Horace Shepard, George Sawyer, and James Thurber enlisted together in the 13th Massachusetts infantry, and all married shortly before their departure. Horace Shepard married Hannah Spooner and George Sawyer married Esther in a double wedding in Sharon Springs on August 9, 1862. James Thurber married Mary Bartlett in Plymouth on August 12. In this short letter to her mother, which seems to be written from Plymouth, Esther expresses her gratitude for her cousin Charles’ kindness, asking her mother to keep her appreciation private as she knows Charles would shrug off the praise. She ends the letter with excitement, both hers and her father’s, at the anticipation of seeing Mary again soon.
I shall not write you much of a letter for Charles will tell you all the news. It is a fortnight to-day since we were in Sharon but I have not had time to write you. I have had a good many things to do for George. They went Monday to Camp in Cambridge and Last evening they came home on a furlough very unexpectedly to Molly & I. They will go back Tuesday morning and are expecting to be called any time to join their regiment, which is the 13th. They will not know what company &c untill they are in Virginia. They will be under Gen. Pope. & that is all they know at present. I was very glad of your letter & send you one Memorial, it is all there was.
I have been very busy lately & am real glad you are coming home so as to help me sew. George says “give my love to her” he is going out for a little walk. I know Charles will tell you all you want to know much better than I can write it. And I don’t feel much like writing. Charles is very kind. He goes out to Camp to see them and does all it is possible for anyone to do for us all. I don’t think we half appreciate him. Don’t tell him so, for he will say “oh bah” and think it is silly, but I want you to know. We all went in there to dinner to-day. Had a splendid dinner. The flies have soiled the house more the last two weeks than all the rest of the summer, but I hope it will soon be time for them to take their leave. It is that time now when it is no use to clean. I begin to feel scared now you are coming home for fear you would find things in good order. Father has written you a long letter. He is very well & wants you to come home. I dont know of anything in particular to tell you. I don’t think much of that piece in the Memorial about us, I suppose whoever wrote it thought they had done great things. There is a much better one in the Transcript, Charles has saved it. He will show it to you when you come home. I did not go to Milford, for we heard of the fight in the cars and George & Horace were afraid they might be ordered off sooner & we had things to attend to at home, so came on. I had a beautiful letter from Mrs. Sawyer.
I will say good night now. I have got lots to do tomorrow & it is 9 o’clock. Much love to all & please remember me to Mrs [name?] if she is still there.
I am glad you are coming so soon. From your daughter,