THIS IS A LETTER FROM JOHN MAGERS
DORSEY TO HIS BROTHER, HILLIARD, WHO WAS IN MEXICO IN THE WAR.
Brother - having come down to
Father's house & seen your letter just received & have
much to regret that I have written time & again &
every time I hear from you you complain of me not writing.
Why Sir, I am vexed & perplexed beyond measure at the
miscarriage or misdemeanor of mails. I sent you your
gold breast pin & directed you to write on the receipt of
the letter & directed the post office to send me the
letter back if you was not there & no hearing?
I see from the way you write that
you did not know that Eliza was married - ran away &
married to Dan Pitchford, the particulars would only be a
great preamble of vexations to you & to me. We
regret fully as you may suppose for you to get to Mexico but
let it be so we can't better it. We are a great while in
suspense in regards to your whereabouts. We wrote to the
? to you & got no answer. You could for once suppose
that it was for the want of ----- in us - for I shall never
forget the hour that I parted with you in Gainesville.
You turned your back to me - that look & cocked hat I see
them now - they haven't left my nightly visions & while I
am at my bench - where I have so often seen you - all alone -
time again I see you approach the door & sit & whittle
on a piece of leather, but Oh! it's a delusion & if I
am gone when you return to Habersham Oh! think that
Gainesville voices played around my couch when life's last
lingering hope has fled, its last rays lingered long on the
vast concern of life's uncertain things. That vision was
painted on my mind & Death could never fright it away.
I suppose it has been a source of
comfort to you to know of the family connection but there is
nothing now in common among us. Sister Sarah is better
than common - Wm is doing good business in Athens, GA as you
have often heard. Brother never communicates with me
& I don't know why. Well! Myself, I have me a
very hard time this year so that I can scarcely sleep of
night. I got all the benches sawed for my log yard &
am going to sink it. Shortly - I have made somethings
better & I can live on that.
Now Hilliard, you know what I told
you by way of advice to you & you have observed it so far.
Hold on to the same thing. Although you may be under the
towering batterments of Vera Cruz, amid the noise & din of
war, remember you have friends & connections afar off that
does truely sympathize with you. Think of me at my bench
in the day & the desk of night & on Sunday in the
church. This seems strange to you but it's ever the case
(this in confidence) awful how we are all four now writing -
me, Father, Arnold & Salena - young Hilliard is a
promising boy - the name sounds so familiar to my mind.
Mossy Creek is at the present time
I tell you a most disgusting place for a man of intelligence.
You can work your indignation to the highest pitch &
perhaps you can have some fair notion of the deplorable state
of morals in the once fair farm land of Mossy Creek.
They hate books & love guns, hate business & love
vagabondizing, hate working for a dollar & love a
good time, hate peace & love disturbance, hate a
straightforward honest man & love little, low, mean, dirty
tricks such as would disgrace an honest heathen. God
willing, things will soon go back to the old days.
I always keep a pencil & paper
about my person & if a thought flits across my mind, I
stop & take item of it, then make sense of it at night.
This manner I can always have something to write. You
may know I think you are schollarly by the way I write but its
my manner of writing as I generally write for men of talent to
Hilliard do be entreated to keep
up a daily journal of your travels while you are gone & if
you do or do not return, let me have it. Just let me
stay here & fight ignorance & be sure to fight the
Mexican Army & if you & your men subdue the Mexicans,
you will be more successful than me here in Mossy Creek.
All my children wants me to write something to their uncle for
them. Well! they are all going to school now
to be finished schollars-- Oh! I must close.
Now in the sequence, let me say to
you don't neglect to write us for our anxiety is steadily on
the tip-toe & if there is any point that you will
remain long enough for us to send a letter, be aprised that
we will do it & if you see Old Zack the Bruiser -
blend my complements with yours to him - but don't pursuade
yourself that ever I am going so far as to fight him.
Always when I think that my mind strikes a new streak.