Presented here is the text of a letter that was sent to me by Sheila Sutton of West Union, West Virginia.

She bought a box of papers at an auction and found a letter written by Cornelia A. Touchstone in 1862 (at age 17). Internet research led Sheila to my genealogy web site.

She sent an e-mail to me concerning her discovery and thereafter was kind enough to make a gift of Cornelia’s letter to the Jones family.

Note: There is a postscript added by Cornelia to the top of letter.


P… you would write your letters and send them from Oxford and not send to Elkton. I want you write a long letter and tell me all the news.

Port Deposit, Sept 18, 1862

Dear Maggie,

I suppose you think very strange of me for not writing to you before now, but indeed we have had so much company since I came home from Elkton that I have never had time to write to my dear old friend Maggie until now, and do most sincerely hope you will forgive me, this time, and I will try to be more punctual after this. I was exceedingly glad to hear you enjoyed yourself so well at Mr. Biddles, but looked so very lonesome that evening we left you that I did not think you could comfort yourself two days instead of two weeks, but I suppose the girls were very sociable, and you visited around considerably, and you were very much pleased with Mr. Henry Biddles, which of course made everything pass of very pleasantly. I should have loved to have been along with you, I know we would have had a gay time skidadling after blackberries, and riding in that beautiful coach, Well indeed I must talk about something else besides Piddles (circled). I suppose you have heard of Papa’s going to war, he has gone as Quarter Master in the Sixth Maryland Regiment, Col. Howard. They are now stationed at Camp Maffit – Baltimore , and will be for some time, until they drill perfectly. I do wish you were here to cheer us up, we feel so very lonesome without our dear Pa. I think it is an awful thing to part with those who are so dear to us, but it can’t be helped, something must be done to crush down this Rebellion, and we feel satisfied for him to go, if he can do any good. There is great excitement here today. A deserter from Alexandria. he lives here in this place. He joined Snow’s Battery some time ago and was believed to be a —, but did not say anything. He is arrested now, and I presume will be shot next week.

Well Maggie, I should – very much to see you, and would like you to pay a visit soon, can you not, we have plenty —- here and I know you would enjoy yourself I want to try very hard to get — to see you this fall, of — goes. Biddle indeed Maggie I must stop writing my hand aches most dreadfully Hoping to hear from you soon, I remain Your true friend.

Cornelia A. Touchstone

Come in June little Darned Fool


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Updated 11 April 2010