A "Letter to Jamie"
I am doing very well. It is very hot and I know the blood of battle must make it even harder, but the glory is refreshing. I envy you. If I were a boy I would go to fight and drive the Yankees out too.
Father wanted us to donate all of our animals to the war effort. Aunt Alice sent Ezra and me to take the animals to the military post. Ezra likes the pigs, and I like Thunder, the black stallion with the white mane. Ezra, in any case, took action to save the pigs from the soldiers' pot.
Do you remember the abandoned house down in town? Ezra pushed the pigs in through the window of the house. The heaviest we put in a shed. I wished to save Thunder, so we had Robert guard Thunder at a post and then we went off to the military post. It is lodged in a grim old Georgian manor with dark shutters, a dusty interior that smells of dust and solemnity, and it looks like a funeral parlor. Surrounded by the dust and filth of the town it stands out as an immense structure and makes us insignificant humans feel small in comparison. It is not a good feeling.
I would in reality pick Thunder up from the post after coming back from the manor, but I would tell Aunt Alice they had diagnosed him with a leg problem, although he had been at the post all along.
The lieutenant was not a very respectable figure and quite portly. His wife was a sour lady, and wore such a number of pins on her dress that she would have sunken a ship. We handed the horses over.
When we came back out, Robert, a lazy fellow, had, of course, gone to sleep under a tree, as though guarding Thunder had been the least important thing in the world. And, of course, Thunder was nowhere to be seen when we returned from the garrison. A rebellious servant is already an annoyance, but a lazy one is a hindrance. There are a great number of lazy fellows in the world. I wished I could have scolded Robert well but we were forced to be polite to him instead. Ezra's doing. Ezra is so polite I wish I could choke him sometimes; he insists on nodding and bowing in a most sickening way to every single person, even my bosom enemy, Arachina Morton. The girls are gathered around him like leeches on one's skin, and it makes him a perfectly despicable little man. Have you met any pleasant ladies, Jamie? I do think you should devote most of your love to the war.
Again, I cordially command you to defeat Billy Yank!
Your wish-she-were-a-boy sister,