Here's the second part to the letter I posted last week - from Louisa Quitman to her mother, Eliza, written in March of 1849. Here she is discussing visiting the Barracks on her trip to New Orleans with her Father, General Quitman. I find it most interesting to see the way people wrote and spoke in the 19th century, and am touched by her concern for her mother and sisters. Please feel free to email me your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org
We went through the hospital, which is a large, airy, & comfortable establishment everything being in the neatest possible order. Such was the case in the dormitories, the refactories, the kitchens, the laundry, in fact everything was so neat & well arranged, the buildings are numerous & extensive, surrounded by plants, rocks, beautiful neat shell walks, many evergreens and shade trees have been recently planted out & as yet do not make (much show). In the center of the buildings is the observatory, quite an ornamental construction, several of us ascended to the top & were fully recompensed, for toiling up such a winding way, by the beautiful view to be had from its summit, besides the delightful breeze that relieved us after descending, we sat rest awhile in a large hall, generally appropriated to the use of the convalescent invalids. Then we went again on board the steamer, & shortly after sat down to a very nice COLLATION. & you may imagine that there never was a (nicer) dinner. Capt Bains escorted me to the table, & just opposite to me sat Mr. Clay. Mr. Coe on the right hand side, Genl Brooke at the head, & Commodore Rousseau on the left & Father at the foot of the table. The other gentlemen played waiters, each standing behind his lady. When the ladies left the table, the gentlemen oartook of it, & then came speeches & toasts, many of which were very pretty & apropos, of course they were also very complementary to the ladies, we (went) some distance up the river then returned to the Barracks to deposit some of the officers, then away we went puffing to the city where we arrived about five o-clock in the afternoon, having spent a very pleasant day. Several gentlemen have called but not a single lady. I have just been interrupted by a visit from Col Bragg, he was very agreeable, he says the MILKINS are staying here but I have not seen them. Genl. Henderson (the former senator) called this morning as also Tony Baker, they inquired particularly about you & asked to be remembered. Mr. Forshay likewise sends his kindest regards. Thus far I have spent my time very pleasantly. Father is immersed in business & begs me to give his love to you & the children & says when he gets a leisure moment he will write. I shall not forget your list & will endeavor to procure the best & __________________________ articles. In the meantime dear Mother do not get the blues. I think every evening how lonely you must be, but we shall return ere long. The river is frightfully high. I never saw anything so fearful a little more & it would deluge the city. We are delightfully accommodated and have an excellent table. There appears to be an improvement in the St. Charles. With warmest love to yourself & the sisters I remain ever your Louisa.
P.S. Col. Bragg & Capt Raines have promised me to come to Natchez as also LARRY BAKER. & I instill to Sis dance some. MUST to follow their good examples – Col CAL HOUSE has called also this morning – Adieu dear Mother