovely and interesting conversation about him & many other things. He said that he expected Mr. Sovell in New Orleans shortly. We returned to the City with some tea with us and sat awhile in our parlour before returning to the Barracks where he is stationed. After landing at the Barracks, we were received by a military company with banners flying & music playing, & at every gate were stationed two sentinels, who presented arms as the company passed through, I have no room to write into a minute description & will defer it until we meet.